Allah [SwT] assigned to Syedena Ibrahim [A.S] the leadership of men making him virtually the Imam of human race as enshrined in Holy Quran [2:124]:
And when his Lord tested Abraham with certain words, and he fulfilled them. He said, “I am making you a leader of humanity.” He said, “And my descendants?” He said, “My pledge does not include the wrongdoers.”
As the sacred verse holds, leadership may not be taken as a hereditary office. Leadership qualities are tested in the furnace of time. And only the ones emerging unscathed may don the mantle of leadership. Syedena Ibrahim [A.S] on his own could have inherited the office of his father. Azar, his father was the leading idol maker. However, he refused to do so and with absolute determination and steadfastness stood up for the establishment of the system designed by Allah [SwT]. As a result of this, he had to pass through many grim circumstances. When he had confronted them successfully, he was declared to be worthy of being the Imam of the human race and its model.
Of his progenies, it may be pertinent to note that Syedena Ismail [A.S] emerged as the leader of Arabs and Syedena Ishaq/Isaac [A.S] leader of Hebrews. The light of Islam shone for Arabs, the light illuminated the path of ‘Anfas’ and ‘Afaq’ [Quranic idioms for philosophy & science]. Prophet Mohammad [pbuh] led them to this path and Arabs as long as they pursued Anfas and Afaq, incorporating the Persian, the Turk, the Berber in Islamic commonwealth, they held the leadership of the world.
While Ishmaelite branch of Abraham’s family was green and fragrant, Hebrews–the Judeo-Christians were in darkness, away from pursuit of knowledge. The moment Ishmaelites left pursuit of knowledge, the progenies of Syedena Ishaq/Isaac [A.S] assumed the mantle of world leadership by pursuing knowledge based development, the saga continues. Leadership and illiteracy are contradictory terms, leadership and literacy co-exist.
Holy Quran holds lessons, lessons we need to learn to stay relevant, short of it is oblivion.