Islam and Judaismfrom
16/9/2007It is important to expose this historical fact to let the Muslims know that some Jewish groups have an objective perspective and were fair in building relationship with Islam. They are not like what the Muslims think.
Relationship between Islam and Judaism is often described in a bad way. Most of Muslims assumed that Jews are dishonest, stubborn and evil people. This perspective is based on the fact that Jews of Medina in the days of the Prophet has broken the political treatise, namely Medina Charter. It led to a conflict between Muslim and Jews.The Jews of Bani Mushtaliq had planned to murder prophet Muhammad under al-Harits bin Abi Dlirar’s command. Prophet heard about this information and therefore battle occurred. Until now, Palestine has not been a safe zone for its citizen, since Jews and Muslims have been fighting each other. Based on these evidences, some Muslims concluded and generalized that the Jews are not to be trusted. To support this argument they took Quranic verse, “And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor will the Christians, till thou follow their creed” (QS al-Baqarah: 120). Another verse said: “Many of the People of the Scripture long to make you disbelievers after your belief, through envy on their own account, after the truth had become manifest unto them" (2: 109). In fact this verse specifically responded the attitude of Jews such as Ka`ab ibn al-Asyraf, Hayy ibn Akhthab, Abu Yasir ibn Akhthab, Syas ibn Qais al-Yahudi who wanted to convert Muslims into Jewish. Unfortunately, this social-political verse was regarded as theological verse. We know that generalization means simplification. History proved that not every Jews treat the Muslims badly.
First, when prophet Muhammad was twelve years old, (585), he accompanied his uncle Abu Thalib in a business trip to Syam. As they reached Boshra, they met a Jewish rabbi named Buhaira. This rabbi asserted that there are three eminent persons namely Buhaira, Rubab al-Syana, and the expected one, who is a young man beside him, namely Muhammad. When Muhammad and Maysarah went to Syam on the other day to run Khadijah’s business (before he married her), Nestor (a Jewish rabbi) testified on Muhammad’s prophethood. Nestor said that he is a prophet. It means that recognition upon Muhammad’s propethood came for the first time from the Jews, namely Buhaira and Nestor.
Second, Mukhayrîq, a Jewish man from Bani Tsa’labah who was smart and rich (he owed many farms and date palm gardens) was a victim of Uhud war. As he listened that there will be battle between Meccan polytheists against Muslim, Mukhayrîq told his fellows to support the Medina Charter. In the Medina Charter, defending Muslims is the right thing. When his fellows protested because the battle was taking place on Sabbath, Mukhayrîq replied that helping Muhammad does not disgrace the Sabbath, and affirmed that Muhammad is his heir. “If only I die in this battle, all of my treasures will go to Muhammad for a matter which God shows him”. Mukhayrîq asserted. Afterward he prepared his sword, went to Uhud hill, fought the polytheists and got killed there. Mukhayrîq was a prototype of Jew who strongly uphold the agreement.
Third, the Jews had helped Muslims in conquering the city of Andalus in Spain. In the age of Abbasid Empire, the Jews –beside the Christians and Sabeans- helped the government’s administration. They were also involved in translating Greek works into Arabic. It is important to expose this historical fact to let the Muslims know that some Jewish groups have an objective perspective and were fair in building relationship with Islam. They are not like what the Muslims think.