Is Ismail the Father of the Arabs?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


I wanted to ask about Prophet Ismail (peace be upon him) being the father of the Arabs and also Adnan. Does it mean that every Arab is a descendant of Ismail and many tribes from Adnan? I don’t understand how that is supposed to work, that every Arab is a descendant of him, where there are no people in Arabia and Ismail reproduced like Adam (peace be upon him). Are there sources stating this from the Quran or hadith?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question.

Prophet Ismail (peace be upon him), the son of Ibrahim (peace be upon him), was left as a baby with his mother, Hajar, in Makka. Makka is in central Hijaz and was a barren land, and there was no civilization then. One of the tribes of Qahtan, Jurhum, passed by, and Prophet Ismail (peace be upon him) married a lady from the tribe of Jurhum. So Prophet Ismail (peace be upon him) married into the Qahtanis and began speaking their language, Arabic.

History of Arabs

Historians divide Arab history into three types of people.

Extinct Arabs (Al-Arab al-Baida) were before the descendants of Qahtan and became extinct.

Original Arabs (Al-Arab al-Ariba) resided in Yemen and the surroundings and ruled the area.

Those who became Arabs (Al-Arab al-Mustariba) are the descendants of Prophet Ismail (peace be upon him) and Adnan. They resided in the surroundings of the Hijaz area. Mustariba means those who became Arabs. They are called such because Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and his son Ismail (peace be upon him) were not Arabs.

Allah Chose the Prophet from the Lineage of Prophet Ismail (Peace Be upon Him)

Wathila ibn al-Asqa’ (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) “Verily, Allah chose Kinana from the sons of Ismail, he chose the Quraysh from Kinana, he chose the tribe of Hashim from the Quraysh, and he chose me from the tribe of Hashim.” [Muslim]

[Danapuri, Asah al-Siyar]

I would like you to go through the valuable answers and links below. You will receive guidance and direction in sha Allah.

Related Answers

Why not begin your search for knowledge by signing up for a course on SeekersAcademy (
I pray this helps with your question.

[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.