Antisemitism in the Qur’an: Motifs and Historical Manifestations

Dhimmi Watch April 07 2008
By Andrew Bostom

The essential nature of the Qur’ranic “revelation,” as understood by Muslims, was elaborated in 1891 by Theodore Nöldeke (whose seminal 1860 Geschichte des Qorans remains a vital tool for Qur’ranic research): “To the faith of the Muslims…the Koran is the word of God, and such also is the claim which the book itself advances…”

And to this day, as the contemporary Qur’anic scholar Ibn Warraq notes, for all believing Muslims, and not merely “fundamentalists, ” the Qur’an remains Allah’s “uncreated” words, “…valid for all times and places; its ideals are, according to all Muslims, absolutely true and beyond any criticism.”

The Qur’anic depiction of the Jews—their traits as thus characterized being deemed both infallible and timeless—highlights, in verse 2:61 (repeated in verse 3:112), the centrality of the Jews “abasement and humiliation”, and being “laden with God’s anger,” as elaborated in the corpus of Muslim exegetic literature on Qur’an 2:61, including the hadith and Qur’anic commentaries. The terrifying rage decreed upon the Jews forever is connected in the hadith and exegeses to Qur’an 1:7, where Muslims ask Allah to guide them rightly, not in the path of those who provoke and must bear His wrath. This verse is in turn linked to Qur’anic verses 5:60, and 5:78, which describe the Jews transformation into apes and swine (5:60), having been “…cursed by the tongue of David, and Jesus, Mary’s son” (5:78). Moreover, forcing Jews, in particular, to pay the Qur’anic poll tax “tribute,” (as per verse 9:29) “readily,” while “being brought low,” is consistent with their overall humiliation and abasement in accord with Qur’an 2:61, and its directly related verses.

An additional much larger array of anti-Jewish Qur’anic motifs build to a denouement (as if part of a theological indictment, conviction, and sentencing process) concluding with an elaboration of the “ultimate sin” committed by the Jews (they are among the devil’s minions [Qur’an 4:60], accursed by God [Qur’an 4:47]), and their appropriate punishment: If they do not accept the true faith (i.e., Islam), on the day of judgment, they will burn in the hellfire (Qur’an 4:55). As per, Qur’an 98:7: “The unbelievers among the People of the Book and the pagans shall burn forever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures”

After presenting a full spectrum of the major anti-Jewish motifs in the Qur’an, additional illustrations demonstrating their persistent influence on Muslim attitudes (and resultant behaviors) towards Jews, are provided. Four themes are considered, and their historical application illustrated, across space and time, through the present: (I) the Jews being associated with Satan and consigned to Hell (Qur’an 4:60, 4:55, 58:14—19, and 98:6); (II) the imposition of the Qur’anic poll-tax (jizya; Qur’an 9:29) on Jews, specifically, and (III) the related enforcement of the Qur’anic (2:61) “curse” upon the Jews for killing the Prophets, and other transgressions against Allah’s will, meriting their permanent humiliation and abasement; and, last in connection to this curse, (IV) the Jews’ transformation into apes/swine, as punishment (Qur’an 2:65, 5:60, and 7:166).

The contemporary case of Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, author of a 700 page scholarly treatise rationalizing Muslim Jew hatred, Banu Isra’il fi al-Qur’an wa al-Sunna [Jews in the Qur’an and the Traditions], and current Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, demonstrates the prevalence and depth of sacralized, “normative” Jew hatred in the contemporary Muslim world. Even if all non-Muslim Judeophobic themes were to disappear miraculously overnight from the Islamic world, the living legacy of anti-Jewish hatred, and violence rooted in Islam’s sacred texts—Qur’an, hadith, and sira—would remain intact. The assessment and understanding of Islamic antisemitism must begin with an unapologetic analysis of the anti-Jewish motifs contained in these foundational texts of Islam.

Introduction

Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi wrote these words in his 700 page treatise rationalizing Muslim Jew hatred, Banu Isra’il fi al-Qur’an wa al-Sunna [Jews in the Qur’an and the Traditions], originally published in the late 1960s, and early 1970s, and then re-issued in 1986/87: [1]

[The] Qur’an describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah, corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places, consuming the people’s wealth frivolously, refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do, and other ugly characteristics caused by their deep-rooted lasciviousness…only a minority of the Jews keep their word….[A]ll Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims, the bad ones do not. (Qur’an 3:113)

Tantawi was apparently rewarded for this scholarly effort by being named Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University in 1996, a position he still holds. These are the expressed, “carefully researched” views on Jews held by the nearest Muslim equivalent to a Pope—the head of the most prestigious center of Muslim learning in Sunni Islam, Sunnis representing some 85% of the world’s Muslims. And Sheikh Tantawi has not mollified such hatemongering beliefs since becoming the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar as his statements on the Jews as “enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs” [2], the legitimacy of homicide bombing of Jews, [3] or “dialogue” with Jews (just below), make clear. [4]

…anyone who avoids meeting with the enemies in order to counter their dubious claims and stick fingers into their eyes, is a coward. My stance stems from Allah’s book [the Qur’an], more than one-third of which deals with the Jews…[I] wrote a dissertation dealing with them [the Jews], all their false claims and their punishment by Allah. I still believe in everything written in that dissertation. [i.e., from above, in Banu Isra’il fi al-Qur’an wa al-Sunna]

Tantawi’s case illustrates the prevalence and depth of sacralized, “normative” Jew hatred in the contemporary Muslim world. Even if all non-Muslim Judeophobic themes were to disappear miraculously overnight from the Islamic world, the living legacy of anti-Jewish hatred, and violence rooted in Islam’s sacred texts—Qur’an, hadith, and sira—would remain intact. The assessment and understanding of Islamic antisemitism must begin with an unapologetic analysis of the anti-Jewish motifs contained in these foundational texts of Islam.

The Major Anti-Jewish Motifs in the Qur’an

Composed in Arabic, and divided into chapters (suras) and verses (ayah; plural ayat), the Qur’an contains some 80,000 words, 6200-6240 verses, and 114 suras, arranged from longest to shortest in length. Irrespective of chronology, i.e., when they were putatively revealed to the Muslim prophet Muhammad, the longer suras appear first in the actual arrangement of the Qur’an. [5] Theodore Nöldeke (d.1930), whose seminal 1860 Geschichte des Qorans remains a vital tool for Qur’anic research, elaborated on the “revelation process”, as understood by Muslims, in 1891:

To the faith of the Muslims…the Koran is the word of God, and such also is the claim which the book itself advances…The rationale for the revelation is explained in the Koran itself as follows:—In heaven is the original text (“the mother of the book,” [sura]xliii.[verse]3; “a concealed book,” lv.77; “a well-guarded tablet,” lxxxv.22). By a process of sending down (tanzil), one piece after another was communicated to the Prophet. The mediator was an angel, who is called sometimes the “Spirit” (xxxvi.193), sometimes the “holy Spirit” (xvi.104), and at a later time “Gabriel” (ii.91}. This angel dictates the revelation to the Prophet, who repeats it after him, and afterward proclaims it to the world (lxxxvii.6, etc.)…It is an explicit statement of the Koran that the sacred book was revealed (“sent down”) by God, not all at once, but piecemeal and gradually (xxv.34). This is evident from the actual composition of the book, and is confirmed by Muslim tradition. That is to say, Muhammad issued his revelation in flyleaves of greater or less extent. A single piece of this kind was called either, like the entire collection, qur’an, i.e., “reading”, or rather “recitation;” or kitab, “writing;” or sura, which is the late-Hebrew shura, and means literally “series.” The last became, in the lifetime of Muhammad, the regular designation of the individual sections as distinguished from the whole collection; and accordingly it is the name given to the separate chapters of the Koran. [6]

And to this day, for the Muslim masses, as Ibn Warraq notes, [7]

…the Koran remains the infallible word of God, the immediate word of God sent down, through the intermediary of a “spirit” or “holy spirit” or Gabriel, to Muhammad in perfect, pure Arabic; and every thing contained therein is eternal and uncreated. The original text is in heaven…The angel dictated the revelation to the Prophet, who repeated it after him, and then revealed it to the world. Modern Muslims also claim that these revelations have been preserved exactly as revealed to Muhammad, without any change, addition, or loss whatsoever…the Koran remains for all Muslims, and not just “fundamentalists” the uncreated word of God Himself. It is valid for all times and places; its ideals are, according to all Muslims, absolutely true and beyond any criticism.

The Qur’anic depiction of the Jews—their traits as thus characterized being deemed both infallible and timeless—has been summarized in elegant, complementary discussions by Haggai Ben-Shammai, [8] and Saul S. Friedman.[9] Ben-Shammai focuses on two key examples of Jew hatred in the Qur’an (and Qur’anic exegesis)—the “curse against the Jews” (in sura 2, verse 61), and Qur’anic verses (most notably, sura 5, verse 82) rationalizing why Jews were to be held in greater contempt than Christians. [10] Friedman’s presentation is a remarkably compendious synthesis of anti-Jewish motifs developed in the Qur’an—Jews as misguided souls designated to suffer a “lighter punishment” in the corporeal world, but ultimately consigned to the hellfire if they fail to accept the “true faith” of Islam. [11]

Ben Shammai [12] highlights the centrality of the Jews “abasement and humiliation”, and being “laden with God’s anger” in the corpus of Muslim exegetic literature on Qur’an 2:61, including the hadith and Qur’anic commentaries. Despite the literal reference of 2:61 to the Israelites in the wilderness during their exodus from Egypt, he notes, [13]

…to all of the Muslim exegetes, without exception, it was absolutely clear that the reference was to the Jews of their day. The Arabic word translated as “pitched upon them” also means, literally, that the “abasement and poverty” were decreed for them forever. The “abasement” is the payment of the poll tax [jizya] [14] and the humiliating ceremony involved. As for the “poverty,” this insured their remaining impoverished forever. There are traditions which attribute this interpretation to Muhammad himself. [15]

The terrifying rage decreed upon the Jews forever is connected in the hadith and exegeses to Qur’an 1:7, where Muslims ask Allah to guide them rightly, not in the path of those who provoke and must bear His wrath. This verse is in turn linked to Qur’anic verses 5:60, and 5:78, which describe the Jews transformation into apes and swine (5:60), having been “…cursed by the tongue of David, and Jesus, Mary’s son” (5:78). [16]

Ben-Shammai explains the primary reason for this “fearful decree” which resulted in the Jews being “so terribly cursed”: [17]

…from time immemorial the Jews rejected God’s signs, the wonders performed by the prophets. They did not accept the prophecy of Jesus whom the Koran counts among the prophets. But this is all part of the Jews’ nature: they are by their very nature deceitful and treacherous.

Although the Jews initially longed for Muhammad to triumph over the pagan Arabs, “Would that Allah send this prophet of whom our Book says that his coming is assured” (according to a tradition cited by Ben-Shammai) [18], realizing that Muhammad was not one of them, Ben-Shammai observes, quoting from Qur’an 5:64, [19]

…they then denied him out of jealousy of the Arabs, though they knew in truth he is the prophet. Furthermore, this Jewish trait brought them to grave heresy. They thought that they would succeed not only in leading humankind astray but also in fooling God…(5:64) “The Jews have said, God’s hand is tied…As often as they light a fire for war, God will extinguish it”. Exegetes cite traditions which prove that the Jews always hated the true prophets and put them to death. Therefore they always failed in their wars and their Temple was destroyed time and again.

Independent confirmation of Ben Shammai’s analyses of these specific verse linkages to the central Qur’anic curse (i.e., verse 2:61, reiterated at 3:112), can be found in the major contemporary Qur’anic commentary written by Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi (d. 1976), which was completed in Urdu during the 1960s, and early 1970s. [20] Shafi’s exegesis notes that verses 5:78, and the connected verse 5:77, are directed at the Jews, who, having strayed “…from the right path (again, verse 1:7),” were beset by “the curse of Allah the Almighty.” [21] Shafi then outlines the following “temporal” arrangements, and specific associations with the Biblical figures David, Jesus, and Moses, culminating in a curse upon the Jews by Muhammad himself (albeit Muhammad’s curse would be a reference to the sira, [22] specifically):

Firstly, it [the Qur’anic curse] came through the tongue of Dawud [David] as a result of which they were transformed into swines. Then, this curse fell upon them through the tongue of Isa [the Muslim Jesus] the temporal effect of which was that they were transformed into monkeys…the fact is that the curse on them began with Musa [Moses] and ended at the Last among Prophets [Muhammad]. Thus, the curse which overtook those, who were hostile to prophets or were guilty of acting excessively by making prophets sharers in Divine attributes, was wished verbally by four prophets one after the other. [23]

Ben-Shammai’s analysis [24] of Qur’an 5: 82 (“Thou wilt surely find the most hostile of men to the believers are the Jews and the idolaters; and thou wilt surely find the nearest of them in love to the believers are those who say 'We are Christians'; that, because some of them are priests and monks, and they wax not proud.”), links this verse to Qur’an 3:54-3:56, [25] and in turn to the tradition, “The Christians are to be above the Jews until the day of Judgment, for there is no land where the Christians are not above the Jews, neither in the east nor the west. The Jews are degraded in all the lands.”

He emphasizes that in the traditions, [26]

…the Christians have a clear priority over the Jews. If we posit that the early tradition reflects the historical development of early Islam and that the political, economic, and social reality was apt to produce this preference, there is no doubt that these traditions reflect this reality.

Both classical and modern Qur’anic exegeses by seminal Muslim commentators uphold Ben-Shammai’s interpretation of the anti-Jewish motifs featured in Qur’an 2:61 and 5:82. The great Muslim historian and Qur’anic exegete Tabari (d. 923), for example, interpreted the Qur’anic curse upon the Jews in 2:61, as follows: [27]

…“abasement 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” (Qur’an 9:29)

…Ibn Zaid said about His words “and abasement and poverty were imposed upon them”, ‘These are the Jews of the Children of Israel’. I said: ‘Are they the Copts of Egypt?’ He said: “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.

Tabari’s own related commentary on the posture to be assumed by a tributary during jizya collection (derived from Qur’an 9:29) underscores the deliberately humiliating character of this Qur’anic poll tax: [28]

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

Baydawi (d. ~ 1316), in his important Qur’anic exegesis Anwaar al-Tanziil wa-Asraar al-Ta’wiil, provided this analysis of Qur’an 2:61: [29]

…“humiliation and wretchedness” covered them like a dome, or stuck to them like wet clay to a wall—a metaphor for their denial of the bounty. The Jews are mostly humiliated and wretched either of their own accord, or out of coercion of the fear of having their jizya doubled….Either they became deserving of His wrath [or]…the affliction of “humiliation and wretchedness” and the deserving wrath which preceded this.

…“because they disbelieved and killed the prophets unjustly” by reason of their disbelief in miracles, e.g. the splitting of the sea, the clouds giving shade, and the sending of the manna and quails, and splitting of the rock into twelve fountains/or, disbelief in the revealed books, e.g. the Gospel, Qur’an, the verse of stoning, and the Torah verse in which Muhammad is depicted; and their killing of the prophets like Shay`aa [Isaiah], Zakariyyaa, Yahyaa, et al., all killed unjustly because they considered that of these prophets nothing was to be believed and thus they deserved to be killed.

In addition [God] accuses them of following fantasy and love of this world, as he demonstrates in His saying [line 14] “this if for their transgression and sin” i.e. rebelliousness, contrariness, and hostility brought them into disbelief in the signs, and killing the prophets. Venal sins lead to serious sins, just as small bits of obedience lead to larger ones….God repeated this proof of what is inveterate [in the Jews], which is the reason for their unbelief and murder, and which is the cause of their committing sins and transgressing the bounds God set.

Ibn Kathir (d. 1373), another prominent Qur’anic commentator, emphasized the Jews eternal humiliation in accord with Qur’an 2:61: [30]

This ayah indicates that the Children of Israel were plagued with humiliation, and this will continue, meaning it will never cease. They will continue to suffer humiliation at the hands of all who interact with them, along with the disgrace that they feel inwardly.

Al-Hassan commented, “Allah humiliated them under the feet of the Muslims, who appeared at a time when the Majus (Zoroastrians) were taking the jizya from the Jews. Also, Abu Al-‘Aliyah, Ar-Rabi bin Anas and As-Suddi said that ‘misery’ used in that ayah means ‘poverty’. ‘Atiyah Al-‘Awfi said that ‘misery’ means, ‘paying the tilth (tax)’. In addition, Ad-Dahhak commented on Allah’s statement, “and they drew on themselves the wrath of Allah”, ‘They deserved Allah’s anger’. Also, Ibn Jarir said that, “and they drew on themselves the wrath of Allah” means, ‘They went back with the wrath. Similarly, Allah said, “Verily, I intend to let you draw my sin on yourself as well as yours” (Qur’an 5:29) meaning, ‘You will end up carrying my and your mistakes instead of me’. Thus the meaning of the ayah becomes, “They went back carrying Allah’s anger: Allah’s wrath descended upon them; they deserved Allah’s anger’.

Allah’s statement, “That was because they used to disbelieve in the Ayat (proofs, evidence, etc.) of Allah and killed the Prophets wrongfully”, means ‘This is what We rewarded the Children of Israel with: humiliation and misery’. Allah’s anger that descended on the Children of Israel was a part of the humiliation they earned, because of their defiance of the truth, disbelief in Allah’s Law, i.e., the Prophets and their following. The Children of Israel rejected the Messengers even killing them. Surely there is no form of disbelief worse than disbelieving in Allah’s ayat and murdering the Prophets of Allah.

The prolific modern Qur’anic commentator Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966), in contrast to the classical exegeses cited above, focuses initially on the plight of the Jews in Biblical Egypt: [31]

…Moses is telling them to go back to Egypt and resume their servile, humble, humdrum life where they can have their cucumber, lentils, garlic, and onion. They would not, it seems, be strong enough for the great and noble task God had called on them to undertake…I favor this second meaning because it reminds the Israelites of their misery and humiliation in Egypt…“Ignominy and humiliation stamped upon them [the Jews] and they incurred the wrath of God” (Verse 61)..Historically, this came later as a result of their disbelief in God’s revelations, their killing of some of the prophets, and their general disobedience. These developments occurred several generations after Moses, but “ignominy and humiliation” are mentioned here because they fit the context of their condescension and insolence. Moses reminded them of the suffering and distress they had undergone in Egypt and of God’s kindness in delivering them from the Pharoah.

However, largely consistent with the classical commentaries on Qur’an 2:61 of Tabari, Baydawi, and Ibn Kathir, which emphasize (especially Baydawi and Ibn Kathir) the “inveterate” nature of the Jews, Qutb ultimately concludes: [32]

No other nation has shown more intransigence and obstinacy than the Jews. They viciously and mercilessly killed and mutilated a number of prophets and messengers. They have over the centuries displayed the most extreme attitudes towards God, and towards their own religion and people. Nevertheless they have always boasted of their virtue and made the implausible claims of being the most rightly-guided nation, the chosen people of God and the only people that shall be saved. Such claims are totally refuted by the Qur’an…

Finally, Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi (d. 1979), one of the most widely read and influential Muslim scholars of the 20th century, [33] wrote the following commentary on Qur’an 2:61 in what is considered his “magnum opus” (completed in 1973), the Tafhim al Qur’an (“Towards Understanding the Qur’an”): [34]

The Israelites recorded their crimes in detail in their own history…The same hostility to Prophets is evident from the life of Jesus…This is a shameful chapter in the record of the Jewish nation, to which the Qur’an refers here in passing. It is evident that when a nation chooses its most notoriously criminal and wicked people for positions of leadership, and its righteous and holy men for gaol [jail] and the scaffold, God has no alternative but to lay His curse and damnation on that nation…

The Qur’an, as discussed by Ben-Shammai, [35] also maintains in sura 5, verse 82, that the Jews harbored a singular hatred of the Muslims, which distinguished them in this regard, from the Christians:

Thou wilt find the most vehement of mankind in hostility to those who believe (to be) the Jews and the idolaters. And thou wilt find the nearest of them in affection to those who believe (to be) those who say: Lo! We are Christians. That is because there are among them priests and monks, and because they are not proud.

The classical Qur’anic commentaries of Tabari, Zamakashari (d. 1143), Baydawi, and Ibn Kathir on Qur’an 5:82 demonstrate a uniformity of opinion on the confirmed animus of the Jews towards the Muslims, which is repeatedly linked to the curse of Qur’an 2:61.

Tabari: [36]

In my [Tabari’s] 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.

Zamakshari: [37]

Here God portrays the Jews as being unyielding and as acknowledging the truth only grudgingly…On account of their vehement enmity against the believers, God places the Jews together with the idolators; indeed, going even further, he shows them to be at the head, since they are mentioned before the idolators. God does the same in his words: 'And thou shalt find them (the Jews) the eagerest of men for life—even more so than the idolators. Each of them wishes he could be given a life of a thousand years; but the grant of life would not save him from chastisement—for God sees well all that they do!" (sura 2:96/90). The Jews are surely like this, and even worse! From the Prophet (the following is related): ‘If a Muslim is alone with two Jews, they will try to kill him.’… the Jews focused their hostility to the Muslims in the most overt and intense manner…

Baydawi: [38]

…because of [the Jews’] intense obstinacy, multifaceted disbelief, and their addiction to following their whims, their adherence to the blind following of their tradition, their distancing themselves from the truth, and their unrelenting denial of, and hostility toward, the prophets…[the Christians] …easiness to deal with, the softness of their hearts, their dismissal of gain in this world, and their serious concern with learning and good deeds…their acceptance of the truth as soon as they understand it; or, because of their humility as opposed to the arrogance of the Jews…

Ibn Kathir: [39]

Allah said, “Verily you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers the Jews and those who commit Shirk [i.e., the polytheists, or idolators]”. This describes the Jews, since their disbelief is that of rebellion, defiance, opposing the truth, belittling other people, and degrading the scholars. This why the Jews—may Allah’s continued curses descend on them until the Day of Resurrection—killed many of their Prophets and tried to kill the Messenger of Allah several times, as well as performing magic spells against him and poisoning him. They also incited their likes among the polytheists against the Prophet.

Once again, Qutb’s extensive modern exegesis on Qur’an 5:82 simply confirms the views of these classical commentators on the inveterate hatred of the Jews for the true, primordial faith of Islam (and its votaries, i.e., the Muslims). Extending the collective judgments of Tabari, Zamakshari, Baydawi, and Ibn Kathir to reflect, logically, on historical events as a continuum, from the time of Muhammad, through the 20th century, Qutb maintains, [40]

What is noteworthy about the phrasing of this statement [Qur’an 5:82] is the fact that the Jews are mentioned ahead of the idolators in being most hostile to the believers, and their hostility is open and easily recognized by anyone who cares to pay attention… By mentioning the Jews first in this instance, when it would be thought they would be less than the idolators in their hostility to the believers as they have revealed Scriptures of their own, makes the ordering particularly significant. Because of the way it is phrased, the statement directs attention to the fact that the Scriptures have not changed the Jews and that they are just the same as the unbelievers in their ardent hostility towards the believers. This is the least that can be said, although it is possible that the statement means that in their hostility to the believers, the Jews took the lead, their animosity greater than that of the idolators.

When we look at the history of Islam ever since its very early days until the present moment, we have no doubt that the hostility of the Jews to the believers has always been more fierce, determined and longer lasting than the hostility of the idolators and unbelievers. From the very first moment the Muslim state was established in Madinah, the Jews adopted a hostile attitude towards it. They schemed against the Muslim community from the outset of its very existence. Qur’anic references to this hostility and scheming are sufficient to give a good idea of the unabating war the Jews have waged against Islam and its Messenger (peace be upon him), and the Muslim community throughout history. Indeed, this war has not abated for a single moment throughout fourteen centuries. It continues to rage throughout the world even today.

The war that the Jews have launched against Islam has been much longer lasting and wider in spectrum than that launched against it by pagans and unbelievers both in old and modern times, although the latter has also been ferocious. The fight with the Arabian idolators in the early days of Islam did not last more than 20 years. Of similar duration was the battle against the Persian Empire. In modern times, we see that the war launched against Islam by paganism in India is and has been manifestly ferocious, but it does not equal the ferocity of the Zionist war against Islam…The only battle against Islam which is comparable to that of the Jews in respect of its duration was that of the Crusades…

Qutb, not surprisingly, concludes: [41]

We remind ourselves of this history in order to appreciate God’s purpose in mentioning the Jews ahead of the idolators in the ranking of those who are hostile to Islam…Theirs is a wicked nature which is full of hatred for Islam, its Prophet and its followers. Hence, God warns His Messenger and the believers against its designs. This wicked and most vile nature could only be defeated in past history by Islam and its followers when they truly followed Islamic principles. Our modern world will not be saved from this wicked nature except by Islam, and only when its people implement Islam completely in their lives.

Ben-Shammai, arguing for prolonged historical continuity, “As has been stated, this tradition (i.e., of more intense Muslim-Jewish hatred) has remained alive to this very day”, [42] refers to the travelogue accounts of Edward William Lane, which record Lane’s observations of Egyptian society, written in 1835. [43] But Ben-Shammai fails to discuss a remarkable essay by the polymath Arabic writer al-Jahiz (d. 869), [44] composed a millennium earlier, which bolsters his argument by illustrating the anti-Jewish attitudes prevalent within an important early Islamic society. Al-Jahiz’s essay—an anti-Christian polemic believed to have been commissioned by the Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil (d. 861), who inaugurated a literary campaign against the Christians [45]—explores the reasons why the Muslim masses prefer the Christians to the Jews. This empirical preference (although decried by the author) [46] is acknowledged by al-Jahiz from the outset: [47]

I shall begin to enumerate the causes which made the Christians more liked by the masses than the Magians [Zoroastrians], and made men consider them more sincere than the Jews, more endeared, less treacherous, less unbelieving, and less deserving of punishment. For all this there are manifold and evident causes.

