“(On Abraham’s arrival) they said: ‘Abraham, are you he who has done this to our gods?’ He answered: ‘Rather it was this great one who has done it. So ask them if they can speak.’ Thereupon they turned to their (inner) selves and said (to themselves): ‘Surely it is you who are the wrong-doers.’ Then their minds were turned upside down, and they said: ‘You know well that they do not speak.’ Abraham said: ‘Do you, then, worship beside Allah a thing that can neither benefit you nor hurt you? Fie upon you and upon all that you worship beside Allah. Do you have no sense?’”
( Qur'an – 21:62-67)
Abraham’s statement, in which he ascribes the demolition of the idols to the supreme deity, was not a lie. For in point of fact Abraham was not making a statement; he was merely presenting an argument that would enable his detractors to realise the truth of the matter. His statement had a clear purpose – to make his opponents recognise that their deities were absolutely powerless, that nothing could be expressed of them. Here Abraham does not intend to spread something that is contrary to fact; his purpose is quite evident both to him and his audience – it is simply to establish a point.
On hearing Abraham’s reply, they realised they had erred for they had taken powerless idols as their deities; idols that were too helpless even to tell others what had befallen them, let alone advise who was responsible for shattering them to pieces. Now, if they were so utterly helpless with regard to themselves, how could they possibly hope to come to aid of their devotees? Even this realisation, however, was soon replaced by a bigoted adherence to their original position. And adamance, as we know, prevents people from thinking rationally.