ISAAC Arabic Ishaq اسحاق
The son of Abraham. He is mentioned in the Qur’an as specially the child of promise, and a gift from God to Abraham; and also as an inspired prophet.
Surah xxi. 72: “And We (God) gave him (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob as a farther gift: and we made them all righteous.”
Surah xix. 50: “And when he had separated himself from them and that which they worshiped beside God, we bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob; and each of them we made a prophet.”
“And we bestowed gifts on them in our mercy, and gave them the lofty tongue of truth.”
The birth of Isaac as a child of promise to Abraham is related in Surah xi. 72-77:-
“And our messengers came formerly to Abraham with glad tidings. ‘Peace’, said they. He said, ‘Peace,’ and tarried not, but brought a roasted calf.”
“And when he saw that their hands touched it not, he misliked them, and grew fearful of them. They said, ‘Fear not, for we are sent to the people of Lot.'”
“His wife was standing by and laughed; and we announced Isaac to her; and after Isaac, Jacob.”
“She said, ‘Ah, woe is me! Shall I bear a son when I am old, and when this my husband is an old man? This truly would be a marvelous thing.’
“They said, ‘Marvellest thou at the command of God? God’s mercy and blessing be upon you, O people of this house; praise and glory are His due?”
“And when Abraham’s fear had passed away, and these glad tidings had reached him, he pleaded with us for the people of Lot. Verily, Abraham was right kind, pitiful, relenting.”
Abraham’s willingness to offer up his son is told in the Qur’an, and from the text there would seem little doubt but Isaac was intended, although al-Baizawi and many commentators declare it was Ishmael. The account runs thus (Surah xxxvii. 97-113):-
“And he siad, ‘Verily, I repair to my Lord who will guide me.”
“O Lord give me a son, of the righteous.”
“We announced to him a youth of meekness.”
“And when he became a full-grown youth, his father said to him, ‘My son, I have seen in a dream that I should sacrifice thee; therefore, consider what thou seest right'”.
“He said, ‘My father, do what thou art bidden; of the patient, if God please, shalt thou find me'”.
“And when they had surrender them to the will of God, he laid him down upon his forehead.”
“We cried unto him, ‘O Abraham’!”
“‘Now hast thou satisfied the vision. See how we recompense the righteous.”
This was indeed the test.
“And we ransomed his son with a costly victim.”
“And we left this for him among posterity.”
“‘PEACE BE UPON ABRAHAM!'”
“Thus do we reward the well-doers.”
“For he was of our believing servants.”
“And we announced Isaac to him – a righteous prophet –
And on him and on Isaac we bestowed our blessing. And among their offspring were well-doers, and others, to their own hurt undoubted sinners.”
The feast sacrifice, the ‘Idu ‘l-Azha, is said to have been instituted in commemoration of this event. [‘IDU ‘L-AZHA.]
Syud Ahmad Khan Bahadur, in his Essays on Arabia, remarks that learned Muslim theologians distinctly say it was Isaac and not Ishmael who was to have been offered up; but our researches scarcely confirm the learned Syud’s statement. Isma’il al-Bukhari, no mean authority, says it was Ishmael, and so does al-Baizawi.
The weight of traditional authority seems to be in favor of Isaac, and so does the text of the Qur’an, which we have explained in the account of Ishmael; and yet amongst both the Sunnis and the Shi’ahs the opinion is now almost universal that it was Ishmael. [ISHMAEL.]
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam