This article is to clarify the doubts in the hearts of Muslims regarding the achievements of Jews. Let me start by giving the reader an introduction about who Jews are and then we talk about the interactions between Muslims and Jews mostly during the time of Rasool Allah SAWS, then we deal with few aspects of the article in the achievements of Jews (details could be found here), then we will look at some definitions and then we see what we should do as Muslims.
Who are Jews?
They are the former Muslim Ummah, and the descendants of Ibrahim AS from the genealogy of Ishaq AS, the second son of Ibrahim AS. Allah SWT sent a lot of prophets among this lineage and the last of them were Yahya AS and Isa AS. Jews have a history of not obeying the prophets sent by Allah SWT and going against established law, as is clear from the following verses of the Holy Quran:
57- And We provided shade over you (through) the clouds and sent down manna and quails over you, “Eat of the good things which We have provided for you.” And they did not harm Us but they were unjust to themselves.
58- And when We said, “Enter this city and eat from it freely from wherever you like and enter the gate prostrating and say: Put down from us our heavy burdens, We will forgive you your mistakes and give more to the doers of good.
59- then those who were unjust, changed the word to other than what was said to them. So We sent down over those who were unjust punishment from the sky, because they were transgressors.
60- And when Musa asked for water for his people, We said, “Strike the (porous) rock with your staff.” So twelve springs gushed out from it. All persons came to know their drinking place. “Eat and drink from the provision of Allah but do not spread disturbance in the earth, being corrupt.”
61-And when you said, “O Musa ! we cannot be patient over one food, therefore pray to your Fosterer on our behalf (and ask Him) to bring out for us from that which the earth grows of its herbs, and its cucumbers and its garlic’s and its lentils and its onions.” He said, “What ! do you want to exchange that which is good for that which is worse? Go down to the city (Egypt) you will certainly have what you ask for.” And disgrace and wretchedness were made to strike them and they became deserving of the anger of Allah. That was because they did not believe in the signs of Allah and killed the prophets without having the right to do so. That was because of their disobedience and they were the persons who exceeded the limits. (Chapter 2: Verses 57-61)
Above is just a glimpse into the reality of the Jews and their corrupt thinking and actions. Documenting all the details mentioned in the Quran regarding their disobedience against the prophets, the books and signs of Allah is not in the scope of this article and will be covered elsewhere, In Sha Allah.
Jews knew that the last prophet was going to come in the land of Arabia (1), according to their scriptures and they came and settled down in Madinah (known as Yathrib during Mohammed’s SAWS time) as “Judaism was already well established in Medina two centuries before Muhammad’s SAWS birth”. The situation in Madina when Mohammed SAWS arrived was that the Jews would help the two feuding clans of the Ansars, the Aus and the Khazraj, since they had monitory interests, as the Jews in Madina were Jewelers, weapons and armor makers. (2)
Prospering themselves, the Jews were extremely jealous of prosperity in other races and strongly resented rivalry in trade business. They believed themselves to be God’s “chosen people” and their conduct was characterized by pride and arrogance intensified by the feeling of being secure inside their formidable fortresses. (3)
Interaction between Jews and Muslims
After being persecuted in Macca when the Prophet SAWS migrated to Madina, he SAWS not only welded the Ansar and the Muhajirun into one Brotherhood, but he set himself to the task of establishing a stable society, a commonwealth based on equality of rights and on the concept of universal humanity. Granting equality of status and rights as well as full freedom of religion and of conscience to the Jews, he invited them to enter into a pact with the Muslims. He drew up a charter, known as the constitution of Madina. (4)
The Jews recognized the prophet, but rejected him because of jealousy, as they were expecting the last prophet to be from among themselves. But Allah had another plan, i.e. to send the last prophet from among the descendants of Ismail AS, the first son of Abraham AS. Thus the status of Jews, ‘being the Muslim Ummah’ was removed from them, after Mohammed SAWS was made a prophet by Allah SWT. Yet they had one more chance, and that was to accept Mohammed SAWS as the last and final messenger of Allah and become part of the present Muslim ummah and gain double reward in the hereafter, by following both the laws sent by Allah SWT, Torah/Injeel and the Quran.
