Did Abraham Mary Hagar ?

Recently, there has been some Christians who are making the claim that Abraham did not marry Hagar, the mother of Ishmael. The main reason they do this is to try and insult Ishmael, and try to make the claim that he is illegitimate from an illegitimate act of sexual intercourse, and to make the claim that Hagar was simply a right hand slave. This is simply their way of trying to insult Arabs etc.

However so, let us read what their Bible says, and what commentaries of the Bible say on this.

Genesis 16

3And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.  

I could simply end here, since the verse itself says Abraham married Hagar! But I will go further, since some Christians will still not be satisfied with this and come up with bogus interpretations. Therefore I shall quote Biblical scholars, and Bible commentary on this very verse.

The Adam Clarke Commentary

Verse 1. She had a handmaid, an Egyptian
As Hagar was an Egyptian, St. Chrysostom’s conjecture is very probable. that she was one of those female slaves which Pharaoh gave to Abram when he sojourned in Egypt; see Genesis 12:16. Her name hagar signifies a stranger or sojourner, and it is likely she got this name in the family of Abram, as the word is pure Hebrew.

Verse 2. Go in unto my maid.
It must not be forgotten that female slaves constituted a part of the private patrimony or possessions of a wife, and that she had a right, according to the usages of those times, to dispose of them as she pleased, the husband having no authority in the case.

I may obtain children by her.
The slave being the absolute property of the mistress, not only her person, but the fruits of her labour, with all her children, were her owner’s property also.

The children, therefore, which were born of the slave, were considered as the children of the mistress. It was on this ground that Sarai gave her slave to Abram; and we find, what must necessarily be the consequence in all cases of polygamy, that strifes and contentions took place.

Verse 3. And Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar-and gave her to her husband-to be his wife.
There are instances of Hindoo women, when barren, consenting to their husbands marrying a second wife for the sake of children; and second marriages on this account, without consent, are very common.-Ward

The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible

And Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian,
&c.] Took her by the hand, it is probable, and led her into the apartment where Abram was, and presented her to him; their characters are very exactly described, and the contrast beautifully given, that the affair might be the more remarkable and observable:

after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan;
so that he was now eighty five years of age, for he was sventy five when he departed from Haran and came into Canaan, (Genesis 12:4; and Sarai, being ten years younger than he, must be sventy five; the Jews from hence have formed a rule or canon; that if a man marries a woman, and she has no children in ten years, he is obliged to marry another F8:

and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife;
his secondary wife, or concubine; which, though contrary to the first institution of marriage, was connived at of God, and was practised by good men: nothing can excuse them but their earnest desire after the Messiah, the promised seed; and one may conclude, that nothing but this especially could move Sarai to take such a step, so contrary to the temper and disposition of women in common.

Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament

Verses 3, 4
And Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.

Sarai and Abram had not counted on such a development as this. They had their weaknesses, but Hagar also had hers. Hagar was then Abram’s wife, and although she was not on an equality with Sarai, being in fact her slave, she nevertheless despised her mistress. Thinking that, then, her child would be heir to Abram’s fortune, her essential temperament as a slave did not lead her to accept her status and treat Sarai with proper respect. Thus, the tragedy of the arrangement was soon evident.

It was impossible for Hagar to be sent away by Sarai, for the laws of that period granted certain rights to slave wives, and Hagar could neither have been sold nor dismissed. The device had appeared to work. Sure enough, Hagar would soon be a mother, but the jealousies and hatreds that entered Abram’s household at that point must have been a sore trial for the whole family. Such is ever the result of sin. As Leupold expressed it, “Polygamy is always bound to be the fruitful mother of envy, jealousy, and strife.F2

A number of authors refer to the Code of Hammurabi in connection with this episode. It “warns expressly, that a slave girl elevated by her mistress should not and could not claim equality.”F3

To be his wife?
The Hebrew word rendered wife is the same word also rendered concubine.F4 However, there was a difference, and Hagar certainly enjoyed the status of Abram’s wife, however subordinate to Sarai. It was a situation certain to produce friction, hatred, and tragedy.

So as you can see, I have quoted 3 Christian bible commentaries (tafsir) and they all agree that Hagar was indeed Abraham’s wife.  

Allah knows Best.

Almighty Allah is the highest and most knowledgeable, and the attribution of knowledge to him is the safest.

Right from Almighty Allah and wrong from me and Satan

Prepared by Mohamad Mostafa Nassar- Australia.


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Arrogance is not only a sign of insecurity, but also a sign of immaturity. Mature and fully realised persons can get their points across, even emphatically without demeaning or intimidating others.