Before I reverted to Islam, one of the many things that excited me was that I found Islam in the Old Testament. In Genesis 16 it says this
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”
Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.
The Old Testament and the Quran both speak of Sarah and Hagar and of Ishmael (Hagar’s son) and of Isaac (Sarah’s son).. both the offspring of Abraham. Both the OT and the Quran talk of Hagar and Ishmael being removed from Abraham’s household and going to the desert. Both the Old Testament and the Qu’ran talk of them thriving there.
Ishmael and Isaac are both the sons of Abraham and the streams of faith that connect them are called the Ibrahamic faiths. Christians around the world are today praying for Muslims and will do so throughout the month of Ramadhan in the mistaken belief that Muslims need their prayers due to some deficiency in faith perhaps even believing the God of the Jews and Christians is NOT the same God as that of the Muslim. Maybe even some Muslims believe this. Truth is.. there is only ONE GOD Who is the Creator of Mankind.. and in Arabic both Christians and Muslims call Him Allah. and He alone is the One worthy of worship.
Today I feel compelled to remind my Christian readers that the bible speaks clearly that God would be with Ishmael and Ishmael’s progeny and that Allah is calling Christians to return to the knowledge of Him as ONE.. just as Abraham called the people of His Day to renounce polytheism and to worship the One True God.
God Himself in the Bible narrative came to Hagar in the desert through the angel and
10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”
11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:
“You are now pregnant
and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
for the Lord has heard of your misery.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward all his brothers.”
13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
The name Ishmael means “God Hears”.. and according to both the Bible and Quran, Allah heard Hagar’s cry and not only supplied her with water, but also with a promise .. That of Abraham’s son Ishmael .. Christians always read the words “His hand will be against everyone, but forget it also says.. “everyone’s hand will be against him”.. distrust was two way.. not just one way.
In Genesis 17 we read something else that most Christians forget when they think of Islam.. According to the Bible, Abraham was promised a son from Sarah. He heard of the wonderful covenant that was between him and God and He prostrated before God in accepting it.. but notice the first thing he says at the end of the words of God about the Isaac legacy..
18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”
19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.
23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen;26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day.27 And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him
Ishmael was always part of the covenant that God made with Abraham about his progeny.. and lest any would belittle the promise of God to Abraham.. read Chapter 21 of Genesis where the story is revisited with more detail
Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.
17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid;God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. 21 While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.
For anyone to say that the God of the Muslim is not the God of the Christian or the Jew is to deny a promise that God/Allah Himself made as part of the Abrahamic Covenant. The message that both Isaac and Ishmael gave to their people .. the Jews and the Muslims was one and the same.. “Hear oh Israel/Muslim The Lord your God, The Lord is ONE God and Him only shall you serve.” Jesus Himself repeated those same words when He answered the question asked of Him ”
6 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
the Greatest Commandment “
In response to Satan offering him the worship of the world according to the New Testament narrative .. Jesus replied in Luke 4:8
“But Jesus replied “It is written.. Worship the Lord Your God and serve Him only
Christians are taught in Romans 9:6 that “for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable”
The belief system of all Abrhamic faiths can be summarised in the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14 and in the words of Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, all the Prophets, Jesus and Mohammad
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”
This is Islam! Submission to the One True God and the Only One Worthy of Worship.