THE FIRST SON OF
By Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed
From the historical and theological points of view Abraham is acknowledged as the Father of the three accepted revealed religions, i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Judaism and Christianity came through the lineage of Isaac and Islam through Ishmael.
There is no doubt of the fact that Father Abraham was a righteous person. In the Bible his righteousness is recognized, as it says that he is at present, dwelling in Paradise. An example of where he is, can be found in the incident involving the poor pious man. The Bible records this as follows:
And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. (Lk.16:22)
Father Abraham was a wealthy missionary. He travelled extensively as far as Egypt preaching and teaching the people that there is only One Creator of the universe and no creature can be compared with Him.
As he carried on his mission he was all the time concerned about the important fact that there should be someone to carry on his mission when he will no longer be able to do so. He used to pray all the time to the Lord to bless him with a righteous son. This prayer of his is recorded in the Holy Qur’an in the following verse:
O my Lord; kindly bestow on me a righteous son. So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear. (37:100-101)
This good news is also recorded in the Bible as follows:
What aileth thee, Hagar? Fear not, for God hath heard the voice of the lad, and hold him in thine hand, for I will make him a great nation. (Gen.21:17-18)
According to what is recorded in the Bible, Ishmael is the first legitimate son of Abraham. Ishmael was born when Sarah, his wife requested him to have her slave Hagar, as, it can be possible that they can have children through her. This request was made, and permission given to her husband, after it was established that she could not have children.
The Bible records about this in the following verses:
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife bare him no children; and she had a hand-maid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram; Behold now, the Lord restrained me from bearing; I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived……………And Hagar bare Abram a son; and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. (Gen.16:1-16)
Abraham lived with Sarah and Hagar for ten years in Canaan, and he never had anything to do with the hand-maid of his wife. It was only when she gave him permission to take her as a wife, that he agreed with the request.
Both the Bible and the Qur’an recognize Ishmael as the first son of Abraham. In the Qur’an, Allah says:
Tell them about the guests of Abraham; when they entered his presence, and said; Peace. He said; We feel afraid of you. They said: Fear not. We give you the glad tidings of a son endowed with wisdom. (15:51-53)
From what is contained in the two Holy Books, the first son of Abraham is Ishmael. He was the answer to the old man’s prayer, as, he used to beg the Lord daily to bless him with a son that will be able to persevere with patience.
It is unfortunate that Christianity does not recognize him, as he is not connected to the Israelites in any way. It is also unfortunate that they accuse that pious, old man who was taken to Paradise, after his death, of being a victim of lust, while he lived on earth.