Ishmael (Hebrew: יִשְׁמָעֵאל‬‬, Modern Yišma‘el, Tiberian Yišemāʻēl (ISO 259-3), Yišmaˁel, "God hears"; Greek: Ἰσμαήλ Ismaēl; Classical/Qur'anic Arabic: إِسْمَٰعِيْل; Modern Arabic: إِسْمَاعِيْل ʾIsmāʿīl; Latin: Ismael) is a figure in the Tanakh and the Quran and was Abraham's first son according to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Ishmael was born to Abraham and Sarah's handmaiden Hagar (Hājar). (Genesis 16:3). According to the Genesis account, he died at the age of 137 (Genesis 25:17).[1] The Book of Genesis and Islamic traditions consider Ishmael to be the ancestor of the Ishmaelites and patriarch of Qaydār. According to Muslim tradition, Ishmael the Patriarch and his mother Hagar are said to be buried next to the Kaaba in Mecca.[2]


1 Etymology 2 Genesis narrative

2.1 Birth 2.2 Inheritance, rights and the first circumcision 2.3 Descendants 2.4 Family tree

3 World views

3.1 Pre-Islamic Arabia 3.2 Judaism 3.3 Islam

3.3.1 Ishmael in the Quran 3.3.2 Ishmael in Muslim literature

3.4 Christianity 3.5 Bahá'í Faith

4 See also 5 References 6 Sources 7 External links

Etymology[edit] Cognates of Hebrew Yishma'el existed in various ancient Semitic cultures,[3] including early Babylonian and Minæan.[1] It is a theophoric name translated literally as "God (El) has hearkened", suggesting that "a child so named was regarded as the fulfillment of a divine promise".[3] Genesis narrative[edit]

The dismissal of Hagar, by Pieter Pietersz Lastman.

This is the account of Ishmael from Genesis Chapters 16, 17, 21, 25 Birth[edit] In Genesis 16, the birth of Ishmael was planned by the Patriarch Abraham's first wife, who at that time was known as Sarai. She and her husband Abram (Abraham) sought a way to have children in order to fulfill the Abrahamic covenant that was established in Genesis 15. Sarai was 75 years old and had yet to bear Abraham a child. She had the idea to offer her Egyptian handmaiden Hagar to her husband, so that they could have a child by her. Abraham took Hagar as his wife,[4] and conceived a child with her. Genesis 16:7-16 describes the naming of Ishmael, and God's promise to Hagar concerning Ishmael and his descendants. This occurred at the well of Beer-lahai-roi, located in the desert region between Abraham’s settlement and Shur. Hagar fled there after Sarai dealt harshly with her for showing contempt for her mistress following her having become pregnant. At the well, Hagar encountered an angel of God who said to her "Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has listened to your affliction. He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen." Abraham was blessed so that his descendants would be as numerous as the dust of the earth. God would make of Ishmael a great nation, because he was of the seed of Abraham. However God told Hagar that her son would be a warrior, living in conflict with his relatives. When Ishmael was born, Abraham was 86 years old. Inheritance, rights and the first circumcision[edit] See also: Account of Isaac in the Hebrew Bible When he was 13 years old, Ishmael was circumcised at the same time as all other males in Abraham's house becoming a part of the covenant in a mass circumcision. His father Abram, given the new name "Abraham," was also at this time, at the age of 99, initiated into the covenant by having himself and the males of his entire household circumcised (Genesis 17). At the time of the covenant, God informed Abraham that his wife Sarah would give birth to a son, whom he was instructed to name Isaac. God told Abraham that He would establish his covenant through Isaac, and when Abraham inquired as to Ishmael's role, God answers that Ishmael has been blessed and that He "will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation." (Genesis 17). God also mentioned that "He will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone's hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers."(Genesis 16). A year later, Ishmael's half-brother Isaac was born to Abraham by his first wife Sarah when she was 90 years old (Genesis 17:17), after she had ceased showing any signs of fertility (Genesis 18:11). On the day of feasting during which Abraham celebrated the weaning of Isaac, Ishmael was "mocking" or "playing with" Isaac (the Hebrew word מְצַחֵֽק [mə·ṣa·ḥêq],[5] thought to be from the root צָחַק [tsachaq],[6] is said to be ambiguous[7])[1] and Sarah asked Abraham to expel Ishmael and his mother, saying: "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."[8][9] This proposition was grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son and the bondwoman, Hagar. Abraham agreed only after God told him that "in Isaac your seed shall be called", and that He would "make a nation of the son of the bondwoman" Ishmael, since he was a descendant of Abraham (Genesis 21:11–13), God having previously told Abraham "I will establish My covenant with [Isaac]," making reference to the Ishmaelite nation as well (Genesis 17:18–21).

Hagar and Ishmael in the Desert, by Grigory Ugryumov (c. 1785).

