“Long long ago,” Nani began, “thousands of years before we were even born, there lived a boy called Ibraheem. He was very, very clever and was always asking questions. Most of the people he knew worshipped idols, including his father, but this didn’t make sense to Ibraheem.
During his early childhood Ibraheem realized that his father made such strange statues. One day, he asked him about them. His father replied that he made statues of Gods. Ibraheem
was astonished and he immediately rejected the idea that it could be god. Being a child he often played with such statues, sitting on their backs, just as people sit on the backs of donkeys and mules.
One day his father saw him riding the statue of Mardukh and he became very angry. He ordered his son to never ever play with it again. Ibraheem asked: “What is this statue, father? It has such big ears.
His father answered: “It is Mardukh, the god of gods, my son! These big ears show his deep knowledge.” This made Ibraheem (A.S) laugh even though he was only seven years old at that time.
Abdur Rahmaan laughed too. “Yes Naani, those stone idols are fake! They can’t be God! They can’t do anything! They are not alive! Tell us more please, about Ibraheem (A.S)”
As Ibraheem grew up, he realised that the idols were made of stone! They could not talk. They could not walk. They could not speak. They could not even hear. So, how could they then be God?
Naani continued: “Ibraheem started to wonder, who was his Lord? Who created, controlled and looked after the whole universe?
When night came, he looked at the stars, shining brightly in the sky and wondered, maybe this is my Lord. But when the stars disappeared he realised, how can something that disappears be God?
Next he saw the moon shimmering in the sky, and wondered, maybe this is my Lord. But when the moon faded, he realised, how can something that fades be God?
Then he saw the Sun rising in all its glory, bright and cheerful in the sky and wondered, maybe this is my Lord. But when the sun set, he realised, how can something that disappears be God?
Then Ibraheem realised the truth, that there can be no other God except Allah, the creator of me and you, of the entire universe, of the skies and the Earth, and he submitted to Allah.
Ibraheem then told his father and his people that he didn’t think they should worship objects that they had made themselves. They became very angry and told him to never say anything about their idols again.
So Ibraheem decided he must instead show the people they were wrong and so he thought of a plan.
One night when the people were busy, he sneaked into the place where all the statues were kept. Taking an axe he chopped off the heads of all the idols, besides the head of the biggest one. He then hung the axe around the around the neck of this idol.
Abdur-Rahmaan laughed again imagining all the headless idols, with the biggest idol, still with a head and an axe around its neck, looking like the culprit. “Tell us more Nani”, he said.
“The next morning when the people saw what had happened they were very angry and very upset. They were sure Ibrahim (A.S) had done it.
They gathered in the public square and asked him if he (Ibraheem) had broken their idols. Ibrahim told them they should ask their biggest idol if he knew who was responsible.
But, of course, the statue could not speak and the people knew it was only stone. Ibraheem asked them how they could worship lumps of stone. The people became even more angry.
They started to collect wood and built a huuuuge fire. They wanted to burn Ibraheem in it. They built the fire for a long time, making it hotter and hotter and hotter, until it was burning hot. The fire became so hot that even a bird flying over it got burnt and fell in. No one could even go near it! The people wondered how they would throw Ibraheem into this fire that was so hot, since no one could even go near it.
They then had an idea. They built a catapult, a huge machine, to help them throw him into the fire. Then they caught Ibraheem, put him on the catapult and with everyone watching, they threw him into the fire. They wanted Ibraheem (AS) to burn to death!”
Nani noticed Khaira trying to hide a yawn and got up. “Time to sleep,” she said. “We’ll continue this story tomorrow.”
“But Nani….,” they protested. “You can’t stop there. We want to finish the story!”
Nani shook her head. “No,” she said firmly, “you are both tired and need to sleep. See the time, it’s already half past two. Tomorrow, my dears.”
The children weren’t happy and tried to protest but Nani shook her head and refused, made salaam to them and was gone. A few minutes later when she popped her head back in to check on the children, they were fast asleep.