glass

WHAT THE QUR’AN HAS TO SAY ABOUT ISAAC AND ISHMAEL

The Qur’an makes a very bold claim about itself:

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction. [4:82]

The perfect harmony of the Qur’an, in spite of it being revealed piecemeal over a period of 23 years, is one of its great miracles. We can see this harmony demonstrated in the stories of Isaac and Ishmael, the sons of Abraham (peace be upon them all). Regarding Ishmael, God responds to the supplication of Abraham with news that he will be granted a special son:

“My Lord, grant me [a child] from among the righteous.” So We gave him good tidings of a forbearing boy. [Chapter 37, verses 100-101]

Similarly for Isaac, God makes a promise to Abraham:

And We gave him good tidings of Isaac… [37:112]

We see a fulfilment of these promises in the Prophethood of Isaac and Ishmael:

Say, [O believers], “We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.” [Chapter 2, verse 136]

From these verses we can see that both Isaac and Ishmael were blessed with the greatest station that a human being can attain: Prophethood.

Now, notice what the Qur’an doesn’t say. The glad tidings that God gave to Abraham wouldn’t make sense had the Qur’an gone on to say that Isaac was raised to be an evil man, or that his greatest achievement was a worldly, materialistic affair such as being wealthy. This is not to say that wealth isn’t a blessing, it is as there are many people in the world who are very poor. But from the point of view of Isaac’s father and one of the great Prophets of God, Abraham, this promise of God could only mean one thing: greatness from a spiritual, rather than materialistic, perspective: a son who would follow in his noble footsteps.

Thus we can see that the picture painted by the Qur’an is perfectly coherent: God’s glad tidings of Isaac are fulfilled by him becoming a great Prophet of God. Readers might be interested to note that the Qur’an mentions Isaac a total of 17 times, and Ishmael a total of 12 times. This is a remarkable point if we reflect on it. For the sake of argument, if the Qur’an were nothing more than an invention of the mind of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, or had it been tampered with by those who were first tasked with preserving it, the Arabs, then one has to wonder why Isaac is mentioned more times that Ishmael. Given the tribalistic nature of Arabian society and the importance they placed on lineage, wouldn’t you expect the focus to be on Ishmael, the forefather of the Arabs, over that of Isaac, the forefather of the Jewish people? Would it be unreasonable to expect their nationalism to leak into the pages of the Qur’an by playing down Isaac’s importance, or even for his character to be attacked? Yet what we find is the complete opposite: both Isaac and Ishmael are glorified as great Prophets.

THE TORAH ON ISAAC AND ISHMAEL

What about the Torah we have today, what does it have to say about Isaac and Ishmael? Like the Qur’an, Abraham is given glad tidings with respect to his descendants. In fact God promises to establish his covenant with all of Abraham’s “seed” without exception:

I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. [Genesis 17:7]

God informs Abraham that the sign of the covenant shall be circumcision:

This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. [Genesis 17:10]

We are told that Abraham immediately circumcises himself and Ishmael, thus establishing God’s covenant with Ishmael:

On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. [Genesis 17:23]

So much like the Qur’an, the Torah sets up a promising picture for all of the offspring of Abraham. Furthermore, we are told that Ishmael will have many descendants and that he will be “made into a great nation”:

And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. [Genesis 17:20]

A great nation must refer to one led by a Prophet since this is greatness in God’s sight, not mere wealth or power. Throughout the Bible, many disbelieving and evil nations achieved great wealth and power, so it makes more sense that God’s promise about Ishmael must amount to spiritual, and not material, blessing.

Strangely, Ishmael’s story culminates with him and his mother being cast into a barren desert at the expense of Isaac:

and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” [Genesis 21:10]

Perhaps strangest of all, we are told that Ishmael would grow up to be “a wild donkey of a man”:

He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers. [Genesis 16:12]

So we can see that by contrast to the Qur’an, what we have of the Torah today presents a greatly juxtaposed picture of Ishmael: on the one hand he is included in the covenant of Abraham and told that he will be blessed by God, and on the other a very anti-climactic and even negative picture is painted of him. Something does not quite add up here.

