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Tuesday 24th of May 2022
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Conspiracies of the Jews

Conspiracies of the Jews

Conspiracies of the Jews

The Jews' Sabotage

The Jews, like Christians, were aware of the advent of the Holy Prophet. In the word of the Holy Qur'¡n, the people of the Book considered the Holy Prophet their own child:

Those whom We have given the Book recognize him as they recognize their sons. (2:146)

They had seen his attributes in the Torah and the Gospel;[1] they were therefore expected to become Muslims even earlier than the tribes of Aws and Khazraj, because the Jews had threatened them that they would take revenge on them when the Promised Prophet would come with the Divine Mission. However, only a few of them accepted Islam. At the beginning of Hegira, however, their relationships with Muslims were usual as is concluded from their signing of the nonaggression pact with the Holy Prophet. However, this tranquility did not last long; after a while, they started quarrelling. Among their sabotages was their denial of the Holy Prophet's unique attributes by claiming that they could not find Mu¦ammad's traits and characteristics in their Book and that the attributes of the Promised Prophet could not be identified in the Holy Prophet.[2] The Holy Qur'¡n has condemned this approach:

And when there came to them a Book from Allah verifying that which they have, and for a time they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieve. But when there came to them (prophet) that which they did not recognize, they disbelieved in him; so Allah's curse is on the unbelievers. (2:89)

The Jews engaged in sabotage through different approaches:

(1) They had irrational and illogical demands, such as receiving a letter from the skies.[3]

(2) They put out complicated religious questions to disturb the Muslims' thoughts and minds.[4] However, they always received strong reactions and answers from the Holy Prophet.

(3) They endeavored to weaken the base of the Muslims' faith by saying:

Avow belief in that which has been revealed to those who believe, in the first part of the day, and disbelieve at the end of it, perhaps they go back on their religion. (3:72)

(4) They attempted to bring about division and turbulence among Muslims. Sha's Ibn Qays, a Jew, tried to enliven once again the old hatreds among Aws and Khazraj. However, this act became futile through the proper act of the Holy Prophet.[5]

Motives of the Jews' Oppositions

The Jews were generally interest-seeking, greedy and stubborn people.[6] The Holy Qur'¡n regards the polytheists and them as the most violent enemies of Islam:

Certainly you will find the most violent of people in enmity for those who believe to be the Jews and those who are polytheists, and you will certainly find the nearest in friendship to those who believe to be those who say: We are Christians; this is because there are priests and monks among them and because they do not behave proudly. (5:82)

This was because these two groups were not rational beings and they did not stop showing their animosities and aggressions against Islam. The Jews opposed Islam for the following reasons:

(1) The Jews treated the Holy Prophet racially; they were jealous because he was Jew; rather an Arab.[7]

(2) Prior to the influence of Islam in Yathrib, the Jews enjoyed a better socio-economic status because they had had control over the economy of the city through crafts, industry, agriculture,[8] and usury.[9] At the same time, taking advantage of the differences between Aws and Khazraj, the Jews weakened their powers. Through their contracts with Ban£-Qaynuq¡` who belonged to the tribe of Khazraj and through unity with Ban£’l-Na¤¢r and Ban£-Quray¨ah who belonged to the tribe of Aws, they could easily created animosity between these two tribes.[10] After the Holy Prophet's migration, the two tribes united and went under the banner of Islam thus increasing the power of Islam tremendously. The Jews realized that the dominating power would very soon be in the hands of Muslims and they would inevitably be the big losers. This situation was quite unbearable for them.

(3) The Jewish clerks and rabbis were prestigious; they enjoyed a lot of respect among the illiterate people who blindly followed them without questioning. At times, these clerks and rabbis issued orders contrary to God's. Nevertheless, people followed them without asking.[11] Furthermore, they used to receive a lot of gifts and charities as the protectors of the Torah. They therefore feared that they might lose this source of income with the progress of Islam.[12]

(4) They showed animosity to Archangel Gabriel who brought God's messages to Mu¦ammad (¥);[13] they used this as an excuse to antagonize the Holy Prophet.

