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Islam’s Jew-Hating Hadith in Context

The infamous hadith about the Jew hiding behind a tree is not some apocrophyl canon held in esteem by an unimportant few, but runs parallel to anti-Jewish motifs throughout the Koran.
Muhammad Al-Arifi

Muhammad Al-Arifi

Before one can fully appreciate the major antisemitic themes in the hadith, it is critical to understand the antecedent Koranic motifs of Jew hatred which these hadith “complete and explain.” The Koran’s central anti-Semitic motif decrees an eternal curse upon the Jews (Koran 2:61/ reiterated at 3:112) for slaying the prophets and transgressing against the will of Allah (It should be noted that Koran 3:112 is featured just before the pre-amble to Hamas’ foundational Covenant).  This central motif is coupled with Koranic verses 5:60, and 5:78, which describe the Jews transformation into apes and swine (5:60)—as invoked by Egyptian Prime Minister Morsi—or simply apes, (i.e. verses 2:65 and 7:166), having been “…cursed by the tongue of David and Jesus, Mary’s son” (5:78). Muhammad himself repeats this Koranic curse in a canonical hadith (Sunan Abu Dawoud, Book 37, Number 4322),

“He [Muhammad] then recited the verse [5:78]: ‘…curses were pronounced on those among the children of Israel who rejected Faith, by the tongue of David and of Jesus the son of Mary.’” 

And the related verse, 5:64, accuses the Jews—as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did in a January 2007 speech, citing Koran 5:64—of being “spreaders of war and corruption,” a sort of ancient Koranic antecedent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The centrality of the Jews’ permanent “abasement and humiliation,” and being “laden with God’s anger” is clearly enunciated in the most authoritative Muslim exegetic literature on Koran 2:61/3:112, both ancient and contemporary. By nature deceitful and treacherous, the Jews rejected Allah’s signs and prophets, including Isa, the Muslim Jesus. Classical and modern Koranic commentators, when discussing Koran 5:82, which includes the statement, “Thou wilt surely find the most hostile of men to the believers are the Jews,”  also concur on the unique animus of the Jews towards the Muslims, which is repeatedly linked to the curse of  Koran 2:61/3:112. For example, in his commentary on 5:82, the great Muslim historian and renowned Koranic exegete al-Tabari (d. 923) writes,

In my opinion, [the Christians] are not like the Jews who always scheme in order to murder the emissaries and the prophets, and who oppose God in his positive and negative commandments, and who corrupt His scripture which He revealed in His books.

Tabari’s classical interpretations of Koran 5:82 and 2:61,  as well as his discussion of the related verse 9:29 –a jihad war proclamation—mandating the Jews (and Christians) payment of the jizya (Koranic poll-tax), represent both anti-Semitic and more general anti-dhimmi (i.e., non-Muslims subjugated by jihad) views that became, and remain, intrinsic to Islam to this day. Here is Tabari’s discussion of 2:61 and its relationship to verse 9:29, which emphasizes the purposely debasing nature of the Koranic poll tax:

“[A]basement and poverty were imposed and laid down upon them”, as when someone says “the imam imposed the poll tax (jizya)on free non-Muslim subjects,” or “The man imposed land tax on his slave,” meaning thereby that he obliged him [to pay ] it, or, “The commander imposed a sortie on his troops,” meaning he made it their duty.…God commanded His believing servants not to give them [i.e., the non-Muslim people of the scripture] security—as long as they continued to disbelieve in Him and his Messenger—unless they paid the poll tax to them; God said: “Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Day and do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden—such men as practice not the religion of truth [Islam], being of those who have been given the Book [Bible]—until they pay the poll tax, being humble” (Koran 9:29).

The dhimmis [non-Muslim tributary’s] posture during the collection of the jizya- “[should be lowering themselves] by walking on their hands, …reluctantly

… His words “and abasement and poverty were imposed upon them”, ‘These are the Jews of the Children of Israel’. ..‘Are they the Copts of Egypt?’…“What have the Copts of Egypt to do with this? No, by God, they are not; but they are the Jews, the Children of Israel.…By “and slain the prophets unrightfully” He means that they used to kill the Messengers of God without God’s leave, denying their messages and rejecting their prophethood.

About the Author: Andrew G. Bostom, M.D., is the author of the highly acclaimed The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims, The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History, and, Sharia Versus Freedom—The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism. Dr. Bostom has published numerous articles and commentaries on Islam in the New York Post, Washington Times, The New York Daily News, National Review Online, The American Thinker, Pajamas Media, FrontPage Magazine.com, and other print and online publications. More on Andrew Bostom’s work can be found at his blog: www.andrewbostom.org.


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4 Responses to “Islam’s Jew-Hating Hadith in Context”

  1. David Weitz says:

    A "Must Read" for everyone interested in the Middle East dispute. Now you will understand why the Arab-Israeli dispute will NEVER be settled until Muslims exorcise the hateful, antisemiticl Hadiths and passages from the Koran from their belief system.

  2. Yechiel Baum says:

    Notice the yamulke being hidden underneath the Kafiya.
    They are jealous of Judaism that we are GODS chosen people while they are born from an Egyptian maid servant and concubine which is low class. making them bastards in the eyes of the Lord.

  3. The author conflicts himself; in the beginning he dismisses my article and writes: "… and notwithstanding Sinem Tezyapar's attempt to negate this reality in The Jewish Press…"
    Then, in the end he demands: "As a pre-condition to real dialogue… Jews… must demand… acknowledgment and wrenching reform of the sacralized Islamic Jew hatred…"
    But when I write against radicals who preach hatred, he is not willing to accept it as an honest call for change! Does he really want dialogue and reconciliation, or is he so deeply invested in his research of the conflict that he rejects any sign of a positive change?
    I am a devout Muslim and my positive approach and interpretation is purely based on Quran, Islam's foundation. And I responded to these question in my previous articles:
    Why It Is a False Statement to Say Jews Are Cursed or Apes According to Islam?
    Why It Is a False Statement to Say Jews Are the Army of Dajjal (Anti-Messiah) According to Islam?
    http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/much-of-what-you-think-you-know-about-islam-is-wrong/2013/01/17/

  4. Donny Kligman says:

    Finally a article with sense! Sinem wants Israel to be part of the "Turkish Islamic Union." We say NO THANKS!

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The infamous hadith about the Jew hiding behind a tree is not some apocrophyl canon held in esteem by an unimportant few, but runs parallel to anti-Jewish motifs throughout the Koran.

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