Judaism in the Quran

Of all the prophets mentioned in the Muslim Quran, Moses (Musa) takes pre-eminence even over Mohammed. Abuna Musa (Moshe Avinu) is mentioned in 176 verses in the Quran.

Next in popularity is Ya’aqub ibn Ishaq ibn Ibrahim (Yaakiv ben Yitzchak ben Avraham) mentioned 16 times.

The prophets of Islam are Ibrahim, Ishaq, Ismail Ya’aqub, Yusuf (Yosef), Musa and Haroun (Moshe and Aharon) Dawud and Suleiman (David and Shlomo), Yunus (Yonah), Isa (Jesus) and Adam and Hawwa (Adam and Chava). Although Jews believe that Adam and Eve are buried in the patriarchal cave of Machpela, Muslims do not.

In the Quran, Mohammed made several early references to the Jews and taught that they are God’s Chosen people, Ichla al Quitab, the People of the Book.

“Children of Israel, call to mind the favour which I have bestowed upon you and that I preferred you to all others” (Surah 2:47, repeated in 2:122.
“We did deliver aforetime the Children of Israel from humiliating Punishment Inflicted by Pharaoh, for he was arrogant among inordinate transgressors. And We chose them aforetime above the nations, knowingly” (Surah 44: 30-32)

“We did aforetime grant to the Children of Israel the Book, the Power and Prophethood. We gave them for Sustenance, things good and pure and We favoured them above nations”. (Surah 45:16)

Mohammed approached the Jewish tribes of Medina and attempted to convert them to his new faith, Islam, and to the teachings of his holy book, the Quran. But when the Jews of Medina refused to recognize Mohammed, he rejected them and their claim to be the Chosen people and their claim that they alone possessed the true knowledge of God.

Additionally, the Jews rejected the way that the Quran appropriated Biblical accounts and people, making the Jewish Patriarchs and Prophets into Arabs.

When Mohammed led the tribes of Medina into a war against the tribes of Mecca, he accused the Jews of conspiring with the Meccans, his enemies, and at that point he turned against all the Jews in Arabia.

In spite of the Quran’s earlier positive comments on the Jews, the new religion of Islam rejected them.

That rejection remains today as the bitter hatred of Muslims against Jews in spite of the fact that our respective faiths began with the same man…Avraham Avinu (Abuna Ibrahim).

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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