Al-Jahiz offers two primary explanations for this abiding hostility of the Muslim rank and file towards the Jews. First was the “rancorous” relationship between the early Muslim community, exiles from Mecca, relocated among Jewish neighbors in Medina. [48]

When the [Muslim] Emigrants [from Mecca] became the neighbors of the Jews [in Medina]…the Jews began to envy the Muslims the blessings of their new faith, [49] and the union which resulted after dissension. They proceeded to undermine the belief of our [i.e., the Muslim] masses, and to lead them astray. They aided our enemies and those envious of us. From mere misleading speech and stinging words they plunged into an open declaration of enmity, so that the Muslims mobilized their forces, exerting themselves morally and materially to banish the Jews and destroy them. Their strife became long-drawn and widespread, so that it worked itself up into a rage, and created yet greater animosity and more intensified rancor. The Christians, however, because of their remoteness from Mecca and Medina, did not have to put up with religious controversies, and did not have occasion to stir up trouble, and be involved in war. That was the first cause of our dislike of the Jews, and our partiality toward the Christians.

However, al-Jahiz then identifies as “the most potent cause” of this particular animus towards the Jews, Qur’an 5:82, and its interpretation by the contemporary (i.e., mid-9th century) Muslim masses. [50] It is also worth noting that al-Jahiz (described as a “skeptic”, who harbored “indifferent views toward religion in general” [51]) included these sociological observations which reveal the interface between Islamic religious and indigenous ethnic/racial discriminatory attitudes towards Jews expressed a millennium before any secular Western European antisemitic ideologies would be exported to the Muslim Near East: [52]

Our people [the Muslims] observing thus the occupations of the Jews and the Christians concluded that the religion of the Jews must compare unfavorably as do their professions, and that their unbelief must be the foulest of all, since they are the filthiest of all nations. Why the Christians, ugly as they are, are physically less repulsive than the Jews may be explained by the fact that the Jews, by not intermarrying, have intensified the offensiveness of their features. Exotic elements have not mingled with them; neither have males of alien races had intercourse with their women, nor have their men cohabited with females of a foreign stock. The Jewish race therefore has been denied high mental qualities, sound physique, and superior lactation. The same results obtain when horses, camels, donkeys, and pigeons are inbred.

Al-Jahiz’s contention that the Muslims harbored greater enmity towards the Jews than the Christians is supported by the independent observations of another Arab author active during the beginning of the 9th century in Iraq, the Sufi theologian al-Harith al-Muhasibi (d. 857). [53] He maintained that because the Jews stubbornly denied Muhammad’s truth, they were “…in the eyes of the Muslims worse than the Christians”. [54]



One thousand years later, Lane’s testimony on the difference between the attitude of Egyptian Muslims toward the Jews and the Christians [55] again highlights the influence of Qur’an 5:82:

They [the Jews] are held in the utmost contempt and abhorrence by the Muslims in general, and they are said to bear a more inveterate hatred than any other people to the Muslims and the Muslim religion. It is said, in the Koran [quoting 5:82] “Thou shalt surely find the most violent all men to those who have believed to be the Jews…”

Lane further notes, [56]

It is a common saying among the Muslims in this country, “Such one hates me with the hate of the Jews.” We cannot wonder, then, that the Jews are detested far more than are the Christians. Not long ago, they used often to be jostled in the streets of Cairo, and sometimes beaten for merely passing on the right hand of a Muslim. At present, they are less oppressed: but still they scarcely ever dare to utter a word of abuse when reviled or beaten unjustly by the meanest Arab or Turk; for many a Jew has been put to death upon a false and malicious accusation of uttering disrespectful words against the Koran or the Prophet. It is common to hear an Arab abuse his jaded ass, and, after applying to him various opprobrious epithets, end by calling the beast a Jew.

Ben-Shammai’s discussion also omits a series of subsequent 19th century accounts which validate and expand upon Lane’s narrative. For example, the French surgeon A.B. Clot who resided in Egypt from 1825 to1848, and served Muhammad Ali as a medical adviser, earning the honorific title, “Bey”, made these confirmatory observations written in 1840, five years after Lane’s travelogue first appeared in 1835: [57]

The Israelite race is the one that the Muslims hate the most. They think that the Jews hate Islam more than any other nation…Speaking of a fierce enemy, the Muslims say: “He hates me the way the Jews hate us.” During the past century, the Israelites were often put to death because they were accused rightly or wrongly to have something disrespectful about the Koran.

And three decades later, such hateful attitudes directed at the Jews specifically, persisted among Egyptian Muslims, as recorded in 1873 by Moritz Lüttke: [58]

The Muslim hates no other religion as he hates that of the Jews…even now that all forms of political oppression have ceased, at a time when such great tolerance is shown to the Christian population, the Arabs still bear the same contemptuous hatred of the Jews. It is a commonplace occurrence, for example, for two Arabs reviling each other to call each other Ibn Yahudi; (or “son of a Jew”) as the supreme insult…it should be mentioned that in these cases, they pronounce the word Yahudi; in a violent and contemptuous tone that would be hard to reproduce.

Jacob Landau’s modern analysis of Egyptian Jewry in the 19th century elucidates the predictable outcome of these bigoted archetypes “constantly repeated in various forms”—the escalation from rhetorical to physical violence against Jews: [59]

…it is interesting to note that even the fallahin, the Egyptian peasantry (almost all of them Muslim) certainly did not know many Jews at close quarters, but nevertheless would revile them. The enmity some Muslims felt for the Jews incited them to violence, persecution, and physical assault, as in 1882…Hostility was not necessarily the result of envy, for many Jews were poverty-stricken and even destitute and were sometimes forced to apply for financial assistance to their co-religionists abroad.

Saul S. Friedman—in contrast to Ben-Shammai’s detailed, but narrow focus—weaves together a much fuller array of anti-Jewish Qur’anic motifs in his very concise, and logical presentation. [60] The Qur’an acknowledges that Allah assisted the Israelites passage across the Red Sea (Qur’an 10:90), and re-settled them in a sanctified land (Qur’an 10:93). He further granted them Scriptures, while bestowing upon them wisdom and prophethood (Qur’an 45:16), without evil motives (Qur’an 11:110). Those Jews who fathomed the revelation of the true book (i.e., the Qur’an) would enjoy the blessings of paradise (Qur’an 27:76-81). However, as Friedman observes: [61]

Unfortunately, these were few, because Jews had wronged themselves (Qur’an 16:118) by losing faith (Qur’an 7:168) and breaking the covenant (Qur’an 5:13). Sounding much like an ante-Nicean polemic, the Qur’an contends that the Jews are a nation that has “passed away” (Qur’an 2:134, 2:141). Twice God sent his instruments (the Assyrians [or Babylonians?] and Romans) [72[62]] to punish this perverse people (Qur’an 17:4—5), and their dispersal over the face of the earth is proof of his rejection (Qur’an 7:168). For the arrogant Jews who still claim to be His chosen people, the Qur’an instructs, “Say: 'You of Jewry, if you assert that you are the friends of God, apart from other men, then do you long for death, if you speak truly.'” (Qur’an 62:6).

Friedman then enumerates key examples of the “impressive indictment of the Jews’ sins” contained within the Qur’an: [63]

Apart from breaking the covenant, “they denied the revelations of Allah and killed their prophets unjustly” (Qur’an 4:155). Abuse of prophets is a consistent theme. In the Sura of the Cow [i.e., sura 2], Jews are asked, “Why did you kill the prophets of Allah if you are true believers” (Qur’an 2:91). Jews are chastised for plotting against Jesus (Quran 3:55 and 4:157). Instead of revering Muhammad, whom they ridicule as Ra’ina (the evil one) (Qur’an 2:104; 4:46), these “perverse” creatures say Ezra is the messiah and they worship rabbis who defraud men of their possessions (Qur’an 9:30).

Referenced passingly in Qur’an 59:1 as unbelievers and hypocrites, Friedman notes how the Jews are “especially vilified” in the suras held by Muslims to be later, or Medinan revelations. [64]

In a long diatribe in the Sura of the Cow, where they are typified as an “envious” people (Qur’an 2:109) whose hearts are “hard as rock” (Qur’an 2:74), Jews are accused of confounding the truth (Qur’an 2:42), deliberately perverting scripture (Qur’an 2:75), and telling lies (Qur’an 2:78). Illiterate, senseless people of little faith (Qur’an 2:89), they engage in vague and wishful fancies (Qur’an 2:111). Shame and misery have been stamped on them for their transgressions (Qur’an 2:62) 65, which include usury (Qur’an 2:275), breaking the Sabbath (Qur’an 2:65), sorcery (Qur’an 2:102), hedonism (Qur’an 2:95 66), and idol worship (Qur’an 2:53 67).

Qur’an 4:51 again mentions the Jews’ idol worship, in connection with “false gods”, and as Friedman notes, this accusation is then linked to a long series of other “iniquities” for which the Jews are faulted: [68]

…their lack of faith, taking words out of context, disobedience and distortion (Qur’an 4:45) [69], their “monstrous falsehoods” (Qur’an 4:156), usury, and cheating (Qur’an 4:160) [70]. The charge of cheating is prominently featured in Imran [sura 3] where most Jews are accused of being “evildoers” (Qur’an 3:111 71) who, deceived by their own lies (Qur’an 3:24), try to “debar believers from the path of Allah and seek to make it crooked” (Qur’an 3:99). Jews mislead (Qur’an 3:69), confound the truth (Qur’an 3:71), twist tongues (Qur’an 3:79 72), and say, “We are not bound to keep faith with Gentiles” (Qur’an 3:75). Believers are advised by the Sura of The Table [sura 5] not to take these clannish people as their friends (Qur’an 5:51). “The most implacable of men in their enmity to the faithful” (Qur’an 5:82), Jews are blind and deaf to the truth (Qur’an 5:71). What they have not forgotten, they have perverted.

All these charges build to a denouement (as if part of a theological indictment, conviction, and sentencing process) in Qur’anic verses 58:14—19, which state: [73]

Do you see those that have befriended a people [the Jews] with whom Allah is angry? They belong neither to you nor to them. They knowingly swear to falsehoods.

Allah has prepared for them a grievous scourge. Evil indeed is that which they have done.

They use their faith as a disguise and debar others from the path of Allah. A shameful scourge awaits them.

Neither their wealth nor their children shall in the least protect them from Allah. They are the heirs of Hell and there they shall abide forever.

On the day when Allah restores them all to life, they will swear to Him as they now swear to you, thinking that their oaths will help them. Surely they are liars all.

Satan has gained possession of them and caused them to forget Allah’s warning. They are the confederates of Satan; Satan’s confederates assuredly will be lost.

Friedman’s discussion concludes with an elaboration of the “ultimate sin” committed by the Jews, and their appropriate punishment: [74]

…they are among the devil’s minions (Qur’an 4:60). Cursed by God, their faces will be obliterated (Qur’an 4:47). If they do not accept the true faith, on the day of judgment, they will be made into apes (Qur’an 2:65, and 7:166) and burn in the hellfire (Qur’an 4:55). As it is written in the Sura of the Proof [i.e., sura 98], “The unbelievers among the People of the Book and the pagans shall burn forever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures” (Qur’an 98:7) [75]

Ben-Shammai and Friedman illustrate anti-Jewish motifs in the Qur’an either broadly (Friedman) [76], or in a more focused way (Ben-Shammai). [77] Ronald Nettler’s 1990 analysis [78] confirms Ben-Shammai’s conclusions:


The main portrayal of the Jews in the Qur’an is that of rejectors of Allah’s truth and persecutors of his prophets. This meant, of course, that the Jews were mortal enemies of Islam. From this motif were derived other, subsidiary themes. Here the Jews were portrayed as possessors of a tarnished truth (which they themselves tarnished) who, for the most part, could not recognize in Muhammad’s revelation the most perfect version of their own, They ought to have welcomed and acknowledged this new doctrine of completion and fulfillment. Instead they denied and rejected it. Rather than put their full weight behind Muhammad’s people they chose to oppose him, sometimes even aiding his enemies. Yet it was the Jews, from Islam’s point of view who, more than anyone else, were obliged to give such acknowledgment. It is hardly surprising then, that the Qur’an in one well-known condemnation [Qur’an 5:82] of the Jews described them as “the most hostile in intent toward the believers” along with the pagans. This already encapsulated, in essence, the Qur’anic view of the Jews.

Nettler further illustrates how such Qur’anic archetypes of Jews were amplified in the hadith, sira, and early Islamic theological and historical literature, which complement the Qur’an as foundational sources of Islamic beliefs. These core texts—summarized elegantly by Nettler—assert that the Jews caused Muhammad’s agonizing death by poisoning, [79] and maintain that it was a renegade Jew (Abd Allah b. Saba) [80] who fomented the nearly cataclysmic civil strife over the succession of the “Rightly Guided Caliphs”, and was also responsible for the Shi’ite heresy, and resultant Shi’a sectarianism. [81]

Such a stubborn denial of truth—part of the “eternal” Jewish nature, as early Islam conceived it—impelled the Jews to act with conspiratorial malevolence toward Muhammad and his new tradition. Hence the various motifs of Jewish perfidy in early Islamic theoretical and historical literature. The Jews’ role as allies of Muhammad’s various opponents was, for example, a commonplace in the hadith, sira, and historical literature. One of the most extreme forms of Jewish perfidiousness alleged in the Islamic sources was the portrayal of the Jews as the killers of Muhammad. In keeping with the Qur’anic portrayal of the Jews as persecutors and even killers of their own prophets, this idea brought the story up to date, as it were, in a sort of denouement of the long drama of Jewish attacks on the prophets and prophecy. The archetypal logic of the tale was flawless: in Islamic terms, this was the final Jewish assault on the apex of prophetic religion... [R]ecounted…in the standard story of Muhammad’s painful and protracted death from poisoning by a Jewish woman.

Another early archetype of Jewish perfidy and destructiveness toward Islam was the story of Abd Allah b. Saba, the man held responsible, in the main Sunni historiographical accounts, for the first serious internal rebellion suffered by Islam. Culminating in the assassination of Islam’s third caliph, Uthman, this rebellion was traditionally perceived as the first, and fateful, breach in Muslim unity; the breach that adumbrated the subsequent period of harsh internal strife and dangerous disunity which marked the permanent loss of Islam’s political innocence. Described in the sources as an uprising in which the putative Jew, and alleged founder of the heterodox Shi’ite sect, Abd Allah b. Saba, played the key role, the portrayal of this major Islamic catastrophe exuded resonances of Jewish and Jewish-inspired heterodox elements conspiring to wreck the political stability and security of Islam; indeed wreck Islam itself.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in a speech welcoming Pope John Paul to Damascus on May 5, 2001, demonstrated how the “flawlessly updated” Islamic motif of Jews as prophet killers and torturers is used to vilify both Jews, and the Jewish State of Israel: [82]

We notice them [i.e., the Jews] aggressing against Muslim and Christian Holy Sites in Palestine, violating the sanctity of the Holy Mosque (Al-Aqsa), of the church of Sepulcher in Jerusalem and of the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. They [i.e., the Jews] try to kill all the principles of divine faiths with the same mentality of betraying Jesus Christ and torturing Him, and in the same way that they tried to commit treachery against Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him). [emphasis added]

Ben-Shammai, Nettler, and Friedman omit from their discussions, however, any comprehensive analysis of Qur’an 9:29, “Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.” The injunctions delineated in this verse clearly do not apply to Jews alone, including Christians, and perhaps Zoroastrians, as well. Yet Qur’an 9:29 and the modes of subjugation it mandates for the Jews (and those other of “Scriptured” faiths)—via peaceful or violently-imposed submission—provide the framework for implementing the myriad dictates of the Qur’an, including its antisemitic injunctions, under Shari’a, the sacralized Islamic jural order.

Ibn Kathir’s 14th century commentary [83] expresses the classical Muslim orthodoxy on Qur’an 9:29—the verse which links the unique Islamic institution of jihad war, integrally, to the imposition of the pact of submission (or “dhimma”) upon the vanquished “Scriptured” (or “dhimmi”) peoples, primarily Jews and Christians:

…when the People of the Scriptures disbelieved in Muhammad, they had no beneficial faith in any Messenger or what the Messengers brought. Rather they followed their religions because this conformed with their ideas, lusts, and the ways of their forefathers, not because they are Allah’s laws and religion. Had they been true believers in their religions, that faith would have directed them to believe in Muhammad because all Prophets gave the good news of Muhammad’s advent and commanded them to obey and follow him. Yet when he was sent, they disbelieved in him, even though he is the mightiest of all Messengers. Therefore, they do not follow the religion of earlier Prophets because these religions came from Allah, but because these suit their desires and lusts. Therefore, their claimed faith in an earlier Prophet will not benefit them because they disbelieved in the master, the mightiest, the last and most perfect of all Prophets. Hence Allah’s statement “Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the People of the Scripture”

This honorable Ayah was revealed with the order to fight the People of the Book, after the pagans were defeated, the people entered Allah’s region in large numbers, and the Arabian Peninsula was secured under the Muslims’ control. Allah commanded His Messenger to fight the People of the Scriptures, Jews and Christians… Allah said, “until they pay the Jizya”, if they do not choose to embrace Islam, ‘with willing submission’, in defeat and subservience, “and feel themselves subdued”, disgraced, humiliated and belittled. Therefore, Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimma or elevate them above Muslims, for they are miserable, disgraced, and humiliated.

Moreover, forcing Jews, in particular, to pay the Qur’anic poll tax “tribute”, “readily”, while “being brought low”, is consistent with their overall humiliation and abasement in accord with Qur’an 2:61, and its directly related verses.

Mawdudi’s commentary provides the 20th century confirmation of this orthodox view of Qur’an 9:29, expressed in a modern idiom: [84]

The Jews and Christians have corrupted their faith since they have distorted certain basic components of that [true] belief [i.e., Islam]…The People of the Book do not follow the Law revealed by God through His Messenger.

The purpose for which the Muslims are required to fight is not as one might think to compel the unbelievers into embracing Islam. Rather their purpose is to put an end to the sovereignty and supremacy of the unbelievers so that the latter are unable to rule over men. The authority to rule should only be vested in those who follow the true faith; unbelievers who do not follow this true faith should live in a state of subordination…Jizyah symbolizes the submission of the unbelievers to the suzerainty of Islam. To pay the jizyah of their own hands “humbled” refers to payment in a state of submission. “Humbled” also reinforces the idea that the believers, rather than the unbelievers, should be the rulers in performance of their duty as God’s vicegerents.

Some nineteenth-century Muslim writers and their followers in our own times never seem to tire of their apologies for jizyah. But God’s religion does not require that apologetic explanations be made on its behalf. The simple fact is that according to Islam, non-Muslims have been granted the freedom to stay outside the Islamic fold and to cling to their false, man-made ways if they so wish. They have, however, absolutely no right to seize the reigns of power in any part of God’s earth nor to direct the collective affairs of human beings according to their own misconceived doctrines. For if they are given such an opportunity, corruption and mischief will ensue. In such a situation the believers would be under an obligation to do their utmost to dislodge them from political power and to make them live in subservience to the Islamic way of life.

One of the advantages of jizyah is that it reminds the Dhimmis every year that because they do not embrace Islam…they have to pay a price—jizyah—for clinging to their errors.

The Persistent Historical Application of the Anti-Jewish Motifs in the Qur’an

Earlier, in relation to Qur’an 5:82, a few brief examples were provided [85] illustrating the historical continuity (from 9th century Baghdad/Iraq, to19th century Egypt) of the hateful attitudes towards Jews this specific verse (5:82) engendered among the Muslim masses, as chronicled by contemporary observers, both Muslim and non-Muslim. Having now presented a full spectrum of the major anti-Jewish motifs in the Qur’an, additional illustrations demonstrating their persistent influence on Muslim attitudes (and resultant behaviors) towards Jews, can be provided. Four themes will be considered: (I) the Jews being associated with Satan and consigned to Hell (Qur’an 4:60, 4:55, 58:14—19, and 98:6); (II) the imposition of the Qur’anic poll-tax (jizya; Qur’an 9:29) on Jews, specifically, and (III) the related enforcement of the Qur’anic (2:61) “curse” upon the Jews for killing the Prophets, and other transgressions against Allah’s will, meriting their permanent humiliation and abasement; and, last in connection to this curse, (IV) the Jews’ transformation into apes/swine, as punishment (Qur’an 2:65, 5:60, and 7:166).

Formal decrees (or modern pronouncements) and opinions from Muslim rulers, jurisconsults, and theologians—past and present—have repeatedly associated non-Muslim dhimmis in general, or Jews specifically, with Satan, and the torments of being consigned deservedly to Hell. The Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil in an anti-dhimmi decree dated 850, according to Tabari's account, [86] “…commanded that wooden images of devils [87] be nailed to the doors of their homes to distinguish them from the homes of Muslims.” Ibn Abdun, a Muslim jurist from Seville, Spain invoked Qur'an 58:19 in a section of his treatise (dated 1100) on dhimmi servitudes which discussed the appropriate dress of dhimmis, and how Muslims should “greet” them: [88]

You must not allow any…Jew or Christian to wear the attire of great men, doctors of law, or the wealthy. On the contrary, they must be objects of contempt and disgust; they are not entitled to a greeting of peace , [“Peace upon you!” (as-salam alaykum!)]. In effect [quoting 58:19] “Satan has gained the mastery over them, and caused them to forget God's Remembrance. Those are Satan's party; why, Satan's party, surely, they are the losers!” They must wear a distinctive, ignominious sign.

A September, 2002 review of Friday sermons from Saudi Arabian mosques [89] indicates that these motifs remain vibrant in popular modern Islamic religious teaching. At a mosque in Mecca, Sheikh Adnan Ahmed Siyami, stated,

[Islam] believes that only Islam and the “Camp of Kufur [unbelief]” exist, and that there is no way to reach Paradise and to be delivered from Hell except by walking in the path of our Prophet Muhammad and joining Islam. Any other way leads to Hell.

Sheikh Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid, another contemporary Saudi cleric, referred to the Jews, explicitly in his related discussion during a sermon delivered at a mosque in Al-Damam:

The Jews are the helpers of Satan. The Jews are the cause of the misery of the human race, together with the infidels and the other polytheists. Satan leads them to Hell and to a miserable fate.

The common expressions and practices of ordinary Muslims demonstrate how such associations of the Jews with Satan and Hell have long been imbibed by the masses. Solomon b. Jeroham, the authoritative Karaite Jewish exegete who lived in Jerusalem during the mid-10th century, [90] confirmed that the hateful doctrine regarding salutation (and humiliation), illustrated (above) by Ibn Abdun’s treatise, [91] was actually practiced by Muslims in their encounters with Jews. Solomon included the following observation in his 955/56 commentary on the Book of Lamentations: [92]

What can you say about people [Muslims] who curse you when you greet them, and when you do not greet them humiliate you and offend you?

Sir John Drummond-Hay (1816-1893), was a British diplomat and fluent linguist, with an extensive knowledge about Morocco, having lived with his father (Consul-General Edward Drummond-Hay) in Tangier from the age of 16, and served as a trusted personal adviser to three generations of Moroccan Sultans. Writing in 1844, Sir John noted the belief among Muslims of the North African Maghreb (especially Morocco) that, [93]

…if a Muhammadan walks on a Jewish grave he gives relief to the infidel in it, who is in torture, and that for this reason he should keep away from the grave.

Indeed the notion that Jews are condemned, rightfully, to such eternal torment after death is made clear by Muhammad, as recorded in the canonical hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim:

Narrated Aisha: Once Allah's Apostle passed by the (grave of) a Jewess, whose relatives were weeping over her. He said, “They are weeping over her and she is being tortured in her grave” [94]

Narrated Abi Ayub: Once the Prophet went out after Sunset and heard a dreadful voice, and said, “The Jews are being punished in their graves” [95]

Tudor Parfitt's 1996 analysis of the 20th century exodus of Yemen's Jews, [96] leading to the liquidation of their ancient community, observed that Jews figured prominently in Yemeni proverbs and expressions, including this common reference to Hellfire:

It used to be the case after saying "It's hot today" to comment "Ah! A Jew must have perished"—an allusion to the Jew burning in Hell.

The jizya collection ritual, consistent with Qur’an 9:29, fulfills the prescribed debasement of Jews and other dhimmis. Al-Suyuti (d. 1505), author (along with his mentor) [97] of a seminal Qur’anic commentary (Tafsir al-Jalalayn), made these recommendations regarding jizya collection:

…[jizya is part of] land and slaves...is incumbent upon the People of the Book...on people who allow wine [Jews and Christians] and pig-meat [Christians]...[Saaghiruuna means] submissively...[it means] by coercion...[`an yadin means] directly, not trusting the trickery of an intermediary...by force...without resistance...in an unpraiseworthy manner...while you stand and [the dhimmi] sits with the whip in front of you [you take] the money while he has dirt on his head.

Al-Maghili (d. 1504/1505), a contemporary of Al-Suyuti, and an important North African theologian whose writings on the dhimmis influenced both the Muslim masses of his day, and followers through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, insisted that affronts be inflicted upon the dhimmis, especially Jews, when collecting the jizya: [98]

On the day for tax collecting, they should be assembled in a public place, like the souk. They should present themselves there, standing up at the lowest, vilest place. The auxiliaries of the Law should stand above them, striking a menacing pose, so that appears to their eyes and to the eyes of the others that our purpose is to debase them by pretending to take their belongings. They will realize that we do them a favor [again] by accepting the jizya from them and letting them go [their way]. Then they shall be brought one by one [before the official responsible] for collecting the tax. While paying, the dhimmi will receive a slap and will be pushed back in such fashion that he will think that he has escaped the sword thanks to this [insult]. This is how the friends of the Lord in the first and last generations act toward their miscreant enemies, for power belongs to God, to His Apostle and to the Believers.

