Who had the covenant? Ishmael or Isaac?
The story of Abraham, Ishmael and Hagar (May the mercy and blessings of Allah be on them all) is found in the Bible, much skewed and corrupted from the pure Islamic version. The reason this is so is because the book of Genesis, undoubtedly written by some Jewish Rabbi of the past would certainly be biased in his understanding of history between the two forefathers. There would be in him, whoever he was, the desire to paint his own ancestry, that is the seed of Isaac, in the brightest of colors, whereby either purposely or inadvertently condemning the rival (I.e. Ishmael) as the negative end of the spectrum. In other words, a Jew most certainly wrote Genesis, so Isaac, the father of the Jews and Abraham’s son, is presented in this blessed light, and Ishmael, the father of the Arabs is whereby presented in somewhat dark euphemisms, and foisted on him is the subtle racism and condescending attitude of the author.
This being said, it is evident that my own assumptions are true, because of the many gaps and inconsistencies which are clues left to us by the True and Almighty God in the Biblical account, which point us in the direction of the truth (I.E. of the Islamic version.)
1. Abraham (saas) was told by God that a Great Nation would come from him. (Genesis 12:2-3)
2. Sarah, Abraham’s wife doesn’t bear children at first. (Genesis 16:1)
3. Sarah whereby allowed Abraham to MARRY Hagar (Genesis 16:3) -This defeats the evangelical claim that Ishmael was illegitamite. Hagar conceives Ishmael. (genesis 16:4)
4. Later Sarah has Isaac. (Genesis 21:2)
So far so good. The story here is quite clear. A Prophecy for a great nation was said to come from Abraham. After Sarah seemingly cannot conceive, Hagar becomes Abraham’s second wife and conceives Ishmael. Later Sarah actually does conceive and has Isaac.
Biblical points which hold true to the Islamic perception of Ishmael and the pure lineage of Muhammad (saas):
1. Ishmael was Abraham’s first son. (Genesis 16:4)
2. God said that Hagar’s seed would be multiplied exceedingly. (Genesis 16:10)
3. God said Ishmael was blessed! (Genesis 17:20)
4. Ishmael is clearly called ‘Abraham’s seed’ by God. (Genesis 21:13)
4. God repeats His promise to make Ishmael a great nation FIVE TIMES! (Genesis 15:4) (Genesis 16:10) (Genesis 17:20) (Genesis 21:13) (Genesis 21:18)
From here the Islamic version and the Biblical account part ways. The Muslim holds that it was in fact Ishmael who had the covenant and not Isaac, whereas the bible states the opposite. The Muslim holds that it was Ishmael who was to be sacrificed and not Isaac, and again, the Bible states the opposite. The Muslim version states that both Isaac and Ishmael were pure blameless children of Abraham, both revered, whereas in the Biblical account, Isaac is revered and Ishmael is seen as a mean-spirited outcast. Let us review the shameful and undoubtedly corrupted view of Ishmael in the Bible:
1. Ishmael is called a ‘wild donkey of a man’: (Genesis 16:12)
2. Ishmael and his descendants are going to be known as troublemakers (Genesis 16:12)
3. Ishmael is considered illegitamite (This is a Christian claim which no Bible verse supports.)
4. Ishmael makes fun of Isaac and teases him: (Genesis 21:9)
5. Ishmael and his mother are cast out from Abrahams’ family (Genesis 21:10)
Now let us lay these preposterous and slanderous claims to rest.
Ishmael a wild donkey of a man?
This is where it becomes evident that the prejudice of the author seeps through. The Christian must remember that the Islamic view of the Bible is that it is corrupted, and history attests this, especially that of the Old Testament. God himself attests this in the Old Testament, saying, "How can you say, 'We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us'? But, behold, the false pen of the scribes has made it into a lie.” (From the RSV Bible, Jeremiah 8:8) -So it is admitted within the Bible itself, that the Old Testament is corrupted. No independent scholar accepts the preposterous view that the first 5 books of the Bible were written by Moses as evangelicals claim. This indeed would be quite impossible because otherwise Moses refers to himself in the third person and even writes about his own death and the month that follows it.
Therefore, if the Islamic view of the Bible is that it is corrupted (Not wrong, but not always right either) then it is very well possible, from this viewpoint that the entire story of Ishmael and Isaac is skewed, handled malisciously from the pen of some overzealous rabbi who could not ignore fully his own prejudice and wishes, but yet also could not ignore fully the facts of history, being that both Ishmael and Isaac were blessed, revered and of highly esteemed moral character. Starting from this point we can see through the authors slanders and see to the truth, and that is that this particular verse, that is the verse of Ishmael being a ‘wild donkey’ of a man is an overly obvious forgery, and opinion of whoever the mildly racist author of this book is. –And his intent is quite clear. He wants to prove that the lineage of the Jews is pure, and that no non-jew could ever partake in the pure lineage of Abraham. This is undoubtedly the authors intention, because he goes to great lengths to ‘prove’ it. Consider the ‘all-to-convenient’ verbiage of Sarah as interjected by the author: “Wherefore she said to Abraham, ‘Cast out this bondwoman and her son: For the son of a bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.’” (21:10).
