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These are the notes that I prepared in response to Ali Ataie’s lies and misinformation regarding Isaiah 42, which can be viewed here: Amazing Description of Prophet Muhammad in Isaiah 42.


Examining Isaiah 42 in light of the rest of the “Servant Songs” of Isaiah conclusively proves that the Servant IS NOT an Arab from Kedar. For instance, contrast what this chapter states in regards to the Servant with Isaiah 49:

“Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street. A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not be disheartened or crushed Until He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands will wait expectantly FOR HIS LAW. Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk in it, I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, And I will appoint You as A COVENANT TO THE PEOPLE, As a light to the nations, To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the dungeon And those who dwell in darkness from the prison. I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images. Behold, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new things; Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you. Sing to the LORD a new song, Sing His praise from the end of the earth! You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it. You islands, and those who dwell on them. Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voices, The settlements where Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing aloud, Let them shout for joy from the tops of the mountains. Let them give glory to the LORD And declare His praise in the coastlands. The LORD will go forth like a warrior, He will arouse His zeal like a man of war. He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry. He will prevail against His enemies.” Isaiah 42:1-13

“Listen to Me, O islands, And pay attention, you peoples from afar. The LORD called Me from the womb; From the body of My mother He named Me. He has made My mouth like a sharp sword, In the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me; And He has also made Me a select arrow, He has hidden Me in His quiver. He said to Me, ‘You are My Servant, ISRAEL, In Whom I will show My glory.’ But I said, ‘I have toiled in vain, I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity; Yet surely the justice due to Me is with the LORD, And My reward with My God.’ And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the Lord, And My God is My strength), He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’ Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One, To the despised One, To the One abhorred by the nation, To the Servant of rulers, ‘Kings will see and arise, Princes will also bow down, Because of the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.’ Thus says the LORD, ‘In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep You and give You for A COVENANT OF PEOPLE, To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages; Saying to those who are bound, “Go forth,” To those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves.” Along the roads they will feed, And their pasture will be on all bare heights. They will not hunger or thirst, Nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down; For He who has compassion on them will lead them And will guide them to springs of water. I will make all My mountains a road, And My highways will be raised up. Behold, these will come from afar; And lo, these will come from the north and from the west, And these from the land of Sinim.’ Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people And will have compassion on His afflicted.” Isaiah 49:1-13

Isaiah 49 explicitly identifies the Servant as an Israelite whom God raises up to save his brethren and to bring God’s salvation to all the nations that dwell on the earth. That this is the same Servant spoken of in chapter 42 is confirmed by the fact that both chapters say that the Servant will be a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, and who partakes of God’s glory which is given to no one else.


We will now see that the Jewish sources, including Jewish Christian, identify the Servant as an Israelite or the Messiah.


“But Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. Many followed Him, and He healed them all, and warned them not to tell who He was. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: ‘Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen; My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel, nor cry out; Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A battered reed He will not break off, And a smoldering wick He will not put out, Until He leads justice to victory. And in His name the Gentiles will hope.’ Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw.” Matthew 12:15-22


Chapter XLII.

Behold, my servant, THE MESSIAH, whom I bring, my chosen in whom one delights:l as for my Word, I will put my Holy Spirit upon Him; He shall reveal my judgment unto the nations.

2 He shall not cry aloud, nor raise a clamour, and He shall not lift up His voice in the street.2

3 The meek who are like a bruised reed He shall not break,3 and the poor who are as a glimmeringwick with Him, He will not quench: He shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

4 He shall not faint nor be weary, till He have established judgment in the earth; and the isles shall wait for His law.

5 Thus saith the God of eternity, who hath created the heavens and suspended them, who hath founded the earth, and hath given breath to its inhabitants, even to the people upon it, and spirit them that walk therein.

6 I, the Lord, I will make Thee to grow in truth, and will hold Thine hand, and I will direct Thee, and give Thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

7 To open the eyes of the house of Israel, who are blind to the law, to bring back their captivityfrom among the nations, where they are like prisoners, and to redeem them from the servitude of the kingdoms being shut up as those that are bound in darkness.

8 I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory in which I am revealed to you I will not give to another people; nor my praise to the worshippers of images.

