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Ishmael

“Hagar, slave-girl of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?”


Photo by Eddie & Carolina Stigson

Information



Hebrew Name: Ishmael


English Translation:



Known For:

  • Egyptian slave girl of Sarai/Sarah, Abraham's wife

  • Given to Abram to conceive a child, as Abram and Sarai awaited the son promised by God

  • Mother of Ishmael, who is considered to be the forefather of Islam

  • Ran away after Sarai treated her harshly

  • In the wilderness, promised by an angel that her son would be the father of a nation



Mentioned in:

Genesis

Al-Baqarah

Ali 'Imran

Al An'Am

Ibrahim

Maryam

Al-Anbya

Sad




Scripture References


The Birth of Ishmael

Genesis 16:1-16


1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, bore him no children. She had an Egyptian slave-girl whose name was Hagar, 2 and Sarai said to Abram, “You see that the LORD has prevented me from bearing children; go in to my slave-girl; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3 So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her slave-girl, and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife. 4 He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my slave-girl to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me!” 6 But Abram said to Sarai, “Your slave-girl is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she ran away from her.

7 The angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave-girl of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am running away from my mistress Sarai.” 9 The angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her.” 10 The angel of the LORD also said to her, “I will so greatly multiply your offspring that they cannot be counted for multitude.” 11 And the angel of the LORD said to her,

“Now you have conceived and shall bear a son;

you shall call him Ishmael,

for the LORD has given heed to your affliction.

12 He shall be a wild ass of a man,

with his hand against everyone,

and everyone’s hand against him;

and he shall live at odds with all his kin.”

13 So she named the LORD who spoke to her, “You are El-roi”; for she said, “Have I really seen God and remained alive after seeing him?” 14 Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered. 15 Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.




Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away

Gen. 21:8-20


8 The child grew, and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 9 But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. 10 So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac.” 11 The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named for you. 13 As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring.” 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.


15 When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, “Do not let me look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18 Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.” 19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink.


20 God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.





Surah Al-Baqarah

2:124-127


124 ˹Remember˺ when Abraham was tested by his Lord with ˹certain˺ commandments, which he fulfilled. Allah said, “I will certainly make you into a role model for the people.” Abraham asked, “What about my offspring?” Allah replied, “My covenant is not extended to the wrongdoers.”


125 And ˹remember˺ when We made the Sacred House1 a centre and a sanctuary for the people ˹saying˺, “˹You may˺ take the standing-place of Abraham2 as a site of prayer.” And We entrusted Abraham and Ishmael to purify My House for those who circle it, who meditate in it, and who bow and prostrate themselves ˹in prayer˺.


126 And ˹remember˺ when Abraham said, “My Lord, make this city ˹of Mecca˺ secure and provide fruits to its people—those among them who believe in Allah and the Last Day.” He answered, “As for those who disbelieve, I will let them enjoy themselves for a little while, then I will condemn them to the torment of the Fire. What an evil destination!”


127 And ˹remember˺ when Abraham raised the foundation of the House with Ishmael, ˹both praying,˺ “Our Lord! Accept ˹this˺ from us. You are indeed the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.



136

Say, ˹O believers,˺ “We believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us; and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and his descendants; and what was given to Moses, Jesus, and other prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them. And to Allah we all submit.”



Surah Ibrahim


All praise is for Allah who has blessed me with Ishmael and Isaac in my old age. My Lord is indeed the Hearer of ˹all˺ prayers.





  1. New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

  2. The Clear Quran


 

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