Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Is Islam a Religion of Peace Towards Jews?

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                       

Dome of the Rock in the background of the Western Wall (former Wailing Wall).It
is a shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.  The al-Aqsa Mosque or Mosque of Omar is nearby.  

Muslims believe the location of the Dome of the Rock to be the site of the Islamic miracle of the Isra and Miraj. Caliph Omar ibn al Khattab (579-644) was advised by his associate, Ka'ab al-Ahbar, a Jewish rabbi who converted to Islam.
 They say that the Night Journey (Isra and Mi'raj), which is mentioned in the Quran and specified by the hadiths of being located in Jerusalem, took place at the site of the former Jewish Temples.

Yesterday, CNN (TV news channel)  had a discussion going on about Islam and how it is said to be the religion of peace, but all the terrorists seem to stem from this religion. Even Europeans joining up with  the terrorists must convert first.  What's going on?  How can this question be asked by CNN when the world knows of the constant attacks on Israel by the Palestinian Arabs and Israel's neighbors as well in multiple wars.  It's not all politics, you know.  It's religion as well.  In the Middle East, religion and politics go hand in hand.

They had many people of the Muslim faith talking about it with them, but they never got to the essence or make up of the religion.  They've been talking about the wrong book.  They should be looking into the hadiths.

Muslims don't just rely on the Koran, a book Muhammad dictated to scribes before he died in 632 at the age of 62.  He happened to have been illiterate; could not read nor write, but he had listened to many Jewish lecturers in the streets of Medina as he passed by.  There were several tribes of Jews that he came across in his travels in this city and around it.  The custom was to read to others from the Tanakh (Bible) in those days.  From these Jewish stories, Muhammad must have been influenced in his dictations.  Thus they have the story of the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, only Muhammad changed it to be Ishmael since Ishmael was the father of Arabs according to tradition of both the Jews and the Arabs.  Tradition is that Muhammad was alerted to the Koran by the angel Gabriel.

The Muslims had developed commentaries on the Koran, just as Jews had done with their 5 Books of Moses and all the Prophets' writings.  Muslims have the Hadith, a book of prophetic traditions, which were all the writings on one subject.
 This is what the Imans go by.  Each hadith is based on 2 parts; a chain of narrators reporting the hadith and the text itself.  Hadiths are regarded by traditional Islamic schools of jurisprudence as important tools for understanding the Quran and in matters of jurisprudence in the courts.  Hadiths were evaluated and gathered into large collections during the 8th and 9th centuries and are referred to in matters of Islamic law and history to this day.

Al-Bukhaari narrated that Abdullah Ibn 'Umar (614-493 authority in  hadith and law, said:  "I heard the Messenger of Allah say, "The Jews will fight you and you will  prevail over them, then a rock will say, "O Muslim, here is a Jew behind me, (come and) kill him."  #3593 hadith.  Sometimes they say "

tree will say,.... "Muhammad ibn Isma`il al-Bukhari al-Ju`fi was born  on Friday, 13 Shawwal 194 AH (19 July 810) in the city of Bukhara in Khorasan (in present-day Uzbekistan). Though it was Uzbekistan, I've heard this used over and over.  

  Uzbekistan is today 88% Sunni and has a population of 27,606,007 or 

more people.  

His father, Ismail ibn Ibrahim, a scholar of hadith, was a student and associate of Malik ibn Anas. Some Iraqi scholars related hadith narrations from him.  

The Sunnis and Shi'a  rely on different sets of hadith collections. Within hadiths are many different fiqhs (ways of understanding Sharia Law) such as the Shafi'i, Hanafi, Maliki, Jafari, Alevi, Zaidi and Hanbali.  Pakistan follows the Hanafi while Iran follows the Jafari.  Saudi Arabia follows the Hanbali.   Clerics and jurists of all Islamic denominations classify individual hadiths as authentic, good or weak.  The rub comes because different traditions within each denomination and different scholar within each tradition will differ as to which hadith should be included in which category.

There is no set agreement world wide on the interpretation of  the Islamic religion except, like in Judaism, its belief in one G-d.  A growing number of Muslims have begun to reject the authority of the Hadith in favor of the main authority of the Quran.  They cite numerous verses of the Quran to support their particular argument.  Some call themselves "Quranaists," while others avoid titles, just calling themselves Muslims to avoid any hint of sectarianism.  Some reject all the hadith, while others consider the hadith as having some historical value as secondary source material that may be studied for academic purposes and those that do not contradict the Koran can be considered useful for certain tasks mandated by the Koran, such as the physical aspect of Prayer.  Both of these groups reject the authority of the Hadith as a source of law.
Our Jewish history with Muslims started off quite well considering the state of the world at the time. By then Jews had been accused of killing the Christian son of G-d, Jesus; and from that Jews were expelled from Cypus in 115.  From 640 on, Christians of the Byzantine Empire were forcibly converting Jews to Christianity.  It happened in 721 and 873.