9 Behold, the former things6 are come to pass, and new things do I declare: I apprize you of them before they come to pass.

10 Sing unto the Lord a new song, proclaim His praise from the ends of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and its fulness; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.

11 Let the wilderness7 praise Him, and the cities that are in it,8 the villages which inhabit the wilderness of the Arabians; let the dead praise Him, when they go forth from their long abodes;9 from the tops10 of the mountains let them lift up their voice.

12 Let them ascribe glory unto the Lord, and declare His praise in the islands.

13 The Lord shall be seen to do mighty things: He shall reveal Himself in anger to do a mighty work by the word of His wrath; He shall reveal Himself to His enemies by His might in an earthquake.

14 I have given them prolongation for a long time, if they would but return to my law; but they did not return. My judgment shall be revealed upon them, as pains on a woman in travail; they shall be destroyed, and come to an end together.

15 I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools.

16 And I will lead the house of Israel,18 who are like the blind, in a way which they knew not, in paths they have not learned I will lead them; I will make darkness light before them, and the rugged place a plain. These things will I do for them, and will not forsake them. (Targum Isaiah: The Chaldee Paraphrase on the Prophet Isaiah, translated by Rev. C. W. H. Pauli, Presbyter [London Society’s House, 16, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London 1871], pp. 142-144; bold and capital emphasis mine)

The Targum has a lot more to say in regards to the coming Messiah:


Ye are my witnesses,8 saith the Lord, and MY SERVANT, THE MESSIAH, in whom is my delight, in order that ye may know, and that ye may believe in me, and understand that I am He who was from the beginning; yea, ages after ages are mine, and beside me there is no god. (Ibid., p. 148; bold emphasis mine)

ISAIAH 52:13-53:13

13 Behold, MY SERVANT THE MESSIAH shall prosper, He shall be exalted and extolled, and He shall be very strong.

14 As the house of Israel anxiously hopedfor Him many days, (which was pooramong the nations; their appearance and their brightness being worse than that of the sons of men; )

Thus shall He scatter7 many nations; before Him kings shall keep silence: they shall put their hands upon their mouths, for that which had not been told them shall they see: and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

1 Who hath believed this our report? and to whom is now1 the power of the arm of the Lord revealed?

2 The righteous shall be great before Him, behold, like branches that bud; and like a tree which sends forth its roots by the streams of water, thus shall the generation of the just multiply in the land, which hath need of Him.2

3 His visage shall not be the visage of a common person, neither His fear the fear of a plebeian;but a holy brightness shall be His brightness, that every one who seeth Him shall contemplate Him.4

Although He shall be in contempt; yet He shall cut off the glory of all the wicked,5 they shall be weak and wretched. Lo, we are in contempt and not esteemed, as a man of pain and appointed to sickness, and as if He had removed the face of His Shekinah from us.

Therefore He shall pray for our sins, and our iniquities FOR HIS SAKE shall be forgiven us; for we are considered crushed, smitten of the Lord, and afflicted.

6 He shall build the house of the sanctuary,6 which has been profaned on account of our sins; He was delivered over on account of our iniquities, and through His doctrine peace shall be multiplied upon us, and through the teaching of His words our sins shall be forgiven us.7

7 All we like sheep have been scattered, every one of us has turned to his own way; it pleased the Lord8 to forgive the sins of all of us FOR HIS SAKE.

8 He shall pray and He shall be answered, yea, before He shall open His mouth, He shall be heard; He shall deliver over the mighty of the nations as a lamb to the slaughter, and like a sheep before her shearers is dumb, none shall in His presence open his mouth, or speak a word.

9 He shall gather our captives9 from affliction and pain, and who shall be able to narrate the wonderful works which shall be done for us in His days? He shall remove the rule of the nations from the land of Israel, the sins which my people have committed10 have come upon them.

10 And He shall deliver the wicked into hell, and the riches of treasures which they got by violence unto the death of Abaddon,11 that they who commit sin shall not remain, and that they should not speak folly12 with their mouth.

