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Why the Jews Were Cursed
by Muhammad Alshareef
Rasul Allâh’s wife, Umm Al-Mu’mineen Safiyyah bint Huyayy - radiallaahu 'anha - was the daughter of one of the Jewish leaders of Madinah. After her Islâm, she informed the Prophet - sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam - when she had first felt the rays of Islâm enter her blessed heart.
It was the day that Anas - radiallaahu 'anhu - describes as the most radiant day to every come upon al-Madinah - the day Rasul Allâh - sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam - entered it. All the Ansar men, women and children gathered to greet him, cheers of praise to Allâh filled the air.
Amongst the gathering were 2 men; as much as the Ansar and Muhaajireen revered the Prophet, they despised him. It was the father of Safiyyah - radiallaahu 'anha - and her uncle.
She was only a youngster as she looked into the darkness and gloom that had enveloped their faces when they returned home that day. Her Jewish uncle 1400 years ago asked, “Is it him? Is it the Prophet that our scriptures speak of?” Huyayy lowered his head and said, “Yes. It is him.” “Then what shall we do?” Safiyyah’s uncle continued. Huyayy looked into his eyes, “Till the final day we shall be his bitterest enemies!”
From the very first raka’ah of Taraweeh we read the verse in the opening Sűrah: [Guide us to the straight path - The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked (Your) anger! ...]
Adiyy ibn Hatim asked Rasul Allâh - sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam - who it was that evoked Allâh’s anger? He said, “It was the Jews.” - Tafseer Ibn Katheer
When I was in high school, studying in journalism class, our teacher had placed on the wall a statement that I spent many days contemplating. It simply said, “Freedom of the press (speech) belongs to those that own the press!” Who owns the press? Well, you can believe me when I say that it is not the god fearing beloved of Allâh.
It is this same press that molds and programs the aqeedah of a huge section of our Ummah. Many of our brothers and sisters are illiterate to the words of Allâh and the guidance of Rasul Allâh - sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, so it is with little doubt that their ideas are subconsciously molded by what Seinfeld tells them at 8 pm every Wednesday evening.
It is this same brother or sister that asks the question, “I don’t understand why the Jews were cursed. Seinfeld is funny. What did he do?”
This khutbah is our media and insha’ Allâh we shall learn in these few moments only samples of what carried the Jews to evoke Allâh’s anger.
In the opening verses of Surat Al-Baqarah, Allâh invites the Children of Isra’eel to come back - to remember the favor and blessing He bestowed upon them - and to fulfill the promise that they would follow the Prophet when he was sent to them.
[O Children of Israel, remember My favor that I bestowed upon you and fulfill My covenant upon you that I will fulfill your convenant (from Me) and fear only Me.] - Sűrah al-Baqarah 2/40
Allâh saved them of their slavery to Fir’own, he saved them from sea and drowned Fir’own and his army. Allâh selected them to receive food from the sky. Allâh sent them Prophet after Prophet from amongst themselves, and sent the Holy scriptures - the Towrah and the Injeel. Allâh preferred them over all others at their time.
[...And that I preferred you over the worlds (i.e. people).] - Sűrah al-Baqarah 2/47
How did they reply these Blessings of Allâh?
(i) They Followed Only What They Wanted to
When a Prophet came to them, if what he taught did not appeal to them they either rejected that truth or slit the throat of the Prophet and followed what was to them appealing.
[We had already taken the covenant of the Children of Israel and had sent to them messengers. Whenever there came to them a messenger with what their souls did not desire, a groups (of the Messengers) they denied and another party they killed.] - al-Maa’idah 5/70
And we must remember here that this is not the commentary of some human journalist who claims to be neutral. This is the Lord of the Universe telling us - in verses to be read till the final day - the deepest secrets that lie in the pits of Judaism. [And who is more truthful than Allâh in statement!] - al Nisaa’ 4/87
(ii) They Changed the Words of Allâh
There was groups of Jews that would change the words of Allâh - adding something here, deleting there - to pound the truth and keep the flock in servitude to what they desired.
[And indeed, there is among them a party who alter the Scripture with their tongues so you may think it is from the Scripture, but it is not from the Scripture. And they say, “This is from Allâh,” but it is not from Allâh. And they speak untruth about Allâh while they know.] Ali-Imran 3/78
(iii) Their claim that they are the beloved children of God
Ibn Abbas narrates: Nu’maan ibn Aasaa, Bahr ibn ‘Amr and Shaas ibn Adee (3 Jews) came to Allâh’s Messenger - sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. He sat with them and invited them to Allâh and warned them of Allâh’s anger. They replied, “Why are you trying to scare us O Muhammad? By God, we are the children of God and His beloved ones!” At that the verse was revealed:
[And the Jews and the Christians say, ‘We are the Children of Allâh and His beloved.’ Say: ‘Then why does He punish you for your sins?’ Rather, you are humans from among (all the others) that He created.] Al-Maa’idah 5/18 ~ Ibn Katheer 2/36
(iv) Their Blasphemous Statements
There came upon the Jews a time of poverty, so they went to Shaas ibn Qays and questioned him. He said, “Your Lord is stingy, he never provides.” Allâh revealed in the Qur'ân:
[And the Jews say, “The hand of Allâh is chained.” Chained are their hands and cursed are they for what they say. Rather, both His hands are extended; He spends however He wills.] Al-Maa’idah 5/64
(v) Their Murdering of the Prophets
One of the most horrific sins that they performed was the slaughtering of their Prophets. This was one of the major reasons they were struck with humiliation.