At the age of 14, Ishmael was freed along with his mother. The Lord’s covenant made clear Ishmael was not to inherit Abraham’s house and that Isaac would be the seed of the covenant: "Take your son, your only son, whom you love and go to the region of Moriah." (Genesis 22:2–8) Abraham gave Ishmael and his mother a supply of bread and water and sent them away. Hagar entered in the wilderness of Beer-sheba where the two soon ran out of water and Hagar, not wanting to witness the death of her son, set the boy some distance away from herself, and wept. "And God heard the voice of the lad" and sent his angel to tell Hagar, "Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation." And God "opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water", from which she drew to save Ishmael's life and her own. "And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer." (Genesis 21:14–21) Descendants[edit] Main article: Ishmaelites After roaming the wilderness for some time, Ishmael and his mother settled in the Desert of Paran, where he became an expert in archery. Eventually, his mother found him a wife from the land of Egypt.[10] They had twelve sons who each became tribal chiefs throughout the regions from Havilah to Shur (from Assyria to the border of Egypt).[11] His sons were:[12]

Nebaioth (נבית) Kedar (קדר), father of the Qedarites, a northern Arab tribe that controlled the area between the Persian Gulf and the Sinai Peninsula. According to tradition, he is the ancestor of the Quraysh tribe, and thus of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.[13] Adbeel (אדבאל), established a tribe in northwest Arabia. Mibsam (מבשם) Mishma (משמע) Dumah (דומה) Massa (משא) father of a nomadic tribe that inhabited the Arabian desert toward Babylonia. Hadad (חדד) Tema (תימא) Jetur (יטור) Naphish (נפיש) Kedemah (קדמה)

Ishmael also had one known daughter, Mahalath or Basemath, the third wife of Esau.[14] Ishmael also appeared with Isaac at the burial of Abraham.[15] Ishmael died at the age of 137.[16] Family tree[edit]

Family of Ishmael











7 sons


1st daughter

2nd daughter







1. Nebaioth 2. Kedar 3. Adbeel 4. Mibsam 5. Mishma 6. Dumah 7. Massa 8. Hadar 9. Tema 10. Jetur 11. Naphish 12. Kedemah










World views[edit] Historians and academics in the fields of linguistics and source criticism believe that the stories of Ishmael belong to the three strata of J, or Yahwist source, the P, or Priestly source, and the E, or Elohist source (See Documentary hypothesis).[1] For example, the narration in Genesis 16 is of J type and the narration in Genesis 21:8–21 is of E type.[17] Jewish and Islamic traditions consider Ishmael to be the ancestor of Arab people.[18] Pre-Islamic Arabia[edit] Some Pre-Islamic poetry mentions Ishmael, his father Abraham, and the sacrifice story, such as the Pre-Islamic poet "Umayyah Ibn Abi As-Salt", who said in one of his poems: بكره لم يكن ليصبر عنه أو يراه في معشر أقتال ([The sacrifice] of his first-born of whose separation he [Abraham] could not bear neither could he see him surrounded in foes).[19][20][21] "Zayd ibn Amr" was another Pre-Islamic figure who refused idolatry and preached monotheism, claiming it was the original belief of their [Arabs] father Ishmael.[22][23] Also, some of the tribes of Central West Arabia called themselves the "people of Abraham and the offspring of Ishmael", as evidenced by a common opening of speeches and harangues of reconciliation between rival tribes in that area.[24][25] Judaism[edit] See also: Isaac in Jewish traditions In Rabbinic Judaism, Ishmael has generally been viewed as wicked, though repentant[3] (whereas Christianity omits any reference to repentance, which is sourced in the Talmudic explanation of the Hebrew Bible).[26] According to the Book of Genesis, in the Hebrew Bible, Isaac rather than Ishmael was the true heir of the Abrahamic tradition and covenant.[27] In some Rabbinic traditions Ishmael is said to have had two wives; one of them named Aisha.[28][29] This name corresponds to the Muslim tradition for the name of Muhammad's wife.[3] This is understood as a metaphoric representation of the Muslim world (first Arabs and then Turks) with Ishmael.[30][31] The name of an important 2nd century CE sage—Ishmael ben Elisha, known as "Rabbi Ishmael" (רבי ישמעאל), one of the Tannaim—indicates that the Biblical Ishmael enjoyed a positive image among Jews of the time.[citation needed] Rabbinical commentators in the Midrash Genesis Rabbah also say that Ishmael's mother Hagar was the Pharaoh's daughter, thereby making Ishmael the grandson of the Pharaoh. This could be why Genesis 17:20 refers to Ishmael as the father of 12 mighty princes. According to Genesis 21:21, Hagar married Ishmael to an Egyptian woman, and if Rabbinical commentators are correct about Hagar being the daughter of the Pharaoh, his marriage to a woman selected by the Pharaoh's daughter could explain how and why his sons became princes. However, according to other Jewish commentators, Ishmael's mother Hagar is identified with Keturah, the woman Abraham married after the death of Sarah, stating that Abraham sought her out after Sarah's death. It is suggested that Keturah was Hagar's personal name, and that "Hagar" was a descriptive label meaning "stranger".[32][33][34] This interpretation is discussed in the Midrash[35] and is supported by Rashi, Gur Aryeh, Keli Yakar, and Obadiah of Bertinoro. Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Itzhaki) argues that "Keturah" was a name given to Hagar because her deeds were as beautiful as incense (hence: ketores), and/or that she remained chaste from the time she was separated from Abraham—keturah [ קְטוּרָה Q'turah ] derives from the Aramaic word for restrained. It is also said that Sarah was motivated by Ishmael's sexually frivolous ways because of the reference to his "making merry" (Gen. 21:9), a translation of the Hebrew word "Mitzachek". This was developed into a reference to idolatry, sexual immorality or even murder; some rabbinic sources claim that Sarah worried that Ishmael would negatively influence Isaac, or that he would demand Isaac's inheritance on the grounds of being the firstborn. Regarding the word "Mitzachek" (again in Gen. 21:9) The Jewish Study Bible by Oxford University Press says this word in this particular context is associated with; "Playing is another pun on Isaac's name (cf. 17.17; 18.12; 19.14; 26.8). Ishmael was 'Isaacing', or 'taking Isaac's place'."[36] Also others take a more positive view, emphasizing Hagar's piety, noting that she was "the one who had sat by the well and besought him who is the life of the worlds, saying 'look upon my misery'".[37] Islam[edit] See also: Ishmael in Islam and Hagar in Islam Ishmael is recognized as an important prophet and patriarch of Islam. Muslims believe that Ishmael was the firstborn of Abraham, born to him from his second wife Hagar. Ishmael is recognized by Muslims as the ancestor of several prominent Arab tribes and being the forefather of Muhammad.[38] Muslims also believe that Muhammad was the descendant of Ishmael that would establish a great nation, as promised by God in the Old Testament.[39][40]

v t e

Lineage of several prophets according to Islamic tradition


Shīth (Seth)

