Abraham’s Circumcision Covenant with God

In 53:36-37, God informs us, that even the one who turned away from the Quran was aware of the scripture of Moses and of what was fulfilled by Abraham.

[53:33] Have you noted the one who turned away? [53:34] Rarely did he give to charity, and then very little. [53:35] Did he possess knowledge of the future? Could he see it? [53:36] Was he not informed of the teachings in the scripture of Moses? [53:37] And Abraham who fulfilled?
53361أَمْOr
53362لَمْnot
53363يُنَبَّأْhe was informed
53364بِمَاin what
53365فِي(was) in
53366صُحُفِ(the) scriptures (of)
53367مُوسَىٰMoses,
53371وَإِبْرَاهِيمَAnd (of) Abraham,
53372الَّذِيthe one who
53373وَفَّىٰhe fulfilled?

What was it that Abraham fulfilled that even the one who turned away would be aware of?

We see in in 2:124 that Abraham was put to the test by his Lord through certain commands and he fulfilled them as part of God’s covenant with Abraham and his believing descendants.

[2:124] Recall that Abraham was put to the test by his Lord, through certain commands, and he fulfilled them. (God) said, "I am appointing you an imam for the people." He said, "And also my descendants?" He said, "My covenant does not include the transgressors."

2:124 informs us that God put Abraham to the test with certain commands from God and he fulfilled them. And that for this God made Abraham an imam / leader for the people and that his covenant with God was also with Abraham’s believing descendants.

What were these commandments that Abraham fulfilled that is universally known even by disbelievers?

If we ask the average person who has any familiarity of Abraham, especially one who is aware of the teaching in the scripture of Moses per 53:36, “what do they recall that Abraham “fulfilled?” they will almost universally identify one of two things.

(1) the dream where Abraham had where he thought God wanted him to sacrifice his son, or
(2) the Covenant of Circumcision.

Could the fulfillment mentioned in reference to Abraham in 53:37 and 2:124 be in reference to the dream?

2:124 indicates that it was God who tested Abraham with certain commands, and not anyone else. The only time that God tests us directly is by giving us a commandment. When God commands us to do something it is a test to see if we fulfill His commandment or not. We see this in the example of Muhammad being commanded by God to marry the divorced wife of his adopted son.

[33:36] No believing man or believing woman, if GOD and His messenger issue any command, has any choice regarding that command. Anyone who disobeys GOD and His messenger has gone far astray. [33:37] Recall that you said to the one who was blessed by GOD, and blessed by you, "Keep your wife and reverence GOD," and you hid inside yourself what GOD wished to proclaim. Thus, you feared the people, when you were supposed to fear only GOD. When Zeid was completely through with his wife, we had you marry her, in order to establish the precedent that a man can marry the divorced wife of his adopted son. GOD's commands shall be done.

We see that God tested Satan by commanding him and the angels to prostrate before Adam.

[2:34] When we said to the angels, "Fall prostrate before Adam," they fell prostrate, except Satan; he refused, was too arrogant, and a disbeliever.

We see that God tested Adam in Paradise by commanding him not to approach the tree.

[7:19] "As for you, Adam, dwell with your wife in Paradise, and eat therefrom as you please, but do not approach this one tree, lest you fall in sin."

This is in contrast to the dream that Abraham had where he thought he was supposed to sacrifice his son. This dream was not from God, but instead it was from Satan. Additionally, God saved Abraham from fulfilling his dream. Therefore since this commandment did not come from God and Abraham did not fulfill his dream then therefore this could not be the fulfillment of the command referenced per 2:124 and 53:37.

Because of this, the only other option of a commandment from God that Abraham fulfilled that is universally recognized by even the non-believers is that of the Covenant of Circumcision.

Genesis 17 – The Covenant of Circumcision

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.

Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”

Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day. 27 And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.

Conclusion

Circumcision is universally accepted by all people of the book: Jews, Christian, and Muslims as part of the covenant that God made with Abraham and his future believing descendants. This is the “certain commands” that was given to Abraham by God per 2:214, and is universally recognized that Abraham fulfilled these commandments from God by even those who turn away from the message yet are aware of the teachings of the scripture of Moses per 53:36-37.

[53:33] Have you noted the one who turned away? [53:34] Rarely did he give to charity, and then very little. [53:35] Did he possess knowledge of the future? Could he see it? [53:36] Was he not informed of the teachings in the scripture of Moses? [53:37] And Abraham who fulfilled?

[2:124] Recall that Abraham was put to the test by his Lord, through certain commands, and he fulfilled them. (God) said, "I am appointing you an imam for the people." He said, "And also my descendants?" He said, "My covenant does not include the transgressors."