Sarah (Arabic: سارة, Hebrew: שָׂרָה) was first wife of the prophet Abraham and the mother of the prophet Isaac. She was initially named Sarai, just as Abraham was initially named Abram. Sarah's life is recounted in chapters 12–23 of the Book Genesis, and she plays a role in Suwar 11 and 51 of the Qur'an.
She moved from Ur to Haran with her husband and her father-in-law Terah. There, her husband received a message from God. God promised to made Abram the father of a new yet great nation, and He promised Abram land, his blessing, and his protection. Abram listened to God's call and set out to the land promised to them with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and his servants. They stopped in Canaan, and God announced to Abram that that Canaan was the land promised to his seed. Abram then built an alter to God.
Eventually, there was a famine, and Abram had to move to Egypt. Abram asked Sarai to conceal the fact that she was Abram's wife so that no one would kill him in order to possess the beautiful Sarai for themselves; instead, Sarai was to only say that she was Abram's sister.
The Pharaoh's men saw the beautiful Sarai and told the Pharaoh about her. The Pharaoh told Sarai into his harem and rewarded Abram with livestock and servants.
God punished the Pharaoh and his household with plague for this. The Pharaoh realized that Sarai was actually Abram's wife. The Pharaoh chided Abram for concealing the facts and expelled Abram and Sarai from Egypt.
Promised son and land
Abram returned to Canaan. The land could not support the flocks and houses of both Abram and Lot, so Abram suggested to Lot that they part ways in order to avoid strife and competition with each other. Lot accepted Abram's advice and moved to Sodom, while Abram and Sarai settled in Canaan. God reaffirmed his promise to Abram; Canaan would belong to Abram and his seed. Abram then constructed another alter to honor God.
God eventually appeared to Abram again, and Abram shared his house of the future of his house since he and Sarai were still childless. God then promised Abram a son and heir and assured him that his seed would be as numerous as the stars in the night sky. Abram formed a covenant with God by cutting animals specified by God in two. God then told Abram that although his descendants would send time as slaves in Egypt, they will return to the Promised Land at the appropriate time. Fire then passed between the animal parts, and God made his covenant with Abram know: Abram's seed shall possess the lands between the Nile and the Euphrates.
Hagar and Ishmael
Sarai did not believe that she could still bear children of her own, so she had her husband take Hagar the Egyptian as his second wife in order for Hagar to bear Abram's offspring and continue his family line instead.
Abram and Hagar conceived a child. Sarai felt that Hagar was looking down on her as a result of the pregnancy, and Sarai became jealous. Sarai blamed her husband and complained to him, but Abram said that Sarai may discipline Hagar however she pleased. Sarai dealt with Hagar harshly, so Hagar fled.
An angel appeared to Hagar and directed Hagar to return to Sarai and humble herself. The angel, an messenger of God, then told Hagar that her seed will be plentiful as well and that her child was a son and that she will name him Ishmael ("God hears") in acknowledgement that God heard and responded to her suffering. Hagar then submitted to God and returned to Abram and Sarai. She then gave birth to Ishmael as foretold.
The covenant and Sarah's promised son
God appeared to Abram again. he told Abram to live without sin and in accordance with His will. God promised Abram that he would be the father of many nations and told him that he shall now be called Abraham ("father of many nations"). God and Abraham again formed a covenant: Abraham and his seed will possess the Promised Land, and Abraham and his descendants will be faithful to God and be circumcised.
God told Abraham that Sarai shall now be called Sarah and that Sarah will conceived and give birth to Abraham's son.
As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai (my princess), but her name will be Sarah (Princess). I will bless her, and indeed I will also give you a son by her. Yes, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.— Genesis 17:15–17:15 (AMP)
Abraham laughed and said that the ninety-year-old Sarah could not possibly bear him a child, but God reaffirmed what said, adding that Abraham's son will be named Isaac ("laughter") and that he will establish a covenant with him and his seed as well and that Ishmael too will have many descendants and be the father of a great nation.
Abraham returned home and circumcised Ishmael and the other members of his household.
Later, God and two of his angels appeared to Abram and repeated His promise to give him and Sarah a son. Sarah heard this and laughed. She did not believe that she could possibly bear child at her age. They responded by telling them that God was capable of anything.