11 And it was the pleasure of the Lord to refine and to purify the remnant of His people, in order to cleanse their souls from sin, that they might see the kingdom of their Messiah, that their sons and daughters might multiply, and prolong their days, and those that keep13 the law of the Lord shall prosper through His pleasure.

12 He shall deliver their souls from the servitude of the nations, they shall see the vengeance upon their enemies; they shall be satisfied with the spoil of their kings. By His wisdom He shall justify the righteous, in order to make many to keep u the law, and He shall pray for their sins.

13 Therefore I will divide to Him the spoil of many people, and the treasures of strong fortifications; He shall divide the spoil; BECAUSE HE HAS DELIVERED HIS LIFE UNTO DEATH, and He shall make the rebellious to keep15 the law; He shall pray for the sins of many, and as for the transgressors, each shall be pardoned FOR HIS SAKE. (Ibid., pp. 181-185; bold and capital emphasis mine)


For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and He has taken the law upon Himself to keep it.4 His name is called from eternity, Wonderful, The Mighty God, who liveth to eternity, The Messiah, whose peace shall be great upon us in His days. (Ibid., pp. 31-32; bold emphasis mine)


1 And a King shall come forth from the sons of Jesse, and from his children’s children the Messiah shall be anointed.1

2 And there shall dwell upon Him the Spirit of prophecy from before the Lord: the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

3 He shall bring him to the fear of the Lord: and He shall not judge according to the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears.

4 But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with faithfulness the needy of the earth ; and He shall smite the sinners of the earth with the word of His mouth, and with the speech of His lips He shall slay the wicked.2

5 And the righteous shall be round about Him, and those that work in faith3 shall draw nigh unto Him.

In the days of the Messiah of Israel peace shall be multiplied in the earth. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall dwell with the kid; and the calf, and the lion, and the fatling together; and a little sucking child shall be leading them.

7 And the cow and the bear shall feed together, their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put forth his hand on the glistering pupil1 of the eyes of the cockatrice.

9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the fear of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

10 And there shall be at that time a son of the son of Jesse, who shall stand for an ensign of the people; kings shall obey Him, and the place of His dwelling shall be in glory. (Ibid., pp. 40-41; bold emphasis mine)


2 At that time shall the Messiah of the Lord be for joy and for glory to those that are escaped, and those that keep the law shall be for greatness and for praise. (Ibid., p. 14)


They shall bring tributes to the Messiah of Israel, who shall prevail1 over those who are in the wilderness, unto the mountain of the congregation of Zion…

Then the throne of the Messiah of Israel shall be established in goodness, and He shall sit upon it in truth in the city of David, judging and seeking justice, and executing truth. (Ibid., pp. 52-53; bold emphasis mine)


At that time, the Messiah of the Lord of hosts shall be for a crown of rejoicing, and for a crown of praise to the remnant of His people: (Ibid., p. 87)


Behold My servant, I will support him: Behold My servant JACOB is not like you, for I will support him.
My chosen one: ISRAEL IS CALLED ‘My chosen one’ ([mss.:] His chosen one) (Ps. 135:4) “For the Eternal chose Jacob for Himself.” Scripture states also (infra 45:4): “For the sake of My servant Jacob and Israel My chosen one.”
whom My soul desires; I have placed My spirit upon him: to let his prophets know My secret, and his end will be that ‘he shall promulgate justice to the nations,’ as it is stated (supra 2:3): “And let Him teach us of His ways etc.”

(The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary, v. 1; capital emphasis mine)

I called you: TO ISAIAH HE SAYS.
and I formed you: Heb. וְאֶצָּרְ. When I formed you (כְּשֶׁיְצַרְתִּי) , this was My thought, that you return My people to My covenant and to enlighten them.
  for a light to nations: Every tribe is called a nation by itself, as the matter is stated (Gen. 35:11): “A nation and a congregation of nations.”

(Ibid., v. 6; capital emphasis mine)

His praise from the end of the earth: Perforce, when they see My mighty deeds FOR ISRAEL, all the heathens (nations [Parshandatha, K’li Paz]) will admit that I am God.
those who go down to the sea: Those who embark in ships.
and those therein: Those whose permanent residence is in the sea and not in the islands, but in the midst of the water, they spill earth, each one of them, enough for a house, and go from house to house by boat, like the city of Venice. [As in Warsaw ed. and Parshandatha.]