The enduring legacy of Al-Maghili’s teachings are evident in two remarkable accounts of the humiliating conditions under which the jizya was still being collected from Moroccan Jews within the modern era. An Italian Jew traveling in Morocco in 1894, reported the following: [99]

The kaid Uwida and the kadi Mawlay Mustafa had mounted their tent today near the Mellah [Jewish ghetto] gate and had summoned the Jews in order to collect from them the poll tax [jizya] which they are obliged to pay the sultan. They had me summoned also. I first inquired whether those who were European-protected subjects had to pay this tax. Having learned that a great many of them had already paid it, I wished to do likewise. After having remitted the amount of the tax to the two officials, I received from the kadi’s guard two blows in the back of the neck. Addressing the kadi and the kaid, I said” ‘Know that I am an Italian protected subject.’ Whereupon the kadi said to his guard: ‘Remove the kerchief covering his head and strike him strongly; he can then go and complain wherever he wants.’ The guards hastily obeyed and struck me once again more violently. This public mistreatment of a European-protected subject demonstrates to all the Arabs that they can, with impunity, mistreat the Jews.

And in a letter from January 30, 1911 by Avram Elmaleh, Head of the Fez boys' school, to the President of the Alliance Israelite Universelle, Paris, we learn the degrading conditions imposed upon the rabbinical leaders of the Moroccan Jewish community, in connection with “community business” (i.e., such as payment of the jizya), even into the second decade of the 20th century: [100]

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter No. 1283 of 30 January, enclosing a letter from Rabbi Vidal Sarfaty. The rabbi asks you to intervene with Si Mohamed el Mokri, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, at present in Paris, for the abolition of the degrad¬ing custom imposed on Jews, not to enter Dar el Maghzen except barefoot. Unfortunately, the facts given in Rabbi Vidal's letter are correct. Jews must take off their shoes at the gate of Dar-Maghzen. Quite apart from the humiliation involved in this measure, it is an intolerable suffering for our co-religionists to be obliged to stand many hours barefoot on the earth of the Palace courtyard, which is either cold and damp or white-hot from the summer sun. Rabbi Vidal. a regular visitor to the Dar-Maghzen in con¬nection with community business or on behalf of individuals, has often returned ill from a rather too long sojourn in front of the offices. It is my opinion that it would be impossible to obtain an order from the Sultan to allow Jews to enter the Palace with their shoes on. It is a concession which his pride would not permit, and one quite contrary to the Muslim conception of the relative positions of the Jews and themselves.

Only when Morocco became a French Protectorate was there effective abolition of such Shari’a-based practices, affording Jews, as Stillman observes, [101] “far greater security and opportunity” than had existed in the “chaotic and violent days” prior to its (1912) establishment. However, even a quarter century after the establishment of a French protectorate in Tunisia (May, 1881), as described by Jacques Chalom (in 1908), rural Tunisian Jews were still required to pay the jizya (termed majba in Tunisia). [102] Moreover, Jews in Yemen and Afghanistan continued to pay the jizya until the liquidation of their communities after Israel was established in 1948. [103]

Although Yemen’s 20th century rulers (Imam Yahya, and his son Ahmad) dispensed with public ceremonial degradation, the deliberately threatening and humiliating atmospherics of jizya collection persisted. Aviva Klein-Franke describes the collection process: [104]

The Imam [Yahya, and later his son Ahmad] would nominate a respectable Jew to collect the Poll Tax. The nominated was called Ma’mur, Sheikh or 'Aqil…He was ordered to prepare a list of all the Jewish males in his community who had reached the age of thirteen years for the purpose of collecting the Djizya…The 'Uqqal [assistants to the Ma’mur] also had to mention those Jews who had emigrated. As we have seen, the Imam confiscated the property of anyone who left the Yemen. Jews were not allowed to sell their property before leaving the country—everything would be forfeited to the Imam by his [Imam Yahya’s] decree of 1920.

Before the 'Uqqal collected the money, a street crier went through the Jewish quarter, proclaiming that the Imam expected everyone to pay the Djizya without delay. Failure to do so meant that a soldier, Baqaa, might be billeted on those in default until such time as they paid…Usually the Jews paid without any objection…they could send a written appeal to the Imam. If a Jew still refused to pay the Djizya, the Imam would accept no further excuses and would send his soldiers to the recalcitrant Jew until he was willing to pay. This meant soldiers might stay in his household for a few days. The Jew had to house them and do everything to satisfy their needs, otherwise soldiers would complain to the Imam that they had not been treated well, and that they had been insulted as Muslims. Not only would such an arrangement cost the person much more than the Djizya he owed, he could even end up in prison.

According to a 1950 report, the Jews of Afghanistan were subjected to governmental anti-Jewish bias, and the religious zeal of local Muslim populations, right until their final exodus (typically escaping to India, and thence to Israel). This ongoing discrimination included their public humiliation during collection of the jizya: [105]

…the Jews in Afghanistan are still subject to all the forms of discrimination which rigorous adherence to the Koran [9:29] requires. They have to pay the jizyah poll-tax imposed upon infidels, and the payment is accompanied by humiliating ceremonies...

The degrading jizya collection ritual was a salient feature of broader anti-dhimmi regulations codified into Islamic Law, consistent with Qur’an 9:29. The “contract of the jizya”, “dhimma”, or “system of dhimmitude”, encompassed other obligatory and recommended regulations for the conquered non-Muslim “dhimmi” peoples, including Jews, such as: [106] the prohibition of arms for the vanquished non-Muslims (dhimmis), and of church bells; restrictions concerning the building and restoration of churches, synagogues, and temples; inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims with regard to taxes and penal law; the refusal of dhimmi testimony by Muslim courts; [107] a requirement that Jews, and other non-Muslims, wear special clothes; and the overall humiliation and abasement of non-Muslims. It is important to note that these regulations and attitudes were institutionalized as permanent features of the sacred Islamic law, or Shari’a. The writings of the much lionized Sufi theologian and jurist al-Ghazali (d. 1111) (the famous theologian, philosopher, and paragon of mystical Sufism, who, as noted by the renowned scholar W.M. Watt, has been “…acclaimed in both the East and West as the greatest Muslim after Muhammad…” [108]) highlight how the institution of dhimmitude was simply a normative, and prominent feature of the Shari’a:


…the dhimmi is obliged not to mention Allah or His Apostle…Jews, Christians, and Majians must pay the jizya [poll tax on non-Muslims]…on offering up the jizya, the dhimmi must hang his head while the official takes hold of his beard and hits [the dhimmi] on the protruberant bone beneath his ear [i.e., the mandible]… They are not permitted to ostentatiously display their wine or church bells…their houses may not be higher than the Muslim’s, no matter how low that is. The dhimmi may not ride an elegant horse or mule; he may ride a donkey only if the saddle[-work] is of wood. He may not walk on the good part of the road. They [the dhimmis] have to wear [an identifying] patch [on their clothing], even women, and even in the [public] baths…[dhimmis] must hold their tongue….[109]

Two particularly humiliating “vocations” were imposed upon Jews by their Muslim overlords in Yemen, and Morocco, where Jews formed the only substantive non-Muslim dhimmi populations. Yemenite Jews had to remove human feces and other waste matter (urine which failed to evaporate, etc.) from Muslim areas, initially in Sanaa, and later in other communities such as Shibam, Yarim, and Dhamar. [110] Decrees requiring this obligation were issued in the late 18th or early 19th century, and re-introduced in 1913. [111] Yehuda Nini reproduces an 1874 letter written by a Yemenite Jew to the Alliance Israelite in Paris, lamenting the practice: [112]

…it is 86 years since our forefathers suffered the cruel decree and great shame to the nation of Israel from the east to sundown…for in the days of our fathers, 86 years ago, there arose a judge known as Qadi, and said unto the king and his ministers who lived in that time that the Lord, Blessed be He, had only created the Jews out of love of the other nations, to do their work and be enslaved by them at their will, and to do the most contemptible and lowly of tasks. And of them all…the greatest contamination of all, to clear their privies and streets and pathways of the filthy dung and the great filth in that place and to collect all that is left of the dung, may your Honor pardon the expression.

Moroccan Jews were confined to ghettos in the major cities, such as Fez (since the 13th century) called mellah(s) (salty earth) which derives from the fact it was here that they were forced to salt the decapitated heads of executed rebels for public exposition. [113] This brutally imposed humiliating practice—which could be enforced even on the Jewish Sabbath—persisted through the late 19th century, as described by Eliezer Bashan: [114]

In the 1870's, Jews were forced to salt the decapitated heads of rebels on the Sabbath. For example, Berber tribes frequently revolted against Sultan Muhammad XVIII. In order to force them to accept his authority, he would engage in punitive military campaigns. Among the tribes were the Musa, located south of Marrakesh. In 1872, the Sultan succeeded in quelling their revolt and forty-eight of their captives were condemned to death. In October 1872, on the order of the Sultan, they were dispatched to Rabat for beheading. Their decapitated heads were to be exposed on the gates of the town for three days. Since the heads were to be sent to Fez, Jewish ritual slaughterers (Hebrew, shohetim) were forced to salt them and hang them for exposure on the Sabbath. Despite threats by the governor of Rabat, the Jews refused to do so. He then ordered soldiers to enter the homes of those who refused and drag them outside. After they were flogged, the Jews complied and performed the task and the heads of the rebels were exposed in public.

Various anti-dhimmi regulations became integral to the permanent “humiliation and wretchedness” prescribed for the Jews, specifically, by the Qur’anic curse of 2:61. Breaches of this regulatory pact (or “dhimma”) by Jews—whether real or perceived—could have disastrous consequences, including fully sanctioned jihad violence [115] directed at them. For example, the poet Abu Ishaq al-Elbiri is believed to have helped incite the Muslim masses in 1066 against the Jewish vizier of Granada, Joseph Ibn Naghrela, with a vitriolic anti-Jewish ode, emphasizing how the dhimma had been violated. Abu Ishaq wrote: [116]

Bring them down to their place and Return them to the most abject station. They used to roam around us in tatters Covered with contempt, humiliation, and scorn. They used to rummage amongst the dungheaps for a bit of a filthy rag To serve as a shroud for a man to be buried in...Do not consider that killing them is treachery. Nay, it would be treachery to leave them scoffing.” [The translator then summarizes: ‘The Jews have broken their covenant (i.e., overstepped their station, with reference to the Covenant of Umar) and compunction would be out of place.]

A contemporary chronicle written by Sultan 'Abd Allah (who became Sultan of Granada in 1073) confirms that a breach in the system of dhimmitude precipitated the outburst of anti-Jewish violence by the Muslims of Granada: [117]

Both the common people and the nobles were disgusted by the cunning of the Jews, the notorious changes they had brought in the order of things, and the positions they occupied in violation of their pact [i.e., the dhimma]. Allah decreed their destruction on Saturday 10 Safar 459 (December 31, 1066)…The Jew [Joseph Ibn Naghrela] fled into the interior of the palace, but the mob pursued him there, seized him, and killed him. They then put every Jew in the city to the sword and took vast quantities of their property.

The pogrom by Granada’s Muslims resulted in the assassination of Joseph Ibn Naghrela, and the massacre of some three to four thousand Granadan Jews, along with the pillage of the Jewish community. [118] This figure equals or exceeds the number of Jews reportedly killed by the Crusaders during their pillage of the Rhineland, some thirty years later, at the outset of the First Crusade. [119]

The Mongol conquest of Baghdad in 1258 under Hulagu Khan (d. 1265), destroyed Muslim suzerainty and the domination of Islam as a state religion, rendering it “…a religion among all others”. [120] Mongol rule thus eliminated the system of dhimmitude, and in contrast to Islamic chauvinism, writes Walter Fischel, [121]

…the principle of tolerance for all faiths, maintained by the Il Khans [Mongol rulers], (depriving) the [Islamic] concept of the “Protected People”, the ahl adh-Dhimma [dhimmi system]…of its former importance; with it fell the extremely varied professional restrictions into which it had expanded, …primarily those regarding the admission of Jews and Christians to government posts.

The 13th century Christian chronicler Bar Hebraeus recorded this telling observation: [122]

With the Mongols there is neither slave nor free man, neither believer nor pagan, neither Christian nor Jew; but they regard all men as belonging to one and the same stock.

And the Iraqi Ghazi b. al-Wasiti (fl. 1292), author of a contemporary Muslim treatise on the dhimmis, noted: [123]

A firman of the Il Khan [Hulagu] had appeared to the effect that everyone should have the right to profane his faith openly and his religious connection; and that the members of one religious body should not oppose those of another

Fischel concludes: [124]

For Christians and Jews, the two groups chiefly affected by the ahl adh-Dhimma policy, current until then, this change in constitutional and religious principles implied a considerable amelioration of their position; whereas for the Muslims it meant they had sunk to a depth hitherto unknown in their history

The brief rise and calamitous fall of Sa‘d ad-Daula—which mirrored the experience of his Jewish co-religionists—took place during this Mongol epoch. Sa‘d ad-Daula was a Jewish physician, who successfully reformed the Mongol revenue and taxation system for Iraq. In recognition of these services, he was appointed by the Mongol emperor Arghun (who reigned from 1284-1291) to the position of administrative Vizier (in 1289) over Arghun’s Empire. According to Bar Hebraeus, [125]

The king of kings [Arghun] ordered that Sa‘d ad-Daula, the Jew, hitherto the Governor of Baghdad, should be appointed Chief of the administrative officials..throughout all provinces of the Empire

Despite being a successful and responsible administrator (which even the Muslim sources confirm [126]), the appointment of a Jew as the Vizier of a heathen ruler over a predominantly Muslim region, aroused the wrath, predictably, of the Muslim masses. This reaction was expressed through and exacerbated by “…all kinds of [Muslim] diatribes, satirical poems, and libels”. [127] Ibn al-Fuwati (d. 1323), a contemporary Muslim historian from Baghdad, recorded this particularly revealing example which emphasized traditional anti-Jewish motifs from the Qur’an: [128]

In the year 689/1291 a document was prepared which contained libels against Sa‘d ad-Daula, together with verses from the Qur’an and the history of the prophets, that stated the Jews to be a people whom Allah hath debased…

Another contemporary Muslim source, the chronicler and poet Wassaf, [129] according to Fischel, “…empties the vials of hatred on the Jew Sa‘d ad-Daula and brings the most implausible accusations against him”. [130] These accusations included the claims that Sa‘d had advised Arghun to cut down trees in Baghdad (dating from the days of the conquered Muslim Abbasid dynasty), and build a fleet to attack Mecca and convert the cuboidal Ka‘ba (i.e., the holiest place and structure in Islam) to a heathen temple. [131] Wassaf’s account also quotes satirical verses to demonstrate the extent of public dissatisfaction with what he terms “Jewish Domination”, adding to the existing line, “Turn Jews, for heaven itself hath turned a Jew”, his own, [132]

Yet wait and ye shall hear their torments cry
And see them fall and perish presently

When Arghun took ill, influential Mongol dukes inimical to Sa‘d ad-Daula for purely political reasons, shifted the “blame” for Arghun’s terminal illness to the Jewish physician-Vizier. Sa‘d and his supporters were arrested and a large number of them executed (1291). [133] Sa‘d ad-Daula’s murder precipitated a broad attack on Jewry throughout the Il-Khan Empire, beginning in the Baghdad Jewish ghetto, where according to the Bar Hebraeus and Wassaf, despite Jewish resistance,

…when the report of the murder of the Jew was heard, the Arabs armed themselves and went to the quarter of the Jews, because the Jews were all living together in quarter [134]…in Baghdad more than a hundred of the noble and wealthy Jews were slain, and their property plundered [135]

Wassaf and Ibn al-Fuwati further reveal that such attacks spread well beyond Baghdad: [136]

Throughout the lands of Islam, the Jewish people were oppressed and their goods plundered…there was no town left in Iraq in which the Jews were not served with that which had happened to them in Baghdad, until a part of them embraced Islam, although they later turned back again

Bar Hebraeus was moved to depict the calamity for the Jews in these poignant words: [137]

The trials and wrath which were stirred up against the Jews at this time neither tongue can utter nor the pen write down

Walter Fischel concludes [138] that “a tremendous wave of suffering and persecution must have overwhelmed the entire Jewry of Iraq and Persia”, while noting “The Muslims, however, gave expression to their joy at the end of Jewish domination in many verses filled with enmity against the Jews”. One such celebratory verse by the poet Zaynu’d-Din Ali b. Sa’id reiterated antisemitic Qur’anic motifs of the Jews as “wretched dupes of error and despair”, “foulest race”, “hatefulest”, dispatched to “hell” in “molten torments”, doomed “without reprieve”, and leaving behind “How many did they leave!”—gardens and fountains (Qur’an 44:25): [139]

Throughout the lands they’re shamed and desolate.
God hath dispersed their dominant accord,
And they are melted by the burnished sword.

Grim captains made them drink Death’s cup of ill,

Until their skulls the blood-bathed streets did fill,

And from their dwellings seized the wealth they’d gained,

And their well-guarded women’s rooms profaned.

O wretched dupes of error and despair,

At length the trap hath caught you in its snare!


O foulest race who e’er on earth did thrive

And hatefulest of those who still survive

God sped the soul of him who was their chief

To hell, whose mirk [murk] is despair and grief.

In molten torments they were prisoned,

In trailing chains they to their doom were led.

Take warning from this doom without reprieve;

Recite the verse [44:25] [140]: “How many did they leave!”

The Jewish vizier in Fez, Morocco from 1464-1465, Haroun ben Battas, and his co-religionist community, became victims of the same stereotyped anti-dhimmi and anti-Jewish Muslim prejudices [141] displayed earlier in Granada (1066) and Baghdad (1290/91). A contemporary travelogue by the Egyptian author and merchant, ‘Abd el-Basit, who was studying in Tlemcen at the time, gives the following account of the rationale for Haroun’s appointment to vizier by Sultan ‘Abd el-Haq ben Abu Said: [142]

‘Abd el-Haq kept him [the Jew, Haroun] very close to him, and made him his confidant, until the whole kingdom was given into his hand. He trusted him because he thought it impossible that the Jew (as a non-Muslim) would exceed his authority, as ‘Abd el-Haq understood it.

‘Abd el-Basit’s narrative maintains that Haroun used his position to enhance the fortunes of the Jewish elites (“In his days the Jews of Fez and its districts became great; they were influential and important…”), and in additional clear violations of the dhimma, rode a mount (“In the presence of his master, he rode horses marked with the vizerial seal”), and carried a sword with a Qur’anic inscription (“And that Jew wore a sword on an iron belt engraved with the verse al-kursi [2:255]”) [143]

Haroun’s tragic fate, and that of the Jewish community of Fez, were sealed by the following course of events. The preacher of Fez’s main mosque (the Kairouanian mosque), Sayyidi Abu ‘Abdallah Muhammad, was already well-known for his anti-Jewish diatribes. Upon learning of Haroun’s comportment, and the alleged insult of a Sharif [tribal protector] [144] by one of Haroun’s deputies, he incited the local Muslim population with cries of “Jihad” [Holy War], as described by ‘Abd el-Basit: [145]

He and the Muslims were greatly vexed because of the Jews, their influence and their control over the Muslims. In his sermon on Friday at the Great Jami of Fez, named Jamic al-Qarawiyyin, he always preached about the Jews and also dared to incite the people: perhaps they would rise up because of this for Allah’s sake and revolt. And the matter became known, and he became famous because of this. And when the insult to the sharifa occurred, he dedicated his soul to Allah, left his house and loudly proclaimed in the streets and alleys of Fez: He who will not go forth for the sake of Allah has no muruwwa [Bedouin chivalry] and no religion! And he went on to shout: Jihad, Jihad! He also ordered others to issue this call in the streets of Fez, and the people heard it, and presently revolted with him. They were joined by the great multitude from “all the low places” [Qur’an 22: 27] in Fez…

The aroused Muslim throng sought religious sanction from one of Fez’s most esteemed Sharif’s. However, he refused to support their rebellion without receiving a (consensus) fatwa from the ‘Ulema (clerical authorities), since the Sultan was directly implicated. In their appeal to the esteemed chief mufti of Fez, Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad al-Qauri, the Muslims, led by Sayyidi Abu ‘Abdallah Muhammad, argued that the Jews had violated the dhimma. The chief mufti claimed he could not support their revolt because he was fearful of the Sultan and his coterie. But the inflamed crowd ultimately compelled the chief mufti to countenance their actions after threatening the mufti’s reputation, and his very life. Under duress, the chief mufti issued a fatwa making it licit to attack the Jews, and revolt against the Sultan. Thereupon, the Muslim rabble attacked the Jewish quarter in Fez, slaughtering its inhabitants. ‘Abd el-Basit’s account describes these events approvingly: [146]

…they [the Muslim rabble] took him [Sayyidi Abu ‘Abdallah Muhammad] and began to stream to the house of the sheriff Muhmammad ibn ‘Imran, who was mazwar (in charge) of the shurafa in Fez…But he, in spite of his status, personal authority and great energy, when the preacher [Sayyidi Abu ‘Abdallah Muhammad] came in to him and tried to stir him up (against the Jews), did not respond, contending that it was improper for him to revolt while there were theologians in Fez who had not yet been asked for an opinion in the matter. They (the crowd) hastened to the theologians and assembled them, including the greatest of them at that time, the scholar and mufti…Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad al-Qauri. He and the other assembled persons were brought to the house of the sayyid the sherif. The preacher [Sayyidi Abu ‘Abdallah Muhammad] hastened to say to them: “Go forth with us to the Jihad; fight for the renewal of Islam!” The crowd repeated his words and said: “If you will not fight together with us, you will be the first whom we shall fight; for you, shurafa and theologians, are content to be ruled by Jews.” Then they shouted again: “Jihad, Jihad!”, meaning to incite them nearby. They demanded of al-Qauri that he give a theological opinion, but he refused to do so, claiming that he was afraid of the authorities. They continued to prod him, after preparing a written question on the incident and on what that Jew [Haroun] and the Jews had done, saying that it constituted a violation of the Covenant [dhimma], and even more than that. They drew their swords and called out to al-Qauri: “We, too, have authority and power. We have risen up for Allah’s sake and pledged our lives. This is the question which we ask you to answer according to the law of Allah, blessed be he. If you will not do so, we shall let the world do without you, for you are a theologian who does not act in conformity with his theology”. They added other things in the same vein. And they gave him no rest until he wrote with his own hand a permit to kill the Jews, and another permit to revolt…even against the sultan. When he had finished writing, they hastened to the hara (the Jewish quarter) and wielded their swords against the Jews, killing as many of them as Allah wanted them to kill; they did not omit even one until they killed the last, so as to clear the quarter of them. This was a glorious day in Fez and a great slaughter. A numerous Jewish community was killed on that day. Afterwards they [the Muslim rabble] turned to the palace of the government, devastated it and killed the Jew who was in it, namely the deputy of the vizier.

Shortly afterwards, the same fate was suffered by Haroun and the Sultan. And in turn, the Jews of smaller communities outside Fez were also massacred, as noted again with satisfaction, by ‘Abd el-Basit: [147]


Thereafter the people of the cities distant from Fez learnt of these events. They rose up against the Jews of the cities and did to them what the people of Fez had done to their Jews. The Jews were thus befallen by a calamity the like of which had never occurred before [148]; as many of them as Allah—blessed be he—decreed were killed.

The Hebrew chronicles Kisseh ha-Melakhim [149] and Yahas Fes (“Only twenty heads of family and a small number of women and children escaped death.” [150]) confirm that few Jews survived this Muslim jihad in Fez. Jane Gerber’s discussion of the 1465 Fez pogrom concludes with an understated assessment: [151]

…the rise to prominence of a Jewish vizir or emissary should not [emphasis in original] be construed as evidence of Jewish security or acceptance in a given historical period. As Haroun’s demise so dramatically illustrates, the rise of a Jew to an important governmental post was symptomatic of the complete alienation of the Marinids [ruling Moroccan Muslim dynasty] from their subjects rather than of Jewish acceptance on the basis of equality.

Within a quarter century (~ 1490), anti-Jewish agitation by one of the most prominent Sheikhs of the era, al-Maghili (d. 1504/5), precipitated the wholesale slaughter of Jews in the southern Moroccan oasis of Touat. [152] Al-Maghili’s determination of the Jews status was summarized concisely by his 16th century biographer, Ibn ‘Askar (d. 1578): [153]

He held the view that the Jews—may God curse them—had no bond [of protection (dhimma)], since they had broken it by their association with men of authority among the Muslims, [an action] which went contrary to the humiliation and abasement (al-dhull wa’l-saghar) stipulated in the payment of jizya, and that the breaking of this pact by some of them redounded upon all of them. He declared it licit to spill their blood, and plunder their property and announced that dealing with them was more important than dealing with any other [category] of unbelievers. [154]

Al-Maghili’s own writings emphasized that the Jews of Touat made their tribute payments irregularly, and in varying amounts. He argued that such payments were tantamount to bribery and not valid jizya remitted annually during a deliberately humiliating public ceremony. [155] Al-Maghili further insisted that the Jews had no right to maintain their synagogue in (neighboring) Tamantit (i.e., where the Jews of Touat’s synagogue was located). He claimed the synagogue was constructed illegally on Muslim land, and its continued existence violated the Qur’anic principle of the Jews deserved abasement and humiliation. [156]

Hunwick has provided a succinct elucidation of al-Maghili’s legal arguments. He also acknowledges that al-Maghili’s treatise on the dhimmis (i.e., Jews) read like an “inflammatory sermon”. And when al-Maghili preached these views to the Muslims masses, he fomented violence against the Jews: [157]

Any Muslim who befriended a Jew or came to his defense, or opposed the destruction of the synagogue was to be considered an unbeliever. Dhimmis must be kept in a permanent state of abasement (saghar). This why jizya must be paid in a public ceremony in which the dhimmi at the moment of payment is given a tap on the neck and pushed forward to show him he has thus escaped the sword. This abasement is more important than the sum paid. No religious edifice may be erected by a dhimmi in the land of Islam and if any governor gave permission for one, this permission must be revoked and the building torn down. This is because the manifestation of the dhimmi’s religion in the form of a building is a contradiction of the concept of abasement. The same argument applies to the association of dhimmis with sultans, viziers, judges and other persons in authority. This is a “flouting of the laws of Islam”, since it is a negation of the abasement which is stipulated for the continued dwelling of a dhimmi in the lands of Islam. The situation he is condemning here is not only that which he would claim was current in Touat, but also by implication that which obtained in Fez, Tlemcen, and other North African cities.

