Hagar, Ishmael

Discussion in 'Islam' started by wil, May 24, 2006.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Now I am a neophyte in this area...

    But it was proposed to me yesterday that the rift between Muslims and Jews stems from Abram's treatment of Hagar and his son Ishmael.

    Due to the fact that Mohamed pbuh was a descendent of Ishmael.

    This is just beyond my current level of understanding, can anyone expound on this.
     
  2. thipps

    thipps God Alone is Great

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    h| wil,
    no, this is completely false. Not only that, its completely illogical. The Prophet Abraham was the father of both Ishmael and Isaac (peace be upon them all). He wasnt a Jew. The Qur'aan specifically addresses this issue as well. A quote is given below:
    O People of the Scripture, why do you argue about Abraham while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed until after him? Then will you not reason? [Qur'aan, 3:65]
    and in 3:67, the Qur'aan even specifically says the Abraham (pbuh) was neither a Jew nor a Christian.
    out of curiosity, exactly what kind of treatment are you referring to in your post? I ask cause the Bible differs from Islamic sources on this issue more or less depending on exactly which part of the story you are referring to.
    regards,
    thipps.
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Namaste thipps I apreciate your response. To clarify, are you saying in your circles this is not a point of contention in any way? This is the passage, can you post your version of the same passage?

    Genesis 16

    1 Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, "The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; 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 maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.
    When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, "You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my servant in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the LORD judge between you and me." 6 "Your servant is in your hands," Abram said. "Do with her whatever you think best." Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
     
  4. Light

    Light Well-Known Member

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    Hi wil...

    Just to chip in... So far as I have been a Muslims (since birth) we have never been told that the result of the rift is due to how prophet Ibrahim alaihi salam treat Hagar and Ismail alaihi salam. We revered all prophet with due respect and that includes the prophets from line of Yacob alaihi salam (Jacob - Jews) including Isa alaihi salam (Jesus). We are even told to address all Jews and Christian with a very noble title - People of the Book.

    Similarly should we also proposed that if there is a rift between Christianity and Judaism, it is because of how Jews mistreated Isa alaihi salam and his mother Mariam (pbuh) who has to go into isolation to give birth under the tree alone without human assistance.

    There is no relations to the story of prophet Ibrahim alaihi salam that causes a rift between Jews and Islam today. The things that happens today is purely due to capitalism in the name of religion.

    I have not searched the Quran or Hadith about a similar verse as in the Bible that you have produce. But I am sure thipp or our other Muslim brethen will give the answer.

    The reasons that was proposed was incorrect and baseless.
     
  5. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    It's an interesting question to raise - I'm sure I remember reading a while back that there was a key issue over the lineage - in that Isaac was chosen initially as the "chosen" line to receive revelation from god, while Ishmael was effectively shunned from the process.

    I don't think such a discussion is essentially looking to critical of Islam, as much as explore the relationship between Islam and Judaism, especially via the lineage from Abraham.

    2c.
     
  6. mansio

    mansio Well-Known Member

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    That is what I always heard too.
     
  7. peace4all

    peace4all Member

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    I think it is common knowledge to both religions that Sarah was jealous of Hajar.

    If you've read the book Sarah by Orson Scott Card, which is based on the Old Testament, Hajar and Ismael are portrayed in a negative light, and that Ismael supposedly commited some kind of theft which was why they were banished. This does not jive with the Quranic story, which describes Hajar being stranded in the desert while still suckling Ismael.

    I also remember reading in the Hadith, that certain Jewish rabis who converted to Islam during the time of prophet Muhammad admitted that the text in the Torah regarding Ismael was altered due to the Jewish disdain of Arabs.

    The Torah says that it was Isaac that Ibrahim was to sacrifice, while the muslim standpoint is that it was Ismael.

    So I think it is safe to say that the rift between Arabs and Jews stems from the jealousy between Sarah and Hajar. And by "rift" I don't mean that they were killing each other, but that they were no longer one people. And also from that point, the Jews refused to accept Ismael or his line as prophets.
     
