[21:51] Before that, we granted Abraham his guidance and understanding, for we were fully aware of him.*
[21:52] He said to his father and his people, “What are these statues to which you are devoting yourselves?”
[21:53] They said, “We found our parents worshiping them.”
[21:54] He said, “Indeed, you and your parents have gone totally astray.”
[21:55] They said, “Are you telling us the truth, or are you playing?”
[21:56] He said, “Your only Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, who created them. This is the testimony to which I bear witness.
[21:57] “I swear by GOD, I have a plan to deal with your statues, as soon as you leave.”
[21:58] He broke them into pieces, except for a big one, that they may refer to it.
[21:59] They said, “Whoever did this to our gods is really a transgressor.”
[21:60] They said, “We heard a youth threaten them; he is called Abraham.”
[21:61] They said, “Bring him before the eyes of all the people, that they may bear witness.”
[21:62] They said, “Did you do this to our gods, O Abraham?”
*21:51 Was Abraham so smart as to discover God, or, did God grant him the intelligence because He knew that he deserved to be saved? As it turns out, this whole world was created to redeem those among us who deserve redemption. When the angels suggested that all the rebels, humans and jinns, must be banished out of God’s kingdom, ‘I know what you do not know’ (2:30). At the same time, this world proves Satan’s incompetence as a god (App. 7).
What does 21:51 mean when it says “Before that”
Perhaps it is in reference that Abraham occurred before Moses and Aaron who are mentioned in 21:48
In 21:51 it shows that God knows the end outcome of every human, because God knew that Abraham deserved salvation He blessed him with guidance.
The Tyrants’ Inevitable Fate
[28:81] We then caused the earth to swallow him and his mansion. No army could have helped him against GOD; he was not destined to be a winner.
Do we have an example of someone who was righteous, but turned evil?
[9:74] They swear by GOD that they never said it, although they have uttered the word of disbelief; they have disbelieved after becoming submitters. In fact, they gave up what they never had. They have rebelled even though GOD and His messenger have showered them with His grace and provisions. If they repent, it would be best for them. But if they turn away, GOD will commit them to painful retribution in this life and in the Hereafter. They will find no one on earth to be their lord and master.
According to Genesis 17, Abraham’s name was changed from Abram to Abraham at the age of 99. Verse 21:60 shows that Abraham’s name as a youth was Abraham.
Genesis 17: Abraham and the Covenant of Circumcision
17 Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless. 2 “I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly.” 3 Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, 4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you will be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 “No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.
21:61 shows that in order to bear witness to a fact you need to see it with your own eyes.
Addressing God’s Messenger of the Covenant
[28:44] You were not present on the slope of the western mount, when we issued the command to Moses; you were not a witness.[28:45] But we established many generations, and, because of the length of time, (they deviated). Nor were you among the people of Midyan, reciting our revelations to them. But we did send messengers. [28:46] Nor were you on the slope of Mount Sinai when we called (Moses). But it is mercy from your Lord, (towards the people,) in order to warn people who received no warner before you, that they may take heed.