When Ibrahim sought proof in the star, the moon and the sun, he was fifteen months old. In his comments on S. As He perfected it formerly on thy fathers : by appointing them as messengers. The Tafsir of the verses cited above has been described on the assumption that the son who was to be slaughtered was Sayyidna Isma'll.
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This is because reports of both views are attributed to them. Out of the latter commentators, Hafiz Ibn Jarir at-Tabari has preferred the first view , while Hafiz Ibn Kathir and others have not only gone by the second view, but have also refuted the first one. Here, it is not possible to present a critique of arguments advanced by the two groups.
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- Abraham and the Child of Sacrifice - Isaac or Ishmael??
Nevertheless, in terms of the descriptive arrangement of the noble Qur'an and the strength of Hadith narrations, the weightier view seems to be that the son of Sayyidna Ibrahim who was commanded to be slaughtered was but Sayyidnii Isma'il. We conclude this section of citations by quoting the work of Reuven Firestone, an author that has spent considerable time analyzing the Islamic reference works regarding this particular issue, as well as other topics related to Abraham, Ishmael and the Arabs:. Most reports treating the Sacrifice directly or indirectly relate to the issue of who was the intended victim, and the intensity of interest in this matter is reflected in the great amount of space devoted to it.
One hundred thirty authoritative statements consider Isaac to be the intended victim; one hundred thirty consider it to have been Ishmael. Al-Suhayli is arguing against the pro-Ishmael view that because God had already promised Isaac his son Jacob and would not contradict His own revelation, Isaac could not have been intended. His argument is based on grammatical analysis. Says al-Suhayli:. It is impossible in Arabic to make a single sentence [out of these two] without a preposition.
According to the argument, the revelation could have occurred at two different times if it were made up of two separate sentences. The first revelation would have occurred before the command to sacrifice Isaac; the second afterwards, therefore solving the problem of contradictory revelations. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. The promise of the land of Israel and the redemption of the peoples of the earth through his son with Sarah:.
I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her. This is important. It was to be fulfilled through his son, Isaac, the firstborn of Sarah through who came the nation of Israel, the Jewish people and the redeeming Savior of the peoples of the earth, Jesus Christ. But what had Abraham and Sarah already done before Isaac was born?
Back in chapter 16, Sarah, lamenting her barrenness, told Abraham to go in to her maid, Hagar, and conceive by her. Perhaps because he doubted, perhaps he became impatient, Abraham, after listening to the voice of God for so many years, took things into his own hands and listened to the voice of his wife. Painting: Hagar and Ishmael by Abel Pan. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.
This is important, too. This child was Ishmael through who came the nations of the Arab peoples and, eventually, Islam and the greater Islamic world.
Hagar conceived Ishmael and, immediately after this, we read that she began to despise Sarah [Genesis ]. Sarah, also, despised Hagar because she had conceived a child [Genesis ]. After this, Sarah treated her so badly that Hagar attempted to flee. Abraham was greatly troubled by this but God told him not to worry and to do what Sarah said reminding him the promise was to be through Isaac [Genesis ]. Ishmael was not to be heir with Isaac, however, out of His mercy, God also promised to make Ishmael a great nation because he was a son of Abraham.
And it is from this nation that Islam eventually came. And of the son of the maid I will make a nation also, because he is your descendant. Joel Richardson, author and teacher of eschatology, describes it this way:. Ishmael is a fourteen year old boy. He preserves him. He promises to make him into a great nation.
This happened to a little kid named Ishmael. And so what we need to understand is you have this little boy and… he had a dad. He had a mother. He had a family.
Ishmael, Our Brother
He had a life. He had an inheritance. And in one day he loses all of these things. He loses his dad. He loses his inheritance.
The Promises to Abraham
And that brokenness, that woundedness, that rejection that took place in this little child, today, has been passed on into the religion of Islam. What do I mean?
Two thousand six hundred years after these events took place, a direct descendant of Ishmael named Mohammed birthed forth a new religion into the world. And what does the religion teach? God has no Son. And, thirdly, Ishmael, not Isaac, is the heir with regard to the promises of God to the earth. In a country with one of the largest Muslim populations in the world, I'm delighted to present Encountering the World of Islam to the Evangelical Christian community in Nigeria.
The training not only equips, it builds a confidence that urges us on to reach the world of Muslims with the love of Christ. Encountering the World of Islam stands out from the many books that are written and published on Islam. It is written with great respect and a desire to understand Muslims. The authors do not try to impose Christianity but desire to connect with Muslims in the language of their culture, so that believers in Islam can understand the beauty of the Savior and choose him with all their heart.
As we see God on the move in the Muslim world, more and more equipped workers are needed. Those going full-time into ministry to Muslims as well as those at home reaching out to their Muslim neighbors will greatly benefit from this comprehensive course. Encountering the World of Islam is an important part of what we recommend for ministry preparation. This is the most significant training tool of its kind that I have ever seen. All of us who love Muslims will want to study it and try to give the course and the book wider circulation.
All of God's people need exposure to this great research and challenge. Islam is at the crossroads. The next few years could herald sweeping changes and unprecedented opportunities for Christian witness in the Muslim community. It is imperative that we prepare ourselves with a biblical and historic understanding of Islam that enables us to communicate the gospel to the Muslim heart.
Encountering the World of Islam is designed to provide this foundation. Perspectives on the World Christian Movement is one of the best introductions to God's heart for the world and what he is doing around the world. I am thrilled that there is now a similar course focusing on the world of Islam, and I am excited about how God is going to use it among his people to build a passion to see Muslims come to Christ.
One of the best next steps that I know of is the Encountering the World of Islam course. Whether God has already blessed your church with a burden to reach Muslims or He is awakening desire, this course is an absolute must. We are very encouraged with the amazing breakthroughs that are occurring as the Lord Jesus builds his church among Muslim peoples. We trust that Encountering the World of Islam will be an effective tool to encourage many more believers to get involved with what the Lord is doing.
A very practical and interactive course that will deepen the student's understanding of Islam and help in developing more effective ways of relating to Muslims. This is a valuable resource for anyone interested in Muslim work. As we move further into the 21st century, God is moving in unprecedented ways to fulfill His mission of discipling the nations. Unreached people groups are being engaged with the gospel and church growth movements are accelerating the harvest.
Although the Muslim world continues to be a formidable barrier to global evangelization, this stronghold is showing signs of crumbling. Encountering the World of Islam is an organization training Christians and churches around the world to understand and relate to diverse Muslim communities from the Middle East to Southeast Asia and European cities.
This updated volume is a valuable tool for anyone who is conscientious about being God's instrument to bring the Sons of Ishmael into His kingdom. At a time when issues concerning Muslims and Islam are in the national and international news almost every day, it's vital that every Christian in the UK should know how to relate to Muslims and have a better understanding of their faith and life. Encountering the World of Islam is a well thought out and well tested programme which emphasises the importance of building relationships, understanding Islam, and bearing witness to our Christian faith.
If members of every congregation could engage with this course, they would help to equip and motivate the whole church to relate to Muslims with greater awareness and courage. Keith Swartley and his colleagues deserve great credit for producing Encountering the World of Islam. It is the single most comprehensive tool available for Christians seeking to understand Islam and reach Muslims with the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.