“Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”” Gen. 22:1-2

In Jewish tradition, Abraham had ten trials, the offering of Isaac being the final.  We note that no specific trials are given by God to Abraham after this portion of narrative, and likewise there is no recording of any additional altars built by Abraham.  After the trial, Abraham is at a point in his relationship with God where he knows with certainty that the promises made by God, concerning the land and numerousness of his descendants, will now come to pass.

God is exceedingly specific, and gentle, as He tells Abraham which son He is referring to.  We must bear in mind that Ishmael (Abraham’s only other son), along with Hagar, was sent away in Genesis 21.  Quite simply, Abraham has no other son physically present.  This, and the fact that God calls Isaac by name specifically, has a significance to Judaism and Christianity which is in contradiction to the Islamic faith.  The parallel passage from the Qur’an for this story reads in part as follows:

The Prophet Ishmael (Isma’il) “was a Messenger and a Prophet” [1]; he was the son of Abraham and Hagar, Abraham’s second wife. When Abraham was young he received a “dream” from God in which he was “slaughtering” Ishmael [2]. Although this was extremely difficult for Abraham to do, he proceeded anyway into the desert to sacrifice Ishmael [3]. When Abraham told his son what God planned, Ishmael offered himself willingly saying, “Father, do what thou art commanded; thou wilt find me, if Allah please, steadfast” [4]. But God made Abraham’s knife dull like wax and Abraham was unable to shed Ishmael’s blood. God saw both Abraham’s tears and his devotion and, therefore, God caused a ram to appear for Abraham to sacrifice instead of Ishmael [5].

And so we see, the Islamic faith teaches that Ishmael, not Isaac, was the son that was offered.  This poses an issue as one of the stories is likely not true, and as such, one of the texts is incorrect.  Hence those who take the position that ‘all religions are true’ run into this type of issue – there are contradictions such as this that prevent it from being a true statement.

Advertisements