And his wife [Sarah] was standing by; she laughed, therefore We gave her the glad tidings of Isaac, and, after Isaac, of Jacob.
She said,Woe is me! Shall I bear, being an old woman, and this my husband is an old man? This assuredly is a strange thing.
They said,What, dost thou marvel at God's command? The mercy of God and His blessings be upon you, O people of the House! Surely He is All-laudable, All-glorious.— Surah 11:71–73 (Arberry)
And they gave him good tidings of a cunning boy [Isaac].
Then came forward his wife [Sarah], clamouring, and she smote her face, and said,An old woman, barren!
They said,So says thy Lord; He is the All-wise, the All-knowing.— Surah 51:28–30 (Arberry)
God, his angels, and Abraham then discussed the fate of the Sodom and Gomorrah, where his nephew lot dwelled. God sought to have the wicked cites destroyed, but Abraham sought to have Sodom spared, even if only a tiny portion of the city remained righteous. God settled on having the cities destroyed, but had his angels lead Lot's family to safety.
Abraham then settled temporarily in Gerar, which was ruled by Philistine king Abimelech. Abraham once again concealed his marriage with Sarah and only told the locals that she was his sister.
Like the Pharaoh done earlier, Abimelech took the beautiful Sarah into his harem. God punished Abimelech by preventing children from being conceived in his household. God then appeared to Abimelech in a dream and told Abimelech that He going to punish Abimelech for this act. Abimelech had not yet had intercourse with Sarah and begged God to forgive his ignorance. God said that He knew and prevented Abimelech having intercourse with Sarah. God then commanded Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham.
Abimelech woke up terrified and chided Abraham for concealing the truth and for not trusting him or his people. Abraham explained by saying that he had mistakenly thought that Abimelech and his people were a Godless people who would not have qualms over killing a man for his wife. Abraham also explained that Sarah was his paternal half-sister.
Abimelech returned Sarah to Abraham, granted Abraham livestock and slaves, and permitted Abraham to live settle anywhere within his lands. Abimelech then absolved his marriage with Sarah, granting Abraham silver as compensation and letting everyone know that Sarah's honor was not harmed.
Abraham then prayed to God for the sake of Abimelech and his household. God then allowed for the women of Abimelech's household to conceive children again.
After a dispute over a well Abraham dug at Beersheba but some Philistine men seized, Abraham and Abimelech formed a pact. Abraham gave Abimelech some lievestock, Abimelech acknowledged that Abraham dug and rightfully owns the well, and they agreed to honor their arguments.
God kept His promise with Sarah and had her conceive a child with Abraham. Sarah gave birth to a son, who they named Isaac ("laughter") for how God had made her laugh earlier.
Sarah said,God has made me laugh; all who hear [about our good news] will laugh with me.And she said,Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have given birth to a son by him in his old age.— Genesis 21:6–21:7 (AMP)
The departure of Hagar and Ishmael
Isaac grew, and eventually, Sarah saw the teenage Ishmael teasing Isaac and became upset. She demanded Abraham to oust Hagar and Ishmael from his house. The situation distressed Abraham, but God appeared to Abraham and told him to listen to his wife, and assured him that Ishmael will be a father of a great nation. Abraham obeyed God's command and sent Hagar and Ishmael off with provisions. Hagar and Ishmael went into the wilderness and God provided for them.
One day, God decided to test Abraham's faith. God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac to Him. Abraham prepared to do as God commanded; thus proving himself to God, so before Abraham could finish the act, God sent an angel to stop Abraham from sacrificing Isaac. The angel told Abraham to stop, and Abraham obeyed. God then had a ram ensnared in order to serve an alternative sacrifice.
Abraham sacrificed the ram, and God reaffirmed His promises to Abraham and his seed: God will bless them, make them as plentiful as the stars, and have them conquer their enemies. God then alerted Abraham to the children born to his kin back in his homeland, letting Abraham know that Isaac will eventually have a proper wife to marry.
Death and burial
Sarah died at Kiriath-arba (Hebron) at age 127. Abraham mourned and purchased the cave of Machpelah and the surrounding field from Ephron the Hittite to serve as a burial place for Sarah.