IS MOHAMMED A DESCENDANT OF ISHMAEL?
The ISLAMISTS TRY TO VALIDATE THEIR RELIGION BY CONNECTING IT TO
CHRISTIANITY & JUDAISM!
THEY ARE JUST A CULT!
The ISLAMISTS TRY TO VALIDATE THEIR RELIGION BY CONNECTING IT TO
CHRISTIANITY & JUDAISM!
THEY ARE JUST A CULT!
THE POPE SHOULD KNOW THIS AND NOT LIE THAT THE THREE ARE "ABRAHAMIC" RELIGIONS
Muslims believe that Mohammed is a descendant of Ishmael. As proof of their position, Muslims refer to genealogies written around 770-775 A.D. by Ibn Ishak.
What he has written is simply not true. Ishmaelite tribes, especially the tribe of Nebaioth from which, according to Ibn Ishak, Mohammed is said to have come, were nomadic tribes who lived in the Sinai and Fertile Crescent deserts. These tribes disappeared after the 7th century B.C.
Mohammed's family was a Sabaean Yemeni family, while the Ishmaelites, who lived in the deserts of the Fertile Crescent, became extinct many centuries before Mohammed's family left Yemen.
Historians say that the family of Mohammed was a family which lived in Saba-Yemen. In the 5th century A.D., Qusayy Bin Kilab, the 8th ancestor of Mohammed, gathered an alliance of many Yemeni families forming Quraish, the tribe from which Mohammed later came. These families only came to occupy Mecca in the 5th century A.D. The city of Mecca was built by the tribe of Khuzaa'h in the 4th century A.D.
Mohammed’s family is not connected to any Ishmaelite tribe because Mohammed’s family didn’t leave Yemen until the 5th century A.D., and that’s about 1,100 years after the Ishmaelites disappeared. Mohammed’s tribe could not have lived in the same locations as the Ishmaelite tribes at any time throughout history.
The genealogy fabricated by Ibn-Ishak contradicts the sayings of Mohammed, who expressed his ignorance about his ancestors prior to his 17th ancestor.
Ibn Ishak was considered by the Muslim scholars of his time as being guilty of forgery and fabricating false genealogies.[i]
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 these false genealogies, and he put limits regarding the genealogy of his ancestors. 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.”[ii]
By this, Mohammed confessed that neither he, nor anyone else, knew about his ancestors beyond al-Nather bin Kinaneh. Nather bin Kinaneh is the 17th ancestor in the genealogy which Mohammed recognized as true. Other narrations of the customs, or sayings, of Mohammed, called Hadiths, show Mohammed refused to be genealogized prior to Maad, معدwho some suggested, was the 4th ancestor prior to al-Nather bin Kinaneh.[iii]
When we look at the ancestors of Mohammed, it’s reasonable to estimate 30 years for each generation of the 17 ancestors of Mohammed. Therefore, we can conclude that Mohammed knew about the genealogy of his tribe as far back as about 510 years. If we want to add the other four ancestors that Mohammed listed, we would go back 630 years. The truth is, nobody knew beyond such date. How, then, could Ibn Ishak and his followers reliably document a genealogy back to Ishmael, who lived in 2050 B.C.? This gives approximately 2000 years between the 21st ancestor of Mohammed and Ishmael. How could Ibn Ishak claim the Ishmaelites lived in Mecca during this period and give details about their history when Mohammed himself said that nobody knew about his relatives prior to his 17th or 21st ancestor? Mecca was not even in existence during this period, as we have clearly demonstrated. Ibn Ishak’s genealogy contradicts Mohammed’s own claims that he did not know his ancestors farther back than al-Nather bin Kinaneh, the 17th ancestor before himself.
All the genealogies that appeared at the time of Mohammed were considered by Mohammed and his close followers to be false.
Many versions of Hadith of Mohammed coming from the followers of Mohammed all report that Mohammed opposed to be genelogized until Ishmael. All his closest contemporaries and followers considered the genealogies appearing at his time to be false. Among the people who reported Mohammed’s opposition to such genealogies were his wife, Aisheh, and his cousin, Ibn Abbas, one of the most important reporters of Mohammed’s Hadith.[iv] Ibn Ishak went against what all these people had said by creating genealogies which connect the ancestors of Mohammed with Ishmael.
Ibn Ishak altered the genealogies listed by Moses in Genesis; he inserted Arabic names from his time and contradicted the history regarding Amalek.
