The Story of Ismael

The Story of Ismael,

The Sacred Texts

Those who practice Islam believe that the texts of the Bible and the Torah have been adulterated. In any case, they accept them more as revelations than as divine. And it is, therefore, that they show their abhorrence of the idea of adultery, which is manifested in the sacred texts.

They take as a reference the passage in which God urges Abraham to take his son, his only son Isaac. According to this version, then, the name that should be indicated here is Ishmael, because Isaac was not born at that time.

It is believed that the name was changed, without the word “only” being changed. The same shows what the error is and thus reveals how the text was adulterated.


Both Jews and Christians, have the firm belief that Isaac was superior to Ishmael since Sarah was the legitimate wife and Hagar was his Egyptian slave.

“…Sarah, Abraham’s wife, took Hagar, the Egyptian slave and gave her to Abraham her husband as a wife…”.

Genesis 16:3

It could be presumed then that Hagar was the second wife. Moreover, polygamy was a common practice at that time.

From this point of view, the Islamic version is supported under the same perception, because at that time it was a patriarchal society, it would undoubtedly be the unique and irrefutable primogeniture, of Ishmael.

About the institution of marriage, which took place between two foreigners, it was legal, but if there were children they were considered illegal. Considering that Abraham was Chaldean and Hagar was Egyptian.

Likewise, a marriage between two foreigners was more legal than one between a man and his half-sister.

Genesis 20:12 states that:

“and indeed Sarah also is my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother.”

Biblical quotations defend the position

Concerning other quotations from the Bible, which have been used to make the Islamic point of view a defense, we find, for example, that of Genesis 21:13: which indicates textually:

“Also of the son of the maidservant, I will make a great nation, for he is your seed.”

Genesis 21:18, says textually:

“Arise, lift the lad (Ishmael) and hold him in your hand, for I will make of him a great nation.”

Based on the quotations a question arises…

If two great nations were to be formed, through Abraham, why despise so much, or make a marked difference between the two sons? In the same way, it is possible to argue, for example, that the Mosaic Law.

It has a very clear form, assigning what is related to the right of one of the sons over the other. Since, in this case, it is Ishmael over Isaac.

The vision of the Bible

According to the Bible, in Deuteronomy 21:15-17, it is possible to observe something about someone who finds himself in a situation like that of Abraham with his two sons, Ishmael and Isaac.

If a man had two wives, one beloved and the other despised and both gave birth to that man’s children. If it is the son of the despised one, in the day when it is time to give inheritance to his children, whatever he has, it cannot be given to the son he has had with the beloved.

The firstborn of the beloved shall have no more right over the son of the despised because the firstborn of the despised was born first. Then the son of the despised one would be the firstborn, for which reason, he will have to give him two times as much of all that he has since it says textually:

“… because that is the beginning of his strength, the birthright is his…”.

Islam recognizes Ishmael

As for Islam, it does not deny God’s blessings to the person of Isaac and his offspring. Nor does it disparage the significance of his lofty hierarchy.

Likewise, within the Qur’an, there is no great difference between the two sons of Abraham. This is, above all, when making a comparison between what is the Bible and the Torah.

However, for Islam, the promise, that is to say, the firstborn, is Ishmael, who according to Muslims, later came to the prophet, Muhammad. He, for Islam, became the last prophet, who fulfilled the seal of the prophets.

The vision of the Baha’is

The Baha’is consider Ishmael as the firstborn son, the one who should be sacrificed and not Isaac. In this case, there are coincidences with the Muslims, even though no great importance is given to this particular subject.

The Grace of a Son

After so much praying to God, he granted him the grace of having a son, even though he was at an advanced age. So, this son was given the name of Isaac, who was then considered the legitimate heir.

It was then when Sarah, demanded her husband, Abraham, to expel Hagar, as well as Ishmael, from their paternal home and that is when they began to wander in the desert and an angel appeared to them giving them indications where they found a source of living water when they were very bad and quite dehydrated.

The descendants, called Ishmaelites, proceeded to settle, between the borders corresponding to Egypt and the Persian Gulf, where Mohammed himself, was the one who erected Ishmael at the head of his genealogy.

The obedience of Abraham and Sarah to have a son

In a place that was not so far from Babel, there was another city, which had the name of Ur where there was no worship to only one God, but many gods were worshipped at the same time. In Ur, there was a man (Abraham), who professed a deep love for God.

This is how Abraham had an encounter with God and was told to leave his home and all his relatives. To go to a place, which would show him.

It is then that God makes the promise that he will become a very great nation. Furthermore, through him, he will be able to do wonderful things for all the inhabitants of the earth…

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