(Ibid., v. 10; capital emphasis mine)

The desert and its cities shall raise [their voice]: their voice in song.
Kedar shall be inhabited with villages: (Connected to “The desert… shall raise.” The desert of Kedar, where they now dwell in tents, shall raise their voice and sing. It is like: And the villages with which Kedar is settled.) The desert of Kedar, where they now dwell in tents, will be permanent cities and villages.
  rock dwellers: The dead who will be resurrected. So did Jonathan render this.
from the mountain peaks they shall shout: From the mountain peaks they shall raise their voices [from Jonathan].

(Ibid., v. 11; capital emphasis mine)


The same Isaiah prophecied of a day when God will judge the peoples who oppressed Israel, including Kedar and Nebaioth, by subjecting them all to his covenant people:

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes round about and see; They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, And your daughters will be carried in the arms. Then you will see and be radiant, And your heart will thrill and rejoice; Because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, The wealth of the nations will come to you. A multitude of camels will cover you, The young camels of Midian and Ephah; All those from Sheba will come; They will bring gold and frankincense, And will bear good news of the praises of the LORD. All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered together to you, The rams of Nebaioth will minister to you; They will go up with acceptance on My altar, And I shall glorify My glorious house. Who are these who fly like a cloud And like the doves to their lattices? Surely the coastlands will wait for Me; And the ships of Tarshish will come first, To bring your sons from afar, Their silver and their gold with them, For the name of the LORD your God, And for the Holy One of Israel because He has glorified you. Foreigners will build up your walls, And their kings will minister to you; For in My wrath I struck you, And in My favor I have had compassion on you. Your gates will be open continually; They will not be closed day or night, So that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, With their kings led in procession. For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you will perish, And the nations will be utterly ruined. The glory of Lebanon will come to you, The juniper, the box tree and the cypress together, To beautify the place of My sanctuary; And I shall make the place of My feet glorious. The sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you, And all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet; And they will call you the city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 60:1-14


There is no conclusive proof for Muhammad being an Ishmaelite, let alone a descendant of Kedar.


Prove from the Quran that Muhammad was a descendant of Ishmael.

Providesome pre-Islamic archaeological, textual, and/or historical that the Arabs of Mecca/Medina were actual physical descendants of Ishmael through his son Kedar.

Moreover, Ataie lied when he claimed al-Tabari affirmed that Muhammad was a descendant of Kedar. Al-Tabari, along with the other scholars and commentators, candidly admitted that there is massive confusion and contradiction regarding this issue.



Ma’add was the son of ‘Adnan. ‘Adnan had two paternal half brothers, one called Nabt and the other ‘Amr. The genealogists do not differ concerning the descent of our Prophet Muhammad as far as Ma’add b. ‘Adnan, which is as I have expounded it.

Yunus b. ‘Abd al-A’la–Ibn Wahb–Ibn Lahi’ah–Abd al-Aswad and others: The lineage of the Messenger of God is as follows; Muhammad b. ‘Abdallah b. ‘Abd al-Muttalib b. Hashim b. ‘Abd Manaf b. Qusayy b. Kilab b. Murrah b. Kab b. Lu’ayy b. Ghalib b. Fihr b. Malik b. al-Nadr b.Kinanah b. Khuzaymah b. Mudrikah b. Ilyas b. Mudar b. Nizar b. Ma’add b. ‘Adnan b. Udad; they differ concerning what comes after that.

‘Adnan’s Descent from Ishmael, Abraham, and Adam49

Al-Zubayr b. Bakkar-Yahya b. al-Migdad al-Zam’i-his paternal uncle Musa b. Ya’rub b. ‘Abdallah b. Wahb b. Zam’ah-his maternal aunt Umm Salamah, the wife of the Prophet: I heard the Messenger of God say, “Ma’add b. ‘Adnan b. Udad b. Zand b. Yard b. A’raq al-Thara.” Umm Salamah: Zand is al-Hamaysa’, Yard is Nabt and A’raq al-Thara is Ishmael, son of Abraham.

