God Never Ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son

We read in the Quran that God never violates His own law (
7:28). Nowhere in the Quran do we see that God ordered Abraham to kill his son. On the contrary, God intervened to save Abraham and Ishmael from Satan's plot (37:107), and He told Abraham: "You believed the dream!" (37:105). Undoubtedly, it could have only been a dream inspired by Satan, for killing an innocent soul is prohibited in the Quran and in all God's Books:

You shall not kill any person, God has prohibited that except in the course of justice. 6:151

Abraham's son Ishmael was innocent; he did not commit an evil act that justified being killed. Thus if God had truly commanded Abraham to kill Ishmael, it would have meant that God commanded Abraham to commit a sin. Many Muslims will insist that God only did this so as to test Abraham and see whether Abraham loved God more or his own son! However this logic is totally insulting to God! Indeed God tests all people, but God tests people in upholding His commandments, and not breaking them!

Suppose you have a 12 year old son and you taught him all his life that stealing is wrong and that he should never steal any money for any purpose. Now suppose that one day you wish to test your son, would you test him by commanding him to go and steal some money for you? Would you command your own son to do what you taught him all his life that is wrong, to see how much he loves you?

To arrive at the truth about Abraham's dream, and the source of the dream, we must put aside all our preconceptions about this issue and verify the subject purely on the merit of the Quranic evidence.

First

We read in Sura 37 how Abraham had a dream in which he saw himself slaughtering his son Ishmael. However, the source of the dream is not spelt out in clear words in the Quran.

Sura 37

Then when he was old enough to work with him, he said, "My son, I see in a dream that I am slaughtering you, so see what you think." He said, "O my father, do what you are commanded to do. You will find me, God willing, patient."
Then when they both submitted and he placed his forehead on the ground.
We called him, "O Abraham,
you have believed the dream!" We thus reward the good-doers.
This was an exacting test.
We made a concession for him in place of a great slaughter.
And We preserved his history for those who followed.
Peace be upon Abraham.
We thus reward the good-doers.
He was one of Our believing servants. 37:102-111

Second

It is stated quite clearly in the Quran that killing an innocent believing soul is a great sin:

No believer shall kill another believer, except if it is by mistake.
4:92

Whoever kills a believer intentionally, his penalty is Hell, wherein he permanently remains. God is unhappy with him, has cursed him, and has prepared for him a great punishment.
4:93

Third

We also know that God never advocates sin:

Say, "God does not command immorality. Are you saying about God what you do not know?"
7:28

Here we need to place the above 3 important facts side by side. We know that Ishmael was an innocent believer, thus killing him would have been a sin, and we know that God never advocates sin. Only one truth emerges from these assurances; the dream Abraham had could not have been from God.
The only source that advocates sin is Satan.
However, because Abraham was a righteous believer, God rewarded Abraham by saving him from committing this horrendous crime: "We thus reward the good-doers". God intervened and saved Abraham from falling for Satan's trick. God intervened when Abraham failed to correctly interpret the source of the dream. This is indicated from God's words to Abraham "you have believed the dream?" God intervened and saved Abraham from committing a great slaughter (37:107) and a great sin (4:93).
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Now let us look into the traditional Islamic interpretation of this event. What Muslim scholars say is that God commanded Abraham to kill his son Ishmael so as to test him. In other words, God wished to find out if Abraham loved his son more than he loved God! They then add that when God was assured that Abraham loved Him more than his own son, and just before Abraham slaughtered his son, God substituted a sheep in place of Ishmael to prevent the slaughter.
The errors in this theory can be exposed quite easily. First, let us consider the following analogy:

Suppose you have a 10 year old son and you taught him all his life that stealing is wrong, and that he should never steal any money whatever the reason may be. Now suppose that one day you wish to test your son, would you test him by commanding him to go and steal some money for you? Would you command your son to do what you taught him all his life not to do, even if you want to see how much he loves you? The concept itself is totally irrational.

Similarly, God decreed in the Quran, and in all Scriptures, that killing an innocent soul is a great sin. Ishmael was innocent and was a genuine believer. He did not commit any sin that justifies him being killed. God would never test Abraham by commanding him to do the exact opposite of what God's law states! How can God test anyone by commanding him
to break the law God gave him?
The message in 7:28 is that God never advocates any sin.
Those who read 7:28 and still insist that God commanded Abraham to commit a sin to test him cannot be sincere believers in the words of the Quran. Their belief would be no more than lip service.
Indeed God tests all of us, but God tests us in upholding His commandments, and not in breaking them!
Moreover, the concept of sacrifice for God is totally alien to the teachings of the Quran. Nowhere in the Quran do we read of God asking us to offer sacrifices for Him.
The animal offering (which is one of the genuine rituals of Hajj) is not done 'for God', but it is done for the benefit of the people:

The animal offerings are among the rites decreed for you by God.
22:36

Neither their meat, nor their blood reaches God. What reaches Him is your reverence.
22:37

By reading the words:
"Neither their meat, nor their blood reaches God. What reaches Him is your reverence", it becomes clear that the ritual of animal offering during Hajj is not done because God is in need of sacrifice, but are done for our own good. Such offerings, whereby we give to the poor and needy, make us more righteous. Such offerings are not given because God is in need of any sacrifice.

