(The Jewish community has always been projected by few historians and fanatics as the main enemies of Islam and Muslims, giving rise to various conspiracy theories related to selected current events of our time. A few Zionist, extreme minded Muslims, and hyper Christian missionaries have tried to justify the misinterpreted verses of the Qur’an as a syllabus of hatred, raising an environment of distrust and suspicion towards each other. This article directs a person to the other perspective of the view which has been the justful stand of the scholars and Muslims of earlier generations and various Muslim governments and rulers.)
The narratives in the Qur’an have historical facts divinely revealed, as well as conclusions of certain tribes, communities, and people by Allah Himself. In certain places, Allah appreciates certain people. while in other places, He cautions them, seeking corrections from them. The most notable phrase for humanity comes in the surah named after the Children of Israel, Surah Bani Israel
“We have given an honorable status to the children of Adam.” [Surah Isra :70]
The Qur’an Addresses the Jews and the Christians as Ahl al Kitab (People of the Book)
The people of the Book, it is an honorable term mentioned thirty-two times in the Qur’an, endorsing the divine books given to them, but also disclosing the fact that the Judeo- Christian scribes had interfered and edited those books. It remains a condition of faith for every Muslims to believe in the original format of the revealed Books.
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“And We have sent down to you the Book in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and muhaymin (trustworthy in highness and a witness) over it.” [Surah Al Maidah, 48]
The Qur’an Appreciates Jews that were Good
“And among the people of Moses, there was a community who lead with truth and established justice therewith.” [Surah Al A’raf, 159]
The Christians Will be the Most Loving Towards the Muslims
“And you will find the nearest of them in affection to the believers those who say, ‘We are Christians.’ That is because among them are priests and monks, and because they are not arrogant.” [Surah Al Maidah, 82]
In fact, the first community to give refuge to Muslims during their torturous persecution by Quraish Arabs was Negus, the Christian ruler of Abyssinia. The Muslims stayed there peacefully among the Christians for years, before they returned to Madinah. Prophet Muhammed never forgot this obligation and received the news from divine sources that the Abyssinian king had become Muslim. When he was also notified by divine revelation that the Abyssinian king had died, he offered prayers of forgiveness for him.
Islam Teaches Tolerance
The Qur’an stops the Muslims from reacting or getting instigated by taunts and difficulties caused by different groups, and it relates to them that patience would be the best adoption.
“You will surely be tested in your possessions and in yourselves. And you will surely hear from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with Allah much abuse. But if you are patient and fear Allah – indeed, that is of the matters [worthy] of determination.” [Surah Al e Imran :186]
Rejection of the Divinity of Jesus is Not Fanning Hatred
Many biblical passages present a dispute between the Jews and Jesus where a section of Rabbis rejected the prophethood of Jesus and accused him of being an imposter and a son born out of wedlock. However, the Qur’an uses no such language for Jesus, but displays noble characteristics of Jesus and his mother who are the most revered personalities of Christendom.
“He [Jesus] said, ‘I am indeed a servant of God. He has given me revelation and made me a prophet; He has made me blessed wherever I be; and He has enjoined on me prayer and charity as long as I live. He has made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable. So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)!’ Such was Jesus the son of Mary. It is a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute. It is not befitting to (the majesty of) God that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” [Surah Maryam :30-35]
There are no less than eight outstanding noble virtues of Jesus in the above-mentioned verses:
- Worshiper of God Almighty
- Received Revelation
- Chosen as the Prophet of Allah
- Blessed wherever he is
- Regular worshipper
- Generously charitable
- Kind to his mother, and saved from being miserable towards his mother
- Peace being established upon him
The Qur’an Remains the Only Non-Christian Scripture That Testifies That Jesus Was Not Killed on the Cross
The Qur’an set the Jews free of the accusation of killing and crucifying Jesus as boasted by early Jewish scribes in the New Testament, causing atrocities out of hatred of Jews in many Christian lands. The term, ‘Jewish Deicide’, coined by Christian doctrines, which blames the entire Jewish community for ‘alleged’ crucifixion of Jesus, where not accepted by the Qur’an.
“And [for] their saying, ‘Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah.’ And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain.” [Surah Nisa,157]
The Invitation of Qur’an for the Jews and Christians is upon similarities of the teaching of Moses and Jesus.
“Say, ‘O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you – that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah.’ But if they turn away, then say, ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him].’” [Surah Al e Imran, 64]
Why Are There So Many Verses About Judaism in the Qur’an?
The Jews did not go into idolatry, and they had similar notable cultures that were brought by Prophet Mohammed in many ways. This offered them an opportunity to accept the last Book from Allah. Therefore, a large number of verses from the Madinan period were directly addressed to them. They are also referred to as Bani Israel, the Children of Israel, more than forty times in the Qur’an. Most of these verses remind the Jews of the similarities that were taught by their own Prophets, such as Moses, David, Solomon, and others, and invites them back to those original teachings. There is an entire surah, titled Surah Bani Israel, which contains reminders of the commandments that were given to Moses.
Prophet Muhammed Fought More Battles With the Arabs Than With the Jews and the Christians
Out of the twenty-three years of Prophethood, only the last nine years contained Islamic battles. Most of them were expeditions, and around few of them, out of twenty-five to twenty nine, were severe military wars, and from those, only one was fought against Bani An-Nadhir, a Jewish tribe, and one was fought against the Roman empire at the border of Greater Syria. The rest of the battles were fought against the pagan Arabs. There were other Jewish tribes in Madinah who remained protected under the Prophet’s rule.
The Jewish Historians Argue Against Islam Being Labeled as Antisemitic
The Jewish Professor and author, in Tel Aviv University, Martin Kramer elaborates the fact that Islamic doctrines do not preach hatred. He says, “The Islamic tradition did not hold up those Jews who practiced treachery against Muhammad as archetypes—as the embodiment of Jews in all times and places. This makes for a striking contrast with a certain Christian concept of the eternal Jew, who forever bears the mark of the betrayer of Jesus. The Qur’an also includes certain verses which attest to the Prophet’s amicable relations with some Jews, and while religious supremacism always colored the traditional Islamic view of the Jews, it also colored the Islamic view of Christians and all other non-Muslims. In the Islamic tradition, the Jews are regarded as members of a legitimate community of believers in God, “People of the Book,” legally entitled to suffering. The overall record of the Islamic civilization’s tolerance of Jews is not a bad one, especially when compared with the record of Christendom in most periods.” (martinkramer.org, The salience of Islamic Antisemitism)
Samuel Rosenblatt, an American Rabbi and a scholar of Jewish theology writes, “There were three Jewish tribes in Madinah, with whom the Muslims had a peace pact. All the three of them built a secret alliance with the Arabs of Makkah who wanted to wipe out the Muslims of Madinah. Banu Qunaiqa and Banu Nadhir were expelled from Madinah, while Banu Quraidha were fought with.” Samuel opines that this enmity was not a part of policy extremely against Jews or Judaism. According to Rosenblatt, Prophet Muhammad’s disputes with the neighboring Jewish tribes were not continued by Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, rather they based their treatment of Jews upon the Qur’anic verses of tolerance. (Pinson, Rosenblatt, published 1946pg, 112-119)
Join the Dialogue of Understanding
Islam does not preach hatred against the Jews or Christians but invites them towards understanding of the scriptures based upon similarities. The Qur’an declares,
“Do not commit excess in religion.” [Surah An-Nisa: 171]