What Distinguishes Judaism from Islam? Part 2

24 March, 2017
Q I come from a Jewish family. I am not convinced with Judaism and seriously, I am considering to convert to Islam. Muslims always say that what distinguishes Islam is the creed of tawheed or oneness. But, also Jews believe in one God. All my life, my parents worshiped one God. So, please tell me what distinguishes Islam here from Judaism. I was told that Islam owes more respect to God than Judaism does, how is that? Please explain.


Salam (Peace) Tina,

Thank you very much for your question.

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

It might surprise you to know that Islam also approves the idea of the chosen-ness of the Children of Israel.

But this is only in the era of the Jewish prophets and their historical moments and context – a privilege, which they lost when they changed their revealed Book and did not fulfill the role of a guiding nation.

Such a nation should have been a mercy to humanity. The Children of Israel suffered a lot under Pharaoh, but Allah delivered them from him and helped them to cross the Red Sea, by miraculously parting it.

This is all part of the special blessings the Holy Quran mentions. In addition, Allah sent a number of prophets to guide them to the true path, in spite of their ingratitude and iniquities, as humans often have.

But their transgressions continued and they were very ingenious to devise ways of circumventing God’s commands, often falling prey to blatant unbelief.

This was the reason why they had to suffer again and why they were dispersed throughout the earth.

Still, Allah is Merciful and He turns in kindness to those of His servants who repent and return to the good path. These are the teachings of the Quran.

In a nutshell, Islam rejects the exclusivist claims of the Jews that they are chosen by God for His special favor in derogation of others. It is impossible, since Allah is the God of all His servants.

In short, God as visualized by the Jews now is a partisan God, a racist God; whereas Islam believes in a God Who is All Merciful. 

{Those who believe (in the Quran), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.} (Quran 2:62)

This verse underscores the Benevolence and Compassion of the All Merciful God. Allah’s Mercy is open to all His servants: and all forms of discrimination, racism, and tribalism are rejected:

{O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).} (Quran 49:13)

The second part of your question is: “I was told that Islam owes more respect to God than Judaism does, how is that? Please explain.”

According to Islam, Allah has more transcendental attributes than taught by Judaism. In fact, if you just read the Old Testament and the Quran, you can easily recognize this.

I will not give you too many examples here but I will instead urge you to go back to both Books and read the verses describing God and quoting him directly in both Books.

Also, note how the Quran describes the virtuous life of the prophets of the Jews, while the Old Testament has many verses that attributes heinously obscene behavior to them.

I have no intention to quote here some very offending words and images and will only ask you to follow the first word revealed in the Quran: “Read!” 

With a critical mind and a truth-seeking soul, I am sure you will find the truth.

Salam and please keep in touch.

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




About Professor Shahul Hameed
Professor Shahul Hameed is an Islamic consultant. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.