Abraham had 8 sons.  His eldest was Ishmael, whom he had with Hajar, who was the progenitor of Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam. The next son was Isaac, whom he had with Sarah, and was the progenitor of Jacob, later renamed Israel, the father of the 12 Tribes, of which Moses came from the tribe of Levi. And he had 6 more sons through Keturah (Read Genesis 25), the wife he took after the death of Sarah, which later, he sent them to the East (India and China).  Through these eight sons came all of the other major religions. Obviously through Ishmael came Islam, through Isaac and his son Jacob came Judaism, through Isaac and his son Esau came Christianity.  (In that originally the major recipients of the Christian message were the Romans who are descendants of Esau, which later formed the Roman Catholic Church.) And through the other six sons in the east came the other religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Jainism.


The Covenant of God is promised on 3 separate occasions to Abraham, Isaac, and to Jacob (the father of the12 tribes of Israel):


Gen 12:1-3: ‘Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

I believe that if one truly wants to understand Judaism one must understand the role of Isaac in the Torah.  The key is where Allah says to Abraham in the Torah, Genesis 17:1-21, “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I [am] the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant [is] with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.I will maintain My covenant between Me and you, and your offspring to come, as an everlasting covenant throughout the ages, to be God to you and to your offspring to come.  I assign the land you sojourn in to you and your offspring to come, all the land of Canaan (now called Israel and West Bank), as an everlasting holding.  I will be their God....


As for you, you and your offspring to come throughout the ages shall keep my covenant.  Such shall be the covenant between Me and you and your offspring to follow which you shall keep: every male among you shall be circumcised.  You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and that shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. 


And throughout the generations, every male among you shall be circumcised at the age of eight days.  As for the home born slave and the one bought from an outsider who is not of your offspring, they must be circumcised, home born, and purchased alike.  Thus shall My covenant be marked in your flesh as an everlasting covenant.  And if any male who is uncircumcised fails to circumcise the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his kin; he has broken My covenant...


And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah [shall] her name [be]. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be [a mother] of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall [a child] be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! 


And God said, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac; and I will maintain My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring to come.  As for Ishmael, I have heeded you.  I hereby bless him.  I will make him fertile and exceedingly numerous.  He shall be the father of twelve chieftains, and I will make of him a great nation.  But My covenant I will maintain with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this season next year." 


Gen 18:18-19, “Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.”


Gen 21:9-13: ‘And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. 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. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. 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. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he [is] thy seed.”  Meaning that through the descendants of Isaac will the nations know the religion of Abraham, that being the religion of the Hebrews, as Abraham was originally called. 


And then Allah says in Genesis 22:18: "All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, because you have obeyed my command." (That of Abraham going to sacrifice his son.)


Gen 26:2-5: “And the LORD appeared unto [Isaac], and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I swore unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”


And then Prophet Isaac blesses his son, Jacob, with this blessing: Gen 27:28-29:  “Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed [be] every one that curseth thee, and blessed [be] he that blesseth thee.”


Gen 28:12-15: “And [Jacob] dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I [am] the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I [am] with thee, and will keep thee in all [places] whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done [that] which I have spoken to thee of.”


Gen 35:9-12: “And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padan Aram, and blessed him. And God said unto him, Thy name [is] Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I [am] God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.”


Exd 19:3-6,  “And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and [how] I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”


Exd 34:6-11: “And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious (אֵל רַחוּם וְחַנּוּן), longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear [the guilty]; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth [generation].  And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped. And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it [is] a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance. And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou [art] shall see the work of the LORD: for it [is] a terrible thing that I will do with thee. Observe thou that which I command thee this day: behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite.”


Lev 20:22-26,  “Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, will not vomit you out. And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I [am] the LORD your God, which have separated you from [other] people. Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD [am] holy, and have severed you from [other] people, that ye should be mine.”


Deu 7:5-9: “But thus shall ye deal with them (idolators); ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that [are] upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye [were] the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;”


Deu 14:2-3,  “For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that [are] upon the earth. Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.”


Deu 26:15-19,  “Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey. This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice: And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that [thou] shouldest keep all his commandments; And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.”


As to the issue of Ishmael being an illegitimate son: First of all Abraham married Hagar, as it says in the TORAH Genesis 16:3, "After Abram had lived in Canaan for ten years, his wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian her slave, and gave her to her husband Abram as a WIFE." So thusly because Hagar is Abraham's wife, no one can legitimately argue that he is not a totally legitimate son.

The issue is not legitimacy but a promise that God makes to Abraham: In Genesis 17:19-21, "Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac; and I will maintain My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring to come. As for Ishmael, I have heeded you. I hereby bless him. I will make him fertile and exceedingly numerous. He shall be the father of twelve chieftains, and I will make of him a great nation. But My covenant I will maintain with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this season next year." The covenant was then reaffirmed with Isaac and Jacob, not with Ishmael.

Second, illegitimate children are those who are born of fornication, adultery, or conceived during menstruation (all sinful acts!). Children of Concubines/Slave Women are not illegitimate! If they were then 4 out of the 12 sons (tribes) of Jacob would be illegitimate and thusly not be able to inherit the land of Palestine. Because they are legitimate sons of Jacob, they do inherit the land of Palestine.


The twelve sons of Jacob are:  (Genesis 29:31-30:24; 35:16-26): · Sons of Leah: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulon · Sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin · Sons of Bilhah (Rachel's handmaid): Dan and Naphtali · Sons of Zilpah (Leah's handmaid): Gad and Asher.


Qur’an 5:20-21; : “Remember Moses said to his people: "O my people! Call in remembrance the favor of Allah unto you, when He produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to any other among the peoples. "O my people! Enter the holy land which Allah hath assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin."

The other point to be mentioned is that in the Oral "Rabbinic" Tradition, it says that when the Torah states that when someone dies and was "gathered to his people", it means that they go straight to Paradise. Well guess what it says in Genesis 25:17, "This is the account of Ishmael's years. He lived a total of 137 years. He breathed his last and died, and he was gathered to his people." And that is why according to the Mishna (Oral Tradition) Ishmael is in Paradise with Abraham and Isaac. And that is why one of the greatest Rabbi's in the Talmud is named Rabbi Ishmael! because his namesake was a righteous person. No Jew would ever name their kid Esau (the evil brother of Jacob, even though he is the grandson of Abraham, because he was evil!) But because Ishmael was righteous, one of the most famous Rabbis of the Talmud bears his righteous name! Being a child of Abraham does not mean anything. The nation that is most cursed in the Torah is the Amalekites, who is the grandson of Esau, and great great grandson of Abraham, and Allah in the Torah (Deuteronomy 25:17-18) commands the Israelites to cause the remembrance of Amalek to exist no longer under heaven, to wipe them out! (and they are Children of Abraham). From the perspective of the Torah, the covenant of God is solely with the House of Israel (12 Tribes), not with all the Children of Abraham. And that is why the covenant is reaffirmed with Isaac and not Ishmael and then again with Jacob and not Esau.