An Ancient Sibling Rivalry Between Peoples of the Books – Isaac or Ishmael?

Public domain image, from Wikipedia (here).  Abraham sacrificicing his son, Ishmael.  One of the richly illustrated manuscripts of the sixteenth century is the Zubdat-al Tawarikh in the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Istanbul, dedicated to Sultan Murad III in 1583. The manuscript contains forty miniatures of the finest quality reflecting the mature Ottoman court style of the latter part of the sixteenth century.

The core Qur’anic passage recounting the sacrifice of Abraham’s son (Qur’an 37:99-110).  Since neither Isaac nor Ishmael are directly mentioned in the passage, greater study of the Qur’an, the Hadith, and Islamic literature are necessary to establish the true identify of which of Abraham’s son was sacrificed from an Islamic perspective.  However, from the compact nature of this narrative it is clear to me that the author of the Qur’anic text seems to wish to emphasize that Allah (God) rewards doers of good over the specific personal identify of the son.  I have previously prepared a short blog post on the story of the sacrifice of Abraham’s son Isaac in the Judeo-Christian tradition.  The Biblical narrative, appears to me, to be more unambiguous regarding the identify of Abraham’s son.

Why in the evolution of the Judeo-Christian scripture was Isaac attributed as the favored son of Abraham?

Why in the evolution of the Islamic scripture exegesis has Ishmael become attributed to be the favored son of Abraham?

Provided an answer can be give in light of both Judeo-Christian and Islamic scripture and interpretation, what implication does this have for Islamic-Judeo-Christian relations?

Islam in America homework this morning. Reading the Qur’an and the Bible together is complex, not to mention the centuries of interpretations.  For me, the Enlightenment adage provides a guiding light on this topic:

Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.

Kant’s categorical imperative

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About kayaerbil

I am a Berkeley educated chemistry Ph.D. who is moving into the area of working on developing appropriate technology for communities that are subjected to socio-economic oppression. The goal is to use simple and effective designs to empower people to live better lives. Currently, I am working with Native Americans on Pine Ridge, the Lakota reservation in South Dakota. I am working with a Native owned and run solar energy company. We are currently working on building a compressed earth block (CEB) house that showcases many of the technologies that the company has developed. The CEB house is made of locally derived resources, earth from the reservation. The blocks are naturally thermally insulating, keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Eventually, a solar air heater and photovoltaic panels will be installed into the house to power the home and keep it warm, while preserving the house off the grid. A side project while in Pine Ridge is a solar computer. I hope to learn about blockchain encryption software for building microgrids. In addition, it is an immediate interest of mine to involve local youth in technology education.
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