The people group who originated in the Arabian Peninsula (Middle East), but now also populate North Africa. Their language is Arabic and they follow the Arabic culture, most being Muslims. They are descendants of Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Hagar his wife Sarah’s Egyptian maid. This was the result of Abraham trying ‘in the flesh’ to bring about God’s promise of him having a son. The Jew’s lineage comes from Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah, born some 13 years later who was called “the child of promise”. Even from before the birth of Ishmael until the present there has been ongoing bitter conflict between the two family lines (Gen 16:1-15, 21:1-20).

God’s promise of lands, earthly possessions and spiritual heritage was to the descendants of Isaac not to those born naturally (of the flesh) i.e. Hagar’s son Ishmael. So when Sarah said, “The son of the slave woman will not share in the inheritance of the free woman’s son”, she was expressing a scriptural truth (Gen 21:10: Gal 4:30). This doesn’t mean the Jews automatically will reach heaven while excluding the Arabs. No one will enter heaven except through Jesus Christ. By repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, those born of Arab descent can also receive salvation just as those of any other nationality can. God doesn't want anyone (regardless of their ethnicity or nationality) to perish in eternal damnation but died for all people (Jn 3:16; 2 Pet 3:9).

The religion of the Arabs is predominately Islam. A Muslim is one who follows the Islamic faith and the Qur’an is their sacred writing. The central tenet of Islam is found in the creed: ‘There is no god but Allah, and Mohammad is his prophet’. It is their intention to convert the world to Islam.

Not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs, because Arabs are a people group and Muslims are followers of the Islam religion.

See also: Abraham, anti-Semitism, Ishmael, Islam, Qur'an, Sarah.