Questions and Answers > Qur'an > Contradictions Qur'an 1-15

Qur’an 2:135 - Was Abraham an idol worshipper or not?

1. Abraham was not an idol worshipper – Qur’an 2:135, 3:67
“They say, "Be Jews or Christians [so] you will be guided." Say, "Rather, [we follow] the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth, and he was not of the polytheists."” (Qur’an 2:135)
“Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to Allah ]. And he was not of the polytheists.” (Qur’an 2:135)

2. Abraham was an idol worshiper – Qur’an 6:74-82
Some Muslims say these verses describe series of perceptions of three heavenly lights each more intense than the previous one but each one is subject to laws and to time since each one sets,he turns to face what is beyond each appearance. And finally the Supreme Being will be found. However in the verses we find: “he saw a star. He said, "This is my lord." (Qur’an 6:76). A star is a physical object and Lord is equal to God. So, Abraham has committed idol worship. Again: “he saw the moon rising, he said, "This is my lord." (Qur’an 6:77). Now the moon is the physical object. So also here Abraham has committed idol worship. Then also in the text: “he saw the sun rising, he said, "This is my lord” (Qur’an 6:78). Here the sun is the physical object. For the third time Abraham has committed idol worship.
The mistake of Abraham as “hanif”, in combination with the text: “Religion of Abraham” (Qur’an 2:130, 2:135, 3:95, 4:125, 6:161, 12:38, 16:123, 22:78) is has suggested that Abraham had a different religion [1] . Classical interpretation of Muslim is that the acts happened to lead others to true monotheism. People worshiped celestial bodies, and through this play, Abraham demonstrated to them monotheism. However, this is the work of a misleading actor, that cannot be recognized in the identity of the genuine Abraham. Some Muslims admit that Abraham was not pretending idol worship, but that it was his true faith. But then Muslims are trying to justify Abraham that the idol worship facts happened before he became a prophet. However also in that case, Abraham still had committed idol worship. The Qur’an is telling us that Abraham already knew and believed in the one God when he turned to worship the heavenly host: “And We had certainly given Abraham his sound judgement before” (Qur´an 21:51). Abraham consulted false gods according to the Qur´an: “Then he turned to their gods and said, "Do you not eat?” (Qur´an 37:91). It was a test to the false gods to show their power. This means that the Qur´an is telling us that Abraham was an idol worshiper.

3. Why Abraham was justified by God
The Most High has forgiven Abraham by the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. Abraham has seen Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God who has an internal relation with the divine Father of heaven and earth. Check it out in John 8:58 - “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am’”. Therefore the Bible says about Abraham:
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." (Hebrews 11:8-10)
What “faith”? This is the faith that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God is his personal Savior.

4. Conclusion
There is a contradiction in the Qur’an about Abraham as idol worshiper or not. The Bible explains that Abraham was justified by Jesus Christ and entered Paradise.


1. Reuven Firestone, Abraham, in: Jane Dammen McAuliffe (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Qur’an, Volume One, A-D, Brill, Leiden, 2001, 6.