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This article refers to the Ishmael of the Abrahamic religions. Ishmael may also refer to:

Ishmael, son of Abraham, is mentioned in both the Torah and the Qur'an, and is, in traditional Jewish and Islamic belief, the ancestor of the Arabs. In Islam, he is considered one of the prophets. Christians, through the Old Testament, generally recognize Ishmael as the son of Abraham.


Ishmael in Islam

Arabic إسماعيل, In the Qur'an, Ishmael is known as the first-born son of Abraham from Hagar and an appointed Prophet of God (also mentioned in the Bible). Islamic tradition holds that Abraham married Hagar, the mother of Ishmael. As a result Ishmael was the first legitimate son of Abraham. Islam asserts that he was the one nearly sacrificed, not Isaac (or Ishaq in the Qur'an). Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son for God is celebrated in Eid ul-Adha every year by Muslims.

Islamic tradition holds that Ishmael and Hagar were sent to the deserts of Arabia on the orders of God (Allah). He and his mother settled in Mecca (or "Makkah") and were without water. The frantic running of his mother in pursuit of water led to a miraculous spring appearing from the ground (from God) known as the Zamzam Well. Ishmael then helped his father, Abraham, build the House of God, or the Kaaba, in Mecca.

Ishmael is stated to have been buried near the Kaaba on the grounds of the Masjid al Haram.

Muhammad is claimed to be a descendent of Ishmael. The oldest extant biography of Muhammad, compiled by Mohammed Ibn Ishak, and edited by Abu Mohammed Abd el Malik Ibn Hisham, opens thus:

This book contains the life of the Apostle of God: Mohammed was the son of Abd Allah, son of Abdu-l-Mottaleb, son of Hashim, son of Abd Menaf, son of Kussei, son of Kilab, son of Murra, son of Kaab, son of Luei, son of Ghalib, son of Fihr, son of Malik, son of Nadhr, son of Kinana, son of Khuzeima, son of Mudrika, son of Alya, son of Mudhar, son of Nizar, son of Maad, son of Adrian, son of Udd, son of Mukawwam, son of Nahor, son of Teira, son of Yarub, son of Yashyub, son of Nabit, son of Ishmael, son of Abraham, the Friend of God,1 son of Tara, son of Nahor, son of Sarukh, son of Rau, son of Falih, son of Eiber, son of Shalih, son of Arphakhsad, son of Shem, son of Noah, son of Lamek, son of Metushalakh, son of Khanukh, - who, as is believed, was the prophet Idris, the first prophet, and the first who wrote with the reed, - son of Yared, son of Mahaleel, son of Kainanan, son of Yanish, son of Sheth, son of Adam, to whom may God be Gracious!

Ishmael in Judaism and Christianity

In the Old Testament's Book of Genesis (xvi, xvii, xxi, xxv) and later texts, Ishmael or Yishma'el (יִשְׁמָעֵאל "God will hear", Standard Hebrew Yišmaʿel, Tiberian Hebrew Yišmāʿl) is Abraham's eldest son, born by his second wife Hagar. In Genesis 16 Sarai (Abram's wife) gives Abram her maid-servant Hagar to bear him children, since she believed that God had kept her from having children (16:2).

Hagar became pregnant and was despised by Sarai (16:4) who subsequently ill-treated her. As a result she ran away from home into the desert where an angel found her near a spring. Here the prophecy of Ishmael is recorded in Genesis 16:

11 "You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael (God hears), 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.

The well of Hagar in Genesis 16 was named Beer lahai-roi ("Well of the Living One who Sees Me" or as some render it, "Well of the Vision of Life").

Sarah became pregnant (Genesis 21) and bore Isaac. Genesis 21 says that on the day of Isaac's weaning, Ishmael was mocking and so was driven out. They wandered in the desert of Beersheba (well of the oath) and when the water was gone she put the child under a bush and went a distance (a bowshot) away to die. The Bible does not explicitly mention the child crying but does mention Hagar sobbing. Strangely enough, (Genesis 21:17) it says God heard the boy crying (as opposed to the mother who was explicitly mentioned as crying). A well miraculously appears to save both child and mother.

According to Genesis 21, he became a skilled archer and lived in the desert; his mother obtained a wife for him from Egypt.

Sons of Ishmael

Ishmael's twelve sons were named Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. They intermarried with the local population in North Arabia and produced several nomadic tribes know as the "Ishmaelites."[1] (

See also

External links

Other Ishmaels:

ca:Ismael de:Ismael he:ישמעאל nl:Ismal sv:Ismael zh:伊希梅尔


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