Last name origin & meaning:
Muslim: from an Arabic personal name, ’Ismā‛īl, name
of a Prophet (Biblical Ishmael), son of Ibrahim (Abraham). Ibrahim
left his second wife Hajar (Hagar) and their small son Ismail in the
wilderness outside Mecca with only a short supply of food and water.
Allah took pity on them and caused the well of Zamzam to spurt up in
that desolate place, which saved their lives. Later, Ibrahim sought
out his son Ismail, and together they built the Ka‘ba in Mecca,
towards which all Muslims turn when praying. Arabs believe that Ismail
was the founder of the Arab peoples, and for this reason Arabs are
sometimes referred to as Ishmaelites.
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