Al-Harith-Muhammad b. Sa’d-Hisham b. MuhammadMuhammad b. ‘Abd al-Rahman al – ‘Ajlani-Musa b. Ya’qub al-Zam’I–his paternal aunt–her grandmother Bint al-Migdad b. alAswad al-Bahrani: The Messenger of God said, “Ma’add b. ‘Adnan b. Udad b. Yard b. A’raq al-Thara.”50

Ibn Humayd-Salamah b. al-Fadl–Ibn Ishaq: ‘Adnan, as some genealogists assert, was the son of Udad b. Muqawwam b. Nahur b. Tayrah b. Ya’rub b. Yashjub b. Nabit b. Ismail (Ishmael) b. Ibrahim (Abraham), WHILE OTHERS SAY: ‘Adnan b. Udad b. Aytahab b. Ayyub b. Qaydhar b. Ismail (Ishmael) b. Ibrahim (Abraham). Qusayy b. Kilab traces his descent back to Qaydhar in his poetry. YET OTHER GENEALOGISTS SAY: ‘Adnan b. Mayda’ b. Mani’ b. Udad b. Kab b. Yashjub b. Ya’rub b. al-Hamaysa’ b. Qaydhar b. Isma’il (Ishmael) b. Ibrahim (Abraham). These differences arise because it is an old science, taken from the people of the first Book (the Old Testament).

Al-Harith–Muhammad b. Sa’d–Hisham (al-Kalbi): Someone told me on the authority of my father, Muhammad b. al-Sa’ib al-Kalbi, although I did not hear this from him myself, that he traced the descent as follows; Ma’add b. ‘Adnan b. Udad b. al-Hamaysa’ b. Salaman b. ‘Aws b. Buz b. Qamwal b. Ubayy b. al-‘Awwam b. Nashid b. Hazy b. Bildas b. Yidlaf b. Tabakh b. Jaham b. Tahash b. Makha b. ‘Ayfa b. ‘Abgar b. ‘Ubayd b. al-Da’a b. Hamdan b. Sanbar b. Yathribi b. Yahzan b. Yalhan b. Ar’awa b. ‘Ayfa b. Dayshan b. `Isar b. Agnad b. Ayham b. Mugsir b. Nahath b. Rizah b. Shamma b. Mizza b. ‘Aws b. ‘Arram b. Qaydhar b. Ismail (Ishmael) b. Ibrahim (Abraham).

Al-Harith–Muhammad b. Sad-Hisham b. Muhammad (al-Kalbi): There was a man from Tadmur whose patronymic (kunyah) was Abu Yaqub. He was one of the children of Israel who had become a Muslim, who had read in their books and become deeply learned. He said that Barukh b. Nariyya,51 a scribe from Urmiya, had established the lineage of Maadd b. ‘Adnan with him and had set it down in his writings. It was well known among the learned men of the People of the Book and set down in their books. It was close to the names given above, and perhaps the difference between them was owing to the language, since these names had been transliterated from the Hebrew.

Al-Harith-Muhammad b. Sa’d: Hisham (al-Kalbi) recited to me the following line of verse, which was related to him by his father:

I belong to no tribe which brought me up

but that in which the descendants of Qaydhar and al-Nabit took root.

By al-Nabit, he meant Nabt b. Isma’il (Ishmael).

Al-Zubayr b. Bakkar–’Umar b. Abi Bakr al-Mu’ammali–Zakariyya’ b. Isa–Ibn Shihab: Ma’add b. ‘Adnan b. Udad b. al-Hamaysa’ b. Ashub b. Nabt b. Qaydhar b. Ismail (Ishmael).