The fabrication went beyond this. The genealogies created by Ibn Ishak and others who came after him inserted Arabic names into the genealogies which we find in Genesis. For example, Ibn Ishak inserted the Arabic name “Ya’rab,” which comes from the word “Arab,” listing him as the son of “ Khahtan.” Ibn Ishak then replaced Khahtan for Joktan, mentioned in the book of Genesis as the son of Eber, the son of Arphaxad, and the third son of Shem, the son of Noah.[v] We know that the term “Arab” didn’t exist until the 10th century B.C. How, then, could it be inserted into history shortly following Noah, perhaps around 5500 B.C.?
Ibn Ishak went still farther. He changed the name of Lud, the fourth son of Shem, to Luth. He then made Luth the father of Amalek, who fathered the Amalekites. He also claimed that Amalek and his tribe lived in Mecca, and he claimed that the ancient Egyptians were also descendants of Amalek. He then made Amalek’s original name “Arib,” just to connect him with the Arabs.[vi] Indirectly, through these false genealogies, Ibn Ishak claimed that Mecca existed at the time of Noah and his grandson, Lud. This directly contradicts the historical facts we examined before, showing that Mecca didn’t exist until the 4th century A.D.
Amalek is a descendant of Esau, the son of Isaac. Genesis 36:12 states that Timma was a concubine of Eliphaz, the first born of Esau, and that she bore Amalek to Eliphaz. Amalek became the father of the Amalekites, which was an Edomite tribe which originally lived in southern Jordan, but moved to the eastern part of the Sinai, as was attested at the time of Moses. The Amalekites became extinct after the 10th century B.C. There’s no mention of Amalek in any inscription or in the writings of any Greek historian, which would indicate that the tribe lived in central, western or northern Arabia.
Refuting the Claim About Jurhum
Ibn Ishak claimed that the tribe of Jurhum lived in Mecca as far back as the time of Abraham. He also claimed that Jurhum was the grandson of Joktan, the son of Eber. He further claimed that Jurhum’s original name was “Hathrem.”[vii] The significance of the name “Hathrem” is that it is characteristic of Arabic-style names used at the time of Ibn Ishak, which was in the 8th century A.D. The names given in the inscriptions of Yemen and northern Arabia are totally different from the style of the names given in Ibn Ishak’s genealogies, which reflect the names of his generation. It is a fact that no inscription, no Greek or Roman historian, and no geographer who visited Arabia, ever mentioned a tribe called Jurhum. The first mention of Jurhum we find it in a poesy of Ummyya bin Abi al-Salet, the maternal cousin of Mohammed, who also claimed to be a prophet. The poem attributed to Ummyya says “the Lord of Ad and Jurhum” [viii]. First of all, the poem most probably was composed after the event of Islam, because we do not have in Jahiliyah pre-Islam any mention about Jurhum. The idea that many of the Jahiliyah poetry were added after Islam is embraced by great scholars such as Tah Hussein, the famous Egyptian scholar. Secondly, for the case of argument, if we want to admit the originality of such verse, we could not build upon it a history that a nation called Jurhum existed in Arabia since the time of Abraham, because Ummyya was contemporary of Mohammed, and he can't be a source of documentation about a nation which would have existed prior to his time by 2700 years. Because there were no archiving methods and no printing like we have today, it’s commonly accepted that tradition can be considered accurate only if it was written within four centuries of the writers. If Jurhum existed as tribe in Arabia, it could have been a small tribe that appeared some time after the Christian era. Since no classical writer mentioned this tribe, if existed, it should have been insignificant. Ummyyia's poems are full of myths: such as his claim that the Queen of Saba, who visited king Solomon was his aunt; he claimed this to justify his claim to the role of prophecy. In addition, Ummyyia had relationship with a Jinn-devil, who used to instruct him, which proves that he was a part of the occult religion of Arabia. If we want to accept this poem as composed by him, how can we rely on poems of such personality to establish history dating back to 2700 years before his time?
Enormous historical mistakes exist in the Quran, and the genealogies created after the rise of Islam, to support the Quran. Some examples are the genealogies regarding Thamud and Nimrod.