Nūḥ (Noah)

Ibrāhīm (Abraham)

Ismāʿīl (Ishmael)

Iṣḥāq (Isaac)

Mūsa (Moses)

Maryam (Mary)

ʿĪsā (Jesus)


Dotted lines indicate multiple generations

Ishmael in the Quran[edit] Ishmael is mentioned over ten times in the Quran,[41][42] often alongside other patriarchs and prophets of ancient times. Ishmael is mentioned together with Elisha and Dhul-Kifl as one of "the patiently enduring and righteous, whom God caused to enter into his mercy."[43] It is also said of Lot, Elisha, Jonah and Ishmael, that God gave each one "preference above the worlds".[44] These references to Ishmael are, in each case, part of a larger context in which other holy prophets are mentioned. In other chapters of the Quran, however, which date from the Medina period, Ishmael is mentioned closely with his father Abraham: Ishmael stands alongside Abraham in their attempt to set up the Kaaba in Mecca as a place of monotheistic pilgrimage[45] and Abraham thanks God for granting him Ishmael and Isaac in his old age.[46] Ishmael is further mentioned alongside the patriarchs who had been given revelations[47] and Jacob's sons promised to follow the faith of their forefathers, "Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac", when testifying their faith.[48] In the narrative of the near-sacrifice of Abraham's son,[49] the son is not named and, although the general interpretation is that it was Ishmael, Tabari[50] maintained that it was Isaac. Most modern commentators, however, regard the son's identification as least important in a narrative which is given for its moral lesson.[51] Ishmael in Muslim literature[edit]

Abraham sacrificing his son, Ishmael; and Abraham cast into fire by Nimrod. A miniature in the 16th-century manuscript Zubdat Al-Tawarikh.

The commentaries on the Quran and the numerous collections of Stories of the Prophets flesh out the Islamic perspective of Ishmael and detail what they describe as his integral part in setting up the Kaaba. According to Muslim tradition, Ishmael was buried at the Hijr near the Kaaba, inside the Sacred Mosque.[52] In Islamic belief, Abraham had prayed to God for a son and God heard his prayer. Muslim exegesis states that Sarah asked Abraham to marry her Egyptian handmaiden Hagar because she herself was barren.[38] Hagar soon bore Ishmael, who was the first son of Abraham. God then instructed Abraham to take his wife Hagar and their baby Ishmael out in to the desert and to leave them there. He did so taking them to the location of the Kaaba’s foundations (which now was in ruins) and as he turned away from Hagar and started to walk away she called out to him and asked “Why are you leaving us here?” to which Abraham didn’t reply the first two times she asked. She then changed her question and asked “Did God command you to do this?” to which Abraham stopped, turned around, looked back and replied “Yes.” and she responded “Then God will provide for us.” Abraham then continued on his return journey back to Sarah. In the desert, the baby Ishmael cried with thirst.[38] His mother placed him in the shade under a bush and went in a frantic search for water, which resulted in her running seven times between the Safa and Marwah hills trying to find a source of water or a passing caravan who she could trade with for water. Hagar, not finding any sources of water and fearing the death of her baby, sat down and cried asking for God’s help. God sent angel Gabriel to her informing her to lift up her baby and when she did, she noticed that his feet had scratched the ground allowing a spring of water to bubble up to the surface. Hagar quickly shifted the ground to form a well around the spring to contain the water forming the Zamzam well. Hagar refilled the bottle with water and gave her baby a drink. This spring became known to caravans that traveled through Arabia and Hagar negotiated deals with them for supplies in exchange for the water. From her actions, the city of Mecca (originally Becca or Baca in Hebrew) grew, and attracted settlers who stayed and provided protection for her and Ishmael as well as being sources of various goods brought in and exchanged with visiting caravans. To commemorate the blessing of the Zamzam well which God gave to Hagar and Ishmael, Muslims run between the Safa and Marwah hills retracing Hagar’s steps on her search for water, during the rites of Hajj.[38] Abraham returned and visited Ishmael at various times throughout his life. At one time, according to a tradition of Muhammad, Abraham had arrived when his son was out and Abraham visited with Ishmael’s wife. Abraham decided to leave before seeing his son, but based upon the complaints Ishmael’s wife made in response to his questions, he gave her a message to give to her husband when he returned home, which was “change his threshold.” When Ishmael arrived that night, he asked if they had had any visitors, and was informed by his wife of the man who had visited and what he said. Ishmael understood his father and explained to his wife that the visitor was his father and he had been instructed to divorce his wife and find a better one, which Ishmael did. Some time after this, Abraham returned to visit Ishmael and again Ishmael was out. Abraham talked with Ishmael’s new wife and found her answers indicated faith in God and contentment with her husband. Abraham again had to leave before he saw his son, but left him the message to “keep his threshold.” When Ishmael returned that night, he again asked if there had been any visitors and was informed of Abraham’s visit. Ishmael told his wife who it was that had come to visit and that he approved of her and their marriage. On one of his visits to Mecca, Abraham is said to have asked his son to help him build the requested Kaaba.[53] Islamic traditions hold that the Kaaba was first built by Adam and that Abraham and Ishmael rebuilt the Kaaba on the old foundations.[54] As Ishmael grew up in Arabia, he is said to have become fluent in Arabic. In the genealogical trees that the early scholars drew,[55] Ishmael was considered the ancestor of the Northern Arabs and Muhammad was linked to him through the lineage of the patriarch Adnan. Ishmael may also have been the ancestor of the Southern Arabs through his descendant Qahtan. Christianity[edit] See also: Hagar in Christian tradition and Isaac in the New Testament In the book of Galatians (4:21–31), Paul uses the incident to symbolize the two covenants the old but fulfilled and new covenant which is universal by promise through Jehoshua ben Joseph .[3] In Galatians 4:28–31,[56] Hagar is associated with the Sinai covenant, while Sarah is associated with the covenant of grace into which her son Isaac enters.[57] Bahá'í Faith[edit] The Bahá'í writings state that it was Ishmael, and not Isaac, who was the son that Abraham almost sacrificed.[58] However, the Bahá'í writings also state that the name is unimportant as either could be used: the importance is that both were symbols of sacrifice.[59] According to Shoghi Effendi, there has also been another Ishmael, a prophet of Israel, commonly known as Samuel.[60] See also[edit]

