Ishaq (إِسْحٰق), sometimes also written as (إِسْحَاق), was a Prophet in ancient times. He is also known as a Prophet in Judaism and Christianity with the name Isaac. He is among the 25 Prophets and Messengers mentioned in the Quran. His mention appears 17 times in different verses of the Quran, primarily along with his father, Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and his son Prophet Yaqoob عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ.

Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was one of the most important and prominent Prophets sent to this world by Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى for the guidance of mankind. He is mentioned in the Quran as a gift to his father, Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ. On many other places in the Quran, he is also mentioned along with different Prophets. Apart from that no details about life of Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُis available in the Quran.

Family Background of Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ

Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ belongs to a family of Prophets. He is the second son of Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and brother of Prophet Ismail عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ. Prophet Yaqoob عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was his son and Prophet Yusuf عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was his grandson. Prophet Yaqoob عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ had 12 sons who later became 12 different tribes, commonly known as the “Children of Israel” or “Bani Israel.” So, the Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ also happens to be the forefather of Bani Israel or the Children of Israel. His mother’s name was Sarah.

Birth of Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ

The birth of Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ in itself was a unique event. His mother and the first wife of Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was known to be sterile. Realizing this fact, she asked his husband, Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ, to marry her servant Hajar. The Prophet accepted her suggestion, and eventually, Prophet Ismael عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was born to Hajar.

Years passed, and both Sarah and her husband, Prophet Ibrahim, grew older. At a later stage, three strangers once came to Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ. He welcomed them and took them along to his home. He asked his wife Hajar to arrange dinner for them, considering them guests. When the dinner was ready, Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ got astonished and a bit scared as well, as the guests were not inclined to eat the roasted calf he had offered them for dinner.

The guests then told him that they were not humans, so they don’t eat and drink. They were in fact Angels, sent to him with a purpose. The Angels then gave Sarah a wonderful news about a son and a grandson. At that point of time both Ibrahim and his wife Sarah were too old and it was quite unlikely for them to have a son. But the Angels told them that it will happen with the Will and Command of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. This historic event is mentioned in the verses 69 to 73 of Surah Hud:

Translation

  1. Our angels came to Abraham with good news, and said: “Peace on you. “Peace on you too,” said Abraham, and hastened to bring a roasted calf.
  2. When they did not stretch their hands towards it he became suspicious and afraid of them. They said: “Do not be afraid. We have been sent to the people of Lot
  3. His wife who stood near, laughed as We gave her the good news of Isaac, and after Isaac of Jacob
  4. She said: “Woe betide me! Will I give birth when I am old and this my husband be aged? This is indeed surprising!”
  5. “Why are you surprised at the command of God? God’s mercy and blessings be upon you, O members of this household,” they said. “Verily He is worthy of praise and glory.”

So, with the Command of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, Ishaq was born to Sarah and Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ. By that time, his older half-brother was around 10 years of age.

Marriage of Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ

The Quran does not speak about the life of the Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ. All that we can find about him is from the research work of Islamic Commentators.

When Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was around 40 year old, his father Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ decided to marry him. By that time, Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was too old and realized that he was at the last leg of this life. So, he planned to marry his son Ishaq.

The readily available choice would have been among the Canaanites, but he was not inclined to do so as the Canaanites were pagans. He sent one of his trusted servants to Haran to search for a good bride for his son Ishaq. So, the Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was got married with Rebekah Binte Bethuel. Bethuel was the son of Nahor, who was one of the brothers of Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ.

Birth of Two Sons of Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ

Wife of Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ gave birth to twin sons, named Yaqoob and Al-Eis. As predicted by the Angels while giving the good news of birth of Ishaq, Yaqoob also became a Prophet. And later on son of Prophet Yaqoob, named as Yusuf became a Prophet as well. So, by the Will and Command of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ became the son, brother, father and grandfather of Prophets.

Death and Tomb of Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ

Following a short illness, Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ eventually died. He lived for 180 years and was buried near his father, Ibrahim. The tombs of Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ, Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and his wife Rebekah are believed to be in the Cave of Patriarchs, also known as Masjid e Ibrahim, in present-day West Bank Palestine.

Mention of Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ in the Quran

Prophet Ishaq عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ is mentioned in the Quran in different verses, such as:

112th Verse of Surah As-Saffat

Translation – So We gave him the good news of Isaac, apostle, who is among the righteous.

84th Verse of Surah Al-An’am

Translation –  And We gave him Isaac and Jacob and guided them, as We had guided Noah before them, and of his descendants, David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus We reward those who are upright and do good.

49th Verse of Surah Maryam

Translation – Thus, when he left them and the (idols) they worshipped, We bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob, and made each of them a prophet,

27th Verse of Surah Al-Ankabut

Translation – So We bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob and gave his progeny prophethood and scripture, and rewarded him in this world, and in the next he will be among the upright

38th Verse of Surah Yusuf

Translation – I follow the faith of my fathers, of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. We cannot associate anyone with God. This is among God’s favours to us and to all mankind; but most men are not grateful.

163rd Verse of Surah An-Nisa

Translation – We have sent revelations to you as We sent revelations to Noah and the prophets (who came) after him; and We sent revelations to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob, and their offspring, and to Jesus and Job, and to Jonah and Aaron and Solomon, and to David We gave the Book of Psalms,

45th Verse of Surah Sad

Translation – Remember Our votaries Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, men of power and insight.

72nd Verse of Surah Al-Anbiya

Translation – And We bestowed on him Isaac, and Jacob as an additional gift, and made them righteous.