Some of the Jews accepted Islam upon seeing and meeting with Mohammed ur Rasoolullah SAWS, and the others rejected his message. The Quran says, they recognized Muhammad SAWS as if one recognizes their own sons:
Those to whom We have given the book, recognise him as they recognise their sons, and a group from among them certainly hide the truth while they know. (Chapter 2: Verse 146)
The verse very clearly says that they were hiding the truth, because they settled down in Madina mainly to be the first ones to believe in the last Prophet.
In this jealousy of theirs, Jews in Madina started creating problems for the Muslims and for Rasoolullah SAWS, as he tried to control and govern the affairs of the newly created city state of Madina. They supported the enemies of Muslims who attacked Madina, by leaking strategic information, even though they had an agreement with Mohammed SAWS that they would be on the side of the Muslims in case of war. They were mainly asked to establish the Torah, their own testament, and make Rasoolullah SAWS their judge in all matters, which they failed to implement, they were given equal rights as a citizen, but they chose to go against the established law of the land and cause corruption. (4)
And how do they make you a judge when they have the Torah with them, in which is the judgment of Allah? Then they will turn back even after that (i.e. after your judgment), and they are not with the believers. (Chapter 5: Verse 43)
Due to their disobedience and causing of corruption in the city of Madina, and supporting the enemy against the Muslim government of Madina they were expelled from the city (5), (6), (7). They went away and settled down in a place called Khaiber, which was a rich Jewish strong hold in Arabia, fully equipped with weapons, and cultivated land. (8)
The Jews of Khaiber were inciting other pagan tribes to revolt and fight against the Muslims, and during the time of Mohammed SAWS, a siege was laid of the forts of Khaiber and this Jewish stronghold surrendered. They were allowed to stay in Khaiber after they requested Mohammed SAWS to allow them to do so, Mohammed SAWS agreed to their request on condition that they would pay half of their yearly cultivated produce as Jizya, tax for staying on in Khaiber (8). During the time of Umar RA, second Caliph of Islam, the Jews from Khaibar were again upto their old tricks of corruption, after which Umar RA expelled them from the Arabian Peninsula (9).
As can be seen from the above, disgrace after disgrace befell them, and after the advent of Islam they no longer held the same position, as they used to enjoy being the “chosen people” of Allah. Now they are not.
Achievements of Jews
Talking of the article, click here to read, which was posted on Mia Bhai Group; possibility of its source being Jewish cannot be ruled out. This leads us to another question, if Jews were cursed by several Prophets and have been removed from the status of being “The Muslim Ummah”, why then are they more powerful? Lack of knowledge (of the present muslim ummah) was indicated in the article, as the primary reason for Jews being powerful, however, following are the answers according to Quran & Hadith:
Firstly, Rasoolullah SAWS predicted that the present Muslim Ummah will follow the previous Muslim Ummah (Children of Israel i.e. Jews & Christians) step by step: Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also. We said: Allah’s Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words)” those before you”? He said: Who else?”
Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 7320: 96 Holding Fast to the Qur’an and Sunnah – (14) Chapter: “Certainly you will follow the ways of those who were before you.”
In-book reference : Book 96, Hadith 50
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Vol. 9, Book 92, Hadith 422
A lot could be explained about the above Hadith, but the point to be noted is that similar to the Jews, Muslims would also be disgraced.
Secondly, the reason why non-Muslims are more powerful than the Muslims today is explained in the following Hadith: The Prophet SAWS said: The people will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their dish. Someone asked: Will that be because of our small numbers at that time? He replied: No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be scum and rubbish like that carried down by a torrent, and Allah will take fear of you from the breasts of your enemy and last enervation into your hearts. Someone asked: What is wahn (enervation). Messenger of Allah SAWS: He replied: Love of the world and dislike of death.