Abraham Biblical narratives and the Qur'an Isaac Legends and the Qur'an List of names referring to El Prophets of Islam Stories of The Prophets


^ a b c d Gigot, Francis. "Ismael". Catholic Encyclopedia (1913). 8.  ^ Gibb, Hamilton A.R. and Kramers, J.H. (1965) Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam. Ithaca:Cornell University Press. pp. 191–98 ^ a b c d e Fredrick E. Greenspahn (2005). "Ishmael". In Lindsay Jones. Encyclopedia of Religion. 7. Macmillan Reference USA. pp. 4551–52. ISBN 9780028657400. ISHMAEL, or, in Hebrew, Yishmaʿeʾl; eldest son of Abraham. Ishmael's mother was Hagar, an Egyptian slave girl whom Sarah gave to Abraham because of her own infertility; in accordance with Mesopotamian law, the offspring of such a union would be credited to Sarah (Gn. 16:2). The name Yishmaʿeʾl is known from various ancient Semitic cultures and means "God has hearkened," suggesting that a child so named was regarded as the fulfillment of a divine promise. Ishmael was circumcised at the age of thirteen by Abraham and expelled with his mother at the instigation of Sarah, who wanted to ensure that Isaac would be Abraham's heir (Gn. 21). In the New Testament, Paul uses this incident to symbolize the relationship between Judaism, the older but now rejected tradition, and Christianity (Gal. 4:21–31). In the Genesis account, God blessed Ishmael, promising that he would be the founder of a great nation and a "wild ass of a man" always at odds with others (Gn. 16:12). He is credited with twelve sons, described as "princes according to their tribes" (Gn. 25:16), representing perhaps an ancient confederacy. The Ishmaelites, vagrant traders closely related to the Midianites, were apparently regarded as his descendants. The fact that Ishmael's wife and mother are both said to have been Egyptian suggests close ties between the Ishmaelites and Egypt. According to Genesis 25:17, Ishmael lived to the age of 137. Islamic tradition tends to ascribe a larger role to Ishmael than does the Bible. He is considered a prophet and, according to certain theologians, the offspring whom Abraham was commanded to sacrifice (although surah Judaism has generally regarded him as wicked, although repentance is also ascribed to him. According to some rabbinic traditions, his two wives were Aisha and Fatima, whose names are the same as those of Muhammad's wife and daughter Both Judaism and Islam see him as the ancestor of Arab peoples. Bibliography A survey of the Bible's patriarchal narratives can be found in Nahum M. Sarna's Understanding Genesis (New York, 1966). Postbiblical traditions, with reference to Christian and Islamic views, are collected in Louis Ginzberg's exhaustive Legends of the Jews, 2d ed., 2 vols., translated by Henrietta Szold and Paul Radin (Philadelphia, 2003). Frederick E. Greenspahn (1987 and 2005)  ^ Genesis 16:3 ^ "Hebrew Concordance: mə·ṣa·ḥêq – 2 Occurrences". Retrieved 2017-02-05.  ^ "Strong's Hebrew: 6711. צָחַק (tsachaq) – to laugh". Retrieved 2017-02-05.  ^ "Hagar", Jewish Encyclopedia ^ "Hagar". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. ^ Genesis 25:2–6 ^ Genesis 21:17–21 ^ "Ishmael", Jewish Encyclopedia ^ Genesis 25:12–18 ^ Schaff, Philip, ed. (1880). A Dictionary of the Bible: Including Biography, Natural History, Geography, Topography, Archæology, and Literature. Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union. p. 494 [p. 502 on–line]. Archived from the original on January 22, 2010. Retrieved April 23, 2011.  ^ "Mahalath", Jewish Encyclopedia ^ Genesis 25:9 ^ Genesis 25:17 ^ S. Nikaido(2001), p. 1 ^