The bulk of the populace, poor and ignorant, could be aroused to violence against the Jewish community by making these “outsiders” the scapegoat for all their ills. It only needed a preacher who could appeal to the masses by an appeal for the defense of “religion” to spark off a wave of looting and killing. Al-Maghili, by his preaching, his polemical prose and his verse diatribes was just such a catalyst.

Al-Maghili recounted stridently antisemitic “vignettes” portraying Jewish malevolence such as these anecdotes about Jewesses preparing bread for Muslim consumption: [158]

A person told me that he saw a Jewess mixing bread flour for a Muslim. He observed that she was picking her nose with her hand and continuing to mix the flour without washing her hand. A second person also told me that he saw another Jewess mixing bread flour for a Muslim. He saw her picking lice from her head and killing them with her nails and continuing mixing the flour without washing her hands. There are many stories of this nature. None can suspect the credibility of [stories such as] these and worse than these, except one who is blind to reality. Do you not see what Allah the Most High has said?

But al-Maghili’s anti-Jewish views are perhaps best encapsulated in a verse diatribe he composed: [158a]

Love of the Prophet requires hatred of the Jews. Regret what has passed and do not do it again. The one who is intimate with the enemies of the Prophet [i.e., the Jews], when he goes to the grave and on the day of Resurrection will be directed to the burning fire. Who will there be to rescue him when the Fire approaches the face with which he pleased the Jews?

He added, [158b]

They [the Jews] are indeed the most hostile people against us and against our beloved Prophet… they criticize our religion, mock our prayers and insult our master and savior Muhammad

Gwarzo observes: [159]

He [al-Maghili] was not so much concerned about the Jews, who although numerous, were still a minority. They would be at his mercy as long as he had the support of the public.

He succeeded in showing the masses that the issue was of either loving the Prophet or loving the Jews; Muslims must choose one of the two—they should choose between going to Paradise or going to Hell. The choice of the masses was obvious—they must certainly love the Prophet rather than the Jews; they would certainly prefer Paradise to Hell. His following became great and he succeeded in creating ferment in the territories.

Mobilizing this popular support, al-Maghili led a pogrom during which the Jews of Touat were massacred, and their synagogue in neighboring Tamantit destroyed. It was indeed, “…a short step from considering the Jews ‘enemies of the Prophet’ to considering them enemies of the umma [Muslim community] at large…” [159a]

The 20th century flowering of the Zionist movement and subsequent creation of Israel—a sovereign state administered by Jews liberated from the system of dhimmitude, adjacent to the very cradle of Arab Islam—has been accompanied, not surprisingly, by an outpouring of traditional Islamic antisemitism. Raphael Israeli observes that this “unbearable challenge” to the sacralized Islamic order has created a “vicious circle” of Islamic antisemitism and anti-Zionism. [160]

The ingathering of the Jews into modern Israel constitutes from this traditional Muslim viewpoint, which is still upheld by Muslim scholars of the Holy Law, and probably by many of their Muslim constituencies, an unbearable challenge to the authority of the Muslim faith

Jews were debased and humiliated in the first place; Zionism is marked by the derogatory traits that are characteristic of Jews; and in turn Zionism and Israel further debase the Jews by their inherent inhuman attitudes. Israeli politics, society and culture are all imbued with the evils that the Jews have transmitted from one generation to another…so the vicious cycle is complete

Even the pejorative image of “violent” Jews as the “new Mongols”—coined in the early 1980s by a burgeoning Islamic fundamentalist movement [161]—evokes an ironic historical association uncomfortable for Muslims: the fact that the Mongol Emperor Hulagu (as noted earlier [162]) also overturned the system of dhimmitude after his armies captured Baghdad in 1258, destroying the Abbasid Caliphate.

The past five decades—including a period before “The 1967 Shock” and Israel’s “demeaning of the abode of Islam” (Dar al Islam) [163]—have witnessed ceaseless calls by Islamic religious, political, and intellectual leaders—for a forcible return to the permanent state of “wretchedness and humiliation” enjoined for the Jews in Qur’an 2:61, and 3:112. Writing in 1962, Ahmad Yusuf Ahmad warned that despite assistance from Western powers, [164]

…they will not on any account be able to exempt them [the Jews] from the divine injunction and decree that they shall have no rest or permanency or tranquility, they will be chastised with degradation and poverty and be visited by the wrath of God.

Two years later, Abdullah al-Tall further dismissed the Jews attempts at self-reliance in the face of Allah’s unavoidable decree. [165]

Despite all their efforts to appear as possessors of power and the capacity to resist, the word of God is supreme and the Qur’an records the views of heaven, the will of the heaven and its verdict

The Fourth Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research convened in Cairo in the fall of 1968 to discuss the theological significance of the Middle East conflict. Sheikh Hassan Ma’moun, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, in his inaugural address to the Conference, acknowledged the “bitterness” of the 1967 Arab defeat by Israel, [166]

…was further intensified by the fact that the unexpected event occurred before a roguish Zionism whose adherents had been destined to dispersion by the Deity. [Quoting Qur’an 2:61] “And humiliation and wretchedness were stamped upon them and they were visited with wrath from God”

The lengthiest single Conference paper (all of which were compiled in a 935 page tome [167]), a 158 page analysis by Muhammad El-Sayyed Husein al-Dahabi entitled “Israelite Narratives in Exegesis and Tradition”, invoked a Qur’anic commentary by Tabari, to sanction the Jews permanent abasement: [168]

Then he [Tabari] added, They killed their Prophet. Thereupon, God smote them with humiliation took away kingship from them. Thus, they became the most lowly and degraded amongst nations, having to pay tribute and yielding to the authority of foreign kings. In such a plight will they ever remain

And four years later (April 25, 1972) in a speech celebrating the birthday of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat warned that “…they [the Jews] shall return and be as the Qur’an said of them ‘condemned to humiliation and misery’ ” [169]—a year before Egypt’s surprise attack during Yom Kippur started the 1973 war with Israel.

The “return” being invoked in all these pronouncements is a return to the Islamic Shari’a-based system of dhimmitude for Jews, and a dissolution of the sovereign state of Israel. Although written in the pseudo-secular [170] language of Arab nationalism, the 1968 Palestinian Liberation Organization Charter’s call for Jews to live “…under the aegis of an Arab state in the framework of Arab society” [171], has been termed aptly, “The Palestinian Dhimma”. [172] Indeed, the theological-juridical antecedent of this Palestinian Dhimma dates back to 1920: a formal request by Musa Kazem el-Husseini (then President of the Arab Palestinian Congress) to the British High Commissioner, Herbert Samuels to restore the Shari’a, [173] which had only been fully abrogated two years earlier when Britain ended four centuries of Ottoman Muslim rule of Palestine. Moreover, in recent years, this goal has been reaffirmed openly by official Palestinian Authority clerics. For example, Sheik Muhammad Ibrahim Al-Madhi during a Friday sermon broadcasted live on June 6, 2001 on Palestinian Authority Television from the Sheik ‘Ijlin Mosque in Gaza, stated: [174]

We welcome, as we did in the past, any Jew who wants to live in this land as a Dhimmi, just as the Jews have lived in our countries, as Dhimmis, and have earned appreciation, and some of them have even reached the positions of counselor or minister here and there. We welcome the Jews to live as Dhimmis, but the rule in this land and in all the Muslim countries must be the rule of Allah

Subsequently, during an interview by Wall Street Journal reporter Karby Legget (published in the December 23, 2005 edition of The Wall Street Journal, p. A1), Hassam El-Masalmeh, who then headed the Hamas contingent at the municipal council of Bethlehem, confirmed his organization’s plan to re-institute the jizya. El-Masalmeh stated:

We in Hamas intend to implement this tax (i.e., the jizya) someday. We say it openly – we welcome everyone to Palestine but only if they agree to live under our rules.

All of historical Palestine—modern Israel (within the 1949 armistice borders), Gaza, Judea, Samaria, and modern Jordan—whose pre-Islamic inhabitants—Jews, Samaritans, and Christians—were conquered by jihad in the fourth decade of the 7th century [175]—is considered “fay territory” [176], a permanent part of the Dar al Islam, where Islamic Law must forever prevail. Israel, governed by “usurper” infidel Jews on such “fay territory”—no longer an appropriately subjugated dhimmi (Qur’an 9:29) people living, additionally, as per Qur’an 2:61, in “wretchedness and humiliation”—must be destroyed in a collective jihad by the entire Muslim community.

Accordingly, there have been unceasing cries for jihad in historical Palestine during the modern era, in the 1920s and 1930s by Hajj Amin El Husseini [177] and Izz Al-Din al Qassam [178], by the late Yasser Arafat throughout his 40-years as leader of Fatah and the Palestinian Liberation Organization [179], and presently under Hamas. [180]

Hamas’s foundational covenant [181], whose motto states (in Article 8) “Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model to be followed, the Koran its constitution, Jihad its way, and death for the sake of Allah its loftiest desire”, reiterates (in Article 11) that all of historical Palestine is a permanent Islamic religious endowment [waqf] (“In this respect, it is like any other land that the Muslims have conquered by force, because the Muslims consecrated it at the time of the conquest as religious endowment for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection”). The Hamas Covenant also (in Article 13) rejects “so-called peace solutions”, and insists (in Article 15) upon waging an annihilationist jihad to eradicate Israel, even invoking the apocalyptic hadith (in Article 7) from the canonical collections of Bukhari and Muslim, [182]

The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: “Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,” except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews..

Throughout Arafat’s tenure as the major Palestinian Arab leader, and now under the Hamas government, efforts to destroy Israel and replace it with an Arab Muslim Shari’a-based entity were integrated into the larger Islamic umma’s jihad against the Jewish State, as declared repeatedly in official conference pronouncements from various clerical or political organizations of the Muslim (both Arab and non-Arab) nations, and in the individual statements of influential Muslim religious leaders. Concrete examples spanning the years from 1968—2006, are provided below:

From the Fourth Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research, Cairo, 1968 presentation by Sheikh Hassan Khalid, Mufti of the Republic of Lebanon—[183]

Your honorable conference has been an Arab, Islamic and patriotic necessity in view of the present circumstances in which the Arabs and Muslims face the most serious difficulties. All Muslims expect you to expound Allah’s decree concerning the Palestine cause, to proclaim that decree, in all clarity, throughout the Arab and Muslim world. We do not think this decree absolves any Muslim or Arab from Jihad (Holy War) which has now become a duty incumbent upon the Arabs and Muslims to liberate the land, preserve honor, retaliate for [lost] dignity, restore the Aqsa Mosque, the church of Resurrection, and to purge the birthplace of prophecy, the seat of revelation, the meeting-place of Prophets, the starting-point of Isra [Muhammad’s “night journey”], and the scenes of the holy spirit, from the hands of Zionism – the enemy of man, of truth, of justice, and the enemy of Allah…The well-balanced judgment frankly expressed with firm conviction is the first stop on the road of victory. The hoped-for judgment is that of Muslim Scholars who draw their conclusions from the Book of Allah, and the Sunna of His prophet. May Allah guard your meeting, and guide your steps! May your decisive word rise to the occasion and enlighten the Arab and Muslim world, so that it may be a battle-cry, urging millions of Muslims and Arabs on to the field of Jihad, which will lead us to the place that once was ours…Muslims who are distant from the battle-field of Palestine, such as the Algerians, the Moroccans, all the Africans, Saudi Arabia people, Yemeni people, the Indians, Iraqi people, the Russians, and the Europeans are indeed sinful if they do not hasten to offer all possible means to achieve success and gain victory in the Islamic battle against their enemies and the enemies of their religion. Particularly, this battle is not a mere combat between two parties but it is a battle between two religions (namely, it is a religious battle). Zionism in fact represents a very perilous cancer, aiming at domineering the Arab countries and the whole Islamic world.

From the Mecca Islamic Summit Conference, 1981—[184]


The undertaking by all Islamic countries of psychological mobilization through their various official, semi-official, and popular mass media, of their people for Jihad to liberate Al-Quds…Ensuring military coordination among the front-line states and the Palestine Liberation Organization, on the one hand, and the Islamic States on the other, to ensure full utilization of the potentialities of the Islamic States in the service of the military effort; and setting up a military office in the Islamic Secretariat to be responsible for such coordination, in agreement with the Committee on Al-Quds…



Resolution No.2/3.P (IS) on the Cause of Palestine and the Middle East: Considering that the Liberation of Al-Quds and its restoration to Arab sovereignty, as well as the liberation of the holy places from Zionist occupation, are a pre-requisite to the Jihad that all Islamic States must wage, each according to its means….



Resolution No.5/3-P (IS)- Declaration of Holy Jihad:

Taking these facts into consideration, the Kinds, Emirs, and Presidents of Islamic States, meeting at this Conference and in this holy land, studied this situation and concluded that it could no longer be tolerated that the forthcoming stage should be devoted to effective action to vindicate right and deter wrong-doing; and have unanimously.



Decided: To declare holy Jihad, as the duty of every Muslim, many or woman, ordained by the Shariah and glorious traditions of Islam; To call upon all Muslims, living inside or outside Islamic countries, to discharge this duty by contributing each according to his capacity in the case of Allah Almighty, Islamic brotherhood, and righteousness; To specify that Islamic states, in declaring Holy Jihad to save Al-Quds al-Sharif, in support of the Palestinian people, and to secure withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories, wish to explain to the world that Holy Jihad is an Islamic concept which may not be misinterpreted or misconstrued, and that the practical measures to put into effect would be in accordance with that concept and by incessant consultations among Islamic states.



From the 2003 Putrajaya Islamic Summit speech by former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammad—[185]

To begin with, the governments of all the Muslim countries can close ranks and have a common stand…on Palestine... We need guns and rockets, bombs and warplanes, tanks and warships... We may want to recreate the first century of the Hijrah, the way of life in those times, in order to practice what we think to be the true Islamic way of life 1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews. There must be a way. And we can only find a way if we stop to think, to assess our weaknesses and our strength, to plan, to strategize and then to counter-attack. As Muslims, we must seek guidance from the Al-Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet. Surely the 23 years' struggle of the Prophet can provide us with some guidance as to what we can and should do

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the immensely popular Spiritual Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Head of the European Fatwah Council, during one of his widely viewed Qatar TV sermons, February 25, 2006—[186]


All the school of Islamic jurisprudence—the Sunni, the Shiite…and all the ancient and modern schools of jurisprudence—agree that any invader, who occupies even an inch of land of the Muslims, must face resistance. The Muslims of that country must carry out the resistance, and the rest of the Muslims must help them. If the people of that country are incapable or reluctant, we must fight to defend the land of Islam, even if the local [Muslims] give it up.

They must not allow anyone to take a single piece of land away from Islam. That is what we are fighting the Jews for. We are fighting them... Our religion commands us... We are fighting in the name of religion, in the name of Islam, which makes this Jihad an individual duty, in which the entire nation takes part, and whoever is killed in this [Jihad] is a martyr. This is why I ruled that martyrdom operations are permitted, because he commits martyrdom for the sake of Allah, and sacrifices his soul for the sake of Allah.We do not disassociate Islam from the war. On the contrary, disassociating Islam from the war is the reason for our defeat. We are fighting in the name of Islam.

Perhaps the most striking Qur’anic motifs for the Jews debasement are the references to their transformation into apes (Qur’an 2:65 and 7:166), or apes and swine (Qur’an 5:60). Setting aside the casuistry of Muslim exegetic discussions over whether this transformation was physical or metaphorical [187] (i.e., reflecting the Jews moral depravity, even Satan worship [188]), and the alleged “immediate cause”—Sabbath breaking—ultimately these verses are but another manifestation, albeit dramatic, of what Ibn Kathir terms “the eternal humiliation placed upon the Jews” (referring to 7:166/167) [189], including, adds Suyuti (referring to 5:60), damnation to Hellfire. [190]

Just prior to orchestrating the mass execution of the adult males from the besieged Medinan Jewish tribe the Banu Qurayza (and distributing their women, children, and possessions as "booty" for the Muslims) [190a], Muhammad, according to his earliest Muslim biographer, Ibn Ishaq (d. 767-770), addressed these Jews with menacing, hateful derision: “You brothers of monkeys, has God disgraced you and brought His vengeance upon you?” [190b] (Another early Muslim biographer of Muhammad Ibn Sa‘d (d. 845), reports Muhammad stated, “brothers of monkeys and pigs, fear me, fear me!” [190c]). Many subsequent historical examples from diverse Islamic societies during a continuum of over 1100 years—the 9th century through the present—demonstrate that this Qur’anic motif has been employed against Jews as an outward sign of their physical humiliation, and more significantly, in polemical incitement against Jews, or odes celebrating their having been disgraced and slaughtered.

A fatwa written by the 9th century jurist from Kairouan, Ifiqiyya (modern Tunisia) Qadi [Shari’a judge] Ahmed b. Talib (d. 889), [191]

…compelled the dhimmis to wear upon the shoulder a patch of white cloth (riqa’) that bore the image of an ape (for Jews)…and to nail onto their doors a board bearing the sign of a monkey.

He further ordered, [192]

A Jew who dresses like the Muslims and fails to wear the clothing that distinguishes him from them will be incarcerated, beaten, and paraded ignominiously through the places inhabited by the Jews and the Christians as an example.

Abu Ishaq’s verse condemnation of the vizier Joseph b. Samuel Naghrela and the Granadan Jewish community, which helped incite the 1066 Granada pogrom, with its massacre of some 3000—4000 Jews, [193] contains the line, [194]

Many a pious Muslim is in awe of the vilest infidel ape

Moshe Perlmann, in his analysis of the Muslim anti-Jewish polemic of 11th century Granada, notes, [195]

[Abu Ishaq] Elbiri used the epithet “ape” (qird) profusely when referring to Jews. Such indeed was the parlance.

Perlmann then cites the related Qur’anic passages (i.e., 2:65, 5:60, and 7:166) upon which such “nomenclature” was based. [196]

Anti-Jewish riots and massacres by Muslims accompanied the 1291 death of Jewish physician-vizier Sa’d ad-Daula in Baghdad, the plundering and killing of Jews extending throughout Iraq (and possibly into Persia). [197] These events, which marked the collapse of a transient Jewish ascendancy (afforded by the ruling Mongols abrogation of the system of dhimmitude [198]), were celebrated in an ode by the Muslim preacher Zaynu’d-Din ‘Ali b. Said. [199] His verse opens with a debasing reference to the Jews as apes: [200]

His name we praise who rules the firmament.
These apish Jews are done away and shent [ruined,destroyed]

The bitter anti-Jewish sentiments of the theologian Al-Mahgili (d. 1504/5) were expressed in both his writing and preaching. [201] Referring to the Jews as “brothers of apes” (consistent with Zamakshari’s [d. 1143] classical Qur’anic commentary on verse 5:60) [202], who incessantly blasphemed the prophet Muhammad, and whose entire conduct demonstrated their hatred of Muslims, Al-Maghili posed the rhetorical question, what should be done about them? [203] He “answered” this question by fomenting a Muslim pogrom (in ~ 1490) against the Jews of Touat (an oasis town in southern Morocco), which plundered and killed them en masse, and destroyed their synagogue in neighboring Tamantit. [204]

Apart from being used to incite or extol mass violence against Jews, the degrading Qur’anic references to Jews as apes and pigs were more commonly employed in daily life to reflect chronic attitudes Muslims felt toward Jews. A mid-19th century eyewitness account from Jerusalem by the missionary Gregory Wortabet, (published in 1856) captures these routine sentiments (which Wortabet also attributes to the canonical hadith about Muhammad’s poisoning): [205]

The Jew is still an object of scorn, and nowhere is the name of “Yahoodi (Jew)”more looked down upon than here in the city of his fathers. One day, as I was passing the Damascus gate, I saw an Arab hurrying on his donkey amid imprecations such as the following: “Emshi ya Ibn-el-Yahoodi (Walk, thou son of a Jew)! Yulaan abuk ya Ibn-el-Yahoodi (Cursed be thy father, thou son of a Jew)!”

I need not give any more illustrations of the manner in which the man went on. The reader will observe, that the man did not curse the donkey, but the Jew, the father of the donkey. Walking up to him, I said, “Why do you curse the Jew? What harm has he done you?”

“El Yahoodi khanzeer (the Jew is a hog)!”, answered the man.

“How do you make that out?”, I said. “Is not the Jew as good as you or I?”

“Ogh!”, ejaculated the man, his eyes twinkling with fierce rage, and his brow knitting.

By this time he was getting out of my hearing. I was pursuing my walk, when he turned round, and said, “El Yahoodi khanzeer! Khanzeer el Yahoodi! (The Jew is a hog! A hog is a Jew!)”

Now I must tell the reader, that, in the Mahomedan vocabulary, there is no word lower than a hog, that animal being in their estimation the most defiled of animals; and good Mahomedans are prohibited by the Koran from eating it. The Jew, in their estimation, is the vilest of the human family, and is the object of their pious hatred, perhaps from the recollection that a Jewess of Khaibar first undermined the health of the prophet by infusing poison into his food. [206] Hence a hog and a Jew are esteemed alike in the eye of a Moslem, both being the lowest of their kind; and now the reader will better understand the meaning of the man’s words, “El Yahoodi khanzeer!”

Tudor Parfitt notes two less overtly degrading variations on these themes which persisted at least through the latter half of the 20th century in Yemen: [207]

…if someone behaves badly while eating—either taking more than they can eat, or throwing food around, the response is likely to be “O Jew!”, or “Pig”. Monkeys are customarily called Said or Salim—both common Jewish names…Salim particularly is viewed by Muslims as being the most typical Jewish name of all. If you do not happen to know a Jew’s name you call him Salim.

At present, the invocation of Qur’an inspired references to the Jews as apes and pigs—conveyed through, print, audio, video, and internet venues—pervades Arab Muslim religious and political discourse. [208] A small representative sampling from 2001 and 2002 follows:

Sheikh Ibrahim Mahdi, an official Palestinian Authority cleric, from a sermon at the Sheikh ‘Ijlin mosque in Gaza, April 3, 2001 [209] –“There is no choice but to direct all our pressures against the Jews, the infidels, the people cursed by the Qur’an. Allah referred to them as, apes, pigs, worshippers of the [golden] calf and of satan.”

Egyptian Sheikh Atiyyah Saqr, former chairman of the Religious Rulings Commission at the al-Azhar University in Egypt issued a fatwa, which was made public in Germany on April 15, 2002, entitled, Reincarnation of the souls of the children of Israel in the bodies of apes and pigs. The crux of his “modern” interpretation of Qur’an 5:60 is that the Jews punishment was, [210]—“…Allah incarnated their souls in the bodies of apes and pigs, and turned them into humiliated ones, or in other words – outcasts, wretched and despised ones”

From an article published by the columnist Dr. Muhammad bin Sa’ad al-Shwey’ir in the Saudi daily al-Jazirah, 7 June 2002—[211] “Allah decreed that the Jews be humiliated, He cursed them and turned them into apes and pigs. Whenever they ignite the fire of war, Allah extinguishes it. They disseminate corruption over the face of the world, they fight the believers [i.e. the Muslims] only from within fortified villages or from behind walls…”

Saudi Sheikh Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayyis, imam and preacher at the Al-Haram mosque, which includes the cuboidal Ka’ba, the most important shrine in Islam, from an April, 2002, sermon—[212] “Read history and you will understand that the Jews of yesterday are the evil fathers of the Jews of today, who are evil offspring, infidels, distorters of [God's] words, calf-worshippers, prophet-murderers, prophecy-deniers... the scum of the human race whom Allah cursed and turned into apes and pigs… These are the Jews, an ongoing continuum of deceit, obstinacy, licentiousness, evil, and corruption...”

Even young children are inculcated with these beliefs and coached to repeat them for additional public consumption. [213] A May 2002, broadcast on Iqraa, the Saudi satellite television station, which claims at its website, “to highlight aspects of Arab Islamic culture that inspire admiration … to highlight the true, tolerant image of Islam and refute the accusations directed against it,” featured an interview of a three-and-a-half-year-old “real Muslim girl” about Jews, on The Muslim Women's Magazine program. When the little girl was asked whether she liked Jews; she replied, “No.” Asked why not, she replied that Jews were “apes and pigs.” The moderator then asked. “Who said this?” And the child answered, “Our God.” “Where did He say this?”, asked the moderator. “In the Qur'an.” this three-and-a-half-year-old girl replied. At the close of the interview, the moderator stated approvingly: “No [parents] could wish for Allah to give them a more believing girl than she... May Allah bless her and both her father and mother.”

Given the murderous historical legacy of Muslim societies that invoked these Qur’anic motifs (i.e., in Granada, Baghdad, and Touat, Morocco), as described earlier, Menachem Milson’s contemporary warning is not overstated: [214]

This insult should not be dismissed as mere vulgar invective, nor should the belief that Jews were transmogrified into apes, pigs or other creatures be seen merely as a sign of primitive magical thinking. Repeated reference to Jews as despised beasts dehumanizes them and provides justification for their destruction.

