The sacrificial son: Isma’il or Isaac?


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الحمد لله وحده و الصلاة و السلام على من لا نبي بعده و على آله و أصحابه أجمعين

Allah had ordered Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) –peace be upon him- to sacrifice his son. Here, we will be looking in detail from the Torah, the Qur’an and early Islamic narrations for the identity of the sacrificial son. This piece is entirely based on the work [1] of Hamiduddin Farahi and can be considered as a summarized translation of his work.

Introduction

We know from the Torah itself that it is not in the original form that was revealed by Allah.

Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a strong man overcome by wine, because of the Lord and his holy words.The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land lies parched and the pastures in the wilderness are withered. The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly.“Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,” declares the Lord.“Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,” declares the Lord.“Among the prophets of Samaria I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray.And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that not one of them turns from their wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.”Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says concerning the prophets: “I will make them eat bitter food and drink poisoned water, because from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.”This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word?See, the storm of the Lord will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked.The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly.I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied.But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.“Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away?Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.“I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship. Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord. “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?“Therefore,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me.Yes,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The Lord declares.’ Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the Lord. “When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, ‘What is the message from the Lord?’ say to them, ‘What message? I will forsake you, declares the Lord.’ If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, ‘This is a message from the Lord,’ I will punish them and their household. This is what each of you keeps saying to your friends and other Israelites: ‘What is the Lord’s answer?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ But you must not mention ‘a message from the Lord’ again, because each one’s word becomes their own message. So you distort the words of the living God, the Lord Almighty, our God.[2]

And again we find elsewhere in the Torah: [3]

“‘How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the Lord,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely? The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have?

What is interesting is that Prophet Eisa (Jesus) –peace be upon him- also spoke similar words according to the New Testament:

All who have come before me (means after prophets and before Jesus) are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. [4]

The Qur’an also confirms the Torah in this regard. We shall discuss these references later below.

How to interpret the Torah?

Since we know that the Torah has been altered, corrupted, mistranslated, translated from Greek to Hebrew to Greek with original Hebrew being lost etc. the question then arises as to how to interpret the book! Since we are investigating a matter (i.e. the identity of the sacrificial son), we must look into the matter like a judge. Evidence is tampered and hence everything cannot be taken as it is. Skeptical mind should be kept and investigation conducted. There is no such thing as a perfect crime and hence this crime of alteration should be viewed through the lens of a detective.

The Torah says that Allah had ordered Prophet Ibrahim –peace be upon him- to offer his son for sacrifice whereas Qur’an says he had seen a dream. This proves that the Qur’an does not copy and is there to correct the previous scriptures (more on this later below).

Some Muslim scholars who relied on Israeli traditions also fell into their trap. For example, Ibn Jarir in his “Tarikh” himself says that he relies on a nation’s own narrations regarding their history.

Evidences from the Torah

Importance of firstborn in the Torah

Under the old law firstborns were offered for sacrifice or offerings:

But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, [5]

Another translation: And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering,

“But you must not redeem the firstborn of a cow, a sheep or a goat; they are holy. Splash their blood against the altar and burn their fat as a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord. Their meat is to be yours, just as the breast of the wave offering and the right thigh are yours. [6]

The Lord said to Moses, “Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether human or animal.” [7]

Further importance of firstborn

If a man has two wives, and he loves one but not the other, and both bear him sons but the firstborn is the son of the wife he does not love, when he wills his property to his sons, he must not give the rights of the firstborn to the son of the wife he loves in preference to his actual firstborn, the son of the wife he does not love. He must acknowledge the son of his unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double share of all he has. That son is the first sign of his father’s strength. The right of the firstborn belongs to him. [8]

The one offered to God does not have share of inheritance; God is for them:

At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still do today. That is why the Levites have no share or inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance, as the Lord your God told them.) [9]

The Levitical priests—indeed, the whole tribe of Levi—are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the food offerings presented to the Lord, for that is their inheritance. They shall have no inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them. This is the share due the priests from the people who sacrifice a bull or a sheep: the shoulder, the internal organs and the meat from the head. [10]

Criteria for sacrifice

“‘During the entire period of their Nazirite vow, no razor may be used on their head. They must be holy until the period of their dedication to the Lord is over; they must let their hair grow long. “‘Throughout the period of their dedication to the Lord, the Nazirite must not go near a dead body. Even if their own father or mother or brother or sister dies, they must not make themselves ceremonially unclean on account of them, because the symbol of their dedication to God is on their head. Throughout the period of their dedication, they are consecrated to the Lord. “‘If someone dies suddenly in the Nazirite’s presence, thus defiling the hair that symbolizes their dedication, they must shave their head on the seventh day—the day of their cleansing. [11]

Place and way of sacrifice is fixed by God

But you are to seek the place the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you. [12]

Moses placed the table in the tent of meeting on the north side of the tabernacle outside the curtain and set out the bread on it before the Lord, as the Lord commanded him. He placed the lampstand in the tent of meeting opposite the table on the south side of the tabernacle and set up the lamps before the Lord, as the Lord commanded him. Moses placed the gold altar in the tent of meeting in front of the curtain and burned fragrant incense on it, as the Lord commanded him. Then he put up the curtain at the entrance to the tabernacle. He set the altar of burnt offering near the entrance to the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, and offered on it burnt offerings and grain offerings, as the Lord commanded him. [13]

The story of sacrifice in the Torah that we have today

Genesis 22 mentions this event but the previous chapters are also important for the context which mention the place where Prophet Ibrahim –peace be upon him- and his sacrificial son lived and from where he took his son for sacrifice. It is mentioned that he wandered in Beersheba, made an agreement with a king and then returned to Palestine. At the end of the story is mentioned the place where he stayed and from where he went to the place of sacrifice. This should be clearly remembered before reading the event of sacrifice in Genesis 22. Let us look at the event from Genesis 22:

Some time later God tested Ibrahim. He said to him, “Ibrahim!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Ishaq—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”Early the next morning Ibrahim got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Ishaq. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Ibrahim looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Ibrahim took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Ishaq, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Ishaq spoke up and said to his father Ibrahim, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Ibrahim replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Ishaq said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”Ibrahim answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Ibrahim built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Ishaq and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Ibrahim! Ibrahim!” “Here I am,” he replied.“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”Ibrahim looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.So Ibrahim called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” The angel of the Lord called to Ibrahim from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son,I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”Then Ibrahim returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Ibrahim stayed in Beersheba.

Summary

–       Beersheba was the resting place before and after the sacrifice

–       Moriah is at a distance of three days from Beersheba

–       Moriah is the place where sacrifice took place

–       This place is visible from a distance

–       He sacrificed his only son

–       This son was much beloved to him

–       There was a bush near the sacrificial place

–       Due to sacrificing the only son, Allah blessed him

–       And through his son, Allah promised to make the land blessed for all nations

–       His generation would be the owners of cities of their enemies

As the Torah itself confirms that it has been corrupted, it would not be unwise to investigate this story with a skeptical mind. The series of events strongly indicate that the name of Prophet Isma’il –peace be upon him- has been switched with the name of Prophet Ishaaq –peace be upon him. We shall prove that below with a number of evidences.

The resting place of Prophets Ibrahim and Isma’il – peace be upon them

When Prophet Ibrahim –peace be upon him – left for sacrifice, he did not have Ishaq –peace be upon him – with him but only Isma’il –peace be upon him – who used to live with him. Those who switched the names perhaps did not know this fact or overlooked it.

