Prophet Ishaaq (Alayhis salaam)
When Ibrahim (Alaihis salaam) was 100 years old, Allah gave him glad tidings of a son from his second wife, Sarah. He was told to name the son Ishaaq.
And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarah thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
And I will bless her, and give thee also a son of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? And shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishma-el might live before thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed, and thou shall call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. (Genesis 17:13-19)
The Quran says:
Undoubtedly our messengers (angels) came to Ibrahim (Alaihis salaam) with glad-tidings. They greeted Ibrahim with salaam and he replied the same. Shortly thereafter he came with a roasted heifer. When he saw that their hands were not stretching out for it, he perceived them to be strangers and became afraid. They told him, “Do not fear. We have been sent to the people of Lut (Alaihis salaam).” Ibrahim’s wife (Sarah) was standing nearby and laughing. Then We gave her the glad tidings of Ishaq and thereafter Yaqub. She exclaimed, “Good gracious! Will I bear while I am barren and my husband is an old man? Indeed this is most strange.” They asked, “Do you express surprise at the decree of Allah? O people of the house, the mercy and blessings of Allah are on you. Undoubtedly He is most praiseworthy and glorious.” (11:69-73)
He feared them. They said, “Do not fear.” They gave him glad tidings of a learned youth. Sarah came chattering. She slapped her face and asked in surprise, “A barren old woman?” They said, “Your Lord had told us the very same thing. Indeed He is wise and all-knowing.” (51:28-30)
He (Ibrahim) said, “Indeed we fear you.” They (the angels) replied, “Do not fear, for we have come to give you glad tidings of a learned youth.” He asked, “Do you give me glad tidings notwithstanding my senility? What kind of glad tiding are you giving me?” They said, “We are giving you glad tidings of the truth. Therefore, do not lose hope.” Ibrahim (Alaihis salaam) replied, “Who else but the misguided can lose hope in Allah.” (15:52-56)
Ishaq was circumcised when he was eight days old
“And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old” (Genesis 21:4)
Ishaq is a Hebrew name. Originally it was Yashaq and when it is translated into Arabic (Yadhaq), it means to laugh. When the angels gave Ibrahim (Alaihis salaam) the glad tidings of a son in his old age, he regarded it as a marvel and Sarah (alaihas salaam) also smiled on hearing this information. This could have been the reason for his name or because his birth was a cause of Sarah’s joy. According to the rule of Arabic grammar, Yadhak is a verb of the imperfect tense and the Arabs frequently use this tense for names e.g. Yarub, Yamlik.
The Quran does not mention anything about his nikah. However the Torah has outlined an incident in detail. Briefly, Ibrahim (Alaihis salaam) expressed his desire to get Ishaq (Alaihis salaam) married in his own family and not to any Canaanite. He sent his servant to the city of Nahor in Mesopotamia with a marriage proposal. The servant reached the outskirts of the city and made his camels kneel down by a well during the evening when women go out to draw water. It so happened that a beautiful damsel, Rafqah (Rebekah) came to fill her pitcher. He asked her for some water and she gave him and his camels water to drink. He then proceeded to her house to convey the message of Ibrahim (Alaihis salaam). Rafqah was the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Nahor who was Ibrahim’s brother. Nahor accepted Ibrahim’s proposal and sent his daughter Rafqah to be married to Ishaq. (See Genesis 24:1-62)
Rafqah bore twins, Esau and Yaqub. Ishaq was 60 at the time. Ishaq loved Esau more while Rafqah loved Yaqub more. Esau was a proficient hunter and fed his old parents venison while Yaqub used to remain in the tent.
One day Esau came home exhausted and asked Yaqub to give him some food as he had not hunted anything. Yaqub told him that it was the custom of the Palestinians that the elder brother inherited. Yaqub told him that if he relinquished his right to inherit, he would feed him. Esau accepted the offer and Yaqub then fed him.
Once Ishaq (Alaihis salaam), who was very old and weak-sighted at the time, wanted to grant Esau some blessings. He told him to go and hunt, cook it well and present it to him. When Rafqah heard this, she desired this blessing for Yaqub. She immediately called Yaqub, told him to prepare good food, give it to his father and request for blessings. Yaqub complied. When Esau arrived and realised what had transpired, he was extremely distressed. He began hating Yaqub. Rafqah told Yaqub to leave and spend a few days by his uncle Laban, Rafqah’s brother. He left and spent some time at his uncle’s house. Here he married his uncle’s two daughters Raheel (Rachel) and Le’ah. (Genesis 27:1-46)
Although this narration seems very unreliable as far as its subject matter is concerned and the moral life portrayed in it as in other narrations of the Bible is not worthy of the lifestyle of the noble messengers, yet we can deduce from it that Yaqub (Alaihis salaam) married his maternal uncle’s daughter and lived by him for a while. In the meanwhile, Esau fled to his paternal uncle Ismaeel (Alaihis salaam) and married his daughter. He married other women as well, took his family to Sa’eer and made it his hometown. Here he was well known by the name of Adoom and his progeny is therefore referred to as Bani Adoom.