We gave Abraham his integrity formerly, and We knew him well. When he said to his father and his people, ”What are these statues to which you are devoted?” They said, ”We found our parents worshiping them.” He said, ”You and your parents are in evident error.” They said, ”Are you telling us the truth, or are you just playing?” He said, ”Your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the One who created them, and I bear witness to that.” ”By Allah, I will have a plan for your statues after you have gone away.” So he reduced them into pieces, except for their biggest, that they may return to it. They said, ”Who did this to our gods? He is certainly one of the wrongdoers.” They said, ”We heard a youth mentioning them. He is called Abraham.” They said, ”Bring him before the eyes of the people, so that they may witness.” They said, ”Are you the one who did this to our gods, O Abraham?” He said, ”But it was this biggest of them that did it. Ask them, if they can speak.” Then they turned to one another, and said, ”You yourselves are the wrongdoers.” But they reverted to their old ideas: ”You certainly know that these do not speak.” He said, ”Do you worship, instead of Allah, what can neither benefit you in anything, nor harm you? Fie on you, and on what you worship instead of Allah. Do you not understand?” They said, ”Burn him and support your gods, if you are going to act.” We said, ”O fire, be coolness and safety upon Abraham.” (21:51-69)
Denna långa berättelse i Koranen handlar om Abraham och hur han har sönder de avgudar som hans far och det övriga folket dyrkade. Även om berättelsen är spännande har den ingen biblisk grund. Istället är den hämtad ur den judiska kommentaren Midrash (Genesis) Rabbah från början av 400-talet v.t.
R. Hiyya said: Terah was a manufacturer of idols. He once went away somewhere and left Abraham to sell them in his place. A man came and wished to buy one. ”How old are you?” Abraham asked him. ”Fifty years,” was the reply. ”Woe to such a man!” he exclaimed, ”you are fifty years old and would worship a day old object!” At this he became ashamed and departed. On another occasion a woman came with a plate full of flour and requested him, ”Take this and offer it to them.” So he took a stick, broke them, and put the stick in the hand of the largest. When his father returned he demanded, ”What have you done to them?” ”I cannot conceal it from you,” he rejoined. ”A woman came with a plateful of fine meal and requested me to offer It to them. One claimed, ”I must eat first,” while another claimed, ”I must eat first.” Thereupon the largest arose, took the stick, and broke them. ”Why do you make sport of me,” he cried out; ”have they then any knowledge?” ”Should not your ears listen to what your mouth is saying,” he retorted. Thereupon he seized him and delivered him to Nimrod. ”Let us worship the fire!”, he [Nimrod] proposed. ”Let us rather worship water, which extinguishes the fire,” replied he. ”Then let us worship water!” … ”Behold, I will cast you into it, and let your God whom you adore come and save you from it.” (kapitel 38)
Uppenbarligen hämtade Muhammad sin berättelse om Abraham från denna judiska midrash och inte från Bibeln. Det finns dessutom en annan intressant skillnad mellan de båda berättelserna. Även om det inte står i sura 21 vad Abrahams far hette, hittar vi det istället i sura 6:74: ”Abraham said to his father Azar, ’Do you take idols for gods?” Men problemet är att namnet Azar inte finns i Bibeln. Abrahams far hette Tera, vilket ses både i midrashen ovan och i Bibeln.
Detta är Teras fortsatta historia. Tera blev far till Abram (fick senare namnet Abraham), Nahor och Haran. (1 Mosebok 11:27).