This is clear from above that after the sacrifice, Ibrahim –peace be upon him – returned to Beersheba to his home where he lived. Beersheba is the place where Isma’il –peace be upon him – lived with his mother. The place where the Torah mentions the story of separation of Isma’il –peace be upon him – and his mother with Ishaq –peace be upon him – and his mother clearly mentions this fact about Beersheba.

Early the next morning Ibrahim 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. [14]

With this, we can establish the following:

–       Beersheba was the home of Isma’il -peace be upon him- and his mother

–       This place was away from the home of Ishaq -peace be upon him- and his mother

–       This is also the home of Ibrahim –peace be upon him- and it is from here that he went for sacrifice and came back to this place after the sacrifice

–       The home of Sarah -peace be upon her- was far from the home of Ibrahim -peace be upon him. Another evidence for that is that when she fell ill, he was not there with her and when he heard the news of her death, he had to travel there to her. [15]

Assuming that Ishaq -peace be upon him- had been born then (which will be proven false below), he lived far in Canaan and it is established that Ibrahim -peace be upon him- took his son Isma’il -peace be upon him- from Beersheba for sacrifice and came back to Beersheba.

The son sacrificed had been left at the place of sacrifice which is proven from his statement when Ishaq -peace be upon him- was born.

And Ibrahim said to God, “If only Isma’il might live under your blessing!” i.e. he might live in servitude to your house. [16]

The Qur’an confirms this:

Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. [17]

The son in uncultivated land was none other than Isma’il -peace be upon him-. Ibrahim -peace be upon him- had settled his two families in Beersheba and Canaan and had himself chosen a place to live between the two as mentioned by the Torah: [18]

And his sons Ishaq and Isma’il buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;

The only son

Isma’il -peace be upon him- was the only son as Genesis 16:16 says that Ibrahim -peace be upon him- was 86 when first son was born and 100 years old when second son was born. [19] No one can say that since Isma’il -peace be upon him- had gone far away so Ishaq -peace be upon him- became the only son because the reality is that he lived with his father and mother in Beersheba whereas the other son was far away.

It appears that “only son” had been replaced by “firstborn” son for which the lying scribes must have some scheme. Perhaps by changing the word “firstborn” with “only son”, they attempted to make them the only sons of their mothers and attempted to explain away this through twisting and distorting the text.

Most loved thing is offered for sacrifice

Isma’il -peace be upon him- was beloved to his father. It is mentioned above that the son ordered for sacrifice was most loved. [20] There are numerous evidences in the Torah proving that Prophet Isma’il -peace be upon him- was much beloved to his father.

And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. [21]

When his first son was born, he named him Isma’il which means “God heard the prayer”. [22] Imagine the love he would have had for him; an old man who is childless and prays to Allah for offspring gets blessed by Allah with a son who is named “prayer accepted” who is never kept away from his sight till he is 14 years old. He loves him dearly while having no expectation for another child. The love of the father for his son was immense as the Torah also states:

And Ibrahim said unto God, O that Isma’il might live before thee! [23]

This, he says, when his second son is born. When his wife asks him to expel his wife and son (as the Bible claims), he felt very grieved and upset:

And the thing was very grievous in Ibrahim’s sight because of his son. [24]

The place of sacrifice

The place of sacrifice is Marwah (near Safa) near the Ka’abah. We have already read this verse:

On the third day Ibrahim looked up and saw the place in the distance. [25]

This is neither Solomon’s temple as claimed by the Jews, nor the place of crucifixion as claimed by the Christians. The instances where this place ‘Moriah’ has appeared in the Torah has been translated as Moriah, Moreh (a different spelling for the same place), high grounds, noble vale, high hill. Same translations have used the word Moreh in one place and an alternate word in another place but never used as Solomon’s temple in any place. The description of this place does not fit the temple in any way.

John Colenso has mentioned that Torah mentions a place visible from far away towards which Ibrahim -peace be upon him- lifted his sight whereas no such place can be found that can be linked to this place. The mount Solomon or mount Moriah does not have any evidence and these mounts are only visible when a person comes from the east crossing the valley of hinnom and reaches there. Then he would be able to see from above the temple. John Colenso quotes Canon Stanley:

The Jewish tradition, as represented by Josephus, transfers the scene to the hill, on which the Temple was afterwards erected at Jerusalem; and this belief has been perpetuated in Christian times, as attached to a spot in the garden of the Abyssinian Convent, not indeed, on Mount Moriah, but immediately to the east of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, with the intention of connecting the sacrifice of Isaac with the Crucifixion. [26]

Stanley rejects the Jewish and the Christian claim. He also rejects Muslim claim [27] saying that it is not Mount Arafat as the Muslims claim according to him. Muslims never make this claim. His research on the Muslim claim is basically not a research but rather a rash conclusion without research into the matter at all. According to him Mount Gerizim is the actual place of sacrifice which the Samaritans also believe However, their book of Samaritans is also different from other Jews and they are considered close by the Christians to themselves.

The purpose here is to show that the place is not a confirmed and agreed upon area by the Jews and Christians; neither with each other nor with among themselves. There is immense difference of opinion on the actual place of sacrifice so much so that one group all together removed the actual place Moriah from the translation and translated it differently. One group kept the name but changed the place while some kept the name but changed the pronunciation such as Moriah, Moreh etc. This is the same trick identified by Qur’an:

يأَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ لِمَ تَلْبِسُونَ الْحَقَّ بِالْبَـطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

O People of the Scripture, why do you mix [i.e. confuse] the truth with falsehood and conceal the truth while you know [it]? [28]

The real name of the place is Marwah

Marwah means sticky and shiny rock. The translators who have translated the Biblical word as high grounds, noble vale, high hill prove through their translation that this word was not pronounced or read as Moriah, Moreh etc. as the scribes had altered it. The translators state that the root of the word Moriah/Moreh is ירה pronounced as yaraa or yaraah. Yaraa means fear or surprise and hence Moreh means fear or reason for fear. Yaraah means archery and saturation or to quench. Both the roots give a different meaning which no way comes close to grounds, noble vale, high hill etc. It is clear that translators originally and initially got the word Marwah but because this word wasn’t in their dictionary, they considered it as Maraah and it is also a rule in Hebrew that “wa” is mostly replaced by “aa”. That is why, according to rules of their language, they considered it to be linked with “Raah” which means view, offer etc. which is why they gave the meaning as such. Some translators have given meanings to this word while some have retained the original word in its various forms.

Real word Marwah: ה י ר מ [Read from right to left]

Changed word Murya / Muriyyah: ה י ר מ

Changed word Moriah: ה י ר ו מ

Changed word Moreh: ה ר ו מ

Ponder over the changes in the letters. The main difference is the letter O coming after M also pronounced as “wa”. In the first case (Muryah), “wa” changes completely. The changing of this wa in Hebrew can be explained by practical examples.

Example:

Jaul: ל ו ג

Jail: ל ו ג

Where there is “Wa” in Arabic has “Ya” in Hebrew (Jail has ‘ya’ sound between ‘Ja’ and ‘La’), for example, dlu (bucket) in Arabic is dli (Hebrew) in Hebrew; the letter “wa” changes to “ya”. Walad is yalad, waqar is yaqar etc.

Those who do not know either Arabic or Hebrew might find it hard to grasp how ‘i’ at the end of dli can be considered as “ya” and ‘u’ at the end of dlu can be considered “wa”. The answer is that this letter “wa” is pronounced differently when added with different words and becomes o, w, u. The same is with “ya”, it becomes i, e, y, ya, ay.

