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Islamic view of Jacob

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The biblical figure Jacob referred to in Arabic as Ya`qūb or Jakub ( يعقوب), is a prophet in Islam who is mentioned in the Qur'an. The Islamic view of Jacob differs from Judaism and Christianity's view of the same figure. Yaqub was born to Ishaq (the biblical Isaac), and was thus the grandson of Ibrahim (the biblical Abraham). Yaqub was born in Canaan. Like his father and grandfather he was a prophet of God who preached the oneness of God. Yaqub had twelve sons and a daughter. His sons would go on to father the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Among his sons was another prophet named Yusuf (the biblical Joseph).

Ya'qub in the Qur'an

The Qur'an does not give many details of Ya'qub’s life, though it says he was a righteous prophet, and of the company of the Elect and the Good, who received inspiration from God (38:47, 21:75). God perfected his favor on Jacob and his posterity as he perfected his favor on Abraham and Isaac (12:6). He was a man of might and vision (38:45) and was chosen by God to preach the Message.

The Qur'an stresses that worshiping and bowing to the one true God (Arabic: Allah) was the main legacy of Jacob and his fathers (2:132-133). The Qur'an states that salvation hinges upon this legacy rather than being Jew or Christian (See 2:130-141).

Say (O Muslims): "We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which had been sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and to Al Asbat (the twelve sons of Jacob), and that which has been given to Moses and Jesus and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam)."

Ya'qub (Jacob) is also known as Isrā'īl and his people (Israelites) are known as Bani Isrā'īl (sons of Israel). They are addressed and mentioned in the Qur'an at several places.

See also



  • P.J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs, ed. Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 1573-3912. 
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