God promised Avraham that his descendants would be given the Land of Israel (Genesis 15:18-21). Since Ishmael is one of Avraham's descendants, and if Ishmael is the ancestor of Muslisms, do Muslims also have a claim to the Land of Israel?

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    he is promised that "Yishmael will also be made into a great nation and be a father to 12 princes". And seemingly he didn't get his inheritence right away but maybe the fact they have all the surrounding land is part of the total inheritence.
    – CashCow
    Feb 18, 2015 at 11:38
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    It doesn't say all of his descendants (plus, see DoubleAA's answer). And if it did, we'd have six more sons to deal with too. Feb 18, 2015 at 14:06

3 Answers 3


God's further comments in Genesis 17 and 21 clarify that Isaac is the sole descendant who would be the bearer of the covenant. (See, for example, 21:12 and 17:19-21.)

  • Avraham's sending away of Yishmael was a formal acknowledgement of his not being included as an heir (as explained by Rabbi Hertz for example) according to the laws and customs of that time. Similarly, what he did with the children of Keturah. Feb 18, 2015 at 10:30

Besides the main issue of God's explicit identification of Isaac for this inheritance, already conveyed in DoubleAA's answer, note that Islam is a belief system whose creation came way after the events described in Genesis, and one that doesn't have any special status in Judaism. Therefore, it's impossible that Judaism would consider the subject of verses in Genesis to include Muslims, as such. It's possible, however, that certain ethnic groups may be identified by Jewish tradition as descending from Ishmael.


they have a temporary merit in Israel as the zohar says (Zohar Shemot 32A)

God distanced the children of Ishmael from supernal cleaving and gave them [only] a portion below in the Holy Land on account of their circumcision.

And in the future, the children of Ishmael are destined to rule over the Holy Land for a long time when it is empty from anything, like their circumcision which is empty and imperfect. And they will prevent the children of Israel from returning to their place until the reward for the merit of the children of Ishmael reaches completion


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    This source says nothing about Muslims.
    – Isaac Moses
    Feb 18, 2015 at 19:03
  • @IsaacMoses why was my comment deleted?? the question says "if Ishmael is the ancestor of Muslisms"
    – ray
    Feb 18, 2015 at 21:15
  • ray, I didn't delete your comment, but I did flag it as "not constructive," which may have led to its deletion. It added nothing to the discussion about the fitness of this post. The question is clearly about Muslims, which are not addressed in the Zohar, and is based on a false premise about their connection to Yishmael, as demonstrated in my answer. This answer appears to buy into that false premise.
    – Isaac Moses
    Feb 18, 2015 at 21:19
  • @IsaacMoses the zohar clearly states the descendants of Yishmael willbe in israel until the jews return, so that supports the connection between the palestinians and the descendants of yishmael. furthermore, i have seen muslim hospitality and it is quite impressive, presumably coming from Avraham though this is just an indication
    – ray
    Feb 18, 2015 at 21:23
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    ray, I think you're missing the point of my answer. There's a big difference between a belief system (e.g. Islam) and a lineage (e.g. Ishmaelite). Perhaps people with origins in Arabia are Ishmaelites, but many of them are not Muslims. Similarly, many, many Muslims do not have origins in Arabia.
    – Isaac Moses
    Feb 18, 2015 at 21:32

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