THE CORRUPTION OF THE TORAH

Muslims believe in the original Torah given to Moses (peace be upon him):

Indeed, We sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light. The prophets who submitted [to Allah] judged by it for the Jews, as did the rabbis and scholars by that with which they were entrusted of the Scripture of Allah, and they were witnesses thereto… [Chapter 5, verse 44]

And when the anger subsided in Moses, he took up the tablets; and in their inscription was guidance and mercy for those who are fearful of their Lord. [Chapter 7, verse 154]

The verses of the Qur’an above show that it speaks of the original revelation given to Moses in an extremely positive light. The original Torah is described as being “guidance”, “light” and a “mercy”, just as all divinely inspired Scriptures are. The Qur’an also confirms that the Israelites, who were entrusted with safeguarding the Torah, were responsible for corrupting it:

So woe to those who write the “scripture” with their own hands, then say, “This is from Allah ,” in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn. [Chapter 2, verse 79]

The Qur’an tells us that if a Scripture is from other than God, then you will find therein much error, a tell-tale sign of human tampering:

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah , they would have found within it much contradiction. [4:82]

When we scrutinise the stories of Isaac and Ishmael in the Torah we have today, what we find is that many inconsistencies emerge, just as the Qur’an proclaims. Let’s look at some examples:

1. Who was to be sacrificed by Abraham.

Like the Qur’an, the Torah we have today tells us that God tested Abraham with the sacrifice of his son. Unlike the Qur’an, the Torah makes the claim that it was Isaac to be sacrificed and not Ishmael:

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” [Genesis 22:2]

Not only does the Torah contradict the Qur’an, but it also contradicts itself. Notice the words “your only son”. Why does Genesis specifically refer to Ishmael as Abraham’s progeny in one place and then refer to Isaac as his “only son” in another place? The sacrificial son cannot have been Isaac, for the simple fact that Isaac was Ishmael’s younger brother and was therefore never Abraham’s only son. Such a description can only apply to Ishmael who was 13 years older than Isaac.

The claim that it must have originally referred to Ishmael is reinforced when we examine the Hebrew of the text. The Hebrew word ‘yachid’, translated as “only son” in the verse above, actually means “only begotten” according to the Gesenius Hebrew lexicon:

genesis hebrew

Clearly Isaac was at no point Abraham’s “only begotten” son, Ishmael is the only one who fits such a description. This understanding of the text is supported by the New Testament, where Paul quotes the verse from Genesis:

By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. [Hebrews 11:17]

The Greek word that Paul uses, ‘monogenes’, carries the meaning of “only begotten” according to Strong’s dictionary:

hebrews greek

Some Jews and Christians try to resolve this issue by claiming that Ishmael was not a legitimate son of Abraham, an accusation that is demonstrably false from a number of different angles:

– The Bible itself bears witness to the fact that Ishmael was Abraham’s “son”:

On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. [Genesis 17:23]

– Some claim that Ishmael is a “lesser” son than Isaac because his mother, Hagar, was a slave woman. This is not the case according to the Bible:

So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. [Genesis 16:3]

So the Bible confirms that Hagar was Abraham’s legitimate wife. In fact, if this were not the case then Abraham would be guilty of adultery, a serious accusation indeed!

– Moreover the Bible tells us that Ishmael remained the legitimate son of Abraham until even after his death:

Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite. [Genesis 25:8-9]

Clearly, Ishmael is every bit the legitimate son of Abraham as Isaac is. This suggests that the editors of Genesis altered the story and thus tried to deny Ishmael his rightful place as a legitimate son and heir of Abraham.