Therefore, if one was to write Marwah in Hebrew, it would replace wa with ya (or one of its various forms) and hence turn into Maryah, Moriah, Moreh etc.

In real Hebrew, like Arabic, there were no vowels (bamma, kathra, fathha, tanween etc.). This opened the doors for further tampering. This word was also originally written without vowels.

Original word: ה ר ר מ (Marwah). This same word can be pronounced as Muriyyah, Moriah and Moreh without adding vowels. Muslims may understand this example by “من” which can be pronounced as Mann (Who), Minn (From), Munn (No such word) and a number of other ways (remember that there are no vowels and therefore adding these oneself can be pronounced in a number of ways). The sentence would define what the word means. Reading alone the word “من” can either be Who or From. The same is the case with Hebrew. The letters “M” ”R” ”H” are together in Hebrew and can be pronounced in a number of ways. As proven that Moreh, Moriah etc. have no meaning at all, Marwah, a correct pronunciation, is the only option applicable.

The host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. [29]

The mount Marwah was in the land of Midian. On a side note, a line in the link confirms the above explanation of Hebrew vowels in one sentence:

The modern Hebrew pronunciation, “Midyan”, is the result of a normal vowel shift changing an “a” sound to an “i” sound (compare Miryam in Hebrew versus Mariam in Greek or Maryam in Arabic).

Famous Qur’an translator Sale states that Madyan was from the cities of Hijaz (Arabia). It was situated on the south west of Sinai near the Red Sea. There is no doubt that this is the same place Batlimos mentioned by the name of Moriana.

Moreover, the Bible itself mentions that this place, Midian, was the place of Isma’ilites:

Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian. And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you. And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Isma’ilites.) [30]

And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Isma’ilites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?Come, and let us sell him to the Isma’ilites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Isma’ilites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt. [31]

From this we know that Marwah is in Madian and Madian were Isma’ilites which was in Arabia. A saying of Prophet Muhammad –on him be the peace and blessings of Allah- makes matters very clear.

حَدَّثَنِي يَحْيَى، عَنْ مَالِكٍ، أَنَّهُ بَلَغَهُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ بِمِنًى ‏”‏ هَذَا الْمَنْحَرُ وَكُلُّ مِنًى مَنْحَرٌ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ وَقَالَ فِي الْعُمْرَةِ ‏”‏ هَذَا الْمَنْحَرُ – يَعْنِي الْمَرْوَةَ – وَكُلُّ فِجَاجِ مَكَّةَ وَطُرُقِهَا مَنْحَرٌ

Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said once at Mina, “This place (where I have just sacrificed), and the whole of Mina, is a place of sacrifice,” and he said once during Umrah, “This (is the real) place of sacrifice” meaning Marwah, “and all the pathways of Makkah and its roads are (also) a place of sacrifice.” [32]

Isma’il -peace be upon him- was the deserving one to be offered for sacrifice

He was firstborn son and from Adam to Musa (Moses) -peace be upon them-, the rule had been to offer only firstborn. Firstborn had immense importance and it would be an attack on such a great prophet to say that he did not follow the law, did not live up to the law, the standard and expectation! Will such a great prophet not offer his best for sacrifice?

Good news of Ishaq –peace be upon him

The news of blessing of descendants of Ishaq -peace be upon him- to Ibrahim -peace be upon him- was only given when he was born whereas that of Isma’il -peace be upon him- was given after Ishaq -peace be upon him- or when he was born.

And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Ishaq: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for Isma’il, 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. [33]

Is this possible that on one place God gives good news of blessing the generation of Ishaq –peace be upon him- and then give the order of sacrificing him? Further assuming for the sake of argument that it really was Ishaq -peace be upon him-, still he was not married when offered for sacrifice. [34]

And it came to pass after the death of Ibrahim, that God blessed his son Ishaq; and Ishaq dwelt by the well Lahairoi. [35]

Ishaq -peace be upon him- became a father after the passing away of his father.

And these are the days of the years of Ibrahim’s life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years. [36]

He lived 175 years.

And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Ishaq was threescore years old when she bare them. [37]

Ishaq –peace be upon him- was 60 years old when he became a father. 175 years of his father minus 100 years (age when second son as born) = 75 years. So if Ishaq –peace be upon him- became father after the passing away of his father, then how was a son born to him 15 years before the passing away of his father? This only proves the claim of the Torah and the Qur’an regarding the corruption of the Torah. However, let’s ignore this contradiction for a while and understand the point that Ishaq –peace be upon him- was old when he became a father!

A normal criterion for sacrifice is reaching age of maturity. Elder son was mature and perhaps married as well as Ibn Kathir statesas he grew up and when he reached the age of puberty they made him marry a woman from amongst them” Puberty would mean he married at 12 or 13. As per tafsir, incident of sacrifice took place after the marriage of the sacrificial son.

If one claims that Isma’il -peace be upon him- was also blessed at his birth, then that news was given to his mother and not the father who was put to test. If his mother was given the task of sacrifice, then it would have been contradictory that on hand the son has been blessed and on another, he is to be offered for sacrifice; she would have surely known that her son would survive as the promise to bless his generation has already been made.

The event took place before the birth of Ishaq -peace be upon him

Genesis 17 is full of blessings for Ibrahim -peace be upon him- because he had passed the test. Covenants were made and offspring were blessed because of it. Father (99) and son (13) both got circumcised and due to his sacrifice, his first wife was also given good news of having a son.

All these great events are of the same time and chain of the same event i.e. due to passing the test and not due to circumcision.

And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Ibrahim fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Ibrahim said unto God, O that Isma’il might live before thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Ishaq: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for Isma’il, 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. [38]

This took place when Ibrahim –peace be upon him- found out that his son offered for sacrifice and left there had been saved and blessed to be a leader of great nation. Readers here must be appreciating the claim that the Torah has been corrupted.

No inheritance for the sacrificial one

And Ibrahim gave all that he had unto Ishaq. But unto the sons of the concubines, which Ibrahim had, Ibrahim gave gifts, and sent them away from Ishaq his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country. [39]

This proves that his elder son did not inherit anything who was very beloved to him. If anyone claims that the father could be angry later on, then there is no basis for this in the Torah. Besides, the Torah proves that both sons were beloved as they were not sent far away from where he lived. In fact both came to bury him. [40]

The reason he did not inherit anything is because those offered for sacrifice do not inherit anything as mentioned above.

Isma’il -peace be upon him- is mentioned as blessed

And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!” (live before you). [41]

Live before you means to continue to serve You. This proves that he had already been at the service of God, and this was at the Ka’abah, before the sacrifice and he prayed that he might continue to serve Him. [42]

Nothing of such sort can be found in Jewish Shariah

If the event of sacrifice would have happened with Ishaq -peace be upon him- as the Jews say, then there would have been something like the Hajj in their Shariah. They do not even claim for any worship, out of several of their worships, that this is the basis as they do for other worships such as sacrifice (Exodus 13:11-12) and other forms of worship like fasting Ashura etc. Deuteronomy 16:1-17 mentions many rituals but none of them is claimed to be of this sacrifice. On the contrary, the rituals of Hajj and its many rituals such as repeating Labbaik (I am present at Your Service) etc. prove the sacrifice of Ibrahim –peace be upon him. Other voluntary sacrifices in Jewish Shariah [43] are merely ordinary offerings and not as grand as the Islamic one. Jews and Christians do not have the remembrance of the sacrifice by Ibrahim -peace be upon him- as they tampered with it, removed many things about such things and Makkah and gave all love and respect to Jerusalem.

