Aim doing some research on Islamic History and need your help.
As we know that Prophet Ibrahim (as) had two sons, Prophet Ismail (as) and Prophet Ishaq (as). Jews are the descendants of Prophet Ishaq (as) and Arabs are the descendants of Prophet Ismail (as).
I want to know that how come Jews who are the descendants of Prophet Ishaq (as) speak different languages (Hebrew) as compared to their half brothers Arabs who speak Arabic? Was Prophet Ishaq (as) a Hebrew?
If this is true, than how could it be possible that both sons speak different language in spite of having a same father Prophet Ibrahim (as) who was an Arab and use to Speak Arabic?
Please throw some light on this issue.
I hope my question is clear to you
Allah Hafiz and Happy New Year
The only historical documents that mention the generations of the Prophet Abraham is the Torah (also: the Old Testament) and the New Testament. A search through the Torah would reveal that in fact Abraham is claimed to have had more than two sons. The two most famous are Ishmael, his first-born, and Isaac the son of Sarah. However, he did have other children by another wife named Keturah. She gave birth to Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian Ishabak and Shuah1). Although you are correct in the bigger sense to say that the Jews are descended from Isaac, it would be even more accurate to recognize that the father of the Jewish tribe is actually Judah the son of Jacob from where the Children of Israel descended. Jacob, also known by the appellation “Israel,” is the son of Isaac. As for the Arabs, your assertion is widely accepted but it should be understood that a Semitic people resided where Ishmael lived with his family.
Although Arabs and the Jewish tribes are related this had no bearing on how their cultures developed. They lived in different regions and had different lifestyles. Hence, it can be appreciated that some differences developed, in terms of language and culture, over time. It should be taken into consideration that both groups speak very similar languages that come from the same Semitic mother tongue. “Hebrew” is used to indicate a person or the language of the people who descended from patriarch Heber (or Eber). All the generations of Heber are technically considered Hebrews. This includes Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, the Arabs and the Jewish tribes (not to be confused with the religion).
As explained above, the language developed according to what the circumstances demanded. The best way to explain it to you is through an analogy. Let us say that twin boys were sent to two different countries whose official language is English. One boy is sent to the United States and the other to Australia. This should illustrate that even though the boys are twins they will turn out speaking different dialects from one another. Language is molded by the environment and conditions of life; even the closest of relatives may develop certain nuances that may be incomprehensible to the other. I recommend that you research Arabic and Hebrew and see that they are not as different as you seem to perceive. Lastly, I would like to point out that your statement about Abraham being an Arab is inaccurate. Abraham was not an Arab nor did he speak Arabic. He was from Ur in Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq, and his language reflected that of the indigenous people. He is considered Hebrew because he is descended from his forefather Heber, the Prophet known as Hud in the Qur’an.
I hope I have clarified the issue.
God knows best.
- Genesis 25:1-2 (KJV [↩]