There are other serious historical mistakes in the Islamic genealogies regarding the tribe of Thamud. Thamud is an Arabic tribe which appeared in the 8th century B.C., as was attested at the time of the Assyrian King Sargon II through his Inscriptions. Thamud later lost its political power about the 5th century A.D. The Islamic genealogies attempted to back statements made in the Qur’an which placed Thamud and Ad – another Arabian tribe which appeared after Thamud-as tribes which came right after Noah. So they created a father for the tribe of Thamud and named him “Thamud.” Then they claimed he was the grandson of Shem, the son of Noah.[ix] All this was created just to fit the narration of the Qur’an.
The Qur’an claims that the tribe of Thamud was the third generation after Noah, ( The Qur'an made the Arabian tribe of Ad to be second generation after Noah's generation; then Thamud as the third generation, See Surah 7:69; 23:31,32;14:8,9) and it was condemned by Allah to be punished by a wind. (The wind was the god who brought judgment in Zoroastrianism. We know this is also an enormous historical mistake. Not only did Thamud not appear until the 8th century B.C., but the official history, as shown by Assyrian inscriptions, demonstrates that Thamud continued to exist during the 7th century B.C. Also, writings by various Greek and Roman geographers who wrote about Arabia, said Thamud continued until the 5th century A.D. as a politically-organized tribe which occupied a large part of northern Arabia. No wind destroyed the tribe, as the Qur’an claims.
This should be enough to convince us, but there’s yet another enormous historical mistake in the Islamic genealogies. This one concerns Nimrod. According to Genesis 10:8-11, Nimrod was the first builder of the old cities of Mesopotamia. He was the son of Cush, the son of Ham, the son of Noah.We can date him to between 5000 and 4500 B.C. Islamic genealogies correctly state that Nimrod was the son of Cush, but incorrectly state that he lived around the time of Abraham.[x] This false claim about Nimrod was made to conform to a mistake in the Qur’an, which made Nimrod reign at the time of Abraham. The Qur’an says Nimrod persecuted Abraham and cast him into a fire which did not harm him. We read this in Surah al-Anbiya' 21:51-70 and Surah al-Safat 37:95. The narration of the Qur’an is taken from the Jewish book called Midrash Rabbah, chapter 17.
We urge Muslims to study history, and to compare the facts to what they have been told in the Qur’an and in Islamic tradition. The claims of Mohammed, the Qur’an and Islam are clearly unfounded. Even if such historical errors were accepted by the followers in Mohammed’s time, we now have so much more evidence which proves them in error. How can anyone embrace these enormous mistakes, when a simple study of history demonstrates how wrong they are.
No one has the right to claim he descended from a specific man who lived 2,000 years before him, unless he has written documents which testify to his claim. In Mohammed’s case, those documents simply do not exist. We have no proof that the ancestors of Mohammed were the descendants of Ishmael
I will continue to analyze the Islamic genealogies which began to appear in the 8th century A.D., and which endeavor to connect Mohammed with Ishmael. I already quoted the Hadith of Mohammed, in which he prohibited any genealogy which described him any further back than Nather bin Kinaneh, who lived 17 generations before him. Other Hadith of Mohammed state that he didn’t want to be genealogized prior to Maad معد , which some suggested to be the fourth person prior to Nather bin Kinaneh. The many genealogies which appeared since the 8th century A.D. confirm the same information, that the genealogy of Mohammed is limited to probably 17 generations before him, but certainly not more than 21 ancestors.
Why is this significant in our search for Mohammed’s genealogy? In the first place, Mohammed himself confessed that he didn’t know of any ancestor before his 17th ancestor. Secondly, after the 17th generation, we begin to notice the differences in these genealogies. After Maad bin Adnan, number 21, the genealogies begin to contradict themselves with big differences, reflecting the fact that the authors of such genealogies couldn’t find resources on which to build their genealogies. That’s because Mohammed prohibited his contemporaries from going any further back than his 17th ancestor. Thus, every one fabricated Mohammed’s genealogy differently from the other.
Another interesting feature of their work is that all of the biographers used Arabic-style names of the 8th and 9th centuries A.D., but they applied the names to the generation in which Ishmael lived. As an example, we find a genealogy mentioned by Tabari, in which the author of the genealogy said Nebaioth, the first-born of Ishmael, begot a son under the name of al-Awam العوام , and al-Awam to beget al-Saboh الصابوح. Notice the Arabic names. In the genealogy, designations of al-Awam, and al-Saboh, respectively, follow the names.[xi] We don’t find this style even in the inscriptions of North Arabia before the Christian era. Instead, we see these names are of the same style as the Umayyad and Abassid periods, after the 8th and 9th centuries A.D.( the Abassid period began in the year 750 A.D.).
