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The sacrificial son Ishmael or Isaac


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The sacrificial son Ishmael or Isaac

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The sacrificial son Ishmael or Isaac

  1. 1. The Sacrificial Son - Ishmael or Isaac (Ismail or Ishaq)? By Ebrahim SaifuddinCONTENTSIntroductionDoes it Matter who the Sacrificial Son was?Does it really make the Bible Superior?So who was the Sacrificial Son? Evidence from Concerned Verses Other Places in the Quran More Evidence Evidence from Basic LogicHow did the Concept of Isaac being the SacrificialSon Arise?Deception by Christian Missionaries Does the Bible say it was Isaac? Bible Says Hagar was Abraham’s Wife Bible Describes the Relationship between Abraham and SarahCONCLUSION
  2. 2. IntroductionIn the early traditions there seems to be a difference of opinion among some Muslims asto which son of Abraham was supposed to be sacrificed. There were some who held theopinion that it was Isaac who was to be sacrificed by Abraham. This view of theirscoincided with the one presented in the Bible. Certain Christian missionaries, when theyfound out about this difference of opinion, have tried to play this up to prove that it wasindeed Isaac who was sacrificed even according to Islam and that the sacrifice of Ishmaelis just a tale created by the Muslims later on. They also conclude that because thesacrificial son is not mentioned by name in the Quran and that the place of sacrifice isnot mentioned by name hence the Bible is superior.Does it Matter who the Sacrificial Son was?It is a fact that there seems to be a difference of opinion among people but this differenceof opinion does not prove that the Quran is not a Word of God nor does it even remotelyprove that the Bible is superior to the Quran. Even if for a moment and for argument’ssake we agree that Isaac was indeed the one who was the sacrificial son, lets analyze ifthat makes the Bible superior in any way. Muslims believe that some parts of the Word ofGod exists in the Bible hence if this information is correct in the Bible it makes nodifference to the historical evidence and the Quranic stand that the Bible has beencorrupted over time and that the Quran acts as a guardian over the Bible. To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety. – [Quran 5:48]What is important in the story is not who was sacrificed but the moral of the story.Whether it was Ismail or Ishaq, is not as much relevant as the missionaries would want alayman Muslim to believe and the evidence for this exists in the Christian argument thatearlier there remained a difference of opinion among Muslims regarding this issue.Although there was a difference, that changed not the lesson derived from the story nordid it change the Islamic Shariah derived from the Quran and Hadith. Additionally itcertainly did not change what Islam truly is or the fact that Islam is the true religion andQuran is the preserved Word of God or that Prophet Muhammad (saw) is indeed aMessenger of Allah (swt).Does it really make the Bible Superior?As far as the missionaries going to the extent that this makes the Bible a revelation that ismuch superior, lets analyze the two stories as in the Bible and the Quran and see whichof the two is indeed superior in essence. We will take a look at the conversation betweenthe father and the son as seen in the Bible and the Quran just before the sacrifice: “And Isaac said to his father Abraham, ‘My father!’ And he said, ‘Here am I, my son.’ He said, ‘Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’ Abraham said, ‘God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.’ So they went both of them together.” – [Genesis 22:7-8]
  3. 3. Notice in the above verses that Abraham lied to his son regarding the sacrifice sayingthat God will provide the lamb for the sacrifice. This means that this story does not setfor us the best moral example. Did Abraham know that Isaac would rebel or run away ifhe would tell him that it is him who is to be sacrificed? Was Isaac not going to submithimself to the Will of God? Some Christians might argue that according to these versesAbraham already knew that God will provide the lamb hence he was not telling a lie. Theproblem then is that if Abraham knew that God would replace Isaac with a lamb thenhow does this serve to be a test for Abraham. Let’s not forget that in Genesis 22:1 it statesthat this was a test for Abraham.Here is the story as seen in the Quran regarding the conversation between the father andthe son: “Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: ‘O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!’ (The son) said: ‘O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills one practicing Patience and Constancy!’” – [Quran 37:102]We find Abraham telling his son truthfully that he is to be sacrificed and wishes to alsoknow his opinion. The son is found to be as much a person who submits to the Will ofGod as Abraham and tells his father that he is willing to be obedient to the command ofGod and will be patient and forbearing.A comparison indeed shows which revelation is superior. This in itself is sufficient toshake the foundations of the missionary conclusion that because Bible mentions thename and Quran does not hence Bible is superior – A conclusion that is at best amusing.So who was the Sacrificial Son?The Christian missionaries go on quoting from Tabari, Qurtubi, Tanwir al-Miqbas minTafsir Ibn Abbas and Tafsir al-Jalalayn among few other sources like MuhammadHukayle’s book “The Life of Muhammad” and a quote from an audio recording of aspeech by Hamza Yusuf to prove that there was a difference of opinion among the peopleregarding who the sacrificial son really was. Their effort is futile and serves no purpose.Quoting people to prove that there was a difference of opinion does not prove that theone who was sacrificed was indeed Isaac or that the Quran is not the Word of God butthe Bible is. While they try to emphasize those who said that it was Isaac, theyconveniently overlook those who say that it was Ishmael.It is pointless to go on listing the people who thought that the sacrificial son was Ishmaelor those who thought that it was Isaac in order to prove who the sacrificial son really wasespecially when the lists of names overlap where one name is recorded to have statedboth the opinions. To find out which son was to be sacrificed one needs to analyze thedata present.Evidence from Concerned Verses
  4. 4. The verses in the Quran that talk about this incident are from Surah As-Saaffat (Chapter37). The concerned verses are 37:100-112 and below they are listed along with a verse toverse explanation: "O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!" – [37:100]Here we find Abraham praying to God to grant him a son who will be a righteous person.Abraham did not have any sons yet and he is praying to God for a son. So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear. – [37:101]And God says that He gave him the good news of a son whom God describes as‘Haleema’ – The patient forbearing one. Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: "O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!" (The son) said: "O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills one practicing Patience and Constancy!" – [37:102]This is the verse which talks about the dream which Abraham received and the sonproves to be the one who is patient (‘As-Sabireen’). So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice), We called out to him "O Abraham! "Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!" - thus indeed do We reward those who do right. For this was obviously a trial- And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice: And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times: "Peace and salutation to Abraham!" Thus indeed do We reward those who do right. For he was one of our believing Servants. – [37:103-111]These nine verses only relate to us that both the father and the son had submitted theirwill to Allah (swt) i.e. they were true Muslims. Abraham passed the test and the sacrificewas ransomed. Allah (swt) then assures the believers that He beyond a shadow of doubtrewards the righteous. And We gave him the good news of Isaac - a prophet, - one of the Righteous. – [37:112]This verse is important in order to determine if the son could be Isaac. After thesacrificial scenario God then later gave Abraham the good news of the birth of Isaacwhom God describes to be a prophet and no Muslim denies that indeed Isaac was aprophet.More importantly we see that the son who was supposed to be sacrificed was referred toin the Quran as the patient one (‘As-Sabireen’). The same description is given to Ishmaelby name in another verse of the Quran and is not used for Isaac:
  5. 5. And (remember) Ismail, Idris, and Zul-kifl, all (men) of constancy and patience (‘As-Sabireen’). – [Quran 21:85]Ishmael was among the ones who were patient, the exact trait by which the sacrificial sonis described. This further strengthens the argument that it is Ishmael who was thesacrificial son and not Isaac.Qurtubi, in his Tafsir on Chapter 37 Verse 102, adds that the people who advocated it tobe Ishmael, in addition to evidence from Chapter 21 Verse 85, also gave evidence fromSurah Maryam (Chapter 19) verse 54 which describes Ishmael as the one who is true tohis promise. They state that Ishmael was true to his promise to Abraham regarding himbeing patient while he is sacrificed: ْ‫اِﺣﺘﺞ ﻣﻦْ ﻗَﺎ َ إ ﱠ ُ إِﺳ َﺎ ِﯿﻞ : ِﺄن اﻟﱠﮫ ﺗ َﺎﻟَﻰ وَﺻﻔَﮫ ِﺎﻟﺼﺒْﺮ ُون إِﺳْ َﺎق ﻓِﻲ ﻗَﻮْﻟﮫ ﺗ َﺎَﻰ : " َإِﺳ َﺎ ِﯿﻞ َِدْ ِﯾﺲ َ َا اﻟﻜﻔْﻞ ُﻞ ﻣﻦ‬ ِ ّ ‫و ْﻤ ﻋ وإ ر وذ ْ ِ ﻛ‬ ‫َﻌ ﻟ‬ ‫ﺤ‬ ‫َ ُﺑ ﱠ ِد‬ ‫ﺑَ ﱠ ﻠ َﻌ‬ ‫ْ َ ﱠ َ ل ِﻧﮫ ْﻤ ﻋ‬[ 54 : ‫اﻟ ﱠﺎ ِ ِﯾ َ " ] اﻟْﺄﻧﺒ َﺎء : 58 [ و ُﻮ ﺻﺒْﺮه ََﻰ اﻟﺬﺑْﺢ , وَوَﺻﻔَ ُ ﺑِﺼﺪْق اﻟْﻮﻋْﺪ ِﻲ ﻗَﻮْﻟﮫ : " إ ﱠﮫ َﺎنَ َﺎ ِق ا ْﻟﻮﻋْﺪ " ] ﻣَﺮ َﻢ‬ ‫ْﯾ‬ َ ‫ِﻧ ُ ﻛ ﺻ د‬ ‫َﮫ ِ ِ َ ﻓ‬ ‫َھ َ َ ﻋﻠ ﱠ‬ ‫َ ْ ِﯿ‬ ‫ﺼ ﺑﺮ ﻦ‬ ِ ‫; ِﺄ ﱠ ُ و َ َ أ َﺎه ﻣﻦ ﻧﻔْﺴﮫ اﻟﺼﺒْﺮ ََﻰ اﻟﺬﺑْﺢ ﻓَﻮَ ﱠﻰ ﺑ‬ ‫ﻓ ِﮫ‬ ‫ﱠ ﻋﻠ ﱠ‬ َ ْ ِ ُ ‫ﻟَﻧﮫ َﻋﺪ َﺑ‬Other Places in the QuranNow let us analyze another place in the Holy Quran where Allah (swt) gave glad-tidingsof Isaac. This is found in Surah Hud (Chapter 11) verse 71: And his wife was standing (there), and she laughed: But we gave her glad tidings of Isaac, and after him, of Jacob. – [Quran 11:71]Now God had given the glad-tidings of a son and also a grandson from Isaac. Hence ifGod already promised to give them Isaac and a son from Isaac, why would God askAbraham to sacrifice Isaac. This would then mean that Abraham knew that Isaac will bereplaced in which case this couldn’t possibly be a test for Abraham.Ibn Jarir responded to the evidence from 11:71 by saying that God could have asked forthe sacrifice after the birth of Isaac. This argument is quite weak as seen from theevidence present in the Quran. The evidence is there in 37:102 which states that as soonas the boy was of the age to work with his father, Abraham saw the dream. It does not saythat as soon as the boy was married and had a child called Jacob, Abraham saw thedream. Moreover when we look at the Quranic verses over all especially the context ofthe verses in Chapter 37 (as explained above) we see that this was not a possibility andthat the sacrifice incident took place even before Isaac was born. The Bible also confirmsthat Abraham was asked to sacrifice his only child. I will explain this point later on inthis paper. Qurtubi in the tafsir of Chapter 37 verse 102 mentions Ibn Abbas as amongthe ones who advocated the sacrificial son to be Isaac. Later on in the tafsir of the sameverse Qurtubi mentions Ibn Abbas as an advocate of Ishmael. So here there is adifference of opinion on the opinion of Ibn Abbas as well. This point will also beexplained later on in this paper.More EvidenceDuring Hajj, Muslims were taught by the Prophet Muhammad (saw) himself, to stone 3pillars, each at a distance from one another. These pillars represent Satan who tried tomislead Abraham from performing the sacrifice. Abraham did not give in to the evilwhispers of Satan and pelted him with pebbles. Isaac was never in Mecca and thus couldnot have possibly been the son whom Abraham was taking for the sacrifice. The only son
  6. 6. of Abraham who was in Mecca was Ishmael and thus logic only proves it that it wasIshmael who was taken for the sacrifice and Satan tried to mislead Abraham. It would beillogical to assume that Abraham set foot from Mecca to go to sacrifice Isaac and insteadof Satan trying to mislead Abraham when he would be closer to his son; he tried inMecca and then gave up for the rest of the lengthy journey. It is easier to mislead aperson when he is close to whom he loves and when some time has passed by. Initially itwould be harder to mislead Abraham because he just saw the vision and was acting uponit. Later as time would pass by it would be easier to mislead the person. Hence it wouldonly be logical for Satan to try to mislead Abraham when he was near Isaac.Qurtubi also quotes a narration which is as follows: “Al-Asmaai said: I asked Aba-Amro Ibn Al-Alaa about the sacrificed, then he said: O, Asmaai! Where is your brain? Since when was Isaac in Mecca? Ishmael was in Mecca, and he is the one who built the house of Allah (Al-Kaaba) with his father and the sacrificial site in Mecca.” – [Rough English Translation of Qurtubi’s Tafsir on Chapter 37 Verse 102]Further Qurtubi also quotes a narration from Prophet Muhammad (saw) as well which isas follows: And it was transferred from Prophet Muhammad (saw) that he said: "The sacrificed was Ishmael". – [Rough English Translation of Qurtubi’s Tafsir on Chapter 37 Verse 102]Moreover, Maududi writes with reference to Ibn Kathir the following in his tafsirregarding this issue: Authentic traditions confirm that the horns of the ram which was slaughtered as a ransom for the Prophet Ishmael remained preserved in the Holy Kabah till the time of Hadrat Abdullah bin Zubair. Afterwards when Hajjaj bin Yusuf besieged