Ishmael was the first son of Abraham, the common patriarch of the Abrahamic religions; and is considered as a prophet in Islam.
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In Genesis 16, the birth of Ishmael was planned by the Patriarch Abraham's first wife, who at that time was known as Sarai.
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Ishmael had the idea to offer her Egyptian handmaiden Hagar to her husband so that they could have a child by her.
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When he was 13 years old, Ishmael was circumcised at the same time as all other males in Abraham's household, becoming a part of the covenant in a mass circumcision.
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Ishmael had one known daughter, Mahalath or Basemath, the third wife of Esau.
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Historians and academics in the field of source criticism believe that the stories of Ishmael belong to the three strata of J, or Yahwist source, the P, or Priestly source, and the E, or Elohist source.
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Also, some of the tribes of Central West Arabia called themselves the "people of Abraham and the offspring of Ishmael", as evidenced by a common opening of speeches and harangues of reconciliation between rival tribes in that area.
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Ishmael even prayed to idols when he believed himself unobserved, although this narrative is not in the Torah.
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In some traditions Ishmael is said to have had two wives, one of them named Aisha.
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Ishmael is recognized as an important prophet and patriarch of Islam.
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Ishmael is mentioned over ten times in the Quran, often alongside other patriarchs and prophets of ancient times.
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Ishmael is further mentioned alongside the patriarchs who had been given revelations and Jacob's sons promised to follow the faith of their forefathers, "Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac", when testifying their faith.
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Ishmael's mother placed him in the shade under a bush and went on a frantic search for water, which resulted in her running seven times between the Safa and Marwah hills trying to find a source of water or a passing caravan she could trade with for water.
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Ishmael understood his father and explained to his wife that the visitor was his father and he had been instructed to divorce his wife and find a better one, which Ishmael did.
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Ishmael told his wife who it was that had come to visit and that he approved of her and their marriage.
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