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The foundations of the house (Q 2: 127)1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 February 2009

Joseph Witztum*
Princeton University


In Quran 2: 127 Ibrāhīm founded “the house” (most probably a reference to the Kaʿba) together with his son Ismāʿīl. This scene does not appear in the Bible and none of the attempts to find a literary precedent for it are satisfactory. This paper argues that this scene reflects post-biblical traditions concerning Genesis 22. The argument is based on a comparison of the Quran, quranic commentaries, rabbinic sources and Syriac homilies on Gen. 22. After suggesting an origin for the story, the paper analyses the ways in which the Quran adapted and appropriated the story to its needs. The replacement of Isaac with Ismāʿīl is a central point addressed in this context.

Copyright © School of Oriental and African Studies 2009

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This essay was inspired by a text read with Emmanuel Papoutsakis and was first written as a paper for a seminar taught by Michael Cook. I thank them both for their comments and help. I also thank Meir Bar-Asher, Patricia Crone, Chanan Gafni, Judith Loebenstein-Witztum and the two anonymous readers for their comments. All remaining mistakes are of course mine.


2 Beck, Edmund, “Die Gestalt des Abraham am Wendepunkt der Entwicklung Muhammeds”, Le Muséon 65, 1952, 79Google Scholar, adduces this difficulty as one argument for his opinion that the entire sentence “And when Ibrāhīm was raising the foundations of the house and Ismāʿīl” is a later interpolation. His other arguments are the uncommon use of the imperfect yarfaʿu after idh, the use of al-qawāʿid min al-bayt instead of simply qawāʿid al-bayt, the contradiction with other verses which assume that the house existed before Ibrāhīm, and a comparison with Q 14: 35–41. Beck's arguments notwithstanding, I find his solution extreme and hard to prove, and will assume that the sentence is indeed part of the original text.

3 ʿAbd Allāh b. Masʿūd's (d. 652/3) reading did, however, supply yaqūlāni (“[the two of them] saying/said”) here; see Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-Ṭabarī, Tafsīr al-Ṭabarī, ed. M.M. and A.M. Shākir (Cairo: n.d.), vol. 3, p. 64. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ li-Aḥkām al-Qur'ān (Cairo, 1967), vol. 2, p. 126, attributes a similar reading wa-yaqūlāni both to Ibn Masʿūd and to Ubayy b. Kaʿb (d. between 640 and 656).

4 Ṭabarī, Tafsīr, vol. 3, p. 65. At pp. 68–71 Ṭabarī also cites two traditions attributed to the fourth caliph ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib (d. 661) which, according to Ṭabarī, assume that Ismāʿīl was a young child at the time of the building of the house and therefore did not participate in it. It should be noted, however, that neither tradition states explicitly that Ismāʿīl did not participate. All they do is describe Ibrāhīm building the house without mentioning Ismāʿīl. As a matter of fact, the second tradition even mentions that when the building was almost completed Ibrāhīm asked his son to go and find him the last stone. This implies that the child might in their view have been handing him stones earlier as well.

5 See ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Muḥammad Ibn Abī Ḥātim al-Rāzī, Tafsīr al-Qur'ān al-ʿAẓīm (Riyadh, 1999), vol. 1, p. 233. I thank one of the anonymous readers for this reference. It should be noted that although al-Ḥasan attributes the prayer to Ismāʿīl alone, he adds that the father and son built together.

6 al-Awsaṭ, Al-Akhfash, Maʿānī al-Qur'ān, ed. Fāris, F. (Kuwait, 1981), vol. 1, p. 148Google Scholar.

7 The exact relationship between Q 2: 125 and Q 2: 127 is not clear. In the first verse Allah commands Ibrāhīm and Ismāʿīl to purify his house which seems to imply that the house already exists. The latter verse, however, describes how the father and son build the house. One interpretation attributed to al-Suddī (Kufan d. 745) claims that ṭahhirā means in this context “build [in purity]”. Another is that Allah's command is to purify the place in which the house will be built; see Ṭabarī, Tafsīr, vol. 3, p. 39. For further interpretations, see al-Rāzī, Fakhr al-Dīn, al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr (Cairo, 1934–62), vol. 4, pp. 57–8Google Scholar.

8 See, for example, Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ, vol. 2, p. 120; vol. 10, p. 97 (the term used here is uṣūl al-binā').

