46. He (the father) said: "Do you revile my gods, O Ibrahim If you stop not (this), I will La'arjumannak. So get away from me Maliyan.'' 47. Ibrahim said: "Peace be on you! I will ask forgiveness of my Lord for you. Verily, He is unto me Hafiyyan. 48. And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you invoke besides Allah. And I shall call upon my Lord, and I certainly hope that I shall not be unblessed in my invocation to my Lord.''
Allah, the Exalted, informs of the reply of Ibrahim's father to his son, Ibrahim, in reference to what he was calling him to. He said,
(Do you revile my gods, O Ibrahim) This means, "If you do not want to worship them (the idols) and you are not pleased with them, then at least stop cursing, abusing, and reviling them. For verily, if you do not cease, I will punish you, curse you and revile you.'' This is the meaning of his statement;
(La'arjumannaka.) Ibn `Abbas, As-Suddi, Ibn Jurayj, Ad-Dahhak and others said this. Concerning His statement,
(So get away from me Maliyan.) Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Mujahid bin Ishaq all said, "Maliyan means forever.'' Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "For a long time.'' As-Suddi said,
(So get away from me safely Maliyan. ) "This means forever.'' Ali bin Abi Talhah and Al-`Awfi both reported that Ibn `Abbas said,
(So get away from me safely Maliyan.) "This means to go away in peace and safety before you are afflicted with a punishment from me.'' Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, `Atiyah Al-Jadali, Malik and others said the same. This is also the view preferred by Ibn Jarir.
With this, Ibrahim said to his father,
(Peace be on you!) This is as Allah said concerning the description of the believers,
(and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they say, "Salaman ﴿peace﴾.'') ﴿25:63﴾ Allah also says,
(And when they hear Al-Laghw (false speech), they withdraw from it and say: "To us our deeds, and to you your deeds. Peace be to you. We seek not (the way of) the ignorant.'') ﴿28:55﴾ The meaning of Ibrahim's statement to his father,
(Peace be on you!) "You will not receive any insult or harm from me.'' This is due to the respect and honor of fatherhood.
(I will ask forgiveness of my Lord for you.) meaning "But, I will ask Allah to guide you and forgive you for your sin.''
(Verily, He is unto me Hafiyya.) Ibn `Abbas and others said that Hafiyyan means, "Kind.'' Meaning, "since He guided me to worship Him and direct my religious devotion to Him alone.'' As-Suddi said, "Al-Hafi is One Who is concerned with his (Ibrahim's) affair.'' Thus, Ibrahim sought forgiveness for his father for a very long time, even after he migrated to Ash-Sham. He continued to seek forgiveness for him even after building the Sacred Masjid (in Makkah) and after the birth of his two sons, Isma`il and Ishaq. This can be seen in his statement,
(Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents, and (all) the believers on the Day when the reckoning will be established.) ﴿14:41﴾ From this tradition, during the beginning stages of Islam, the Muslims used to seek forgiveness for their relatives and their family members who were polytheists. They did this following the way of Ibrahim, the Khalil (Friend) of Allah, until Allah revealed,
(Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people: "Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allah.'') ﴿60:4﴾ Until Allah's statement,
(Except the saying of Ibrahim to his father: "Verily, I will ask forgiveness (from Allah) for you, but I have no power to do anything for you before Allah.'') ﴿60:4﴾ meaning, except for this statement, so do not follow it. Then Allah explains that Ibrahim abandoned this statement and retracted it. Allah, the Exalted, says,
(It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah's forgiveness for the idolators.) ﴿9:113﴾ Until Allah's statement,
(And Ibrahim's invoking for his father's forgiveness was only because of a promise he had made to him. But when it became clear to him that he is an enemy of Allah, he dissociated himself from him. Verily, Ibrahim was Awwah, forbearing.) ﴿9:114﴾ Concerning Allah's statement,
(And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you invoke besides Allah. And I shall call upon my Lord,) This means, "And I worship my Lord alone, associating no partners with Him.''
(I certainly hope that I shall not be unblessed in my invocation to my Lord. ) The word `Asa (I hope) here means that which will necessarily occur and not that which is hoped for from the impossible. For verily, he (Ibrahim) is the leader of the Prophets other than Muhammad .