Apropos of Milson’s concern, Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir repeated these dehumanizing Qur’anic motifs when he issued a vitriolic call for jihad against Israel during a speech delivered at the headquarters of the ruling Islamic party in Khartoum, broadcast live by Radio Monte Carlo on April 5, 2002: [215]

Let us prepare ourselves for the decisive battle against the Jews, those apes, pigs, and worshippers of calves. This should be a decisive battle… There will be no peace with the Jews… This battle is the battle, and this jihad is the jihad…

Following the murderous acts of jihad terrorism committed on September 11, 2001, Ibn Warraq highlighted the tragic irony of many apologists quoting selectively from Qur’an 5:32, “whoso slays a soul …shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether; and whoso gives life to a soul, shall be as if he has given life to mankind altogether”, attempting to demonstrate that the Qur’ran disapproved of violence and killing. Here is the entire verse (5:32), quoted in full context, with the intimately related verse, Qur’an 5:33:

(5:32) Therefore We prescribed for the Children of Israel that whoso slays a soul not to retaliate for a soul slain, nor for corruption done in the land, shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether; and whoso gives life to a soul, shall be as if he has given life to mankind altogether. Our Messengers have already come to them with the clear signs; then many of them thereafter commit excesses in the earth. (5:33) This is the recompense of those who fight against God and His Messenger, and hasten about the earth, to do corruption there: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land. That is a degradation for them in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty chastisement

[For direct comparison see, Mishna, Sanhedrin, IV, 5, “Thus was created a single man, to teach us that every person who loses a single soul, it shall be written about him as if he has lost the entire world, and every person who sustains a single soul, it shall be written, about him as if he has sustained the entire world”]

As Warraq noted, with regard to Qur’an 5:32/33, [216]

The supposedly noble sentiments are in fact a warning to Jews. [217] “Behave, or else” is the message. Far from abjuring violence, these verses aggressively point out that anyone opposing the Prophet will be killed, crucified, mutilated, and banished

After reiterating the Qur’an’s major accusations against the “inveterate” Jews, and their eternal punishments—Jews falsifying their scriptures, and holding false doctrines (such as Ezra being the son of God [Qur’an 9:30], which in fact Jews never proclaimed [218]), so they must be compelled to return to the true religion, Islam; Jews harboring an intense hatred of all genuine Muslims, and being punished for their sins (especially the curse of Qur’an 2:61), or even by transformation into apes and swine (Qur’an 2:65, 5:60, and 7:166)— Warraq concluded with this measured observation: [219]

The attitude enjoined upon the Muslims toward Jews can only be described as antisemitic, and it certainly was not conducive to better understanding, tolerance, or coexistence.

Notes

1. Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi. Banu Isra’il fi al-Qur’an wa al-Sunna [Jews in the Qur’an and the Traditions], Cairo, 1986. Qur’an 3:113, “They are not all alike. Of the People of the Scripture there is a staunch community who recite the revelations of Allah in the night season, falling prostrate (before Him).”. The classical Qur’anic commentator Ibn Kathir (d. 1373) provides support for Tantawi’s contemporary interpretation of 3:113. Ibn Kathir (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Riyadh, Vol. 2, 2000, p. 246), wrote:

Muhammad bin Ishaq and others, including al-‘Awfi who reported from Ibn ‘Abbas, said; “These Ayat [verses] were revealed about the clergy of the People of the Scriptures who embraced the faith. For instance, there is Abdallah bin Salam, Asad bin ‘Ubayd, Tha’labah bin Sa’yah, Usayd bin Sa’yah, and so forth. This Ayah [3:113] means that those among the People of the Book [Book = Bible] whom Allah rebuked earlier are not all the same as those among them who embraced Islam.

2. Aluma Solnick. “Based on Qur’anic Verses, Interpretations, and Traditions, Muslim Clerics State: The Jews Are the Descendants of Apes, Pigs, And Other Animals.” Middle East Media Research Institute, November 1, 2002. Special Report No. 11. http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sr&ID=SR01102
3. “Leading Egyptian Government Cleric Calls For: 'Martyrdom Attacks that Strike Horror into the Hearts of the Enemies of Allah' ”, Middle East Media Research Institute, April 7, 2002, No. 363. http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP36302
4. “The Meeting between the Sheik of Al-Azhar and the Chief Rabbi of Israel”, Middle East Media Research Institute, February 8, 1998, Special Report No. 2. http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sr&ID=SR00398
5. Ibn Warraq. Why I Am Not a Muslim. Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York, 1995, p. 105.
6. Theodore Noldeke. “The Koran”, originally published in the Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th edition, vol. 16 (1891), pp. 597ff. Reproduced in Ibn Warraq (editor). The Origins of the Koran. Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York, 1998, pp. 37-38.
7. Warraq, Why I Am Not a Muslim, pp. 105, 216.
8. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, pp. 164-168.
9. Saul S. Friedman. “The Myth of Islamic Toleration”, chapter 1, pp. 2-3, in, Without Future. The Plight of Syrian Jewry. Praeger, New York, 1989.
10. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, pp. 164-168.
11. Friedman, “The Myth of Islamic Toleration”, pp. 2-3.
12. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, p. 164.
13. Ibid. p. 164. In the accompanying notes p. 169, n.9 and n.10, Ben-Shammai elaborates on the notion of the permanence of the Jews abasement in the hadith, and a related Qur’anic verse:

There are interpretations ascribed to Muhammad’s companions such as his cousin, Abdallah Ibn Abbas. These attributions are most doubtful, but by the mid-eighth century the earliest interpretations were already in writing…The identical expression, in the sense of an everlasting decree, also occurs in Sura 3 of the Koran, verse 112. [“Ignominy shall be their portion wheresoever they are found save (where they grasp) a rope from Allah and a rope from men. They have incurred anger from their Lord, and wretchedness is laid upon them. That is because they used to disbelieve the revelations of Allah, and slew the prophets wrongfully. That is because they were rebellious and used to transgress.”]

14. The Qur’anic poll tax or jizya, based upon Qur’an 9:29.
15. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, p. 169, note 11, observes:

As was apparently done with most the traditions during the second century of the Hegira [i.e., the second century after 622 C.E.]. Most of the traditions cited here are from the comprehensive commentary of Muhammad b. Jarir at-Tabari (d. 923) and are found in parallel versions in most of the collections of the traditions assembled in the ninth and early tenth centuries C.E.

16. Ibid., p.165.
17. Ibid., p. 165.
18. Ibid., p. 165.
19. Ibid., p. 165.
20. Mufti Muhammad Shafi. Ma’ariful-Qur’an, Karachi, 1996-2004, 6 Vols.
21. Shafi. Ma’ariful-Qur’an, Vol. 3 p. 233
22. The Life of Muhammad. A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah. Translated by A. Guillaume, Oxford, England, 2001, p. 461; Ibn Sa‘d. Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir. English translation by S. Moinul Haq and H.K. Ghazanfar. New Delhi, India, 1993, p. 95.
23. Shafi. Ma’ariful-Qur’an, Vol. 3 p. 233.
24. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, p. 167.
25. Qur’an 3:54-56—

“ And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers… (And remember) when Allah said: O Jesus! Lo! I am gathering thee and causing thee to ascend unto Me, and am cleansing thee of those who disbelieve and am setting those who follow thee above those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then unto Me ye will (all) return, and I shall judge between you as to that wherein ye used to differ… As for those who disbelieve I shall chastise them with a heavy chastisement in the world and the Hereafter; and they will have no helpers.”

26. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, p. 167.
27. Tabari. The Commentary on the Qur’an. With an Introduction and Notes by J. Cooper. Edited by W. F. Medlung, A. Jones. Oxford University Press, 1987, pp. 353-355.
28. Tabari. Jami` al-Bayan fii Tafsiir al-Qur’aan Ed. M. Shakir. Beirut 1421/2001. Vol. X, pp. 125, 126. English translation by Michael Schub.
29. Baydawi. ed. Fleischer, H. O. Commentaius in Coranum. Anwaar al-Tanziil Wa-Asraar al-Ta’wiil. 1846—48. Reprint Osnabrück 1968, p. 63. English translation by Michael Schub.
30. Ibn Kathir. Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Riyadh, Vol. 1, 2000, pp. 245-246.
31. Sayyid Qutb. In the Shade of the Qur’an. Leicester, England, 1999, Volume 1, Surah 1-2, p. 91.
32. Ibid., pp. 91-92
33. Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi. Towards Understanding the Qur’an. Leicester, England, 1988, Vol. 1, p. xiii.
34. Ibid., pp. 78-80.
35. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, p. 167. Qur’an 5:82 as cited by the author is the Pickthall translation.
36. Tabari. Jami` al-Bayan fii Tafsiir al-Qur’aan, Vol. VII, p 5ff. English translation by Michael Schub.
37. Zamakshari, Tafsir al-kashshaf an haqa’iq ghawamid at-tanzil wa-uyun al-aqawil fi wujuh at-ta’wil. Cairo, 1953-1955. English translation in, Helmut Gatje. The Qur’an and its Exegesis. Berkeley, CA, 1976, p. 134. The last line included (“the Jews focused their hostility to the Muslims in the most overt and intense manner”) was omitted by Gatje, and was translated by Dr. Michael Schub from the Beirut 2001 edition of Tafsir al-kashshaf, p. 701 and ff.
38. Baydawi. Anwaar al-Tanziil Wa-Asraar al-Ta’wiil, Vol. I, p. 270
39. Ibn Kathir. Tafsir Ibn Kathir, p. 246.
40. Sayyid Qutb. In the Shade of the Qur’an. pp. 217-218, 220.
41. Ibid., pp. 220-221.
42. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, p. 167.
43. Edward William Lane. An Account of the Customs of the Modern Egyptians. (Facsimile of the 1860 edition), Dover, New York, 1973. See pp. 553-556.
44. “A Risala of Al-Jahiz”. Translated by Joshua Finkel. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 1927, Vol. 47, pp. 311-334.
45. Ibid., p. 319.
46. Indeed, Finkel (Ibid., p. 316) underscores the devastating nature of the trenchant anti-Christian arguments mustered by Al-Jahiz:

While there are other anti-Christian writings extant in Mohammedan literature, no work goes so directly to the vital features of the problem, no work is of so potential of deadly effect.

47. Ibid, p. 322-323.
48. Ibid., p. 323.
49. See Qur’an 2:105,

Neither those who disbelieve among the people of the Scripture nor the idolaters love that there should be sent down unto you any good thing from your Lord. But Allah chooseth for His mercy whom He will, and Allah is of Infinite Bounty.

50. “A Risala of Al-Jahiz”, p. 324.
51. Ibid., pp. 316,317.
52. Ibid, p. 328.
53. Roger. Arnaldez. “al- Muhasibi”. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007.
54. al-Muhasibi. The Book of the Patronage of the Law of Allah (Arabic), edited by Margaret Smith, London, 1940/41, p. 256. English translation cited in, Avraham Grossman, “The Economic and Social Background of Hostile Attitudes Toward the Jews in the Ninth and Tenth Century Muslim Caliphate”, in Shmuel Almog, Antisemitism Through the Ages, Oxford, 1988, p. 186, note 39.
55. Lane. An Account of the Customs of the Modern Egyptians, p.554
56. Ibid., pp. 554-555.
57. A.B. Clot. Apercu general sur l’Egypte, 1840, Vol. II, pp. 139-142. Excerpts translated by Martine Chauvet from, Jacob M. Landau. Jews in Nineteenth Century Egypt. New York, 1969, Document XII, pp. 152-154.
58. Moritz Lüttke. Aegyptiens neue Zeit. Ein Beitrag zur Culturgeschichte des gegenwartigen Jahrhunderts sowie zur Charakteristik des Orients unde des Islam. Leipzig, 1873, Vol. 1, pp. 97-99. English translation in, Landau. Jews in Nineteenth Century Egypt, pp. 18-19.
59. Landau. Jews in Nineteenth Century Egypt, p. 19.
60. Friedman, “The Myth of Islamic Toleration”, pp. 2-3.
61. Ibid, p.2. Friedman derives all his Qur’anic citations (numberings and excerpts) from N.J. Dawood. The Koran, Harmondsworth, U.K., 1956.
62. Ibn Kathir. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, pp. 579-80), mentions Nebuchadnezzar’s depredations, but warns,

The earlier and later commentators differed over the identity of these invaders. Many Israiliyyat (reports from Jewish sources) were narrated about this, but I did not want to make this book too long by mentioning them, because some of them are fabricated, concocted by their heretics, and others may be true, but we have no need of them, praise be to Allah.

He continues,

What Allah has told us in his book is sufficient and we have no need of what is in the other books that came before. Neither Allah nor His Messenger required us to refer to them. Allah told His Messenger that when [the Jews] committed transgression and aggression, Allah gave their enemies power over them to destroy their country and enter the innermost parts of their homes. Their humiliation and subjugation was a befitting punishment, and your Lord is never unfair or unjust to his servants. They had rebelled and killed many of the Prophets and scholars.

Yusuf Ali’s discussion of Qur’an 17:4 (in, Abdallah Yusuf Ali. The Holy Qur’an. Text, Translation, and Commentary. Reprint of the 1934 edition, Elmhurst, New York, 2001, p. 694, note 2174) suggests,

…it may be that the two occasions refer to (1) the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C, when the Jews were carried of into captivity, and (2) the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in A.D. 70, after which the Temple was never rebuilt…On both occasions it was a judgment of God for the sins of the Jews, their backslidings, and their arrogance.

63. Friedman, “The Myth of Islamic Toleration”, p.2.
64. Ibid., pp. 2-3.
65. This verse is 2:61 in most Qur’anic numbering systems.
66. This verse is 2:96 in most Qur’anic numbering systems.
67. This verse is 2:54 in most Qur’anic numbering systems.
68. Friedman, “The Myth of Islamic Toleration”, p.3.
69. This verse is 4:46 in most Qur’anic numbering systems.
70. This verse is 4:161 in most Qur’anic numbering systems.
71. This verse is 3:110 in most Qur’anic numbering systems.
72. This verse is 3:78 in most Qur’anic numbering systems.
73. Friedman, “The Myth of Islamic Toleration”, p.3., citing N.J. Dawood’s translation. Ibn Kathir’s commentary refers to Qur’an 58:8—10 as indicating that the Jews are consigned to Hell for their plotting to kill (Muslim) believers (Ibn Kathir. Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 9, p. 520, section entitled, “The Evil of The Jews”)
74. Ibid., Friedman, p. 3.
75. This verse is 98:6 in most Qur’anic numbering systems.
76. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, pp. 164-168.
77. Friedman. “The Myth of Islamic Toleration”, pp. 2-3.
78. Ronald M. Nettler. “Islamic Archetypes of the Jews: Then and Now”, in Robert Wistrich, Editor, Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism in the Contemporary World. New York, 1990, pp. 64-65.
79. Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 47, Number 786; Sahih Muslim Book 026, Number 5430; Sunan Abu Dawud Book 39, Number 4498; Ibn Sa’d. Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir. Volume 2, New Delhi, 1993; pp. 249-252. English translation by S. Moinul Haq and H.K. Ghazanfar
80. Hartwig Hirschfeld. Abdallah Ibn Saba. The Jewish Encyclopedia.com. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=189&letter=A; Tabari. Ta’rikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk, M.J. de Goeje, Editor, Leiden, 1898, Vol. 1 (6), pp. 3941-42, English translation in Nettler, p. 66.
81. Ibid. Nettler, pp. 65-66; Tabari as above in note 86.
82. “Speech of President Bashar Al-Assad Welcoming His Holiness Pope John Paul II on his arrival in Damascus”, Syria, May 5, 2001. Syrian Arab News Agency.
83. Ibn Kathir. Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Riyadh, Vol. 4, 2000, pp. 405-406.
84. Mawdudi. Towards Understanding the Qur’an. Vol. 3, pp. 201-202.
85. See notes 57-69, above
86. Tabari. Ta’rikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk, M.J. de Goeje, Editor, Leiden, 1879, Vol.3, pp. 1389-90, English translation in Norman Stillman. The Jews of Arab Lands. A History and Source Book., Philadelphia, 1979, p.167.
87. Moshe Gil. A History of Palestine, 634—1099, Cambridge, 1992, p. 159, note 32.
88. Georges Vajda. “À propos de la situation des Juifs et des Chrétiens à Séville au début du XIIe siècle”, Revue des Études Juives, 99, 1935, pp. 127-129. English translation by Michael J. Miller.
89. “Friday Sermons in Saudi Mosques: Review and Analysis”, Middle East Media Research Institute, September 26, 2002, Special Report # 10.
90. Kaufmann Kohler, Isaac Broydé. “Solomon ben Jeroham”. The Jewish Encyclopedia

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view_friendly.jsp?artid=916&letter=S
91. Georges Vajda. “À propos de la situation des Juifs et des Chrétiens à Séville au début du XIIe siècle”.
92. Salomon Feuerstein. Der Commentar des Karäers Salmon ben Jerucham zu den Klageliedern : Zum ersten Male nach der Pariser Handschrift edirt. 1898, Krakau, p. xiii. English translation by Haggai Ben-Shammai, in “The Attitude of Some Early Karaites Towards Islam”, from Isadore Twersky, editor, Studies in Medieval Jewish History and Literature, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1984, Vol. II, p. 10.

Additional examples of this Muslim doctrine on salutation were provided in the opinions of the 10th century Kairouan (northeast Tunisia) jurist al-Qayrawani, and the 18th century Egyptian Sheikh Damanhuri. From Qayrawani (La Risala. Translated from Arabic to French by Leon Bercher, Algiers, 5th edition, 1960. English translation in Bat Ye’or. Islam and Dhimmitude. Where Civilizations Collide. Cranbury, New Jersey, 2001, p. 99):

One should not be the first to say salam [blessing be upon you] to Jews or Christians; but when one has (inadvertently) said salam to a tributary, he should be asked to consider it null and void. If a Jew or Christian greets you, you must reply “alayka” [“the same to you”] (nothing more). But you can also reply: “alayka’ s-silâm,” with kasra of the sîn [vocalized with an “i” and not an “a” to make it an insult], for it would then mean: “the stone,” because, according to one opinion, this is permitted.

Sheikh Damanhuri issued a similar ruling on this subject some eight centuries later (from, Shaykh Damanhuri on the Churches of Cairo, 1739. Edited and translated by Moshe Perlmann. Berkeley, California, 1975, p.57):


If you greeted one whom you considered a Muslim, only to learn he was a dhimmi, withdraw your word, pretending “he considered my salutation.” If one of them salutes he is answered with “same to you” only. If you correspond with one, you say: “Salutation to him who follows right guidance.” But avoid congratulating, consoling, or visiting them, unless you expect the person visited to convert to Islam.



93. Sir John Drummond Hay. Western Barbary: Its Wild Tribes and Savage Animals, London, 1844, p. 3.

94. Sahih Bukhari. Vol.2, Book 23, #376 http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/023.sbt.ht...

Sahih Muslim Book 004, #2029

http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/muslim/004.smt.htm...

95. Sahih Bukhari Vol.2, Book 23, #457; Sahih Muslim Book 040, #6861

96. Tudor Parfitt. The Road to Redemption. The Jews of the Yemen 1900-1950. Leiden, 1996, p. 89.

97 Suyuti wrote a famous, and ubiquitous commentary, *Tafsiir al-Jalalayn* he composed with his teacher, Jalaal al-Diin al-MaHallii; the latter composed the second part, and then Suyuti wrote the first part to complete it, including this translation/quote for Q9.29.Tafsir al-Jalalayn. Beirut 1404/1984. 244. from Suyuti's Durr al-Manthur... Beirut, no date, Vol. III, p. 228, where Suyuti quotes various traditions. These quotes, in English translation, are reproduced from, Andrew Bostom , editor, The Legacy of Jihad, Amherst, New York, 2005, p. 127.

98. Georges Vajda. “Un Traite Maghrebin ‘Adversos Judaeos: Ahkam Ahl Al-Dimma Du Sayh Muhammad B. ‘Abd Al-Karim Al-Magili’ ”, in Etudes D’Orientalisme Dediees a La Memoire de Levi-Provencal, Vol. 2, Paris, 1962, p. 811. English translation by Michael J. Miller.

99. Bat Ye’or, Islam and Dhimmitude, pp. 70-71.

100. David Littman, “Jews under Muslim Rule in the late Nineteenth Century” The Wiener Library Bulletin, 1975, Vol. 28, p. 75.

101. Norman Stillman. The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times, Philadelphia, 1991, p. 51.

102. Jacques Chalom. Les Israelites de la Tunisie: Leur condition civile et politique, Paris, 1908, p. 193.

103. For Yemen: Parfitt, The Road to Redemption, p. 163, and Aviva Klein-Franke. “Collecting the Djizya (Poll-Tax) in the Yemen”, in Tudor Parfitt editor, Israel and Ishmael : studies in Muslim-Jewish relations, New York, 2000, pp. 175-206; For Afghanistan: S. Landshut. Jewish Communities in the Muslim Countries of the Middle East, Westport, Connecticut, 1950, pp. 67-70.

104. Klein-Franke. “Collecting the Djizya (Poll-Tax) in the Yemen”, pp. 182-83, 186.

105. S. Landshut. Jewish Communities in the Muslim Countries of the Middle East, p. 67.

106. Al- Mawardi, The Laws of Islamic Governance [al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah], London, United Kingdom, 1996, p. 211; Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam, 1985, Cranbury, New Jersey, p. 169; K.S. Lal, The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India, New Delhi, 1992, p. 237.

107. For example, see Marghinani Ali ibn Abi Bakr, d. 1197, al-Hidayah, The Hedaya, or Guide- A Commentary on the Mussulman Laws, translated by Charles Hamilton, 1791, reprinted New Delhi, 1982, Vol. 2, pp. 362-363.

Malik and Shafi’i have said that their (i.e., the non-Muslim dhimmis) is absolutely inadmissible, because as infidels are unjust, it is requisite to be slow in believing anything they may advance., God having said (in the Koran) ‘When an unjust person tells you anything be slow in believing him’; whence it is that the evidence of an infidel is not admitted concerning a Mussulman; and consequently that an infidel stands (in this particular) in the same predicament with an apostate…Besides, a dhimmi may be suspected of inventing falsehoods against a Mussulman from the hatred he bears to him on account of the superiority of the Mussulmans over him.

And, from, Joseph Schacht, An Introduction to Islamic Law, Oxford, United Kingdom, , 1982, p. 132.