Both Judaism and Islam see him as the ancestor of Arab peoples. Jones, Lindsay (2005). Encyclopedia of religion. Macmillan Reference USA. ISBN 9780028657400.  Ishmael is recognized by Muslims as the ancestor of several prominent Arab tribes and being the forefather of Muhammad. A–Z of Prophets in Islam and Judaism, Wheeler, Ishmael Muslims also believe that Muhammad was the descendant of Ishmael that would establish a great nation, as promised by God in the Old Testament.*Genesis 17:20Zeep, Ira G. (2000). A Muslim primer: beginner's guide to Islam, Volume 2. University of Arkansas Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-55728-595-9.  Ishmael was considered the ancestor of the Northern Arabs and Muhammad was linked to him through the lineage of the patriarch Adnan. Ishmael may also have been the ancestor of the Southern Arabs through his descendant Qahtan. "Zayd ibn Amr" was another Pre-Islamic figure who refused idolatry and preached monotheism, claiming it was the original belief of their [Arabs] father Ishmael. *The Beginning and the End by Ibn Kathir – Vol. 3, p. 323 The History by Ibn Khaldun, Vol, 2, p. 4 The tribes of Central West Arabia called themselves the "people of Abraham and the offspring of Ishmael". The Signs of Prophethood, Section 18, page 215."Signs of Prophethood in the Noble Life of Prophet Muhammad (part 1 of 2): Prophet Muhammad's Early Life – The Religion of Islam".  Gibb, Hamilton A.R. and Kramers, J.H. (1965) Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam. Ithaca:Cornell University Press. pp. 191–98 Maalouf, Tony. Arabs in the Shadow of Israel: The Unfolding of God's Prophetic Plan for Ishmael's Line. Kregel Academic. ISBN 9780825493638.  Urbain, Olivier (2008). Music and Conflict Transformation: Harmonies and Dissonances in Geopolitics. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 9781845115289. 

^ The Treasury of literature, Sect. 437 ^ The Beginning of History, Volume 3, Sect.10 ^ Al-Kashf Wa Al-Bayan, Vol. 11, p. 324 ^ The Beginning and the End by Ibn Kathir – Vol. 3, p. 323 ^ The History by Ibn Khaldun, Vol, 2, p. 4 ^ The Signs of Prophethood, Section 18, page 215 ^ The Collection of the Speeches of Arabs, volume 1, section 75 ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 7 April 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2018.  ^ Encyclopaedia Judaica. 10. p. 34.  ^ "ISHMAEL". Retrieved 2 October 2015. Ishmael married a Moabitess named 'Adishah or 'Aishah (variants "'Ashiyah" and "'Aifah," Arabic names; Targ. pseudo-Jonathan to Gen. xxi. 21; Pirḳe R. El. l.c.); or, according to "Sefer ha-Yashar" (Wayera), an Egyptian named Meribah or Merisah.  ^ Singer, Isidore; Adler, Cyrus (1906). The Jewish Encyclopedia. p. 647. Retrieved 2 October 2015. Ishmael married a Moabitess named 'Adishah or 'Aishah (variants "'Ashiyah" and "'Aifah," Arabic names; Targ. pseudo-Jonathan to Gen. xxi. 21; Pirḳe R. El. l.c.); or, according to "Sefer ha-Yashar" (Wayera), an Egyptian named Meribah or Merisah.  ^ Berlin, Adele (2011). The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 384. ISBN 9780199730049. Retrieved 2 October 2015. ...In medieval Hebrew usage, Ishmael represents the muslim world (i.e., the arabs and later the turks)  ^ Blenkinsopp, Joseph (2015). "7". Abraham. ISBN 9781467443777. Retrieved 2 October 2015. We already know from the basic narrative that Hagar the Egyptian provided an Egyptian wife for her son and an Egyptian daughter-in-law for herself (Gen. 21:21). The wife remained nameless, but we know this would not be for long. One suggestion in Pirqe de Rabbi Eliezer (The Chapters of Rabbi Eliezer), from the eighth century, written probably under Islamic rule, is that Ishmael had two wives named Aisha and Fatima, which happen to be the names of Muhammad’s wife and daughter, respectively (Pirqe R. El. 30). Rather than coincidence, this could have been a way of emphasizing the close affinity of Islamic peoples with the great prophet and founder. At all events, Ishmael (Isma'il) became the symbol, representative, and patriarch of the Arab peoples in general and, in virtue of his noble descent and Arabian origins, of Islamic peoples...  ^ "The Return of Hagar", commentary on Parshah Chayei Sarah, Chabad Lubavitch. ^ "Who Was Ketura?", Bar-Ilan University's Parashat Hashavua Study Center, 2003. ^ "Parshat Chayei Sarah" Archived 2008-11-13 at the Wayback Machine., Torah Insights, Orthodox Union, 2002. ^ Bereshit Rabbah 61:4. ^ Adele Berlin; Marc Zvi Brettler (2004). The Jewish Study Bible. Oxford University Press. p. 44. ISBN 9780195297515.  ^ Jeffrey, David L., A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1992, p. 326 ISBN 0-8028-3634-8 ^ a b c d A–Z of Prophets in Islam and Judaism, Wheeler, Ishmael ^ Genesis 17:20 ^ Zeep, Ira G. (2000). A Muslim primer: beginner's guide to Islam, Volume 2. University of Arkansas Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-55728-595-9.  ^ "Search the word Ismail in the Quran القران الكريم in English translation by Shakir – Search Quran Koran Qur'an القران الكريم". Retrieved 2017-03-04.  ^ "Search the word ishmael in the Quran القران الكريم in English translation by Pickthal – Search Quran Koran Qur'an القران الكريم". Retrieved 2017-03-05.  ^ Quran 38:48 ^ Quran 6:86 ^ Quran 2:127–129 ^ Quran 14:35–41 ^ Quran 2:136 ^ Quran 2:133 ^ Quran 37:100–107 ^ "Isaac", Encyclopedia of Islam, volume 4 ^ Glasse, C., "Ishmael", Concise Encyclopedia of Islam ^ Encyclopedia of Islam Volume 4, Ismail ^ Quran 2:127 ^ Azraqi, Akhbar Makkah, vol. 1, pp. 58–66 ^ Chronicles, Tabari, Vol I: From Creation to Flood ^ Galatians 4:28–31 ^ Encyclopedia of Christianity(Ed. John Bowden), Isaac ^ Bahá'u'lláh (1976). Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. pp. 75–76. ISBN 0-87743-187-6.  ^ Cole, Juan R.I. (1995). "Interpretation in the Bahá'í Faith". Baha'i Studies Review. 5 (1).  ^ "Concerning the appearance of two Davids; there is a Tablet from 'Abdu'l-Bahá in which He says that just as there have been two Ishmaels, one the son of Abraham, and the other one of the Prophets of Israel, there have appeared two Davids, one the author of the Psalms and father of Solomon, and the other before Moses." (Shoghi Effendi, Dawn of a New Day, pp. 86–87)