  8. peace4all

    peace4all Member

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    Also the muslim standpoint is that both Isaac and Ismael were "chosen" as prophets of God.
     
  9. thipps

    thipps God Alone is Great

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    That wud be a biblical rendering of the issue. As far as we are concerned, both were chosen. So, it doesnt enter into discussion with us.
    Again, the biblical rendering of the whole situation is that Isaac was sacrificed but our sources say that it was Ishmael. Im sure it has been discussed/debated multiple times on CR. And this is not the place for another one of those.
    But as i said in my original reply, we are clear on the issue... Abraham(pbuh) was neither a Jew nor a christian. So, even if the mistreatment had occured [im not saying it did and im not saying it didnt...i havent checked it up cause there was no need to], it wud have nothing to do with the Jews. The simple fact is that the two issues are not related, so there is no need for comparisons.
    Just to throw some more light on the situation, I know that Abraham(pbuh) had problems with Sarah due to her jealousy of Hajar (Ishmael's mother). Then Abraham(pbuh) brought both of them to Makkah (She didnt come to Makkah with Ishmael (pbuh) on her own). Then Abraham(pbuh) left both of them on orders from God. All this is mentioned in hadith. anyway, after this, he went a bit away and when they could not see him, he raised his hands and prayed. The prayer itself is mentioned in the Quran (See 14:37).
    Actually, it just occured to me that once someone had asked us about the origin of the actions of Hajj. And, it would be appropriate to point out that what happened after this is the source of one of them i.e. the running between the mountains of Safa and Marwa. Hajar (May Allaah be pleased with her) had a water-skin with her and when that ran out, she started to run between these moutains in search of water. Then she heard the voice of someone and it turned out to be Gabriel (peace be upon him) who hit his heel on the ground from which the well-known Zam Zam well gushed forth. It is from the water of this well that people now drink during the Hajj and at any time that they are in Makkah.
    agreed.
     
  10. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Thanks for the reply thipps - I never actually realised that it was Ishmael offered for sacrifice in the Islamic tradition - I guess that means I've been reading too much from the Christianised sources. :)
     
  11. thipps

    thipps God Alone is Great

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    You're just confusing the issue. What was between Sarah and Hajar has nothing to do with what is between the Jews and the Muslims. when you write that the Jews refused to accept Ishmael or his line of Prophets, you have to remember here that the Jews refused cause of thier arrogance and pride in believing themselves to be the chosen people and not accepting that Prophets could come from outside the jewish circle. It had nothing to do with Sarah's jealousy of Hajar.
     
  12. peace4all

    peace4all Member

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    My point was that if it were not for the jealousy between Sarah and Hajar, God would not have instructed Ibrahim to leave Hajar in the desert. And because of the jealousy, Ismael was no longer "in the jewish circle".
     
  13. farhan

    farhan Well-Known Member

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    see these links for Islamic point of view of the "sacrifice" matter.

    http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Contrad/MusTrad/sacrifice.html
    http://www.islam101.com/religions/christianity/sacrifice.htm

    Islam/Quran doesnt make any difference among both of them. Whatever Abraham did with Hagar & Ishmael , according to Islam it was all a test for him from God , & not out of jelousy . God tested him with his prisest possession , his only son that he got after 86 years . In reward , he is the only one ( according to my knowledge ) whom God salutes (37:109) . He made him an honoured person , more than half of the world honour him & consider him their spiritual father .

    The difference mainly comes from the Bible. Ishmael was not considered "in jewish circle" bc the word & concept jew starts from judah s/o jacob s/o Issac(Israel) . At that time , jew was more of a race than a religion . There was no point of Ishmael being a part of a race that started centuries after him . So for jews , he was always an uncle , not a father . An uncle without convent , without a lineage of prophets . The world was soon divided into Jew & Gentile . Ishmaelities were among the gentiles , second grade humans .

