In the verse,
We said: ‘O fire! Be coolness and peace for Abraham.’ (21:69)
which is about one of Abraham’s miracles, there are three subtle indications:
Like every element in nature, fire does not act on its own and blindly, rather it performs a duty under a command. It did not burn the Prophet Abraham, upon him be peace, for God commanded it not to burn him.
There is a degree of heat which burns through coldness. That is, it has an effect like burning. Through the word ‘Be peace!’,3 God Almighty commanded the cold: ‘Like heat, do not burn him either!’ That is, through its coldness, fire at that degree produces an effect like burning. It is both fire, and, at the same time, cold. As science accepts it, there is a degree of fire called ‘white heat’, which does not radiate its heat to its surroundings; instead, attracting the heat around it to itself, it causes the surrounding area to become cold enough to freeze liquids like water, and in effect burns them through its cold. (It may be noted here, incidentally, that there must surely be in Hell, which contains all the degrees and sorts of fire, this intense cold.)
Just as there is an immaterial substance like belief, and an armor like Islam, which will remove the effects of Hellfire and protect against it, so too there must be a physical substance which will protect against it, which will prevent the effects of worldly fire. For, as is required by His Name, the All-Wise, and since this world is the abode of wisdom, [the abode where everything takes place for a definite purpose and usually according to cause and effect] God Almighty acts behind the veil of cause and effect. Therefore, the fire did not burn Abraham’s body, nor did it burn his garments, He gave them a state which resisted fire. Thus, the verse suggests:
O nation of Abraham! Be like Abraham, so that your garments may be your guard against the fire, your greatest enemy, both here and there, the other world. Coat your spirit with belief, and it will be your armor against Hellfire. Likewise, there are certain substances which Almighty God has treasured in the earth for you. They will protect you from the evil of fire. Search for them, extract them, and coat yourselves with them!
As an important step in his progress, mankind has discovered a substance, out of which he has made a coat which fire does not burn. However, see how elevated, fine, and beautiful a garment this verse points to, which will be woven on the loom of hanifan Musliman (purity of belief in and submission to God), and which will not be rent for all eternity.