Ibn Zubair in the Kabah and demolished the Kabbah, the horns also were destroyed. Both Ibn Abbas and Amir Shabi; testify that they had seen the horns in the Kabah (IbnKathir). This is a proof of the fact that the event of the sacrifice had taken place in Makkah and not in Syria, and concerned the Prophet Ishmael. That is why a relic of it had been preserved in the Holy Kabah built by the Prophets Abraham and Ishmael. – [Maududi Vol. 4]However as I previously stated, my approach to this topic is not to list the sayings quotedby Qurtubi or Tabari or others in favor of Ishmael but rather an analysis of the verses inthe Quran and using logic. By making a list of people in favor of Ishmael against the listof people in favor of Isaac would not prove anything but the fact that there was adifference of opinion. The point of this paper is not to prove that there could have been adifference of opinion but to determine the sacrificial son’s identity.Evidence from Basic LogicIt is known that Abraham did not have a child due to which he was pretty upset. He wasquite old now and still he had no children. This is very depressing for people even today.Couples try various methods even today to be able to reproduce and become parents.They will try in vitro fertilization and some who may not be able to afford or may nothave access to such technology would even opt to adopt a child. Childlessness can indeed
  7. 7. be very depressing. At such a point when Abraham had his first born son, Ishmael, thejoy and happiness would be beyond measures. Then God asking Abraham to sacrificethat child is truly a test of submission. It would be heartbreaking for any of us to be toldto sacrifice our first born who was born after many years of marriage. This would be thetrue test and as the whole idea of sacrificial son was to test Abraham, there could be nobetter test than for him to sacrifice Ishmael, the first born.Hence even if we use basic logic it proves that it is only logical for the sacrificial son to beIshmael as opposed to Isaac.How did the Concept of Isaac being the Sacrificial SonArise?Ibn Kathir gives the answer to this question which many may ask. He states that all thesayings in which Isaac has been mentioned as the sacrificial son are related through K’abAl-Ahbar. He became a Muslim during the time of Umar (ra) after listening to Chapter 4Verse 47 of the Quran. He would relate from the Jewish and Christian traditions. OtherMuslims listened to this and got confused regarding the truth with the falsehood fromK’ab Al-Ahbar.Ibn Kathir states regarding K’ab Al-Ahbar: Al-Bukhari recorded that Humayd bin `Abdur-Rahman heard Mu`awiyah talking to a group of Quraysh in Al-Madinah. He mentioned Ka`b Al-Ahbar, and said: "He was one of the most truthful of those who narrated from the People of the Book, even though we found that some of what he said might be lies. I say, this means that some of what he said could be classified linguistically as lies, but he did not intend to lie, because he was narrating from manuscripts which he thought were good, but they contained fabricated material, because they did not have people who were so conscientious in memorizing the Scriptures by heart as the people of this great Ummah.Maulana Maududi takes this a step further in addressing the same question. He states: This thing is further explained by a tradition from Muhammad bin Kab al-Kurzi He says that once during his presence the question whether the son offered as a sacrifice was the Prophet Isaac or the Prophet Ishmael arose before Hadrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz. Among them at that time was a person who had been a Jewish scholar but had become a sincere Muslim afterwards. He said, "O Commander of the Faithful! By God it was Ishmael, and the Jews know it, but claim on account of their jealousy of the Arabs that it was the Prophet Isaac." (Ibn Jarir). When the two things are put side by side, it becomes evident that actual it was the Jewish propaganda that spread among the Muslims who have always been unbiased in scholastic literary matters, a large number of them accepted the statements of the Jews as a historic truth, which they presented as historical traditions with reference to the ancient scriptures, and did not realize that these were based on prejudice instead of knowledge. – [Maududi Vol. 4]
