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Akeidah and Eid ul-Adha

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God?

Submitted by Ike Muz (Canada), Jan 11, 2006 at 23:43

Dear Dr. Pipes,

These days Muslims are celebrating one of their most important holidays Eid ul-Adha.

Here is an excerpt from the following source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binding_of_Isaac:

Muslim responses

Traditionally, Muslims believe that it was Ishmael rather than Isaac whom Abraham was told to sacrifice. In support of this, Muslims note that the text of Genesis as it stands, despite specifying Isaac, appears to state that Abraham was told to sacrifice his only son ("Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac," Genesis 22:2) to God. Since Isaac was Abraham's second son, there was no time at which he would have been Abraham's only son, so they take this to imply that the original text must have named Ishmael rather than Isaac as the intended sacrifice. The Qur'an itself does not specify which son he nearly sacrificed (Quran 37:99-111).

(My comment: Though it's not in the Qur'an, apparently in the Hadith there are comments that is was Ishmael, but not Isaac).
The entire episode of the sacrifice is regarded as a trial that Abraham had to face from God. It is celebrated by Muslims on the day of Eid ul-Adha.

I have been always deeply puzzled how Muslims can claim that it was Ishmael, but not Isaac. It seems to me that the word 'even' in the translation of the Genesis 22:2 is the key to their false interpretation. Thus, I did some digging.
Here are exactly the same translations from 2 different sources from Bereshit (Genesis) 22:2, i.e.

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0122.htm
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Bible/Genesis22.html

2 And He said: 'Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.'

By the way, in the Artscroll siddur on page 23 in the translation of the Akeidah there no mention of the word even.

Could you please explain this confusion: what is the real translation of Genesis 22:2 and if there is a word 'even' there, what is the meaning of it?

Why the Bible scholars (Jewish, Christian, etc) don't comment on it and at least try to explain to the Muslims that they are manipulators of the ancient Jewish scriptures?

Note: Jewish scriptures are at least 2,300 years older than Muslim scriptures.

Your input on this topic will be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,
Ike.
Submitting....

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