(5) The Holy Qur'¡n condemned many of the Jews' acts and behaviors and many of the Torah’s instructions[14] and disagreed with the Jews in many ordinances.[15] This issue had its roots in the past. Prior to Islam, they were culturally superior to the idolaters and they were respected by the unbelievers.[16] After the advent of Islam, this trend, more or less, continued; some times Muslims in Medina used to ask them some religious questions and they translated the Torah into Arabic for Muslims, while their religious data were mostly skewed and erroneous. For this reason, the Holy Prophet recommended Muslims not to accept their statements.[17] Once, the Holy Prophet told `Umar ibn al-Kha§§¡b, “I swear to God in Whose hands is my soul that if Moses were alive now, he would follow me.”[18] These issues added to the Jews' hatred and enmity towards Islam; they sometimes used to say, “This man has planned to disagree with all of our plans.”[19]

Changing the kiblah

While living in Mecca and some time after Hegira, the Holy Prophet used to pray facing the direction of Jerusalem. After the Jews surfaced their enmity, they used this issue as a means to oppose him; they said, “Mu¦ammad is not independent in his religion; he uses our kiblah through different techniques.” They over exaggerated this issue. Now, the Holy Prophet was under undue pressure. At nights, he used to stare at the skies, waiting for some revelations so that the Jews’ propaganda could be stopped. Seventeen months after Hegira,[20] while he was performing the Noon (²uhr) Prayer with Muslims facing Jerusalem, the Angel of Revelation came to the Holy Prophet and ordered him to change the direction of kiblah towards Kaaba; therefore, he faced the Kaaba at that very prayer. This was God's command:

Indeed, We see the turning of your face to heaven, so We shall surely turn you to a kiblah which you shall like; turn then your face towards the sacred mosque. And wherever you are, turn your face towards it, and those who have been given the Book most surely know that it is the truth from their Lord; and Allah is not at all Heedless of what they do. (2:144)

The change of kiblah, which brought forth independence for Muslims, brought disastrous consequences for the Jews. They looked for another excuse and asked, “Why have Muslims put aside their previous kiblah?” Prior to the change of kiblah, God made the Holy Prophet realize their position; He told him that east or west, everywhere belonged to God and people should face any direction which He orders when they perform their prayers. God told the Holy Prophet that no place on the earth has any innate honor of its own:

The fool will say: what has turned them from their kiblah which they had? Say: The east and the west belong only to Allah; He guides whom He likes to the right path. (2:142)

With this answer, the Jews had no excuse to delve into negative propaganda and with the change of kiblah, the common grounds between the two old and new religions were gone and the relationship between the two weakened:

And even if you bring to those who have been given the Book every sign, they would not follow your kiblah nor can you be a follower of their kiblah; neither are they the followers of each other's kiblah; and if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, then you shall most surely be among the unjust. (2:145)

What is understood from the Qur'¡n is to stop the Jews' nagging and to test Muslims as to what degree they are obedient to Allah:

And thus We have made you a medium (just) nation that you may be witnesses over the people and that the Apostle may be a witness over you; and We did not make that which you would have to be the kiblah but that We might distinguish him who follows the Apostle from him who turns back upon his heels, and this was surely hard except for those whom Allah has guided aright; and Allah was not going to make your faith to be fruitless; most surely Allah is Affectionate, Merciful. (2:143)

In some narrations, this test of faith has been interpreted in the following way: Meccan people preferred the Kaaba; but God made Jerusalem the kiblah to distinguish the true and genuine believers who, contrary to their own wishes and only for God's sake, worship Him in this issue from those acting obstinately. For the people of Medina who preferred Jerusalem, God made the Kaaba the Muslims' kiblah so that these two could be identified.[21]



[1] Qur’¡n 7:157; 2: 26, 89, 101; 3: 81, 187; 6: 114; 28: 52

[2] °alab¢, op cit, 1:302; al-Bayhaq¢, op cit, 2:186; Ibn Shahr¡sh£b, Man¡qib 1:51; al-Magh¡z¢ 1:367.

