Isaac (Ishaq, in Arabic)
ISAAC (Ishaq, in Arabic)
Son of the prophet Abraham and his wife, Sarah. Because the latter was sterile, the birth of Isaac is considered an expression of the divine will to provide a descendant for the first prophet of God. According to the Hebrew Bible, God, wanting to test Abraham's faith, asked him to sacrifice Isaac. Seeing that Abraham was ready to do so, God intervened and Abraham sacrificed a ram in place of his son. Followers of the Qurʾan believe Isaac's half-brother, Ishmael (Ismaʿil, in Arabic), was the sacrificial son. The Jews consider Isaac the first of their lineage, whereas Ishmael is thought of as the ancestor of the Arabs.