The modern monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have a great deal in common with one another, including a number of traditions and beliefs. At the center of these shared traditions is the worship of one god, but the leadership of the prophets—individuals who were chosen to receive messages to humankind from God—is shared, too. Perhaps no prophetic figure is quite as central in all three faiths as the prophet Abraham (Figure 11.1). Abraham was a patriarch of the Israelites in Jewish and Christian tradition, a common ancestor known for his intense commitment to the worship of the one God in the scripture, the book of Genesis. In one of the best-known stories from the scripture featuring him, he was willing to sacrifice his own son if necessary in order to obey his God. Islamic tradition holds that he is also the ancestor of all the Arabs, and the house of worship he constructed in Mecca, in western Arabia, has become a revered site of pilgrimage for Muslims around the world.