Now, there is a variant in the manuscript tradition of the Old Testament that makes it even more explicit that Ishmael was to be sacrificed, not Isaac. One of the great Muslim exegetes of the Qur’an, Ibn Kathir (born c. 1300), argued that the Scriptures of the Jews were corrupted by changing the sacrificial son from Ishmael to Isaac. In his book Tafsir Ibn Kathir, he states the following when explaining the meaning of chapter 37 of the Qur’an:

“My Lord, grant me [a child] from among the righteous.” So We gave him good tidings of a forbearing boy. [Chapter 37, verses 100-101]

(So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy.) This child was Ishmael, peace be upon him, for he was the first child of whom glad tidings were given to Ibrahim, peace be upon him, and he was older than Ishaq. The Muslims and the People of the Book agree, and indeed it is stated in their Book, that Ishmael, peace be upon him, was born when Ibrahim, peace be upon him, was eighty-six years old, and Isaac was born when Ibrahim was ninety-nine years old. According to their Book, Allah commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice his only son, and in another text it says his firstborn son. But here they falsely inserted the name of Isaac. This is not right because it goes against what their own Scripture says. They inserted the name of Isaac because he is their ancestor, while Ishmael is the ancestor of the Arabs. They were jealous of them, so they added this idea and changed the meaning of the phrase “only son” to mean `the only son who is with you,’ because Ishmael had been taken with his mother to Makkah. But this is a case of falsification and distortion, because the words “only son” cannot be said except in the case of one who has no other son. Furthermore, the firstborn son has a special status that is not shared by subsequent children, so the command to sacrifice him is a more exquisite test.

This shows that Ibn Kathir was aware of the variant “firstborn son” in the Old Testament tradition that was in circulation during the 14th century. Such a reading makes it even more explicit that it was Ishmael that was to be sacrificed, as he was 13 years older than Isaac and thus Abraham’s first born. The recent discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a collection of texts discovered between 1946 and 1956 inside caves near the Dead Sea, prove Ibn Kathir’s claims about the Old Testament. These texts are of great religious significance because they include the earliest known surviving manuscripts of the Old Testament. The scrolls date from approximately 150 BCE – 70 CE. One of the books found in the Dead Sea Scrolls was the Book of Jubilees which is another version of Genesis. This book mentions the words “firstborn son” in relation to the one to be sacrificed by Abraham [1]:

And I said unto him: ‘Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything to him; for now I have shown that thou fearest the Lord, and hast not withheld thy son, thy first-born son, from me.’ [18:11]

So the claim by Ibn Kathir is remarkable when we consider that he was writing in the 14th century, nearly 7 centuries before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. For him to be aware of such a variant must mean that the Book of Jubilees was being widely circulated and considered a valid book of the Old Testament. In fact even today there are Christians that consider the Book of Jubilees to be canonical; the Ethiopian Orthodox Church for example includes it in their Bible, as do Ethiopian Jews who refer to the book as “The Book of Division”.

Another benefit of such variants is that they give us an insight into the nature of the corruption of the Torah. We can see that there was a very subtle tampering in the stories. You can’t rewrite the entire story as you will expose the forgeries; the changes have to be subtle such as swapping the name “Ishmael” for “Isaac”. What is amazing is that the Qur’an alludes to this subtle tampering when it says that those tasked with safeguarding the Torah “distort words from their [proper] usage”:

“So for their breaking of the covenant We cursed them and made their hearts hard. They distort words from their [proper] usages and have forgotten a portion of that of which they were reminded…” [Chapter 5, verse 13]

2. The age of Ishmael.

There is a story in Genesis where Ishmael is portrayed as a bully to his younger brother Isaac and as a consequence is cast out into the desert along with his mother Hagar. Now this entire episode is odd for a number of reasons. The reaction of Sarah is extreme, for casting Hagar and Ishmael into the barren desert was effectively a death sentence. Even stranger yet is that the details of the story seem to contradict the age of Ishmael. It is clear from the account of Hagar and Ishmael in Genesis 21:14-19 that Ishmael was a young child, perhaps a baby, when they were sent into the desert:

Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.

When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes.

Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.

God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.

Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”

Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

[Genesis 21:14-19]

It is possible to calculate the approximate age of Ishmael when he was sent into the desert with his mother. According to Genesis 16:16, Abraham was 86 years old when Ishmael was born:

Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

And according to Genesis 21:5, Abraham was one hundred years old when Isaac was born:

Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

It follows that Ishmael was already fourteen years old when his younger brother Isaac was born. According to Genesis 21:8-10 the desert incident took place after Isaac was weaned:

The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son…”

According to tradition, Isaac was two years old when he was weaned. Three years is the age of weaning mentioned in 2 Chronicles 31:16 and 2 Maccabees 7:27. Thus, it follows that when Hagar and Ishmael were taken away Ishmael was a fully grown teenager, around sixteen or seventeen years old. The problem is that the profile of Ishmael in Genesis 21:14-19 is a small child and not a fully grown teenager:

  • Remember that it is Hagar that carried all the supplies into the desert (Genesis 21:14). If Ishmael were a teenager then surely Abraham would have made him carry at least some of the supplies to lessen the burden on his mother.
  • She put the boy under the bush (Genesis 21:15). Now the original Hebrew used is the word “shalak” which has the meaning ‘to throw, cast, hurl, fling’ acording to Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon. One does not “throw”, “cast”, “hurl” or “fling” a teenager, especially when they are a woman and suffering from the fatigue of a harsh desert environment.
  • Even though it was Ishmael that was crying, God consoles the mother (Genesis 21:17). This could be taken to imply that Ishmael was too young to converse with.
  • She is asked to lift up the boy (Genesis 21:18). Again, one would not expect a woman suffering from the fatigue of a harsh desert environment to be able to lift up a fully grown teenager.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that the Septuagint version of the Torah has the following for Genesis 21:14:

And Abraam rose up in the morning and took loaves and a skin of water, and gave them to Agar, and he put the child on her shoulder, and sent her away, and she having departed wandered in the wilderness near the well of the oath.

There is simply no way that a woman would be able to carry both the supplies and a fully grown teenager on her shoulders, so the Septuagint is even more explicit in conveying that Ishmael was a young child when he was sent into the desert.

Furthermore, the proof of Ishmael’s actual age can be established from the use of Hebrew in the text. The Hebrew word used to describe Ishmael in the desert incident is “yeled”, translated by the NIV as “boy” in Genesis 21:15. Yet within the same chapter, in Genesis 21:8, when the same Hebrew word is used to refer to the 2-year old Isaac, it is translated as “child”. Why is the same Hebrew word translated differently within the same chapter? If there is any lingering doubt as to the real meaning of the word, we should consider that it is almost exclusively used in the Bible to literally describe children, and more specifically, young children or infants. Examples of its usage in the Bible are the following passages:

But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. [Exodus 2:3]

Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. [Ruth 4:16-17]

When we look to the Jewish Rabbinical tradition, it is clear that the word refers to a child, specifically one who is less than 13 years of age. In the commentary on Ecclesiastes 4:13, the famous Rabbi Rashi who authored a comprehensive commentary on the Torah, explains that any boy less than 13-years of age was considered a child, whereas anyone 13-years or older was considered a man [2]:

…why is it called a child? Because it does not enter man until thirteen years.

From all of the internal evidence, it is clear that the outcast Ishmael was a helpless infant rather than an able-bodied teenager, thus the account in Genesis 21 is chronologically wrong. The claim that Ishmael mocked Isaac and that this had anything to do with Hagar’s journey is an obvious fabrication since Isaac was not even born yet when this story occurred for Ishmael was still a baby. The Interpreter’s Bible compares the texts of Genesis 21:14-19 with Genesis 16:1-16 concludes that they are sufficiently different to be inconsistent:

The inclusion in Genesis of both stories so nearly alike and yet sufficiently different to be inconsistent, is one of the many instances of the reluctance of the compilers to sacrifice any of the traditions which has become established in Israel.

