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1,001 Sayings and Deeds of the Prophet

Jews

Just like in the Koran, Jews figure prominently in the hadiths, but seldom in a good way.

The hatred of Jews in the Koran and the hadiths is largely explicit, virulent and pervasive. It is an invitation for a repeat of the Holocaust on a more expansive, more horrific scale in which every Muslim will be expected to do his or her duty, and that is to kill Jews wherever they find them.

Unlike the NAZI's attempt at genocide, there will be no place to hide. 

Narrated Abdullah bin Umar:

Allah's Apostle said, "You (i.e. Muslims) will fight with the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, 'O Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.'"

Bukhari 52.176

It is only a matter of time, Allah does not break a promise.

Narrated Abdullah bin Umar:

I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "The Jews will fight with you, and you will be given victory over them so that a stone will say, 'O Muslim! There is a Jew behind me; kill him!' "

Bukhari 56.791

The Jews did not start this war, that, in the absence of a miracle, may see them exterminated. From the beginning, the Prophet and his followers were the aggressors, but you would not be aware of that from reading either the hadiths or the Koran.

If it had not been for the Jews of Medina, who welcomed and sheltered the budding Prophet whose Meccan kin wanted to kill him for promoting what they considered a hateful intolerant religion, Islam would have been stillborn. Nonetheless, relations between the Muslims and the Jews of Medina cooled considerably after the Jews refused to accept Muhammad as a legitimate intervener with the Almighty. That role being reserved for the chosen people.

The disagreement first led to the trading of childish insults:

Narrated Aisha:

Once the Jews came to the Prophet and said, "Death be upon you." So I cursed them.

The Prophet said, "What is the matter?"

I said, "Have you not heard what they said?"

The Prophet said, "Have you not heard what I replied (to them)? (I said), ('The same is upon you.')"

Bukhari 42.186

It did not help that the Jews began asking questions of the Prophet to which the answer was not readily forthcoming, that is, until Allah came up with a blanket solution to the problem.

Narrated Abdullah:

While I was going with the Prophet through the ruins of Medina and he was reclining on a date-palm leaf stalk, some Jews passed by. Some of them said to the others: Ask him (the Prophet) about the spirit. Some of them said that they should not ask him that question as he might give a reply which would displease them. But some of them insisted on asking, and so one of them stood up and asked, "O Aba-l-Qasim ! What is the spirit?"

The Prophet remained quiet. I thought he was being inspired Divinely. So I stayed till that state of the Prophet (while being inspired) was over.

The Prophet then said, "And they ask you (O Muhammad) concerning the spirit -- Say: The spirit -- its knowledge is with my Lord. And of knowledge you (mankind) have been given only a little)." (17:85)

Bukhari 3:127

As the dispute escalated, the Arabs went from emulating the Jews to doing the exact opposite of what they did, including what they did with their hair, or did not do.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "Jews and Christians do not dye their hair so you should do the opposite of what they do.

Bukhari 56.668

Narrated Humaid bin Abdur-Rahman:

That he heard Muawiya bin Abi Sufyan (talking) on the pulpit in the year when he performed the Hajj. He took a tuft of hair that was in the hand of an orderly and said, "O people of Medina! Where are your learned men? I heard the Prophet forbidding such a thing as this (i.e. false hair) and he used to say, 'The Israelis were destroyed when their ladies practiced this habit (of using false hair to lengthen their locks).'"

Bukhari 56.674

It was a bit more complicated where Jewish scriptures were concerned. The Koran was being revealed piecemeal, and what it said was not unlike what was written in the Torah, except in briefness. The Torah was very much the guide to Allah's laws for the early Muslim e.g. talion law, one god etc. With an incomplete Koran, should they continue to follow what was revealed to the Jews?

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The people of the Scripture (Jews) used to recite the Torah in Hebrew and they used to explain it in Arabic to the Muslims. On that Allah's Apostle said, "Do not believe the people of the Scripture or disbelieve them, but say: 'We believe in Allah and what is revealed to us.'" (2:136)

Bukhari 60.12

At one point in time, perhaps before the interdiction about hair, the dispute started to turn ugly with the Prophet explicitly invoking Allah's curse on the Jews for what we would consider a petty offence; but, in the black and white world in which Islam was finding its bearings, nothing was petty where Allah and His Messenger and the Jews were concerned.

Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah:

I heard Allah's Apostle, in the year of the Conquest of Mecca, saying, "Allah and His Apostle made illegal the trade of alcohol, dead animals, pigs and idols."

The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What about the fat of dead animals, for it was used for greasing the boats and the hides; and people use it for lights?"

He said, "No, it is illegal."

Allah's Apostle further said, "May Allah curse the Jews, for Allah made the fat (of animals) illegal for them, yet they melted the fat and sold it and ate its price."

Bukhari 34.438

From being a people to emulate, the Jews became a people to despise, a tribe of liars and cheaters who distorted Allah’s instructions to the point of ridicule.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "It was said to Bani Israel, enter the gate (of the town) with humility (prostrating yourselves) and saying: 'Repentance', but they changed the word and entered the town crawling on their buttocks and saying: 'A wheat grain in the hair (one meaning: ‘A wheat grain in the hair means greedy and wasting’).'"

Bukhari 55.615

From there, it was a short interval to exile and mass murder.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

While we were in the mosque, Allah's Apostle came out to us and said, "Let us proceed to the Jews."

So we went along with him till we reached Bait-al-Midras (a place where the Torah used to be recited and all the Jews of the town used to gather).

The Prophet stood up and addressed them, "O Assembly of Jews! Embrace Islam and you will be safe!"

The Jews replied, "O Aba-l-Qasim! You have conveyed Allah's message to us."

The Prophet said, "That is what I want (from you)."

He repeated his first statement for the second time, and they said, "You have conveyed Allah's message, O Aba-l-Qasim."

Then he said it for the third time and added, "You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I want to exile you from this land, so whoever among you owns some property, can sell it, otherwise you should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle."

Bukhari 85.77

One of the Jewish tribes of Medina chose to ignore the Prophet's invitation to get out of town, and instead sought an alliance with the Meccans who were marching on Medina. The Bani Quraiza (also spelled Qurayzah) could not bring themselves to attack the Muslims who, without Allah's intervention, would probably have been easily defeated, unable to defend themselves on two fronts. For their reluctance to engage the Muslims while they were most vulnerable they expected mercy from God's Messenger. It was not to be.

As you read the following hadith, remember what I said earlier, that the Muslims were the aggressors from the outset. The Jews of Medina’s downfall was largely due to their reluctance to do what the Muslims did and fight and kill for their lives.

The following hadith may also be disingenuous in asserting that some of the seven hundred or so men and boys of the Bani Quraiza were not killed because they accepted to become Muslims*. The only males of the Bani Quraiza who were not beheaded were those who had yet to grow pubic hair i.e. children.

Narrated Ibn Umar:

Bani An-Nadir and Bani Quraiza fought (against the Prophet violating their peace treaty), so the Prophet exiled Bani An-Nadir and allowed Bani Quraiza to remain at their places (in Medina) taking nothing from them till they fought against the Prophet again). He then killed their men and distributed their women, children and property among the Muslims, but some of them came to the Prophet and he granted them safety, and they embraced Islam. He exiled all the Jews from Medina. They were the Jews of Bani Qainuqa, the tribe of Abdullah bin Salam and the Jews of Bani Haritha and all the other Jews of Medina.

Bukhari 59.362

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* The only Jew of Medina which the hadiths confirm as having converted to Islam was Abdullah bin Salam, and he did so early on (see section Abdullah bin Salam).