Micah Ben David Naziri
Ha'Shem is a Verb.

The Qur’an Commands Jews to Keep the Torah and Follow Judaism

Bueno Caos's pasting from the series "Reading People", with a duo that he had imagined years ago: the Jewish man reading the Qur'an and the Muslim reading the Torah. This piece was pasted in Higienópolis, a traditional São Paulo district with a great Jewish community. Via:

Throughout the centuries, the Muslim world has argued that the Qur’an is to be read as sola scriptura, with supplementation only from fairly late hadith accounts, but never from the Jewish Bible (the Tanakh being referenced within the Qur’an as the Torah and Zabur). This theological position of the Muslim Ummah was cemented through the late hadith literature where the literary character of Muhammad is claimed to have forbidden Umar ibn al-Khattab from reading the Bible.

Prior to that, however, all evidence seems to indicate that such a divorce was unthinkable. Early Islamic coinage utilized the Menorah, and the Magen David was just as commonly employed. Indeed, the Historical-Critical “Criterion of Embarrassment” (also known as the “Criterion of Double Dissimilitude”) point us to further clues in some embarrassing ahadith, which inform us that the Islamic calendar original corresponded identically to the Jewish lunisolar one. We can even line up the Islamic holidays with Jewish ones, using Yom Kippur as Ashura as the calibration point (as is indicated unambiguously in hadith literature). Indeed, even normative Sunni Islam accepts that the calendar was changed to Lunar only after Muhammad passed from the physical world. The reason seems clearly to distance the burgeoning Muslim community from Jewry – even though Muhammad’s Constitution of Medinah said that Jews and Muslims constitute One Ummah – an Ummatan Wahidatan.

In contrast to modern norms in the Muslim world, Shi`ah accounts, from Muhammad’s direct descendants through `Ali and Fatimah, claim that these descendants – spiritual a’immah (plural of imam) – were extremely well versed in the Jewish scriptures. Similarly, such accounts contend that the Bible would be a primary source of judgment for a future “mahdi“, who would also pray in the Hebrew language. While such accounts are replete throughout the Shi`ah hadith literature – itself being writing as late as the Sunni accounts – normative Ithna `Ashari beliefs today are much closer to mainstream Sunni views, and than they are to the actual hadith narrations attributed to the Ahl al-Bayt, Muhammad’s family, with regard to such matters.

As for the Qur’an itself, it is even more clear; mincing no words whatsoever, and having no awareness of any later notion that it should supersede, or abrogate the Bible. We read, for instance, that if something is already in the Bible, the follower of Muhammad has no business asking him for a decision on such a matter; which is already plainly commanded by God in the Bible.

And why do they come to you for a decision, when they have the Torah before them? Therein is the Command of God; yet even after that, they would turn away. Such are not Believers (Mu’minin/Ma’minim). (5:43)

وَكَيْفَ يُحَكِّمُونَكَ وَعِنْدَهُمُ التَّوْرَاةُ فِيهَا حُكْمُ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يَتَوَلَّوْنَ مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ ۚ وَمَا أُولَٰئِكَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ

If you are in doubt as what We have revealed to you, ask those who have been reading the Bible before you. Verily, the truth from your Lord has come to you, so be not of those who waiver [in belief]. (10:94)

فَإِنْ كُنْتَ فِي شَكٍّ مِمَّا أَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ فَاسْأَلِ الَّذِينَ يَقْرَءُونَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ ۚ لَقَدْ جَاءَكَ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّكَ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ

Criticizing those who don’t adhere to the Torah and Gospel, only hypocrites (munafiqin) are criticized, and not an across-the-board criticism of Jews and Nazarenes (a quasi-Jewish Christian heretical sect). This tells us that the Qur’an viewed the Torah and the singular Gospel used by the Nazarenes, according to historical sources, a singular Hebrew Gospel which the Ebionites (Jerusalem-based pre-Christian, anti-Christian opponents of Paul of Tarsus) and Nazarenes alike utilized (according to the Christian Church Fathers), as being valid, and does not criticize it as being textually invalid or corrupted.

If only they had stood fast by the Torah, the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There is from among them a party on the right course: but many of them follow a course that is evil. (5:66)

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ أَقَامُوا التَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنْجِيلَ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ لَأَكَلُوا مِنْ فَوْقِهِمْ وَمِنْ تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِهِمْ ۚ مِنْهُمْ أُمَّةٌ مُقْتَصِدَةٌ ۖ وَكَثِيرٌ مِنْهُمْ سَاءَ مَا يَعْمَلُونَ

This clearly says that if those who turned away from the Torah and the Hebrew Original Gospel myth (originally written as a work of fiction, a novel and parable) would have kept to those texts, then they would have enjoyed happiness. This thus precludes the possibility that those scriptures were viewed as corrupt or abrogated by the Qur’an. Furthermore, the Qur’an commands Jews to continue to follow the Brit of the Torah and Mitzvot:

O Children of Israel! call to mind My Favor which I bestowed upon you, and keep up your Covenant with Me as I fulfill My Covenant with you, and fear no one but Me. (2:40)

يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتِيَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَوْفُوا بِعَهْدِي أُوفِ بِعَهْدِكُمْ وَإِيَّايَ فَارْهَبُونِ

That is, the Qur’an instructs Jews to continue to practice Yahadut, the praising of Yah through the Covenant of the Mitzvot in the Torah. This is the clearly articulated Covenant to which the Qur’an refers, and which any reader of the Bible is familiar.

The Qur’an in fact says that when those who follow the Bible already hear what Muhammad recited, they recognized it as Biblical and Midrashic stories and instructions ALREADY received.