    The rift mainly comes from the fact that jews were waiting for Messiah , he came to them in the form of Jesus , the last promised prophet for israelites. Some people obeyed him , others didnt . People who followed him were called Christians , their theology evolved , & later on Jesus became the son of God .
    Jews didnt accept Muhammad b/c they thought that the last prophet/messiah had to come from jewish lineage ( b/c of the convent ) . Christians didnt accept him becaause Islam criticised the concept of "only begotten son" . This is the main rift. To muslims & christians , the messaih is Jesus , who came , & will come back again . To jews , he is still an unknown person .
     
  14. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    IMO, these are mythical tales from the two basic branches of the semitic peoples, repeated and written in ways such that they were "meant" to be open to interpretation and misunderstanding over the millenia. This was done purposefully so that the origins of the first peoples of the one G-d could have a common thread of understanding through which to mutually discover their common origins.

    Remember that G-d/Allah is the sole author of history, and that history is best unraveled and understood through stories which are open to interpretation. Humans, being what they are, will always use these interpretations to manipulate societal change to effect the advantage of the rulers over the ruled.

    flow....:)
     
  15. thipps

    thipps God Alone is Great

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    God ordered Abraham(pbuh) to leave Hajar in the desert along with Ismaeel (pbuh).. agreed but where did you get this information about the reason? Do you have any textual proof for this? Im not saying it isnt the case, im just asking for proof... I'd appreciate it.
    He was never in the jewish circle to begin with and neither was anyone else at that time. As i said, the Quraan is clear on the issue that Abraham(pbuh) was neither Jew nor christian. When i used that phrase, i was speaking from the context of the Jews. One thing that should also be kept in mind from our perspective is that those who followed the prophet of thier time were muslims (by definition).
     
  16. Amica

    Amica Well-Known Member

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    Sallam/Peace!

