Everyday in prayer, once a year in our Torah Portion and every Yom Teruah (Rosh HaShannah) we read of the Akeidah. Avraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac upon G-d’s command and we know Isaac was spared becoming a burnt offering because of the Ram that was caught by it’s horns in the bushes and Avraham ended up offering the Ram instead of his son. All of this because Isaac is the Promised One and the Covenant made by G-d with Avraham was destined to be carried on through Isaac and his descendants. However, we know of is first born through Hagar named Ishmael. If one reads the Torah carefully you will see Ishmael too was loved by G-d, regardless of what is descendants may have become today and all the promises given to Isaac, save the Covenant, was given to Ishmael:
Gen. 17:17-21 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
We see that:
· Ishmael’s Akeidah happened before Isaacs.
· Instead of Avraham it was Hagar, though Avraham too was grieved.
· Instead of a burnt offering it was death by thirst.
· Instead of a Ram as salvation it was the water well.
· Tradition says Isaac went to study with Shem after the Akeidah, we see Ishmael becomes and Archer
· Isaac marries shortly after the Akeidah, as does Ishmael.
· Isaac was in his 30’s and Ishmael was in his teens.
Gen. 21:10-21 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept. And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. 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; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. 1And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.
According to the Book of Jasher, Avraham went into the wilderness to visit Ishmael several times and Ishmael still loved and followed after the ways of Avraham and his G-d and took his counsel. We see in the Torah that Isaac and Ishmael reconcile at the death of their Father.
Gen 25:8-10 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre; The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.
Ishmael is thought and is claimed to be the Muslim people. Ishmael is our cousin, Oh to G-d that we may bring him back to the G-d and faith of Avraham Avinu! So be it L-RD! So be it! Ameyn!