How Does Ishmael Relate To Islam?

Mohammed claimed the Arabs are descendants of Ishmael and are the legitimate descendants of Abraham and children of God. Is it true?

In Genesis 12, when Abraham left Ur, he went West to what is now called Israel. It was in Israel that God made a covenant with him, he fathered Isaac, Ishmael and many other sons and daughters.

The Quran contradicts the Bible at nearly every point. According to Surah 2:119-121, Abraham and Ishmael did not dwell in tents in Israel but in the city of Mecca in Arabia. Together they rebuilt the Kabah and placed the black stone in the wall. It was Abraham who started the tradition of an annual pilgrimage to Mecca, throwing stones at the devil, etc. Abraham took Ishmael (not Isaac) to nearby Mount Mina to offer as a sacrifice to God.

What does the Bible say about the Arabs and Ishmael? Ishmael’s twelve sons are named in Genesis 25:12-16. They intermarried with the local population in North Arabia and produced several nomadic tribes known as the Ishmaelite's.

The Ishmaelite's are mentioned as a distinct tribe in the Assyrian records. They later intermarried with and were absorbed by the Midianites and other local tribes. In Genesis 37:25-28 and 39:1, the Ishmaelite's are called the Midianites and in Judges 8:22-24 the Midianites are called the Ishmaelites.

The Bible tells us Abraham came from Shem while the Arabs came from Ham. It is no surprise to find that Arabia was already populated by the descendants of Ham; i.e. the Arabs,
long before Abraham or Ishmael were born (Genesis 10:7)! Their cities and temples have been documented by archaeologists. At the time Ishmael was born, there were already a million Arabs in existence.

If there is no evidence for the Arabs being Ishmael’s descendants, why do Muslims insist on being part of that family line? Muslims believe Mohammed was the great descendant of Ishmael that would, according to Genesis 17:20, be made into a great nation. Mohammed taught that he was part of the biblical lineage so he could appeal to the Jews and Christians in hopes of converting them to Islam. Muslims continue this ruse today.