Bigotry: The Dark Danger

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Chapter 5: Jews and Christians in the Religion of the Fanatics

The fanatics’ terrifying way of thinking, that we have particularly seen in the context of war and women, can also be observed in their attitudes toward the People of the Book, Jews and Christians. It is once again the fabricated hadiths that have for years poisoned Muslim societies that have harbored intense enmities toward Christians and Jews. On account of these false hadiths, related as if they were said by the Prophet (pbuh) himself, Muslim communities have ignored righteous Jews and Christians, who are praised in the Qur’an, and have lived in literal ignorance of the fact that Jews and Christians must remain under the protection of Muslims. On account of this mistaken way of thinking they have come to deny those verses of the Qur’an in which sincere Christians and Jews are described. In the view of Islam, denying any verses of the Qur’an means to abjure the faith, and they have even managed to underestimate that.

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This section discusses the true meaning of verses of the Qur’an that the fanatics and some opponents of Islam seek to use as evidence for hostility toward the People of the Book in Islam, as well as the fabricated hadiths that are the real cause of the enmity toward Jews and Christians that has been encouraged down the years. We also need to remember the following very important fact; Christianity and Judaism are true faiths that were sent down before Islam, and according to the Qur’an, all Muslims have a responsibility to accept all the true faiths and true prophets. One verse states:

Say, “We have faith in God and what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to Abraham and Ishma‘el and Isaac and Jacob and the Tribes, and what Moses and Jesus were given, and what all the prophets were given by their Lord. We do not differentiate between any of them.” (Qur'an, 2:136)

There is no doubt that these true faiths have gradually been misinterpreted by fanatical mindsets, and that this distortion has been extended to the sacred scriptures themselves. However, when we look at the Qur’an, which will remain uncorrupted until the Day of Reckoning, we understand that we must believe in Christianity and Judaism in their first and original forms, and act accordingly.

Some Muslim communities that still harbor policies of enmity of frightening dimensions toward Christians and Jews, despite the above verse and other verses of the Qur’an that praise the People of the Book, are representatives of this fabricated fanatical faith, not of the Islam of the Qur’an.

Some people fall into this error knowingly, and others unknowingly. The purpose of this book is to warn those who do fall into this error and to show them the way to be saved from it, and to show some opponents of Islam that the religion they are against is not the true Islam.

In contrast to all the claims made by the fanatics, the Qur’an curses enmity toward the People of the Book and advises love for them. Let us now look at the evidence for this:

Responses from the Qur'an to Those Who Look to the Qur'an for Enmity toward the Jews

The Jews in particular, one of the People of the Book, have for years been at a loss to understand some Muslims’ hostility toward them. They have imagined that there must be such a commandment in the Qur’an and that the Muslims in question are acting in the light of that; some of them have therefore always blamed Islam. They are unaware that the Qur’an actually curses people who are inimical to the Jews.

There are two main allegations that the Jews find being made against them, that the Jews are cursed and that they are comparable to monkeys and pigs (surely our Jewish brothers and sisters are beyond that). The fanatics, in their own minds, base these claims on the Qur’an. Let us now look and see what the Qur’an really says:

The Comparison with "Monkeys and Pigs" and What the Qur'an Really Says about the People of the Book

The People of the Book occupy a special place in the Qur’an. God praises sincere Jews and Christians and reveals that He will reward them in the hereafter. All the People of the Book are entrusted to Muslims. That entrusting expresses the feelings of love and affection that Muslims should feel. It does not mean that the People of the Book are in need of protection, however.

Some fanatics look to the verses of the Qur’an in an effort to find evidence for their hostility toward the Jews and that is also the greatest card in the hands of some Western opponents of Islam. These people encourage enmity toward the Jews by foolishly pointing to verses in the Qur’an and saying that the Jews are cursed and compared to “monkeys and pigs.” When we look at the Qur’an, however, the people who are cursed and compared to animals are polytheists who have emerged from among the Jews and engage in hypocrisy and aggression.

Let us examine the verses of the Qur’an on the subject:

In verse 60 of Surat al-Ma’ida, God refers to a community that He rendered “monkeys and pigs.” In the light of the preceding verses, this community consists of people from among those who were “given the Book,” from among Christians and Jews, in other words:

Examination of Verse 60 of Surat al-Ma’ida:

You who have faith! Do not take as friends [patrons] any of those given the Book before you or the disbelievers who make a mockery and a game out of your religion. Have fear of God if you are believers. (Qur'an, 5:57)

When you call to prayer they make a mockery and a game of it. That is because they are people who do not use their intellect. (Qur'an, 5:58)

Say: “Shall I tell you of a reward with God far worse than that: that of those whom God has cursed and with whom He is angry – turning some of them into monkeys and into pigs – and who worshipped false gods? Such people are in a worse situation and further from the right way.”(Qur'an, 5:60)

These verses are addressing a community that has emerged from within the People of the Book; however, this community has worshiped false gods. They are deviators who have insisted on committing unlawful deeds and have mocked the faith. The term “People of the Book” is used solely to identify the society from which these two-faced people have emerged, not to suggest that the People of the Book as a whole are guilty of such things (surely they are beyond that).

Kizil Sacli Kadin

We can see the entire description when we look at the verses before verse 60 of Surat al-Ma'ida. Verse 57 says, "Do not take as friends [patrons] any of those given the Book before you or the disbelievers who make a mockery and a game out of your religion." The term "before you" means before the Muslims, and the words "given the Book" mean Christians and Jews, and the verse refers to people who are disbelievers and who make a mockery of the religion from among Christians and Jews. Let us reiterate that this is not a general reference to the entirety of Jews and Christians, but to an irreligious, aggressive and mocking community that has emerged from among them. Such a community is a grave threat and scourge, not only for Muslims, but also for Jews and Christians. It should also be noted that such a group can emerge from among the Muslims just as it can emerge from among the People of the Book.

In order that the word “disbeliever” that appears in the verses cited here and below should not be misunderstood, the subject needs to be made clear: Someone may believe in a religion or may not. He is free to choose, and this is a matter he will decide on according to his own conscience. A believer will never seek to impose his beliefs on someone who does not believe in that religion. Such compulsion is explicitly forbidden in the Qur’an. Indeed, as we have seen in preceding sections, a Muslim has a responsibility to protect an unbeliever, even at the cost of his own life.

However, if that unbeliever mocks and laughs at the faith, and thus seeks to harm believers and their values, if he abandons love and affection and behaves in a hostile manner instead, and even becomes aggressive, then he is committing an offense against God. The unbelievers in the verses here possess those very qualities and have overstepped the bounds. God compares these people to monkeys and pigs because they are hypocrites that oppress and cause difficulties for believers.

Jews Who Are Praised

As we have seen, examination of the verses before verse 60 of Surat al-Ma’ida shows the attributes of this community. Examination of the verses that follow reveals the qualities of true Jews and Christians in the eyes of the Qur’an:

Those who have faith and those who are Jews and the Sabaeans and the Christians, all who have faith in God and the Last Day and act rightly will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. (Qur'an, 5:69)

There are glad tidings in this verse and they are directed toward Jews and also toward Christians who believe in God and do good deeds. God is foretelling that those Jews and Christians who are sincere and who believe in Him will taste no fear. This is the good news of paradise for them because God is promising that they will know no sorrow; God places them in a lofty place. God is expressing His love of them.

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God reveals in verses that He will never allow sincere Jews and Christians who devoutly believe in Him to know fear.

