Ishmael (Hebrew: יִשְׁמָעֵאל, Standard Yišmaʿel Tiberian Yišmāʿêl; Arabic: إسماعيل, 'Ismāʿīl) is a figure in the Torah, Bible, and Qur'an. Jewish, Christian and Muslim believers regard Ishmael as Abraham's eldest son, born of his wife Sarah's hand maiden Hagar (Genesis 16:3). Though born of Hagar, according to Mesopotamian law, Ishmael was credited as Sarah's son (Genesis 16:2) According to the Genesis account, he died at the age of 137 (Genesis 25:17).
Both Jewish and Islamic traditions consider Ishmael as the ancestor of Northern Arab people.
Judaism has generally viewed Ishmael as wicked though repentant. Judaism maintains that Isaac (the father of the Jewish people) rather than Ishmael was the true heir of Abraham.The New Testament contains few references to Ishmael. In Christian biblical interpretation, Ishmael is used to symbolize the older—now rejected—Judaic tradition; Isaac symbolizes the new tradition of Christianity. Islamic tradition, however, has a very positive view of Ishmael, giving him a larger and more significant role. The Qur'an views him as a prophet, and as the actual son that Abraham was called on to sacrifice, as opposed to Isaac.