Islam and Anti-Semitism

Anti-SemitismMany people today claim that Muslim anti-Semitism is based on anger about the creation of the State of Israel and the ongoing conflict since then. But it began well before the modern age. In fact, it began before the creation of the Universe. According to the uncreated and eternal Quran:

"They [the Children of Israel] were consigned to humiliation and wretchedness. They brought the wrath of God upon themselves, and this because they used to deny God's signs and kill His Prophets unjustly and because they disobeyed and were transgressors" Quran (2:61) They try to introduce corruption Quran (5:64), have always been disobedient Quran (5:78), and are enemies of Allah, the Prophet and the angels Quran (2:97-98).

In Islamic theology, the Quran is either co-eternal with Allah or the very first creation so it follows that Allah hated the Jews before he even created them or the universe.

Thirty years ago, here in Australia our beloved Grand Mufti, Taj El-Din Hilaly, taught about the Jews:

"The Disposition of Jews in the light of the Qur'an: "The Jews' struggle with humanity is as old as history itself; the present continuing struggle with the Islam nation is a natural continuation of the Jews' enmity towards the human race as a whole. Judaism controls the world by…secret movements as the destructive doctrines and groups, such as communism, libertarianism, Free Masons, Baha'ism, the Rotary clubs, the nationalistic and racist doctrines. The Jews try to control the world through sex, then sexual perversion, then the promotion of espionage, treason, and economic hoarding." - Wikipedia

Historically, we see that anti-Semitism in Islam begins with Muhammad and his anger at being rejected by the Jews of Medina as a bona fide Prophet of God. Muhammad was a schmuck overflowing with chutzpah, he really seemed to believe his "revelations" were so perfect that it was self-evident only God could have been their source and he got angry, mean and snarky when he was rejected, especially when he was laughed at. As he had to suffer this rejection for more than a decade before he got some swords to back him up he took his revenge on the Jews as soon as he was able.

A famous hadith (something Muhammad said) was reported by the son of Umar:

You will fight against the Jews and you will kill them until even a stone would say: Come here, Muslim, there is a Jew (hiding himself behind me); kill him. - Book 041, Number 6981

As dhimmis Jews usually lived in relative peace while Islam dominated the Middle East and North Africa though things could turn nasty if it was thought they were getting too uppity or times were tough for Muslims or the local ruler got narky or went crazy or a new more "fundamentalist" horde of tribesmen arrived and took over. There are records of massacres of Jews throughout the Muslim world and times but things either became worse in the 18th century and later or Europeans, who were now able to observe the situation for themselves, recorded just how bad things were more accurately than Muslims had in the past.

King AbdulazizFaisal

Surely the kings of Saudi Arabia can be considered experts in Islamic teachings, after all, they've paid for thousands of Wahhabist imams, madrasas, mosques, and centres to be built all over the world:

Our hatred for the Jews dates from God's condemnation of them for their persecution and rejection of Isa (Jesus) and their subsequent rejection of His chosen Prophet. … that for a Muslim to kill a Jew, or for him to be killed by a Jew ensures him an immediate entry into Heaven and into the august presence of God Almighty. - King Abdulaziz1

[Jews] have a certain day on which they mix the blood of non-Jews into their bread and eat it. It happened that two years ago, while I was in Paris on a visit, that the police discovered five murdered children. Their blood had been drained, and it turned out that some Jews had murdered them in order to take their blood and mix it with the bread that they eat on this day. - King Faisal2

… today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them. - Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia addressing the opening session of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit.

But please don't take my word and a couple of quotes that anti-Semitism is built into the Quran. Sheikh 'Atiyyah Saqr (died 2006), the Head of the Fatwa Committee at Al-Azhar University, the chief centre of Islamic and Arabic learning in the world, selected 20 attributes of the Jews as defined in the Quran.

1. They used to fabricate things and falsely ascribe them to Allah. Allah Almighty says: " That is because they say: We have no duty to the Gentiles. They speak a lie concerning Allah knowingly." (Quran 3:75) Also: "The Jews say: Allah's hand is fettered. Their hands are fettered and they are accursed for saying so. Nay, but both His hands are spread out wide in bounty. He bestoweth as He will." (Quran 5:64)

In another verse Almighty Allah says: "Verily Allah heard the saying of those who said, (when asked for contributions to the war): "Allah, forsooth, is poor, and we are rich! We shall record their saying with their slaying of the Prophets wrongfully and We shall say: Taste ye the punishment of burning!" (Quran 3:181)

2. They love to listen to lies. Concerning this Allah says: "and of the Jews: listeners for the sake of falsehood, listeners on behalf of other folk" (Quran 5:41)

3. Disobeying Almighty Allah and never observing His commands. Allah says: "And because of their breaking their covenant, We have cursed them and made hard their hearts." (Quran 5:13)

4. Disputing and quarreling. This is clear in the verse that reads: "Their Prophet said unto them: Lo! Allah hath raised up Saul to be a king for you. They said: How can he have kingdom over us when we are more deserving of the kingdom than he is, since he hath not been given wealth enough?" (Quran 2:247)

