(34) And when Abraham said: My Lord! Make safe this territory, and preserve me and my sons from serving idols. (35) My Lord! Lo! they have led many of mankind astray. But whoso followeth me, he verily is of me. And whoso disobeyeth me – Still Thou art Forgiving, Merciful. (36) Our Lord! Lo! I have settled some of my posterity in an uncultivable valley near unto Thy holy House, our Lord! that they may establish proper worship; so incline some hearts of men that they may yearn toward them, and provide Thou them with fruits in order that they may be thankful. (37) Our Lord! Lo! Thou knowest that which we hide and that which we proclaim. Nothing in the earth or in the heaven is hidden from Allah. (38) Praise be to Allah Who hath given me, in my old age, Ishmael and Isaac! Lo! my Lord is indeed the Hearer of Prayer. (39) My Lord! Make me to establish proper worship, and some of my posterity (also); our Lord! and accept my prayer. (40) Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents and believers on the day when the account is cast.
Prophet Ibraheem (A) also known as Abraham and Abram, was a father. He was the father of Ismail (A) and Ishaq (A). Ismail was an ancestor of Prophet Muhammad (S). Ishaq (A) was the ancestor of many prophets including Yaqub (A), Yusuf (A), Musa (A), and Isa (A).
This passage of the Quran from a chapter named for Ibraheem (A) is a beautiful prayer expressing the prophet’s hopes and dreams for the future. He asks first for safety, reflecting his role as a caring father. He implores Allah to protect his family from idol worship. Ibraheem (A) was the son of an idol maker, so he knew the dangers of idol worship, which the Quran calls shirk.
He expresses concern about the settling of his family in Arabia, the land of the Kaaba, which he built with his older son, Ismail (A). He knows that it is rough territory. Yet he believes that Allah (SWT) can provide with no limits.
He thanks Allah (SWT) for giving him his two sons. He testifies that Allah (SWT) is the “Hearer of Prayer.” Knowing that he has prayed to Allah (SWT) and that He has answered him time and again, he expresses his deep gratitude to his Creator. How many of us remember the prayers Allah has answered when we ask Him for something new?
He closes with a sentence that is succinct yet all-encompassing. In conclusion, he says, “Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents and believers on the day when the account is cast.” He looks to the present, asking for his own forgiveness. He looks to the past, asking for forgiveness for his parents. His father made idols, but Ibraheem (A) still holds on to the hope that Allah (SWT) will pardon him. Then he looks to the future, asking for forgiveness for the believers that will come after him, a group that, Inshallah, includes us.