Abraham, His Descendants And The Coming of Islam
We continue this series from where we stop in the first article last week.
It’s impossible to understand the present state of the Middle East without a knowledge of the three great religions that emanate from the area— Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These three faiths all trace their spiritual roots back to the same individual, Abraham. So, we will be digfing deeper in the Part two of this series. The towering historical figures behind these three religions—Moses, Jesus Christ and Muhammad were all direct descendants of Abraham. Many will disagree but biblical history reveals it, so dont crucuify me yet my people because i know some midnight criers are boiling already, the question to ask is why then is there three religion? And why did the bible reveals only two of the religion? And is the third religion a false religion? All these will be attended to as we move on, just be patient.
This article is an outcome of so many seaching and digging, this is very important in understanding the crises in this middle east. Remember, all the Apostles and Prophets (including Apostle Paul, John the Beloved, Neal Frisby and William Marrion Branham) were crazy readers, and thats the step we ought to follows.
So, in this article, we will be looking into the Abraham, Isaac Ishmael, and most importantly, the coming of Islam. So, it's a comprehensive and lengthy article. Make sure you patiently read to the end.
Abraham and Sarah
Abraham, born in the Mesopotamian city of Ur, was the son of Terah, a descendant of Shem, a son of Noah. Born almost 4,000 years ago, Abraham’s impact on the Middle East is still with us to this day. As a descendant of Noah’s son Shem, Abraham and his descendants were a Semitic people. In Genesis 11 we see that Shem’s great-grandson Eber (verse 14-16) was a direct ances- tor of Abraham, and it is from Eber that the term Hebrew comes.
Called “the father of all of them that believe in the One True God" (compare Romans 4:11), Abraham obeyed God’s instruction to leave his native Ur and move to Haran. As Sn, the devout frst martyr of the Christian era, put it: “The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, and said to him, ‘Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you’”
Both Ur and Haran were cities in Mesopotamia, which refers to the area between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Haran was a natural stop- ping-off point for Abraham and Sarah, who were about to be sent by God to a new land, a signifcant turning point in the history of the region.
We read of this move in Genesis 12:1-4, following the death of Abra- ham’s father, Terah. Again, notice his example of unquestioning obedience: “Now the Lord had said to Abram [this being his original name, which was later expanded to Abraham]: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing…’ So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him…” Hebrews 11:8 adds: “And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”
God was working with Abraham to establish him and his descendants in the land of Canaan (later called the Promised Land and often referred to as the Holy Land). At the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe, this area was ideal for God’s chosen people, who were to be an example to the rest of the world (Deuteronomy 4:5-8).
On arriving in the new land, God promised Abraham that He would give the land to his descendants (Genesis 12:7). “And the Lord said to Abram…‘Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever’” (Genesis 13:14-15).
God added: “And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered” (verse 16). Signifcantly, God later changed Abram’s name to Abraham (Genesis 17:5). His earlier name meant “high (exalted) father.” God renamed him “father of a multitude,” saying, “I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you”
At the time these prophecies must have seemed ironic to Abraham, for his wife Sarah was barren. Her infertility was to be very signifcant in the development of the modern Middle East.
God promised Abraham in Genesis 15:4 that he would have an heir: “one who will come from your own body.” Because of Impatient Sarah told Abraham to take her Egyptian handmaid Hagar and to produce a child by her. This took place “after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan” (Genesis 16:1-3).
The Birth of Ishmael
“So Abraham (knowingfully well that its not right, the same thing Adam did) went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes” (Genesis 16:4). The relationship between Sarah and Hagar quickly deteriorated and Hagar fled.
But a divine message was given to Hagar,
And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
This description of Hagar’s descendants is signifcant because many of today’s Arabs are Ishmaelites—descendants of this same Ishmael, whose father was Abraham. Muhammad, the founder and prophet of Islam, was descended from Kedar, one of the 12 sons of Ishmael (Ismail in Arabic). Today 22 nations in the Middle East and North Africa are Arabic nations, most of whose people are adherents of Islam. An additional 35 countries are members of the Islamic Conference, most of them with Islamic governments, but whose people are of different descent.
