PEACE IS POSSIBLE BETWEEN ISHMAEL AND ISRAEL
ACCORDING TO THE TANAKH AND THE KORAN
(Summary of the essay)
The ruling wing of Islam has severed its original ties with the “Book” (the Tanakh, Hebrew Bible) and the “People of the Book,” Israel. It plays out the idea of Jihad, and the quest of Jerusalem.
In Islamic view, a Jihad can end only with a complete victory - or else with an unreserved admittance that engaging in it was wrong from the start.
The Koran itself suggests this change of attitude, and can help pave the way to mutual understanding and co-operation:
1. it stresses the continued validity of the “Book” – Jonah 38; Table 52; Cow 172;
Believers 56; Bee 45-47; and others;
2. it recognizes the teachings of the Prophets, even of the rabbis - Table 48,
(notwithstanding Repentance 30-35);
3. it recognizes the peculiarity of Israel and the unparalleled gifts to its people (incl.
the Land) – Hobbling 15; Cow 44, 116; Smoke 30;
4. the Holy Land prescribed for Israel - Table 23;
5. it was Allah who settled the Children of Israel there – Jonah 93;
6. Israel admonished to stand firmly on the Torah – Table 73, et al;
7. Israel rebuked for not fighting for her land - Cow 60, 247;
8. David’s kingdom [Zion], and Psalms, confirmed, and David being acknowledged as
a Divine viceroy and judge on earth – Zad 19, 25; Cow 252 [cf. Is. 28:16];
9. the Psalms and the Prophets speak of Israel’s return to the land and
to Jerusalem, and so does the Koran – Bani Israel 8, 105;
10. Israel often harshly rebuked in the Koran, but there is no cancellation of the
Covenant or of the Promises;
11. on the contrary, the words of the Prophets shall surely be established –
Greeks 5; Hobbling 31; Believers 76;
12. Muslim should have given refuge to persecuted believers – The Spoils 75,76;
13. Abraham is called a truly faithful, i.e. Moslem- Imram 60; Pilgrimage 77; Cattle
162; likewise the Prophets – Table 48, notwithstanding their keeping Shabbat
and their direction of prayer toward Jerusalem;
14. Abraham established
a) Mount Moriah in Jerusalem for Israel - Gen. 22:2; 2.Chron.3:1,
b) the Kaaba in Mecca for Ishmael - Cow 119, 123
(yet 1.Kings 8:41-53; also Cow 171!);
15. Quiblah (direction of prayer) for Muslims to Mecca, and for Jews to Jerusalem
(Cow 140,143), yet see also Cow 171 - and 1.Kings 8:41-53;
16. Koran admits different religious rites, and urges us to emulate in good works –
Cow 143; Table 53; Pilgrimage 66;
17. ONE GOD for Ishmael and Israel (The Spider, 45; Counsel, 14);
18. Allah wants to be honored by forgiveness and love - Table 15-17,
Woman Tested 7; Counsel 14.
It is the words of the Prophets which provide the base for true peace
(Democracy, being merely a form of government but not its soul, must be guided
Dr. Asher Eder, Jewish Co-Chairman, Islam-Israel Fellowship,
Root and Branch Assoc. Ltd, Yerushalayim/Israel
The essay, which carries a supportive foreword by Prof Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, is available by request from: email@example.com; or: www.rb.org.il
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A B R A H A M ’ S P R A Y E R
When told by the Lord that in spite of his advanced age he would have a son with Sarah, Abraham prayed (Gen. 17:18):
"O that Ishmael might live before thee".
Abraham loved both his sons, Ishmael and Isaac, therefore he had to be told:
"Take now thy son, thine only one whom you have loved, even Isaac..."
The specification "even Isaac," was to tell him which one of the two beloved sons he should bring to Mt. Moriah.
Abraham did not merely pray "that Ishmael might live." He was not concerned that Ishmael would be threatened by Isaac, and would need a special prayer for protection from him.
Abraham was concerned that Ishmael, born from Hagar and biologically the firstborn, might try to bring the whole heritage unto himself, depriving Isaac of God's promise1).
Abraham's prayer that Ishmael might live before the Lord was meant to encourage and guide him to let the spiritual − Abrahamic − inheritance get the upper hand, so that he would be alive in the Divine spirit, and consequently recognize also Isaac's call.
The two brothers and their descendants should not fight over the inheritance rather "compete in good works" as the Koran, Ishmael's guide book, says so aptly2).
In the spirit of our Father Abraham, let us pray:
O h t h a t b o t h o f u s
I s h m a e l a n d I s r a e l
m i g h t l i v e b e f o r e T h e e "
1) Ishmael is the ancestor of the Arab (Muslim) nations; Isaac is one of the three Patriarchs of Israel.
2) Sura “The Table” 53; also “The Cow” 143; “Pilgrimage” 66.