"The moment we [Africans] lost our languages was also the moment we lost our bodies, our gold, diamonds, copper, coffee, tea." - Ngugi wa Thiong'o

12 September 2016

It’s Eid-El-Kabir: When Ibrahim/Abraham Obeyed God to Sacrifice his only son – Ishmael or Isaac?

Courtesy of C. Emenike 08055134573
It’s another period when Muslims all over the world celebrate the willingness of Ibrahim to obey Allah/God and sacrifice his ‘only’ son. Luckily, before he could slaughter his son God showed him the Ram to use instead. And so, Muslims all over the world slaughter Rams in this period to commemorate that incident.

But, who was the Abraham’s only son that he wanted to sacrifice to God? In the Jewish/Christians’ Bible it is written that Isaac was that only son. In contrast, Koran says it was Ishmael.

Yet, Koran is a carbon copy of the Jewish/Christians’ Bible. Thus, why would anyone question the authenticity of the book that he copied verbatim? Perhaps what Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) did when he was assembling Koran was to deduct or change what didn’t make sense to him, which he found in the Jewish Bible.

One of such things that didn’t make sense to Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) was; everybody agrees that Abraham had two sons, and therefore, there was no way God could have asked Abraham to sacrifice his ‘only’ son.

To the Muslims, if the ‘only’ son concept ever happened, then that only son ought to have been Ishmael. In their opinion, God wanted to test Abraham’s submissiveness that he asked him to sacrifice the child that he wanted but only had at the age of 86 – good logic.

Nevertheless, Ishmael was 14 years old when Abraham had Isaac at the age of 100. And when Isaac was about 3 months old during the celebration of his weaning (when he stopped breast feeding), Sarah told Abraham to “get rid of that slave woman! Get rid of her son! That woman’s son will never have a share of the family’s property. All of it belongs to my son Isaac.” – Genesis 21:10.

Abraham sent Ishmael and his mother away, a request that was driven by Sarah’s greed and jealousy. He obliged Sarah because God asked him to listen to her, according to the Jewish Bible.

After Ishmael was gone; God commanded Abraham in Genesis 22:2 to sacrifice his ‘only’ son, Isaac, whom he loved so much. This is where I am not too sure if someone is not tampering with something here. Why did God remind Abraham that Isaac was the only son He was talking about?

Obviously Isaac was the only son in the house since Ishmael was sent away. Hence, the instruction ought to have been to sacrifice your only son without mentioning Isaac or to sacrifice Isaac without mentioning only son.

Again, between when Isaac was about 3 months old in Genesis 21 and when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son in Genesis 22, nothing else was said about Isaac to suggest that he was old enough to be that only son who ought to have been sacrificed.

I said so because whoever the only son was, he was old enough to ask his father in Genesis 22:7; “behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” That showed that the ‘only’ son knew the procedure for burnt offering. That journey wasn’t his first. 

But, was that ‘only’ son – Isaac? Yes; if he was old enough.

On the other hand, if that ‘only’ son was Ishmael, at 14 years old, didn’t he struggle with his father when he realised that he was the lamb that was about to be sacrificed? In fact, Ishmael would have over powered his 100 years old father. 

Why am I even on this matter? Anyway happy Eid-El-Kabir to my Muslim friends!

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