Ibrahim (Abraham)

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According to Islamic scriptures, Ibrāhīm (إبراهيم‎, Abraham) was a patriarch of both the Jews and the Arabs, and an ancient prophet described as being both a "Muslim" (lit. one who submits) and of a "pure" monotheism (also known as a Hanif).[1] The Qur'an further describes Islam as being "the religion of Abraham", or millat Ibrahim, at least seven times.[2] Unlike Islam, neither Judaism nor Christianity teach that Abraham was a prophet.

Ritual significance in Islam

Although it is not specified in the Qur'an or Hadith, most Islamic scholars believe it was Ibrahim's son Ishmael who he attempted to sacrifice to Allah. Quran 2:125-127 places the two of them in Arabia where they rebuilt the Ka'aba.

Both the Hajj ritual, one of Islam's Five Pillars, and the Eid al-Adha festival are described by Islamic scriptures as commemorating events from Ibrahim's life.


There is no archaeological or historical evidence in support of the Islamic narrative of Ibrahim's life, and it is especially difficult to maintain that he ever set foot in Mecca or built the Kaaba. Additionally, the oldest stories about Abraham (found in the Torah), place Isaac on the sacrificial altar, and not Ishmael, as Islamic scriptures claim.

The Egyptian Professor and foremost authority on Arabic literature, Dr. Taha Husayn, has said regarding the historically problematic, Islamic narrative of Ibrahim's life, "The case for this episode is very obvious because it is of recent date and came into vogue just before the rise of Islam. Islam exploited it for religious reasons."[3]

See Also

External Links


  1. Quran 3:67
  2. Quran 2:130, Quran 2:135, Quran 3:95, Quran 4:125, Quran 6:161, Quran 12:38, Quran 16:123, Quran 22:78
  3. As quoted in Mizan al-Islam by Anwar al-Jundi, p. 170