[And they were covered with humiliation and poverty and returned with anger from Allâh (upon them). That was because they (repeatedly) disbelieved in the signs of Allâh and killed the Prophets without right. That was because they disobeyed and were (habitually) transgressing.] - Baqarah 2/61
Not only did they try to kill their Prophets, but they attempted to assassinate Rasul Allâh - sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam - himself. RasulAllah went with some companions to meet with the Jews of Banu Nadheer. While he waited for them at the side of a building, they climed the roof with a boulder to crush down upon the head of Rasul Allâh. Jibreel warned Rasul Allâh - sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam - of their plan. He stood up without saying anything, left for Madinah, and came back with an army. This was the cause of Banu Nadheer’s expulsion from Madinah - Mukhtasar Seerat Ibn Hisham 159
And the list goes on - They did not command the good or forbid the evil, they did not accept the ruling of what Allâh revealed upon them, they disbelieved their book, they received food from the heavens but rejected it, they challenged their Prophet to show them Allâh in this life, they took Angel Jibreel as their sworn enemy, they took the graves of their Prophets as symbols of worship ... and the list goes on and on in the Qur'ân and Sunnah.
There are some verses in the Qur'ân that spoke about those that do not judge by what Allâh has decreed is a transgressor. Some students of Ibn Abbas - radiallaahu 'anhu - asked him, “Were these not revealed for the Jews and Christians?” He said, “Subhan Allâh! Are all the glad tidings in the Qur'ân for us and all the admonitions for them? If our we do what they did, our end will be their end.” Rasul Allâh - sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam - said, “"You will follow the wrong ways, of your predecessors so completely and literally that if they should go into the hole of a lizard, you too will go there." We said, "O Allah's Apostle! Do you mean the Jews and the Christians?" He replied, "Whom else?" - Bukhari
The Qur'ân tells us of snakes in the grass that bit the Jews. Allâh tells us this so that we may take warning of what led them to evoke Allâh’s anger and not be bitten by the same snake.
Let us take an example from the following verse:
[And there followed them successors who inherited the scripture (while) taking the stock of this lower life (i.e. Haram gains and whims), saying (regardless), “We will be forgiven.”] - A’raaf 7/169
So many Muslims take this Qur'ân as something inherited, the real power of Allâh’s word’s has not penetrated the hearts. How many of our young Muslim youth understand the language of Cobolt and A++, spending years to understand, but do not comprehend a single sentence in the Quran?
Have we desisted from the Riba that Allâh made Haram upon us? In the years of 1973 to 1976, when the Muslims went out to challenge Israel, the entertainment armies were summoned. Female singers were brought, belly dancers hired, and soap operas dedicated to the encouragement of our fighting Muslims. The songs were drenched in nationalism and Arab pride.
In conclusion, a fundamental part of our Deen is Al-Wala’ and Al-Bara’ (wala’ - love and loyalty / Bara’ hatred and disownment). It would be profitable for us to reflect on the implementation of our Wala’ and Bara’ in regards to the Jews:
Firstly: We should not take them as our close allies.
Allâh commands us in the Qur'ân: [O you who have belied, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you - then indeed, he is one of them. Indeed Allâh does not guide the wrongdoing people.] - Ma’idah 5/51
Secondly: We should not Imitate them
The forbiddance of imitating the Jews and the Christians applies to those things that have become icons of their customs and falsehood. So for example, if someone wore a white collar on his neck, everyone would assume he was Christian. This is because the white collar has become a symbol of theirs.
The ruling is more general than just clothes. Rasul Allâh - sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam - said: [Act differently then the Jews.] - Saheeh Abu Dawood
Thirdly: A Muslimah may never marry a Jewish or Christian man that remains in his beliefs.
Allâh declares in the Qur'ân: [They are not (i.e. the Muslim women) lawful wives for them, nor are they lawful (husbands) for them.] - Mumtahinah 60/10
Is all this a death sentence on the Jews? Nay, Allâh’s infinite Mercy has left the gate open for ANYONE who wishes to come back to him.
[And if only the People of the Scripture had believed and feared Allâh, We would have removed from them their misdeeds and admitted them to joyful Gardens] - Ma’idah 5/65
O Allâh guide us to the straight path - the path of those who You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked (Your) anger, nor of those that went astray. Ameen.
Student of Knowledge
(Graduate of Muhammad Bin Saud University, Madinah SA, in Islâmic Law)
Currently teaches at Al-Huda School in College Park, Maryland
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