When we return to the genealogy fabricated by Ibn Ishak, on which other Muslim writers built in more recent times, we notice his Arabization of the genealogy. As I stated previously, he listed the son of Nabaioth, first-born of Ishmael, as Yashjub يشجب, his son is Yarob يعرب. Yarob is, in itself, a word derived from the word Arab. Ibn Ishak did this in order to make Ishmael appear to be an Arab. Though we know that the word “Arab” was not known before the 10th century B.C., this style for names like Yarob and Yashjub is characteristic of the 8th century A.D., in which Ibn Ishak lived. A common characteristic to all these genealogies is that they claim Mohammed was descended from Ishmael, and they all give a limited number of ancestors between Mohammed and Ishmael.
There are 2,670 years between Ishmael and Mohammed; a large span of time which cannot be covered with only 40 generations.
Ibn Ishak listed 40 ancestors. He wasn’t aware, when he fabricated his genealogy, that 40 ancestors are not sufficient to cover the great time span between Ishmael and Mohammed. Ishmael lived around 2050 B.C., while Mohammed emigrated to Medina around 620 A.D. Therefore, there are about 2,670 years between Ishmael and Mohammed. How can this great period be covered by only 40 ancestors?
By contrast, the Gospel of Matthew reports the genealogy of Jesus Christ as far back as Abraham. We find 42 ancestors between Abraham and Jesus, though it’s a period of only l,950 years. The genealogy of Mohammed must account for another 720 years.
Another thing to consider is that a Jewish generation is longer than an Arabian generation. Consider the ancestors of Isaac from Abraham to King David. Many of these men fathered their first-born when they were 40 or 50 years old. We see that between the captivity in Babylon in 586 B.C., and the birth of Jesus, there are 14 generations. This shows that the Jewish generation in that period was around 41 years. But when we come to the Arabian generations, we can’t allow 41 years for each generation. Scholars consider an Arabian generation to have been about 20 years, because Arabians married when they were about 17-20 years old, due to weather and their cultural environment.
The Archaeology of Arabia Confirmed the Relative Brevity of an Arabian Generation
Archaeology confirms the lower figures for the generations in Arabia. If we study the series of kings in Arabia, both in northern Arabia and Yemen, we come to verify the shortness of Arabian generations when compared to generations in other places, such as Israel. For example, the series of rulers in Saba and Himyar of Yemen begin with the 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.[xii] We see 102 generations of kings in a span of about 1,400 years. Remembering that a few of these rulers were brothers of other kings in the same generation, we find between 75 to 80 generations, and we conclude that the average Arabian generation was about 17-20 years.
Considering the shortness of the Arabian generation, let’s suppose that each generation in Mohammed’s genealogy is 20 years. Since Mohammed is separated from Abraham and Ishmael by 2,670 years, there must have been a little over 133 generations between them. When we do the math, we have 2,670 years divided by 20 years, which equals 133 and one-half generations, not 35 or 40, as claimed by Ibn Ishak and the others who fabricated genealogies for the ancestors of Mohammed. We see how unprepared and unwise they were to claim Mohammed is descended from Abraham and his son, Ishmael.
Except for the lineage of Jesus, which was documented by written books of the Bible through the centuries, no other family in history has ever accounted for their ancestors over a period of 2,000 years.
Let’s look at this another way. If we assume that the 21st ancestor of Mohammed is known, and if we make a generation 25 years rather than 20 years, then ancestor number 21 would still be 525 years distant from Mohammed. This means that the 21st ancestor of Mohammed lived between 50-70 A.D. This would make the gap between him and Ishmael about 2,000 years.
Except for the linage of Jesus, no family in history had ever verified their ancestors over a period of 2,000 years. The family of Joseph, who was from the royal lineage of Judah, and the family of Mary, who was from the same tribe, could account for their ancestors as far back as Abraham. Because there have been documented, written books of the Bible in each generation, the facts are verified again and again. They give testimony to the promise God made to Abraham and to Isaac, son of Abraham, which God then confirmed to almost every member of the Messianic genealogy. God’s divine promise accompanied others in the Messianic line, such as Isaac, his son, Jacob, and Jacob’s son, Judah, as it was recorded by Moses in the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.
