And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. Genesis 17:20
If you need a refresher, Ishmael was Abraham’s firstborn son. His mother was Hagar, maid of Sarai; she was sent into the desert. The story in the Quran is similar, only with an emphasis on the branch of the family that led to Islam.
Hagar was clearly a godly woman: Genesis 21:17-21 says
“God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy as he grew up. …
If God blessed the originators of Islam, who are we to curse it? And why must we close our hearts to the many kind, peaceful Muslims?
I believe we should see Muslims as Jesus told us to see the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Who is my neighbor? Anyone who is loved by God!