..the dhimmi cannot be a witness, except in matters concerning other dhimmis…

108. Watt, W.M. [Translator]. The Faith and Practice of Al-Ghazali, Oxford, England, 1953, p. 13.
109. Al-Ghazali (d. 1111). Kitab al-Wagiz fi fiqh madhab al-imam al-Safi’i, Beirut, 1979, pp. 186, 190-91; 199-200; 202-203. [English translation by Dr. Michael Schub.] Reproduced from Bostom, The Legacy of Jihad, p. 199.
110. Parfitt, The Road to Redemption, p. 187.
111. Ibid., p. 87; Yehuda Nini. The Jews of the Yemen, 1800—1914. Translated from the Hebrew by. H. Galai. Chur, Switzerland, 1990; pp. 24-25.
112. Nini, The Jews of the Yemen, p. 24.
113. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes. “Marocain Mellah”, Journal Asiatique, 1914, Vol. 3, p. 651; Meakin. “The Jews of Morocco” p. 372.
114. Eliezer Bashan. “New Documents Regarding Attacks Upon Jewish Religious Observance in Morocco during the Late Nineteenth Century” Pe’amim 1995, p. 71. English translation by Rivkah Fishman.
115. Al-Mawardi, The Laws of Islamic Governance pp. 60; 77-78; 200-201.
116. Moshe Perlmann, “Eleventh Century Andalusian Authors on the Jews of Granada,” Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research, 1948-49, Vol. 18, pp. 286-87
117. Sultan 'Abd Allah of Granada. Kitab al-Tibyan, translated by Bernard Lewis. Extracts reproduced from Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands, pp.224-225. The account was part of a memoir composed during 'Abd Allah’s imprisonment beginning in 1090 when Granada was conquered by the Berber Muslim Almoravids from North Africa.
118. Perlmann, Ibid., p. 284; Reinhart Dozy. Spanish Islam: A History of the Muslims in Spain, Translated by Francis Griffin Stokes, London, 1915 (reissued by Kessinger Publishing), p. 653.
119. Richard Gottheil, Joseph Jacobs. “The Crusades” in The Jewish Encyclopedia http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view_friendly.jsp?artid=908&letter=C
120. Walter Fischel. Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam, London, 1937, p.91.
121. Ibid., p. 91
122. Bar Hebraeus. The Chronography of Bar Hebraeus. Translated by E.A.W. Budge, London, 1932, p. 490.
123. Ghazi b. al-Wasiti. “An Answer to the Dhimmis”, English translation by Richard Gottheil. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 1921, Vol. 41, p. 449
124. Fischel. Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam pp.91-92.
125. Bar Hebraeus, The Chronography, p. 484
126. Fischel, Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam, p.108
127. Ibid., p. 110
128. Cited in Ibid., p. 110
129. P. Jackson. “Wassaf—The court panegyrist”. Encyclopedia of Islam. Edited by P. Bearman, Th. Biaqnquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, and W.P. Heinrichs, Brill, 2006, Brill Online.
130. Fischel, Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam, p. 111
131. Ibid., p. 111
132. Cited in Ibid., p. 111
133. Ibid., pp. 112, 114
134. Bar Hebraeus, The Chronography, p. 491
135. Cited in Fischel, Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam, p. 116.
136. Cited in Ibid. p. 117
137. Bar Hebraeus, The Chronography, p. 491
138. Fischel, Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam, p. 117, and note 5, p. 117
139. E.G. Browne. A Literary History of Persia [electronic resource], with a new introduction by J.T.P. de Bruijn , Bethesda, 1997, Vol. 3, pp. 35-36
140. Qur’an 44:25—“They left how many gardens and fountains,”
141. H.Z. Hirschberg. A History of the Jews of North Africa. Leiden, Netherlands, 1974, Vol. 1, pp. 392-399; Jane S. Gerber. Jewish Society in Fez. 1450-1700. Leiden, Netherlands, 1980, pp. 20-21.
142. Hirschberg. A History of the Jews of North Africa, p. 395.
143. Ibid., p. 395.
144. Sunni Muslims in the Arab world tended to reserve the terms “sharif” for descendants of Hassan (son of Caliph Ali ibn Ali Talibi), and “sayyid” for descendants of Husayn (also a son of Caliph Ali ibn Ali Talibi, and revered as the third imam by most Shi’a Muslims)
145. Hirschberg. A History of the Jews of North Africa, pp. 395-396.
146. Ibid., pp. 396-397.
147. Ibid., p. 398.
148. Unfortunately, ‘Abd el-Basit was wrong. Some 6000 (six thousand) Jews were slaughtered in the Jewish quarter of Fez in 1032/33 during the ravages led by a Berber sheikh. (see Edmond Fagnan, “Le Signe Distinctif des Juifs Au Maghreb”, Revue Etudes Juifs, 1894, Vol. 48, p.297; Salo W. Baron, A Social and Religious History of the Jews, New York, 1957, Vol. 3, p. 108; and Hirschberg. A History of the Jews of North Africa, p. 108)
149. Gerber. Jewish Society in Fez, p. 21
150. Y.D. Semach. “Une Chronique Juive De Fes: Le “Yahas Fes” De Ribbi Abner Hassarfaty”, Hesperis, 1934, Vol. 19 (1-2), pp. 91-93. English translation by Susan Emanuel.
151. Gerber. Jewish Society in Fez, p. 21.
152. Hirschberg. A History of the Jews of North Africa, p. 402; Gerber. Jewish Society in Fez, p. 18;
John O. Hunwick. “Al-Maghili and the Jews of Tuwat: the Demise of a Community” Studia Islamica, 1985, Vol. 61, pp. 155-183.
153. G. Deverdun. “Ibn ‘Askar”. Encyclopedia of Islam. Edited by P. Bearman, Th. Biaqnquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, and W.P. Heinrichs, Brill, 2006, Brill Online.
154. Ibn ‘Askar. Dawhat al-nashir li-mahasin man kana bi ‘l-maghrib min mashayikh al-qarn al-‘ashir. Fez, 1891/2, p. 95. English translation in Hunwick, “Al-Maghili and the Jews of Tuwat”, p. 161.
155. Vajda. “Un Traite Maghrebin ‘Adversos Judaeos”, p. 811. English translation by Michael J. Miller.
156. Hunwick, “Al-Maghili and the Jews of Tuwat”, pp. 173-174 and 162. On pp. 173-74, Hunwick summarizes the opinion of one of at least two major contemporary Moroccan jurists who supported al-Maghili’s views, al Tanasi (d. 1494):

As part of his case al-Tanasi quoted a ruling in Tunis by the jurist ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-‘Abdusi (d. 1434) that there could be neither building nor repair of religious edifices in the land of the Muslims (bilad al-muslimin). Should dhimmis subsequently build a place of worship after being forbidden to do so, this would constitute an abrogation of the pact [dhimma], making it lawful to enslave their women and children and seize their property.
157. Ibid., pp. 176-177; 165-166.
158. H. I. Gwarzo. “The Life and Teachings of al-Maghili with Particular Reference to the Saharan Jewish Community”, unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of London, 1972 (Microfilm copy, 1985), p. 136.
158a. Ibid., p. 134.
158b. Ibid., p. 137.
159. Ibid., pp. 49-50. Gwarzo further notes (p. 261.) that the Muslim rank and file afforded Al-Maghili, “…respect, reverence, and blind loyalty…”
159a. Hunwick, “Al-Maghili and the Jews of Tuwat”, p. 183.
160. Raphael Israeli. “Anti-Jewish Attitudes in the Arabic Media, 1975—1981”, in Robert Wistrich, Editor, Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism in the Contemporary World. New York, 1990, pp. 103, 112.
161. Emmanuel Sivan. “Islamic Fundamentalism, Antisemitism, and Anti-Zionism”, in Robert Wistrich, Editor, Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism in the Contemporary World. New York, 1990, p. 82
162. See discussion in text associated with notes 120 and 121, above, from Walter Fischel. Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam, London, 1937, p.91.
163. Sivan. “Islamic Fundamentalism, Antisemitism, and Anti-Zionism”, pp. 77-78.
164. Ahmad Yusuf Ahmad. Al-Sh’b al-Dalil Isra’il (Israel—the Misled People), Cairo, 1962, p. 78. Cited in Y. Harkabi. Arab Attitudes to Israel. Jerusalem, Israel, 1972, Translated by Misha Louvish, p. 92.
165. ‘Abdallah al-Tall. Khatr al-Yahudiyya al-‘Alamiyya ‘Ala al-Islam wa-al-Mashiyya. (The Danger of World Jewry to Islam and Christianity). Cairo, 1964, p. 65. Cited in Y. Harkabi. Arab Attitudes to Israel., p, 92.
166. D.F. Green. [“D.F. Green” is a compound pseudonym for David Littman and Y. Harkabi] Arab Theologians on Jews and Israel. Extracts from the Proceedings of the Fourth Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research. Geneva, 1976, p. 15.
167. The fourth conference of the Academy of Islamic Research, Rajab 1388, September 1968. Cairo, General Organization for Government Printing Offices, 1970, 935 pp.
168. D.F. Green. Arab Theologians on Jews and Israel, .p. 70.
169. Ibid., p. 91
170. Sylvia Haim. “Islam and the Theory of Arab Nationalism” Die Welt Des Islams, 1955, Vol. 2, pp. 124-149. See especially her conclusion on, p. 149:

Another feature of the modern doctrine which fits in with the Muslim past is the emphasis which both of them lay on communal solidarity, discipline and cooperation. The umma in Islam is a solidary entity, and its foremost duty is to answer the call of the jihad. [emphasis added}This brings us to the third feature which both modern and ancient systems have in common, to wit the glorification of one’s own group. The traditional attitude of the Muslims to the outside world is one of superiority, and the distinction between the Dar al-harb, Dar al-Islam, and Dar as-sulh, is an ever present one in the mind of the Muslim jurist. It may therefore be said in conclusion of this modern doctrine of nationalism, that although it introduces into Islam features which may not accord with strict orthodoxy, it is the least incompatible perhaps of modern European doctrines with the political thought and political experience of Sunni Islam. [emphasis added]

Also from Sylvia Haim, Arab Nationalism—An Anthology, Berkeley, California, 1962, pp. 63-64, Haim quotes the founder of the Arab Nationalist Ba’ath Party, Michel Aflaq:

Muhammad was the epitome of all the Arabs, so let all the Arabs today be Muhammad…Islam was an Arab movement and its meaning was the renewal of Arabism and its maturity…[even] Arab Christians will recognize that Islam constitutes for them a national culture in which they must immerse themselves so that they may understand and love it, and so that they may preserve Islam as they would preserve the most precious element in their Arabism.

Haim concludes (p. 164), “ For Aflaq, Islam is [emphasis in original] Arab nationalism…”

171. Official English translation in Zuhair Diab, editor, International Documents on Palestine, 1968, Beirut, 1971. Cited in Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, p. 390.

172. Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, p. 390.

173. Musa Kazem el-Husseini, (President Palestinian Arab Congress), to High Commissioner for Palestine, December 10, 1920 (Translated January 2, 1921), Israel State Archives, R.G. 2, Box 10, File 244.

174. “A Friday Sermon on PA TV: … We Must Educate our Children on the Love of Jihad…” July 11, 2001, Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch #240. http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP24001

175. Bostom, The Legacy of Jihad, pp. 43-51.

176. The expression “fay” is found in Qur’an 59: 6—10, which describes Muhammad’s attack upon the Jewish tribe, Banu Nadir. In the traditional Muslim interpretation of these verses the theocratic conception of property rights is confirmed, as voiced by the Prophet—Allah returns to the Believers the possessions of His foes, what is properly His. See Leone Caetani. Annali dell’ Islam, Milan, 1905-1926, Vol. 5, p. 332.

177. Joseph B. Schechtman, The Mufti and The Fuehrer, New York, 1965, pp. 114-15, 151; Jennie Lebel, Hajj Amin ve Berlin (Hajj Amin and Berlin), Tel Aviv, 1996, pp. 140-142; Yossef Bodansky, Islamic Antisemitism as a Political Instrument, Houston, 1999, p. 29.

178. Shai Lachman. “Arab Rebellion and Terrorism in Palestine 1929-39: The Case of Sheikh Izz al-Din al-Qassam and His Movement”, in Zionism and Arabism in Palestine and Israel, edited by Elie Kedourie and Sylvia G. Haim, Frank Cass, London, 1982, pp. 52-99.

179. Bat Ye’or, “Aspects of the Arab-Israeli Conflict”, Wiener Library Bulletin, Vol. 32, 1979, p. 68.; Efraim Karsh, Arafat’s War, New York, 2003, p. 117.

180. David Littman. “The Genocidal Hamas Charter”, National Review Online, September, 26, 2002.

181. “The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement—Hamas”, Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch Series, No. 1092, February 14, 2006.

182. Sahih Muslim Book 041, Number 6985; Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 176/177

183. Excerpts from, Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, pp.391-94.

184. Excerpts from, Bat Ye’or, Eurabia- The Euro-Arab Axis, Cranbury, New Jersey, 2005, pp. 284-295.

185. Excerpts from, Bat Ye’or, Eurabia, pp. 312-19.

186. “Sheik Yousef Al-Qaradhawi: Our War with the Jews is in the Name of Islam”, Middle East Media Research Institute, TV Monitor Project, Clip No. 1052, February 25, 2006.

187. Tabari. Jami` al-Bayan fii Tafsiir al-Qur’aan, Vol. IX, p. 122. Regarding Qur’an 7:166—“…God made them into apes and pigs, howling, with wagging tails, whereas previously they had been men and women.…the youths became apes; the mature people became pigs.” In contrast, regarding Qur’an 5:60, from Al-Muntakhab fii Tafsiir al-Qur’aan al-Kariim. [Al-Azhar paraphrase of, and commentary on the Qur’an, in Modern Standard Arabic]. 11th ed. Cairo 1406/1985., p. 158, “He is angry with you for your unbelieving disobedience, He has obliterated your minds, so become like [emphasis added] apes and pigs…”

188. Suyuti, Jalal al-Din. Tafsiir al-Jalaalayn. Beirut 1404/1984, p. 149, regarding 5:60: “[The Jews] ‘[are] the one[s] whom God has cursed’ exiled him from His mercy ‘and on whom God’s wrath has fallen’…‘ [they] who worship the Taaghuut’ ..obey Satan. He made them into apes and monkeys ‘by transformation’ ”; Mawdudi. Towards Understanding the Qur’an. Vol. 2 , p. 175, regarding 5:60: “This alludes to the Jews, whose history shows that they were subjected, over and over again, to the wrath and scourge of God. When they desecrated the law of the Sabbath, the faces of many of them were distorted, and subsequently their generation reached such a low point, they took to worshipping Satan quite openly.”; The Al-Azhar paraphrase of, and commentary on the Qur’an in Modern Standard Arabic, 1985, [see note 187, above] p. 158, also states that the Jews were punished because they “worship Satan, and follow error”

189. Ibn Kathir. Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Riyadh, Vol. 4, 2000, p. 193. Elaborating on the Jews punishment, i.e., the apes transformation of 7:166, and the related statement of 7:167 [“And when Thy Lord proclaimed He would send forth against them, unto the Day of Resurrection, those who should visit them with evil chastisement.”], Ibn Kathir comments that afflictions will continue to sent against the Jews, “…on account of their disobedience, defying Allah’s orders and Law and using tricks to transgress the prohibitions…When Islam came and Muhammad was sent, they came under his power and had to pay the Jizyah as well. Therefore, the humiliating torment [chastisement] mentioned here includes disgrace and paying the Jizyah…In the future, the Jews will support the Dajjal [False Messiah]; and the Muslims, along with Isa [the Muslim Jesus], will kill the Jews…”

190. Suyuti, Jalal al-Din. Tafsiir al-Jalaalayn, p. 149, “their fate is the Fire”

190a. M.J. Kister, “The massacre of the Banu Qurayza: a re-examination of a tradition” Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam, Vol. 8, 1986, pp. 61-96; W.H. T. Gairdner, “Muhammad Without Camouflage”, The Moslem World, Vol. 9, 1919, p. 36.

190b. The Life of Muhammad. A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah. Translated by A. Guillaume, Oxford, England, 2001, p. 461.

190c Ibn Sa‘d. Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir. English translation by S. Moinul Haq and H.K. Ghazanfar. New Delhi, India, 1993, p. 95. (The translators wrote: “Brothren [sic] of monkeys and boars fear me, fear me!”)

191. H. R. Idris. “Contributions a histoire de l’Ifriqiya” (Riyad an Nufus d’Al-Maliki), Revue des Etudes Islamiques, 1935. English translation in Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, p. 186.

192. H. R. Idris, “Tributaries in the Medieval Muslim West, according to the Mi’yar of al-Wansharisi”. English translation by Michael J. Miller of “Les tributaries en Occident Musulman medieval d’apres ‘miyar d’al Wansarisi’ ” (Vol. VI, p. 51 and pp. 286-303), in, Melanges d’islamologie: Volume dediae a la memoire de Armand Abel par ses colleagues, ses aeleves, et ses amis, 1974, pp. 172-196, selected extracts.

193. Dozy. Spanish Islam: A History of the Muslims in Spain, p. 653; Perlmann, “Eleventh Century Andalusian Authors on the Jews of Granada,”, p. 284.

194. Perlmann, “Eleventh Century Andalusian Authors on the Jews of Granada,”, p. 286.

195. Ibid., pp. 287-288.

196. Ibid., p. 288 note 56a.

197. Bar Hebraeus, The Chronography, p. 491; Fischel, Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam, pp. 116, 117, and note 5, p. 117.

198. Bar Hebraeus, The Chronography, p. 490; Ghazi b. al-Wasiti. “An Answer to the Dhimmis”, p. 449; Fischel, Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam, p. 91

199. E.G. Browne. A Literary History of Persia, Vol. 3, pp. 35-36

200. Ibid., p. 35.

201. See Vajda. “Un Traite Maghrebin ‘Adversos Judaeos”; Hunwick. “Al-Maghili and the Jews of Tuwat: the Demise of a Community”.

202. Zamakhshary. Al-Kashshaaf `an Haqaa’iq GhawaamiD al-Tanziil wa-`Uyuun al-Aqaawiil fii Wujuuh alTa’wiil. Ed. M. H. Ahmad. Cairo 1365/1946. p. 684, referring to Qur’an 5:60/61:

Some say that when this occurred, the Muslims taunted them, saying, ‘O brothers of apes and pigs,’ and the Jews would bow their heads. “These” the cursed transformed ones “are the lowest in stature” they were put in the evil place they deserved. The emphasis here is intended as ‘lowest and most erring’ for it became a by-name for them beyond mere metaphor. The reason for this revelation is that a group of Jews approached Muhammad with the worst intentions, being hypocritical in feigning belief, and God revealed to Muhammad that they would leave in the same state in which they entered, and would heed nothing he would say in unbelief and pretending.

See also notes 190b and 190c, above, and Muhammad’s references to the Banu Qurayza Jews as “monkeys”, or “monkeys and pigs”

203. Ibid., p.809. Vajda. “Un Traite Maghrebin ‘Adversos Judaeos”, p. 809.

204. See Hirschberg. A History of the Jews of North Africa, p. 402; Gerber. Jewish Society in Fez, p. 18; and Hunwick. “Al-Maghili and the Jews of Tuwat: the Demise of a Community”.

205. Gregory Wortabet. Syria and the Syrians. Vol. II, London, 1856, pp. 263-264

206. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 47, Number 786; Sahih Muslim Book 026, Number 5430.

207. Parfitt, The Road to Redemption, p. 89

208. Aluma Solnick. “Based on Koranic Verses, Interpretations, and Traditions, Muslim Clerics State: The Jews Are the Descendants of Apes, Pigs, And Other Animals”, November 1, 2002 Middle East Media Research Institute Special Report # 11

209. “Islamic Antisemitism: The Jews Depicted as Apes and Pigs”. Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, Bulletin # 5, Chapter 3, October 2002, www.intelligence.org.il/eng/default.htm

210. Ibid.

211. Ibid.

212. Solnick, “Muslim Clerics State: The Jews Are the Descendants of Apes, Pigs, And Other Animals”

213. Menachem Milson. “What is Arab Antisemitism?”, Middle East Media Research Institute, February 27, 2004, Special Report #26.

214. Ibid.

215. “Islamic Antisemitism: The Jews Depicted as Apes and Pigs”. Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center

216. Ibn Warraq. Leaving Islam. Apostates Speak Out. Amherst, New York, 2003, p. 401.

217. The classical Qur’anic commentary of Ibn Kathir, and the 20th century commentary of Mawdudi confirm and validate the anti-Jewish attitudes expressed in Qur’an 5:32/33. From Ibn Kathir (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Riyadh, Vol. 3, 2000, p.160), entitled, “Warning Those Who Commit Mischief ”:

This Ayah chastises and criticizes those who commit the prohibitions, after knowing that they are prohibited from indulging in them. [Like] [T]he Jews of Al-Madinah, such as Banu Qurayza, An-Nadir, and Qaynuqa..[Jewish tribes ultimately attacked, expropriated, expelled, and even massacred by Muhammad]

From Mawdudi (Towards Understanding the Qur’an. Vol. 2, pp. 155-56), who includes a contextual reference to Qur’an 5:30/31 as well:

God honored some of the illiterate people of Arabia and disregarded the ancient People of the Book because the former were pious while the latter were not. But rather than reflect upon the causes of their rejection by God, and do something to overcome the failings which led to that rejection, the Israelites were seized by the same fit of arrogance and folly which had once seized the criminal son of Adam [verses 5:30/31], and resolved to kill those whose good deeds had been accepted by God. It was obvious that such acts would contribute nothing towards their acceptance by God. They would rather earn them an even greater degree of God’s disapproval. Since the same qualities which had been displayed by the wrongdoing son of Adam were manifest in the Children of Israel, God strongly urged them not to kill human beings and couched his command in forceful terms.

The “land” (in verse 5:33) signifies either the country or territory wherein the responsibility of establishing law and order has been undertaken by an Islamic state. The expression “to wage war [fight] against Allah and His Messenger” denotes war against the righteous order established by the Islamic state.



218. For example, Ibn Kammuna (d. 1284), the 13th century Jewish physician-philosopher of Iraqi origin, wrote (1280) simply (see Moshe Perlmann, translator, Ibn Kammuna’s Examination of the Three Faiths, Berkeley, 1971, pp. 131-133):

There is no tradition by the authority of any Jew that 'Uzayr (Ezra) was the son of God…If any of them said that, he would be considered among them an unbeliever and outside of their community.

219. Ibn Warraq. Why I Am Not a Muslim. Amherst, New York, 1995, pp. 215-216.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in a speech welcoming Pope John Paul to Damascus on May 5, 2001, demonstrated how the “flawlessly updated” Islamic motif of Jews as prophet killers and torturers is used to vilify both Jews, and the Jewish State of Israel: [82]

We notice them [i.e., the Jews] aggressing against Muslim and Christian Holy Sites in Palestine, violating the sanctity of the Holy Mosque (Al-Aqsa), of the church of Sepulcher in Jerusalem and of the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. They [i.e., the Jews] try to kill all the principles of divine faiths with the same mentality of betraying Jesus Christ and torturing Him, and in the same way that they tried to commit treachery against Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him). [emphasis added]

Ben-Shammai, Nettler, and Friedman omit from their discussions, however, any comprehensive analysis of Qur’an 9:29, “Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.” The injunctions delineated in this verse clearly do not apply to Jews alone, including Christians, and perhaps Zoroastrians, as well. Yet Qur’an 9:29 and the modes of subjugation it mandates for the Jews (and those other of “Scriptured” faiths)—via peaceful or violently-imposed submission—provide the framework for implementing the myriad dictates of the Qur’an, including its antisemitic injunctions, under Shari’a, the sacralized Islamic jural order.

Ibn Kathir’s 14th century commentary [83] expresses the classical Muslim orthodoxy on Qur’an 9:29—the verse which links the unique Islamic institution of jihad war, integrally, to the imposition of the pact of submission (or “dhimma”) upon the vanquished “Scriptured” (or “dhimmi”) peoples, primarily Jews and Christians:

…when the People of the Scriptures disbelieved in Muhammad, they had no beneficial faith in any Messenger or what the Messengers brought. Rather they followed their religions because this conformed with their ideas, lusts, and the ways of their forefathers, not because they are Allah’s laws and religion. Had they been true believers in their religions, that faith would have directed them to believe in Muhammad because all Prophets gave the good news of Muhammad’s advent and commanded them to obey and follow him. Yet when he was sent, they disbelieved in him, even though he is the mightiest of all Messengers. Therefore, they do not follow the religion of earlier Prophets because these religions came from Allah, but because these suit their desires and lusts. Therefore, their claimed faith in an earlier Prophet will not benefit them because they disbelieved in the master, the mightiest, the last and most perfect of all Prophets. Hence Allah’s statement “Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the People of the Scripture”

This honorable Ayah was revealed with the order to fight the People of the Book, after the pagans were defeated, the people entered Allah’s region in large numbers, and the Arabian Peninsula was secured under the Muslims’ control. Allah commanded His Messenger to fight the People of the Scriptures, Jews and Christians… Allah said, “until they pay the Jizya”, if they do not choose to embrace Islam, ‘with willing submission’, in defeat and subservience, “and feel themselves subdued”, disgraced, humiliated and belittled. Therefore, Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimma or elevate them above Muslims, for they are miserable, disgraced, and humiliated.

Moreover, forcing Jews, in particular, to pay the Qur’anic poll tax “tribute”, “readily”, while “being brought low”, is consistent with their overall humiliation and abasement in accord with Qur’an 2:61, and its directly related verses.

Mawdudi’s commentary provides the 20th century confirmation of this orthodox view of Qur’an 9:29, expressed in a modern idiom: [84]

The Jews and Christians have corrupted their faith since they have distorted certain basic components of that [true] belief [i.e., Islam]…The People of the Book do not follow the Law revealed by God through His Messenger.

The purpose for which the Muslims are required to fight is not as one might think to compel the unbelievers into embracing Islam. Rather their purpose is to put an end to the sovereignty and supremacy of the unbelievers so that the latter are unable to rule over men. The authority to rule should only be vested in those who follow the true faith; unbelievers who do not follow this true faith should live in a state of subordination…Jizyah symbolizes the submission of the unbelievers to the suzerainty of Islam. To pay the jizyah of their own hands “humbled” refers to payment in a state of submission. “Humbled” also reinforces the idea that the believers, rather than the unbelievers, should be the rulers in performance of their duty as God’s vicegerents.

Some nineteenth-century Muslim writers and their followers in our own times never seem to tire of their apologies for jizyah. But God’s religion does not require that apologetic explanations be made on its behalf. The simple fact is that according to Islam, non-Muslims have been granted the freedom to stay outside the Islamic fold and to cling to their false, man-made ways if they so wish. They have, however, absolutely no right to seize the reigns of power in any part of God’s earth nor to direct the collective affairs of human beings according to their own misconceived doctrines. For if they are given such an opportunity, corruption and mischief will ensue. In such a situation the believers would be under an obligation to do their utmost to dislodge them from political power and to make them live in subservience to the Islamic way of life.

One of the advantages of jizyah is that it reminds the Dhimmis every year that because they do not embrace Islam…they have to pay a price—jizyah—for clinging to their errors.

The Persistent Historical Application of the Anti-Jewish Motifs in the Qur’an

Earlier, in relation to Qur’an 5:82, a few brief examples were provided [85] illustrating the historical continuity (from 9th century Baghdad/Iraq, to19th century Egypt) of the hateful attitudes towards Jews this specific verse (5:82) engendered among the Muslim masses, as chronicled by contemporary observers, both Muslim and non-Muslim. Having now presented a full spectrum of the major anti-Jewish motifs in the Qur’an, additional illustrations demonstrating their persistent influence on Muslim attitudes (and resultant behaviors) towards Jews, can be provided. Four themes will be considered: (I) the Jews being associated with Satan and consigned to Hell (Qur’an 4:60, 4:55, 58:14—19, and 98:6); (II) the imposition of the Qur’anic poll-tax (jizya; Qur’an 9:29) on Jews, specifically, and (III) the related enforcement of the Qur’anic (2:61) “curse” upon the Jews for killing the Prophets, and other transgressions against Allah’s will, meriting their permanent humiliation and abasement; and, last in connection to this curse, (IV) the Jews’ transformation into apes/swine, as punishment (Qur’an 2:65, 5:60, and 7:166).

Formal decrees (or modern pronouncements) and opinions from Muslim rulers, jurisconsults, and theologians—past and present—have repeatedly associated non-Muslim dhimmis in general, or Jews specifically, with Satan, and the torments of being consigned deservedly to Hell. The Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil in an anti-dhimmi decree dated 850, according to Tabari's account, [86] “…commanded that wooden images of devils [87] be nailed to the doors of their homes to distinguish them from the homes of Muslims.” Ibn Abdun, a Muslim jurist from Seville, Spain invoked Qur'an 58:19 in a section of his treatise (dated 1100) on dhimmi servitudes which discussed the appropriate dress of dhimmis, and how Muslims should “greet” them: [88]

You must not allow any…Jew or Christian to wear the attire of great men, doctors of law, or the wealthy. On the contrary, they must be objects of contempt and disgust; they are not entitled to a greeting of peace , [“Peace upon you!” (as-salam alaykum!)]. In effect [quoting 58:19] “Satan has gained the mastery over them, and caused them to forget God's Remembrance. Those are Satan's party; why, Satan's party, surely, they are the losers!” They must wear a distinctive, ignominious sign.

