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Abraham's wife, Sarah, thought herself too advanced in age to bear a child, so she encouraged Abraham to have a child with her handmaiden Hagar, in order that his name could be carried forward. But later on the Lord did bless Abraham and Sarah with a son.
Genesis 21:5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.
Genesis 21:8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the [same] day that Isaac was weaned. 9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. 10 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. 11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. 12 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. 13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he [is] thy seed.
14 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. 15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.
19 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.
Muslims have actually been taught that the "well of water" referenced in verse 19 above is the well of ZamZam in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. That would mean that between verse 14 and 19 Hagar and Ishmael would have had to travel across a thousand miles of - at that time - uninhabited, unexplored, uncharted desert, on a single skin of water, only to arrive at one of the harshest environments that Arabia has to offer. In fact, all of the historians and geographers from several centuries B.C. and on into the Christian era, who wrote about the area where Mecca was eventually built in the 4th century A.D., described the area as being "uninhabitable". See the "Mecca" page
Primary map source Wikimedia Commons
Here is a sample Islamic site
on the matter: "Abraham took Hagar and her son, Ishmael to a place near the Kabah; he left them under a tree at the site of Zamzam. No one lived in Makkah back then, yet Abraham made them sit there, leaving them with some dates, and a small water-skin. Thereafter he set out towards home.
So then apparently Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael walked across a thousand miles of unknown desert, Abraham dropped them off under a tree in what eventually became Mecca, and then Abraham "set out" on his thousand mile walk back home. Anything seem peculiar about that picture in light of the map above? Indeed we know that Hagar and Ishmael didn't go to Mecca because Ishmael lived in the Wilderness of Paran.
Genesis 21:21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran...
Excellent maps of Paran and a photo of Mt. Paran are available at this link
from which the below image was lifted.
Indeed when Ishmael was old enough to marry Hagar procured him a wife from Egypt, perhaps from her tribe, since she herself was Egyptian.
Genesis 21:21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.
Are we expected to believe that Hagar traveled back the thousand miles through the desert from Mecca to Egypt, and then back again, with Ishmael's wife? Of course that's not the case because the historical and scriptural evidence suggest that the 12 tribes that developed from Ishmael's sons inhabited the northern Sinai peninsula, the Wilderness of Paran and surrounding area, and eventually migrated more toward the north. We also know that Ishmael wasn't very far away because he was available to attend his father Abraham's burial near Hebron.
Genesis 25:9 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;
Amazingly, in order to resolve the obvious difficulty with placing Abraham or Ishmael at the place where Mecca was eventually built in the 4th century A.D. - a thousand miles from where they actually lived - the most quoted 8th century Islamic "tradition" creator Ibn Ishak, originated the idea that Abraham commuted back and forth to visit Ishmael in Mecca, on the winged camel, or Baraq (Tarikh al-Tabari, I, page 165). He also employed this mythical animal to explain how Ishmael was able to attend Abraham's funeral near Hebron.
In the Zoroastrian scriptures a fabled winged camel was used by their mythical prophet to travel to and from the place where their immortal ancestors were supposed to have dwelled. Mohammed also credited a similar creature for transporting him on an overnight trip, covering the thousand miles to Jerusalem, then up to heaven, and back to Mecca by morning. Mohammed's extremely important "night journey" is covered on it's own page
Additionally, in order to make the false claim that Mohammed was descended from Ishmael, 8th century Islamic "tradition" creator, Ibn Ishak, also designed a genealogy for him. This was, of course, done without a single reference to any historical documentation whatsoever, that preceded Mohammed. This is the same genealogy that Muslims ascribe to today. Not only did Ishaq assign what were modern Quraysh Arabic language names, to the characters he created in Mohammed's lineage that were supposed to have lived thousands of years before, but he included only 40 generations between the two.
There are 2,670 years between Ishmael and Mohammed. Suggesting only 40 generations would require over 66 years per generation! Yet we know from actual Arabic historical record, for example, that the series of rulers in Saba and Himyar of Yemen begin with Karibil A. in the 9th century B.C., and run through Maadikarib III, King of Himyar, who was number 102, the last one in the series. He reigned between 575-577 A.D. These 102 kings span a period of about 1,400 years. A few of those rulers were brothers of the same generation so there are actually around 75 to 80 generations in that line, thus we can conclude that the average Arabian generation was about 17-20 years.
Mohammed himself had a 6 year old "wife", that he consummated his marriage with when she was 9 years old, so a generation of 17-20 years should be no surprise. Indeed Muslims try to legitimize that marriage by declaring that desert dwelling girls reached sexual maturity earlier than girls in other parts of the world.
So then 2,670 years divided by 20 would mean that there would have been over 133 generations between Ishmael and Mohammed. So we can see the absurdity of Ishak's not only having invented characters and ascribing 8th century styled names to them, but spanning 2,670 years with only 40 generations.
According to many hadith writers, Mohammed himself prohibited any tracing of his genealogy past the 17th generation. This is one reason that Ibn-Ishak was considered by the Muslim scholars of his time as being guilty of forgery and fabricating false genealogies. From "Islam: In Light of History"
"Long before Ibn Ishak, Muslims who lived in Mohammed's own time also fabricated genealogies in an attempt to connect Mohammed to the descendants of Ishmael. Mohammed, himself rejected all of those false genealogies, and he put limits regarding the genealogy of his ancesters. Regarding Mohammed's own rejection of the false genealogies, Amru bin al-As wrote:
'Mohammed genealogized himself regarding his ancestors until he reached al-Nather bin Kinaneh, then he said "anyone who claimed otherwise or added further ancestors, has lied.'"
Yet Muslims even today believe that Mohammed was a descendant of Ishmael, in spite of Mohammed's prohibition against it, and even the fact that the name Ishmael does not occur in a single instance within the Arabic archaeological and historical record, prior to Mohammed's 7th and 8th century Islamic "tradition" creators. Compare that with the use of the name Isaac throughout the history of Israel, for example.
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