Posted on December 8, 2008
Abraham, known as Ibrahim in Arabic, is very important in Islam, both in his own right as a prophet as well as being the father of Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael, his firstborn son, is considered the Father of the Arabised Arabs, and Isaac is considered the Father of the Hebrews. Islam teaches that Ishmael was the son Abraham nearly sacrificed on Moriah. To support this view Muslims use various proofs, including the belief that at the time Ishmael was his only son. Abraham is revered by Muslims as one of the Prophets in Islam, and is commonly termed Khalil Ullah, “Friend of God”. Abraham is considered a Hanif, that is, a discoverer of monotheism.
Abraham’s footprint is displayed outside the Kaaba, which is on a stone, protected and guarded by Mutawa (Religious Police). The annual Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, follows Abraham, Hagar, and Ishmael‘s journey to the sacred place of the Kaaba. Islamic tradition narrates that Abraham’s subsequent visits to the Northern Arabian region, after leaving Ishmael and Hagar (in the area that would later become the Islamic holy city of Mecca), were not only to visit Ishmael but also to construct the first house of worship for God (that is, the monotheistic concept and model of God), the Kaaba -as per God’s command. The Eid ul-Adha ceremony is focused on Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his promised son on God’s command. In turn, God spared his son’s life and instead substituted a sheep. This was Abraham’s test of faith. On Eid ul-Adha, Muslims sacrifice a domestic animal — a sheep, goat, cow, buffalo or camel — as a symbol of Abraham’s sacrifice, and divide the meat among the family members, friends, relatives, and most importantly, the poor. (source)