Abraham's name

In the Torah, Genesis 17:1,3,5 we read:

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty, walk before me and be blameless. ... Abram fell facedown, and God said to him ... No longer will you be called Abram, your name will be Abraham for I have made you father of many nations."

From then onwards his name is "Abraham", the name most people know of the Biblical patriarch, even if they have never heard of his original name.

Similar to most people who are not very Bible-literate, it seems that Muhammad was not aware of the God-given name change for Abram at the occasion of God's covenant confirmation with Abram and his announcement of Isaac's birth. Consequently, we find the Qur'an speak of him as "Abraham" already in his youth:

They said: "We heard of the youth talked of them: He is called Abraham."
-- Sura 21:60

Calling him "Abraham" about eighty years too early can be viewed as one example of the Qur'anic errors of historical compression but that might be too big a term for this simple mistake of oversight or rather common ignorance.

Contradictions in the Qur'an
Answering Islam Home Page