Books and journals

Metzger, Bruce M; Michael D Coogan (1993). The Oxford Companion To The Bible. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-504645-8.  Nikaido, S. (2001). "Hagar and Ishmael as Literary Figures: An Intertextual Study". Vetus Testamentum. 51 (2): 219. doi:10.1163/156853301300102110.  Werblowsky, R.J. Zwi; Geoffrey Wigoder (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Jewish Religion. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508605-8.  Quinn, Daniel (1993). Ishmael. Bantam Dell Pub Group. ISBN 0-553-56166-9. 


Hubert Cancik; Helmuth Schneider, eds. (2005). Brill's New Pauly: Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World: Antiquity. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-90-04-12270-3.  Paul Lagasse; Lora Goldman; Archie Hobson; Susan R. Norton, eds. (2000). The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th ed.). Gale Group. ISBN 978-1-59339-236-9.  John Bowden, ed. (2005). Encyclopedia of Christianity (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-522393-4.  P.J. Bearman; Th. Bianquis; C.E. Bosworth; E. van Donzel; W.P. Heinrichs (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 1573-3912.  Lindsay Jones, ed. (2005). Encyclopedia of Religion (2nd ed.). MacMillan Reference Books. ISBN 978-0-02-865733-2.  The New Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Incorporated; Rev Ed edition. 2005. ISBN 978-1-59339-236-9.  Jane Dammen McAuliffe, ed. (2005). Encyclopedia of the Qur'an. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-90-04-12356-4. 

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Ishmael

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ishmael.

Genealogy from Adam to the Twelve Tribes Ishmael in Islam The Jewish Encyclopedia: Ishmael. Biographical Study on Ishmael  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Ismael". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  Ishmael in Bahá'í Faith

v t e

Sons of Ishmael in order of birth (Genesis)

Nebaioth Kedar Adbeel Mibsam Mishma Dumah Massa Hadad Tema Jetur Naphish Kedemah

v t e

Children of Ishmael by wives (Book of Jasher)

Ribah or Meribah (from Egypt)

Nebaioth Qedar Adbeel Mibsam Basemath (daughter)

Malchuth (from the land of Canaan)

Mishma Dumah Massa/Masa Hadad Tema Jetur Naphish Kedemah/Kedma

v t e

Prophets in the Quran

آدم إدريس نوح هود صالح إبراهيم لوط إسماعيل

Adam Adam

Idris Enoch (?)

Nuh Noah

Hud Eber (?)

Saleh Salah (?)

Ibrahim Abraham

Lut Lot

Ismail Ishmael

إسحاق يعقوب يوسف أيوب شُعيب موسى هارون ذو الكفل داود

Is'haq Isaac

Yaqub Jacob

Yusuf Joseph

Ayyub Job

Shuayb Jethro (?)

Musa Moses

Harun Aaron

Dhul-Kifl Ezekiel (?)

Daud David

سليمان إلياس إليسع يونس زكريا يحيى عيسى مُحمد

Sulaiman Solomon

Ilyas Elijah

Al-Yasa Elisha

Yunus Jonah

Zakaria Zechariah

Yahya John

Isa Jesus

Muhammad Muhammad

Note: Muslims believe that there were many prophets sent by God to mankind. The Islamic prophets above are only the ones mentioned by name in the Quran.

v t e

People and things in the Quran



Allâh ("The God")

Names of Allah found in the Quran

Beings in Paradise

Ghilmān or Wildān Ḥūr



The baqarah (cow) of Israelites The dhi’b (wolf) that Jacob feared could attack Joseph The hud-hud (hoopoe) of Solomon The kalb (dog) of the sleepers of the cave The nūn (fish or whale) of Jonah The nāqaṫ (she-camel) of Saleh The fīl (elephant) of the Abyssinians)


Ḥimār (domesticated donkey or wild ass) Qaswarah ('Lion', 'Beast of prey' or 'Hunter')


‘Ifrîṫ ("Strong one") Jann Mârid ("Rebellious one")

Iblīs the Shayṭān (Devil) Other Shayāṭīn (Demons)




Ādam (Adam) Al-Yasa‘ (Elisha) Ayyūb (Job) Dāwūd (David) Dhūl-Kifl (Ezekiel?) Hārūn (Aaron) Hūd (Eber?) Idrīs (Enoch?) Ilyās (Elijah) ‘Imrān (Joachim the father of Maryam) Is-ḥāq (Isaac) Ismā‘īl (Ishmael)