9 See, for example, Maḥmūd, b. ʿUmar al-Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf ʿan Ḥaqā’iq al-Tanzīl wa-ʿUyūn al-Aqāwīl fī Wujūh al-Ta’wīl (Beirut, 2001), vol. 2, p. 563Google Scholar.

10 See Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ, vol. 2, p. 120.

11 See Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 213. Zamakhsharī also mentions another interpretation which, somewhat artificially, takes qawāʿid in Q 2: 127 to mean mā qaʿada mina ’l-bayti.

12 A common explanation is that raising the foundations refers to building on top of them; see ibid.

13 Some traditions describe the father and son as building together. Others have Ibrāhīm doing the actual building, while Ismāʿīl passes him the stones; see Ṭabarī, Tafsīr, vol. 3, pp. 65–8.

14 Reuven Firestone, “Abraham”, EQ, vol. 1, p. 7, considers it to be one of the Abrahamic references in the Quran which have no parallel in biblical and later Jewish tradition.

15 Smith, Henry Preserved, The Bible and Islam (New York, 1897), 40Google Scholar.

16 Speyer, Heinrich, Die Biblischen Erzählungen im Qoran (reprint Hildesheim, 1971), 162Google Scholar; Goitein, S. D., Ha-islam shel Muhammad: ketsad hithavta dat hadasha be-tsel ha-Yahadut (Jerusalem, 1956), 182–4Google Scholar; Rubin, Uri, “Ḥanīfiyya and Kaʿba: an inquiry into the Arabian pre-Islamic background of dīn Ibrāhīm”, JSAI 13, 1990, 108Google Scholar.

17 Translation from Ethiopic by VanderKam, James C., The Book of Jubilees (Louvain, 1989), 133Google Scholar.

18 See the remark in Charles, R. H. and Box, G. H., The Book of Jubilees or the Little Genesis (London, 1917), 126Google Scholar, note 3: “‘House’ throughout this passage = ‘family’”. See also Baumgarten, Joseph M., Studies in Qumran Law (Leiden, 1977), 86Google Scholar.

19 See VanderKam, Jubilees, 133, in the note on 22: 24.

20 Rubin, “Ḥanīfiyya”, 108, note 108. It seems that the understanding of Jubilees 22: 24 as referring to a sanctuary built by Abraham is more of a concern for scholars in search of a source for the quranic scene than it is for scholars of Jubilees.

21 Goitein, Ha-islam, 184, notes that in Jubilees 22: 24 the house is built both by Abraham and Jacob. Nonetheless, they are not described as building together at the same time. Rather, Abraham commands Jacob to continue his work after he passes away.

22 It should be mentioned that although Goitein, ibid., emphasizes Jubilees 22: 24, he also notes that Jubilees elaborates here on a link between Abraham and the Temple found already in 2 Chronicles 3: 1, according to which Solomon built the Temple on Mount Moriah (a reference to Gen. 22: 2). Therefore, Goitein too relates our quranic scene indirectly to Gen. 22.

23 Finkel, Joshua, “Jewish, Christian, and Samaritan influences on Arabia”, The Macdonald Presentation Volume (Princeton, 1933), 158–60Google Scholar. Finkel argues that the conflict between the Jews and the Samaritans concerning the location of Mount Moriah (Jerusalem versus Mount Gerizim) emboldened the Arabs to shift the story to a third site.

24 All translations of biblical verses are taken from the NRSV.

25 See Kugel, James L., Traditions of the Bible: a Guide to the Bible as it was at the Start of the Common Era (Cambridge, Mass., 1998), 304–06Google Scholar.

26 Translation by Feldman, Louis H. in Mason, Steve (ed.), Flavius Josephus: Translation and Commentary (Leiden, 2000), vol. 3, pp. 88–9Google Scholar.

27 “Amphilochii Iconiensis Oratio De Abraham Patriarcha”, ed. and trans. Rompay, L. Van, in Datema, C., Amphilochii Iconiensis Opera (Turnhout, 1978), 286Google Scholar.

28 See Brock, Sebastian, “Genesis 22 in Syriac tradition”, in Casetti, P. et al. (ed.), Mélanges Dominique Barthélemy (Fribourg, 1981), 13, 27Google Scholar, and Brock, Sebastian, “Two Syriac verse homilies on the binding of Isaac”, Le Muséon 99, 1986, 127CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

29 See Brock, Sebastian, “An anonymous Syriac homily on Abraham (Gen. 22)”, Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica 12, 1981, 250Google Scholar.

