Question: What Action Did Abraham Take?
The accounts of Abraham, Suras 19:41-49, 6:74-83 differ quite a bit from Sura 21:51-59.
In 21:51-59 Abraham destroys the idols to show the people that they have no power and argues with them, in consequence they try to kill him by throwing him into fire. [Furthermore: in verse 57 he destroys their idols (their property) behind the back of the people (the owners) and in verse 63 he lies about it. Is that the behavior of an honest prophet?]
Anyway, while in Sura 21 Abraham confronts his people strongly, and even destroys the idols, in Sura 19 Abraham shuts up after his father threatens him to stone him for speaking out against the idols. And he seems not only to become silent, but even to leave the area ("turning away from them all"). Nothing of destroying the idols is said. In Sura 6 he also only argues with the people without taking any action to destroy idols.
Furthermore Sura 6 differs from the other two in the respect that Abraham does initially also worship the creation instead of the creator and only later realizes his mistake [sin] of worshiping that which is not God..
Answer: very simple: When I tell you John ate apple and in another time I tell he ate orange it could easily mean in one time he ate apple and in another time he ate orange. Abraham at one time when his father threatened him he became silent and in another time he made up his plan to destroy the idols and he did. In a different situation Abraham was looking in the universe to try to find who his God. These few verses tell you well the story:
6:74: Abraham realized that worshiping idols (statues) is big error. There is no evidence these false Gods are present and can do any good to man.
6:75 Because Abraham was a righteous man and he was looking for God, God chose him to his message. He first made him look in the universe and search for God.
6:76-83: He though about a star, the moon and lastly the sun as his God. He however excluded them and gave his faith in one God who created all the heavens and earth. God then sent angels to Abraham and visions and he blessed him (the father of Abrahamic religions).
6:74 Lo! Abraham said to his father Azar: "Takest thou idols for gods? For I see thee and thy people in manifest error." وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ لأَبِيهِ آزَرَ أَتَتَّخِذُ أَصْنَامًا آلِهَةً إِنِّي أَرَاكَ وَقَوْمَكَ فِي ضَلاَلٍ مُّبِينٍ
6:75 So also did We show Abraham the power and the laws of the heavens and the earth, that he might (with understanding) have certitude. وَكَذَلِكَ نُرِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ مَلَكُوتَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَلِيَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُوقِنِينَ
6:76 When the night covered him over, He saw a star: He said: "This is my Lord." But when it set, He said: "I love not those that set." فَلَمَّا جَنَّ عَلَيْهِ اللَّيْلُ رَأَى كَوْكَبًا قَالَ هَـذَا رَبِّي فَلَمَّا أَفَلَ قَالَ لا أُحِبُّ الآفِلِينَ
6:77 When he saw the moon rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord." But when the moon set, He said: "unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who go astray."
فَلَمَّا رَأَى الْقَمَرَ بَازِغًا قَالَ هَـذَا رَبِّي فَلَمَّا أَفَلَ قَالَ لَئِن لَّمْ يَهْدِنِي رَبِّي لأكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الضَّالِّينَ
6:78 When he saw the sun rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord; this is the greatest (of all)." But when the sun set, he said: "O my people! I am indeed free from your (guilt) of giving partners to Allah.
فَلَمَّا رَأَى الشَّمْسَ بَازِغَةً قَالَ هَـذَا رَبِّي هَـذَآ أَكْبَرُ فَلَمَّا أَفَلَتْ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ إِنِّي بَرِيءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ
6:79 "For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah." إِنِّي وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّذِي فَطَرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا أَنَاْ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
6:80 His people disputed with him. He said: "(Come) ye to dispute with me, about Allah, when He (Himself) hath guided me? I fear not (the beings) ye associate with Allah. Unless my Lord willeth, (nothing can happen). My Lord comprehendeth in His knowledge all things. Will ye not (yourselves) be admonished? وَحَآجَّهُ قَوْمُهُ قَالَ أَتُحَاجُّونِّي فِي اللّهِ وَقَدْ هَدَانِ وَلاَ أَخَافُ مَا تُشْرِكُونَ بِهِ إِلاَّ أَن يَشَاء رَبِّي شَيْئًا وَسِعَ رَبِّي كُلَّ شَيْءٍ عِلْمًا أَفَلاَ تَتَذَكَّرُونَ
6:81 "How should I fear (the beings) ye associate with Allah, when ye fear not to give partners to Allah without any warrant having been given to you? Which of (us) two parties hath more right to security? (tell me) if ye know. وَكَيْفَ أَخَافُ مَا أَشْرَكْتُمْ وَلاَ تَخَافُونَ أَنَّكُمْ أَشْرَكْتُم بِاللّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ عَلَيْكُمْ سُلْطَانًا فَأَيُّ الْفَرِيقَيْنِ أَحَقُّ بِالأَمْنِ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
6:82 "It is those who believe and confuse not their beliefs with wrong - that are (truly) in security, for they are on (right) guidance." الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَلَمْ يَلْبِسُواْ إِيمَانَهُم بِظُلْمٍ أُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمُ الأَمْنُ وَهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ
6:83 That was the reasoning about Us, which We gave to Abraham (to use) against his people: We raise whom We will, degree after degree: for thy Lord is full of wisdom and knowledge.
وَتِلْكَ حُجَّتُنَا آتَيْنَاهَا إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَلَى قَوْمِهِ نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَاتٍ مَّن نَّشَاء إِنَّ رَبَّكَ حَكِيمٌ عَلِيمٌ
In most of the time God choose his prophets among the people, the best of them. Before God sent his angel to Muhammad he gave him dreams that comes true and he made him think of God and his heart longing for him. He was never seen to worship an idol. He preapared him spiritually to his message. He was not a scholar of the Bible. God want him to have his heart and mind clear for the last message and the most correct one. His first encounter with the angel Gabriel was quite frightening to him as we would expect. Then as he learned well and believed his a real angel his encounters became a pleasure. As Muslims we praize the Bible but the most correct is the Quran, not for any bias but because it is the last message. For agonists and astheists the whole story look strange. For me it is much more beleivable than the story that I was an ameba.