A September, 2002 review of Friday sermons from Saudi Arabian mosques [89] indicates that these motifs remain vibrant in popular modern Islamic religious teaching. At a mosque in Mecca, Sheikh Adnan Ahmed Siyami, stated,

[Islam] believes that only Islam and the “Camp of Kufur [unbelief]” exist, and that there is no way to reach Paradise and to be delivered from Hell except by walking in the path of our Prophet Muhammad and joining Islam. Any other way leads to Hell.

Sheikh Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid, another contemporary Saudi cleric, referred to the Jews, explicitly in his related discussion during a sermon delivered at a mosque in Al-Damam:

The Jews are the helpers of Satan. The Jews are the cause of the misery of the human race, together with the infidels and the other polytheists. Satan leads them to Hell and to a miserable fate.

The common expressions and practices of ordinary Muslims demonstrate how such associations of the Jews with Satan and Hell have long been imbibed by the masses. Solomon b. Jeroham, the authoritative Karaite Jewish exegete who lived in Jerusalem during the mid-10th century, [90] confirmed that the hateful doctrine regarding salutation (and humiliation), illustrated (above) by Ibn Abdun’s treatise, [91] was actually practiced by Muslims in their encounters with Jews. Solomon included the following observation in his 955/56 commentary on the Book of Lamentations: [92]

What can you say about people [Muslims] who curse you when you greet them, and when you do not greet them humiliate you and offend you?

Sir John Drummond-Hay (1816-1893), was a British diplomat and fluent linguist, with an extensive knowledge about Morocco, having lived with his father (Consul-General Edward Drummond-Hay) in Tangier from the age of 16, and served as a trusted personal adviser to three generations of Moroccan Sultans. Writing in 1844, Sir John noted the belief among Muslims of the North African Maghreb (especially Morocco) that, [93]

…if a Muhammadan walks on a Jewish grave he gives relief to the infidel in it, who is in torture, and that for this reason he should keep away from the grave.

Indeed the notion that Jews are condemned, rightfully, to such eternal torment after death is made clear by Muhammad, as recorded in the canonical hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim:

Narrated Aisha: Once Allah's Apostle passed by the (grave of) a Jewess, whose relatives were weeping over her. He said, “They are weeping over her and she is being tortured in her grave” [94]

Narrated Abi Ayub: Once the Prophet went out after Sunset and heard a dreadful voice, and said, “The Jews are being punished in their graves” [95]

Tudor Parfitt's 1996 analysis of the 20th century exodus of Yemen's Jews, [96] leading to the liquidation of their ancient community, observed that Jews figured prominently in Yemeni proverbs and expressions, including this common reference to Hellfire:

It used to be the case after saying "It's hot today" to comment "Ah! A Jew must have perished"—an allusion to the Jew burning in Hell.

The jizya collection ritual, consistent with Qur’an 9:29, fulfills the prescribed debasement of Jews and other dhimmis. Al-Suyuti (d. 1505), author (along with his mentor) [97] of a seminal Qur’anic commentary (Tafsir al-Jalalayn), made these recommendations regarding jizya collection:

…[jizya is part of] land and slaves...is incumbent upon the People of the Book...on people who allow wine [Jews and Christians] and pig-meat [Christians]...[Saaghiruuna means] submissively...[it means] by coercion...[`an yadin means] directly, not trusting the trickery of an intermediary...by force...without resistance...in an unpraiseworthy manner...while you stand and [the dhimmi] sits with the whip in front of you [you take] the money while he has dirt on his head.

Al-Maghili (d. 1504/1505), a contemporary of Al-Suyuti, and an important North African theologian whose writings on the dhimmis influenced both the Muslim masses of his day, and followers through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, insisted that affronts be inflicted upon the dhimmis, especially Jews, when collecting the jizya: [98]

On the day for tax collecting, they should be assembled in a public place, like the souk. They should present themselves there, standing up at the lowest, vilest place. The auxiliaries of the Law should stand above them, striking a menacing pose, so that appears to their eyes and to the eyes of the others that our purpose is to debase them by pretending to take their belongings. They will realize that we do them a favor [again] by accepting the jizya from them and letting them go [their way]. Then they shall be brought one by one [before the official responsible] for collecting the tax. While paying, the dhimmi will receive a slap and will be pushed back in such fashion that he will think that he has escaped the sword thanks to this [insult]. This is how the friends of the Lord in the first and last generations act toward their miscreant enemies, for power belongs to God, to His Apostle and to the Believers.

The enduring legacy of Al-Maghili’s teachings are evident in two remarkable accounts of the humiliating conditions under which the jizya was still being collected from Moroccan Jews within the modern era. An Italian Jew traveling in Morocco in 1894, reported the following: [99]

The kaid Uwida and the kadi Mawlay Mustafa had mounted their tent today near the Mellah [Jewish ghetto] gate and had summoned the Jews in order to collect from them the poll tax [jizya] which they are obliged to pay the sultan. They had me summoned also. I first inquired whether those who were European-protected subjects had to pay this tax. Having learned that a great many of them had already paid it, I wished to do likewise. After having remitted the amount of the tax to the two officials, I received from the kadi’s guard two blows in the back of the neck. Addressing the kadi and the kaid, I said” ‘Know that I am an Italian protected subject.’ Whereupon the kadi said to his guard: ‘Remove the kerchief covering his head and strike him strongly; he can then go and complain wherever he wants.’ The guards hastily obeyed and struck me once again more violently. This public mistreatment of a European-protected subject demonstrates to all the Arabs that they can, with impunity, mistreat the Jews.

And in a letter from January 30, 1911 by Avram Elmaleh, Head of the Fez boys' school, to the President of the Alliance Israelite Universelle, Paris, we learn the degrading conditions imposed upon the rabbinical leaders of the Moroccan Jewish community, in connection with “community business” (i.e., such as payment of the jizya), even into the second decade of the 20th century: [100]

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter No. 1283 of 30 January, enclosing a letter from Rabbi Vidal Sarfaty. The rabbi asks you to intervene with Si Mohamed el Mokri, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, at present in Paris, for the abolition of the degrad¬ing custom imposed on Jews, not to enter Dar el Maghzen except barefoot. Unfortunately, the facts given in Rabbi Vidal's letter are correct. Jews must take off their shoes at the gate of Dar-Maghzen. Quite apart from the humiliation involved in this measure, it is an intolerable suffering for our co-religionists to be obliged to stand many hours barefoot on the earth of the Palace courtyard, which is either cold and damp or white-hot from the summer sun. Rabbi Vidal. a regular visitor to the Dar-Maghzen in con¬nection with community business or on behalf of individuals, has often returned ill from a rather too long sojourn in front of the offices. It is my opinion that it would be impossible to obtain an order from the Sultan to allow Jews to enter the Palace with their shoes on. It is a concession which his pride would not permit, and one quite contrary to the Muslim conception of the relative positions of the Jews and themselves.

Only when Morocco became a French Protectorate was there effective abolition of such Shari’a-based practices, affording Jews, as Stillman observes, [101] “far greater security and opportunity” than had existed in the “chaotic and violent days” prior to its (1912) establishment. However, even a quarter century after the establishment of a French protectorate in Tunisia (May, 1881), as described by Jacques Chalom (in 1908), rural Tunisian Jews were still required to pay the jizya (termed majba in Tunisia). [102] Moreover, Jews in Yemen and Afghanistan continued to pay the jizya until the liquidation of their communities after Israel was established in 1948. [103]

Although Yemen’s 20th century rulers (Imam Yahya, and his son Ahmad) dispensed with public ceremonial degradation, the deliberately threatening and humiliating atmospherics of jizya collection persisted. Aviva Klein-Franke describes the collection process: [104]

The Imam [Yahya, and later his son Ahmad] would nominate a respectable Jew to collect the Poll Tax. The nominated was called Ma’mur, Sheikh or 'Aqil…He was ordered to prepare a list of all the Jewish males in his community who had reached the age of thirteen years for the purpose of collecting the Djizya…The 'Uqqal [assistants to the Ma’mur] also had to mention those Jews who had emigrated. As we have seen, the Imam confiscated the property of anyone who left the Yemen. Jews were not allowed to sell their property before leaving the country—everything would be forfeited to the Imam by his [Imam Yahya’s] decree of 1920.

Before the 'Uqqal collected the money, a street crier went through the Jewish quarter, proclaiming that the Imam expected everyone to pay the Djizya without delay. Failure to do so meant that a soldier, Baqaa, might be billeted on those in default until such time as they paid…Usually the Jews paid without any objection…they could send a written appeal to the Imam. If a Jew still refused to pay the Djizya, the Imam would accept no further excuses and would send his soldiers to the recalcitrant Jew until he was willing to pay. This meant soldiers might stay in his household for a few days. The Jew had to house them and do everything to satisfy their needs, otherwise soldiers would complain to the Imam that they had not been treated well, and that they had been insulted as Muslims. Not only would such an arrangement cost the person much more than the Djizya he owed, he could even end up in prison.

According to a 1950 report, the Jews of Afghanistan were subjected to governmental anti-Jewish bias, and the religious zeal of local Muslim populations, right until their final exodus (typically escaping to India, and thence to Israel). This ongoing discrimination included their public humiliation during collection of the jizya: [105]

…the Jews in Afghanistan are still subject to all the forms of discrimination which rigorous adherence to the Koran [9:29] requires. They have to pay the jizyah poll-tax imposed upon infidels, and the payment is accompanied by humiliating ceremonies...

The degrading jizya collection ritual was a salient feature of broader anti-dhimmi regulations codified into Islamic Law, consistent with Qur’an 9:29. The “contract of the jizya”, “dhimma”, or “system of dhimmitude”, encompassed other obligatory and recommended regulations for the conquered non-Muslim “dhimmi” peoples, including Jews, such as: [106] the prohibition of arms for the vanquished non-Muslims (dhimmis), and of church bells; restrictions concerning the building and restoration of churches, synagogues, and temples; inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims with regard to taxes and penal law; the refusal of dhimmi testimony by Muslim courts; [107] a requirement that Jews, and other non-Muslims, wear special clothes; and the overall humiliation and abasement of non-Muslims. It is important to note that these regulations and attitudes were institutionalized as permanent features of the sacred Islamic law, or Shari’a. The writings of the much lionized Sufi theologian and jurist al-Ghazali (d. 1111) (the famous theologian, philosopher, and paragon of mystical Sufism, who, as noted by the renowned scholar W.M. Watt, has been “…acclaimed in both the East and West as the greatest Muslim after Muhammad…” [108]) highlight how the institution of dhimmitude was simply a normative, and prominent feature of the Shari’a:


…the dhimmi is obliged not to mention Allah or His Apostle…Jews, Christians, and Majians must pay the jizya [poll tax on non-Muslims]…on offering up the jizya, the dhimmi must hang his head while the official takes hold of his beard and hits [the dhimmi] on the protruberant bone beneath his ear [i.e., the mandible]… They are not permitted to ostentatiously display their wine or church bells…their houses may not be higher than the Muslim’s, no matter how low that is. The dhimmi may not ride an elegant horse or mule; he may ride a donkey only if the saddle[-work] is of wood. He may not walk on the good part of the road. They [the dhimmis] have to wear [an identifying] patch [on their clothing], even women, and even in the [public] baths…[dhimmis] must hold their tongue….[109]

Two particularly humiliating “vocations” were imposed upon Jews by their Muslim overlords in Yemen, and Morocco, where Jews formed the only substantive non-Muslim dhimmi populations. Yemenite Jews had to remove human feces and other waste matter (urine which failed to evaporate, etc.) from Muslim areas, initially in Sanaa, and later in other communities such as Shibam, Yarim, and Dhamar. [110] Decrees requiring this obligation were issued in the late 18th or early 19th century, and re-introduced in 1913. [111] Yehuda Nini reproduces an 1874 letter written by a Yemenite Jew to the Alliance Israelite in Paris, lamenting the practice: [112]

…it is 86 years since our forefathers suffered the cruel decree and great shame to the nation of Israel from the east to sundown…for in the days of our fathers, 86 years ago, there arose a judge known as Qadi, and said unto the king and his ministers who lived in that time that the Lord, Blessed be He, had only created the Jews out of love of the other nations, to do their work and be enslaved by them at their will, and to do the most contemptible and lowly of tasks. And of them all…the greatest contamination of all, to clear their privies and streets and pathways of the filthy dung and the great filth in that place and to collect all that is left of the dung, may your Honor pardon the expression.

Moroccan Jews were confined to ghettos in the major cities, such as Fez (since the 13th century) called mellah(s) (salty earth) which derives from the fact it was here that they were forced to salt the decapitated heads of executed rebels for public exposition. [113] This brutally imposed humiliating practice—which could be enforced even on the Jewish Sabbath—persisted through the late 19th century, as described by Eliezer Bashan: [114]

In the 1870's, Jews were forced to salt the decapitated heads of rebels on the Sabbath. For example, Berber tribes frequently revolted against Sultan Muhammad XVIII. In order to force them to accept his authority, he would engage in punitive military campaigns. Among the tribes were the Musa, located south of Marrakesh. In 1872, the Sultan succeeded in quelling their revolt and forty-eight of their captives were condemned to death. In October 1872, on the order of the Sultan, they were dispatched to Rabat for beheading. Their decapitated heads were to be exposed on the gates of the town for three days. Since the heads were to be sent to Fez, Jewish ritual slaughterers (Hebrew, shohetim) were forced to salt them and hang them for exposure on the Sabbath. Despite threats by the governor of Rabat, the Jews refused to do so. He then ordered soldiers to enter the homes of those who refused and drag them outside. After they were flogged, the Jews complied and performed the task and the heads of the rebels were exposed in public.

Various anti-dhimmi regulations became integral to the permanent “humiliation and wretchedness” prescribed for the Jews, specifically, by the Qur’anic curse of 2:61. Breaches of this regulatory pact (or “dhimma”) by Jews—whether real or perceived—could have disastrous consequences, including fully sanctioned jihad violence [115] directed at them. For example, the poet Abu Ishaq al-Elbiri is believed to have helped incite the Muslim masses in 1066 against the Jewish vizier of Granada, Joseph Ibn Naghrela, with a vitriolic anti-Jewish ode, emphasizing how the dhimma had been violated. Abu Ishaq wrote: [116]

Bring them down to their place and Return them to the most abject station. They used to roam around us in tatters Covered with contempt, humiliation, and scorn. They used to rummage amongst the dungheaps for a bit of a filthy rag To serve as a shroud for a man to be buried in...Do not consider that killing them is treachery. Nay, it would be treachery to leave them scoffing.” [The translator then summarizes: ‘The Jews have broken their covenant (i.e., overstepped their station, with reference to the Covenant of Umar) and compunction would be out of place.]

A contemporary chronicle written by Sultan 'Abd Allah (who became Sultan of Granada in 1073) confirms that a breach in the system of dhimmitude precipitated the outburst of anti-Jewish violence by the Muslims of Granada: [117]

Both the common people and the nobles were disgusted by the cunning of the Jews, the notorious changes they had brought in the order of things, and the positions they occupied in violation of their pact [i.e., the dhimma]. Allah decreed their destruction on Saturday 10 Safar 459 (December 31, 1066)…The Jew [Joseph Ibn Naghrela] fled into the interior of the palace, but the mob pursued him there, seized him, and killed him. They then put every Jew in the city to the sword and took vast quantities of their property.

The pogrom by Granada’s Muslims resulted in the assassination of Joseph Ibn Naghrela, and the massacre of some three to four thousand Granadan Jews, along with the pillage of the Jewish community. [118] This figure equals or exceeds the number of Jews reportedly killed by the Crusaders during their pillage of the Rhineland, some thirty years later, at the outset of the First Crusade. [119]

The Mongol conquest of Baghdad in 1258 under Hulagu Khan (d. 1265), destroyed Muslim suzerainty and the domination of Islam as a state religion, rendering it “…a religion among all others”. [120] Mongol rule thus eliminated the system of dhimmitude, and in contrast to Islamic chauvinism, writes Walter Fischel, [121]

…the principle of tolerance for all faiths, maintained by the Il Khans [Mongol rulers], (depriving) the [Islamic] concept of the “Protected People”, the ahl adh-Dhimma [dhimmi system]…of its former importance; with it fell the extremely varied professional restrictions into which it had expanded, …primarily those regarding the admission of Jews and Christians to government posts.

The 13th century Christian chronicler Bar Hebraeus recorded this telling observation: [122]

With the Mongols there is neither slave nor free man, neither believer nor pagan, neither Christian nor Jew; but they regard all men as belonging to one and the same stock.

And the Iraqi Ghazi b. al-Wasiti (fl. 1292), author of a contemporary Muslim treatise on the dhimmis, noted: [123]

A firman of the Il Khan [Hulagu] had appeared to the effect that everyone should have the right to profane his faith openly and his religious connection; and that the members of one religious body should not oppose those of another

Fischel concludes: [124]

For Christians and Jews, the two groups chiefly affected by the ahl adh-Dhimma policy, current until then, this change in constitutional and religious principles implied a considerable amelioration of their position; whereas for the Muslims it meant they had sunk to a depth hitherto unknown in their history

The brief rise and calamitous fall of Sa‘d ad-Daula—which mirrored the experience of his Jewish co-religionists—took place during this Mongol epoch. Sa‘d ad-Daula was a Jewish physician, who successfully reformed the Mongol revenue and taxation system for Iraq. In recognition of these services, he was appointed by the Mongol emperor Arghun (who reigned from 1284-1291) to the position of administrative Vizier (in 1289) over Arghun’s Empire. According to Bar Hebraeus, [125]

The king of kings [Arghun] ordered that Sa‘d ad-Daula, the Jew, hitherto the Governor of Baghdad, should be appointed Chief of the administrative officials..throughout all provinces of the Empire

Despite being a successful and responsible administrator (which even the Muslim sources confirm [126]), the appointment of a Jew as the Vizier of a heathen ruler over a predominantly Muslim region, aroused the wrath, predictably, of the Muslim masses. This reaction was expressed through and exacerbated by “…all kinds of [Muslim] diatribes, satirical poems, and libels”. [127] Ibn al-Fuwati (d. 1323), a contemporary Muslim historian from Baghdad, recorded this particularly revealing example which emphasized traditional anti-Jewish motifs from the Qur’an: [128]

In the year 689/1291 a document was prepared which contained libels against Sa‘d ad-Daula, together with verses from the Qur’an and the history of the prophets, that stated the Jews to be a people whom Allah hath debased…

Another contemporary Muslim source, the chronicler and poet Wassaf, [129] according to Fischel, “…empties the vials of hatred on the Jew Sa‘d ad-Daula and brings the most implausible accusations against him”. [130] These accusations included the claims that Sa‘d had advised Arghun to cut down trees in Baghdad (dating from the days of the conquered Muslim Abbasid dynasty), and build a fleet to attack Mecca and convert the cuboidal Ka‘ba (i.e., the holiest place and structure in Islam) to a heathen temple. [131] Wassaf’s account also quotes satirical verses to demonstrate the extent of public dissatisfaction with what he terms “Jewish Domination”, adding to the existing line, “Turn Jews, for heaven itself hath turned a Jew”, his own, [132]

Yet wait and ye shall hear their torments cry
And see them fall and perish presently

When Arghun took ill, influential Mongol dukes inimical to Sa‘d ad-Daula for purely political reasons, shifted the “blame” for Arghun’s terminal illness to the Jewish physician-Vizier. Sa‘d and his supporters were arrested and a large number of them executed (1291). [133] Sa‘d ad-Daula’s murder precipitated a broad attack on Jewry throughout the Il-Khan Empire, beginning in the Baghdad Jewish ghetto, where according to the Bar Hebraeus and Wassaf, despite Jewish resistance,

…when the report of the murder of the Jew was heard, the Arabs armed themselves and went to the quarter of the Jews, because the Jews were all living together in quarter [134]…in Baghdad more than a hundred of the noble and wealthy Jews were slain, and their property plundered [135]

Wassaf and Ibn al-Fuwati further reveal that such attacks spread well beyond Baghdad: [136]

Throughout the lands of Islam, the Jewish people were oppressed and their goods plundered…there was no town left in Iraq in which the Jews were not served with that which had happened to them in Baghdad, until a part of them embraced Islam, although they later turned back again

Bar Hebraeus was moved to depict the calamity for the Jews in these poignant words: [137]

The trials and wrath which were stirred up against the Jews at this time neither tongue can utter nor the pen write down

Walter Fischel concludes [138] that “a tremendous wave of suffering and persecution must have overwhelmed the entire Jewry of Iraq and Persia”, while noting “The Muslims, however, gave expression to their joy at the end of Jewish domination in many verses filled with enmity against the Jews”. One such celebratory verse by the poet Zaynu’d-Din Ali b. Sa’id reiterated antisemitic Qur’anic motifs of the Jews as “wretched dupes of error and despair”, “foulest race”, “hatefulest”, dispatched to “hell” in “molten torments”, doomed “without reprieve”, and leaving behind “How many did they leave!”—gardens and fountains (Qur’an 44:25): [139]

Throughout the lands they’re shamed and desolate.
God hath dispersed their dominant accord,
And they are melted by the burnished sword.

Grim captains made them drink Death’s cup of ill,

Until their skulls the blood-bathed streets did fill,

And from their dwellings seized the wealth they’d gained,

And their well-guarded women’s rooms profaned.

O wretched dupes of error and despair,

At length the trap hath caught you in its snare!


O foulest race who e’er on earth did thrive

And hatefulest of those who still survive

God sped the soul of him who was their chief

To hell, whose mirk [murk] is despair and grief.

In molten torments they were prisoned,

In trailing chains they to their doom were led.

Take warning from this doom without reprieve;

Recite the verse [44:25] [140]: “How many did they leave!”

The Jewish vizier in Fez, Morocco from 1464-1465, Haroun ben Battas, and his co-religionist community, became victims of the same stereotyped anti-dhimmi and anti-Jewish Muslim prejudices [141] displayed earlier in Granada (1066) and Baghdad (1290/91). A contemporary travelogue by the Egyptian author and merchant, ‘Abd el-Basit, who was studying in Tlemcen at the time, gives the following account of the rationale for Haroun’s appointment to vizier by Sultan ‘Abd el-Haq ben Abu Said: [142]

‘Abd el-Haq kept him [the Jew, Haroun] very close to him, and made him his confidant, until the whole kingdom was given into his hand. He trusted him because he thought it impossible that the Jew (as a non-Muslim) would exceed his authority, as ‘Abd el-Haq understood it.

‘Abd el-Basit’s narrative maintains that Haroun used his position to enhance the fortunes of the Jewish elites (“In his days the Jews of Fez and its districts became great; they were influential and important…”), and in additional clear violations of the dhimma, rode a mount (“In the presence of his master, he rode horses marked with the vizerial seal”), and carried a sword with a Qur’anic inscription (“And that Jew wore a sword on an iron belt engraved with the verse al-kursi [2:255]”) [143]

Haroun’s tragic fate, and that of the Jewish community of Fez, were sealed by the following course of events. The preacher of Fez’s main mosque (the Kairouanian mosque), Sayyidi Abu ‘Abdallah Muhammad, was already well-known for his anti-Jewish diatribes. Upon learning of Haroun’s comportment, and the alleged insult of a Sharif [tribal protector] [144] by one of Haroun’s deputies, he incited the local Muslim population with cries of “Jihad” [Holy War], as described by ‘Abd el-Basit: [145]

He and the Muslims were greatly vexed because of the Jews, their influence and their control over the Muslims. In his sermon on Friday at the Great Jami of Fez, named Jamic al-Qarawiyyin, he always preached about the Jews and also dared to incite the people: perhaps they would rise up because of this for Allah’s sake and revolt. And the matter became known, and he became famous because of this. And when the insult to the sharifa occurred, he dedicated his soul to Allah, left his house and loudly proclaimed in the streets and alleys of Fez: He who will not go forth for the sake of Allah has no muruwwa [Bedouin chivalry] and no religion! And he went on to shout: Jihad, Jihad! He also ordered others to issue this call in the streets of Fez, and the people heard it, and presently revolted with him. They were joined by the great multitude from “all the low places” [Qur’an 22: 27] in Fez…

The aroused Muslim throng sought religious sanction from one of Fez’s most esteemed Sharif’s. However, he refused to support their rebellion without receiving a (consensus) fatwa from the ‘Ulema (clerical authorities), since the Sultan was directly implicated. In their appeal to the esteemed chief mufti of Fez, Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad al-Qauri, the Muslims, led by Sayyidi Abu ‘Abdallah Muhammad, argued that the Jews had violated the dhimma. The chief mufti claimed he could not support their revolt because he was fearful of the Sultan and his coterie. But the inflamed crowd ultimately compelled the chief mufti to countenance their actions after threatening the mufti’s reputation, and his very life. Under duress, the chief mufti issued a fatwa making it licit to attack the Jews, and revolt against the Sultan. Thereupon, the Muslim rabble attacked the Jewish quarter in Fez, slaughtering its inhabitants. ‘Abd el-Basit’s account describes these events approvingly: [146]

…they [the Muslim rabble] took him [Sayyidi Abu ‘Abdallah Muhammad] and began to stream to the house of the sheriff Muhmammad ibn ‘Imran, who was mazwar (in charge) of the shurafa in Fez…But he, in spite of his status, personal authority and great energy, when the preacher [Sayyidi Abu ‘Abdallah Muhammad] came in to him and tried to stir him up (against the Jews), did not respond, contending that it was improper for him to revolt while there were theologians in Fez who had not yet been asked for an opinion in the matter. They (the crowd) hastened to the theologians and assembled them, including the greatest of them at that time, the scholar and mufti…Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad al-Qauri. He and the other assembled persons were brought to the house of the sayyid the sherif. The preacher [Sayyidi Abu ‘Abdallah Muhammad] hastened to say to them: “Go forth with us to the Jihad; fight for the renewal of Islam!” The crowd repeated his words and said: “If you will not fight together with us, you will be the first whom we shall fight; for you, shurafa and theologians, are content to be ruled by Jews.” Then they shouted again: “Jihad, Jihad!”, meaning to incite them nearby. They demanded of al-Qauri that he give a theological opinion, but he refused to do so, claiming that he was afraid of the authorities. They continued to prod him, after preparing a written question on the incident and on what that Jew [Haroun] and the Jews had done, saying that it constituted a violation of the Covenant [dhimma], and even more than that. They drew their swords and called out to al-Qauri: “We, too, have authority and power. We have risen up for Allah’s sake and pledged our lives. This is the question which we ask you to answer according to the law of Allah, blessed be he. If you will not do so, we shall let the world do without you, for you are a theologian who does not act in conformity with his theology”. They added other things in the same vein. And they gave him no rest until he wrote with his own hand a permit to kill the Jews, and another permit to revolt…even against the sultan. When he had finished writing, they hastened to the hara (the Jewish quarter) and wielded their swords against the Jews, killing as many of them as Allah wanted them to kill; they did not omit even one until they killed the last, so as to clear the quarter of them. This was a glorious day in Fez and a great slaughter. A numerous Jewish community was killed on that day. Afterwards they [the Muslim rabble] turned to the palace of the government, devastated it and killed the Jew who was in it, namely the deputy of the vizier.