30 Brock, “Binding”, 109, lines 69–79.

31 Ibid., 124, lines 55–7.

32 In Midrash Tanḥuma (began to crystallize in the fifth–seventh centuries, but continued to evolve into the Middle Ages), Wa-yera, 23, they build the altar together; see English translation in Berman, Samuel A., Midrash Tanhuma-Yelamdenu (Hoboken, 1996)Google Scholar, 147. In Midrash Wa-yosha (probably composed at the end of the eleventh century), Abraham builds the altar and Isaac hands him the wood and stones. Abraham is likened to one who builds a bridal home for his son, and Isaac to one who prepares a canopy for himself with joy; see Jellinek, Adolph, Bet ha-Midrasch (Leipzig, 1853), vol. 1, p. 37Google Scholar. See also Yalqut Shimoni (a midrashic thesaurus of the twelfth or thirteenth century) on Genesis, no. 101 (quotes an anonymous Midrash similar to Midrash Wa-yosha) and Sefer Ha-yashar (date of composition disputed, eleventh/twelfth century or beginning of sixteenth century) where Abraham builds and Isaac hands him the stones and mortar; see English translation in Noah, M. M., The Book of Yashar (New York, 1840), 67Google Scholar. These sources are collected in Kasher, M. M., Torah Shelema (Jerusalem, 1938), vol. 3, tome 4, p. 890Google Scholar.

33 Bedjan, Paulus, Homiliae Selectae Mar-Jacobi Sarugensis (Paris, 1905–10), vol. 4, p. 90Google Scholar, lines 4–13.

34 For these meanings, see Brockelmann, Carl, Lexicon Syriacum (Halis Saxonum, 1928), 158aGoogle Scholar. The meaning “course of stone or bricks in a building” exists also for the Greek δóμος (alongside the meaning “house”); see Liddel, H. G. and Scott, R., A Greek–English Lexicon (Oxford, 1996), 444Google Scholar.

35 Although one could argue that dumsa in line 3 refers to the actual edifice, while bayta in line 4 refers to its function as a house for mysteries.

36 Duval, Rubens, Lexicon Syriacum Auctore Hassano Bar Bahlule (Paris, 1901), vol. 1, p. 543Google Scholar.

37 See Tosefta BM 11: 5 and BT BM 118b.

38 Smith, R. Payne, Thesaurus Syriacus (Oxford, 1879–1901), vol. 2, p. 2277Google Scholar cites ngad šure, which is translated by Smith, J. Payne, A Compendious Syriac Dictionary (Oxford, 1957), 327Google Scholar, as “he lengthened the walls i.e. built further”. The source of this quotation is Land, J. P. N., Anecdota Syriaca (Leiden, 1862), vol. 1, p. 61Google Scholar, citing the Syro-Roman Law Book. Šure, however, is testified in only one manuscript of this work. Other manuscripts read either šuqe (streets) or šqaqe (lanes); Selb, Walter and Kaufhold, Hubert, Das Syrisch-Römische Rechtsbuch (Vienna, 2002), vol. 2, p. 154Google Scholar. I am indebted to one of the anonymous readers for drawing my attention to the other readings.

39 Compare with instances where Jacob uses dumse in the plural (probably referring to parts of one structure rather than to several structures) with mtaḥ “to stretch”; see Bedjan, Homiliae, vol. 1, pp. 476, 530. A parallel use of the verbs ngad and mtaḥ is found also in the passage from the Syro-Roman Law book cited in the previous note: . Another verb that Jacob uses with dumse is traṣ “to make straight”; see Bedjan, Paulus, S. Martyrii, qui et Sahdona, quae supersunt omnia (Paris, 1902), 627, 848Google Scholar. I thank one of the anonymous readers for these references.

40 In Jacob's homily on the Flood, he uses similar language to describe Noah's building of the altar when he emerges from the ark (Bedjan, Homiliae, vol. 4, p. 54 line 19–p. 55 line 2). Noah is described as a master-builder of faith (ardekla d-haymanuta) and his altar is called a building (benyana) and a house (bayta). I am indebted to Emmanuel Papoutsakis for this reference.

41 For my argument it is not crucial that dumsa must be shown to mean “layer of stones” or “foundation” (as opposed to “house” or “edifice”) in this instance, only that it might have been understood in this manner.