Examination of Verse 166 of Surat al-A’raf

Ask them about the town which was by the sea when they broke the Sabbath – when their fish came to them near the surface on their Sabbath day but did not come on the days which were not their Sabbath. In this way We put them to the test because they were deviators. (Qur'an, 7:163)

When a group of them said, “Why do you rebuke a people whom God is going to destroy or severely punish?” they said, “So that we have an excuse to present to your Lord, and so that hopefully they will gain fear of God.” (Qur'an, 7:1634)

Then when they forgot what they had been reminded of, We rescued those who had forbidden the evil and seized those who did wrong with a harsh punishment because they were deviators. Qur'an, 7:165)

When they were insolent about what they had been forbidden to do, We said to them, “Be apes, despised, cast out!” (Qur'an, 7:166)

When we look at the verses that precede verse 166 of Surat al-A’raf, we see they are directly addressed to the Children of Israel. A community that has emerged from the Children of Israel, from among the Jews in other words, is not abiding by the Sabbath (Saturday). They are forgetting and disregarding the reminders given them in the name of the faith and are rebelling by insisting on doing something that they should not. Therefore, these people are in a state of direct denial of their own religion. This is a community that has emerged from Jewish society and that refuses to pay heed.

Looking at these verses, there is one community of honest and sincere Jews and another, among these Jews, that represents a community of deniers who refuse to pay heed. For example, in verse 164 there are Jews who persistently warn this community and call them to the truth. Their aim is to summon them to the true path “so that hopefully they will gain fear of God.” Verse 165 states that this honest community that forbid the evil were saved. Those who were cast down were the unbelievers who refused to listen to advice and who made problems for the sincere Jews.

Before these verses, God praises righteous Jews in these terms:

Among the people of Moses there is a group who guide by the truth and act justly in accordance with it. (Qur'an, 7:159)

God praises a community from the people of Moses, who act justly and guide to the truth because of this behavior. There is much wisdom in God’s sending this verse. It describes in a perfect manner the attitude that Muslims should adopt towards sincere Jews.

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Examination of Verse 65 of Surat al-Baqara

Remember when We made the covenant with you and lifted up the Mount above your heads: “Take hold vigorously of what We have given you and pay heed to what is in it, so that hopefully you will have fear of God.” (Qur'an, 2:63)

Then after that you turned away, and were it not for God’s favor to you and His mercy, you would have been among the lost. (Qur'an, 2:64)

You are well aware of those of you who broke the Sabbath. We said to them, “Be apes, despised, cast out.” (Qur'an, 2:65)

The Sabbath is a prohibition unique to the Jews. We can therefore tell that this community referred to in the verse must have emerged from among the Jews. The verses before the above verses refer to people who made life difficult for the Prophet Moses (pbuh) throughout the time in the wilderness, and the description here is similar to that given in the Torah. After describing the behavior of this community of deniers that created many problems for the Prophet Moses (pbuh), we are told that they were told to “remember the commandments of the Torah and behave accordingly.” Nonetheless, they turned their backs on that advice. God despises these people who broke the Sabbath, who defied the Torah, in other words.

As can be seen, these people are those who disobeyed the Torah, even though a covenant was made with them: In other words, they are not Jews, but deniers. Their recklessness on the subject of the Sabbath confirms this. One characteristic of these people is that in addition to being deniers, they constantly make trouble for the Prophet Moses (pbuh) and sincere Jews. That is why they are worthy of contempt.

Another notable fact here is that in the verse immediately before these, sincere Jews and Christians are praised and given glad tidings for the hereafter:

Those with faith, those who are Jews, and the Christians and Sabaeans, all who have faith in God and the Last Day and act rightly, will have their reward with their Lord. They will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. (Qur'an, 2:62)

As we have seen, sincere Jews and Christians are regarded as deserving of praise in the Qur’an. Muslims will also love those whom God loves. In addition to being an obligation, that is also a natural feeling in the heart and conscience. For that reason, as is repeated many times in the Qur’an, and as is required by these verses, Muslims must love and protect Christians and Jews and treat them with affection. As can clearly be seen, God makes no distinction between sincere Jews and Christians and sincere Muslims in these verses. This verse eliminates all hostility toward the People of the Book.

The Error of the Jews Being Cursed

First and foremost, to say that “all Jews are cursed” is totally incompatible with the justice of God and the faith created by Him. Firstly, Judaism is a true faith and was revealed to the Prophet Moses (pbuh), who is also a prophet for Muslims. God speaks of Jews and Judaism in the Qur’an. He praises sincere Jews. According to the Qur’an, Muslims have a responsibility to love and protect the People of the Book. Some verses of the Qur’an are directly addressed to the Children of Israel and the People of the Book. This means that there will be Jews and Christians who read – and heed – the Qur’an. Yet according to the fanatics, it is unacceptable for a Jew even to hold the Qur’an in his hand.

Second, everyone comes to this world to be tested. Their positions in the hereafter will be determined according to the results of that test. God reveals that this world is a place of testing as follows:

He Who created death and life to test which of you is best in action. He is the Almighty, the Ever-Forgiving.(Qur’an, 67:2)

Therefore, a Muslim is subjected to the same test as a Jew. To suggest that a child born to a Jewish family, totally unaware of the world, is cursed is completely against the justice of God. The idea of a cursed people en masse is a twisted concept peculiar to pagan beliefs. To imagine that a child who has not yet been tested is irrevocably cursed, and to expect such injustice from God (surely God is beyond that), means that one has failed to understand His justice, compassion and mercy. Those who claim that "the Jews are cursed" are capable of using this perverse way of thinking against all Jews, making no allowance for whether they are children or adults. But how do the fanatics look to the Qur'an for evidence for the idea that "all Jews are cursed"?

An Examination of Verse 88 of Surat al-Baqara:

They say, “Our hearts are uncircumcised.” Rather, God has cursed them for their denial. What little faith they have! (Qur'an, 2:88)

A look at the preceding verses shows that the people being addressed here are a community from among the people of the Prophet Moses (pbuh), from among the Jews. The reason for that community being cursed is made perfectly clear: "their denial"... The community here is a community of deniers who have betrayed Judaism and even gone to such extremes as to try to kill their prophet, as shown by the above verses. In the same way that aggressive deniers from among Muslims are cursed in the Qur'an, so are those who emerge from among the Jews because they disturb the social order and peace. It is therefore only the rebellious, aggressive and cruel deniers who are cursed, not Jews or Muslims.

Examination of Verse 155 of Surat an-Nisa’

We lifted up the Mount above their heads in accordance with the covenant they had made, and We said to them, “Enter the gate prostrating,” and We said to them, “Do not break the Sabbath,” and We made a binding covenant with them. (Qur'an, 4:154)

Because of the fact that they broke their covenant, and rejected God’s signs, and killed the prophets without any right to do so and said, “Our hearts are uncircumcised,” God has stamped their hearts for their denial, so they do not have faith except for very few. (Qur'an, 4:155)

In the preceding verses a community of deniers from among the People of the Book is described. The promise secured from this community, who were forgiven by God despite all their excesses, is cited in verse 154 of Surat an-Nisa’. Verse 155 then reveals they went back on their word, returned to their denial and killed the prophets. These are the reasons why they are cursed.

Subsequent verses again refer to a Jewish community, and God distinguishes between those who are deniers and those who possess deep faith:

But those of them [the Jews] who are firmly rooted in knowledge, and the believers, have faith in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down before you: those who pray and pay alms, and have faith in God and the Last Day – We will pay such people an immense wage(Qur'an, 4:162)

To those Jews who are deniers and behave to excess are applied different provisions in the same way that different provisions apply to Muslims who are deniers and behave excessively. However, God explicitly excludes sincere Jews, and says that He will “pay them an immense wage.” How could this Jewish community whom God praises and says that He will reward possibly be cursed? How can someone possibly stand up and say that “All Jews are cursed and they must all be killed” when God praises them? The problem with the fanatics is that they do not appreciate God properly, do not understand the Qur’an and have fallen into the trap of fabricated hadiths on the subject that we shall be looking at in the section that follows.