Those unto whom We gave the Bible before it, they believe in it (28:52)

الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِهِ هُم بِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ

And when it is recited to them they say: We believe in it surely it is the truth from our Lord; surely we were submitting ones (muslimin) before this. (28:53)

وَإِذَا يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِهِ إِنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا مِنْ قَبْلِهِ مُسْلِمِينَ

Clearly then, a “muslim” is here defined as one who believes in the Bible and follows it. This was a new message to polytheists in the Arab world, but it was nothing at all new to Jews and Nazarenes.

Thus, the Qur’an says, to its polytheist audience, that the Jews and Nazarenes in their midst already know this and are the first to say “we were submitting ones before this”; indicating clearly that “muslim” was not a term for a separate religion, defined by the Qur’an (but instead was a universal practice of obeying God by honoring the instructions in the Bible or the instructions given by Muhammad to the Arabs who had not previously been exposed to the Bible and Midrash. Thus the Qur’an tells the listener to:

“Believe in what I have revealed, verifying that which is with you, and be not the first to deny it, neither sell My communications for a small price; and Me, Me alone should you fear” (2:41).

آمِنُوا بِمَا أَنْزَلْتُ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا مَعَكُمْ وَلَا تَكُونُوا أَوَّلَ كَافِرٍ بِهِ ۖ وَلَا تَشْتَرُوا بِآيَاتِي ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا وَإِيَّايَ فَاتَّقُونِ

Thus, the Bible which the Qur’an is “verifying” is “with you” currently, in Muhammad’s day and ever since. ‘Ayah 89 also repeats that the Qur’an is “verifying” the Bible, and that the curse of Allah is on the “kafirin,” the “koferim” in Hebrew; meaning those who apostate from Judaism by breaking the Covenant. How incredibly different that meaning is from “disbelievers” or “infidels,” as the term is commonly rendered in English!

The Bible is not seen as corrupted by the Qur’an, nor is it portrayed as being filled with deformed and distorted accounts that the listener to the Qur’an is to disregard. When Muslims reject the Jewish Bible, they are literally rejecting and disobeying the Qur’an.

For more information on this topic, check out my first masters thesis, entitled: People of the Book: What the Religions Named in the Qur’an Can Tell Us About the Earliest Understanding of “Islam”.

About the Author
Dr. Micah Naziri was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. The son of a multitude of peoples, Micah has Ashkenazi Jewish, German, Native American and Melungeon Sefardic background. Micah has often said he has “one foot in the masjid and the other in shul.” Spiritually, Micah considers his understanding of Judaism to be “Judeo-Sufi,” or “Istislam” as described by Rabbeinu Bachya ibn Paqudah, in his Medieval Judeo-Arabic work “Guide to the Duties of the Hearts” (Al-Hidayat ila Fara`id al-Qulub), which quoted Muhammad and his son-in-law `Ali profusely – reference each as being “a great chasid” – while fully embracing the Torah as the framework of religious practice for the Jewish people. Dr. Naziri is the founder of the Martial Sufi Tariqah alternatively known as the Taliyah al-Mahdi (2001) and the Jamat al-Fitrah (2005), as well as Hashlamah Project Foundation (2012), and the White Rose Society “reboot” (2016). As the founder of the Hashlamah Project Foundation, Micah uses his education in Near Eastern Languages, Religions and historical models of building bridges between Jewish and Muslim communities, to help reconcile and unite Jews and Palestinian Muslims. He is a prolific author who has penned numerous academic articles, donating 100% of the proceeds to charities working towards social justice. He has also authored a science fiction novel fused with history and politics. His Master’s thesis on the religious milieu of Judaism in Muhammad’s life time, in Arabia, has been published by New Dawn Publications and is available on Amazon, with all proceeds similarly going to charity work. He has served as an editor for written works on Martial Arts and Eastern Medicine, transcribing and creating numerous titles for some of his teachers. He has himself authored several martial treatises using the pen name Seng, Hern-Heng – his Taoist lineage name given to him in 2006 by Huang, Chien-Liang. On that front, he is currently working on a new Taoist translation of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) based on the original Mawangdui manuscripts. Micah became well-known for activism confronting an anti-Muslim protester peacefully and reasoning with her outside of a Dublin, Ohio mosque. After nearly 45 minutes of debate and reconciliation, the woman embraced a Muslimah woman from the mosque, and went into the mosque with her and Micah for bagels, coffee and a tour of the house of worship. When she left, the Muslims there gave her a gift bag. Micah became somewhat infamous – loved by some, hated by others – not only for several high-profile, viral protests, but also for teaching free self-defense classes available to all interested parties from historically oppressed communities. Law enforcement, however, have without question been the most hostile to Naziri, as he became a regular protester against police brutality and murder of unarmed African-Americans. Micah has been equally as virally-known as an avowed anti-rape activist, who confronted the Stanford Rapist, Brock Turner at his home in Sugarcreek Township, Ohio, after he was released from his mere three-month jail sentence for raping an unconscious woman. Today, Micah continues activism in the areas surrounding Yellow Springs, and abroad, focusing on weekly protests and vigils supporting families of innocent, unarmed African-American youths, gunned down by local police or vigilante citizens attempting to hide behind gun culture and the Second Amendment, such as in the recent case of Victor Santana – who was recently arrested, charged with murder, and convicted after months of pressure put on Montgomery County prosecutor Matt Heck by protests Micah organized in conjunction with Donald Dominique of the New Black Panther Party. Micah is currently coordinating expanded work with international Hashlamah Project chapters and the Jam`at Al-Fitrah, the name used in the Palestinian Territories for the Sufi Martial Tariqah known as the Taliyah al-Mahdi. He is seeking grant-writing partnerships to grow the Hashlamah Project organization’s efforts – particularly in the State of Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
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