As to the authors intention to show that the blood and lineage of the Jewish people is untainted, consider the fact that according to the Bible, Abraham and Sarah were brother and Sister! (Genesis 20:12.) This same author is the one who insulted the Prophet Lot by saying he had an incestuous drunken relationship with his two daughters, (Genesis 19:36) And Jacob was married to two sisters at the same time: (Genesis 29:28). The intention is clear, that the author of Genesis is either a pervert obsessed with incest, or he slanders honorable prophets with false stories of Incest in order to show that the blood of Isaac and his descendants (The Jews) is pure. It is for this reason the author feels the need to slander Ishmael and foist on him the false story of being ‘cast out’ of the family of Abraham. –It is also clearly, based on the evidence, a big lie. Ishmael was not a wild donkey of a man, but the author of Genesis sure was!
Ishmael and his descendants will ‘be against all men?’
The Bible says of Ishmael: “…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.” (Genesis 16:12)
In recent times this is probably the most oft-repeated verse against Ishmael and the Muslims used by Christians to prove a plethora of points. All one needs to do is point to the news to see that seemingly Ishmael’s seed truly is ‘against all men’ and ‘all men are against him.’ It is, to them, proof positive that the Bible is the word of God.
But there is a problem with this theory, and that is quite simply that only recently could this be applied. It wasn’t until the decline of the Ottomon Empire in the 1700’s that the Islamic world experienced a regression leading to a downward spiral of corruption, hopelessness, and violence.
One need not point out the fact that the oldest and indeed one of the first colleges on earth was founded by Muslims and is still on the earth today (Al-Azhar.) It is evident that whilst Europe was sunk in the dark ages, the civilized Muslims revived the learning of Aristotle and Plato, who otherwise would have been forgotten. There was a time when Baghdad, for example, was called, ‘The greatest city on earth.’ -And this title was given it by European scholars. Was it because the Arabs of Baghdad were mindless killers against all men? Of course not! It was because they were civilized learners who enjoyed a thriving economy! In fact, it was the Muslims who saved the Christians in their lands from the conquests of invaders, and it was the Turkish Muslims who later protected the Jews who fled persecution from Spain. Was it not the Muslim Salahaddin who granted all Christians in Jerusalem amnesty despite that fact that when Muslims were run out of Jerusalem years earlier the Christians boiled Muslim children alive in pots?
So there is well over a thousand years of the Muslim empire (now known as the Golden age of Islam) in which this whimsical sentence in the Bible was utterly false, and any attempt to apply it to Muslims would be deemed laughable by even the Christians! So what is more logical? To say this verse is true, when it has only been true for the past 100 years at best, which represents not even a glimmer in the existence of Islam, or to say that this is the interjection of some ancient Jew who had, as seen above, his own wicked intentions?
Ishmael is considered illegitimite?
This one I really don’t get. The Bible clearly states that Hagar and Abraham were married. (Genesis 16:3) Abraham is also spoken of in highly respected terms in the Bible? How is it that this highly respected Prophet had a child with a woman whom he was married to, and by the logic of some evangelicals this = illigetamite?
Of course not! So how can this be deemed an instance with which to judge Ishmael and say he was therefore excluded from the covenant? Based on what we have seen so far, we need not even address the last two biblical accounts of Ishmael teasing Isaac and whereby being cast out, as this is another obvious forgery by the baised author, whoever he was.
The Bible Had Ishmael and Isaac Confused!
The most common question to be asked by the Christian then is, how can the Muslims believe that Ishmael was to be sacrificed and not Isaac, and that Ishmael got the covenant, when the Bible clearly states otherwise? Well, not to beat a dead horse, but the Muslim view of the Bible is that it is corrupted. So automatically, any story which contradicts Islamic teachings we view with skepticism. As seen already, the author of Genesis, where we find the account of Ishmael and Isaac, is also extremely baised. These facts alone are a red flag to the logical thinkers that just to accept this story as 100% authentic as it is presented in the Bible would be a great error.
With that being said, let us examine the story in the Bible again, and show that the author made some grave errors in his writing which proves that Ishmael and Isaac were confused:
The Bible states that Abraham was 99 years old when Ishmael was circumcised. Ishmael was 13 at the time. (Genesis 17:24-27)
Exactly one year later Isaac is born. (Genesis 21:4-5) So if Abraham was 99 when Ishmael was circumcised a year earlier, that would mean when Isaac is born, he is 100 years old, and Ishmael is 14.
Then comes the story of the sacrifice in the Bible: In Genesis 22, God tells Abraham to take ‘Thine ONLY son Isaac…’ -WHAT? Ishmael is 14 at the time? Why does the Bible refer to Isaac as Abrahams ONLY son? Many Christians will say that this is because God here is making it clear that Isaac is the only heir to the covenant, and that is why God refers to Isaac as ‘The ONLY son..’ but God clearly calls Ishmael the seed of Abraham according to Genesis 21:13, so such conclusions are impossible. The only conclusion is that the author of Genesis had Ishmael and Isaac confused.
Consider when Ishmael is cast out with Hagar into the desert in Genesis 21. What are the descriptions of Ishmael? Pay close attention to the following descriptions:
A. Ishmael is tucked under shrubs (Genesis 21:15)
B. He is called a ‘lad’ (Genesis 21:18, 20)
C. Hagar holds Ishmael in ONE HAND (Genesis 21:18)
Clearly the author is referring to an infant. But Ishmael is 14 at the time, how would he be tucked under shrubs and held in one hand of a weak woman who was dying of thirst? Why is he called a lad? Would this not more aptly apply to the infant Isaac who was only a year old and not to Ishmael who is a teenager?