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The Islamic Bulletin

Issue 5

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The Islamic Bulletin

Issue 5

Dear Editor:

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








Web Address:


Editor, Islamic Bulletin

P.O. Box 410186

San Francisco, CA 94141-0186, USA









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...



- T














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:

Muslim Aid

PO Box 3

London E1 1WP

United Kingdom

Ph: +44 (0)20 7377 4200

Fax:+44 (0)20 7377 4201