5. Hiding the truth and standing for misleading. This can be understood from the verse that reads: "…distort the Scripture with their tongues, that ye may think that what they say is from the Scripture, when it is not from the Scripture." (Quran 3:78)

6. Staging rebellion against the Prophets and rejecting their guidance. This is clear in the verse: "And when ye said: O Moses! We will not believe in thee till we see Allah plainly." (Quran 2:55)

7. Hypocrisy. In a verse, we read: "And when they fall in with those who believe, they say: We believe; but when they go apart to their devils they declare: Lo! we are with you; verily we did but mock." (Quran 2:14) In another verse, we read: "Enjoin ye righteousness upon mankind while ye yourselves forget (to practice it)? And ye are readers of the Scripture! Have ye then no sense?" (Quran 2:44)

8. Giving preference to their own interests over the rulings of religion and the dictates of truth. Allah says: "…when there cometh unto you a messenger (from Allah) with that which ye yourselves desire not, ye grow arrogant, and some ye disbelieve and some ye slay?" (Quran 2:87)

9. Wishing evil for people and trying to mislead them. This is clear in the verse that reads: "Many of the People of the Scripture long to make you disbelievers after your belief, through envy on their own account, after the truth hath become manifest unto them." (Quran 2:109)

10. They feel pain to see others in happiness and are gleeful when others are afflicted with a calamity. This is clear in the verse that reads: "If a lucky chance befall you, it is evil unto them, and if disaster strike you they rejoice thereat." (Quran 3:120)

11. They are known of their arrogance and haughtiness. They claimed to be the sons and of Allah and His beloved ones. Allah tells us about this in the verse that reads: "The Jews and Christians say: We are sons of Allah and His loved ones." (Quran 5:18)

12. Utilitarianism and opportunism are among their innate traits. This is clear in the verse that reads: "And of their taking usury when they were forbidden it, and of their devouring people's wealth by false pretences." (Quran 4:161)

13. Their impoliteness and indecent way of speech is beyond description. Referring to this, the Quranic verse reads: "Some of those who are Jews change words from their context and say: "We hear and disobey; hear thou as one who heareth not" and "Listen to us!" distorting with their tongues and slandering religion. If they had said: "We hear and we obey; hear thou, and look at us" it had been better for them, and more upright. But Allah hath cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not, save a few." (Quran 4:46)

14. It is easy for them to slay people and kill innocents. Nothing in the world is dear to their hearts than shedding blood and murdering human beings. They never give up this trait even with the Messengers and the Prophets. Allah says: "…and slew the prophets wrongfully." (Quran 2:61)

15. They are merciless and heartless. In this meaning, the Quranic verse explains: "Then, even after that, your hearts were hardened and became as rocks, or worse than rocks, for hardness." (Quran 2:74)

16. They never keep their promises or fulfill their words. Almighty Allah says: "Is it ever so that when ye make a covenant a party of you set it aside? The truth is, most of them believe not." (Quran 2:100)

17. They rush hurriedly to sins and compete in transgression. Allah says: "They restrained not one another from the wickedness they did. Verily evil was that they used to do!" (Quran 5:79)

18. Cowardice and their love for this worldly life are their undisputable traits. To this, the Quran refers when saying: "Ye are more awful as a fear in their bosoms than Allah. That is because they are a folk who understand not. They will not fight against you in a body save in fortified villages or from behind walls. Their adversity among themselves is very great. Ye think of them as a whole whereas their hearts are divers." (Quran 59:13-14). Allah Almighty also says: "And thou wilt find them greediest of mankind for life and (greedier) than the idolaters." (Quran 2:96)

19. Miserliness runs deep in their hearts. Describing this, the Quran states: "Or have they even a share in the Sovereignty? Then in that case, they would not give mankind even the speck on a date stone." (Quran 4:53)

20. Distorting Divine Revelation and Allah's Sacred Books. Allah says in this regard: "Therefore woe be unto those who write the Scripture with their hands anthem say, "This is from Allah," that they may purchase a small gain therewith. Woe unto them for that their hands have written, and woe unto them for that they earn thereby." (Quran 2:79)

After this clear explanation, we would like to note that these are but some of the most famous traits of the Jews as described in the Quran. They have revolted against the Divine ordinances, distorted what has been revealed to them and invented new teachings which, they claimed, were much more better than what has been recorded in the Torah. It was for these traits that they found no warm reception in all countries where they tried to reside. Rather, they would either be driven out or live in isolation. It was Almighty Allah who placed on them His Wrath and made them den of humiliation due to their transgression. Almighty Allah told us that He'd send to them people who'd pour on them rain of severe punishment that would last till the Day of Resurrection. All this gives us glad tidings of the coming victory of Muslims over them once Muslims stick to strong faith and belief in Allah and adopt the modern means of technology."
End of the Al-Azhar Sheikh's presentation of the Quran's view of Jews.

1Official British document, Foreign Office File No. 371/20822E 7201/22/31; Elie Kedourie, Islam in the Modern World, (London: Mansell, 1980), pp. 69-72.
2Al-Mussawar, (August 4, 1972).