The Scrolls of Abraham (Arabic: صحف إبراهيم, Ṣuḥuf Ibrāhīm are referred to by the Qur’an as the oldest of the monotheistic revelations still available: “This is in the Books of the earliest (Revelation), The Books of Abraham and Moses. (Qur’an 87:19) and “Nay, is he not acquainted with what is in the Books of Moses and of Abraham who fulfilled his duties or engagements?” (Qur’an 53:36)
The Book of Moses clearly refers to the Torah, and the Book of Abraham might logically refer to the opening chapters of the Book of Genesis 1:1-11:9. If the reference in Qur’an 53:36 to ‘Abraham, who fulfilled his duties-engagements,’ refers to the famous test of Prophet Abraham and his two sons, then the The Scrolls of Abraham would logically be Genesis 1:1-22:19.
Miriam, the Prophetess (Exodus 15:20), the older sister of Prophet Moses, who helped save his life in Egypt, must have told Prophet Moses to include in his Torah, the Ṣuḥuf Ibrāhīm that are referred to by the Qur’an as the oldest of the monotheistic revelations.
The preamble to the Treaty of Peace, Diplomatic Relations and Full Normalization between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel includes a special reference to the Arab and Jewish common heritage, as descendants of Abraham, and the concomitant “to foster in the Middle East a reality in which Muslims, Jews, Christians and peoples of all faiths, denominations, beliefs, and nationalities live in, and are committed to a spirit of coexistence, mutual understanding, and respect.”
This treaty, better known as the Abraham Accords, may become the beginning of the fulfillment of a twenty seven hundred year old prophecy of Prophet Isaiah: “In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt, and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will join a three-party alliance with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing upon the heart. The LORD of Hosts will bless them saying, “Blessed be Egypt My people, Assyria My handiwork, and Israel My inheritance.” (Isaiah 19:23-5)
Emirati foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed said the most important thing to emphasize is the return of the hope that the Palestinians and Israelis can work together to agree a two-state solution and a brighter future for the children of the region. As a Rabbi I am in full agreement.
A few months ago Muslims celebrated the beginning of a new Islamic year, and this week Jews are celebrating the beginning of a new Jewish year. In synagogues worldwide on the two days of the new Jewish year, Jews listened to the reading of Genesis chapters 21 and 22 and heard about Prophet Ishmael (Genesis 21) as well as Prophet Isaac (Genesis 22).
Reading about the patriarch of the Arab people is part of our Jewish tradition because these events are are a part our identity as Jews; and Chapter 21—the story of the birth and banishment of Ishmael—establishes our Jewish connection to all of God’s non-Jewish children especially to our cousins the Arab people.
When God saw the young Ishmael was about to die, the Torah text tells us that the God of the Hebrew Bible heard the voice of all children, including Ishmael, in their suffering and misery, as well as in their joyous and hopeful moments.
After these events we next hear about Ishmael a few chapters later, when Isaac and Ishmael meet (Genesis 25:9) at the funeral of their father Abraham. Islamic and Jewish tradition both agree that Prophet Abraham visited Prophet Ishmael’s distant home on at least two different occasions to make sure that his family relationships were suitable. These pre and post funeral reconciliations are why the Torah’s describes Abraham as ‘contented’ in his old age.
The time for the current enmity is over. Everyone knows how important fasting during Ramadan, and daily worship and prayer are in Islam; but few non-Muslims know that Islam considers reconciling people better than many acts of worship.
Prophet Muhammad said: “Should I not tell you what is better in degree than prayer, fasting, and charity.” They (the companions) said: “Yes.” He said: “Reconciling people, because grudges and disputes are a razor (that shaves off faith).”(Ahmad, Abu Dawood, and At-Tirmithi)
Even more important Prophet Muhammad said: “The one who reconciles people is not considered a liar if he exaggerates what is good or says (only) what is good.” [Ahmad]
This is an excellent guide to dealing with the three-generation old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rather than focusing mostly on what the other side did to us, we all should focus on how the conflict has hurt all of us, and how much better our future would be if we could live next to each other in peace.
The descendants of Prophet Isaac and Prophet Ishmael should negotiate a settlement that reflects the religious policy that “…there is no sin upon them if they make terms of settlement between them – and settlement [reconciliation] is best.” (Quran 4:128)
The Declaration of Peace, Cooperation, and Constructive Diplomatic and Friendly Relations between the State of Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain is a bilateral, non-binding declaration expressing the joint intentions of the two parties to enter into negotiations on a series of agreements in twelve fields of normalization.
The declaration includes agreement to establish “a culture of peace,” an expression which also appears in the Israel-UAE Peace Agreement.
The preamble to the Treaty of Peace, Diplomatic Relations and Full Normalization between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel includes a unique reference to the Arab and Jewish common heritage, as descendants of Abraham, and the concomitant need “to foster in the Middle East a reality in which Muslims, Jews, Christians and peoples of all faiths, denominations, beliefs, and nationalities live in, and are committed to a spirit of coexistence, mutual understanding, and respect.”
UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs Shamma Al Mazrui praised various concepts of the Jewish religion, such as the virtue of repentance and introspection during the High Holy Days which just ended. She also referred to the recent Abraham Accord normalization agreement between the UAE and Israel, expressing hope that it would usher in a new era of “radical tolerance and radical love in our region and the world.”
Al Mazrui started her speech by noting that she first learned about Shabbat during her time as a student in New York City. She recalled seeing her friends practice their rituals “as pathways to peace, completeness and wholeness.”
Her Jewish friends made a spiritual pause on the seventh day “seem as logical as it is spiritual, and it modeled the basic human quest for peace and how we are more alike than different. It reminded me personally of the saying of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, who said faith wears out in the heart just as our clothes wear out, so ask Allah to renew faith in our hearts.”
More amazing the Prophet said: “The one who reconciles people is not considered a liar if he exaggerates what is good or says what is good.” [Ahmad] And a scholar added: “Allah Almighty likes lying for the sake of reconciliation and dislikes truthfulness for the sake of corruption.”
The Messenger of Allah said: “He is not a liar who seeks to reconcile between people and says good things.” (al-Bukhaari, 2490)