Others relate: Ma’add b. ‘Adnan b. Udad b. Umayn b. Shajab b. Tha’labah b. ‘Atr b. Yarbah b. Muhallam b. al-‘Awwam b. Muhtamil b. Raimah b. al-‘Aygan b. ‘Allah b. al-Shahdud b. al-Zarib b. ‘Abgar b. Ibrahim (Abraham) b. Ismail b. Yazan b. A’waj b. al-Mutim b. al-Tamh b. al-Qasur b. ‘Anud b. Dada’ b. Mahmud b. al-Za’id b. Nadwan b. Atamah b. Daws b. Hisn b. al-Nizal b. alQumayr b. al-Mushajjir b. Mu’damir b. Sayfi b. Nabt b. Qaydhar b. Ismail (Ishmael) b. Ibrahim (Abraham), the Friend of the Compassionate.

Still others: Ma’add b. ‘Adnan b. Udad b. Zayd b. Yaqdir b. Yaqdum b. Hamaysa’ b. Nabt b. Qaydhar b. Isma’il (Ishmael) b. Ibrahim (Abraham).

Others: Ma’add b. ‘Adnan b. Udad b. al-Hamaysa’ b. Nabt b. Salman, who is Salaman, b. Hamal b. Nabt b. Qaydhar b. Isma’il (Ishmael) b. Ibrahim (Abraham).

Others: Ma’add b. ‘Adnan b. Udad b. al-Mugawwam b. Nahur b. Mishrah b. Yashjub b. Malik b. Ayman b. al-Nabit b. Qaydhar b. Ismail (Ishmael) b. Ibrahim (Abraham).

Others: Ma’add b. ‘Adnan b. Udd b. Udad b. al-Hamaysa’ b. Ashub b. Sad b. Yarbah b. Nadir b. Humayl b. Munahhim b. Lafath b. al-Sabuh b. Kinanah b. al-‘Awwam b. Nabt b. Qaydar b. Ismail (Ishmael).

A certain genealogist told me that he had found that some Arab scholars had memorized forty ancestors of Ma’add as far as Isma’il (Ishmael) in Arabic, quoting Arabic verses as evidence for this, and that he had collated the names they gave with what the People of the Book say and had found that the number agreed but that the actual names differed. He dictated these names to me and I wrote them down. They are as follows; Ma’add b. ‘Adnan b. Udad b. Hamaysa’ (Hamaysa’ is Salman, who is Umaya b. Hamayta’ (who is Hamayda’, who is al-Shajab) b. Salaman (who is Munjir Nabit, so called, he claimed, because he fed the Arabs on milk and flour anjara, as the people lived well in his time. He quoted as evidence for this, the verse of Qa’nab b. ‘Attab al-Riyahi:

Tayy calls upon me, but Tayy is distant, and reminds me of the baludh52 of the times of Nabit.)…

  1. Ja’tham (who is ‘Uram, who is al-Nabit, who is Qaydhar; the interpretation of Qaydhar, he said, is “ruler”, for he was the first of the descendants of Ismail to be king) b. Ismail (Ishmael), who was faithful to his promise, b. Ibrahim (Abraham), the Friend of the Compassionate, b. Tarih (who is Azar) b. Nahur b. Saru’ b. Arghawa b. Baligh (the interpretation of Baligh is “the divider” as in Syriac; this is because it was he who divided the lands between the descendants of Adam, and he is Falij) b. ‘Abar b. Shalikh b. Arfakhshad b. Sam (Shem) b. Nuh (Noah) b. Lamk b. Mattushalakh b. Akhnukh (he is the prophet Idris)55b. Yard (he is Yarid, in whose time idols were made) b. Mahla’il b. Qaynan b. Anush b. Shithth (who is Hibatallah) b. Adam. Shithth (Seth) was the successor of his father after Habil (Abel) was killed; his father said, “A gift of God (Hibatallah) in exchange for Habil,” and his name was derived from this.

We have mentioned earlier in this work in a concise and abridged form a part of what we have been able to discover of the accounts of Ismail (Ishmael) b. Ibrahim (Abraham) and his ancestors, male and female, back to Adam, and of the events of every age during this period of time, and we shall not repeat them here. Hisham b. Muhammad: The Arabs used to say, “The flea has bitten since our father Anush was born, and sin has been forbidden since our father Shithth was born.” The Syriac name for Shithth is Shith. (The History of Al-Tabari: Muhammad at Mecca, translated and annotated by W. Montgomery Watt & M. V. McDonald [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany, NY 1988], Volume VI, pp. 37-43; bold and capital emphasis mine)


There is no question of ‘Adnan being of the line of Ishmael, son of Abraham, upon both of whom be peace. What dispute there is relates to the number of forebears there were from ‘Adnan to Ishmael according to the various sources.

