The Islamic Bulletin
The Islamic Bulletin
I am a very devout Christian
who was recently introduced
to Islam. I enjoy reading The
Islamic Bulletin very much and
look forward to each issue.
There is just one question, how-
ever, that has been bothering
me from your last issue. It was
stated that it was the Prophet
Ismael who was going to be
sacrificed by his father, Prophet
Abraham. I have been taught in
Christianity that it was Prophet
I never knew until reading the
Islamic Bulletin, that Islam be-
lieves that it was the Prophet
Ismael. Now I am confused. I don’t know which one is right. Please
clarify it for me.
Your Christian Brother,
Carlos Rodriquez, San Francisco
First of all, I would like to thank you for writing and in response
to your statement, please refer to the following sections from the
Bible: “After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him,
‘Abraham! And he said, Here am I.’ God then said, ‘Take your son,
your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah,
and offer him there as burnt offering upon one of the mountains
of which I shall tell you.” (Genesis 22:1-2).
There is a glaring contradiction in this statement. It says that God
asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac for Him and also
emphasizes that he is the only son. Other statements of the Bible
clearly show that Isaac was not the only son, “Now Sarai, Abraham’s
wife, bore him no children. She had an Egyptian maid whose name
was Hagar; and Sarai said to Abraham, ‘Behold now the Lord has
prevented me from bearing children; go into my maid; it may be
that I shall obtain children by her.’ And Abraham harkened to the
voice of Sarai. So, after Abraham had dwelt ten years in the land of
Canaan, Sarai, Abraham’s wife took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid,
and gave her to Abraham, her husband, as a wife. And he went
in Hagar, and she conceived.’ (Genesis 16:1-4). And in the same
chapter we find, “And the angel of the Lord said to her, ‘Behold,
you are with child, and shall bear a son; you shall call his name
Ishmael!’ (Genesis 16:1-4) And in the same chapter we read, ‘And
Hagar bore Abraham a son; and Abraham called the name of his
son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. Abraham was eighty-six years
old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abraham.” (Genesis 16:15-16).
Thereafter when Abraham was a hundred years old he was giv-
en the good news of the birth of his second son, Ishaque from
Sarai, “And God said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai, your wife, you
shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will
bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her... and you
shall call his name Isaac...”
Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all the slaves born in
his house or bought with his money, every male among the
men of Abraham’s house, and he circumcised the flesh of their
foreskins that very day as God had said to him.
Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised
in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael, his son was thirteen
years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.”
(Genesis 17: 15-25).
Another section of the Bible mentions the time of birth of Isaac
in these words, ‘Abraham was a hundred years old when his son
Isaac was born to him.’ (Genesis 21-5).
A cursory glance at the above statements of the Bible will show
that Ishmael was the only son of the Prophet Ibrahim right up
to the age of fourteen. If Prophet Ibrahim was commanded to
sacrifice his only son, it could be only Ishmael and not Ishaque
because the latter was not his only son but second son.
The statements in the Qur’an discussed above explicitly point
out that The Almighty asked Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son
Ishmael when he was his only son and also establish first; that
when Ibrahim had no children, he prayed to The Almighty for
a virtuous child (Qur’an 37:100) and was given the good news
of the birth of a gentle and patient boy (Qur’an 37:101).
And second; when that child was able to run and play, then
Prophet Ibrahim was asked to offer him in sacrifice (Qur’an
37:102). Third; it leaves no doubt that the good news was the
birth of his first child and sacrifice was also of the first child who
was the only child of Prophet Ibrahim. That child was Ishmael
beyond any shadow of doubt.
Fourth; the words used by the Qur’an when giving the good
news of the birth of his two sons, Ishmael and Ishaque (Isaac),
also seem to point out the different qualities of the two boys.
For Ishmael it uses the words “gentle and patient boy” (Qur’an
37:101) and for Ishaque “boy possessing wisdom and knowl-
edge” (Qur’an 15:53). Fifth; it seems more rational and reason-
able to deduce from the language used in the Qur’an regarding
the good news of the birth of Ishaque that he could not be the
boy who was demanded in sacrifice.
When the Qur’an gives the good news of the birth, it also gives
the good news of Ibrahim’s grandson, Yakub (Jacob), from
Ishaque (Isaac) (Qur’an 11:71). It seems very illogical that the
prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) is given good news of the birth of a son
and also a grandson from him and, at the same time, he is asked
to sacrifice the same son.
This totally rules out the birth of a grandson from the same son.
Besides, when the news of the birth of Ishaque (A.S.) was given,
Ibrahim (Abraham) (A. S.) was told that he would be a prophet
and one of the righteous (Quran 37:112) and also that his grand-
son would be of the righteous and would receive revelation for
human guidance. (Qur’an 21:72-73).
