In the book Islam: The Cloak of Antichrist author Jack Smith examines the role Islam will play during the great tribulation. This excerpt comes from chapter 2.
The New Testament makes God’s specific choice of Isaac very clear: the child of the free woman (Sarah, Abraham’s wife) is Isaac. He is the son of promise. The child of the bondwoman (Hagar, Sarah’s slave given to Abraham) is Ishmael (see Gal. 4:22–31). Ishmael is cast away (see Gal. 4:30). Why? Because that is God’s plan. He is God. He is sovereign. Only one son can be the chosen son, the son of promise. Ishmael’s sons must come to God the same way as the rest of the world comes; and, in fact, how Israel will one day come: through Jesus Christ.
We find the same choice of God present in another set of two sons, Jacob and Esau, who were twins born to Isaac and Rebekah. (Esau’s daughter married a son of Ishmael [see Gen. 28:8–9]). God chose one of those sons, Jacob, the younger son, when God stated that the older son was to serve the younger son before either was born (see Gen. 25:23). In ancient Hebrew cultures, the older son was entitled to the greater inheritance and the greater blessing from his father. For the younger to receive that blessing (by the elder son serving him) would only happen by the gift, blessing, and chosenness of God.
Romans 9:13 is even more descriptive of God’s having chosen Jacob over Esau. It states, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” Romans 9:11 is an important verse that gives understanding of God’s choice of one son over the other. The text states, “... for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand,” ... it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” This verse makes it clear that God’s choice of Jacob over Esau was made before either of the boys had committed his first good or bad deed, before either boy had breathed his first breath. Thus, God’s choice was not because Jacob deserved it. It was so that God would be glorified in His having revealed Himself as God. God had chosen because God is God: “God’s purpose according to His choice would stand” (Rom. 9:11). In other words, God is sovereign. He is over all, in all, and above all.
God’s choice is more distinct because God chose the second born son rather than the firstborn son as the son of His choice. As was mentioned before, in ancient Semitic cultures, the firstborn son was entitled to a greater inheritance from his father for no other reason than that he was the firstborn son. Islam seeks to elevate Ishmael as Abraham’s firstborn son (by Hagar) over Isaac (Abraham’s firstborn son by Sarah) by interpreting Ishmael as the son placed on the altar of sacrifice by Abraham rather than Isaac (see Gen. 22:9–14):
In the Qur’anic account, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son but did not specify which one. Muslim tradition generally identifies the son to be sacrificed as Ishmael, rather than Isaac (Ishaq). Ishmael accepted the command due to his faith in God. ... Today Ishmael is considered the father of the Arab nation, and the Isaac/Ishmael conflict is often used as a paradigm for the Jewish/Arab conflict.
This Qur’anic belief continues to modern times in the Hajj or Pilgrimage to Mecca that is required of all Muslims. It is described below:
At sunrise on the tenth day, the pilgrims proceed to the valley of Mina, where they reenact Abraham’s rejection of Satan’s temptation to disobey God’s command to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, by throwing seven pebbles at a tall stone pillar (jamarah). Afterward, each pilgrim offers an animal sacrifice (qurban), commemorating the sheep that God accepted in place of Ishmael. Muslims throughout the world participate vicariously in this ritual by performing their own sacrifices at home on this day, the feast of Id al-adha.
The Qur’an denies that Isaac is the son of promise in the same way that it denies that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. How is it possible that the Qur’an and the Bible are written by the same God? They cannot be. They are opposite to one another in the most central of beliefs. According to the Bible, there can be only one son of promise. He is Isaac, not Ishmael. Muhammad’s claim as the seal of the prophets, the last and greatest prophet, is rendered a false claim by the Bible itself. Muhammad is not in the chosen line of promise.
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