Let us remind ourselves of one very important point here; someone may be a denier in this world but so long as he does not act in hypocrisy and seek to cause sedition, does not oppress believers, does not attack innocent people and lives an honest and respectful life, he is still under the protection of Muslims: This is a responsibility imposed on Muslims through the Qur'an. The community that is cursed, however, is one that has betrayed the community of believers, has behaved hypocritically in other words, and has even killed prophets. God regarded their killing prophets as grounds for cursing them. He also describes them as a community that stabs believers in the back by "breaking their covenant." These people also represented a threat to the Prophet Moses (pbuh) and to devout believers. In other words, this community of deniers is cursed, not from emerging from among a Jewish society or because of their denial alone, but because of their crimes in the Sight of God. It is important for this difference to be properly understood.

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Jean-Leon Gerome's oil painting "Solomon's Wall, Jerusalem"

God makes a distinction for sincere Jews in verses and reveals that He will give them a great reward. How can anyone curse a Jewish community that God says He will reward and that He praises?

The Idea of Not Taking Jews and Christians As Friends

One of the verses of the Qur’an that fanatics and some opponents of Islam in the West point to as supposed evidence for enmity toward Jews and Christians is in Surat al-Ma’ida:

You who have faith! Do not take the Jews and Christians as your friends [patrons]; they are the friends of one another. Any of you who takes them as friends is one of them. God does not guide wrongdoing people.(Qur'an, 5:51)

The word “friend” appears two times. The original Arabic of the word “friends” in the passage “Do not take the Jews and Christians as your friends [patrons]” is “awliyao.” The real meaning of this word is "guardians, those responsible under the law, saints, lords, owners or rulers.” The original Arabic word translated as “friends” in the passage “Any of you who takes them as friends” is “yatawallahum.” The meaning of this word is “who undertakes to care for, who assumes charge of.” When we look at the original Arabic meaning we can easily see that the references to ”friends” in this verse really means “rulers.” What is forbidden for Muslims here is for them to come under the rule and management of Jews and Christians. (Prof. Dr. Bayraktar Bayraklı, Text of the Qur’an)

The wisdom here is not at all hard to understand: Although all Divine faiths share the same monotheistic belief and are built on the same foundations, they have their own ways of worshiping and have their own commandments. Therefore, there is a very high probability that a Muslim under the administration of a Jew or a Christian will experience difficulties in terms of worship and practices. That is the reason for the commandment in this verse.

However, another important point needs to be clarified: This verse applies to places where Muslims are the majority. People from all sorts of beliefs take part and should take part in the administrations of Muslim countries. For instance, in the Ottoman Empire, many Christians and Jews served as the grand vizier (akin to today’s Prime Minister), while the Ottoman army was placed under the command of Armenian pashas many times. However, the verse explains that in a Muslim-majority society, legislation and law enforcement should not be given solely to a person with a different faith and the entirety of the Muslim population should not be entrusted to that one single person. This is in fact a peaceful and necessary measure to maintain the society's faith and orderliness. Nevertheless, if a Muslim is living in a society made up mostly of Christians, Jews or people of other beliefs, they should certainly respect the administration and laws of that country, be loyal to the state of the land he lives in and pay its citizenship duties just like everyone else.

Misunderstandings About War and the Jizya

Fight those of the people who were given the Book who do not believe in God and the Last Day and who do not make forbidden what God and His Messenger have made forbidden and do not take as their religion the religion of Truth, until they pay the jizya with their own hands in a state of complete abasement. (Qur’an, 9:29)


People who are misinformed about the true Islam generally maintain that only the People of the Book are obliged to pay the jizya (a kind of tax) referred to in the verse above and that this is an injustice against non-Muslims. They interpret the words “fight [them] … until they pay the jizya with their own hands” to mean that Muslims must fight the People of the Book unless they convert to Islam and pay the jizya. They are therefore suspicious of the Qur’an and Islam (surely the Qur’an and Islam are beyond this).

However, there is a serious misunderstanding here.

First of all, it needs to be made clear that the jizya is a kind of tax. Everyone living in a country has an obligation to pay taxes. In other words, if someone is living in a Muslim country, he has to pay taxes, whether or not he is a Muslim, and irrespective of his religion. There is no discrimination regarding Muslims in a Muslim country not having to pay taxes, but the People of the Book having to pay them. All citizens have a responsibility to pay their taxes.

What matters for us on the subject of the jizya is not how it was applied by Muslim states in the past, but how it appears in the Qur’an. When we examine the commandment in verse 29 of Surat at-Tawba, what we see is this:

The people referred to in the verse are "... those of the people who were given the Book who do not believe in God and the Last Day and who do not make forbidden what God and His Messenger have made forbidden and do not take as their religion the religion of Truth," in other words, those people who have emerged from among the Christian and Jewish communities and do not believe in God and the Last Day and do not recognize the faith and the prophets. In other words, they are unbelievers. As we have reiterated many times before, everyone is free to believe or not. The Qur'an forbids any compulsion where the religion is concerned. A Muslim has an obligation to respect unbelievers the same as everyone else, and is charged with protecting them in verse 6 of Surat at-Tawba. According to the Qur'an, an unbeliever's guilt lies in his being aggressive, his striving against believers and in spreading strife. It is this feature of the community of unbelievers in question that is referred to in verse 29 of Surat at-Tawba we are looking at in this section. According to the verse, these people "... do not make forbidden what God and His Messenger have made forbidden." They therefore heed no prohibitions, spread corruption and behave aggressively.

Let us now think: Muslims and non-Muslims – and even idolatrous pagans – all live together in peace in a state under Muslim rule (this is what happened in all city states under our Prophet's (pbuh) administration; all agreements made by our Prophet (pbuh), including the Charter of Medina, are impeccably democratic, bringing equality to all members of the state and protecting all their rights). However, among the citizens of that state, there are also people who, in addition to being unbelievers, constantly flout the laws, do not regard what is forbidden as forbidden and therefore encourage communities toward degeneracy, are aggressive toward devout communities, give rise to disturbance in the society and who rebel against the state's own laws despite benefitting from all the benefits and opportunities it provides. They are quite comfortable under Muslim rule; they are well looked after and protected. Yet they still commit a grave offense by spreading corruption. Not only are they of no use to the state, they also do not pay taxes, which is in fact a liability of theirs. They give rise to anarchy in the community, engage in terrorist acts, and make attempts on the lives of other people, devout people in particular, in the same community. When such conditions arise, war with such a community is inevitable if they refuse to repent of their actions and submit to the state.

Verse 29 of Surat at-Tawba is referring to such spreaders of corruption and anarchy within society. These people are a threat, not only to Muslims under Muslim rule, but also to Christians and Jews in that society (and indeed, everyone else). Therefore, using force against them and putting an end to their corruption is also essential to make life more comfortable for the Jews and Christians living in that society. It is irrelevant whether these communities of unbelievers and spreaders of corruption emerge from among Christians, Jews or Muslims. An unbeliever is someone who has already abandoned religion, and he cannot therefore be regarded as comparable to Muslims or to the People of the Book. There is this commandment to fight the spreaders of corruption "... until they pay the jizya" because paying the jizya is a sign that they have accepted the rule of the state. After that, they will clearly not violate the laws of the state or spread corruption again.

What Does the Expression "The Religion with God Is Islam" Mean?

The religion with God is Islam. Those given the Book only differed after knowledge had come to them, envying one another. As for those who reject God’s signs, God is swift at reckoning. (Qur'an, 3:19)

Those who do not know about the nature and the meaning of the religion of Islam usually interpret this verse as the rejection of Christianity and Judaism, and thus make a big mistake. Islam, as a word, means ‘submission’. Islam is not a religion that started with the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); all the prophets since the Prophet Adam (pbuh) communicated the religion of Islam. In other words, Islam started with the Prophet Adam (pbuh). As explained in the verse, the Prophet Abraham (pbuh), too, was a Muslim:

Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but a man of pure natural belief – a Muslim. He was not one of the idolaters. (Qur'an, 3:67)

All Divine religions are Abrahamic religions. These religions since the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) are named as Islam. In other words, the religion lived at the time of the Prophet Moses (pbuh) and the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was the religion of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh).

