According to the Jews and the Christians the ‘Only Son’ whom God had asked Abraham to offer for sacrifice, was ‘Isaac’ and not ‘Ishma‘el’. The Bible has recorded the story in a fairly detailed narrative. It is only once in the actual words of the Lord in the whole of the narrative that the name of the ‘Only Son’ has been mentioned as ‘Isaac’ which is quite misfit in, rather contrary to, the context.[1]There are contradictions in the narrative that render the stance of the Jews and the Christians quite incredible. On the other hand a majority of the Muslim scholars claims that it was Ishma‘el, and not Isaac, whom God had asked Abraham to offer for sacrifice. But it does not mean that the Muslims claim any superiority for Ishma‘el over Isaac. According to the Muslims all the prophets are equal in status being the apostles of Allah.

It is also to be made clear that at some places the writer of this book had to reproduce some Biblical authorities, which imply comparison between the prophets. The Biblical scholars have taken much liberties with the interpretations of Biblical themes while depicting the characters of Abraham, Ishma‘el , and Isaac. Similarly, noble Sarah has been depicted as a very cruel, jealous, and revengeful woman while dealing with noble Hagar and her son, Ishma‘el. It is only the viewpoint of the Biblical scholars. The writer of the present book holds all of these great personalities equally respectable, honourable and innocent.

An objective study has been undertaken to thrash out the theme of the book. It may be noted at the very outset that this event of the offering for sacrifice was committed to writing in the Bible more than a thousand years after its happening. It is quite unknown who its writer had been and what his credentials might be, but, of certain, he was not the eyewitness of the event. The writer being himself obscure, how can it be ascertained from whom he had taken it and what the status of the credibility of that reporter had been. It can also be appreciated what ‘corrections’ and ‘adjustments’ might have been exercised within this narrative[2]by the chain of reporters of the oral tradition who had been admittedly jealous rivals to the progeny of Ishma‘el  and who were the claimants of the ‘privilege’ of the ‘chosen people’. It means that the narrative is to be analyzed rationally and critically and any of its statements can only be accepted on its own merit.

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