The Torah is filled with sacrifices and portrays it as a form of worship. There is pretty much close to nil mention of prayer. Even most Jews do not believe in prayer as obligatory form of worship and only as voluntary. So sacrifice is their only worship which can only be done at Solomon’s temple [44] but they have remained away from the temple in many ages. Therefore the eras they remained in exile, in captivity, under occupation or forced out, they lived as faithless as they do not properly believe in prayer while sacrifice can only be done in one place.

Christians have attempted to answer this problem. They say that they do not turn to material temple but in the heaven (either spiritual or metaphorical or literally in heaven). This is wrong because the Bible makes it clear that they will obtain pleasure of God from this very temple and He will listen to their prayers and wishes. [45]

Jews ordered to sacrifice facing Ka’abah

It has already been mentioned above that the Jews had to sacrifice facing south. More on this is as follows:

And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen of an hundred cubits long for one side: [46]

And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, and set up the vail of the covering, and covered the ark of the testimony; as the Lord commanded Moses. And he put the table in the tent of the congregation, upon the side of the tabernacle northward, without the vail. And he set the bread in order upon it before the Lord; as the Lord had commanded Moses. And he put the candlestick in the tent of the congregation, over against the table, on the side of the tabernacle southward. [47]

 Image

[Google map showing Makkah is to the south of Palestine and Jerusalem]

Place of Isma’il -peace be upon him- is the Qibla (direction of worship) of all descendants of Ibrahim -peace be upon him

All the sons of Ibrahim -peace be upon him- were settled in places where their Qibla was the place of Isma’il -peace be upon him-.

And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren. [48]

And he will be a wild man (meaning free spirited); his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. [49]

All sons of Ibrahim -peace be upon him- had settled in East and North. This way Isma’il –peace be upon him- was in the presence of all his brethren when their Qiblas faced him. Hand against every man means that he would face everyone from south towards north and northeast. The Qibla of all the brothers was the place of Isma’il -peace be upon him. Arabs remained free whereas the Israelis were captivated, expelled etc. There is no other interpretation acceptable as the Torah also mentions that he would be a great nation:

“And as for Isma’il, 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.” [50]

How is a nation great?

“What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?” [51]

Therefore the explanation provided is the only valid interpretation. Qur’an also mentions something similar:

وَإِذِ ابْتَلَى إِبْرَهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَـتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ قَالَ إِنِّى جَـعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا قَالَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِى قَالَ لاَ يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّـلِمِينَ – وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا الْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَمْناً وَاتَّخِذُواْ مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَهِيمَ مُصَلًّى وَعَهِدْنَآ إِلَى إِبْرَهِيمَ وَإِسْمَـعِيلَ أَن طَهِّرَا بَيْتِىَ لِلطَّآئِفِينَ وَالْعَـكِفِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ

And [mention, O Muhammad], when Ibrahim was tried by his Lord with commands and he fulfilled them. [Allah] said, “Indeed, I will make you a leader for the people.” [Ibrahim] said, “And of my descendants?” [Allah] said, “My covenant does not include the wrongdoers.” And [mention] when We made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security. And take, [O believers], from the standing place of Ibrahim a place of prayer. And We charged Ibrahim and Isma’il, [saying], “Purify My House for those who perform tawaf and those who are staying [there] for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer].” [52]

This shows that the place of Isma’il -peace be upon him- ordered to be taken as Qibla was due to the sacrifice of his father and the reason for choosing this as the Qibla is because this was the place where the great sacrifice by his father was made.

Ka’abah is the construction and sacrificial place of Ibrahim -peace be upon him

“These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship the Lord your God with such things”. [53]

For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree. [54]

The pagans worshipped on mountains and Palestine was filled with pagans during those days and it was not an unpopulated area as well so it would be absurd to say that Ibrahim –peace be upon him- went to one of their mountains and offered his worship i.e. sacrifice. Doing so in a pagan environment would have been against Bible as worshipping in pagan areas was forbidden. Sacrifice was also done by pagans to their false deities so Ibrahim -peace be upon him- cannot offer his sacrifice and worship in a pagan area.

Consider the Holy Land in these circumstances. Its construction took place on a high mountain and all other things like making a temple, place of worship, visible from distance, pomp and show etc. were similar to what pagans did. Exodus and Leviticus carry many details on its construction. The pomp and show is more against the simple nature of Ibrahim -peace be upon him- and more like pagans. On the contrary there is one house / place built that exhibits the simplicity and beauty of Ibrahim -peace be upon him-, suited for worship more than splendor, is on the ground at a low place instead of a mountain on a high place. The simplicity of this House exhibits the nature and simplicity of the builder of this place i.e. Ibrahim –peace be upon him. His position is stated in his Dua:

رَّبَّنَآ إِنَّى أَسْكَنتُ مِن ذُرِّيَّتِى بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِى زَرْعٍ عِندَ بَيْتِكَ الْمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُواْ الصَّلوةَ فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مَّنَ النَّاسِ تَهْوِى إِلَيْهِمْ وَارْزُقْهُمْ مِّنَ الثَّمَرَتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ

Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful. [Qur’an 14: 37]

Another point is unanimously agreed upon and known that the sacrificial place was in front of house of God. Is it the one Prophet Sulayman -peace be upon him- built centuries after Prophet Ibrahim –peace be upon him- or is it the one regarding which is known from very ancient times that all descendants of Isma’il -peace be upon him- considered their center?

Evidences from the Qur’an

Introduction

The commentators of the Qur’an state that the best way to explain the Qur’an is the Qur’an itself. Among other principles, this one is the first and foremost. The Qur’an repeats several events and teachings a number of times and with each repetition, there is something new to learn. In other words, there is no absolute repetition. This simple rule should be kept in mind in this section.

Let us read the Qur’anic account of Prophet Ibrahim –peace be upon him- and his sacrifice:

قَالُواْ ابْنُواْ لَهُ بُنْيَـناً فَأَلْقُوهُ فِى الْجَحِيمِ – فَأَرَادُواْ بِهِ كَيْداً فَجَعَلْنَـهُمُ الاٌّسْفَلِينَ – وَقَالَ إِنِّى ذَاهِبٌ إِلَى رَبِّى سَيَهْدِينِ – رَبِّ هَبْ لِى مِنَ الصَّـلِحِينِ – فَبَشَّرْنَـهُ بِغُلَـمٍ حَلِيمٍ – فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْىَ قَالَ يبُنَىَّ إِنِّى أَرَى فِى الْمَنَامِ أَنِّى أَذْبَحُكَ فَانظُرْ مَاذَا تَرَى قَالَ يأَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤمَرُ سَتَجِدُنِى إِن شَآءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّـبِرِينَ – فَلَمَّا أَسْلَمَا وَتَلَّهُ لِلْجَبِينِ – وَنَـدَيْنَـهُ أَن يإِبْرَهِيمُ – قَدْ صَدَّقْتَ الرُّؤْيَآ إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِى الْمُحْسِنِينَ – إِنَّ هَـذَا لَهُوَ الْبَلاَءُ الْمُبِينُ – وَفَدَيْنَـهُ بِذِبْحٍ عَظِيمٍ وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِى الاٌّخِرِينَ سَلَـمٌ عَلَى إِبْرَهِيمَ كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِى الْمُحْسِنِينَ إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَبَشَّرْنَـهُ بِإِسْحَـقَ نَبِيّاً مِّنَ الصَّـلِحِينَ وَبَـرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى إِسْحَـقَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِهِمَا مُحْسِنٌ وَظَـلِمٌ لِّنَفْسِهِ مُبِينٌ – وَلَقَدْ مَنَنَّا عَلَى مُوسَى وَهَـرُونَ

They said, “Construct for him a furnace and throw him into the burning fire.” And they intended for him a plan, but We made them the most debased. And [then] he said, “Indeed, I will go to [where I am ordered by] my Lord; He will guide me. My Lord, grant me [a child] from among the righteous.” And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said, “O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think.” He said, “O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast.” And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead, We called to him, “O Abraham, You have fulfilled the vision.” Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, this was the clear trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice, And We left for him [favorable mention] among later generations: “Peace upon Abraham.” Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, he was of Our believing servants. And We gave him good tidings of Ishaq, a prophet from among the righteous. And We blessed him and Ishaq. But among their descendants is the doer of good and the clearly unjust to himself. And We did certainly confer favor upon Moses and Aaron. [55]

Some Muslims as well as non-Muslims are of the view that the Qur’an is not clear on the identity of the sacrificial son. We will discuss this issue below.

