Isaac and Jacob

History of the Prophets

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Of Abraham’s sons, Isaac is accepted as a prophet. He is mentioned by name about a dozen times but no details about him are given. Abraham received the good news of his birth, after that of Ishmael as contained in 37:101:

“And We gave him the good news of Isaac, a prophet, a righteous one.” (The Holy Quran, 37:112)

Isaac’s son Jacob is also mentioned several times in greater detail as one of the prophets. He is particularly spoken of as laying special stress on submission to the will of God:

“And the same did Abraham enjoin on his sons, and (so did) Jacob: O my sons, surely Allah has chosen for you (this) religion, so die not unless you are submitting ones. Or were you witnesses when death visited Jacob, when he said to his sons: What will you serve after me? They said: We will serve thy God and the God of thy fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac, one God only, and to Him do we submit.” (The Holy Quran, 2:132–133)

Jacob is frequently spoken of in the story of Joseph, his son, for which see the next chapter. Only once he is mentioned by his name Israel (The Holy Quran, 3:93), though his descendants are frequently spoken of as Banu Israil or the Children of Israel.

References mentioned above:

“So We gave him the good news of a forbearing son.” (The Holy Quran, 37:101)

“All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, before the Torah was revealed, except that which Israel forbade himself. Say: Bring the Torah and read it, if you are truthful.” (The Holy Quran, 3:93)