At one end of the spectrum, there is the extreme view that considers there to have been FORTY; this is the view of Christians and Jews who adopted it from the writings of Rakhiya, the clerk of Armiya (Jeremy) b. Halqiya, as we will relate.

Some authorities maintain there THIRTY, others TWENTY, yet more FIFTEEN, TEN, NINE, or SEVEN.

It has been said that the lowest estimate given is for FOUR, according to the account given by Musa b. Ya‘qub, on the authority of ‘Abd Allah b. Wahb b. Zum’a al-Zuma‘i from his aunt, and then from Umm Salama who stated that the Prophet said that the line was: “Ma‘ad b. ‘Adnan b. Adab b. Zand b. al-Tara b. A‘raq al-Thara”.

According to Umm Salam this Zanad was al-Hamaysa‘, al-Yara was Nabit, while A‘raq al-Thara was Ishmael. This was implied because he was Abraham’s son; for Abraham was not consumed by hell-fire, since fire does not consume moist earth, the meaning of al-thara.

Al-Daraqatni stated that he knew of no “Zand” except the one in this tradition, and Zand b. al-Jawn, who was Abu Dalama the poet.

Abu al-Qasim al-Suhayli and other Imams stated that the time lapse between ‘Adnan and Ishmael was too great for there to have been only FOUR, TEN, or even TWENTY generations between them. That, they said, was because the age of Ma‘ad son of ‘Adnan was twelve at the time of Bukhtunassar (Nebuchadnezzar).

Abu Ja‘far al-Tabari and others related that Almighty God sent a revelation at that time to Armiya’ b. Halqiya telling him to go to Bukhtunassar to inform him that God had given him rule over the Arabs. And God commanded to Armiya’ to carry Ma‘ad b. Adnan on the horse al-Buraq so that they would not bear him any rancour saying, “For I shall draw forth from his loins a noble Prophet by whom I shall seal the prophets.”

‘Armiya did that, bearing Ma‘ad on al-Buraq to the land of Syria where he grew up among the Jews who remained there following the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem. There he married a woman named Ma‘ana, daughter of Jawshin unrest had quietened [sic] down and accord prevailed in the Arabian peninsula. Rakhiya, Armiya’s scribe, wrote his master’s genealogy down in a document he had there which was to go into Armiya’s library; and he similarly preserved the genealogy of Ma‘ad. But God knows best.


Al-Suhayli commented further, “We have merely discussed tracing back these lines to accord with the school of thought of those scholars who favour and do not disapprove of it, men such as Ibn Ishaq, al-Bukhari, al-Zubayr b. Bakkar, al-Tabari, and others.”

As for Malik, God have mercy on him, he expressed disapproval when asked about someone tracing his descent back to Adam and commented: “WHENCE COMES TO HIM KNOWLEDGE OF THAT?” When he was asked about tracing back to Ishmael, he expressed similar disapproval, asking, “WHO COULD PROVIDE SUCH AN INFORMATION?” Malik also disliked tracing the genealogy of the prophets, such as saying, “Abraham son of so-and-so”. Al-Mu‘ayti stated this in his book.

Al-Suhayli commented also that Malik’s viewpoint was analogous to what was related of ‘Urwa b. al-Zubayr who is reported to have said, “WE HAVE FOUND NO ONE WHO KNOWS THE LINE BETWEEN ‘ADNAN AND ISHMAEL.”

It is reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said, “Between ‘Adnan and Ishmael there were 30 ancestors WHO ARE UNKNOWN.”

Ibn ‘Abbas is also reputed to have said when he traced back lines of descent as far as ‘Adnan: “The genealogists have LIED. TWICE OR THRICE.” And that (scepticism) is even more characteristic of Ibn Mas‘ud, whose (attitude) was like that of Ibn ‘Abbas.