The tenets of Divine religions have always remained the same. This is because it has always been the one and the same religion, although different sharia and practices were sent through different prophets in time. God states in a verse how He sent different sharia to societies:

... We have appointed a law and a practice for every one of you. Had God willed, He would have made you a single community, but He wanted to test you regarding what has come to you. (Qur'an, 5:48)

Even if the sharias change, the true religion of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) is always based on the same tenets. These tenets have never changed since the Prophet Adam (pbuh), and they are the same in the Qur'an, and in the original versions of the Gospel and the Torah.


Another Misunderstood Concept: Taqiyya (Dissimulation)

Taqiyya means “concealing, precaution, guarding.” The concept appears as follows in the Qur’an:

Those who reject God after having had faith – except for someone forced to do it whose heart remains at rest in its faith – but as for those whose breasts become dilated with disbelief, anger from God will come down on them...(Qur'an, 16:106)


This verse is describing a very special state of affairs; it is permissible for someone to say that he denies God or conceal his faith on a temporary basis even though he actually believes in order to escape oppression. Dissimulation has no other meaning in the Qur’an.

Yet some people with a badly distorted understanding of Islam apply dissimulation in a very different way, and it is also understood very differently by some opponents of Islam. Some people with a superstitious understanding of Islam seek to use dissimulation as a tactic meant to govern their entire lives, and are easily able to resort to non-Islamic practices even when their lives are not in danger and pretend, thanks to the relevant false hadiths involved, to treat people they actually regard as enemies as friends instead.

Some opponents of Islam or people who are suspicious of Islam because of radicalism generally stress this and claim that one should never believe what a Muslim says about peace and love and that Muslims are in fact preparing for a major conflict. They maintain that the Muslims in question apply the dissimulation described in the Qur’an in that way, and that Muslims who are really impatiently preparing for war merely pretend to be envoys of peace and love. Therefore, in these people’s eyes, every Muslim who speaks of peace and love is lying.

The main problem with the view of both parties is that they are in fact ignorant of the Qur'an.

There is one very important condition attached to the dissimulation that appears in the Qur’an: “...except for someone forced to do it whose heart remains at rest in its faith”... The condition attached to dissimulation in the verse concerns a person being in danger, under difficult circumstances, and concealing his faith to escape persecution; not to conceal rancor and enmity. Almighty God reveals in the Qur’an how there was a member of Pharaoh’s family who had faith, but who concealed it:

A man among Pharaoh's people who had faith, but kept his faith concealed, said, "Are you going to kill a man for saying 'My Lord is God...' " (Qur'an, 40:28)

This person who concealed his faith was in clear and present danger. He lived alongside Pharaoh, the cruelest despot of his time, and concealed his faith, or dissimulated, because he was under the threat of death. This is compatible with the condition attached to dissimulation in the Qur'an. That person concealed his faith, even though he was a believer, because he was under severe threat. That is the only way, in the view of the Qur'an, in which dissimulation is acceptable.

Practices under the name of dissimulation on the part of some peddlers of nonsense, and some opponents of Islam who imagine that these practices are compatible with Islam, attempt to block the way to peace and love because they are far removed from the Qur'an. Dissimulation being perceived and applied differently from its true definition made in the Qur'an supports the current climate of war and conflicts that brings violence to the world. By doing this, the impression is given that peace will never come, and that mass slaughter and savagery will continue.

This way of thinking is as much a violation of logic as of the Qur'an. Imagine a Muslim who dedicates his whole life to peace and brotherhood and making friends with people, for God's sake, who is threatened because of that by the advocates of war and the radicals, who endangers his life, convinces Jews and Christians to be his friends despite the damaging effects of Islamophobia, and gives up his money, means and youth for the sake of that friendship. And then imagine he suddenly decides to slaughter the people he brought together in the face of so many difficulties and with whom he established bonds of love! That is a totally perverse perspective. If someone has such devilish ideas and is intent on slaughtering people, then he could easily find an easier opportunity to do it. He can act on that devilish idea anywhere and anytime. If he intends to do that in the name of religion, then there are already that kind of people who misuse religion to murder others.

A Muslim cannot live his life with a lie. That is unlawful according to Islam. A true Muslim always lives in accordance with the Qur'an. In the light of the verses of the Qur'an, Muslims have a duty to bring love to the world (Qur'an, 19:96), to establish peace in the world (Qur'an, 2:208), and to bring about unity and union (Qur'an, 8:73). They are commanded to protect even the unbelievers, if necessary at the cost of their own lives (Qur'an, 9:6). They have a responsibility to be friends and brothers of the People of the Book, who occupy a special place in the Qur'an. They have a responsibility to embrace them, because they love them and because that is what God commands and because they say, "God is One." They are not commanded to slaughter them and force them to convert to their own faith. Those who falsely misuse the concept of dissimulation to portray Islam as a religion of war will fail in their insidious plan, because evil plots are created as doomed to fail. Despite all the scenarios of war, representatives of the three faiths will bring peace on the world. God always bestows victory on the truth, and desires peace and love. He has created mankind and the whole universe on the basis of love.

We have seen the true meaning of the verses that the fanatics and opponents of Islam seek to use as evidence for enmity toward Jews. Now let us look at the fabricated hadiths used to impose antipathy toward Jews, hadiths which they believe in unconditionally:


Fabricated Hadiths about Christians and Jews and Clarifications Based on the Qur’an

The Idea of Killing Jews Who Enter Adolescence

Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi: I was among the captives of Banu Qurayzah. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 38, Hadith 4390)

With this fabricated hadith, all Jews who have reached puberty are commanded to be killed. Islam is a religion that regards unjust killing as the greatest crime, that promises sincere Jews a great reward and that advises love and affection. Killing a person "who has committed no crimes whatsoever" when he has reached adolescence, only because he is Jewish, can by no means be a provision of Islam, let alone the fact that this religion of peace commands forgiving even when crimes have been committed. Of course there is no such commandment in the Qur'an; such an idea is a calumny against the Qur'an and the fine faith of our Lord. That would be murder in the view of the Qur'an. As long as he does not sincerely believe it out of ignorance, a person who considers such a false hadith as a provision and applies it is not a Muslim, but a murderer. The fact that the fanatics believe in this command regarding the unconditional killing of Jews, when God praises sincere Jews, shows the scale of their ignorance.

musevi çocuklar

While God praises sincere Jews in the Qur'an, the fanatics believe in a so-called commandment that states they should be killed without question.

The Idea of Making Jews Responsible for the Sins of Muslims

“On the Day of Resurrection, my Ummah (nation) will be gathered into three groups. … One sort will come bearing on their backs heaps of sins like great mountains. ... God will say: ‘Unload the sins from them and put the same over the Jews and Christians…’” (110 Hadith Qudsi Chapter 1, Hadith 8; mentioned in Mustadrak of Hakim)

Let us respond to this false hadith with the Qur’an: All Muslims who arrive with mountains of sins will be judged for their own sins, and the Jews will be judged with their sins. Nobody will be able to load his sins onto someone else. He will be questioned only about his own sins. This is revealed explicitly in the Qur’an:

Whoever is guided is only guided to his own good. Whoever is misguided is only misguided to his detriment. No burden-bearer can bear another’s burden. … (Qur'an, 17:15)

In another verse of the Qur’an, God issues an explicit pronouncement regarding anyone who tries to load his own sins onto another:

Anyone who commits an error or an evil action, and then ascribes it to someone innocent, bears the weight of slander and clear wrongdoing. (Qur'an, 4:112)