The genealogy continued to be recorded in many other books of the Bible. For example, we see God confirming the continuity of the Messianic line in the book of Ruth through Boaz, one of the ancestors of King David. The promise of God concerning the birth of a divine child as Savior was confirmed to David and his son, Solomon, then to many other kings, until we reach the last king who governed Judah at the time of Babylon’s captivity, around 586 B.C. The confirmation of God’s promise continued after the captivity of Babylon. In fact, God renewed His promise to another ruler in David’s royal line, Zerubbabel, who became governor of Judah around 538 B.C.
Many prophets prophesied God’s incarnation in human form after Zerubbabel was governor. The series of prophesies continue until we reach the prophet Malachi, who wrote the last book of the Old Testament around 436 B.C. The first chapter of Malachi begins with these words:
Behold I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple.
It is clear that the God of the Old Testament, who spoke to Malachi and to all the prophets, was the One who promised to come, announcing the sending of a messenger to prepare the way for Him as a sign of His coming. This messenger was John the Baptist, whom God called in the same generation in which Christ was incarnated, and who testified in John 1:26, 27 concerning Jesus. He said:
I baptize with water, but there stands one among you whom you do not know. It is he who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.
Later, when John was asked by the Jews if He was the Messiah, said in Matthew 3:2 that he was “the voice of one crying in the wilderness.” He was the one who came to prepare the way before the Lord, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 40:3. John the Baptist pointed to Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
There is a complete continuity of documented records and historical testimonies regarding the Messianic genealogy of Jesus.
The royal lineage continued to be well-known between the time of Malachi and Jesus. In fact, rulers in Judah continued their rule in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabees during the 2nd century B.C. This means that the period, which was covered only by oral tradition until we reached Mary and Joseph, doesn’t exceed 120-140 years. That was a short time in which families would know about the father of their grandfather who lived 140 years earlier.
When we consider John the Baptist, of whom there is a written testimony, not just in the New Testament, but also in historical literature, such as the writings of Josephus Flavius , the Jewish-Roman historian, we have a complete continuity of documented records and historical testimonies regarding the Messianic genealogy of Jesus.
The absence of any record between Mohammed and Ishmael which would support the Islamic claim that Mohammed is descended from Ishmael.
On the other hand, when we come to the family of Mohammed, whose oldest disputable ancestor was 21 people distant from him, and who lived in Yemen in the first century A.D., how can we connect Mohammed’s 21st ancestor with Ishmael who lived in Sinai 2,000 years before him? No Arabian documents written before Mohammed even allude to such a claim.
Islam also claims that Abraham and Ishmael founded the city of Mecca, but Mecca was not in existence prior to the 4th century A.D. There’s no historical document written during the 2,000 years between Mohammed’s 21st ancestor and the time of Ishmael, which claims the 21st ancestor of Mohammed was a descendent of Ishmael. And there is no credible document written between the time of Mohammed’s 21st ancestor and his own time.
As if this were not enough evidence that Mohammed couldn’t have descended from Ishmael, we have the testimony of thousands of inscriptions, annals and archaeological records which speak about hundreds of rulers in Arabia who belonged to many different tribes, but no inscription or record includes material on any of the ancestors of Mohammed. This can only confirm that Mohammed’s family was an ordinary and unknown family like any other family in Yemen, and that it never ruled in any city in western Arabia, even though Islamic tradition claims it ruled in Mecca.
The Impossibility of the 21st Ancestor of Mohammed Claiming to be Descended from Ishmael
Because Mohammed came from an average Yemeni family, how can his 21st ancestor possess information about ancestors who lived at the time of Abraham? Although printing was invented in the 15th century, and archiving and documentation has since become more organized, and easier, than in previous centuries, none of the families in our generation know the names of their ancestors who lived 1,000 years ago. How, then, could an ordinary man, such as the 21st ancestor of Mohammed, who lived around the 1st century A.D., know anything about an ancestor who lived 2000 years before him?
From Assyrian records dated between the 9th and 7th century B.C., we know that Ishmaelite tribes lived as nomads in Sinai and the Fertile Crescent. But none of these records include the name Ishmael. No inscription shows that they called any person by that name. This demonstrates to us that they didn’t know their lineage from Ishmael. Otherwise, they would certainly have been proud to be his descendants, and they would have recorded Ishmael in each subsequent generation, just as the Israelites recorded Isaac as part of their Israelite religious heritage in every ancient book they wrote.