‘Umar b. al-Khattab stated, “We carry back the genealogy ONLY AS FAR AS ‘ADNAN.”

Abu ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-Barr stated in his book Al-Anba’ fi Ma‘rifat Qaba’il al-Ruwah (Facts Concerning Knowledge of the Tribes of the Transmitters) that Ibn Lahi‘a related from Abu al-Aswad that he heard ‘Urwa b. al-Zubayr say, “WE NEVER FOUND ANYONE WHO KNEW [sic] GENEALOGY BACK PAST ‘ADNAN, NOR PAST QAHTAN, UNLESS THEY WERE USING CONJECTURE. “

Abu al-Aswad stated that he had heard Abu Bakr Sulayman b. Abu Khaytham, one of the very most knowledgeable men of the poetry and the genealogy of Quraysh, say, “WE NEVER KNEW ANYONE WITH INFORMATION GOING BACK BEYOND MA‘AD B. ‘ADNAN, whether relating poetry or other knowledge.”

Abu ‘Umar said that there was a group of the predecessors including ‘Abd Allah b. Mas‘ud, ‘Amr b. Maymun al-Azdi, and Muhammad b. Ka‘b al-Quradhi who, when they recited the verse from the Qur’an “and those after them who no one but God knows” (surat Ibrahim, XIV, v. 9) would comment, “THE GENEALOGISTS LIED.”

Abu ‘Umar, God have mercy on him, stated, “We hold the meaning of this to differ from their interpretation. What is implied is that regarding those who claim to enumerate Adam’s descendants, no one knows them except God who created them. But as for the lines of descent of the Arabs, the scholars conversant with their history and genealogy were aware of and learned by heart about the people and the major tribes, DIFFERING IN SOME DETAILS OF THAT.” (The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya), Volume I, translated by professor Trevor Le Gassick, reviewed by Dr. Ahmed Fareed [Garnet Publishing Limited, 8 Southern Court, south Street Reading RG1 4QS, UK; The Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization, 1998], pp. 50-52; bold and capital emphasis mine)


Contrary to Ali’s assertion, a new song has nothing to do with Scriptures but refers to believers praising God for his marvelous deeds and/or intervention in the world, for the purpose of delivering his people from their calamities etc.:

“Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright. Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy. For the word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.” Psalm 33:1-5

“I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the LORD. How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood. Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.” Psalm 40:1-5

Sing to the LORD a new song; Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him, Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory of His name; Bring an offering and come into His courts. Worship the LORD in holy attire; Tremble before Him, all the earth. Say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity.’ Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; Let the sea roar, and all it contains; Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy Before the LORD, for He is coming, For He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness And the peoples in His faithfulness.” Psalm 96:1-13

O sing to the LORD a new song, For He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him. The LORD has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations. He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises. Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, With the lyre and the sound of melody. With trumpets and the sound of the horn Shout joyfully before the King, the LORD. Let the sea roar and all it contains, The world and those who dwell in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, Let the mountains sing together for joy Before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness And the peoples with equity.” Psalm 98:1-9

“Blessed be the Lord, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle; My lovingkindness and my fortress, My stronghold and my deliverer, My shield and He in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me. O LORD, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You think of him? Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow. Bow Your heavens, O LORD, and come down; Touch the mountains, that they may smoke. Flash forth lightning and scatter them; Send out Your arrows and confuse them. Stretch forth Your hand from on high; Rescue me and deliver me out of great waters, Out of the hand of aliens Whose mouths speak deceit, And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood. I will sing a new song to You, O God; Upon a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You, Who gives salvation to kings, Who rescues David His servant from the evil sword. Rescue me and deliver me out of the hand of aliens, Whose mouth speaks deceit And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.” Psalm 144:1-11

“Praise the Lord! Sing to the LORD a new song, And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones. Let Israel be glad in his Maker; Let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King. Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre. For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation. Let the godly ones exult in glory; Let them sing for joy on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand, To execute vengeance on the nations And punishment on the peoples, To bind their kings with chains And their nobles with fetters of iron, To execute on them the judgment written; This is an honor for all His godly ones. Praise the LORD!” Psalm 149:1-9

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