Everyone will be responsible for his own actions in the hereafter. As God reveals, “Have fear of a Day when you will be returned to God. Then every self will be paid in full for what it earned.” (Qur'an, 2:281) no injustice will be inflicted on anyone in the hereafter. Nobody will be able to say, in the Presence of our Lord, “my sins have been transferred to him, so I am without sin.” He will be unable to repeat this shameless perspective there because his conscience will know that this idea is in fact a fraudulent one.

 aglama Duvari onunde Yahudi

The Idea that Food Is Spoiled because of Jews

Had it not been for the Children of Israel, food would not have become stale, and meat would not have gone bad.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 8, Hadith 3472)

This false hadith is a very significant piece of evidence for understanding the mindset that fabricates such hadiths and for showing how fraudulent they are. The fabricated hadiths we have been discussing throughout this book are the product of that mindset. It is of course not surprising that a mentality that alleges that food would not spoil and meat would not go off were there no Jews in the world also has terrifying ways of looking at women, animals, art and all social life. The false hadith in question is also evidence of how hadiths that are contemptuous of and hostile toward Jews are fabrications. A belief system that maintains that a community that is mentioned and is praised in the Qur'an, and that is descended from the Prophet Moses (pbuh), can cause food to spoil and meat to go off, can most definitely not belong to a true faith. We also need to remember that our Lord makes it lawful to eat food prepared by Jews and Christians in verse 5 of Surat al-Ma'ida. The perspective that we are looking at, that differs from that in the Qur'an, is very definitely a fanatical one. The profound collapse of logic here is enough to illustrate the fanatics' distorted logic in general.


A belief system that maintains that the presence of a community mentioned and praised in the Qur'an and descended from the Prophet Moses (pbuh) causes food to spoil and meat to go bad can never be part of a Divine faith.

The Idea that Two Faiths Should Not Co-exist in Arab Lands

The last statement that the Prophet (pbuh) made was: "O Lord, perish the Jews and Christians. ... There shall be no two faiths in Arabia." (Malik 511:1588)

This false hadith is again a terrible defamation of our Prophet (pbuh). Almighty God speaks of the existence of Christianity and Judaism in the Qur’an and reveals that the Qur’an was sent down in order to confirm these two true faiths. The Qur’an does not invalidate the tenets of these two faiths, but confirms them. This important information is given in several verses. One reads:

He has sent down the Book to you with truth, confirming what was there before it. And He sent down the Torah and the Gospel. (Qur’an, 3:3)

 aglama Duvari onunde Yahudi

The Qur’an tells us that there will be Jews and Christians in this world and as set out in the lines above, some of these will be a sincere and select community made so by God. God makes it lawful in the Qur’an for Muslims to marry Christian and Jewish women and to eat at table with them (this will be set out in detail shortly). In addition, our Almighty Lord states that the closest people to Muslims in terms of love are “Christians.” Those people who spread the idea “May God perish the Jews and Christians,” as if these were the words of our Prophet (pbuh), when God actually praises and speaks of rewarding and the existence of these communities, are assuming responsibility for a terrible slander. The false hadith in question is totally refuted by the words of praise for the People of the Book in the Qur’an and by our Prophet’s (pbuh) behavior toward the People of the Book. We shall shortly be looking at verses of the Qur’an and the behavior of our Prophet (pbuh) on that very subject.

iki din yoktur

Arab lands are holy places where the three faiths co-existed and were protected by our Prophet (pbuh). It is obvious that our Prophet (pbuh) would never say that Jews and Christians, of whose existence God speaks and whom He praises, should be destroyed. Those fabricated hadiths are all slanders against our Prophet (pbuh).

The Idea that Calling Someone a Jew Is an Insult and that Cursing Jews Is a Source of Reward

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: The Prophet (pbuh) said, "When a man calls another a Jew give him twenty lashes. (At-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1024)

Let he who does not have money to give to the poor curse a Jew instead, the reward he earns will be the same.  (Ad-Daylami, Ibn ‘Adiyy)

The intention in these fabricated hadiths is to portray the term “Jew” as an insult. Cursing a Jew is depicted as a source of reward, the idea being to spread hatred of Jews in this way. It is clear why the fanatics live by such a different faith; the Qur’an, which says that sincere Jews will be rewarded in the hereafter and that praises their sincerity, is far removed from these people’s world.

The source of the hatred for Jews and Christians is the intellectual bankruptcy spread by this superstition. This is the most important matter that those who seek to spread complaints about fanaticism in the form of opposition to Islam need to concentrate on. By lining themselves up against true Islam and sincere Muslims, they are trying to eliminate the one great weapon that could obliterate the mindset of the fanatics, and therefore preparing a disaster that will bounce back to strike them.

The Idea of Forcing Them onto the Narrow Part of the Road

Abu Huraira reported God's Messenger (pbuh) as saying: “Do not greet the Jews and the Christians before they greet you and when you meet any one of them on the roads force him to go to the narrowest part of it.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 26, Hadith 5389)

This hadith, fabricated against the commandments of a true faith that commands love, kindness and, most especially, protection toward the People of the Book, represents severe violence and is also a defamation of our Prophet (pbuh). A way of thinking that totally conflicts with the actions of our Prophet (pbuh), who treated Jews and Christians with enormous love and affection, is described in this fabricated hadith as if it came from his own mouth.

The Gharqad, the Tree of the Jews

yahudi ağacı, gargat ağacı

If someone who regards himself as a Muslim shoots a Jew behind a tree on the grounds that “the tree told me to do it,” on the basis of what the false hadiths say, the Jew who is killed may go to paradise, but unless that Muslim repents, he will be punished in the hereafter for having committed murder.

Abu Huraira reported God's Messenger (pbuh) as saying: “... the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: ‘Muslim, or the servant of God, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him;’ but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Hadith 6985)

Perhaps the most frequently employed hadith in the context of enmity toward the Jews is this false hadith about the Gharqad tree. According to this hadith, a Jew must be killed when he hides behind a rock or tree. It makes no difference in this logically impoverished way of thinking if the Jew in question is innocent and free of any sin. The Jew may be a child, devout or someone full of love. Again according to this false hadith, when a Jew hides behind a tree, no matter what his personal qualities, the rocks and trees will tell a Muslim of this, and that Jew must be killed, without exception, even if he is a little child.

However, this is murder in the view of the Qur’an. If someone who regards himself as a Muslim believes these fabricated hadiths and kills a Jew hiding behind a tree on the grounds that “the tree told me to do it,” the Jew may go to paradise, but the Muslim will be punished for the sin of murder in the hereafter unless he repents of his action. This is also such a dreadful system that those who believe in it could easily make false statements that “the tree told me” or “the rock told me,” and commit murder on that basis. When asked why, they may cite the command issuing from the rock and there will not be anyone who holds them to account under such a system. They in any case do not operate their system on the basis of the Qur’an. Theirs is a system that regards killing, humiliation and forcing people onto the narrow part of the road as legitimate. Yet the Qur’an despises these false systems:

musevi çocuk

What is the matter with you? How do you reach your judgment?

Will you not pay heed?

Or do you have some clear authority?

Bring your Book, then, if you are telling the truth!(Qur'an, 37:154-157)

Let us now see how these fabricated hadiths concerning Jews and Christians are refuted by the Qur’an and the practices of our Prophet (pbuh):

Muslim Men Can Marry Women of the Book; Muslims Can Eat the Food of the People of the Book and They Can Eat the Food of Muslims

Kuran'da kitap ehli

Muslim men can marry members of the People of the Book. Food prepared by them is lawful for Muslims, and food prepared by Muslims is lawful for them.

