How It All Began
Nearly four thousand years ago, in the Sumerian town of Ur in the valley of the river Euphrates, lived a young man named Abraham. The people of Ur had once worshipped Allah but as time passed they forgot the true religion and started praying to idols, statues made of wood or clay and sometimes even of precious stones. Even as a small child Abraham could not understand how his people, and especially his father, could make these images with their own hands, call them gods, and then worship them. He had always refused to join his people when they paid respect to these statues. He would leave town to sit alone and think about heavens and the worlds around him.. He was sure his people were doing wrong and so alone he searched for the right way. One clear night as he sat staring at the sky he saw a beautiful shining star, so beautiful that he cried out: 'This must be Allah!' He looked at it in awe for some time, until suddenly it began to fade and then it disappeared. He turned away in disappointment saying: I love not things that set. (Koran vi.77)
On another night Abraham was again looking at the sky and he saw the rising moon, so big and bright that he felt he could almost touch it. He thought to himself: This is my Lord. (Koran vi.78) But it was not long before the moon set as well. Then he said, Unless my Lord guides me, I surely shall become one of the folk who are astray. (Koran vi.78) Abraham then saw the beauty and splendor of the sunrise and decided that the sun must be the biggest and most powerful thing in the universe. But for the third time he was wrong, for the sun set at the end of the day. It was then that he realized that Allah is the Most Powerful, the Creator of the stars, the moon, the sun, the earth and of all living things. Suddenly he felt himself totally at peace, because he knew that he had found the Truth.
When he said unto his father and his folk: What do you worship? They said: We worship idols, and are ever devoted to them.
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