Islam in essence is recognizing THE ONE and ONLY God then; submitting and surrendering to Him and only worship Him alone with no associates, no partners, no peers, no wife, no daughter nor son.
This was the fact discovered thousands years ago by Abraham, the Father of the Prophets. He was the best human being ever conceived because his longing to the True God was much stronger than any other earthly matter.
When he saw his people worshipping idols he found it stupid, why should anybody worship a stone. A stone doesn’t speak, doesn’t hear, and doesn’t even defend itself.
He took a long time thinking about this issue till he reached the truth: There is only One God up in heaven, he is the owner and sustainer of the whole universe.
This truth gave him the power to confront his people in the most practical way. He went to their shrine and destroyed all of their idols except the largest of them and hand the axe on it. When his people found this they brought Abraham because he was the only one always attacking the idols publicly. They asked him: Did you do this to our Gods Abraham? He replied: It is their largest who did it, so ask them? But his people said: You know that they don’t speak. Abraham then said: So why do you worship those whom you make by your own hands?
In their embracement and rage they decided to burn him alive for what he did to their Gods.
It is said that they spent a long time building the fire to burn Abraham. Everybody considered that the contribution to this fire is an honor. People even donated their furniture and the doors of their home to the wood of that fire.
When the fire was ignited it was so massive that it would burn birds which fly across it and when they wanted to put Abraham in its center they couldn’t because it was too hot to even approach. Finally they used the catapult and through Abraham into it.
Abraham who on his own with no help nor guidance from anybody reached God with his heart and with his mind. He knew that no one in this universe is more powerful than God. No one in this universe would exist without the will of God. He knew that Only God, he loved, worshiped and wanted Him, and only Him.
In Abraham’s mind burning in fire is no big deal, it will take seconds for him to evaporate and his soul will go to its owner; God. What a bargain. He was finally going to be with the One he loves most. God. He, by that time has developed the stand not ask anybody for anything, even Gabriel because nobody really has anything to give without God’s support.
So here comes Abraham’s great reply, the words which lived for thousands of years and will live till God inherits it with whatever is on it. Abraham said: From you, nothing but from your God, because of his knowledge of my state I don’t need to ask.
Once again Abraham proves the absolution of his faith in God so He said talking to the fire: Be cool and safe for Abraham.
It was said that if God said be cool only, Abraham would have frozen to death.
It was also said that as long as Abraham was in the fire, no fire worldwide burned anything nor cooked any food.
Days and days Abraham spend in the center of the great fire. He was fed and serviced by the angles and after the fire burned out he came out of it with nothing burned of him except the ropes he ws tied with.
His surviving that ordeal was the living proof that his God is the Real God and that their gods were nothing but carved stones.
That was the beginning of Abraham’s Prophet-hood. God later on gave him the first
Wholly Book which was called the Pages Of Abraham.
Abraham called himself in the Quraan: The first of the Muslims.
Abraham was the first one to pray the Muslim prayers which we see nowadays. It is the moving prayer which starts by standing up then bowing then standing again then kneeling then prostrating then kneeling then prostrating again then standing up again forming a one unit of the prayer. This unit is called “Kneeling” in Arabic.
This story of Abraham might help us why did God say in the Quraan: "And He took Abraham a friend".