It seems that in an effort to keep all the Prophets of God Israelites, even God himself is alleged to have submitted to, and even blessed, the jealous whims of Sarah. Contrast this account of the desert incident from the Torah with the version of the story narrated by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):

“…(After the Hagar-Sarah hostility), Abraham brought her (Hagar) and her son Ishmael while she was suckling him, to a place near the Ka’ba under a tree on the spot of Zam-zam, at the highest place in the mosque. During those days there was nobody in Mecca, nor was there any water So he made them sit over there and placed near them a leather bag containing some dates, and a small water-skin containing some water, and set out homeward. Ishmael’s mother followed him saying, “O Abraham! Where are you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose company we may enjoy, nor is there anything (to enjoy)?” She repeated that to him many times, but he did not look back at her Then she asked him, “Has Allah ordered you to do so?” He said, “Yes.” She said, “Then He will not neglect us,”… [3]

So not only do Islamic sources have the correct age of Ishmael, he is a baby, but the reason for them being cast out into the desert is a test by God, similar to Abraham being commanded to sacrifice his son, rather than the jealous whims of Sarah as put forth by the Torah. Clearly the Biblical account is chronologically flawed and self-contradictory whereas the Islamic tradition is consistent.

3. Tarnishing the reputation of Ishmael.

Open up any Bible and you will see that in Genesis Ishmael is described in rather unflattering terms:

He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” [Genesis 16:12]

The problem is that this verse does not fit the context of the chapter. We are told that an “angel of the Lord” met Hagar and gave her the good news that God was going to bless her and offspring. Her descendants would be so many that they would be innumerable. Her child would be a boy, and she was to name him Ishmael (meaning “God hears”), because God had indeed listened to Hagar’s sorrowful cries in her affliction. So doesn’t it seem rather odd when the angel abruptly starts talking in a derogatory way about the child he has just named “God hears” and promised to bless greatly? Saying that Ishmael would be a “wild donkey” who would be constantly at odds with everyone else doesn’t sound like a fulfilment of God’s promise to bless Ishmael.

But this dilemma of the abrupt switch from ‘blessing’ to ‘cursing’ is solved when it is understood that the Hebrew word used for “wild donkey”, transliterated to pereh or pere’ in English letters, is very similar another Hebrew word, para’, which means “fruitful”. Is there any evidence for this or is it pure speculation? It turns out that the same promise by the angel is repeated later in Genesis 17 and in this chapter it is the Hebrew word para’ (“fruitful”) that is used:

And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. [Genesis 17:20]

So even though it’s a different word in Hebrew it shows that the intended meaning of Genesis 16:12 in the original text was in fact “fruitful” which fits the context of the chapter perfectly. It seems that whoever changed the word from “fruitful” to “wild donkey” in Genesis 16:12 forgot to do so here in Genesis 17:20!

Moreover the word ‘fruitful’ appears quite a bit more often in the Masoretic text than the word ‘wild donkey’. In all other cases where the word is read ‘wild donkey’, it clearly actually refers to a wild ass, not a “wild ass man”. The verse in Genesis 16 is the only instance (if it is correct) where ‘wild ass’ is used as an adjective to describe a man rather than an animal. The word ‘fruitful’ obviously fits very nicely in the context of the chapter– it doesn’t ‘slap you in the face’. The angel had just promised Hagar an innumerable number of descendants, so it would be very appropriate to describe him as a ‘fruitful’ man.

It is also true that in a context in which Ishmael is to be blessed by God, and is himself a blessing to his mother Hagar, it’s very strange that the angel would abruptly say that this man who is blessed by God will be antagonistic to everyone, and vice versa. The word which is translated “against” (“his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him”) is a single consonant which is added as a prefix to the word “everyone” (or “every man”). Langenscheidt’s dictionary says the following concerning the meaning of this word:

in, at, to, on, among, with, towards; according to, by, because of.

In this context, “with” or “towards” would appear to be the most appropriate translation. The normal idea behind this word would be “for” or “on their side”, etc. Can it ever mean “against”? Yes, it can, if the context is suitable. The same is true of the English word “with”, though. Normally it means positive things. If I say, “I’m with you”, my meaning is obviously “I agree with you” or “I’m on your side”. However, if I say “I’ll fight with you until one of us is dead”, the meaning is very obviously that I’m against you, not ‘for’ you. The word ‘fight’ altered the meaning. Even with the word ‘fight’ inserted, though, the meaning would be ‘for’ or ‘on your side’ if I said something like “I’ll fight with you against your enemies until they’re defeated or we’re dead”. Context is everything, although the normal meaning of ‘with’ would be ‘for’ rather than ‘against’. There is absolutely nothing in the context of the verse in Genesis 16 that would indicate it should have the negative meaning of ‘against’, rather than the more normal positive meaning of ‘with’. The only reason it would be read that way is because of preconceived prejudice against Ishmael.