Even before Ishmael’s descendants arrived in the area, the term arab was used to denote the peoples of the Arabian peninsula. With the spread of Islam, Arabs and the Arabic language today encompass a vast region.
The divinely prophetic words spoken to Hagar are still of great signifcance today. The prophecy that Ishmael “will be a wild donkey of a man” is not meant as an insult. The wild donkey was the aristocrat of the wild beasts of the desert, the preferred prey of hunters. The prophecy is a reference to how Ishmael’s descendants would emulate the lifestyle of the wild donkey, leading a free and noble existence in the desert.
“his hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him” similarly refers to this independent lifestyle. Ishmael’s descendants have always resisted foreign domination. "he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren" is a reference to the enmity that has historically existed among the Arabs and between the Arabs and the other sons of Abraham.
The Birth of Isaac
Fourteen years after the birth of Ishmael, God blessed Abraham with another son, this time by his wife Sarah. He told them to name their son Isaac (meaning “laughter” for the incredulous reaction they had when told they would have a son at their advanced age as well as the joy that he would later bring to his parents, Genesis 17:17, 19; 18:10-15; 21:5-6). Isaac in turn fathered Jacob, also named Israel, the father of the Israelites. Ishmael’s and Isaac’s descendants are therefore cousins.
“So the child [Isaac] grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the same day that Isaac was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffng. Therefore she said to Abraham, ‘Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac”
This displeased Abraham, who had grown to love Ishmael. “But God said to Abraham, ‘…Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called” (verse 12).
Now, no controversy, even thou Ishmael is a son of Abraham but of bondwoman, by Divine promise Isaac is the heir of Abraham, Isaac is the Son of Promise and in the sight of God, Isaac is the only Son of Abraham and its in him that the seed are called (Genesis 22:2). Why? Apostle Paul answered the question.. He revealed that "only the children of promise are counted for the seed"
That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.
So, it is the son that came from Sara that is the son of promise not that of Hagar.
But God further reassured Abraham: “Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman [Ishmael], because he is your seed” (verse 13). “So God was with the lad; and he grew and dwelt in the wilderness…” (verse 20).
It cannot be said that Ishmael hated Isaac. But after 14 years as an only child, Isaac’s arrival fundamentally changed Ishmael’s relationship with his father, Abraham. Afterward, Ishmael felt envy and rivalry toward his half brother, feelings that tribally have survived down through the centuries and which affect the politics of the Middle East today.
Jacob and Esau
Further family complications were ahead. Isaac, in turn, had two sons, Jacob and Esau, twins by his wife Rebekah. Even before they were born, “the children struggled together within her” (Genesis 25:22). God explained: “Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger” (verse 23). Both brothers were to father great nations, a blessing from God to Abraham’s grandsons.
Normall the first born would receive birthright, but here it was to be different. The Bible records that Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentil stew (verses 29-34), showing how little it meant to him. But, it still boil on Predestination and Divine Providence. Sometime later, Jacob tricked his father into giving him the birthright blessing (chapter 27). For this, “Esau hated Jacob” (verse 41). Again, the consequences of this are with us to this day. The descendants of Esau (also called Edom, Genesis 25:30) intermarried with Ishmael’s descendants, their bitterness and resentment against Jacob’s descendants intensifying through the centuries. Esau’s grandson Amalek (Genesis 36:12) was the father of the Amalekites, who became bitter foes of the descendants of Jacob, the 12 tribes of Israel. A prophecy about Amalek foretold endless war between them “from generation to generation” (Exodus 17:16). Some scholars believe that many of today’s Palestinians are largely the descendants of the Amalekites, which could be true.