Mention of the sacrifice is after the Dua (prayer)

Prophet Ibrahim –peace be upon him- prayed for a child when he had no son. The order of sacrifice was for the only son he had. If we ponder over the highlighted area, we find this to be exactly true. He did not pray for only one son but the Dua was open as Surah Ibrahim verse 40 also makes it clear. This is not the basis of the argument. The basis is that the son immediately born after the Dua was the firstborn and the one sacrificed and he was the first result of the Dua. There is no doubt that the acceptance of Dua happened with the birth of Isma’il -peace be upon him.

Child from the righteous and prophet from the righteous

The Qur’an states that Prophet Ibrahim –peace be upon him- said:

الْحَمْدُ للَّهِ الَّذِى وَهَبَ لِى عَلَى الْكِبَرِ إِسْمَـعِيلَ وَإِسْحَـقَ إِنَّ رَبِّى لَسَمِيعُ الدُّعَآءِ

Praise to Allah, who has granted to me in old age Isma’il and Ishaq. Indeed, my Lord is the Hearer of supplication. [56]

When the read the incident of Prophet Ibrahim –peace be upon him- in the Qur’an, we see that the words of his Dua Grant me a child from among the righteous refer to Isma’il -peace be upon him- and And We gave him good tidings of Ishaq, a prophet from among the righteous refer to Ishaq -peace be upon him. To say that the Dua was closed ended and only for the first child may not be accurate and included offspring in general whereas the actual acceptance of the Dua started with the birth of the firstborn son. Identification of these two sons is important as we shall see below.

Meaning of Isma’il

The Torah says that the Hebrew name Ishmael means God listens in English or Samiullah in Arabic. Ibrahim -peace be upon him- named his son as such because Allah listened to his prayer and when he thanked Allah for Samiullah (God listens), he says my Lord is the Hearer of supplication. His prayer and thanks can be explained in these words:

All praise to the Lord who gave me Isma’il as acceptance to my Dua, then gave me Ishaq -peace be upon him- as further blessing.

Good news of Ishaq -peace be upon him

Ibrahim -peace be upon him- was never expecting the good news of Ishaq -peace be upon him. His prayer was open ended and which was fulfilled by the birth of his first son while second was an additional blessing which he was not expecting. Nowhere does the Qur’an or the Torah mention that he expected another son to be born to him:

Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” [57]

فَأَقْبَلَتِ امْرَأَتُهُ فِى صَرَّةٍ فَصَكَّتْ وَجْهَهَا وَقَالَتْ عَجُوزٌ عَقِيمٌ

And his wife approached with a cry [of alarm] and struck her face and said, “[I am] a barren old woman!” [58]

Considering the surprise he had, this would not make sense if it was for the firstborn son as the firstborn had been promised by God earlier. If the son was Ishaq -peace be upon him- for which good news was given, then there would have been no surprise at all. All good news related to Ishaq -peace be upon him- out of them none are related to the Dua or dependent on it thereby proving further that the son offered for sacrifice was the firstborn i.e. Isma’il –peace be upon him.

First good news is totally different from the second good news

The two good news refer to the two sons. It cannot be said that both good news were for the same son as there are no evidences for that. If there is an issue in understanding this, then we can combine the two evidences and then the conclusion would be as follows:

Ibrahim -peace be upon him- made Dua for a righteous child, Allah gave him the good news of a righteous child and gave him the good news of Ishaq -peace be upon him- who would be a prophet from the righteous. Can any sane person claim that the righteous child and Ishaq -peace be upon him- are the same person?

Glad tidings of Ishaq -peace be upon him- are against the claim of him being the sacrificial son

The Qur’an states regarding the sacrificial son:

 فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْىَ

And when he was old enough to run along with him… [59]

The good news of the blessing of the birth Ishaq -peace be upon him- mention that he would be a prophet from among the righteous. Just before the birth of Ishaq –peace be upon him- Allah had given the news to Ibrahim –peace be upon him- that his son (Ishaq) would be a prophet. How can a person be blessed as a prophet upon birth and still offered for sacrifice? If this was so, the father would have automatically known that his son would not die and hence there would not have been any test whereas the Qur’an states Indeed, this was the clear trial. The blessing of Ishaq -peace be upon him- was given before his birth:

وَامْرَأَتُهُ قَآئِمَةٌ فَضَحِكَتْ فَبَشَّرْنَـهَا بِإِسْحَـقَ وَمِن وَرَآءِ إِسْحَـقَ يَعْقُوبَ

And his Wife was standing, and she smiled. Then We gave her good tidings of Ishaq and after Ishaq, Jacob. [60]

How can a child with no offspring of his own at the time of sacrifice be blessed with the news of his own children and at the same time being put to the test of sacrifice? The entire promise is for the son other than the one mentioned to be a prophet who would have a son named Jacob -peace be upon him.

Two different qualities of sacrificial son and Ishaq -peace be upon him

The quality of the sacrificial son is described as “Haleem” [61] and for Ishaq -peace be upon him- is mentioned “Aleem”. [62] Hilm (root of Haleem) means patience, forbearance, indulgence etc. Ilm (root of Aleem) means knowledge. A person can be patient from childhood but not knowledgeable as a child as Surah Yusuf verse 22 confirms:

وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ آتَيْنَاهُ حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا وَكَذلِكَ نَجْزِى الْمُحْسِنِينَ

And when Joseph reached maturity, We gave him judgment and knowledge (ilm).

Knowledge and prophethood are not given before a certain age. This means that Ishaq –peace be upon him- would become knowledgeable when he grows up and hence to order a son for sacrifice who has been blessed to grow old does not make sense at all.