  8. 8. Christian missionaries have been trying desperately to prove that Islamic sources attestthat it was Isaac who was to be sacrificed. However we can now see that they have failedmiserably in trying to manipulate the Islamic sources.Deception by Christian MissionariesThe Christian missionaries have tried to prove a couple of points which are alreadyrefuted in the beginning of this paper. Their methodology is to quote only those sayingwhich suggest that Isaac was the one to be sacrificed. This does not prove anything but infact proves their deceptive ways of trying to prove their point. Had they been honest andquoted the arguments for Ishmael, the readers would have noticed that one name isquoted in one place to be talking about Isaac being the sacrificial son and in the otherplace of the same source that same name is quoted advocating that Ishmael was thesacrificial son. This alone would be sufficient to ring a bell in any readers mind. Why arethe same people in one tradition quoting one name and in another quoting the othername?The missionaries have quoted Yusuf Ali’s commentary regarding 37:102 as follows: "At what stage in Abrahams history did this occur? ... It was obviously after his arrival in the Land of Canaan and after Ishmael had given up years of discretion. Was it before or after the building of the Kabah...? There are no data on which this question can be answered. But we may suppose it was before that event, and that event may itself have been commemorative."Then they try to conclude that there is no data from pre-Islamic period or archaeologywhich confirms that Abraham and Ishmael were ever in Mecca thus trying to imply thatthey were never in Mecca. This argument is again a deception being created by theChristians. Yusuf Ali states that there is no data regarding the time of the sacrifice ofIshmael. Even if we take the comments of Yusuf Ali to be cent percent true, it does not inany way suggest that they never were in Mecca. Moreover even if we for a momentbelieve that there is no data of the existence of Ishmael and Abraham in Mecca, does thatmean that the Quran is a false book? If so, then I would like the Christians to provearchaeologically that there was a man named Adam and a woman named Eve whowalked on this earth. If they fail then they should consider the Bible to be an invalidbook. This deceptive methodology of theirs is mirthful.Does the Bible say it was Isaac?The answer to this question depends on which Bible one is referring to. If we arereferring to the corrupted version which the Christians have then yes it mentions Isaacby name. If we are talking about the actual revelations of God, then it does not mentionIsaac.Evidence? It’s in the same corrupted version of the Bible.The Bible mentions this story in the following verse:
  9. 9. He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." – [Genesis 22:2]According to biblical account, Ishmael was the first born son of Abraham. Also afterquite a number of years Isaac was born so Ishmael was the only son to Abraham all thistime. Thus when the Bible says “your only son” it obviously refers to Ishmael. Howeverhuman intervention which is rooted in the history of the Bible caused the change ofname. The Hebrew word used for only is ‘yachiyd’ (pronounced: yaw-kheed) which asdefined by “Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions” means ‘only, one, solitary,unique and only begotten son’. This without a doubt proves that the Bible is referring tothe only begotten son and only Ishmael held this status of being the only begotten son ofAbraham till the time Isaac was born. Note that the verse tells Abraham to sacrifice hisonly son and thus refers to Ishmael. If it would have told Sarah to sacrifice her only sonthen the Christian stand of it being Isaac could have held some ground.Of course the Christians or the Jews will not accept that and state that Hagar was never awife to Abraham and was just to cohabit with him.Bible Says Hagar was Abraham’s WifeLet’s analyze the verse first which is related to the issue of the relationship betweenHagar (Hajra or Hajira in Arabic) and Abraham: And Sarai, Abrams wife, took her slave-girl, Hagar, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife – [Genesis 16:3]Note the verse says that Hagar was given to Abraham to be his wife.The Hebrew word used there is “ishshah” which is pronounced as ‘ish-shaw’.This word has been defined by “Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions” as thefollowing: 1) Woman, wife, female 1a) woman (opposite of man) 1b) wife (woman married to a man) 1c) female (of animals) 1d) each, every (pronoun)So we can see that this word means “wife” in the literal sense and not in any other sensethat the Christian missionaries would like people to believe. Hence their claim thatHagar was not married to Abraham and thus Ishmael was a bastard crumbles down.Let us now take a look at “Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible” and seewhat this famous commentator of the Bible has to say regarding the relationship ofAbraham and Hagar: We have here the marriage of Abram to Hagar, who was his secondary wife. Herein, though some excuse may be made for him, he cannot be justified, for from the beginning it was not so; and, when it was so, it seems to have