Because Ishmael received no spiritual call from God, his only historical descendants were the twelve tribes which descended from his sons. In consequent generations, even his sons' descendents forgot about him, including his name, even though the time between Ishmael and these tribes was only about 1,200 years (between the 7th and 9th century B.C.). Since this is the case for the true descendants of Ishmael, how can a man who lived in Yemen, far from where Ishmael lived, conclude he descended from Ishmael who lived 2,000 years before him? If the Ishmaelites themselves were not aware of their ancestry from Ishmael, who would have told the 21st ancestor of Mohammed that he was descended from Ishmael?
There is no proof that Mohammed’s ancestors, number 17 or number 21, ever claimed to be descendants from Ishmael. There’s no written document before Mohammed that make such a claim. Even if such document were to have existed, still this ancestor would have no right to claim descendancy from a man who lived 2,000 years before him, without written documents in each generation to prove his case.
It is clear that the claim of Islam about Mohammed coming from Ishmael progeny is farther from the truth than if I claimed that I came from the line of Julius Cesar who lived 2,000 years before my time. Though I would claim that my 21st ancestor was from Julius Cesar, I have nothing to confirm my claim. Such a claim is impossible to verify by anyone living in our generation. That’s why no one today, even in Rome itself, claims descendancy from Julius Cesar, nor did any Italian who lived 1,000 years ago dare to make such a claim. It’s understood that even 1,000 years without any documented testimony renders the claim ridiculous.
It was a common custom in Arabia at the time of Mohammed for many who claimed to be prophets to claim that they were descended from Biblical figures.
Such claim, if anyone would embrace it, would be considered as transgressing honesty and logic. Yet, there were those people in Arabia, specifically at the time of Mohammed, who knowingly held to the claim that they were descendents of Biblical figures. Men who claimed to be prophets often claimed to descend from known figures in history, or from people mentioned in the Bible. Umayya bin abi al-Salt, a maternal cousin of Mohammed, claimed to be a prophet. He said the Queen of Sheba, who visited Solomon, was his aunt.[xiii] He said this to establish that he was from the line of her brother. Also Tubb'a (the Yemeni leader who ruled between A.D. 410 and 435 and occupied Mecca) claimed to be a prophet and claimed that the Queen of Sheba was his aunt.[xiv] Throughout history we have had people like Umayya bin Abi al-Salt, who wanted to be prophets over their people. They made their claims because knew that many around them were naive and ignorant and wouldn’t refute their claims.
Although false prophets in Arabia had the audacity to claim they were offspring from a man who lived 1,000 years before them, Mohammed claimed to descend from Ishmael who lived 2,700 years before him, yet without any historical written document. My heart goes out to our Muslims friends who continue to trust their eternal destiny to a claim which is against logic and history.
Mohammed claimed to have ascended to heaven, met Abraham, and learned that he was a true copy of Abraham, so as to convince his followers that he was descended from Abraham.
We saw how Mohammed claimed that Ishmael was his ancestor. He claimed this, even though the time between Mohammed and Ishmael was about 2,700 years, and there were no written documents at any time to support this claim.
But there is more involved than supporting an unhistorical claim. Mohammed connected himself to Abraham by saying he was a physically-true copy of Abraham, because he had ascended to heaven where he encountered many Biblical figures – and among them was Abraham.
He also claimed that heaven has seven layers, copying the idea embraced by many religions and sects of his time, such as Gnosticism, Manicheism and Zoroastrianism. Gnostic literature makes man responsible for each of the sky’s seven layers. Mohammed claimed the same. Mohammed placed Abraham in the sky’s seventh layer,[xv] where he ruled over believers who did more works, and performed more religious rites, than the inhabitants of the lower layers.
In order to persuade his followers that he was the offspring of Abraham, Mohammed claimed that he was a true copy of Abraham.
When his followers asked Mohammed what Abraham looked like, he told them that Abraham was a copy of Mohammed himself. He told them:
I did not see a man similar to him like your friend, nor is your friend likened to any person like him.[xvi] (By “friend,” Mohammed meant himself.)
Al-Bukhari, the authoritative book of Mohammed’s Hadith, quotes Mohammed as saying, “I am the most likened son to Abraham.”[xvii] Mohammed wanted to persuade his followers that he was the offspring of Abraham, so he claimed that physically he was a copy of Abraham. Isaac did not dare to make such a claim, though he was Abraham’s son, and his mother was Abraham’s step sister. Neither did Jacob, or any of his descendents who were close to Abraham’s time, claim that they were a physical copy of Abraham. How could a man who lived 2,700 years after Abraham make such claim?
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