Grade : Sahih (Al-Albani)
Reference : Sunan Abi Dawud 4297: 39 – Battles (Kitab Al-Malahim) – (1591) Chapter: Nations Summoning One Another To Attack Muslims
In-book reference : Book 39, Hadith 7
English translation : Book 38, Hadith 4284
The reason behind, power of the Muslims has been taken away is because of Wahn, being weak hearted and Wahn is due to Love of this world and dislike of death as explained by Mohammedur Rasool Allah SAWS.
Thirdly, the formation of Israel was predicted in the Quran:
103- So he (Firawn) intended to upset and dislodge them (Children of Israel) from the land, so We drowned him and those with him all together.
104- And We said to the children of Israel after him, “Dwell in the earth, but when the promise of the hereafter comes to pass, We will bring you together (as a gathering of people coming from different directions – Formation of Israel).” (Chapter 17: Verses 103-104)
The word used to describe the formation of Israel in the above verse is Lafeefa, in urdu we have a similar word lifafa, meaning envelope, if we think about how an envelope is made, it is not simply a coincidence that such a word is used to describe, gathering of Jews from different parts of the world in Israel.
So what we see in today’s world is what was actually said by Allah & predicted by His Rasool SAWS, which has already been covered in an article, indicated during our discussion on Mia Bhai: Status of Muslim Ummah, Published 2004. However, few of the Ahadith are quoted below to provide the current status of Muslim Ummah, as follows:
It has been narrated on the authority of ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Abd Rabb al-Ka’ba who said: I entered the mosque when ‘Abdullah b. ‘Amr b. al-’As was sitting in the shade of the Ka’ba and the people had gathered around him. I betook myself to them and sat near him. (Now) Abdullah said: I accompanied the Messenger of Allah SAWS on a journey. We halted at a place. Some of us began to set right their tents, others began to compete with one another in shooting, and others began to graze their beasts, when an announcer of the Messenger of Allah SAWS announced that the people should gather together for prayer, so we gathered around the Messenger of Allah SAWS. He said: It was the duty of every Prophet that has gone before me to guide his followers to what he knew was good for them and warn them against what he knew was bad for them; but this Umma of yours has its days of peace and (security) in the beginning of its career, and in the last phase of its existence it will be afflicted with trials and with things disagreeable to you. (In this phase of the Umma), there will be tremendous trials one after the other, each making the previous one dwindle into insignificance. When they would be afflicted with a trial, the believer would say: This is going to bring about my destruction. When at (the trial) is over, they would be afflicted with another trial, and the believer would say: This surely is going to be my end. Whoever wishes to be delivered from the fire and enter the garden should die with faith in Allah and the Last Day and should treat the people as he wishes to be treated by them. He who swears allegiance to a Caliph should give him the pledge of his hand and the sincerity of his heart (i. e. submit to him both outwardly as well as inwardly). He should obey him to the best of his capacity. If another man comes forward (as a claimant to Caliphate), disputing his authority, they (the Muslims) should behead the latter. The narrator says: I came close to him (‘Abdullah b. ‘Amr b. al-’As) and said to him: Can you say on oath that you heard it from the Messenger of Allah SAWS? He pointed with his hands to his ears and his heart and said: My ears heard it and my mind retained it. I said to him: This cousin of yours, Mu’awiya, orders us to unjustly consume our wealth among ourselves and to kill one another, while Allah says:” O ye who believe, do not consume your wealth among yourselves unjustly, unless it be trade based on mutual agreement, and do not kill yourselves. Verily, God is Merciful to you” (iv. 29). The narrator says that (hearing this) Abdullah b. ‘Amr b. al-As kept quiet for a while and then said: Obey him in so far as he is obedient to God; and disobey him in matters involving disobedience to God.
Reference : Sahih Muslim 1844 a: 33 – The Book on Government – (10) Chapter: The obligation of fulfilling oaths of allegiance is owed to the first of two Caliphs
In-book reference : Book 33, Hadith 74
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 20, Hadith 4546
The worst is yet to come! Please refer to the following Hadith:
Narrated Usama bin Zaid: Once the Prophet SAWS stood over one of the high buildings of Medina and then said (to the people), “Do you see what I see?” They said, “No.” He said, “I see afflictions falling among your houses as rain drops fall.”
Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 7060: 92 – Afflictions and the End of the World – (4) Chapter: “Woe to the Arabs from the great evil that is nearly, approaching them.”
In-book reference : Book 92, Hadith 12
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Vol. 9, Book 88, Hadith 182
Definitions to know
We must be clear on the following definitions, as our intentions should be correct and our understanding of our deen should be proper, without which our salvation will be at risk. Muslims think that power, positions and respect (Izzat) alone are judging factors in this world, so let us look at the two definitions, Izzat and its opposite Zillat in the light of Quran and Hadith
Izzat & Zillat
The word Izzat comes from the root (ع ز ز) the same root is used for might and power (عَزِيز) and the word Zillat comes from the root (ذ ل ل) both of which are clearly explained in the following verses:
(Chapter 36: Verses 13-14)
13- And set forth to them the similitude of the inhabitants of the town, when messengers came to it,
14- when We sent to them two, they denied them both, therefore We strengthened (them) with a third, so they said, “We are messengers (sent) to you.”
(Chapter 3: Verse 26)
26- Say,”O Allah! owner of authority, You give authority to whom You will, and You take away authority from whom You will, and You give the might to whom You will and You disgrace whom You will, in Your hand is good, You certainly have power over everything.
(Chapter 2: Verses 204-207)
204- And among human beings is he whose speech about the life of the world makes you wonder, and he makes Allah witness over that which is in his heart, yet he is the most rigid in opposition,
205- and when he turns back (from you) he strives in the earth to cause corruption in it and to destroy crop and cattle and Allah does not like corruption.
206- And when it is said to him, “Fear Allah,” the might (pride) makes him hold on to sin, so hell is sufficient for him and it is surely an evil place of habitation.
207- And among human beings is he who sells himself seeking the pleasure of Allah, and Allah is full of pity for (His) servants.
(Chapter 4: Verse 139)
Those who take the infidels as friends besides the believers, do they seek might (power) from them? Then total might (power) is certainly Allah’s.
(Chapter 10: Verses 62-65)
62- Beware! certainly (for) the friends of Allah, there will neither be any fear on them nor will they grieve.
63- Those who believe and guard (against evil),
64- for them is good news in the life of this world and in the hereafter, there is no change in the words of Allah, that is a great achievement.
65- And do not let their speech grieve you, certainly the might (honour) is totally Allah’s, He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
(Chapter 35: Verse 10)
Whoever intends to be mighty (powerful, honourable) then (let him know that) the might (power, honour) is totally Allah’s. To Him ascend the good statements and He elevates the righteous work. And those who plan evil deeds, for them there is a severe punishment and the planning of those will be lost.
(Chapter 37: Verse 180)
Glorified be your Fosterer, Lord (Rabb) of Might, (He is far) from that which they describe,
(Chapter 63: Verse
‘They say, “If we return to Madina, the mightier will definitely drive out the weaker,” though might belongs to Allah and His messenger and the believers, but the hypocrites do not know.
(Chapter 36: 71-72)
71- Did they not see that We have created the cattle for them, among that which Our hands have done, then they are their masters?
72- And We have subdued them for their (use), so among them are (some on) whom they ride and (some) of them they eat.
(Chapter 5: Verse 54)
O you who believe ! If anyone among you turns back from his religion (Islam), then Allah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him, humble towards the believers, mighty over the infidels, striving in the way of Allah and not fearing the blame of anyone who blames. That is the grace of Allah, He gives it to whom He wills, and Allah is Omnipresent (Ample giving), Knowing.
Further to the above, definitions for ‘success & failure’, ‘happiness & sadness’, ‘peace & distress’, ‘tranquility & commotion’, ‘sole purpose of life’ and so forth are beyond the scope of this article, but will be covered in the forthcoming ‘Introduction to Quran’; which addresses these issues and defines basic concepts that we have lost over a period of 1400 years, InshaAllah.
