Monday, September 4, 2023

how do Muslims interpret the Quran's references to Jews?

 Muslims interpret the Quran's references to Jews in various ways, and there are different schools of thought on the matter. However, it is important to note that Islam requires Muslims to respect people of all faiths, including Jews, and regards them as one of the groups of people described as 'People of the Book'. 

Jews are also respected in Islam and Islamic communities. When the Prophet traveled to Madinah and was made Head of the State, he made a treaty with the Jews based completely on fairness and equal opportunities. Some Muslims view the Quran's references to Jews as historical accounts of events that took place at the time of the Prophet, while others view them as general statements about the Jewish people. However, some Muslim scholars have developed a new Islamic “theology of the Jews” that presents Jews as a unitary, undifferentiated collective and demonizes them. 

This new pejorative “theology of the Jews” has been virtually unchallenged and is based on three interlocking trends: an abandonment of the longstanding Islamic principle of non-differentiation between non-Islamic “Divine” faiths, an amplification of the negative aspects of Jewish history , and a selective and tendentious reading of the Qur'an

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Jewish-Muslim relations have been complex and varied throughout history. Here are some historical examples of Jewish-Muslim relations:
  • During the early days of Islam, Jewish tribes in seventh-century Arabia, principally in the city of Medina, rejected the Prophet Muhammad’s claims to religious and political leadership, which led to tensions between Jews and Muslims
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  • In the medieval period, Jews mingled freely and comfortably with Muslims, immersed in Arabic-Islamic culture, including the language, poetry, philosophy, science, and other fields
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  • During the early modern period through the nineteenth century, Jews and Muslims interacted in the Ottoman Empire, Africa, Asia, and Europe
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  • In the twentieth century, there were significant changes in Jewish-Muslim relations, including the exile of Jews from the Muslim world, Jews and Muslims in Israel, and Jewish-Muslim politics
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  • In contemporary times, there are still tensions between Jews and Muslims, particularly with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. From a Jewish perspective, two main issues divide contemporary Jews and Muslims. The first is widespread Muslim rejection of Jewish political control over land–in this instance the State of Israel–considered part of dar al-islam, an Arabic term denoting territory that Muslims consider rightfully theirs because of it having once been under their rule. The second issue is Islam’s theological insistence that it has replaced Judaism as God’s favored religious expression because of Jewish transgressions–a belief that Jewish sources say is fueled by the political conflict over Israel
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