42 In the beginning of the homily on the Flood (Bedjan, Homiliae, vol. 4, p. 3, lines 19–20), Jacob uses a phrase which could be considered the exact Syriac equivalent of yarfaʿu ’l-qawāʿid. He says concerning Noah: “He alone was diligent in uprightness / and he toiled and raised the straight (stone) rows [or edifices] of faith” (. See also ibid., p. 5, line 11, where the dumsa (in this case probably an edifice) rises (saleq) based on rows of stones (sedre). I thank Emmanuel Papoutsakis for these references.

43 See Guidi, I., “Seven sleepers”, Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. Hastings, James (New York, 1921), vol. 11, p. 429Google Scholar. For the latest study, also emphasizing the importance of Jacob's homily, see Griffith, Sidney H., “Christian lore and the Arabic Qur'ān: the ‘Companions of the Cave’ in Sūrat al-Kahf and in Syriac Christian tradition”, in Reynolds, Gabriel S. (ed.), The Qur'ān in Its Historical Context (London, 2008), 109–37Google Scholar.

44 For text and rabbinic parallels, see Theodor, J. and Albeck, Ch., Midrash Bereshit Rabba (Jerusalem, 1965), vol. 2, p. 607Google Scholar. See also Grossfeld, Bernard, The Targum Onqelos to Genesis (Wilmington, 1988), 87Google Scholar. For Targumic versions which are closer to the Genesis Rabba prayer, see McNamara, Martin, Targum Neofiti 1: Genesis (Collegeville, 1992), 118–9Google Scholar and Maher, Michael, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Genesis (Collegeville, 1992), 80Google Scholar. For a survey of the redemptive virtue of the Binding of Isaac in midrashic literature, see Vermes, Geza, Scripture and Tradition in Judaism (Leiden, 1983), 206–08Google Scholar.

45 This follows the majority reading. A reading which would render the verse “And when Ibrāhīm tried his lord” is attributed to Jābir b. Zayd Abū al-Shaʿthā’ (of Baṣra. d. 711/2 or 721/2), to his teacher Ibn ʿAbbās and to Abū Ḥanīfa. See Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 210; Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ, vol. 2, p. 97, and Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, al-Tafsīr, vol. 4, p. 40.

46 See Ṭabarī, Tafsīr, vol. 3, pp. 7–17. Paret, Rudi, Der Koran Kommentar und Konkordanz (Stuttgart, 1971), 28Google Scholar, suggests a different understanding: the “words” refer to Allah's promise of offspring to Ibrāhīm in his old age, and it is Allah who is the subject of the verb atamma and fulfils his promise.

47 See, for example, ʿAlī b. Ibrāhīm al-Qummī, Tafsīr al-Qummī, ed. Ṭ. al-Mūsawī al-Jazāʾirī (Najaf, 1386–7 AH), vol. 1, p. 59, and Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ, vol. 2, p. 97 (unattributed opinion). According to al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī, the verse refers to the various trials which Allah brought upon Ibrāhīm. His opinion is transmitted in several versions, some of which mention the attempted sacrifice as one of the trials; see Ṭabarī, Tafsīr, vol. 3, p. 14.

48 See, for example, Geiger, Abraham, Judaism and Islam (Madras, 1898), 102Google Scholar, and Beck, “Gestalt”, 74.

49 One might be tempted to find further links to Gen. 22 in the mention of “words” (kalimāt) in Q 2: 124 (cf. devarim in Gen. 22: 1) and “place” maqām in Q 2: 125 (cf. maqom in Gen. 22: 3, 4). These words, however, are common enough in both texts so that such links are inconclusive.

50 See Muḥammad b. al-Ṭabarī, Jarīr, Ta’rīkh al-Rusul wal-Mulūk, ed. De Goeje, M. J. (Leiden, 1879–1881), ser. 1, vol. 1, p. 274Google Scholar.

51 See the tradition attributed to Mujāhid b. Jabr (Mecca, d. c. 720) and other anonymous scholars in Ṭabarī, Tafsīr, vol. 3, pp. 61–2.

52 See the tradition attributed to al-Suddī (Kufa, d. 745) in ibid., pp. 65–6. The wind is described as having two wings and a head in the shape of a snake. When Ibrāhīm and Ismāʿīl cannot find the house, the wind sweeps away the earth that covered the remains of the first house.