The descendants of Ishmael lived in relative obscurity through-
out the period of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah and the Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman Empires. They mostly kept to themselves in the Arabian Peninsula where desert life was hard, frequently fghting among themselves. But this changed early in the seventh century, less than 600 years after the time of Jesus Christ, when the most famous of Ishmael’s descendants came on the scene.
Until the early 600s the Arabs were idol worshippers. The great temple in Mecca had 365 idols (one for each day of the year) and was a source of considerable revenue for local merchants who relied on pilgrims visiting the site for their income.
This religious landscape was to change dramatically with the prophet Muhammad and the religion he founded, Islam.
Muhammad (sometimes spelled Mohammed or Mahomet) was of the Hashemite family (in Arabic, Beni Hashim) of the powerful Koreish (or Quraish) tribe, which controlled the pagan temple in Mecca. According to Islamic belief (their believe which is a lie from the pit of hell), it was near Mecca, at Mt. Hira, that the an angel ( they even said its archangel Gabriel) first appeared to Muhammad in A.D. 610, revealing wisdom from God (Their false god, Allah). This and subsequent revelations form the Koran (or Quran), the holy scriptures of Islam, a book roughly the length of the New Testament.
Muhammad, whose name means “highly praised,” became a courageous and determined preacher of monotheism, the belief in one God, a belief that threatened the commercial prosperity of other members of his tribe. Their attempts to have him killed failed, and in a short time through force and fight Muhammad brought an end to the polytheistic idolatry of the area, replacing it with Islam (literally meaning “surrender” or “submission” to the one true God, Allah).
Muhammad’s preaching achieved something that had eluded Ishmael’s descendants from the beginning - unity, thereby enabling them to become a great nation that could spread out and infuence other nations ( And that's the actual aim of Satan, and thats why he came as angel of light to Muhammed) and ignorantly they are still serving a false god which is now the "sun god" rebranded called "Allah".
From these lowly beginnings in the desert of the Arabian Peninsula, Islam has spread throughout the world. Today 57 countries are in the Islamic Conference, comprising more than a quarter of all the nations on earth.
Although 22 of them are Arab nations, many of which are populated with descendants of Ishmael, another 35 nations also are either exclusively or signifcantly Islamic. These range geographically from West Africa across the center of the world to Indonesia, a wide belt of nations that identify with each other as followers of Islam.
In addition, millions more Muslims, followers of Islam, live in North America and Western Europe. The religion continues to expand rapidly due to a high birthrate and aggressive proselytizing. Today Islam (pronounced Is-LAM, with the emphasis on the sec- ond syllable) has around 1.3 billion followers. They all worship Allah (similar emphasis on the second syllable), whom they consider to be the one true God. They worship in mosques, with Friday as their cho- sen day of worship, though it is also permissible for adherents to work on that day.
Their one-sentence creed, called the shahadah (“testimony”) is only eight words in Arabic—La illaha ila Allah, wa Muhammadun rasul Allah —meaning “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet.” A solemn and sincere recitation of these words is the sole requirement for being a Muslim. The word Muslim (or Moslem) means “one who submits (to Allah).”
Muslims date their years from the hijrah (sometimes spelled hejira or hegira), Muhammad’s fight from Mecca to Medina in A.D. 622. As the Muslim year is set according to the lunar calendar, there are 354 or 355 days in each year, which means that their year is about 11 days shorter than a year in the Western world, which is based on the Gregorian solar calendar. This means that Islamic festivals fall on dif- ferent days each year according to the Gregorian calendar and gradually work their way back through the Gregorian year.
Muhammad died on June 8, A.D. 632, leaving no male heir and no designated successor. The result was chaos and confusion throughout the Islamic Empire.
I will like to stop here for now, in the next article we will see who actually turn out to be this Muhammed successor, how Islam spread to all the Continents, what the people of the false prince to come is using Islam to achieve and it's significance in the crises in the middle east and all over the world.
I believe you are enlightened, stay tuned for the continuation.