By Reuven Firestone PhD
Muslim-Jewish kinfolk within the usa, Israel, and Europe are tenuous. Jews and Muslims fight to appreciate each other and understand little approximately each one other's traditions and ideology. Firestone explains the striking similarities and profound changes among Judaism and Islam, the complicated heritage of Jihad, the criminal and spiritual positions of Jews on the earth of Islam, how a number of expressions of Islam (Sunni, Shi`a, Sufi, Salafi, etc.) regard Jews, the diversity of Muslim perspectives approximately Israel, and lots more and plenty extra. He addresses those concerns and others with candor and integrity, and he writes with language, symbols, and ideas that make experience to Jews. Exploring those matters in brand new vexed political weather is a fragile project. Firestone attracts at the learn and writings of generations of Muslim, Jewish, and different students, in addition to his personal significant services during this box. The book's tone is neither disparaging, apologetic, nor triumphal. Firestone presents many unique resources in translation, in addition to an appendix of extra key resources in context. most significantly, this booklet is readable and reasoned, offering to readers for the 1st time the complexity of Islam and its courting towards Jews and Judaism.
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Additional info for An Introduction to Islam for Jews
22 The geographical context for these words is the west-central area of Arabia known as the Hijaz, which was populated by Bedouin nomads moving through the arid steppe in small extended family groups, or Arab villagers living in small oases where dates could be cultivated. All residents of this region were Arabs, whether Jews, Christians, or indigenous polytheists or THE ONENESS OF GOD One of the most famous and beloved early suras (chapters) of the Qur’an exhorts the polytheistic inhabitants of Mecca in a beautiful rhymed prose style that is unfortunately lost in translation (Sura 107): Do you see the one who rejects the religion?
When Jews critiqued him for reciting divine revelation that did not comport with the revelation of the Torah, he responded that the Jews distorted their own revelation. If Muhammad was convinced that his revelation was true, then he must have thought that the Jews were purposefully distorting their own revelation to discredit him publicly. He recites the following verses within a long qur’anic argument against the “People of the Book”: “There is a group among them who distort scripture with their tongues so that you would consider that it is from scripture when it is not from scripture; and they say it is from God when it is not from God; and they knowingly tell a lie against God.
But 7th-century Medina was not such a place. The Jews and Muslims of Medina were both culturally Arab. They spoke the same Arabic language (and language is a very powerful determinant of behavior and culture). ” Unfortunately, as is common in history, the only account is told by the victors. There is no Jewish version. But given the conflict described in the oral tellings and verses of the Qur’an, we can piece together a scenario of what might have occurred. The Jews’ rejection of Muhammad, which was necessary, given their position in relation to the emerging Muslim community, probably initiated the conflict.