  10. 10. proceeded from an irregular desire to build up families for the speedier peopling of the world and the church.Or let’s look at “Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible” which states: And Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar - and gave her to her husband - to be his wife - There are instances of Hindoo women, when barren, consenting to their husbands marrying a second wife for the sake of children; and second marriages on this account, without consent, are very common.This pretty much sums up what the relationship was between Hagar and Abraham. Trulyshe was his legitimate wife and thus Ishmael was a legitimate son. Ishmael without adoubt was the first born son of Abraham and the only son who held the position of beingthe “only begotten son” for many years till Isaac was born. So it becomes obvious that theinsertion of the name Isaac in Genesis 22:2 is indeed the works of human intervention.It is also important to note that while certain Christian missionaries wish to claim thatHagar was just a concubine, there is not even one instance in the entire Old Testamentwhere this word “ishshah” is used to mean a concubine. This is conjecture by certainChristian missionaries who have become helpless and thus need to use deception to savetheir face.Bible Describes the Relationship between Abraham and SarahGenerally Christians claim that according to the Bible Sarah was Abraham’s wife.However the biblical side of the story shows a different aspect to it as well. In GenesisChapter 12, Abraham and Sarah went to Egypt and there Abraham feared that theEgyptians will kill him if they found out that Sarah was his wife. So he tells Sarah to tellthem that she is his sister. Here we see that Abraham feared for his life and thus opted tolie regarding this. Christians might claim that he lied because he feared for his life andfor argument’s sake we will be gracious enough not to make this an issue. However thestrange part happens later on when Sarah was taken into the Pharaoh’s house andJehovah sent a plague in the house of the Pharaoh and it affected the Pharaoh as well.Pharaoh then asks Abraham why he did not tell him that she was his wife. Anyways thePharaoh lets them go and they leave the place.A similar incident is seen in Genesis Chapter 20 where due to the same reasons as inChapter 12, Abraham says that Sarah is his sister. Abimelech took Sarah and that nighthe had a dream to return Sarah to Abraham for she is his wife otherwise Abimelech willdie. Abimelech asks the same question to Abraham and Abraham gives the reason thathe feared his life. But in addition to that he adds further: And yet she really is my sister, daughter of my father; only not daughter of my mother. And she became my wife. – [Genesis 20:12]Abraham explained that Sarah was his half sister. Would that not make Isaac a childborn out of incest? The Christian missionaries spend time calling Ishmael an illegitimateson when the relationship as described by the Bible is legitimate but they convenientlydo not inform their readers about the relationship between Abraham and Sarah asdescribed by the Bible itself. If Ishmael is not counted as a ‘real son’ to Abraham becausethe missionaries say that the relationship between Abraham and Hagar was illegitimate
  11. 11. then Isaac cannot be counted as a ‘real son’ either as he was born out of incest accordingto the biblical sources.Now some missionaries might claim that this was lawful at that time by the Law of God.If it was lawful, then if we accept for a minute their wild theory that Hagar was only forthe purpose to reproduce with, then why is it so hard for them to accept that at that timethis could be a legitimate relationship by the Law of God at that time?However as we have seen, Hagar was a legitimate wife of Abraham thus destroying themissionary argument that Ishmael cannot be the first born. Ishmael was indeed the firstborn and undeniably the one who was the sacrificial son.CONCLUSIONIn this detailed paper we analyzed the entire situation as seen in the Quran, the Bibleand in the early Islamic sources. In the end there remains no doubt that the sacrificialson was no other than Ishmael. This is seen in the Quran and the Bible. The desperateeffort by the handful missionaries has been refuted in entirety and it is a time whenpeople should come towards and accept the preserved Word of God – Al-Quran.