The three major religions in the world today – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—all view Abraham as a very important figure. The term Abrahamic religions, which are summarized as monotheistic faiths tracing their common origin to Abraham, aroused as the three major religions each perceive him as a either their founder or at least a forefather of the religion. Although the three religions recognize Abraham as an important person in their past, each religion views him this way for a different reason.
In this comparative analysis, I will be analyzing Abraham in the different religions and how he is portrayed in the Book of Genesis and the Quran. In Judaism, Abraham is claimed the father of the Jews. Abraham is above all an admired Patriarch to whom God called out of Ur of the Chaldees, which is also known as the “land between two rivers” or Mesopotamia, in order to make a covenant with him. Through this agreement, God would bless him and give Abraham’s descendants a new land.In Genesis 12, it states, “I shall make you into a great nation; I shall bless you and make your name so great that it will be used in blessings: those who bless you, I shall bless; those who curse you, I shall curse.
All the peoples on earth will wish to be blessed as you are blessed. ” God led Abraham through a series of trials and travels in order to figure out whether Abraham was convinced that God was going to stay true to his promise. The most important trial was when God told Abraham to sacrifice his son which will be further mentioned later on in this analysis.In Christianity, Abraham is seen as an essential exemplar of faith, and an ancestor of Jesus, both physical and spiritual. The book of Genesis, in which Abraham is mentioned, is important to both Christians and Jews. Although Christians embrace to the same historical account as the Jews do, Christians believe Abraham foreshadowed the most significant figure in their religion, Jesus Christ.
Christians have many parallels between Jesus and Abraham’s life and believe that God’s interactions and covenant with Abraham as something leading to the coming of Jesus Christ.Any covenant that was proposed by God needed blood in order to be achieved. In Genesis 15, it states, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a she-goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon. ” As part of the covenant, God ordered him to sacrifice these animals and since blood was drawn, it is believed that the first covenant was sealed. Christians believe that the second covenant is sealed when Christ’s blood is exposed when he died on the cross. In Islam, Abraham is considered a patriarch, a messenger and a prophet by all Muslims.
He is highly noticed among all the messengers of Allah and is considered the father of all prophets. In the Quran, Abraham is seen as someone who sought Allah’s will. The Quran mentions the struggle between Abraham and his father, and is marked as a very important one. Abraham always dwelled about the relationship between him and his father’s idol worship. Abraham does all he can to persuade his father not to worship these idols and believe in Allah. By listening to the words of Allah and trying to play the role as a messenger of Allah, he gets rejected by others, including his father.Abraham decides to go against his father’s word and destroy all the idols. After the destruction off the idols, Abraham prays, “O Lord Grant me a righteous son.
” God granted this and gave him Ishmael. Sacrifice of Abraham’s son in the Book of Genesis and the Quran The Quran and the Book of Genesis both contain stories about Abraham and the sacrifice of his son. They have some similarities but also have some differences. Both scriptures explain that Abraham wanted a son as part of an agreement made between him and God.The two scriptures also explain the process of the sacrifice of Abraham’s son, but have different approaches and different reasons as to why Abraham faced the trials that he did. In the Quran, Abraham has some sort of a vision or a dream, which is a demonstration of the divine relationship he has with God. The vision shows him butchering one of his two sons, Ishmael.
In Surah Al Saffat it reads, “My Lord! Vouchsafe me of the righteous. So we gave him tidings of a gentle son. And when (his son) was old enough to walk with him, (Abraham) said: O my dear son, I have seen in a dream that I must sacrifice you.
So look, what you think? ” In these verses, it shows that Abraham did not automatically attempt to sacrifice his son, but instead asked his son what he thought of it. Ishmael replies, “O my father! Do that which you are commanded. Allah willing, you shall find me of the steadfast. ” The Quran clearly states that Abraham’s son knew of the sacrifice before it was supposed to happen and accepted it.
At this point, God called out to Abraham and states, “You have already fulfilled the vision. Lo! Thus do We reward the good. ” This shows that this was a trial to Abraham and his son to see their commitment towardsGod.
I feel that this story not only shows the submission and willingness that Abraham and Ishmael had towards God, but also a relationship inquiry between parents and their children. It shows that parents should not necessarily force everything things upon their children but rather consult them and get their opinion on their lives. I also feel that this is a way the Quran explains to Muslims to commit to a higher power without the distractions of the real world. To this day, my parents repeatedly express the importance of living a balanced life, balancing your material world with the spiritual world.The story of Ishmael explains that and although we want to always please our material desires, there are moments when we must gladly sacrifice certain things in the material world for spiritual progress. In the Book of Genesis, God calls out to Abraham and tells him to sacrifice his son.
Genesis 22 states, “Take your son, your one and only son Isaac whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him as a sacrifice on one of the heights which I shall show you. ” Abraham then took off in the morning with his son Isaac to fulfill God’s command and sacrifice his son.As he is about to slaughter his son an angel calls out to Abraham, “Do not raise your hand against the boy; do not touch him. Now I know you are a God-fearing man. You have not withheld from me your son, your only son. ” As this was happening, a ram appeared close by and he slaughtered the ram instead of his son. The main similarity with this story is the willingness and commitment that Abraham shows to God.
In both the Quran and the Book of Genesis, Abraham does not question God about the sacrifice or the reason behind it.Some of the differences include the setting, the son, and the relationship between father and son. The setting of the sacrifice in the Book of Genesis is the land of Moriah compared to the Quran where it does not state where it was. Muslims believe that Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael.
Muslims believe that the son sacrificed was Ishmael, which is contrary the belief in the Book of Genesis. It states that Abraham only had one son, whom was Isaac, and he was the one that was commanded to be sacrificed by God.Another differentiation in the story of Abraham and the sacrifice is that in the Quran, Abraham tells his son beforehand of the vision that he saw.
In the Book of Genesis, Abraham does not tell his Isaac why they are heading to the mountain. On the way, Isaac repeatedly asks where the animal to be sacrificed is. Abraham answers and says that God would provide one. In conclusion, although Abraham is a very important figure in the Abrahamic religions – Christianity, Islam and Judaism – the scriptures portray Abraham differently in each religion.
His actions, reasons, and stories vary between the Book of Genesis and the Quran. I noticed that Abraham in the Bible and Abraham in the Quran seem to have different goals. In the Bible, it seems that Abraham is concerned with obtaining space, cattle, or finding the “Promised Land. ” In the Quran, Abraham strives to get everyone he can to believe in one deity, God. He attempts to do this through many trials and attempting to portray to the idol worshippers the power of God.