Sunday, January 4, 2009

Revisiting The History of Abraham

Many of us have critcized Israel for being brutal in invading the Gaza Strip for the sake of attacking the Hamas group whom the Israelis brand them as one thorn in their flesh.

In the one week since the siege began last Saturday, the body count of Palestinian people have increased from one person to hundreds. Most of the atrocities are committed by bigots in the name of religion. The elusive kingdom of heaven where all can live together has yet to be seen. And I find sorrow when innocent people are killed for nothing.

I am for sure there is some hate between Muslims and Christians / Jews and vice versa. But we seem to have forgotten that these three religions come from the same root, that is the teachings of Abraham. We seem to have forgotten that the fundamentals of practice comes from the teachings of Abraham. Tracing back the history, Abraham is the patriach of the Judaism, Christianity and Islam, his famous two sons, Ishmael and Isaac would become the ancestors of Jesus and the Prophet Muhammad.

The solution to the problems between the two races is to revisit the history of Abraham and gain the understanding that could be part of solving the problem of the world.

Look at the key moments that demonstrates the parallel of respect with all the three religions:

1. Although his biological mother is Hagar and Isaac's is from Sarah, Ishmael would play with his younger half-brother without any prejudice or whatsoever. This is to say that there is no bigotry of religions.

2. When Abraham was asked by Sarah to expel Ishmael and Hagar to the desert of Paran, Abraham refused at the beginning as Ishmael was very dear to Abraham - he loved the boys very much. But he relented when God told him that He will take care of the boy for he would be a founder of a great nation. This is to say that both religions fall under one god (as if Abraham's love for the two boys as Islam / Christianity shares the common one God.)

3. As history says, the spot where Abraham left Ishmael and Hagar is the exact spot where the Holy Kabaa in Mecca is built later by Abraham and the adult Ishmael. Later, the children of Isaac (his brother) would also pay a visit to the Kaaba and Ishmael. Ishmael's daughter would marry his nephew, Esau.

4. The Quran acknowledges and mentions Jesus a few times and the Book of Isiah ( chapter 42 in the Bible) mentions of the Prophet.

Where has the respect of men against the fellow men?

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