Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Abraham the Patriarch / Ibrahim the Prophet
According to the Torah, Abraham was brought by God from Mesopotamia to the land of Canaan, around 2000 BCE There entered into a covenant: in exchange for sole recognition of Yahweh as supreme universal deity and authority, Abraham will be blessed with innumerable progeny.
His original name was Abram, meaning either "exalted father". For the latter part of his life, he was called Abraham, "father of many (nations)" per Genesis 17:5, although it does not have any literal meaning in Hebrew.
Judaism, Christianity and Islam are sometimes referred to as the "Abrahamic religions", because of the role Abraham plays in their holy books.
In the Jewish tradition, he is called Avraham Avinu or "Abraham, our Father". God promised Abraham that through his offspring, all the nations of the world will come to be blessed (Genesis 12:3), interpreted in Christian tradition as a reference to Christ.
Jews, Christians, and Muslims consider him father of the people of Israel through his son Isaac (cf. Exodus 6:3, Exodus 32:13).
For Muslims, he is a prophet of Islam and the ancestor of Muhammad through his other son Ishmael.