Was the Prophet Unjust to the Jews?- Part 1 | About Islam
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Was the Prophet Unjust to the Jews?- Part 1

Questioner

Mohsin

Reply Date

Nov 19, 2018

Question

Dear scholars, some critics of Islam claim that our Prophet (be peace on him) was not just to the Jews of Madinah because he asked one of the tribes to evacuate their motherland where they have been living for centuries. I would be glad if you could briefly explain how our beloved Prophet treated all the Jews of his time besides answering the above allegation. Thanks in advance.

Consultant

Answer


Jews

Short Answer: When the Prophet settled in Madinah, he wanted to create a cooperative community and establish an exemplary civil society at a time when Arabs couldn’t even imagine what a civil society looked like. He established the Charter of Madinah, or, what I like to call, the constitution of coexistence. In this constitution, all signing parties — including Muslims, Jews, and other (pagan) Arabs — agreed that they would live in Madinah together as a society, would defend it in case of an attack, would never help any outsider against any of the other signing parties, and would never betray the agreement.

………….

Asalamu Alaikum Mohsin,

Please find part one of the answer to your question below. Find the second and final part at the link here

Let me first thank you from the bottom of my heart for your question. It really shows your keenness to know more about Islam and defend its beloved Prophet.

Justice is the slogan of Islam which was, for the first time in history, realized and practiced in the most perfect form and at the loftiest level by our Prophet Muhammad.

Jews in the Arabian Peninsula

Let’s start a bit further back in history when the Jewish people did not live in the Arabian Peninsula. Like any other immigrants, the Jews came to the Arabian Peninsula from somewhere else, most probably the Levant area.

When they emigrated into the peninsula, some of them stopped at one point in Khaybar and Fadak and settled there. Others decided to continue journeying till they settled in the city of Yathrib. This city came to be known afterwards as Madinah.

Therefore, referring to Arabia and especially Madinah as their motherland is not entirely accurate.

From the very beginning, they had a tense relationship with their Arab neighbors. They knew the Arabic language, but they were still not considered Arabs. This, as they were neither Aws or Khazraj, the two main tribes that existed in Madinah at that time.

The three main concentrations of the Madinan Jews were known as three distinguished tribes: Banu An-Nadir, Banu Quraizhah, and Banu Qaynuqa`. These three tribes were unique in many ways, and avoiding inter-marrying with the Arabs.

The Long Awaited Prophet

In their dialogues with the Arabs, the Jews kept telling them that soon there would appear a prophet from among themselves and that he would lead them to humiliate the Arab idolaters. They kept on repeating this Jewish legend in front of their fellow residents until Prophet Muhammad appeared and came to Madinah.

Thereupon, everything changed because they started to deny their legend and claimed that he was not the long-awaited Prophet but just a pseudo-Prophet.

Yet, they knew in their hearts that he was a Prophet and not a liar, but they opted to be arrogant rather than surrender to the truth.

They wondered why the long-awaited prophet came from the Arabs. In the Jews’ opinion, they themselves were the most deserving of that honor, and as they saw the honor falling into someone else’s lap, they decided to destroy it.

Two of their rabbis were conversing when the Prophet (PBUH) reached Madinah, and one of them said to the other, “Is that him?” i.e., is he the Prophet? And the other answered, “Yes, it is him.”

The other continued, “Are you sure it is him?”

And the answer came, “By God, I know him as much as I know my own son.”

The other asked, “So what will you do with him?”

And the final answer came, “I will bear enmity to him till my death.” (Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakfuri, Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum, Dar As-Salam, 1998, p. 145)

The Charter of Madinah

When the Prophet settled in Madinah, he wanted to create a cooperative community and establish an exemplary civil society at a time when Arabs couldn’t even imagine what a civil society looked like.

So, he established the Charter of Madinah, or, what I like to call, the constitution of coexistence.

In this constitution, all signing parties — including Muslims, Jews, and other (pagan) Arabs — agreed that they would live in Madinah together as a society, would defend it in case of an attack, would never help any outsider against any of the other signing parties, and would never betray the agreement.

Banu Qaynuqa`

Yet, at the first juncture, the Jews started disrupting the society when one of them, knowing he was backed by others, attacked a Muslim woman who went to buy something from a Jewish shop in the Jewish district of Banu Qaynuqa`. (Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakfuri, Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum, Dar As-Salam, 1998. p. 191).

In order to stop the chaos and let society enjoy the peacefulness reached in the agreement, the Prophet gave them the option to leave Madinah or else people whose children were killed would start avenging them.

They decided to leave, and needed no arbitration because their offense was very clear.

Continue reading the answer to your question in part two here

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Is There Religious Tolerance in Islam

Prophetic Respect for Christians and Jews

Jews, Christians and Muslims: Cousins in Religion?




About Sheikh Ahmad Saad

Ahmed Saad is the founding director of Ihsan Institute of Arabic & Islamic Studies-UK. An international speaker and dynamic scholar. ()

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