[3] Qur’¡n 4:153; Qur’¡n 3:183.

[4] Ibn Hush¡m, op cit, 2:160; Ibn Shahr¡sh£b, Man¡qib 1:54; °alab¢, op cit, 1:321-322; Zayn¢ Da¦l¡n, Al-S¢rah al-Nabawiyyah 1:178-180.

[5] Ibn Hush¡m, op cit, 2:204-205; °alab¢, op cit, 2:319-320.

[6] Qur'¡n, 2:96.

[7] Qur’¡n 2:90, 109; 4:54; Ibn Hush¡m, op cit, 2:160; Zayn¢ Da¦l¡n, op cit, 1:176; al-Magh¡z¢ 1:365.

[8] Ban£-Qaynuq¡` were engaged in silversmith's trade. (Montgomery, Mu¦ammad at Medina). There was a market in Medina carrying their name. (Ibn Shabbah, T¡r¢kh al-Mad¢nah al-Munawwarah 1:306; Y¡q£t al-°amaw¢, Mu`jam al-Buld¡n 4:424).

Ban£’l-Na¤¢r and Ban£-Quray¨ah constructed housing buildings and castles in the outskirts of Medina. They were engaged in agriculture and gardening. (Y¡q£t al-°amaw¢, op cit; al-Samh£d¢, Waf¡' al-Waf¡' 1:161)

[9] Qur’¡n 4:161.

[10] Ibn Hush¡m, Al-S¢rah al-Nabawiyyah 2:188.

[11] Qur’¡n 9:31.

[12] Qur’¡n 2:79, 3:187, 9:34; al-Bayhaq¢, Dal¡'il al-Nubuwwah.

[13] Qur’¡n 2:97-98; Ibn Sa`d, Al-±abaq¡t al-Kubr¡ 1:175; °alab¢, al-S¢rah al-°alabiyyah 1:329.

[14] Qur’¡n 4:46, 155-158, 9:30.

[15] Murta¤¡ al-`ªmil¢, al-¯a¦¢¦ min S¢rat al-Nab¢ al-A`¨am 3:106; ¯a¦¢¦ al-Bukh¡r¢ 7:486; ¯a¦¢¦ Muslim 14:80.

[16] Murta¤¡ al-`ªmil¢, op cit, 1:175-176.

[17] ¯a¦¢¦ al-Bukh¡r¢, 9:772.

[18] °alab¢, op cit, 1:372; Ibn Shahr¡sh£b, Man¡qib 1:52.

[19] °alab¢, op cit, 2:332.

[20] Ibn W¡¤i¦, T¡r¢kh al-Ya`q£b¢ 2:34; Ibn Sa`d, op cit, 1:242; al-°urr al-`ªmil¢, Was¡'il al-Sh¢`ah, pp. 216; ±ab¡§ab¡'¢, al-M¢z¡n 1:331.

The date of the change of kiblah is reported to have been between seven and eighteen months after the migration. See Waf¡' al-Waf¡' 1:361-364; Bi¦¡r al-Anw¡r 19:113. As for `All¡mah ±ab¡§ab¡'¢, he confirms that it was seventeen months after the migration.

[21] ±ab¡§ab¡’¢, al-M¢z¡n 1:333. Based on some reports, the Holy Prophet never turned his back to the Kaaba throughout his residence in Mecca. See Was¡'il al-Sh¢`ah 3:216.

However, the Holy Prophet considered the Kaaba to be equal to Jerusalem; therefore, he used to face both directions in prayer. See °alab¢, al-S¢rah al-°alabiyyah 2:357.

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