In conclusion, according to the rules of traditional Hebrew grammar and the context of the entire chapter, Genesis 16:12 would be better translated as:

… he will be a fruitful man: his hand shall be with everyone, and every man’s hand shall be with him…

Is there any scriptural backing for such a reading of the verse? It just so happens that this reading can be found in another version of the Torah known as the Samaritan Torah [4]:

He will be fertile of man. His hand will be with everyone. And everyone’s hand will be with him. And he will live among all his brothers.

The Samaritan version of the Torah is written in the Samaritan alphabet which is derived from the paleo-Hebrew alphabet used by the Israelite community prior to the Babylonian captivity. The Samaritans represent a sect of Judaism that split off from the mainstream. There are still a few hundred Samaritans living in modern-day Israel.

CONCLUSION

In closing, a careful analysis of the various incidents relating to Ishmael in Genesis reveals irreconcilable contradictions and prejudiced readings in the text. No doubt, Jewish and Christian apologists have gone to great lengths to explain these problems, but an objective analysis can only lead to one conclusion: these inconsistencies are real and cannot be explained by polemical gymnastics. Rather, the best explanation appears to be that the stories about Ishmael have been corrupted by human hands and passed off as “scripture”, exactly as the Qur’an reveals.

By contrast we have seen that the Qur’anic account of both Ishmael and Isaac is perfectly coherent. One of the reasons that God revealed the Qur’an is to defend His righteous Prophets against the falsehood attributed to them in the Bible. This is why one of the names of the Qur’an is ‘Al Furqan’, meaning “the Criterion between truth and falsehood”. So the Qur’an not only confirms the scriptures that came before it, but also corrects the fabrications that have polluted them:

And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth…” [Chapter 5, verse 48]

Learn more

To learn more about Muhammad in the Bible, please download your free copy of the book “Jesus: Man, Messenger, Messiah” from the Iera website:

Jesus: Man, Messenger, Messiah

References

1 – You can view the Book of Jubilees online here:

http://www.pseudepigrapha.com/jubilees/18.htm

2 – Rashi’s commentary can be found here:

http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16465#showrashi=true

3 – Sahih Bukhari 4.583

4 – The Israelite Samaritan Version of the Torah: First English Translation Compared with the Masoretic Version Hardcover, by Benyamim Tsedaka.
Written by Many Prophets One Message
A CALL TO THE TRUTH

    8 Comments

  1. thisisownage June 12, 2015 at 11:01 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on IslamCentral.

  2. Levi Yitzchok July 10, 2015 at 1:45 am Reply

    Again another fascinating job of research. Jazakala Kheir brothers.
    we still nreed more work done on the torah and how it has been corrupted from what was God’s original message.

  3. plaut_bugis October 2, 2015 at 8:03 am Reply

    Subhanallah. Barakallahu fik for your great work.

  4. Ric Ibn Kisam November 8, 2015 at 10:36 pm Reply

    Brilliant article jazakallah khayr,

    You might want to read an article I have written on philological treatment on Gen 16:12

    http://bloggingtheology.net/2015/11/07/ishmael-peace-be-upon-him-part-i-wild-ass-man/

    it is the same conclusion.

    • Many Prophets One Message November 9, 2015 at 9:27 am Reply

      Barak Allah feek, glad that the du’aat are benefiting alhamdulillah.

  5. Taha November 9, 2015 at 5:20 am Reply

    Good stuff, keep it up.

    • Many Prophets One Message November 9, 2015 at 9:26 am Reply

      Jazak Allah khayr.

  6. Arshad Mahmood May 20, 2016 at 11:14 am Reply

    subhan’Allah fantastic post very informative information may Allah swt reward you for your efforts. Akhi

Leave a Comment