Abraham is a significant religious and patriarchal figure within three religions -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Muslims refer to Abraham as "Ibrahim" and view him as one of the religion's great prophets. Ibrahim also plays an important role in terms of genealogy, as Muslims trace Prophet Muhammad's bloodline to Ishmael, the eldest of Ibrahim's sons.
Islam is referred to as an "Abrahamic religion," because the religion, along with Judaism and Christianity, recognizes Ibrahim as a significant prophet and patriarchal figure. As an Abrahamic faith, Islam is monotheistic, believing in one God and one God alone. Muslims do not view Ibrahim as a Muslim -- Islam, as an organized religion, started centuries after Ibrahim's lifetime -- but a person who intrinsically believed in one God.
Islam also ties its genealogy back to Ibrahim, as Muslims believe that the religion's most important prophet, Muhammad, came from Ibrahim's bloodline. Traditionally, it has been believed (although it has also been disputed) that it is through Ibrahim's lineage that the Arab people were born. Qahtan, perceived as the forebear of Arabs, is believed to have descended from Ishmael.
Although Islam has had 124,000 prophets, only several have been designated as "ulu l'azm," meaning "those who posses a great responsibility." Ibrahim, along with Nuh (Noah), Musa (Moses), Isa (Jesus) and Muhammad carry this title. According to Islamic doctrine, Ibrahim's progeny would not only include Muhammad, but other prophets, such as Isa (Jesus). Ibrahim was also the first prophet in which God asked of a great sacrifice, the ritual offering of his son, Ishmael.
Muslims believe that Ishmael, Ibrahim's son born from Hajira (Hagar), and Ibrahim built what today is the religion's most holy pilgrimage site, the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. As Islamic doctrine states, Ibrahim was instructed by Allah (God) to build a stone shrine, referred now as the Kaaba, to honor him, which he built with Ishmael. In Islam, visiting the Kaaba is so significant that it remains one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which are the basic and fundamental beliefs that devout Muslims live by.
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