Before that, The Jewish state of Israel was attacked by the Assyrians in 722 BCE and carried off 10 tribes of Israelites who believed in the teachings of Moses which was a belief in one G-d.  They were taken to Assyria and from there managed to spread out over much of the Middle East into what became Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Then in 597 BCE and again in 586 BCE, the Babylonians took over the Assyrian Empire and also came and helped themselves to more Israelites and took them to Babylonia and many  wound up in Persia.  By the time Jesus was born and died, the word was out that both Jews and Christians were "PEOPLE OF THE BOOK, " and were given special privilege such as being allowed to live in their now very populated Muslim lands, for the Muslims were out proselyting strongly, by forcing people into their religion, except the people of the book.  They were taxed more than other people, and lived under a lot of restrictions, making them really 2nd or 3rd class citizens, called Dhimmis.

Several times Mohammad had tried to attack peoples and wanted the Jews to partner with them.  Evidently a few times the Jews didn't comply but changed their minds and sides and this didn't go over very well.  I blame the change of heart on being forced into it in the first place.  The Kyber Pass episode still is being held over our heads; all of us alive today.

However, when Jerusalem fell in 70 CE, which was  500 years before Mohammad was even born, Jews (now the remaining tribe of Judah's people were called Jews) were accepted into the communities of Middle Eastern people, no doubt the descendants of Ishmail, and they lived there, still practicing their religion without the Temple.

Other Jews had taken a different route, either by force or preference, and had gone into Rome, Italy, and from there had migrated to France and then Germany.  Somewhere along the way, either from Rome or the Middle East, many had migrated into Spain.  Those in France and Germany had eventually migrated into Eastern Europe into what became Russia and their holding of the Pale of Settlement which was made up of Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Poland, etc.  While these countries were committing acts of pogroms (attacking communities and often killing people) the Israelites were faring with their lives in the Middle East with only a few acts against them.  However, for 2,000 years, Jews all over the world lived a precarious existence because of who they were and because they would not join the religion of the land they lived in. During the times of the Christian Crusaders into the Middle East, the Europeans slaughtered many Jews along the way and both Jews and Arabs were killed when they arrived at their destinations.
Grand Mufti with Hitler, talking about doing away with Jews
During the time from  632 to the time of the Nazis, life wasn't all that good but it wasn't so bad for Jews in the Middle East.  The Nazis raised the bar in the hearts of Muslim thinking because it was in that period that life had become so bad for Jews that they started to move back to the Middle East to join those whose ancestors had managed to stay.  After all, it was Jerusalem that had been burned down with the Temple, but not the rest of the land.  Many had stayed and managed to eke out a living somehow.  One Arab leader, the Sherif of Jerusalem called the Grand Mufti, did much to create riots against Jews to force them back out again.  He didn't want to lose his power, though he himself was under the Ottoman Empire up to the end of World War I.  Yet the educated official leader of Arabs in those days, Emir Feisel, was all for the Jews' return since his own people were uneducated and he hoped they would learn from the Jews.  From 1871 to 1921 , there were many anti-Jewish pogroms in towns of Russia.   From 1939 to 1945 Jews faced the Holocaust where 6 million were murdered by Nazis and their European collaborators.  By 1941, Baghdad's Jewish community was attacked by mobs, killing 180.  From 1948 to this day there has been persecution of Jewish communities in Arab countries causing a mass exodus to Israel because they were expelled from there.  From 1917 to the present day, Jews in the Soviet Union were denied the right of national identity.  Of course the Russians share with their Muslim client states  adverse feelings about Jews.
Iman Qaradawi who put out a fatwa on Jews to kill them and destroy Israel-Qatar's religious leader formerly of Egypt where he was expelled.
President Sisi of Egypt, an enlightened leader,  has just announced that there needs to be a re-look at Islam.  What is happening is that groups are giving Islam a bad reputation, turning to terrorism to get to their goals in life which in turn uses murdering people.  One cannot call Islam a religion of peace when their acts are done in the name of Allah (G-d).  All of the world's religions look with disdain and utter horror at what these terrorists have been doing to others.  These are enlightened days when Americans do not approve of women having abortions let alone are ready to face beheadings. The time in the western world has great feelings for animals, so much that many have become vegetarians and vegans.    IS is the ultimate evil force, stealing from banks and beheading people.  Today IS  holds 2 Japanese men for ransom of $200,000 from Japan, who have already said they will not pay it.  If one gives in to such demands, they will just find more people to kidnap.  There is no end to their greed..

Muslims have fled the Middle East and are now living in the USA and Europe for a variety of reasons.  Perhaps they enjoy this freedom or maybe they came for education.    Many have been wealthy, able to pay high prices of tuition in  universities, so are seen as the cash cows.  They're much more forceful than our Jewish ancestors were, who came as beaten people not wanting to garner any attention anymore than possible. Muslims have made many demands on the communities they live in for accommodations and get results with their numbers.  From this group are coming terrorists joining up with terrorists in the Middle East and bringing back terrorizing goals.