Fourth

Perhaps the most glaring misunderstanding is a result of the mis-interpretation of 37:107. According to traditional interpretations, largely based on a hadith point of view, it is claimed that God saved Ishmael by substituting a sheep in his place as a ransom. When we examine the relevant Quranic verses we find no mention of a sheep or any other animal, nor any justification or any evidence for such an understanding. When we look at 37:107 we note that the verse is made of three words, they are:

1-
Fadaynah
2- B'Zhabh
3- Azeem

1-
Fadaynah: The word fidya is used in the Quran to mean a concession; it does not mean sacrifice nor ransom. The whole concept of sacrifice or ransom offered to God, or for that matter God sacrificing for the human is totally un-Quranic. To demonstrate the correct Quranic use of the word fidya, we refer to the following Quranic words:

And for the one who is ill or suffering a head injury, is given the 'fidya' (concession) of fasting, or giving to charity, or by observing a worship ritual.
2:196.

The word
"fidya", as used in 2:196, cannot mean sacrifice/ransom. This verse speaks of our rites during Hajj and specifically of obeying God's command not to shave our heads until the completion of the animal offering ritual. If we are ill or have a head injury (and we are forced to keep our heads shaved) then we are given a concession (not sacrifice/ransom) by fasting or giving to charity in place of the ritual we are not able to observe. We observe our rituals (or the given concessions) as an act of obedience to God and not as a sacrifice or ransom we give to God!

2-
B'Zhabh: This word means: in place of a slaughter. The traditional Muslim thought depicts a sheep that God gave Abraham to slaughter in place of Ishmael, but the Quran does not speak of any sheep or any other animal that was substituted in place of Ishmael! The story of the sheep is borrowed from the Biblical ram in Genesis 22:13.
The only slaughter spoken of in these verses is Abraham's intended slaughter of his son Ishmael: "My son, I see in a dream that I am slaughtering you" (37:12).

3-
Azeem: the word Azeem, which means great, describes the slaughter as a "great slaughter", also disproves the story of the sheep.
Why would slaughtering a sheep be described as a great slaughter? However, if Abraham was to slaughter his innocent son, this would have indeed been a very grave/great and sinful slaughter.
The word Azeem (great) as used in the Quran does not always describe something good or praiseworthy, but it is often used to describe something of great evil or unrighteousness, for example:
- great disgrace (9:63)
- great evil scheming (12:28)
- great affliction/disaster (21:76)
- great punishment (2:7)
- great magic (7:116)
- great slander (24:16)
- great transgression (31:13)

When we put the three words in verse 107 together, we find the picture totally different from the traditional interpretation of this verse. The three words together say that God made a great concession (of intervention) to prevent the grave/great slaughter which Abraham was about to commit.

The concession from God to prevent this slaughter was to save Abraham from sin and also to save Ishmael from being slaughtered. God does not normally intervene to save anyone from committing sin, so the intervention at that time was indeed a concession from God. The reason God intervened is given in 37:110-111:

"We thus reward the good-doers. He was one of Our believing servants."

This is not any different from the time when God intervened to save Joseph from committing adultery with his master's wife (
12:24). Once again, it was the devil who whispered to Joseph to commit the sin of adultery and not God, but God made a concession (of intervening) to save Joseph from sin. When the devil inspires any human being to commit any sin, God does not normally intervene to save the human from sin.
God gave the human being the law of right and wrong and also the free will to choose right from wrong for himself. This is exactly why God calls the intervention to save Abraham a concession.

Fifth

Now that it has been established that the dream Abraham had could not have been from God, then who could it have been from? Without question it could only have been from the one who always advocates sin:
The devil promises you poverty and commands you to commit immorality, while God promises you forgiveness from Him and grace. God is Immense, Knowledgeable. 2:268
God gave us the facts of this matter in black and white. Therefore, whoever insists after all this Quranic information that the dream of Abraham was from God, would be, in fact, rejecting numerous Quranic verses.

Conclusion:

Killing an innocent soul is a sin. Abraham's son Ishmael was innocent; he had not committed any sin that justifed being killed. Thus, if God had truly commanded Abraham to kill Ishmael, for whatever reason, it would have meant that God commanded Abraham to commit a sin.

God never violates His own law (7:28). Such an evil thought about God is grossly blasphemous. Nowhere in the Quran do we read that God ordered Abraham to kill his son. On the contrary, God intervened to save Abraham and Ishmael from Satan's plot (37:107). Undoubtedly, it was a dream inspired by Satan. God's irrevocable law is: "God never advocates sin" (7:28).