What we should do as an Ummah?
If we want Izzat and avoid Zillat, the only solution is to be a momin (a true believer), as explained in the Verses of the Quran in the previous section.
Then Allah promises in the Quran to the believers the following :
- Allah will not give the infidels a way of dominance over the believers (4:141)
- The people who are astray (not guided) cannot hurt you when you are guided (5:105)
- It is incumbent on Allah (SWT) to save & help the believers (10:103 & 30:47)
- Allah will make the believers successors (rulers) in the earth; will establish their religion and will give them peace (24:55)
- Allah’s help in both worlds (40:51)
- Allah will help you and make your feet firm (47:7)
- Allah will not destroy any city unjustly while its people are righteous (11:117)
Narrated AbuMalik al-Ash’ari: The Prophet SAWS said: Allah has protected you from three things: that your Prophet should not invoke a curse on you and should all perish, that those who follow what is false should not prevail over those who follow the truth, and that you should not all agree in an error.
Reference : Sunan Abi Dawud 4253: 37 – Trials and Fierce Battles (Kitab Al-Fitan Wa Al-Malahim). (1579) Chapter: Mention Of Tribulations And Their Signs
In-book reference : Book 37, Hadith 14
English translation : Book 36, Hadith 4240
Narrated Sa’d ibn AbuWaqqas: I asked: Messenger of Allah! tell me if someone enters my house and extends his hands to kill me (what should I do?) The Messenger of Allah SAWS replied: Be like the two sons of Adam. The narrator Yazid (ibn Khalid) then recited the verse: “if you stretch your hand towards me to kill me I will not stretch my hand towards you to kill you, I fear Allah the Fosterer of the worlds” (Chapter 5: Verse 28)
Grade : Sahih (Al-Albani)
Reference : Sunan Abi Dawud 4257: 37 – Trials and Fierce Battles (Kitab Al-Fitan Wa Al-Malahim). (1580) Chapter: The Prohibition Of Participating In The Tribulation
In-book reference : Book 37, Hadith 18
English translation : Book 36, Hadith 4244
Reward of Non Muslims
And on that day those who did not believe will be presented before the fire (and it will be said), “You took away (your share of) good things in your life of the world and you enjoyed in it, so this day you will be rewarded with the punishment of humility because you used to consider yourselves great in the earth without having the right to do so and because you used to transgress.” (Chapter 46: Verse 20)
So, it is clear that whatever good they (the non-believers) do, would be rewarded in this world, and they will not have anything in the hereafter, and this reward is as per what they feelis good, that is the reason they are enjoying here in this world, but the end result for them will be punishment because they lack ‘Imaan’ i.e. faith in Allah (SWT).
Intentions of Muslims
The intention of Muslims shall not be to achieve Nobel Prize, our aim as Muslims shall be to attain Jannah, as the Quran clearly states:
Every soul tastes death, and you will be paid back in full, your reward, only on the day of resurrection. So whoever is removed far away from the fire and is made to enter the garden, then he has achieved (the object), and the life of the world is nothing but a deceptive provision. (Chapter 3: Verse 185)
This certainly does not mean that we should stop learning or shall not give priority to knowledge, knowledge has its own merits and Quran & Hadith are full of such merits; in fact the first words revealed to Rasool Allah (SAWS) was ‘Iqra’ i.e. read, write, rehearse. If a muslim attains merits in his work, in any field which benefits humanity, then he should go ahead and achieve them, and in the process if he gets a Nobel Prize will be a bonus, but his intentions should always be to please Allah (Ikhlas) so that he is saved from the Hellfire and is made to enter Jannah. Getting into Jannah is a great achievement.
Power Belongs to Allah Almighty
Power and might belong to Allah, His messenger and the Believers, so I end this discussion with a verse of the Quran:
O you who (claim to) believe! believe in Allah and His messenger and the book which He has sent down to His messenger and the book which He had sent down earlier. And one who does not believe in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers and the period hereafter, then he has indeed erred, going far astray. (Chapter 4: Verse 136)