    This is what I found on a bible mysteries website:
    The Masoretic text (the Hebrew text) tells a somewhat different story. What is actually written is that Hagar is a Mitsriy.
    It is taken for granted that Mitzriy is Egyptian without asking some very important questions.
    1. How come Sarah and later other Hebrews had Egyptian slaves?
    2. What evidence is there from the name that Hagar is Egyptian?
    3. As the Mother of Ishmael the father of the Arabs (who came from Arabia and not Egypt) are not other alarm bells rung in automatically granting her an Egyptian passport?
    On the contrary, the extremely conservative Anchor Bible Dictionary goes out if its way to show that Hagar is a name from Arabia and not Egypt.
    This is everything they say about the origin of the name.
    "Hagar’s Egyptian nationality (Gen 16:1; 21:9, 21; 25:12) is a literary device to connect the story in Genesis 16 with Gen 12:10–20 (cf. Gen 12:16). If the first story about Hagar was written at the time of Hezekiah, Hagar’s nationality may veil the author’s opposition to Hezekiah’s foreign policy (cf. Isa 30:1–5; 31:1–5; Görg 1986).
    As a female personal name, Hagar is well attested in ancient Arabia (Palmyrene and Safaitic hgr, Nabatean hgrw; to be distinguished from the male name Hâjir in Arabic, Minaean, and Nabatean; Knauf 1989: 52, n. 253). The name can be explained by Sabean and Ethiopic hagar, "town, city" (from an original meaning "the splendid" or "the nourishing"?); it is unlikely that there is any connection with hajara, "to emigrate," in more recent Arabian languages.
    Just as Ishmael represents a large N Arabian tribal confederacy of the 8th and 7th centuries b.c. (see ISHMAELITES), so also can his mother be expected to have been of similar importance and antiquity. Therefore Ishmael’s mother, Hagar, should not be connected with the Hagrites, a relatively small Syrian and N Arabian tribe of the Persian and Hellenistic periods, attested in 1 Chr 5:19 and in Greek and Roman geographers (Knauf 1989: 49–53; and see also HAGRITES).
    A cuneiform inscription found on Bahrain and dating to the second half of the 2d millennium b.c. mentions "the palace of Rimum, servant of (the god) Inzak, the one of A-gar-rum" (Butz 1983). Hagar is then mentioned as a country and/or people by Darius I in an Egyptian hieroglyphic inscription from Susa (Roaf 1974: 135). The name, spelled hgrw, is accompanied by a representation of a typical Hagrean, whose hairdress distinguishes him from the central Arabian bedouin. This ethnographic feature suggests that Darius’ "Hagar" refers to the E Arabian country and not to a central Arabian tribe (Knauf 1989: 144–45). In the 3d century b.c. a king of Hagar issued his own coins; at the same time, trade between Hagar, the Minaeans, and the Nabateans flourished. As D. T. Potts has most convincingly shown, Hagar is nothing else but the Gk Gerrha and can be identified with the present ruins of Tâj (Potts 1984). Both Christian and Muslim authors used "Hagar" for E Arabia well into the Middle Ages (Knauf 1989: 54).
    The available documentation, in spite of a gap between the LB Age and the Persian period, is more likely to connect Ishmael’s mother with Hagar in E Arabia than with another Hagar (of which there is no lack, given the meaning of the word in Old S Arabic). For the prophet Jeremiah there were only two political entities in Arabia (with the exception of the caravan cities of NW Arabia): the Qedarites (see KEDAR), surviving from the Ishmaelite confederation, and Buz, which was the designation of E Arabia current in the 7th century b.c. See BUZ (PLACE)."
    Nor is this the only servant who was supposedly an Egyptian. Let us take the case of Jarha:
    1 Chronicles 2:34 Sheshan had no sons, only daughters. Sheshan had an Egyptian servant named Jarha. 2:35 Sheshan gave his daughter to his servant Jarha as a wife; she bore him Attai.
    Again the Masoretic text has Mitzri as the origin of Jarha.
    Again the Anchor Bible can find no Egyptian connection for the word Jarha.
    "JARHA (PERSON) [Heb yarhaµ ([h;r]y")].
    An Egyptian slave of Sheshan, who married his master’s daughter (Ahlai?) and became the founder of a house of the Jerahmeelites (1 Chr 2:34, 35) cf v 31. No additional information is provided for this Egyptian. His 13 descendants can not be identified with any degree of certainty with names occurring elsewhere in the OT. The identity of Jarha’s wife is a complex and unsolved problem centering on the name Ahlai. The masculine form of this name (however see Keil 1872: 67) and its appearance in the list of David’s mighty men (1 Chr 11:41) presents some problem to this conclusion. Consequently, some suggest that Ahlai of v 31 should be read Attai as in v 36; or that Ahlai (if modified to mean "a brother to me") was a name given to Jarha at the time of his adoption into the family of Sheshan; or that Ahlai, though a son of Sheshan, was born after the marriage of his daughter (however note v 34); or that different sources are reflected in this genealogy. See Williamson (1979: 352) for a recent discussion of sources in this genealogy and the conclusion that 2:25–33 and 42–50a stand as a related unit, but that v 34 reflects a different source. See also Curtis (Chronicles ICC, 83) for an analysis of older, but still-debated, theories of genealogical sources. The wording of v 35 "So Sheshan gave his daughter in marriage to Jarha his slave . . ." is considered by some commentators as equivalent to making his servant his heir (Elmslie Chronicles CBC, 19), similar to Eliezer’s relationship to Abraham (Gen 15:2–3). See NUZI for discussions of patriarchal customs possibly reflecting similar arrangements. From such records, a few scholars consider Jarha a proselyte and date this incident to the period of sojourn in Egypt; others, however, consider it difficult to understand how an Egyptian could be a slave to an Israelite at that time. Still others regard Jarha as an eponym of Jerahmeel and proceed to identify Sheshan with Sheshai of Hebron, concluding that the genealogy presents a northward movement of this tribe to the area around Hebron. Locating Jarha in time is difficult, and suggestions range from shortly before the Exodus (Keil 1872: 67) to the days of Eli, or even to some date nearer to the Chronicler’s own time (see Braun, Chronicles WBC, 46). Lacking sufficient evidence the question must remain open."
     

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