53 See, for example, the tradition attributed to ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib (in the transmission of Saʿīd b. al-Musayyab [Medina. d. c. 712]) in ibid., p. 63. In it, Ibrāhīm (coming from Armenia) is led by the Sakīna which first marks the site as a spider marks its house, and then reveals to him great stones (presumably the foundations of the earlier house). See also the tradition attributed to ʿAlī (in the transmission of Khālid b. ʿArʿara) in ibid., pp. 69–70. In this tradition Ibrāhīm finds the matter difficult (fa-ḍāqa Ibrāhīmu bi-dhālika dharʿan), so Allah sends him the Sakīna, which is identified as a strong wind with two heads (a conflation of two originally independent elements; compare previous note) to lead him to the site. When they reach Mecca, the Sakīna wraps itself around the site of the house.

54 See the Kufan tradition attributed to ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib (in the transmission of Ḥāritha b. Muḍarrab) in ibid., 68–9. In this tradition Ibrāhīm sees a likeness of a cloud (mithl al-ghamāma) above the site of the house. In it there is a likeness of a head (mithl al-ra's) which instructs him to build the house according to the dimensions of the cloud.

55 For the various descriptions of this type of bird, see Lane, Edward William, Arabic–English Lexicon (Cambridge, 1984), vol. 2, p. 1677Google Scholar.

56 Three traditions (all transmitted via the Meccan scholar Ibn Jurayj [d. c. 767]) in Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh al-Azraqī, Akhbār Makka ed. R. Ṣ. Malḥas (Mecca, 1352–57 ah), vol. 1, pp. 23, 24 and 26, mention that Ibrāhīm was accompanied by an angel, the Sakīna, and a Ṣurad bird. Al-Ḥakīm al-Tirmidhī, Nawādir al-Uṣūl., ed. M.ʿA. ʿAṭā (Beirut, 1992), vol. 1, p. 287 mentions only the Sakīna and the Ṣurad, and explains that they fulfilled different roles: the bird was the guide, and the Sakīna supplied the dimensions of the building (it is not clear whether this is Tirmidhī's opinion or a quotation from Abū Hurayra).

57 Lane, Lexicon, vol. 1, p. 271.

58 Ibid. Several traditions use the fifth form to describe how the Sakīna marked the site of the house in the same way a spider marks its house (maʿahu ’l-sakīna tadulluhu ʿalā tabawwu’i ’l-bayti kamā tatabawwa'u ’l-ʿankabūtu baytahā); see, for example, the tradition attributed to ʿAlī in Ṭabarī, Tafsīr, vol. 3, p. 63. This clear reference to Q 22: 26 was overlooked by Reuven Firestone, Journeys in Holy Lands (Albany, 1990), 86; he is intrigued by the spider motif, and suggests that it is either a comparison to the natural habits of a spider or a reflection of “a deeper but obscure level of association”.

59 See Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ, vol. 12, p. 36.

60 Van Rompay, “Amphilochii”, 282.

61 Brock, “Binding”, 123, line 45.

62 See Brock, “Genesis 22”, 26, note 51. For additional opinions in Syriac sources, see ibid., 10.

63 For text and parallels, see Theodor, Bereshit, vol. 2, p. 595. See discussion in Jonathan Grossman and Gilad Sasson, “On implicit biblical analogies in Midrashim of the Sages – in the footsteps of Bin-Nun, Rabbi Y. and Medan”, Rabbi Y., Megadim 46, 2007, 2630Google Scholar [in Hebrew]. Grossman and Sasson suggest that the literary similarities that exist between Genesis 22 and Exodus 24 led to the transferral of the cloud motif from Exodus 24: 15 (“Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain …”) to Gen. 22.

64 Interestingly, Jacob of Serugh also says that the Škinta was present when Abraham and Isaac reached the mountain; see Brock, “Genesis 22”, 26, n. 52.

65 Translation by Friedlander, Gerald, Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer (New York, 1981), 225–6Google Scholar. Later on in the same chapter it is said that God himself pointed out the altar to Abraham. See also Aggadat Bereshit, ch. 31; English translation in Teugels, Lieve M., Aggadat Bereshit (Leiden, 2001), p. 99Google Scholar. See also the Palestinian Targums on Gen. 22: 14. Fire marking the site is possibly mentioned in a Qumran fragment (4Q225); see Mark Bregman, “The Aqedah at Qumran: fire on the mountain” (Abstract of lecture presented at the Orion Center, May 21, 1998, online access at:

66 Van Rompay, “Amphilochii”, 282. Compare with the fourth/fifth-century piyyut Az be-En Kol where it is said of Abraham: “He ran quickly to do His desire/though the way was concealed from him”; English translation in Swartz, Michael D. and Yahalom, Joseph, Avodah: an Anthology of Ancient Poetry for Yom Kippur (University Park, PA, 2005), 170Google Scholar.