Qualities of sacrifice and Isma’il -peace be upon him

قَالَ يبُنَىَّ إِنِّى أَرَى فِى الْمَنَامِ أَنِّى أَذْبَحُكَ فَانظُرْ مَاذَا تَرَى قَالَ يأَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤمَرُ سَتَجِدُنِى إِن شَآءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّـبِرِينَ

He said, “O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast (patient/forbearing).” [63]

Ishaq -peace be upon him- has not been mentioned from the Saabireen (patient) or Haleem once in the Qur’an whereas Isma’il -peace be upon him- has been mentioned:

وَإِسْمَـعِيلَ وَإِدْرِيسَ وَذَا الْكِفْلِ كُلٌّ مِّنَ الصَّـبِرِينَ

And [mention] Isma’il and Idrees and Dhul-Kifl; all were of the patient. [64]

Another quality of sacrifice and Isma’il -peace be upon him

While mentioning Ibrahim -peace be upon him- and Isma’il -peace be upon him-, Qur’an mentions, many times, some qualities, that point towards the sacrifice. For example:

وَإِبْرَهِيمَ الَّذِى وَفَّى

And Abraham, who fulfilled. [65]

Fulfilled either refers to the test (specific) or all the responsibilities required from a pious prophet (general). Similarly, we find such words for Isma’il -peace be upon him-:

وَاذْكُرْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ إِسْمَـعِيلَ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صَـدِقَ الْوَعْدِ وَكَانَ رَسُولاً نَّبِيّاً

And mention in the Book, Isma’il. Indeed, he was true to his promise, and he was a messenger and a prophet. [66]

Qur’an mentions something when it is very important and great. These verses discuss events of the lives of these two great prophets that were very important in their lives.

Sacrificial son and Ishaq -peace be upon him- have been mentioned separately

 وَبَـرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى إِسْحَـقَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِهِمَا مُحْسِنٌ وَظَـلِمٌ لِّنَفْسِهِ مُبِينٌ

And We blessed him (the sacrificial son) and Ishaq. But among their descendants is the doer of good and the clearly unjust to himself. [67]

Both are separate i.e. him (the sacrificial son) and Ishaq -peace be upon him-. Those who say that the ‘him’ in this verse is Ibrahim -peace be upon him- and not Isma’il -peace be upon him-, then the response is that he has already been blessed a few verses back:

سَلَـمٌ عَلَى إِبْرَهِيمَ 

“Peace upon Abraham.” [68]

In this same Surah, we find that blessings on messengers have been conveyed one by one and then their mention is ended and blessing on another messenger is conveyed.

وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِى الاٌّخِرِينَ – سَلَـمٌ عَلَى نُوحٍ فِى الْعَـلَمِينَ – إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِى الْمُحْسِنِينَ – إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ثُمَّ أَغْرَقْنَا الاٌّخَرِينَ – وَإِنَّ مِن شِيعَتِهِ لإِبْرَهِيمَ

And left for him [favorable mention] among later generations: “Peace upon Noah among the worlds.” Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, he was of Our believing servants. Then We drowned the disbelievers. And indeed, among his kind was Abraham, [69]

سَلَـمٌ عَلَى مُوسَى وَهَـرُونَ إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِى الْمُحْسِنِينَ إِنَّهُمَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ – وَإِنَّ إِلْيَاسَ لَمِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

“Peace upon Moses and Aaron.” Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, they were of Our believing servants. And indeed, Elias was from among the messengers, [70]

سَلَـمٌ عَلَى إِلْ يَاسِينَ- إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِى الْمُحْسِنِينَ- إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ – وَإِنَّ لُوطاً لَّمِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

“Peace upon Elias.” Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, he was of Our believing servants. And indeed, Lot was among the messengers. [71]

No mention of name is evidence that sacrificial son is Isma’il -peace be upon him

To argue that it cannot be Isma’il -peace be upon him as his name has not been specifically mentioned would be a fallacy because the same can be said for those who claim it was Ishaq -peace be upon him. There are many arguments to the reason why his name has not been mentioned but there are no reasons for the other. The Noble Qur’an mentions:

يَـأَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ قَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَثِيراً مِّمَّا كُنتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنَ الْكِتَـبِ وَيَعْفُواْ عَن كَثِيرٍ قَدْ جَآءَكُمْ مِّنَ اللَّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَـبٌ مُّبِينٌ

O People of the Scripture, there has come to you Our Messenger making clear to you much of what you used to conceal of the Scripture and overlooking much. There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book. [72]

Qur’an refrains from matters that open never ending arguments. If Qur’an had explicitly stated that it was Isma’il -peace be upon him, then the Jews would not have seen the points and arguments raised by the Qur’an and would have stood up with all might to defend their book. That is why the Qur’an did not adopt this approach as it was against wisdom. Even Qur’an orders the believers to argue with the people of the book with wisdom. Due to this reason, there is no reason for not mentioning the name of Ishaq -peace be upon him- for the sacrifice.

Islam is against arrogance, pride on nationalism etc. Having pride on ancestry is an act of ignorance and hence this was avoided. Jews tampered with their books to the extent that they took away the blessings from Isma’il -peace be upon him- and his mother, turned her into a non-wife, a slave even though the Torah is against this, [73] kicked out from house by Ibrahim –peace be upon him- and what not.

If Qur’an had mentioned something that resulted in Arab pride and appeared to the Jews to degrade them, then this would have resulted in endless debates, arguments, rejections etc. Qur’an is against such practice and this is why we see that the name of Sarah -peace be upon her- has been mentioned whereas Hajra -peace be upon her- has not been mentioned in the Qur’an.

Therefore, the name of Isma’il -peace be upon him- not being there with the sacrifice is big evidence that it was actually him.

Qur’an argues against the false claims of people of the book

يأَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ لِمَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِأَيَـتِ اللَّهِ وَأَنتُمْ تَشْهَدُونَ -يأَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ لِمَ تَلْبِسُونَ الْحَقَّ بِالْبَـطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

O People of the Scripture, why do you disbelieve in the verses of Allah while you witness [to their truth]? O People of the Scripture, why do you mix [i.e. confuse] the truth with falsehood and conceal the truth while you know [it]? [74]

يَـأَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ قَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَثِيراً مِّمَّا كُنتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنَ الْكِتَـبِ وَيَعْفُواْ عَن كَثِيرٍ قَدْ جَآءَكُمْ مِّنَ اللَّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَـبٌ مُّبِينٌ

O People of the Scripture, there has come to you Our Messenger making clear to you much of what you used to conceal of the Scripture and overlooking much. There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book. [75]

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِى بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكاً وَهُدًى لِّلْعَـلَمِينَ – فِيهِ ءَايَـتٌ بَيِّـنَـتٌ مَّقَامُ إِبْرَهِيمَ وَمَن دَخَلَهُ كَانَ ءَامِناً وَللَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَـعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ الله غَنِىٌّ عَنِ الْعَـلَمِينَ – قُلْ يأَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ لِمَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِـَيَـتِ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ شَهِيدٌ عَلَى مَا تَعْمَلُونَ – قُلْ يأَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ لِمَ تَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ مَنْ ءَامَنَ تَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجاً وَأَنْتُمْ شُهَدَآءُ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَـفِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

Indeed, the first House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Makkah – blessed and a guidance for the worlds. In it are clear signs [such as] the standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it shall be safe. And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves – then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds. Say, “O People of the Scripture, why do you disbelieve in the verses of Allah while Allah is Witness over what you do?” Say, “O People of the Scripture, why do you avert from the way of Allah those who believe, seeking to make it [seem] deviant, while you are witnesses [to the truth]? And Allah is not unaware of what you do.” [76]

كَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا فِيكُمْ رَسُولاً مِّنْكُمْ يَتْلُواْ عَلَيْكُمْ آيَـتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيكُمْ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُواْ تَعْلَمُونَ – فَاذْكُرُونِى أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُواْ لِي وَلاَ تَكْفُرُونِ – يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اسْتَعِينُواْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَوةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّـبِرِينَ – وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ لِمَن يُقْتَلُ فِى سَبيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتٌ بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ وَلَكِن لاَّ تَشْعُرُونَ  – وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الاٌّمَوَالِ وَالاٌّنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّـبِرِينَ – الَّذِينَ إِذَآ أَصَـبَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُواْ إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّـآ إِلَيْهِ رَجِعونَ – أُولَـئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَتٌ مِّن رَّبْهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ – إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَآئِرِ اللَّهِ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا وَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ – إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَآ أَنزَلْنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَـتِ وَالْهُدَى مِن بَعْدِ مَا بَيَّنَّـهُ لِلنَّاسِ فِي الْكِتَابِ أُولَـئِكَ يَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّـعِنُونَ – إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ وَأَصْلَحُواْ وَبَيَّنُواْ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ أَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَنَا التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ – إِن الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَمَاتُواْ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ أُولَـئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ لَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ وَالْمَلـئِكَةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ 

Just as We have sent among you a messenger from yourselves reciting to you Our verses and purifying you and teaching you the Book and wisdom and teaching you that which you did not know. So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me. O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. And do not say about those who are killed in the way of Allah, “They are dead.” Rather, they are alive, but you perceive [it] not. And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.” Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided. Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allah. So whoever makes hajj to the House or performs ‘umrah – there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing. Indeed, those who conceal what We sent down of clear proofs and guidance after We made it clear for the people in the Scripture – those are cursed by Allah and cursed by those who curse, Except for those who repent and correct themselves and make evident [what they concealed]. Those – I will accept their repentance, and I am the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. Indeed, those who disbelieve and die while they are disbelievers – upon them will be the curse of Allah and of the angels and the people, all together. [77]

The Torah mentions hate being the reason for separation between the family. The Qur’an mentions:

رَّبَّنَآ إِنَّى أَسْكَنتُ مِن ذُرِّيَّتِى بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِى زَرْعٍ عِندَ بَيْتِكَ الْمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُواْ الصَّلوةَ فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مَّنَ النَّاسِ تَهْوِى إِلَيْهِمْ وَارْزُقْهُمْ مِّنَ الثَّمَرَتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ

Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful. [78]

More on this:

يَـبَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَتِى الَّتِى أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَنِّى فَضَّلْتُكُمْ عَلَى الْعَـلَمِينَ وَاتَّقُواْ يَوْمًا لاَّ تَجْزِى نَفْسٌ عَن نَّفْسٍ شَيْئًا وَلاَ يُقْبَلُ مِنْهَا عَدْلٌ وَلاَ تَنفَعُهَا شَفَـعَةٌ وَلاَ هُمْ يُنصَرُونَ – وَإِذِ ابْتَلَى إِبْرَهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَـتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ قَالَ إِنِّى جَـعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا قَالَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِى قَالَ لاَ يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّـلِمِينَ – وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا الْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَمْناً وَاتَّخِذُواْ مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَهِيمَ مُصَلًّى وَعَهِدْنَآ إِلَى إِبْرَهِيمَ وَإِسْمَـعِيلَ أَن طَهِّرَا بَيْتِىَ لِلطَّآئِفِينَ وَالْعَـكِفِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ – وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَهِيمُ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَـذَا بَلَدًا آمِنًا وَارْزُقْ أَهْلَهُ مِنَ الثَّمَرَتِ مَنْ ءَامَنَ مِنْهُم بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ قَالَ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَأُمَتِّعُهُ قَلِيلاً ثُمَّ أَضْطَرُّهُ إِلَى عَذَابِ النَّارِ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ – وَإِذْ يَرْفَعُ إِبْرَهِيمُ الْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ وَإِسْمَـعِيلُ رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّآ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ – رَبَّنَا وَاجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِنَآ أُمَّةً مُّسْلِمَةً لَّكَ وَأَرِنَا مَنَاسِكَنَا وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَآ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ – رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولاً مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَـتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ العَزِيزُ الحَكِيمُ – وَمَن يَرْغَبُ عَن مِّلَّةِ إِبْرَهِيمَ إِلاَّ مَن سَفِهَ نَفْسَهُ وَلَقَدِ اصْطَفَيْنَـهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَإِنَّهُ فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ لَمِنَ الصَّـلِحِينَ – إِذْ قَالَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ أَسْلِمْ قَالَ أَسْلَمْتُ لِرَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ – وَوَصَّى بِهَآ إِبْرَهِيمُ بَنِيهِ وَيَعْقُوبُ يَـبَنِىَّ إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَى لَكُمُ الدِّينَ فَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إَلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ – أَمْ كُنتُمْ شُهَدَآءَ إِذْ حَضَرَ يَعْقُوبَ الْمَوْتُ إِذْ قَالَ لِبَنِيهِ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن بَعْدِى قَالُواْ نَعْبُدُ إِلَـهَكَ وَإِلَـهَ آبَآئِكَ إِبْرَهِيمَ وَإِسْمَـعِيلَ وَإِسْحَـقَ إِلَـهًا وَاحِدًا وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ – تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُم مَّا كَسَبْتُم وَلاَ تُسْـَلُونَ عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

O Children of Israel, remember My favor which I have bestowed upon you and that I preferred you over the worlds. And fear a Day when no soul will suffice for another soul at all, and no compensation will be accepted from it, nor will any intercession benefit it, nor will they be aided. And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham was tried by his Lord with commands and he fulfilled them. [Allah] said, “Indeed, I will make you a leader for the people.” [Abraham] said, “And of my descendants?” [Allah] said, “My covenant does not include the wrongdoers.” And [mention] when We made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security. And take, [O believers], from the standing place of Abraham a place of prayer. And We charged Abraham and Isma’il, [saying], “Purify My House for those who perform tawaf and those who are staying [there] for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer].” And [mention] when Abraham said, “My Lord, make this a secure city and provide its people with fruits – whoever of them believes in Allah and the Last Day.” [Allah] said. “And whoever disbelieves – I will grant him enjoyment for a little; then I will force him to the punishment of the Fire, and wretched is the destination.” And [mention] when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Isma’il, [saying], “Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing. Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” And who would be averse to the religion of Abraham except one who makes a fool of himself. And We had chosen him in this world, and indeed he, in the Hereafter, will be among the righteous. When his Lord said to him, “Submit”, he said “I have submitted [in Islam] to the Lord of the worlds.” And Abraham instructed his sons [to do the same] and [so did] Jacob, [saying], “O my sons, indeed Allah has chosen for you this religion, so do not die except while you are Muslims.” Or were you witnesses when death approached Jacob, when he said to his sons, “What will you worship after me?” They said, “We will worship your God and the God of your fathers, Abraham and Isma’il and Ishaq – one God. And we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.” That was a nation which has passed on. It will have [the consequence of] what it earned, and you will have what you have earned. And you will not be asked about what they used to do. [79]

Evidences from narrations, traditions and the sayings of the Salaf

The narrations concerning the identity of the sacrificial son prove three things:

1) Muslims are free from bias as even those narrations are present that have Ishaq -peace be upon him-’s name

2) All bases of such traditions are people of the book

3) People of knowledge agree that Isma’il -peace be upon him- was offered for sacrifice

Tafsir Ibn Jarir has narrations from Sahaaba (companions) that have opposing views even so that both views are stated from the same Sahabi (companion). We find both opinions from Ali, Ibn Abbas, Abu Huraira, Mujahid, Qatadah and Hassan -may Allah be pleased with them. This shows that the Sahaaba would have gone through this discussion among them and we find their original and revised opinion in the form of what appears to be contradicting views. These contradicting views originated because of the reliance on the people of the book as Hafiz Ibn Kathir states:

The mazhab of one group of people of knowledge is that the sacrificial son was Ishaq -peace be upon him. This is narrated from a group of Salaf and some Sahaaba as well but this opinion is not proven from the book or Sunnah. In my view, the bases behind all these narrations are scholars from the people of the book. From them such traditions have been taken without any proof or evidence.

