The following logic is what is contributing to the alarming conversion rate among Christians to Islam. Jews, Christians and Muslims have a common father, Prophet Abraham, the patriarch of monotheism. For example, Abraham married Sarah and it is through her Jewish children over generations that the following prophets came: Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus. Abraham also married Hagar and it is through her Muslim children over generations that the following prophets came: Ishmael and Muhammad.
When Christians realize that the Bible was manipulated by biased writers to unfairly exclude Ishmael, the son of Hagar, they realize that their religion may be nothing more than the result of innocently mislead people who wrote from the time Jesus left earth in 30 AD until about 350 AD when the formation of the New Testament came to an end (1). The following analysis of biblical scriptures illustrates that Ishmael was part of God's covenant, thereby proving Islam a divine religion. God made an important promise to Abraham before any children were born to him.
(Genesis 12:2-3) And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shall be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Abraham was first married to Sarah who happened to be a barren woman and bore him no children.
(Genesis 16:1). Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children
Later in the book of Genesis (16:2) we are told that Sarah gave Abraham a handmaid (Hagar) to be his wife, in the hope that she may bear a child to Abraham. Hagar did indeed bear Abraham's first child, and the Angels of God told Hagar to name him Ishmael (Gen 16:11), which means God Hears. Clearly, this is a divine child as God is intervening and sending angels down to name him; this is a clear indication that the child is divine and important. Moreover, we are told in Genesis (21:20) that, God was with the boy as he grew up. Ishmael, the firstborn child is very important. As a matter of fact, this is indeed consistent with the bible. In Hebrew traditions, the first-born son is to have double portions of honor, even inheritance and that right is not changed by the status of his mother.
For example in (Deuteronomy 21:15-17) we are reminded that a firstborn son is to be given a double share of inheritance regardless of the circumstances since the first born is the first sign of his father's strength. For the following 14 years, Ishmael was Abraham's only child. Later, Abraham's first wife Sarah bears him a son, Isaac (Gen 21:1-5). After the birth of Ishmael and before the birth of Isaac, God's promise to bless the families of the earth through Abraham's descendants was repeated:
(Genesis 17:4) As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shall be a father of many nations.
According to Jews and Christians only Isaac was the son of promise and covenant. The following verses are referenced.
(Genesis 17:21) But my covenant will I establish with Isaac.
(Genesis 21:12) For in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
An interesting thought arises, is it possible that the writer(s) of this book (Genesis) inserted such statements to favor his own clan, himself being an Israelite? When these two verses (Gen 17:21 and 21:12) are examined in context with other verses of this same book, it becomes obvious that the Ishmaelite were included in God's promise and his covenant with Abraham. God's covenant with Abraham was made before he had any children (Gen 12:2-3). It was reiterated after the birth of Ishmael and before the birth of Isaac (Gen 17:4). Moreover, Ishmael is also specifically blessed, and, hence, included in God's promise. For example, God stated:
(Genesis 21:13) Of the son of the maidservant (i.e. Ishmael) I will make a great nation because he is thy seed.
The above promise was further confirmed a few verses later:
(Genesis 21:18) Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in your hand; for I will make him a great nation.
(Genesis 21:20) God was with the boy as he grew up.
When God speaks of greatness, he does not merely refer to numbers. Greatness by God's own criterion is founded on faith, spiritual heritage and religious leadership. One may wonder at this point why there should be only one child as the heir of the divine promise? Why not both sons in view of the evidence discussed already? What type of divine justice punishes the rites of the firstborn to satisfy Sarah's ego and bless her jealously? Was Sarah dictating her desires to God, too?
(Genesis 21:10) Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.
This statement was made after Ishmael allegedly mocked Isaac on the day Isaac was weaned (Gen 21:8-9). Can one imagine Hagar and her 17 year old son Ishmael expelled to the desert because Ishmael allegedly mocked the 3 year old boy Isaac on the day of a great feast when Isaac was weaned (Gen 21:8) What did Ishmael say to the 3-year-old baby to warrant such a harsh punishment? Did he mock him in the presence of a large group of people who attended the feast? One can only wonder what he said to the lad. Moreover, it is doubtful Abraham would send his wife and son off into the desert (a virtual death sentence) at the request of his other moody wife Sarah; the story does not seem plausible.
Will be continued…………..