This clearly points out that the Command of sacrifice was not
for Ishaque (A.S.) but for the other son who was patient and
was born many years before him. I hope this will answer your
Editor, Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186
San Francisco, CA 94141-0186, USA
USSR - D
London: Re-evaluation of the stereotypes concerning anti-religious
propaganda is under way in Soviet academic circles. The long history
of Muslim civilization, especially in Central Asia, speaks for itself. Athe-
ism has failed. Presently, any attack on religion is not encouraged nor
can it hope to succeed. Rather, in a subtle and sophisticated manner,
government officials are taking care of the needs of the religious com-
munities as long as there is no proliferation of tendencies detrimental
to the present government. Mr. K. Moldobaev, the Vice Chairman of
the USSR Council for Religious Affairs, has eloquently enumerated
the facilities the Muslims have been given lately (see Pravda Vostoka,
January 8, 91). Apart from mentioning the increase in the mosques,
which according to him now stands at 1500, and preparation for the
translation of the Holy Qur’an into different languages, he pointed
also to the so-called democratic freedomof the official Muslim clergies
who can now be elected to the Soviet parliament. But what seems to
be contradictory to the democratic process is that again and again the
official media has attacked the formation of the Islamic Revival Party.
The latest criticism came from Pravda Vostoka (February 1, 91) sug-
gesting that Muslims should neither form a party nor can they belong
to any political organization for it is against Islam. The Muslims are
advised to be content with what is being provided by the government.
Without any linkage, the daily blames the Muslim Brotherhood party
for creating tension in the Muslim World and paints an image of the
Islamic Party intent on establishing a theocratic regime in USSR.
The Islamic Party is seen as a threat to the new Soviet law of religion and
the official religious leaders are equally raising their voice against it. Mufti
Sadiq Mohammed Yusupov, Chairman of the Religious Board of Central
Asia and Kazakhstan, has dismissed the party as illogical and absurd. Islam
itself, according to him, is a party and the Holy Qur’an as its constitution.
Amsterdam: The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated
countries in the world, with an estimated 14.6 million inhabitants
in an area slightly larger than Massachusetts and Connecticut com-
bined. The vast majority - 97% are ethnic Dutch and Christian. The
Muslim community is estimated to number about 400,000 people,
most of them originally “guest workers” from Turkey and Morocco.
Smaller numbers came from Indonesia and Suriname, countries with
former colonial connections to Holland, and from Pakistan. There
are also those who have newly embraced Islam - mostly Dutch
women who have married Muslims - as well as the so-called “sec-
ond generation”: Dutch-born children of the Muslim immigrants.
Singapore: The World’s first ever Muslim food and technology ex-
hibition will be held in August. The show named as International
Muslim Food Exhibition (IMFEX), is being organized by the Singa-
pore-Malay Chamber of Commerce.
Hajji Abdul Kadir Hajji Elias Ali, Vice President of the Chamber said
the exhibition would raise awareness about the business potential for
trade in Halal (lawful) food products, the only kind of food Muslims
can consume. He pointed out that nearly one billion Muslims in the
world consumed an estimated $60 billion worth of Halal food last
year. Singapore’s export of the Halal food products to the Middle
East increased by 30% in 1988 to $124 million.
Halal food products have been a major area of concern for the Inter-
national community of Muslims. Western food companies have been
hitherto exporting food prepared out of several religiously prohibited
ingredients to theMuslimnations. However,mostMuslimcountries now
insist on proper slaughter of the animals formeat purpose and avoidance
of lard, gelatin, and similar derivatives from their food products.
And Here in the US...
New York: The New York Times quoting the head of the Mosques
Council in USA reports that Islam has become the most popular
religion among Black Americans.
Six million of them, most of Asian and African origins have accepted
Islam. At least a million Black Americans have become Muslims. It is
the fastest growing religion in the U.S. The Black Muslims are mostly
from cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and Ohio.
The Muslims have established several Islamic Centers and over 500
mosques all over the U.S. Black Muslims have been very active in
propagating the Islamic Dahwah (open invitation.) In New York State
alone there are 112 mosques today compared to three back in 1953.
Islam is flourishing in the US which it an encouraging phenomenon.
New York: On June 25th, Siraj Wahaj, the Imam of Masjid al-Taqwa,
in Brooklyn, New York, offered the daily prayer at the House of
Representatives on the Capitol Hill yesterday. Imam Wahaj prayed
and called upon The Almighty God to guide the U.S. leaders...and
grant them righteousness and wisdom.
Muslim Aid is a Charity Relief Agency founded in 1985 and is sup-
ported by 18 trustees, representing the major MuslimOrganizations
in the United Kingdom. Since its commencement Brother Yusuf
Islam (Cat Stevens) has acted as the Chairman.
Zakat, Sadaqah andother donations, inorder tohelp theneedyMuslims in
manyparts of theWorld. Theorganization responds toemergencies caused
by natural disasters such as floods and droughts, by distributing food, medi-
cine, clothing, drinkingwater andproviding shelter directly to the people in
of war, especially widows, orphans and the elderly.
The overseas activity reflects the organizations policy of avoiding the
governments in the distribution of funds and ensuring that the funds
are utilized properly and distributed according to the donors’ wishes.
For further information, please contact:
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London E1 1WP
Ph: +44 (0)20 7377 4200
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