Regarding the identity of the sacrificial son, Ibn Kathir states:

Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Amir Ash-Sha`bi, Yusuf bin Mihran, Mujahid, `Ata’ and others reported from Ibn `Abbas that it was Isma`il, peace be upon him. Ibn Jarir narrated that Ibn `Abbas said, “The one who was ransomed was Isma`il, peace be upon him. The Jews claimed that it was Ishaq, but the Jews lied.” It was reported that Ibn `Umar said, “The sacrifice was Isma`il.” Ibn Abi Najih said, narrating from Mujahid, “It was Isma`il, peace be upon him.” This was also the view of Yusuf bin Mihran. Ash-Sha`bi said, “It was Isma`il, peace be upon him, and I saw the horns of the ram in the Ka`bah.” Muhammad bin Ishaq reported from Al-Hasan bin Dinar and `Amr bin `Ubayd from Al-Hasan Al-Basri that he did not doubt that the one of the two sons Ibrahim was commanded to sacrifice was Isma`il, peace be upon him. Ibn Ishaq said, “I heard Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi say, `The one whom Allah commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice of his two sons was Isma`il.’ We find this in the Book of Allah, because when Allah finishes the story of the one of the two sons of Ibrahim who was to be sacrificed, He then says:

(And We gave him the glad tidings of Ishaq — a Prophet from the righteous), and

(So, We gave her glad tidings of Ishaq and after Ishaq, of Ya`qub) (11:71).

He mentions the son and the son of the son, but He would not have commanded him to sacrifice Ishaq when He had promised that this son would in turn have a son. The one whom He commanded him to sacrifice can only have been Isma`il.” Ibn Ishaq said, “I heard him say that often.” Ibn Ishaq reported from Buraydah bin Sufyan bin Farwah Al-Aslami that Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi told them that he mentioned that to `Umar bin `Abd Al-`Aziz, may Allah be pleased with him, when he was Khalifah, while he was with him in Syria. `Umar said to him, “This is something about which I have never given any thought, but I see that it is as you say.” Then he sent for a man who was with him in Syria, a Jew who had become a Muslim and was committed to Islam, and he thought that he had been one of their scholars. `Umar bin `Abd Al-`Aziz, may Allah be pleased with him, asked him about that. Muhammad bin Ka`b said, “I was with `Umar bin `Abd Al-`Aziz. `Umar said to him, `Which of the two sons of Ibrahim was he commanded to sacrifice’ He said, `Isma`il. By Allah, O Commander of the faithful, the Jews know this, but they were jealous of you Arabs because it was your father about whom Allah issued this command and the virtue that Allah mentioned was because of his patience in obeying the command. So they denied that and claimed that it was Ishaq, because he is their father.”’ `Abdullah bin Al-Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “I asked my father about which son was to be sacrificed — was it Isma`il or Ishaq” He said, “Isma`il.” This was mentioned in Kitab Az-Zuhd. Ibn Abi Hatim said, “I heard my father say, `The correct view is that the one who was to be sacrificed was Isma`il, peace be upon him.”’ He said, “And it was narrated that `Ali, Ibn `Umar, Abu Hurayrah, Abu At-Tufayl, Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Mujahid, Ash-Sha`bi, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, Abu Ja`far Muhammad bin `Ali and Abu Salih, may Allah be pleased with them all, said that the one who was to be sacrificed was Isma`il.” Al-Baghawi said in his Tafsir, “This was the view of `Abdullah bin `Umar, Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, As-Suddi, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Mujahid, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi and Al-Kalbi.” This was also reported from Ibn `Abbas and from Abu `Amr bin Al-`Ala’.

(And We gave him the glad tidings of Ishaq — a Prophet from the righteous.) having given the glad tidings of the one who was to be sacrificed, who was Isma`il, Allah immediately follows that with mention of the glad tidings of his brother Ishaq. This is also mentioned in Surah Hud (11:71) and in Surat Al-Hijr (15:53-55).

(a Prophet) means, from him there will come a righteous Prophet.

(We blessed him and Ishaq. And of their progeny are (some) that do right, and some that plainly wrong themselves.)

We can therefore safely conclude that the sacrificial son according to the Qur’an and the Torah was none other than Prophet Isma’il –peace be upon him- and any misconception among the Muslims was purely due to the reliance or confusion created by the Israelite books and traditions.

Indeed, Allah knows the best.


[2] Jeremiah 22:9-36

[3] Jeremiah 8:8-9

[4] John 10:8

[5] Genesis 4:4

[6] Numbers 18:17-18

[7] Exodus 13:1-2

[8] Deuteronomy 21:15-17

[9] Deuteronomy 10:8-9

[10] Deuteronomy 18:1-3

[11] Numbers 6:5-9

[12] Deuteronomy 12:5-7

[13] Exodus 40:22-29

[14] Genesis 21:14

[15] Genesis 23:2

[16] Genesis 17:18

[17] Qur’an 14:37

[18] Genesis 25:9

[19] Genesis 21:5

[20] Genesis 22:2

[21] Genesis 15:2-4

[22] Genesis 16:15

[23] Genesis 17:18

[24] Genesis 21:11

[25] Genesis 22:4

[26] Sinai and Palestine p. 250

[27] Lectures on the Jewish Church p. 48

[28] Qur’an 3:71

[29] Judges 7:1

[30] Judges 8:22-24

[31] Genesis 37:25-38

[32] Malik’s Muwatta, Book of Hajj 20, section 56, Hadith no. 187

[33] Genesis 17:19-20

[34] Genesis 24

[35] Genesis 25:11

[36] Genesis 25:7

[37] Genesis 25:26

[38] Genesis 17:16-20

[39] Genesis 25:5-6

[40] Genesis 25:9

[41] Genesis 17:18

[43] Leviticus 14: 12-24, Numbers 6:5-9, Numbers 6:18

[44] Leviticus 17:9

[45] 1 Kings 8: 12-35

[46] Exodus 27:9

[47] Exodus 40:21-24

[48] Genesis 25:18

[49] Genesis 16:12

[50] Genesis 17:20

[51] Deuteronomy 4:7-8

[52] Qur’an 2:124-125

[53] Deuteronomy 12:2–4

[54] 1 Kings 14:23

[55] Qur’an 37:97-114

[56] Qur’an 14:39

[57] Genesis 17:17

[58] Qur’an 51:29

[59] Qur’an 37:102

[60] Qur’an 11:71

[61] Qur’an 37:101

[62] Qur’an 51:28

[63] Qur’an 37:102

[64] Qur’an 21:85

[65] Qur’an 53:37

[66] Qur’an 19:54

[67] Qur’an 37:113

[68] Qur’an 37:109

[69] Qur’an 37:78-83

[70] Qur’an 37:120-123

[71] Qur’an 37:130-133

[72] Qur’an 5:15

[73] Genesis 16:3 calls Hagar as the wife of Abraham –peace be upon them.

[74] Qur’an 3:70-71

[75] Qur’an 5:15

[76] Qur’an 3:96-99

[77] Qur’an 2:151-161

[78] Qur’an 14:37

[79] Qur’an 2:122-134

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