The story of Abraham's near sacrifice of his son found in Genesis 22 is also found in the Qur'an.
[37.100] [Abraham prayed] My Lord! grant me of the doers of good deeds.
This parallel text displays many of the characteristics of the Qur'an's treatment of biblical stories found elsewhere. For example, when coompared to the text in Genesis 22, the Qur'an's narrative is more sparse. Details about the journey up the mountain with the cutting the wood, loading the donkey, and Abraham holding a knife over his son are missing. According to John Kaltner in his book Ishmael Instructs Isaac, what is important for the Qur'an is the "message" rather than the "plot" of the story (Kaltner, 123). The story also doesn't specify what son it was in the dream that Abraham was to sacrifice. Both Isaac and Ishmael have been identified as the intended victim through history, although the prevailing view in Islam today is that Ishmael was the one to be sacrificed.
|The crux of the Qur'an's story is found in the dialogue between Abraham and his son in verse 102. The son is old enough that he to work with his father, and Abraham could reason with him. While Isaac's question in the Genesis account about where is the animal to be sacrificed (22:7-8) provide sthe context for Abraham to express his faith in God, the dialogue in the Qur'an highlights faith even more strongly. The son's willing submission to his father makes the story into an account of the son's faith as well as the father's. The Qur'an continues that they "both submitted" (v. 103), and as elsewhere in the Qur'an Abraham (and his son) become the ideal Muslim who submits to Allah.|
To explore how Muslims remember this event from Abraham's life in a religious holiday, go to the page about the Eid al-Adha.