John: Hi, how are you Ali?
Ali: Alhamdulillah; I am good, how are you John?
John: I am good thank you. What is Alhamdullilah?
Ali: ‘Alhamdulillah’ means all praise to Allah.
John: We say “Praise the lord” or “Hallelujah”.
Ali: Yes, that’s right.
John: And what is ‘Salaam Alaikum’
Ali: ‘Salaam Alaikum’ means peace be with you…
John: We too use this praise, especially in the church. Brother Ali I have some questions for you…
Ali: Yes please….
John: Dear brother, you Muslims say that your Prophet Muhammed (s.a.w.a.) is mentioned in our Holy Bible, how can you make such claims without any proofs?
Ali: Dear brother, these claims are substantiated with proofs; if you want I can provide them to you?
John: Yes please.
Ali: Sure, let us discuss ten prophecies about our dear Prophet Muhammed (s.a.w.a.) from your Holy Bible.
Ali: The first prophecy of our discussion is from Genesis chapter 17 verses 6-7:
“And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.”1
Ali: This is the promise of God almighty made to Prophet Abraham (a.s.), that he shall make a great nation from his seed.
John: But, this promise is about Issac and his descendents and not Ishmael and his descendents.
Ali: Well brother, this covenant between Abraham and God almighty was made after the birth of Ishmael and before the birth of Issac, so how can you say that it was about Issac and not Ishmael. Furthermore, Muslims do not deny that Issac was a mighty prophet of God, whereas our Christians brothers refuse to attribute the same respect to Prophet Ishmael (a.s.).
John: We do this because Ishmael was the son of a slave woman and not a wife.
Ali: Dear brother, Sarah (s.a.) herself got Hagar (s.a.) married to Prophet Abraham (a.s.).
John: What proof do you have?
Ali: Well, the proof lies in the Bible itself, why don’t we refer
Genesis 16 verse 3
“And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.”2
So if Hagar was Prophet Abraham’s wife, shouldn’t prophet Ishmael be attributed the same respect as Issac?
John: Yes of course! I’m sorry I have never paid attention to the Bible before.
Ali: It is not only you; John, who has not paid attention to the Bible, and I feel the responsibility also lies with the church.
John: How come the church?
Ali: Have you ever heard a sermon on Genesis 16 verse 3 during Mass?
John: No. Never!
Ali: Why doesn’t the Church highlight the fact that Hagar is Abraham’s wife and that Ishmael is the son of Abraham instead of calling Ishmael the “son of a slave-woman” and brushing the whole matter under the carpet and never speaking about it?
Ali: This is done to belittle the status of Prophet Ishmael so that it makes it easy to deny and obfuscate the fact that the covenant (Genesis 17:6-7) also included him. And as a result the mission of Prophet Muhammed (s.a.w.a.) the last Prophet of God can also be denied easily.
Now, after clarifying this issue we come to the conclusion that Genesis 17:6-7 speaks about the covenant of God that was fulfilled through Prophet Muhammed (s.a.w.a.) who was an Arab and a descendent of Prophet Ishmael (a.s.) the son of Prophet Abraham (a.s.).