Let us see the significance of this man from the passages of the Reading.
Whose way is better than the one who peacefully focus for God while doing good deeds, and follows the principle of Abraham the sincere? God has chosen Abraham as a beloved friend. (4:125)
Indeed, Abraham was a nation of being faithful for God in sincerity, and he was not among the idol-worshippers. Instead he appreciated God’s blessings. God guided him to the straight path. We endowed him with goodness in this life and in the Hereafter he will be with the righteous. (16:120-122)
Thus, who would then forsake the principle of Abraham except those who fool themselves? We have chosen him in this world and in the Hereafter. He will be with the righteous. When his Lord said to him, “Be peaceful” he said, “I am peaceful for the Lord of the Universe.” (2:130-131)
When Abraham was put to the test by his Lord through certain words, he carried them out. God then said, “I am appointing you as the forefront (imam) for all mankind.” (2:124)
A good example has been set for you by Abraham and those with him. They said to their people, “We disown you and your idols you set up besides God. We reject you and you will see from us nothing but enmity and opposition until you believe in God alone.” (60:4)
Abraham was sincere in his commitment to observing God’s laws and he regarded idol-worship as the enemy. His focus was people’s consent to God without intermediaries. God did not appoint Abraham as imam to lead the people into rituals and worship. He was appointed to provide an example of a person committed to the service of God alone. In the context of the Reading the word imam simply means an independent and progressive leader who can lead the people by stimulating their intelligence, striving towards a condition of collective well being while observing the limits of sanctions in God’s system. He can also have a strong influence on people with his intelligence or power.
Abraham led his progeny and the people to prosper in a barren land, which they made productive. He was against all forms of idol-worship and rituals and wanted the people to free themselves from the bondage of dogma. He was willing to sacrifice his life to take a stand against the idol-worshippers. Today, we are witnessing an Arab culture that has reversed the process.