67 Hawting, G. R., “The origins of the Muslim sanctuary at Mecca”, in Juynboll, G. H. A. (ed.), Studies on the First Century of Islamic Society (Carbondale, 1982), 41Google Scholar, suggests that the traditions which describe Ibrāhīm's journey to find the site of the house in the company of three heavenly beings (one of them being the Sakīna) are reminiscent of Abraham's three visitors in Gen. 18 (one of whom could be identified with the Lord). In Gen. 18, however, there is no question of finding a site. Moreover, the Islamic traditions which refer to three guides (one of whom is in fact a Ṣurad bird) seem to be a compromise between conflicting traditions which mentioned only one.

68 See Firestone, Journeys, 207, note 45.

69 See Firestone, Reuven, “Abraham's journey to Mecca in Islamic exegesis: a form-critical study of a tradition”, Studia Islamica 76, 1992, 15–6Google Scholar. It is of course possible that elements originating from developments of Gen. 22 might have been reinterpreted according to Arabian folklore.

70 See Ṭabarī, Tafsīr, vol. 3, pp. 57–60. Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, al-Tafsīr, vol. 4, p. 63, states that these traditions find support in the wording of Q 2: 127 (“were raising the foundations of the house”) which indicates that there were ruins of a former building.

71 See Maher, Pseudo-Jonathan, 79. In Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer, ch. 31, it is the same altar on which Adam, Cain and Abel, and Noah and his sons offered their sacrifices. This is deduced from the text of the verse which refers to Abraham building “the altar” (hammizbeaḥ) as opposed to “an altar” (mizbeaḥ).

72 See discussion in Levenson, Jon D., The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity (New Haven, 1993), 111–24Google Scholar.

73 See Kalimi, Isaac, “Zion or Gerizim? The Association of Abraham and the Aqeda with Zion/Gerizim in Jewish and Samaritan Sources”, in Lubetski, Meir et al. (eds), Boundaries of the Ancient Near Eastern World (Sheffield, 1998), 442–57Google Scholar.

74 For this theme, see, for example, Brock, “Genesis 22”.

75 See Kamesar, Adam, Jerome, Greek Scholarship, and the Hebrew Bible (Oxford, 1993), 187Google Scholar, and Brock, “Genesis 22”, 7–8, 25.

76 See Q 2: 151, Q 3: 164, Q 62: 2.

77 For similar predictions concerning Muḥammad, see Q 7: 157 and Q 61: 6. For a discussion of Ṭabarī's treatment of these passages, see McAuliffe, Jane D., “The prediction and prefiguration of Muḥammad”, in Reeves, John C. (ed.), Bible and Qur'ān: Essays in Scriptural Intertextuality (Leiden, 2003), 107–31Google Scholar.

78 See Shahid, Irfan, Byzantium and the Arabs in the Fifth Century (Washington, 1989), 154–6Google Scholar, 171–2 and 179–80.

79 Q 37: 101.

80 See Firestone, Reuven, “Abraham's son as the intended sacrifice (al-Dhabīḥ, Qur'ān 37: 99–113): issues in qur'ānic exegesis”, Journal of Semitic Studies 34, 1989, 95131CrossRefGoogle Scholar, and Bashear, Suliman, “Abraham's sacrifice of his son and related issues”, Der Islam 67, 1990, 243–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar. For a critique of Firestone's conclusions and a discussion of the difficulty of determining the opinion of early authorities on this issue, see Leemhuis, F., “Ibrāhīm's sacrifice of his son in the early post-Koranic tradition”, in Noort, Ed and Tigchelaar, Eibert (eds), The Sacrifice of Isaac: The Aqeda (Genesis 22) and Its Interpretations (Leiden, 2002), 130Google Scholar.

81 For the various theories regarding Ismāʿīl in the Quran, see Rudi Paret, “Ismāʿīl”, EI2, vol. 4, p. 184.

82 See Wadad Kadi and Mustansir Mir, “Literature and the Qur'ān”, EQ, vol. 3, p. 212. They coin the term taṣrīf (based on quranic usage such as Q 17: 41) for this quranic narrative principle.

83 See Q 37: 71–148.

84 See Q 2: 122–52.

85 See Moreen, Vera B., “Is[h]maʿiliyat: a Judeo-Persian account of the building of the Kaʿba”, in Hary, Benjamin H. et al. (eds), Judaism and Islam: Boundaries, Communication and Interaction (Leiden, 2000), 185202Google Scholar.

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