How Hagar and Isma’il prefigured Maryam and Isa al-Masih

This is a brief- account of how Isma’il [Ishmael] and Hagar prefigured or foreshadowed Maryam (the virgin Mary) and Isa al-Masih (Christ the Messiah). We must remember how the Honored Qur’an speaks highly of Isa al-Masih (Christ the Messiah). Over 90 ayats in the Honored Qur’an speak of Isa al-Masih (Christ the Messiah). He is mentioned in 15 suras, we must take serious note of this. Why would the Honoured Qur’an mention Isa al-Masih so often if He were not important for the people living today?

In the Honored Qur’an we also find that the Taurat (Law of Moses) and Injeel (Gospel of Isa al-Masih)
as highly spoken of. In the Holy Books of the Taurat and Injeel, are found so many similarities between
two women, Hagar, (second wife of Ibrahim) and Maryam (the virgin Mary) and their sons Isma’il and
Isa al-Masih (Christ the Messiah). In the Honored Qur’an the Taurat (known as the ‘Book’, or the Law of Moses is mentioned 65 times and the Injeel (Gospel
of Isa al-Masih, the New Testament) is mentioned 44 times. This alone ought to tell us something. According to the Honored Qur’an these Holy Books need to be respected and honored as they were given by Allah. Thus we turn to these sacred volumes of Scriptures, to see how these two women and their sons compare.

1. Both women in this account were unmarried.

Hagar the servant handmaid in Sarai’s home. Genesis 16:1 ‘Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.’ Thus Hagar foreshadowed Maryam the virgin who would bear a Son in her virginity.

Maryam virgin – Isaiah 7:14 ‘Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.’ This refers to Maryam prophecy.

2. Both were visited by ‘Heavenly Messengers’.

Hagar: Genesis 16:7 “And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.”

Maryam: Luke 1:26-27 “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary [Maryam].”

3. Both women submitted to Heavens’ message.

Hagar: Genesis16:9 “And the angel of the LORD said unto her [Hagar], Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.”

Maryam: Luke 1:38 “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”

4. Both were ‘handmaids’ (slaves or servants.)

Hagar: Handmaid of Sarai. Genesis 16:1 “Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.” This show that Hagar foreshadowed Maryam the handmaid of Allah through whom Isa al-Masih (Christ the Messiah) would come.

Maryam: Handmaid of Allah. Luke1:38 “AndMarysaid, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”

5. Both women flee into the desert towards Egypt.

Hagar: when severely oppressed by Sarai she flees towards Egypt her former home. Genesis 16:6-7 “But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face. And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.” This incident with Hagar, foreshadowed the Hijra (flight) of Maryam with baby Isa al-Masih to Egypt.

Maryam: with Isa al-Masih after he was born. Matthew 2:13 “And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph [Yusef] in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child [Isa al-Masih] and his mother [Maryam], and flee [Hijra] into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.”

6. Both women were chosen to bear offspring.

Hagar: Genesis 16:2 “And Sarai said unto Abram…I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her.” Genesis 16:11 “And the angel of the LORD said unto her [Hagar], Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son…”

Maryam: Luke 1:28 “And the angel came in unto her [Maryam], and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” Luke 1:31 ‘And, behold, thou [Maryam] shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS [Isa al-Masih].’

7. Both were told their son’s name prior to birth.

Hagar’s son Genesis 16:11 ‘And the angel of the LORD said unto her… thou…shalt call his name Ishmael”… [Isma’il, Allah shall hear]. This foreshadowed the coming of a Son whom Allah again would name: Isa al-Masih (Christ the Messiah)

Maryam’s Son: Matthew 1:21 …“thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”

8. Both of the womens’ sons were “first born”.

Hagar: Isma’il, was Hagar’s first born. Genesis 16:15 “And Hagar…bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.”

Maryam: Psalm 89:27 “Also I [Allah] will make him [Isa al-Masih son of Maryam] my firstborn” Luke 2:7 “And she [Maryam] brought forth her firstborn son,..”

9. Both of the sons were blessed by Allah.

Hagar: Genesis 17:20 “And as for Ishmael, I [Allah] have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.”

Maryam: Luke 1:28 “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”

10. Both women agonized over their sons’ anguish.

Hagar: Genesis 21:15-16 “And the water was spent
in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lifted up her voice, and wept.” This foreshadowed the suffering of Maryam over her son Isa al-Masih.

Maryam at Golgotha, her son is dying upon the cross: John 19:28 “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.”

11. Both sons were rejected.

Hagar’s son: rejected by Sarah the first wife of Ibrahim. Genesis 21:10 ‘Wherefore she said unto Abraham [Ibrahim], Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.’ Foreshadowed the rejection of Isa al-Masih by Israel (Jews).

Maryam’s Son: Isa al-Masih (Christ the Messiah) rejected by the Jews (Daughter of Zion-Israel.) These had been Allah’s chosen Religious community of that day but they rejected Isa al-Masih the Saviour or Messiah.

John 19:15 “But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.”

12. Both sons left the comforts of home.

Isma’il: Honored firstborn now sent away without an inheritance, without honor, without security. Genesis 21:10 …“cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.” This foreshadowed Isa al-Masih leaving the courts of Heaven to come to this fallen and wicked planet.

Isa al-Masih: There is a contrast here, Christ willingly left the glory, honor, security of Heaven. None the less, Isa al-Masih left the security of Heaven. Psalm 89:44 “Thou [Allah] hast made his [Isa’s] glory to cease, and cast his throne down to the ground [earth]”

13. Both sons were protected by Allah as they grew.

Isma’il: Genesis 21:20 “And God [Allah] was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.”

Isa al-Masih: Luke 2:40 “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.”

14. Both sons were separated from their father and which caused deep anguish.

Isma’il: Separated from his father Ibrahim and caused Ibrahim much anguish. Genesis 21:11 “And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.” This foreshadowed the anguish which the Heavenly Father would experience when He was separated from His Son Isa al-Masih on the cross of Calvary.

Isa al-Masih: By Him coming to this fallen world and voluntarily taking upon Himself the sin of the human race, this caused a separation from His Heavenly Father. Matthew 27:46 “And about the ninth hour Jesus [Isa al-Masih] cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:43

15. Both sons spent time in the wilderness (desert) .

Isma’il: Genesis 21:14 “And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.”

Isa al-Masih: Matthew 4:1 “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”

What should be our response? Allah has spoken to the seed of Ibrahim, to those from the side of Isma’il. Allah in His compassion and love for all the souls of men wants the truth of Isa al-Masih the Saviour of mankind to be offered to the seed of Isma’il. Allah has not left anyone destitute but has come near to us again, a fountain has been opened in the desert for all, drink and be filled. May you believe in your heart that Allah sent Isa al-Masih, the Holy One as your Saviour, Intercessor, Shafi, Wali, Protector and Redeemer from sin.