Muslims can marry members of the People of the Book, and they and Muslims can eat food prepared by the others:

Today all good things have been made halal [lawful] for you. And the food of those given the Book [Jews and Christians] is also halal for you and your food is halal for them. So are chaste women from among the believers and chaste women of those given the Book before you [Jews and Christians], once you have given them their dowries in marriage, not in fornication or taking them as lovers. But as for anyone who rejects faith, his actions will come to nothing and in the hereafter he will be among the losers. . (Qur'an, 5:5)

This verse describes the value that Muslims place on the People of the Book with various pieces of important detail. According to this verse, a Muslim man is allowed to marry a woman of the People of the Book. This is a significant permission, because as commanded in the verse, “Corrupt women are for corrupt men and corrupt men are for corrupt women, good women are for good men and good men are for good women…” (Qur’an, 24:26), , Muslims have a responsibility to marry good, clean people. This indicates that Jews and Christians are also good, clean people.

In addition, there is a very important criterion in this verse. A Muslim will intend to take a Jewish or Christian woman as his wife, to call her “darling, beloved,” to start a family with her, to spend his life with her and even to spend the eternal life with her. This is the sole person throughout his life with whom he will share all his troubles and all his happiness. These two look after one another when they are ill, and trust one another.

According to the fanatics’ way of thinking, a person should suddenly feel enmity toward the woman he calls “beloved,” with whom he spends his life and entrusts his own life to, the mother of his children, and suddenly declare her to be cursed only because she is a Christian or a Jew. How can he decide, after spending his whole life with her, to say, “This tree has told me that my wife is a Jew and that she is hiding behind it,” and then to kill her? One would have to be profoundly psychologically disturbed to do that. This verse describes the love to be shown to a Jew or Christian by a rational Muslim who heeds the Qur’an.

The verse also bestows a special authorization on Muslims: the authority to eat food prepared by the People of the Book. This is very important. As we know, Muslims have to pay great attention to certain prohibitions when preparing food; pork, and meat from an animal that has not been slaughtered in the name of God, is prohibited in Islam. The fact that food prepared by Jews and Christians is made lawful shows that these people are to be trusted. The same thing also applies to Christians and Jews, and the verse makes food prepared by Muslims lawful for them.

It will also be useful to refer to another expression of friendship here. The People of the Book and Muslims can eat together under the same roof, be one another’s guests, sit down at the same table and play host to one another. This is a description of friendship. What is being described is not an environment based on hatred and killing, but one of love, friendship and brotherhood.

The references in this verse are ones that no fanatic would ever sign up to. This permission granted through the Qur’an is both unlawful in their world, and also a terrifying scenario. Ask the fanatic whether one can marry someone from the People of the Book, or sit down and eat with them as their guest, and he will furiously reject it. Fanatics do not act in compliance with the provisions of the Qur'an, for they deny that it is the Qur'an that imposes commandments.

ehli kitabın yemeği

The fact that food prepared by Jews and Christians is lawful for Muslims is a guarantee that these people can be trusted. That same criterion also applies for Jews and Christians, and according to what the verse says, food prepared by Muslims is also lawful for them.

This is not the only verse to set out the position of the People of the Book. God praises the People of the Book in many of the Qur’an's verses. The related verses include:

Among the people of Moses there is a group who guide by the truth and act justly in accordance with it(Qur'an, 7:159)

They are not all the same. There is a community among the People of the Book who are upright. They recite God’s signs throughout the night, and they prostrate. They have faith in God and the Last Day, and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and compete in doing good. They are among the righteous ones. They will not be denied the reward for any good thing they do. God knows those who have fear of God. (Qur'an, 3:113-115)

Among the people of the Book there are some who have faith in God and in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down to them, and who are humble before God. They do not sell God’s signs for a paltry price. Such people will have their reward with their Lord. And God is swift at reckoning. (Qur'an, 3:199)

Those We gave the Book before this have faith in it.

When it is recited to them they say, “We have faith in it; it is the truth from our Lord. We were already Muslims before it came.” (Qur'an, 28:52- 53)

But those of them [the Jews] who are firmly rooted in knowledge, and the believers, have faith in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down before you: those who perform their prayers and pay alms, and have faith in God and the Last Day – We will pay such people an immense wage(Qur'an, 4:162)

Those with faith, those who are Jews, and the Christians and Sabaeans, all who have faith in God and the Last Day and act rightly, will have their reward with their LordThey will feel no fear and will know no sorrow(Qur'an, 2:62)

Those who have faith and those who are Jews and the Sabaeans and the Christians, all who have faith in God and the Last Day and act rightly will feel no fear and will know no sorrow(Qur'an, 5:69)

... You will find the people most affectionate to those who have faith are those who say, “We are Christians.” That is because some of them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant. When they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of what they recognize of the truth. They say, “Our Lord, we have faith! So write us down among the witnesses. How could we not have faith in God, and the truth that has come to us, when we long for our Lord to include us among the righteous?” God will reward them for what they say with Gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, for ever. That is the recompense of the good-doers. (Qur'an, 5:82-85)

God made a covenant with the tribe of Israel and We raised up twelve leaders from among them. God said, “I am with you. If you perform your prayers and pay alms, and have faith in My messengers and respect and support them, and make a generous loan to God, I will erase your wrong actions from you and admit you into Gardens with rivers flowing under them. Any of you who are irreligious after that have gone astray from the right way.” (Qur'an, 5:12)

As these verses clearly show, pure and sincere Jews and Christians are praised with fine words in the Qur’an and are promised a fine reward by God; God says that He will take these people into paradise. This is an expression of His love for them. How can a Muslim be the enemy of someone whom God loves, is pleased with and welcomes into paradise? That is impossible according to the Qur’an. Such enmity is a crime according to the Qur’an. Therefore, the fanatics who adopt false hadiths as their guide – despite the verses of the Qur’an clearly demonstrating the contrary – are committing an offense in the view of Islam by spreading hostility toward the People of the Book.

kitap ehli

Muslims' Invitation to the People of the Book

Only argue with the People of the Book in the kindest way – except in the case of those of them who do wrong – saying, “We have faith in what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to you. Our God and your God are One and we submit to Him.”(Qur'an, 29:46)

Say, “People of the Book! Come to a proposition which is the same for us and you – that we should worship none but God and not associate any partners with Him and not take one another as lords besides God.” If they turn away, say, “Bear witness that we are Muslims.” (Qur'an, 3:64)

These verses show that the duty of Muslims is not to disparage the People of the Book, force them into a corner, feel hatred for or even kill them. It is simply to summon them to the oneness of God in the most pleasant manner. Monotheism is the fundamental doctrine in all three faiths. Muslims can meet with and speak to the People of the Book, preach to them and call on them to believe in the oneness of God and all the sacred scriptures that have been sent down. Communication, preaching and friendship exist among them. According to the Qur’an, a Muslim has a responsibility to speak kindly to a Jew or a Christian when he sees one and to invite him to believe in the oneness of God using very kind words, rather than jostling him into a corner.

The Just Behavior of Muslims toward the People of the Book

God does not forbid you from being good to those who have not fought you in the religion or driven you from your homes, or from being just towards them. God loves those who are just. (Qur'an, 60:8)

As we have just seen, people who strive against believers, make difficulties for them and try to kill them or exile them from their lands, no matter which community they may emanate from, Jewish, Christian or Muslim, are despised in the Qur’an. Muslims have a responsibility to treat everyone else, those who are not wicked in other words, justly. Justice may sometimes require a person to act against his own interests but maintaining justice, even if it works against one, is nonetheless a great virtue. Muslims cling to that virtue as a commandment from God. This responsibility is set out as follows in another verse:

You who have faith! Be upholders of justice, bearing witness for God alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives... (Qur'an, 4:135)

This requirement means that Muslims have a responsibility to sometimes set aside their own rights and defend those of Jews and Christians, and even of unbelievers. The system of justice in the Qur’an is therefore diametrically opposed to the perverse fanatical idea that claims that “anyone who curses a Jew will be rewarded.”

