The Prophet Ishmael (Isma’il) “was a Messenger and a Prophet” ; he was the son of Abraham and Hagar, Abraham’s second wife. When Abraham was young he received a “dream” from God in which he was “slaughtering” Ishmael . Although this was extremely difficult for Abraham to do, he proceeded anyway into the desert to sacrifice Ishmael . When Abraham told his son what God planned, Ishmael offered himself willingly saying, “Father, do what thou art commanded; thou wilt find me, if Allah please, steadfast” . But God made Abraham’s knife dull like wax and Abraham was unable to shed Ishmael’s blood. God saw both Abraham’s tears and his devotion and, therefore, God caused a ram to appear for Abraham to sacrifice instead of Ishmael .|
When Ishmael grew older God called on Abraham and his son to go to Mecca and rebuild the mosque (Ka’ba) there. The original shrine, built by Adam, was displaced during the flood . Upon its completion, Ishmael “settled. . . in [the] barren valley near Thy Sacred House” of Mecca with his mother; there he married . Ishmael’s progeny became known as the Quraysh, the direct ancestors of Muhammad. Ishmael was the first Prophet to write and preach of the one true God – to “perform Prayer with due observance”  – in Arabic ; he is the “father of all the Arabs” .