Dhabih Ullah

Isma'il Ṣādiq al-Wa‘d (Fulfiller of the Promise) Lūṭ (Lot) Ṣāliḥ Shu‘ayb (Jethro, Reuel or Hobab?) Sulaymān ibn Dāwūd (Solomon son of David) ‘Uzair (Ezra?) Yaḥyā ibn Zakariyyā (John the Baptist the son of Zechariah) Ya‘qūb (Jacob)

Isrâ’îl (Israel)

Yūnus (Jonah)

Dhūn-Nūn ("He of the Fish (or Whale)" or "Owner of the Fish (or Whale)") Ṣāḥib al-Ḥūṫ ("Companion of the Whale")

Yūsuf ibn Ya‘qūb (Joseph son of Jacob) Zakariyyā (Zechariah)



Aḥmad Other names and titles of Muhammad

ʿĪsā (Jesus)

Al-Masīḥ (The Messiah) Ibn Maryam (Son of Mary)

Mūsā Kalīmullāh (Moses He who spoke to God) Ibrāhīm Khalīlullāh (Abraham Friend of God) Nūḥ (Noah)

Debatable ones

Dhūl-Qarnain (Cyrus the Great?) Luqmân Maryam (Mary) Ṭâlûṫ (Saul or Gideon?)


Irmiyā (Jeremiah) Ṣamû’îl (Samuel) Yūsha‘ ibn Nūn (Joshua, companion and successor of Moses)

People of Prophets

Evil ones

Āzar (possibly Terah) Fir‘awn (Pharaoh of Moses' time) Hāmān Jâlûṫ (Goliath) Qārūn (Korah, cousin of Moses) As-Sāmirī Abî Lahab Slayers of Saleh's she-camel (Qaddar ibn Salif and Musda' ibn Dahr)

Good ones

Adam's immediate relatives

Martyred son Wife

Believer of Ya-Sin Family of Noah

Father Lamech Mother Shamkhah bint Anush or Betenos

Luqman's son People of Aaron and Moses

Believer of Fir'aun Family (Hizbil/Hizqil ibn Sabura) Imra’aṫ Fir‘awn (Âsiyá bint Muzâḥim or Bithiah) Khidr Magicians of the Pharaoh Moses' wife Moses' sister-in-law Mother Sister

People of Abraham

Mother Abiona or Amtelai the daughter of Karnebo Ishmael's mother Isaac's mother

People of Jesus

Disciples (including Peter) Mary's mother Zechariah's wife

People of Joseph

Brothers (including Binyāmin (Benjamin) and Simeon) Egyptians

‘Azîz (Potiphar, Qatafir or Qittin) Malik (King Ar-Rayyân ibn Al-Walîd)) Wife of ‘Azîz (Zulaykhah)


People of Solomon

Mother Queen of Sheba Vizier


Implied or not specified

Abrahah Bal'am/Balaam Barsisa Caleb or Kaleb the companion of Joshua Luqman's son Nebuchadnezzar II Nimrod Rahmah the wife of Ayyub Shaddad



Aş-ḥāb al-Jannah

People of Paradise People of the Burnt Garden

Aş-ḥāb as-Sabṫ (Companions of the Sabbath) Christian apostles

Ḥawāriyyūn (Disciples of Jesus)

Companions of Noah's Ark Aş-ḥāb al-Kahf war-Raqīm (Companions of the Cave and Al-Raqaim? Companions of the Elephant People of al-Ukhdūd People of a township in Surah Ya-Sin People of Yathrib or Medina Qawm Lûṭ (People of Sodom and Gomorrah) Nation of Noah

Tribes, ethnicities or families

A‘rāb (Arabs or Bedouins)

ʿĀd (people of Hud) Companions of the Rass Qawm Tubba‘ (People of Tubba)

People of Saba’ or Sheba

Quraysh Thamûd (people of Saleh)

Aṣ-ḥâb al-Ḥijr ("Companions of the Stoneland")

Ajam Ar-Rûm (literally "The Romans") Banî Isrâ’îl (Children of Israel) Mu’ṫafikāṫ (The overthrown cities of Sodom and Gomorrah) People of Ibrahim People of Ilyas People of Nuh People of Shuaib

Ahl Madyan People of Madyan) Aṣ-ḥāb al-Aykah ("Companions of the Wood")

Qawm Yûnus (People of Jonah) Ya'juj and Ma'juj/Gog and Magog Ahl al-Bayṫ ("People of the Household")

Household of Abraham

Brothers of Yūsuf Daughters of Abraham's nephew Lot (Ritha, Za'ura, et al.) Progeny of Imran Household of Moses Household of Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim

Daughters of Muhammad Wives of Muhammad

Household of Salih

People of Fir'aun Current Ummah of Islam (Ummah of Muhammad)

Aṣ-ḥāb Muḥammad (Companions of Muhammad)

Muhajirun (Emigrants) Anṣār Muslims of Medina who helped Muhammad and his Meccan followers, literally 'Helpers')

People of Mecca

Umm Jamil (wife of Abu Lahab)

Children of Ayyub Dead son of Sulaiman Qabil/Cain (son of Adam) Wali'ah or Wa'ilah/Waala (wife of Nuh) Walihah or Wahilah (wife of Lut) Ya’jūj wa Ma’jūj (Gog and Magog) Yam or Kan'an (son of Nuh)

Implicitly mentioned

Amalek Ahl as-Suffa (People of the Verandah) Banu Nadir Banu Qaynuqa Banu Qurayza Iranian people Umayyad Dynasty Aus & Khazraj People of Quba

