Hagar/Hajar:-                        


       She was the mother of Ishmael and an Egyptian.

Genesis 16:"1. Now Sarai Abram's wife bore him no children; and she had a maid servant, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar" The covenant that God made with Abraham started when he was 99 years old and Ishmael was 13. This was done explicitly so that only Isaac, the first-born son from Sarah would be the inheritor of God's Promised Land

Deut 6:"3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and take care to do it; that it may be well with you, and that you may increase mightily, as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you, in the land that flows with milk and honey" and in

Surah 17: 104 And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel "Dwell securely in the land (of promise)": but when the second of the warnings came to pass We gathered you together in a mingled crowd.

In Genesis 21: 8 "And the child grew, and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.9. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had born to Abraham, mocking.10. And she said to Abraham, Cast out this slave and her son; for the son of this slave shall not be heir with my son, with Isaac.11. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.12. And God said to Abraham, Let it not be grievous in your sight because of the lad, and because of your slave; in all that Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac shall your seed be called.13. And also of the son of the slave will I make a nation, because he is your seed.14. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away; and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.15. And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.16. And she went, and sat down opposite him a good way off, as it were a bowshot; for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat opposite him, and lifted up her voice, and wept.17. And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, What ails you, Hagar? fear not; for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is18. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in your hand; for I will make him a great nation.19. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad to drink.20. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and lived in the wilderness, and became an archer.21. And he lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother took for him a wife from the land of Egypt"

Genesis 25: 16. These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their encampments; twelve princes according to their nations.17. And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, a hundred and thirty seven years; and he expired and died; and was gathered to his people.18. And they lived from Havilah to Shur, that is before Egypt, as you go toward Assyria; and he fell in the presence of all his brothers"

       Her name - as the mother of the most illustrious forefather of the Arabs - is conspicuously and surprisingly absent in the Quran. In fact it appears only once in the interpretations section of 2:158.

       From the above few verses of the Bible, one can see the total irrelevance of the concocted, invented and imaginary 'traditions' of the Arabian version of events.

       Ishmael was a TEENAGER and not a BABY when he left his father's home. They travelled within the vicinity of the encampment near Beersheba. He married an Egyptian woman and lived near the Sinai Peninsula and not in Arabia Felix. In the whole of the Quran the name of what should have been the most important woman in 'Islam' is never mentioned, while that of Mary the mother of Jesus is, as well as that of the wife of the Egyptian slave owner in Sura Yusuf 12:31, Zulaikha, are.

       This matter begs further scrutiny. We must bear in mind that a promise was made to Abraham that he would bear a son through his wife Sarah. In the Bible the promise comes directly by the Word of God to Abraham (Genesis 17.19), whereas in the Quran it comes through the heavenly messengers who have come to destroy the people of Lot (Surah 11.70). In both cases, however, it is the express promise of God that a son would be born to Abraham and that the promised son would be Isaac.

       In Surah 15. 53 the narrative is repeated and the promise of a son again appears, though this time Isaac is not mentioned by name. The same goes for Surah 51.28-29 where once again the promise of a son to Abraham's only wife
(imra 'ah in the singular) is repeated. Once again Yusuf Ali, in a footnote, takes it to be Sarah (The Holy Qur'an, p. 1424). Finally, as we have seen, the promise of a son to Abraham appears again at the introduction of the story of the sacrifice (Surah 37.101) and a little lower down the promised son is again specifically named Isaac (Surah 37.112).

        There can be no doubt that Isaac is the only son promised to Abraham in the Qur'an and he must therefore be identified as the intended sacrificial son. Ishmael is nowhere mentioned as the child of promise.

       As Sarah alone is implied in the Quran as the wife of Abraham, it is surely too hard to believe that Allah would announce to him the birth of a ' ghulamin halimin/ a righteous boy' (Surah 37.101), by a union with a slave woman, especially as no mention whatsoever of this woman appears in the Quran.

       The only 'legal' son promised to Abraham in the Quran is Isaac and, as Surah 37.102 makes it quite plain that it was this very same promised son who was to be sacrificed; the only reasonable conclusion we can draw is that the Quran takes no issue with the Bible on the specific identification of the sacrificial son as Isaac. It is only the popular sentiment of the 'Muslims' that it was Ishmael, and that, for obvious reasons.
                                                               
       *** As the Quran does not state which son was to have been sacrificed, many 'Muslim' theologians refer the intended sacrifice to Isma`il ... But it may be said that the oldest tradition of al Tha`labi expressly emphasises that the 'ashab and tabi`un', i.e. the Companions of the Prophet and their successors from `Umar b. al-Khattab to Ka`b al-Ahbar - did not differ from the Bible on this question. (Gibb and Kramers, A Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam, p. 175).

       Although the great scholar al-Baidawi is recorded in Islamic history as one of those preferring Ishmael, he nonethe less states in his commentary (tafsir) on the story of Joseph in the Quran (Surah 12), while commenting on the passage which says that Allah will perfect his favour on Joseph "even as he perfected it to thy fathers Abraham and Isaac aforetime!" (Surah 12.6), that Allah thus perfected it on Abraham by taking him as a 'friend' (khalil) and by delivering him from the fire (Surah 37.97-98), and that he perfected it on Isaac by delivering him from the Sacrifice and by ransoming him with a great victim (Gatje, The Qur'an and its Exegesis, p. 107). Thus even the great commentator al-Baidawi taught quite explicitly that the intended son was Isaac.***