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Who was offered as sacrifice Isaac or Ishmael?


The bible says that Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his son Isaac, but in islam they say it was Ishmael that. Which one is right?

asked October 22, 2012

5 Answers


In Islam, we don’t really argue about who it was because that doesn’t matter. The Holy Qur’an does not lay claim to his name for a reason.
If you go and open the very preliminary pages of The Holy Qur’an, you will find that it speaks of itself being a book for the spiritual guidance and nurturing of the soul for those who approach it correctly. This means that all of what is in The Holy Qur’an has an ultimate end to benefit our spirituality.
Coming to the ‘Abraham’s son’ issue- we can infer that as The Holy Qur’an has not mentioned anyone’s name, it doesn’t matter- The knowledge of why it was serves no spiritual purpose and hence has not been mentioned.


Qudous73 said it perfectly, to elaborate further on his answer you could read this article:

Who was Abraham commanded to sacrifice Isaac or Ishmael?


It could be either one. Many of the early exegists of the Quran, and companions of the prophet, and early Muslims ie salaf al-salihin, they have made discused on it. In my very traditional tafsir Tafsir al mazhari by Qadhi Sanaullah Panipathi says that many of them proposed it was Isaac, just as many opoined it was Ishmael.


It’s a really ireentsting book. And this belief in the various nations each having an angel goes way back. You’ll find it in Daniel for instance. I’ve always found it fascinating. Within the Judean/Christian worldview, it provided answers to a number of questions: 1.) Why do the nations have different gods? Note that they didn’t deny that these beings were supernatural creatures, but that they denied them supreme divine authority, reckoning them as fallen angels. Paul is explicit on this point (1Cor 8.5-6 and Gal 4.8-9). This makes sense of things like the oracles and epiphanies in these other cultures. They were considered to be real supernatural events, but that the beings perpetrating them were masquerading as true gods, knowing that they were only (fallen) angels.2.) How do we make sense of the implications in the OT that there are other gods besides the God of Israel? With number 1 above, the worship of God is then seen not as monolatry, but true monotheism, and the divinities of other nations serve at his behest. This even appears in Psalm 82. They are only gods by proxy, intermediaries with God the only true divinity, the God of Israel.3.) Why are the laws and mores of other nations so different? Because they were given by those fallen angels in order to lead those nations astray.All of these ideas are reflected not only in Jubilees and Enoch, but in the later literature when it touches on the subject in the Qumran documents and in the Christian and Rabbinic writings. I love this stuff!


The Holy Torah says it was Yitzhak (Isaac).

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