Abraham’s Lie

Genesis 20—”How can the Bible say that the Prophet Abraham lied about his wife and allowed her to be taken by another man?”

Interestingly, this story is found not only in the Bible but also in Sahih Bukhari:

Narrated by Abu Huraira: Abraham did not tell a lie except on three occasion. Twice for the Sake of Allah when he said, "I am sick," and he said, "(I have not done this but) the big idol has done it." The (third was) that while Abraham and Sarah (his wife) were going (on a journey) they passed by (the territory of) a tyrant. Someone said to the tyrant, "This man (i.e. Abraham) is accompanied by a very charming lady." So, he sent for Abraham and asked him about Sarah saying, "Who is this lady?" Abraham said, "She is my sister." Abraham went to Sarah and said, "O Sarah! There are no believers on the surface of the earth except you and I. This man asked me about you and I have told him that you are my sister, so don’t contradict my statement." The tyrant then called Sarah and when she went to him, he tried to take hold of her with his hand, but (his hand got stiff and) he was confounded. He asked Sarah. "Pray to Allah for me, and I shall not harm you." So Sarah asked Allah to cure him and he got cured…" (al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 578)

The Qur’an is also clear that Abraham did sins for which he needed Allah’s forgiveness:

“And who [Allah], I ardently hope, will forgive me [Prophet Abraham] my sin on the Day of Judgment.”
– Qur’ān , Sura Shu’araa (The Poets) 26:82

Incidentally, Abraham’s statement was not fully a lie, because Sarah was his cousin-sister. For more reading, see Who is the only Sinless Prophet according to the Qur’an and Bible?

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