The status of the People of the Book in the Qur’an is clear. The supposed hadiths cited in this section are in direct conflict with the Qur’an. We can clearly see this in the actions of our Prophet (pbuh) and of all those Muslims who adopt his actions as their role models:

Muslims Are Obliged To Protect Churches and Synagogues; It Is a Sin To Attack Places of Worship

Churches, synagogues and mosques are places where people worship God. It is a terrible crime in the Sight of God to murder innocent people in churches, synagogues or mosques as they worship God. The people who go to these places are pious people who pray to God, and all the houses where God is praised are sacred to the religion of Islam. The visitors of these houses may be Jews, Christians or Muslims. The important thing is that they all believe in God and they are all pious. Muslims should respect the sacred places of the People of the Book where they worship God and must protect these temples. It doesn't matter if those places belong to Christians or Jews. These places are precious and sacred for Muslims too, because God is praised in them, and for this reason these places must be protected by all believers. Muslims should never allow anyone to harm churches or synagogues or for them to be converted to other venues and must, before anyone else, work to ensure that these places of worship continue to exist. In the Qur'an, God explains the importance of places of worship:

Those who were expelled from their homes without any right, merely for saying, "Our Lord is God." If God had not driven some people back by means of others, monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, where God’s name is mentioned much, would have been pulled down and destroyed. God will certainly help those who help Him – God is All-Strong, Almighty. (Qur'an, 22:40)

Consequently, attacking places of worship, as we sadly see in various places in the Islamic lands, is a terrible crime according to the Qur'an, and is something that no Muslim can approve. As you will see in the following pages, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) instructed churches and synagogues to be protected even in wartime and thus protected the sacred spaces of the People of the Book. The treaties he made are preserved today in some historical churches. Places of worship of the People of the Book were protected also during the time of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and Muslims played a role even in the construction and restoration of these places.


Our Prophet’s (pbuh) Relations with the People of the Book

◉ There are accounts of our Prophet (pbuh) attending wedding feasts of the People of the Book, visiting them when they were sick and giving them presents.

◉ When the Christians of Najran visited him, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) spread out his robe on the ground for them to sit on and welcomed them in that fashion.

◉ One of the wives of our Prophet (pbuh) was Marya bint Sham'ûn (also known as Maryam al-Qubtiyyah), a Coptic Christian from Egypt.

◉ Our mother Safiyya bint Huyayy, one of the wives of the Prophet (pbuh), was the daughter of the chief of the Jewish tribe Banu Nadir of Medina, Huyayy ibn Akhtab.

◉ The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) allowed the Jews to become a party to the Constitution of Medina signed with the clans of the Aws and Khazraj, thus ensuring the survival of the Jews as a separate religious group among the Muslims.

◉ Under the article, "The Jews of Banu Awf are a community along with the believers. To the Jews their religion, and to the Muslim their religion,” of the Constitution of Medina, the foundation of the respect that Muslims have for the Jews’ traditions and beliefs was laid in the time of our Prophet (pbuh). Articles 26-33 of the same constitution state that members of the People of the Book enjoy the same rights as Muslims, while article 16 states that no injustice is to be inflicted on them.

◉ In the year 630 A.D., our Prophet (pbuh) issued the following command to envoys of the King of Himyar who came to Medina to announce that they had become Muslims: “If a Jew or Christian becomes a Muslim, he becomes equal to believers [enjoys the same legal rights with Muslims]. Whoever wants to remain as a Jew or Christian, he is not interfered.” (Ibn Hisham, as-Seera, II, 586)

◉ The Christians of Najran sent a delegation of 60 members to Medina. When the delegation arrived at Medina they entered the presence of our Prophet (pbuh), and when the time for prayer came they desired to visit the mosque. The people objected to this, but the Prophet (pbuh) made the mosque available for them. They turned to the East and prayed. (Ibn Hisham, as-Seera, Beirut, I, 573-574; Hamidullah, The Prophet of Islam, I, 619-620.)

◉ The rights of the People of the Book were placed under protection in the time of the Prophet (pbuh) under treaties made with Jews and Christians. Whenever a disagreement arose in later times, the People of the Book would point to these treaties. For example, when the Christians of Damishq had a problem, they showed their treaty to Hazrat Umar, the caliph of the time, and requested a solution. This is a known fact appearing in history books.

◉ The text of a covenant of our Prophet (pbuh) with the Christian Ibn Harith ibn Ka‘b and his people contains the passages; “To Sayyid Ibn Harith ibn Ka‘b, his co-religionists, and all those who profess the Christian religion, be they in East or West, in close regions or faraway regions, be they Arabs or foreigners, known or unknown. … I commit myself to support them, to place their persons under my protection, as well as their churches, chapels, oratories, the monasteries of their monks, the residences of their anchorites, wherever they are found, be they in the mountains or the valleys, caves or inhabited regions, in the plains or in the desert. I will protect their religion and their Church wherever they are found, be it on earth or at sea, in the West or in the East, with utmost vigilance on my part, the People of my House, and the Muslims as a whole. … No Christian will be made Muslim by force: And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (29:46). They must be covered by the wing of mercy. Repel every harm that could reach them wherever they may find themselves and in any country in which they are.”

◉ The charters given by our Prophet (pbuh) to the People of the Book from Adruh, Makna, Khaybar, Najran and Aqaba’ also show that the lives and property of the People of the Book were under the protection of Muslims and recognized their freedom of belief and worship.

◉ When our Prophet (pbuh) first started preaching he first encountered a number of Christians in Mecca. Indeed, one of the first people to speak to our Prophet (pbuh) and Hazrat Khadija in the first days of the revelation was Waraqa bin Naufal, a Christian with handwritten copies of the Gospel. (Sahih Bukhari)

◉ Churches that were destroyed in the time of the caliphs were restored by Muslims, and permission was given for new synagogues and churches to be built. For example, the Monastery of St. Sergios that had been burned by Patriarch Mar Amme was rebuilt in the time of Hazrat Uthman.

◉ Muslims used to perform the Friday prayer in the Church of St. John in Damascus after the conquest of Syria. Christians performed their own religious observances there on Sundays. Members of both faiths used the same place of worship in peace.

◉ When the Companions were traveling they would stay in monasteries on their routes, and there are articles on the subject in treaties with the People of the Book.

The Gospel and the Torah in the Qur'an

tevrat okumak

A Muslim must believe in all the prophets and all the Divine books. Muslims are commanded in the Qur'an not to discriminate between one prophet and another, and anyone who disobeys that instruction is regarded as not abiding that verse and having abjured the faith. Therefore, in the same way that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is our prophet as Muslims, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and the Prophet Moses (pbuh) are also our prophets. In the same way that we are all followers of Muhammad, so we are also followers of Jesus and Moses. This is one of the main and most important preconditions for being a Muslim.

In the same way that the Qur’an speaks of Jews and Christians, so it also speaks of the Torah and the Gospel. God praises these Divine scriptures in the Qur’an. As we have already seen, the Qur’an was sent down, not in order to do away with these sacred texts, but as a “confirmation” of them. Although these books contain sections that have been misinterpreted over the passage of time, those parts that are compatible with the Qur’an are again confirmed by it. This is explicitly set out in many verses of the Qur’an: “He has sent down the Book to you with truth, confirming what was there before it. And He sent down the Torah and the Gospel.” .” (Qur'an, 3:3)

Therefore, we Muslims have a responsibility to be guided by the Qur’an and believe that these books come from the Presence of God. Every commandment, practice or word confirmed by the Qur’an is a guide for Muslims.

