Preface and Comparison with the Bible
The Qur'anís views on the subject of the Jewish people is certainly of interest as the relationship between the nation of Israel and the Muslim world continue to be an epicenter of tension throughout the world. This collection of seventy-one verses has both positive and negative things to say about the Hebrews.
Jewish and Muslim relations throughout Mohammedís career were hostile. Mohammed saw himself as equal to Abraham, Moses and King David. His validity as a prophet depended on the connection with Yahweh or the God of the Bible. To his great disappointment, the Jews of the Arabian Peninsula saw him as a demon possessed false prophet. As the Muslims turned to raiding caravans and attacking those that opposed them, the small Jewish communities attempted to avoid coming under Islamic domination but failed. Many of them, like the Jews of Medina and An-Nadir, were attacked and driven out of their lands. The proceeds of their rich orchards were given to the Muslims. One Jewish community, Banu Quraizah, suffered the execution of more than 600 men while their widows and children became the concubines and slaves of their Muslim conquerors.
With this in mind, it is easy to understand why some of the verses paraphrased in this chapter are positive and support the Jewish heritage, since Mohammed was building his credibility on the Bible. Other verses, however, are negative in reaction to the Jewish rejection of him as a prophet. On the positive side, the Qur'an recognizes the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, which the Jews possessed, and commends the Jewish people to study them and obey Godís law. It acknowledges that the Jews are Godís Chosen People who were given prophethood and the land of Israel, or the Promised Land, as a possession. It assures them of eternal reward.
Again, all of this recognition did not sway the Jews to believe in Mohammed. The negative verses say that the Jews are hypocritical, illogical, vile, hard-hearted murderers of the prophets who misrepresent their Scriptures. It warns them of Hell fire if they reject Mohammed and the Qur'an.
The Qur'an Says ...
Given the Holy LandPeople of the Bible, remember the words of Moses to his people when he predicted prophets and kings to come. Moses told the Jews to enter the Holy Land, which Allah ordained for them. They were afraid of the people so Allah had them depart from the Holy Land for forty years as they wandered homeless (5:19-26).
Knowing God PersonallyThere is one Deity. The Christians and Jews know him as they know their own sons. But others have lost their souls through idol worship, inventing falsehoods about Allah, sinful behavior and denying the revelations (6:20-22).
Reward Awaits JewsThose who are Muslims, Jews, Christians and Sabaeans have a reward awaiting them with their Lord and should have no fear or grieve because they believe in Allah, the Last Day and they do what is right (2:62).
Chosen PeopleThe children of Israel were favored by Allah and preferred above all creatures (2:47).
Remember Allahís BlessingsManna and quail were sent to the Jews for food. Twelve springs of water came forth for each tribe to drink when Moses smote the rock (2:57-60).
Possess ScripturesThe Children of Israel should accept the Qur'an which confirms the Scriptures they possess. Do not be the first to reject Islam (2:41). Jews should practice what they are reading in their Holy Scriptures (2:44).
Covenant of the Yellow CowWhen Moses commanded the people to sacrifice a cow, they wondered if he was playing a game with them. The people tested Moses with specific questions concerning the nature of the cow to be offered as sacrifice. It was determined to be middle aged, rich yellow color, healthy and free from blemish. The Jews finally did what was commanded, but almost failed to do so (2:67-71).
Bible Studied by JewsThose who inherited the Scriptures have studied them well and know not to say something about Allah that is not true (7:169). The Christians and Jews disagree yet they study the same Holy Scriptures (2:113).
First to Reject IslamDo not be the first people to reject the Qur'an because it agrees with your Scriptures. Fear Allah! Be honest about the truth you have in Scripture, do not sell it for a small price, combine not truth with falsehood or conceal the truth. Worship with the Muslims, pray and pay the tax to meet the needs of the poor (2:41-45).
Crucifixion of ChristThe Jews have broken the covenant, denied Allahís revelations and killed the prophets wrongfully. They speak a tremendous slander against Mary. They also say that they killed the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary and Allahís messenger. They did not kill him or crucify him. It only appeared that way to them. They did not kill him but Allah took him up to himself (4:155-158).
Jews and the ScripturesThe Jewish people were given the Torah (first five books of the Bible) but were not responsive to it. They are like a donkey weighed down with heavy books. They are despicable because they reject Allahís revelations (62:5). The Children of Israel were given the Bible, prophethood and favored above all other peoples. It was only after the Scriptures had come to them that they divided into factions (45:16-17). Guidance was given to Moses and the Children of Israel inherited the Bible, which is a guide for men of understanding (40:53-54). They pervert the words of the Bible and take them out of context. All but a few of them are continually treacherous. Bear with them and pardon them for Allah loves those who are kind (5:13).
You Have No SaviorYou Jews must protect yourselves from the Judgment Day when you will have no savior, intercession or ransom for your sins (2:47,48).
Remember Your Past MistakesAfter Allah gave the Scriptures to Moses, your forefathers made a golden calf to worship. Moses then encouraged the Jewish people to kill themselves. They were struck by lightening yet revived by a miracle (2:53-56).
Murderers of the ProphetsThe Jews disbelieved in Allahís revelations and slew the prophets wrongfully. They received humiliation, wretchedness was stamped upon them. They received the wrath of Allah (2:61). Jesus, son of Mary, was given power to do miracles and strengthened with the Holy Spirit. Yet, when an apostle comes with undesirable teachings, the Jews get prideful and some they call deceivers and others they kill (2:87). You ask Mohammed to bring fire from the sky as proof before you believe. Other apostles did bring great signs and gave the Scriptures, which give light. Why did you kill them (3:183)?
Sabbath Breakers Turned into ApesJews are to remember how a group of Sabbath breakers were changed into detestable apes by Allah as an example for future generations (2:65,66).
Hard HeartedEven after Allah raised a dead man to life, the Jews hearts were hardened and became harder than rocks (2:72-74).
HypocritesThey claim to believe that they will go to Heaven, but if they truly believed that then they would wish for death. In fact they love this life more than even the pagans and dread death because they know they face punishment (2:94-96, 62:6-8).
Jews Are EnemiesJews and pagans are the fiercest in their opposition to Islam, but the most affectionate are some who call themselves ďChristians.Ē They have priests and monks and they are not proud. Tears come to their eyes when they hear the reading of the Qur'an because they recognize that it is true. But those who disbelieve and deny Allahís revelations are going to the fires of Hell (5:82-86).
Claim to ParadiseThe Jews and Christians claim that they alone will be admitted to Paradise. This is a fantasy (2:111).
Befriending Jews ProhibitedThe Muslim who takes Christians or Jews as friends is one of them (5:51).
Jews among the Vilest of CreaturesThe Christians, Jews and idol worshipers, who do not believe in Mohammed or the Qur'an, are going to burn forever in Hell and are the worst creatures on earth (98:6).
Fight against the JewsMuslims, fight everyone who reject Islam, even if they are Christians and Jews. Fight them until they pay you regular financial tribute with willing submission and feel themselves completely subjected to their Islamic conquerors (9:29).