The idea of these hadiths being taught by the Salafists (very strict Sharia Law abiders)  are to spread Sharia Law all over the world.  This actually started during Muhammad's day.  "The spread of Islam began when, around 613 CE, the Islamic prophet Muhammad (570 – 632 CE) began to share the revelation which God (Allah) had, according to Muslims, started to give to him three years previously. During the rest of his life, the Muslim ummah ("community") was established in Arabia. The expansion of the Arab Empire in the years following Muhammad's death led to the creation of caliphates, occupying a vast geographical area and conversion to Islam was boosted by missionary activities particularly those of Sufis, who easily intermingled with local populace to propagate the religious teachings."  

So today's radical Islam is not only a religious movement but involves politics as well.  Remember, the Ottoman Empire lasted for 400 years and took in most of the world.  Islam spread outwards from Mecca towards both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the creation of the Muslim world.  What was the first thing IS did?  They took over Iraq and northern Syria and made their own caliphate- Islamic Caliphate.  

They are so sure that Judaism follows in their footsteps of spreading, for that is what they would do.  The fact remains that this is what Abdullah was doing when he took land intended to create the Jewish Homeland and he made it an Arab Homeland of Transjordan (today's Jordan) instead, when they already have 48 Muslim majority states NOT COUNTING ANY PALESTINE.  It's either 48 or 56, depending on how you count Muslim majority lands.  I'm taking Wikipedia's lower number. 
1967's 7th day after War, dancing at Western Wall, 1st time since 1948

 If it wasn't for the attack on Israel in 1967 of so many Arab countries where they lost the battle-making Israel the victor against all odds,  Israel wouldn't have gained the land intended for them in the first place.  Here's where their greed caused them to lose land instead of gaining Israel.  (Note, from 1948 to 1967, Israel never attacked Jordan in order to get back their promised land which was just that--East Jerusalem, Judah and Samaria-where they had come from originally.)   I see today that being the good guy just isn't paying off.  Maybe G-d will surprise me eventually.  

Salafists are going back to the original Islam, they say.  Salafists started up about 100 years ago. 

The mujtahid Imams ( a mujtahid is recognized as an Islamic scholar who is competent in interpreting sharia by ijtihad ("independent reasoning", those whose task it was to deduce the Islamic shari'a from the Qur'an and hadith, were in agreement about most rulings; while those they disagreed about, they had good reason to, whether because the Arabic could be understood in more than one way, or because the particular Qur'an or hadith text admitted of qualifications given in other texts (some of them acceptable for reasons of legal methodology to one mujtahid but not another), and so forth.  If there is going to be any change in Islam, they have their hands full of quite a challenge.  From the looks of the situation, Islam has been growing more radical (ISIS or IS).  

The way Islam converted was by force, and IS is doing the same as we see it; using beheadings to punish or convert people, a radical force that is not an iota of peaceful intent.  To be fair, Christianity didn't start by force, but became such a force.  Look at the Crusaders taking over Judah by slaughter in fighting the Muslims and Jews, and then again in the 1492's Spanish Inquisition that spread their ideology throughout the whole world. If they didn't attack a group, such as the Jews, they expelled them from their land.   It's taken the Christians generations to settle down and again try to be the religion of peace.  

Today we have only 2 states living next to Israel peacefully; Egypt and Jordan.  All the rest are baring their teeth and growling, ready to pounce, and it was just in Lebanon that the wolf was ready to attack when Israel saw and stopped it from happening.  We have Iran drumming loudly with their fury towards Israel, which is a part of Sharia Law, I believe, to let your enemy know of your intent.  Turkey has become more Islamic, getting into the hadiths that are so against Israel, evidently, but right now is holding onto their tempers.  One can't tell if it's religion or politics that sway their responses.  They'd like to be a part of the EU, so may have to cool their heels somewhat towards others to make a good showing..  

In 1990 there were 1.1 billion Muslims.  In 15 years it is estimated that there will be 2.2 billion.   If you ask me, NO, today Islam is not the religion of peace as there are a lot of radicals taking over who are making the news, but despite that, there are many peaceful Muslims that want to be good friends and who despise what is going on in their religion. Peaceful Muslims have not been speaking out against the radicals for fear of reprisal and because they don't know how to go about getting on the air and being heard. Hamas terrorists in Gaza said, 

 "“Today, we are telling France and world countries that while Islam orders us to respect all religions, it also orders us to punish and kill those who assault and offend Islam’s Prophet Mohammad,” one protestor told Reuters."  This was in connection to reaction from the French satirical magazine killings.    Most peaceful   people are educated, except for the head of IS who has a PhD.  One Muslim doctor I know said that "all Moslems don't hate Jews or their religion.  We respect Moses and Jesus."  

One argument presented to me, however, is that Muslims accept the true Jews (those that did not live in Europe because they think that they are simply Europeans who converted to Judaism).  They are being resistant to DNA testing that shows that we Ashkenazis may have a few genes from Europeans, but are basically ALL Jewish.  

.  The politics of a people should reflect their religion.  Religion isn't something you do in a mosque and then leave it there.  The same goes for Christianity and Judaism.  What we do, how we treat others, comes from our inner thoughts of what we were taught and what we accepted, and these stem from religious upbringing.  

Resource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiqh

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