Regarding the true books praised by the Qur’an as invalid on the basis of the false hadiths produced by the fanatics is unacceptable in Islam. The guide of true Muslims is the Qur’an, and the Qur’an pronounces as follows on the Torah and the Gospel:

Say, “We have faith in God and what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Tribes, and what Moses and Jesus were given, and what all the prophets were given by their Lord. We do not differentiate between any of them. We are Muslims submitted to Him.” (Qur'an, 2:136)

We sent down the Torah containing guidance and light, and the prophets who had submitted themselves gave judgment by it for the Jews – as did their scholars and their rabbis – by what they had been allowed to preserve of God’s Book to which they were witnesses. Do not be afraid of people, be afraid of Me. And do not sell My signs for a paltry price. Those who do not judge by what God has sent down, such people are disbelievers. (Qur'an, 5:44)

And We sent Jesus son of Mary following in their footsteps, confirming the Torah that came before him. We gave him the Gospel containing guidance and light, confirming the Torah that came before it, and as guidance and admonition for those who have fear of God. Qur'an, 5:46)

papaz, rahip

Based on the Qur'an, Muslims believe that all the Divine Books have been revealed by God. For Muslims, every commandment, practice and word confirmed by the Qur'an is a means of guidance.

But before it there was the Book of Moses as a model and a mercy. And this is a corroborating Book in the Arabic tongue so that you may warn those who do wrong, and as good news for the good-doers. (Qur'an, 46:12)

He has sent down the Book to you with truth, confirming what was there before it. And He sent down the Torah and the Gospel, previously, as guidance for mankind, and He has sent down the Furqan [the One discriminating the truth from the wrong]. … (Qur'an, 3:3-4)

The people of the Gospel should judge by what God sent down in it. Those who do not judge by what God has sent down, such people are deviators. (Qur'an, 5:47)

This is a Book We have sent down and blessed, confirming what came before it, so that you can warn the Mother of Cities [Mecca] and the people around it. Those who have faith in the hereafter believe in it and safeguard their prayers. (Qur'an, 6:92)

They do not measure God with His true measure when they say, “God would not send down anything to a mere human being.” Say: “Who, then, sent down the Book which Moses brought as a light and guidance for the people?” You put it down on sheets of paper to display it while concealing much. You were taught things you did not know, neither you nor your forefathers. Say: “God!” Then leave them engrossed in playing their games. (Qur'an, 6:91)

And We have sent down the Book to you [O Muhammad] with truth, confirming and conserving the previous Books. So judge between them by what God has sent down and do not follow their whims and desires deviating from the Truth that has come to you. We have appointed a law and a practice for every one of you. Had God willed, He would have made you a single community, but He wanted to test you regarding what has come to you. So compete with each other in doing good. Every one of you will return to God and He will inform you regarding the things about which you differed.(Qur'an, 5:48)

If only they had implemented the Torah and the Gospel and what was sent down to them from their Lord, they would have been fed from above their heads and beneath their feet. Among them there is a moderate group but what most of them do is evil. (Qur'an, 5:66)

We gave Moses the Book after destroying the earlier nations, to awaken people’s hearts and as a guidance and a mercy so that hopefully they would pay heed. (Qur'an, 28:43)


They said, “Our people, we have heard a Book which was sent down after Moses, confirming what came before it, guiding to the truth and to a straight path.” (Qur'an, 46:30)

Among the People of the Book there are some who have faith in God and in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down to them, and who are humble before God. They do not sell God’s signs for a paltry price. Such people will have their reward with their Lord. And God is swift at reckoning. (Qur'an, 3:199)

“I come confirming the Torah I find already there, and to make lawful for you some of what was previously forbidden to you. I have brought you a sign from your Lord. So have fear of God and obey me.” (Qur'an, 3:50)

This [the Qur’an] is not a narration which has been invented but confirmation of all that came before, a clarification of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for people who have faith. (Qur'an, 12:111)

God describes the Torah as “awakening people’s hearts and guiding to mercy” and as a “light and guidance” in the Qur’an. He describes the Gospel as “containing guidance and light, confirming the Torah that came before it,” and as “guidance and admonition for those who have fear of God.” The true Torah and Gospel are praised as light and guidance; this is what the Qur’an pronounces and it does so explicitly. Those who say anything different and who claim that these books are invalid are, as we have seen, speaking falsehoods.

We can see this also from the practices of our Prophet (pbuh):


Our Prophet’s Practices Concerning the Torah and the Gospel

Narrated Abu Huraira: The people of the Book used to read the Torah in Hebrew and then explain it in Arabic to the Muslims(Sahih Bukhari, Book 92, Hadith 460)

Al-Hafiz al-Zahabi related that Abdullah ibn Salam, a convert to Islam from Judaism, came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said “I read the Qur’an and the Torah (last night).” He replied, “Read one in one night and the other on another night.” (al-Thalabi, Al-Iman al-Thalabi Tathkarar al-Huffadh, Vol. 1, p. 27)

Abdullah ibn Amr, one of the close companions of the Prophet (pbuh), would frequently read the Torah. One night he dreamed that he was holding oil in one hand and honey in the other, and that he sometimes ate from one hand and sometimes from the other. Abdullah ibn Amr described his dream to the Prophet (pbuh). The Prophet (pbuh) interpreted his dream as meaning the two books, and his reading sometimes from the one and sometimes from the other. (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 6, Hadith 987, p. 439)

From Abu Sa’id al-Khudri: We asked the Prophet (pbuh): “O the Messenger of God! May we relate accounts from the Children of Israel?” He said, “Yes, you may relate accounts from the Children of Israel. There is no problem. Know that if you relate accounts from them, there is more interesting information as well.” (Musnad of ibn Hanbal, 111/12, Hadith 11034)

Yolda Yuruyen Gencler

The Jews Enjoy the Right to Live in the Holy Land in the Qur’an

Since some Muslim communities are unaware of the verses of the Qur’an and are exceedingly ignorant on the subject of Islam, they strive to remove the Jews from the Holy Land or to wipe the state of Israel off the map. They are unaware that in doing this they are rebelling against the Qur’an.

According to the Qur’an, the Jews have the right to live in the Holy Land. Verses on the subject read:

Remember when Moses said to his people, “My people! Remember God’s blessing to you when He appointed prophets among you and appointed kings for you, and gave you what He had not given to anyone else in all the worlds! My people! Enter the Holy Land which God has ordained for you. Do not turn back in your tracks and so become transformed into losers.” (Qur'an, 5:20-21)

We said to the tribe of Israel after that, “Inhabit the land and, when the promise of the hereafter comes, We will produce you as a motley crowd.” (Qur'an, 17:104)

As clearly shown in the verses of the Qur’an, both the Torah and the Qur’an state that Jews must exist in the Holy Land. Indeed it is a good thing for there to be Jews in the Holy Land, and that is a source of joy for true Muslims. It is an exceedingly fine thing to see a promise made by God 3,000 years ago coming true and witnessing what was foretold by the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) and the Prophet Moses (pbuh). God revealed that, “The Jews will be in those lands” thousands of years ago, and we can see that miracle manifested now. This is a wonderful state of affairs to be observed with fervor and joy.

It is of great importance to state that God imposes one essential condition on sincere believers, both in the Qur’an and the Torah – “Peace.” There will be Jews in the Holy Land; there will also be Muslims and Christians there, and they will altogether ensure that love and peace prevail across the region. They will live in brotherhood. There is plenty of room for all. Nobody will be forced from his home or driven away. That will not happen. God always wants peace for all of us.

In order for there to be peace, hunger for land and enmities need to come to an end, and the fanatical mindset has to be eliminated. The true faiths, religious moral values, the believers and the Qur’an are all essential to that end. Conflicts based on a desire for land or ideology always grow and assume the most terrible dimensions. What can do away with all this is proper education in the true understanding of faith using the Qur’an as its point of reference. This education can eliminate all these errors and absorb all enmities. Once people’s mindset has changed, there will be no grounds for hostility or war and the only way to achieve that change in mindset is through education. 

kutsal topraklar, museviler, hristiyanlar, müslümanlar

Jews, as well as Christians and Muslims, will be present in the Holy Land, and together they will make peace and love reign in the region. That is what God wants from us and what we must strive for.


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