Religious groups

Ahl al-dhimmah (Dhimmi) Kâfirûn (Infidels) Zoroastrians Munāfiqūn (Hypocrites) Muslims People of the Book (Ahl al-Kiṫāb)

Naṣārā (Christian(s) or People of the Injil)

Ruhban (Christian monks) Qissis (Christian priest)

Yahūd (Jews)

Ahbār (Jewish scholars) Rabbani/Rabbi



Meccan polytheists at the time of Muhammad Mesopotamian polytheists at the time of Abraham and Lot



Al-Arḍ Al-Mubārakah ("The Land The Blessed")

Al-Arḍ Al-Muqaddasah ("The Land The Holy")

In the Arabian Peninsula (excluding Madyan)

Al-Aḥqāf ("The Sandy Plains," or "the Wind-curved Sand-hills")

Iram dhāṫ al-‘Imād (Iram of the Pillars)

Al-Madīnah (formerly Yathrib) ‘Arafāṫ Al-Ḥijr (Hegra) Badr Ḥunayn Makkah (Mecca)

Bakkah Ḥaraman Âminan ("Sanctuary (which is) Secure") Ka‘bah (Kaaba) Maqām Ibrāhīm (Station of Abraham) Safa and Marwah

Saba’ (Sheba)

‘Arim Saba’ (Dam of Sheba)


Jahannam (Hell) Jannah (Paradise, literally 'Garden') In Mesopotamia:


Munzalanm-Mubārakan ("Place-of-Landing Blessed")

Bābil (Babylon) Qaryaṫ Yūnus ("Township of Jonah," that is Nineveh)

Door of Hittah Madyan (Midian) Majma' al-Bahrain Miṣr (Mainland Egypt) Salsabîl (A river in Paradise) Sinai Region or Tīh Desert

Al-Wād Al-Muqaddas Ṭuwan (The Holy Valley of Tuwa)

Al-Wādil-Ayman (The valley on the 'righthand' side of the Valley of Tuwa and Mount Sinai)

Mount Sinai or Mount Tabor




Arabia Ayla Barrier of Dhul-Qarnayn Bayt al-Muqaddas & 'Ariha Bilād ar-Rāfidayn (Mesopotamia) Canaan Cave of Seven Sleepers Dār an-Nadwa Al-Ḥijāz (literally "The Barrier")

Black Stone (Al-Ḥajar al-Aswad) & Al-Hijr of Isma'il Cave of Hira & Ghar al-Thawr (Cave of the Bull) Ta'if

Hudaybiyyah Jordan River Nile River Palestine River Paradise of Shaddad

Religious locations

Bay'a (Church) Mihrab Monastery Masjid (Mosque, literally "Place of Prostration")

Al-Mash‘ar Al-Ḥarām ("The Monument the Sacred") Al-Masjid Al-Aqṣā (Al-Aqsa Mosque, literally "The Place-of-Prostration The Farthest") Al-Masjid Al-Ḥarām (The Sacred Mosque of Mecca) Masjid al-Dirar A Mosque in the area of Medina, possibly:

Masjid Qubâ’ (Quba Mosque) The Prophet's Mosque

Salat (Synagogue)

Plant matter

Shaṭ’ (Shoot) Sūq (Stem) Zar‘ (Seed)


Ḥabb dhul-‘aṣf (Corn of the husk) Rummān (Pomegranate) Ukul khamṭ (Bitter fruit or food of Sheba) In Paradise

Forbidden fruit of Adam

Bushes, trees or plants

Plants of Sheba

Athl (Tamarisk) Sidr (lote-tree)

Līnah (Tender palm tree) Nakhl (date palm) Rayḥān (Scented plant) Sidraṫ al-Munṫahā Zaqqūm


Al-Injîl (The Gospel of Jesus) Al-Qur’ân (The Book of Muhammad) Ṣuḥuf-i Ibrâhîm (Scroll(s) of Abraham) Aṫ-Ṫawrâṫ (The Torah)

Ṣuḥuf-i-Mûsâ (Scroll(s) of Moses) Tablets of Stone

Az-Zabûr (The Psalms of David) Umm al-Kiṫâb ("Mother of the Book(s)")

Objects of people or beings

Heavenly Food of Christian Apostles Noah's Ark Staff of Musa Ṫābūṫ as-Sakīnah (Casket of Shekhinah) Throne of Bilqis Trumpet of Israfil

Mentioned idols (cult images)

'Ansāb Idols of Israelites:

Baal The ‘ijl (golden calf statue) of Israelites

Idols of Noah's people:

Nasr Suwā‘ Wadd Yaghūth Ya‘ūq

Idols of Quraysh:

Al-Lāṫ Al-‘Uzzá Manāṫ

Jibṫ and Ṭâghûṫ

Celestial bodies

Maṣābīḥ (literally 'lamps'):

Al-Qamar (The Moon) Kawâkib (Planets)

Al-Arḍ (The Earth)

Nujūm (Stars)

Ash-Shams (The Sun)


Mā’ (Water or fluid)

Nahr (River) Yamm (River or sea)

Sharâb (Drink)


Battle of al-Aḥzāb ("the Confederates") Battle of Badr Battle of Hunayn Battle of Khaybar Battle of Tabouk Battle of Uhud Conquest of Mecca Incident of Ifk Laylat al-Mabit Mubahala Sayl al-‘Arim (Flood of the Great Dam of Marib in Sheba) The Farewell Pilgrimage (Hujja al-Wada') Treaty of Hudaybiyyah ‘Umrah al-Qaza Yawm ad-Dār


Event of Ghadir Khumm

Note: The names are sorted alphabetically. Standard form: Islamic name / Biblical name (title or r