Shortly afterwards, the same fate was suffered by Haroun and the Sultan. And in turn, the Jews of smaller communities outside Fez were also massacred, as noted again with satisfaction, by ‘Abd el-Basit: [147]


Thereafter the people of the cities distant from Fez learnt of these events. They rose up against the Jews of the cities and did to them what the people of Fez had done to their Jews. The Jews were thus befallen by a calamity the like of which had never occurred before [148]; as many of them as Allah—blessed be he—decreed were killed.

The Hebrew chronicles Kisseh ha-Melakhim [149] and Yahas Fes (“Only twenty heads of family and a small number of women and children escaped death.” [150]) confirm that few Jews survived this Muslim jihad in Fez. Jane Gerber’s discussion of the 1465 Fez pogrom concludes with an understated assessment: [151]

…the rise to prominence of a Jewish vizir or emissary should not [emphasis in original] be construed as evidence of Jewish security or acceptance in a given historical period. As Haroun’s demise so dramatically illustrates, the rise of a Jew to an important governmental post was symptomatic of the complete alienation of the Marinids [ruling Moroccan Muslim dynasty] from their subjects rather than of Jewish acceptance on the basis of equality.

Within a quarter century (~ 1490), anti-Jewish agitation by one of the most prominent Sheikhs of the era, al-Maghili (d. 1504/5), precipitated the wholesale slaughter of Jews in the southern Moroccan oasis of Touat. [152] Al-Maghili’s determination of the Jews status was summarized concisely by his 16th century biographer, Ibn ‘Askar (d. 1578): [153]

He held the view that the Jews—may God curse them—had no bond [of protection (dhimma)], since they had broken it by their association with men of authority among the Muslims, [an action] which went contrary to the humiliation and abasement (al-dhull wa’l-saghar) stipulated in the payment of jizya, and that the breaking of this pact by some of them redounded upon all of them. He declared it licit to spill their blood, and plunder their property and announced that dealing with them was more important than dealing with any other [category] of unbelievers. [154]

Al-Maghili’s own writings emphasized that the Jews of Touat made their tribute payments irregularly, and in varying amounts. He argued that such payments were tantamount to bribery and not valid jizya remitted annually during a deliberately humiliating public ceremony. [155] Al-Maghili further insisted that the Jews had no right to maintain their synagogue in (neighboring) Tamantit (i.e., where the Jews of Touat’s synagogue was located). He claimed the synagogue was constructed illegally on Muslim land, and its continued existence violated the Qur’anic principle of the Jews deserved abasement and humiliation. [156]

Hunwick has provided a succinct elucidation of al-Maghili’s legal arguments. He also acknowledges that al-Maghili’s treatise on the dhimmis (i.e., Jews) read like an “inflammatory sermon”. And when al-Maghili preached these views to the Muslims masses, he fomented violence against the Jews: [157]

Any Muslim who befriended a Jew or came to his defense, or opposed the destruction of the synagogue was to be considered an unbeliever. Dhimmis must be kept in a permanent state of abasement (saghar). This why jizya must be paid in a public ceremony in which the dhimmi at the moment of payment is given a tap on the neck and pushed forward to show him he has thus escaped the sword. This abasement is more important than the sum paid. No religious edifice may be erected by a dhimmi in the land of Islam and if any governor gave permission for one, this permission must be revoked and the building torn down. This is because the manifestation of the dhimmi’s religion in the form of a building is a contradiction of the concept of abasement. The same argument applies to the association of dhimmis with sultans, viziers, judges and other persons in authority. This is a “flouting of the laws of Islam”, since it is a negation of the abasement which is stipulated for the continued dwelling of a dhimmi in the lands of Islam. The situation he is condemning here is not only that which he would claim was current in Touat, but also by implication that which obtained in Fez, Tlemcen, and other North African cities.

The bulk of the populace, poor and ignorant, could be aroused to violence against the Jewish community by making these “outsiders” the scapegoat for all their ills. It only needed a preacher who could appeal to the masses by an appeal for the defense of “religion” to spark off a wave of looting and killing. Al-Maghili, by his preaching, his polemical prose and his verse diatribes was just such a catalyst.

Al-Maghili recounted stridently antisemitic “vignettes” portraying Jewish malevolence such as these anecdotes about Jewesses preparing bread for Muslim consumption: [158]

A person told me that he saw a Jewess mixing bread flour for a Muslim. He observed that she was picking her nose with her hand and continuing to mix the flour without washing her hand. A second person also told me that he saw another Jewess mixing bread flour for a Muslim. He saw her picking lice from her head and killing them with her nails and continuing mixing the flour without washing her hands. There are many stories of this nature. None can suspect the credibility of [stories such as] these and worse than these, except one who is blind to reality. Do you not see what Allah the Most High has said?

But al-Maghili’s anti-Jewish views are perhaps best encapsulated in a verse diatribe he composed: [158a]

Love of the Prophet requires hatred of the Jews. Regret what has passed and do not do it again. The one who is intimate with the enemies of the Prophet [i.e., the Jews], when he goes to the grave and on the day of Resurrection will be directed to the burning fire. Who will there be to rescue him when the Fire approaches the face with which he pleased the Jews?

He added, [158b]

They [the Jews] are indeed the most hostile people against us and against our beloved Prophet… they criticize our religion, mock our prayers and insult our master and savior Muhammad

Gwarzo observes: [159]

He [al-Maghili] was not so much concerned about the Jews, who although numerous, were still a minority. They would be at his mercy as long as he had the support of the public.

He succeeded in showing the masses that the issue was of either loving the Prophet or loving the Jews; Muslims must choose one of the two—they should choose between going to Paradise or going to Hell. The choice of the masses was obvious—they must certainly love the Prophet rather than the Jews; they would certainly prefer Paradise to Hell. His following became great and he succeeded in creating ferment in the territories.

Mobilizing this popular support, al-Maghili led a pogrom during which the Jews of Touat were massacred, and their synagogue in neighboring Tamantit destroyed. It was indeed, “…a short step from considering the Jews ‘enemies of the Prophet’ to considering them enemies of the umma [Muslim community] at large…” [159a]

The 20th century flowering of the Zionist movement and subsequent creation of Israel—a sovereign state administered by Jews liberated from the system of dhimmitude, adjacent to the very cradle of Arab Islam—has been accompanied, not surprisingly, by an outpouring of traditional Islamic antisemitism. Raphael Israeli observes that this “unbearable challenge” to the sacralized Islamic order has created a “vicious circle” of Islamic antisemitism and anti-Zionism. [160]

The ingathering of the Jews into modern Israel constitutes from this traditional Muslim viewpoint, which is still upheld by Muslim scholars of the Holy Law, and probably by many of their Muslim constituencies, an unbearable challenge to the authority of the Muslim faith

Jews were debased and humiliated in the first place; Zionism is marked by the derogatory traits that are characteristic of Jews; and in turn Zionism and Israel further debase the Jews by their inherent inhuman attitudes. Israeli politics, society and culture are all imbued with the evils that the Jews have transmitted from one generation to another…so the vicious cycle is complete

Even the pejorative image of “violent” Jews as the “new Mongols”—coined in the early 1980s by a burgeoning Islamic fundamentalist movement [161]—evokes an ironic historical association uncomfortable for Muslims: the fact that the Mongol Emperor Hulagu (as noted earlier [162]) also overturned the system of dhimmitude after his armies captured Baghdad in 1258, destroying the Abbasid Caliphate.

The past five decades—including a period before “The 1967 Shock” and Israel’s “demeaning of the abode of Islam” (Dar al Islam) [163]—have witnessed ceaseless calls by Islamic religious, political, and intellectual leaders—for a forcible return to the permanent state of “wretchedness and humiliation” enjoined for the Jews in Qur’an 2:61, and 3:112. Writing in 1962, Ahmad Yusuf Ahmad warned that despite assistance from Western powers, [164]

…they will not on any account be able to exempt them [the Jews] from the divine injunction and decree that they shall have no rest or permanency or tranquility, they will be chastised with degradation and poverty and be visited by the wrath of God.

Two years later, Abdullah al-Tall further dismissed the Jews attempts at self-reliance in the face of Allah’s unavoidable decree. [165]

Despite all their efforts to appear as possessors of power and the capacity to resist, the word of God is supreme and the Qur’an records the views of heaven, the will of the heaven and its verdict

The Fourth Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research convened in Cairo in the fall of 1968 to discuss the theological significance of the Middle East conflict. Sheikh Hassan Ma’moun, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, in his inaugural address to the Conference, acknowledged the “bitterness” of the 1967 Arab defeat by Israel, [166]

…was further intensified by the fact that the unexpected event occurred before a roguish Zionism whose adherents had been destined to dispersion by the Deity. [Quoting Qur’an 2:61] “And humiliation and wretchedness were stamped upon them and they were visited with wrath from God”

The lengthiest single Conference paper (all of which were compiled in a 935 page tome [167]), a 158 page analysis by Muhammad El-Sayyed Husein al-Dahabi entitled “Israelite Narratives in Exegesis and Tradition”, invoked a Qur’anic commentary by Tabari, to sanction the Jews permanent abasement: [168]

Then he [Tabari] added, They killed their Prophet. Thereupon, God smote them with humiliation took away kingship from them. Thus, they became the most lowly and degraded amongst nations, having to pay tribute and yielding to the authority of foreign kings. In such a plight will they ever remain

And four years later (April 25, 1972) in a speech celebrating the birthday of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat warned that “…they [the Jews] shall return and be as the Qur’an said of them ‘condemned to humiliation and misery’ ” [169]—a year before Egypt’s surprise attack during Yom Kippur started the 1973 war with Israel.

The “return” being invoked in all these pronouncements is a return to the Islamic Shari’a-based system of dhimmitude for Jews, and a dissolution of the sovereign state of Israel. Although written in the pseudo-secular [170] language of Arab nationalism, the 1968 Palestinian Liberation Organization Charter’s call for Jews to live “…under the aegis of an Arab state in the framework of Arab society” [171], has been termed aptly, “The Palestinian Dhimma”. [172] Indeed, the theological-juridical antecedent of this Palestinian Dhimma dates back to 1920: a formal request by Musa Kazem el-Husseini (then President of the Arab Palestinian Congress) to the British High Commissioner, Herbert Samuels to restore the Shari’a, [173] which had only been fully abrogated two years earlier when Britain ended four centuries of Ottoman Muslim rule of Palestine. Moreover, in recent years, this goal has been reaffirmed openly by official Palestinian Authority clerics. For example, Sheik Muhammad Ibrahim Al-Madhi during a Friday sermon broadcasted live on June 6, 2001 on Palestinian Authority Television from the Sheik ‘Ijlin Mosque in Gaza, stated: [174]

We welcome, as we did in the past, any Jew who wants to live in this land as a Dhimmi, just as the Jews have lived in our countries, as Dhimmis, and have earned appreciation, and some of them have even reached the positions of counselor or minister here and there. We welcome the Jews to live as Dhimmis, but the rule in this land and in all the Muslim countries must be the rule of Allah

Subsequently, during an interview by Wall Street Journal reporter Karby Legget (published in the December 23, 2005 edition of The Wall Street Journal, p. A1), Hassam El-Masalmeh, who then headed the Hamas contingent at the municipal council of Bethlehem, confirmed his organization’s plan to re-institute the jizya. El-Masalmeh stated:

We in Hamas intend to implement this tax (i.e., the jizya) someday. We say it openly – we welcome everyone to Palestine but only if they agree to live under our rules.

All of historical Palestine—modern Israel (within the 1949 armistice borders), Gaza, Judea, Samaria, and modern Jordan—whose pre-Islamic inhabitants—Jews, Samaritans, and Christians—were conquered by jihad in the fourth decade of the 7th century [175]—is considered “fay territory” [176], a permanent part of the Dar al Islam, where Islamic Law must forever prevail. Israel, governed by “usurper” infidel Jews on such “fay territory”—no longer an appropriately subjugated dhimmi (Qur’an 9:29) people living, additionally, as per Qur’an 2:61, in “wretchedness and humiliation”—must be destroyed in a collective jihad by the entire Muslim community.

Accordingly, there have been unceasing cries for jihad in historical Palestine during the modern era, in the 1920s and 1930s by Hajj Amin El Husseini [177] and Izz Al-Din al Qassam [178], by the late Yasser Arafat throughout his 40-years as leader of Fatah and the Palestinian Liberation Organization [179], and presently under Hamas. [180]

Hamas’s foundational covenant [181], whose motto states (in Article 8) “Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model to be followed, the Koran its constitution, Jihad its way, and death for the sake of Allah its loftiest desire”, reiterates (in Article 11) that all of historical Palestine is a permanent Islamic religious endowment [waqf] (“In this respect, it is like any other land that the Muslims have conquered by force, because the Muslims consecrated it at the time of the conquest as religious endowment for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection”). The Hamas Covenant also (in Article 13) rejects “so-called peace solutions”, and insists (in Article 15) upon waging an annihilationist jihad to eradicate Israel, even invoking the apocalyptic hadith (in Article 7) from the canonical collections of Bukhari and Muslim, [182]

The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: “Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,” except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews..

Throughout Arafat’s tenure as the major Palestinian Arab leader, and now under the Hamas government, efforts to destroy Israel and replace it with an Arab Muslim Shari’a-based entity were integrated into the larger Islamic umma’s jihad against the Jewish State, as declared repeatedly in official conference pronouncements from various clerical or political organizations of the Muslim (both Arab and non-Arab) nations, and in the individual statements of influential Muslim religious leaders. Concrete examples spanning the years from 1968—2006, are provided below:

From the Fourth Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research, Cairo, 1968 presentation by Sheikh Hassan Khalid, Mufti of the Republic of Lebanon—[183]

Your honorable conference has been an Arab, Islamic and patriotic necessity in view of the present circumstances in which the Arabs and Muslims face the most serious difficulties. All Muslims expect you to expound Allah’s decree concerning the Palestine cause, to proclaim that decree, in all clarity, throughout the Arab and Muslim world. We do not think this decree absolves any Muslim or Arab from Jihad (Holy War) which has now become a duty incumbent upon the Arabs and Muslims to liberate the land, preserve honor, retaliate for [lost] dignity, restore the Aqsa Mosque, the church of Resurrection, and to purge the birthplace of prophecy, the seat of revelation, the meeting-place of Prophets, the starting-point of Isra [Muhammad’s “night journey”], and the scenes of the holy spirit, from the hands of Zionism – the enemy of man, of truth, of justice, and the enemy of Allah…The well-balanced judgment frankly expressed with firm conviction is the first stop on the road of victory. The hoped-for judgment is that of Muslim Scholars who draw their conclusions from the Book of Allah, and the Sunna of His prophet. May Allah guard your meeting, and guide your steps! May your decisive word rise to the occasion and enlighten the Arab and Muslim world, so that it may be a battle-cry, urging millions of Muslims and Arabs on to the field of Jihad, which will lead us to the place that once was ours…Muslims who are distant from the battle-field of Palestine, such as the Algerians, the Moroccans, all the Africans, Saudi Arabia people, Yemeni people, the Indians, Iraqi people, the Russians, and the Europeans are indeed sinful if they do not hasten to offer all possible means to achieve success and gain victory in the Islamic battle against their enemies and the enemies of their religion. Particularly, this battle is not a mere combat between two parties but it is a battle between two religions (namely, it is a religious battle). Zionism in fact represents a very perilous cancer, aiming at domineering the Arab countries and the whole Islamic world.

From the Mecca Islamic Summit Conference, 1981—[184]


The undertaking by all Islamic countries of psychological mobilization through their various official, semi-official, and popular mass media, of their people for Jihad to liberate Al-Quds…Ensuring military coordination among the front-line states and the Palestine Liberation Organization, on the one hand, and the Islamic States on the other, to ensure full utilization of the potentialities of the Islamic States in the service of the military effort; and setting up a military office in the Islamic Secretariat to be responsible for such coordination, in agreement with the Committee on Al-Quds…



Resolution No.2/3.P (IS) on the Cause of Palestine and the Middle East: Considering that the Liberation of Al-Quds and its restoration to Arab sovereignty, as well as the liberation of the holy places from Zionist occupation, are a pre-requisite to the Jihad that all Islamic States must wage, each according to its means….



Resolution No.5/3-P (IS)- Declaration of Holy Jihad:

Taking these facts into consideration, the Kinds, Emirs, and Presidents of Islamic States, meeting at this Conference and in this holy land, studied this situation and concluded that it could no longer be tolerated that the forthcoming stage should be devoted to effective action to vindicate right and deter wrong-doing; and have unanimously.



Decided: To declare holy Jihad, as the duty of every Muslim, many or woman, ordained by the Shariah and glorious traditions of Islam; To call upon all Muslims, living inside or outside Islamic countries, to discharge this duty by contributing each according to his capacity in the case of Allah Almighty, Islamic brotherhood, and righteousness; To specify that Islamic states, in declaring Holy Jihad to save Al-Quds al-Sharif, in support of the Palestinian people, and to secure withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories, wish to explain to the world that Holy Jihad is an Islamic concept which may not be misinterpreted or misconstrued, and that the practical measures to put into effect would be in accordance with that concept and by incessant consultations among Islamic states.



From the 2003 Putrajaya Islamic Summit speech by former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammad—[185]

To begin with, the governments of all the Muslim countries can close ranks and have a common stand…on Palestine... We need guns and rockets, bombs and warplanes, tanks and warships... We may want to recreate the first century of the Hijrah, the way of life in those times, in order to practice what we think to be the true Islamic way of life 1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews. There must be a way. And we can only find a way if we stop to think, to assess our weaknesses and our strength, to plan, to strategize and then to counter-attack. As Muslims, we must seek guidance from the Al-Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet. Surely the 23 years' struggle of the Prophet can provide us with some guidance as to what we can and should do

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the immensely popular Spiritual Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Head of the European Fatwah Council, during one of his widely viewed Qatar TV sermons, February 25, 2006—[186]


All the school of Islamic jurisprudence—the Sunni, the Shiite…and all the ancient and modern schools of jurisprudence—agree that any invader, who occupies even an inch of land of the Muslims, must face resistance. The Muslims of that country must carry out the resistance, and the rest of the Muslims must help them. If the people of that country are incapable or reluctant, we must fight to defend the land of Islam, even if the local [Muslims] give it up.

They must not allow anyone to take a single piece of land away from Islam. That is what we are fighting the Jews for. We are fighting them... Our religion commands us... We are fighting in the name of religion, in the name of Islam, which makes this Jihad an individual duty, in which the entire nation takes part, and whoever is killed in this [Jihad] is a martyr. This is why I ruled that martyrdom operations are permitted, because he commits martyrdom for the sake of Allah, and sacrifices his soul for the sake of Allah.We do not disassociate Islam from the war. On the contrary, disassociating Islam from the war is the reason for our defeat. We are fighting in the name of Islam.

Perhaps the most striking Qur’anic motifs for the Jews debasement are the references to their transformation into apes (Qur’an 2:65 and 7:166), or apes and swine (Qur’an 5:60). Setting aside the casuistry of Muslim exegetic discussions over whether this transformation was physical or metaphorical [187] (i.e., reflecting the Jews moral depravity, even Satan worship [188]), and the alleged “immediate cause”—Sabbath breaking—ultimately these verses are but another manifestation, albeit dramatic, of what Ibn Kathir terms “the eternal humiliation placed upon the Jews” (referring to 7:166/167) [189], including, adds Suyuti (referring to 5:60), damnation to Hellfire. [190]

Just prior to orchestrating the mass execution of the adult males from the besieged Medinan Jewish tribe the Banu Qurayza (and distributing their women, children, and possessions as "booty" for the Muslims) [190a], Muhammad, according to his earliest Muslim biographer, Ibn Ishaq (d. 767-770), addressed these Jews with menacing, hateful derision: “You brothers of monkeys, has God disgraced you and brought His vengeance upon you?” [190b] (Another early Muslim biographer of Muhammad Ibn Sa‘d (d. 845), reports Muhammad stated, “brothers of monkeys and pigs, fear me, fear me!” [190c]). Many subsequent historical examples from diverse Islamic societies during a continuum of over 1100 years—the 9th century through the present—demonstrate that this Qur’anic motif has been employed against Jews as an outward sign of their physical humiliation, and more significantly, in polemical incitement against Jews, or odes celebrating their having been disgraced and slaughtered.

A fatwa written by the 9th century jurist from Kairouan, Ifiqiyya (modern Tunisia) Qadi [Shari’a judge] Ahmed b. Talib (d. 889), [191]

…compelled the dhimmis to wear upon the shoulder a patch of white cloth (riqa’) that bore the image of an ape (for Jews)…and to nail onto their doors a board bearing the sign of a monkey.

He further ordered, [192]

A Jew who dresses like the Muslims and fails to wear the clothing that distinguishes him from them will be incarcerated, beaten, and paraded ignominiously through the places inhabited by the Jews and the Christians as an example.

Abu Ishaq’s verse condemnation of the vizier Joseph b. Samuel Naghrela and the Granadan Jewish community, which helped incite the 1066 Granada pogrom, with its massacre of some 3000—4000 Jews, [193] contains the line, [194]

Many a pious Muslim is in awe of the vilest infidel ape

Moshe Perlmann, in his analysis of the Muslim anti-Jewish polemic of 11th century Granada, notes, [195]

[Abu Ishaq] Elbiri used the epithet “ape” (qird) profusely when referring to Jews. Such indeed was the parlance.

Perlmann then cites the related Qur’anic passages (i.e., 2:65, 5:60, and 7:166) upon which such “nomenclature” was based. [196]

Anti-Jewish riots and massacres by Muslims accompanied the 1291 death of Jewish physician-vizier Sa’d ad-Daula in Baghdad, the plundering and killing of Jews extending throughout Iraq (and possibly into Persia). [197] These events, which marked the collapse of a transient Jewish ascendancy (afforded by the ruling Mongols abrogation of the system of dhimmitude [198]), were celebrated in an ode by the Muslim preacher Zaynu’d-Din ‘Ali b. Said. [199] His verse opens with a debasing reference to the Jews as apes: [200]

His name we praise who rules the firmament.
These apish Jews are done away and shent [ruined,destroyed]

The bitter anti-Jewish sentiments of the theologian Al-Mahgili (d. 1504/5) were expressed in both his writing and preaching. [201] Referring to the Jews as “brothers of apes” (consistent with Zamakshari’s [d. 1143] classical Qur’anic commentary on verse 5:60) [202], who incessantly blasphemed the prophet Muhammad, and whose entire conduct demonstrated their hatred of Muslims, Al-Maghili posed the rhetorical question, what should be done about them? [203] He “answered” this question by fomenting a Muslim pogrom (in ~ 1490) against the Jews of Touat (an oasis town in southern Morocco), which plundered and killed them en masse, and destroyed their synagogue in neighboring Tamantit. [204]

Apart from being used to incite or extol mass violence against Jews, the degrading Qur’anic references to Jews as apes and pigs were more commonly employed in daily life to reflect chronic attitudes Muslims felt toward Jews. A mid-19th century eyewitness account from Jerusalem by the missionary Gregory Wortabet, (published in 1856) captures these routine sentiments (which Wortabet also attributes to the canonical hadith about Muhammad’s poisoning): [205]

The Jew is still an object of scorn, and nowhere is the name of “Yahoodi (Jew)”more looked down upon than here in the city of his fathers. One day, as I was passing the Damascus gate, I saw an Arab hurrying on his donkey amid imprecations such as the following: “Emshi ya Ibn-el-Yahoodi (Walk, thou son of a Jew)! Yulaan abuk ya Ibn-el-Yahoodi (Cursed be thy father, thou son of a Jew)!”

I need not give any more illustrations of the manner in which the man went on. The reader will observe, that the man did not curse the donkey, but the Jew, the father of the donkey. Walking up to him, I said, “Why do you curse the Jew? What harm has he done you?”

“El Yahoodi khanzeer (the Jew is a hog)!”, answered the man.

“How do you make that out?”, I said. “Is not the Jew as good as you or I?”

“Ogh!”, ejaculated the man, his eyes twinkling with fierce rage, and his brow knitting.

By this time he was getting out of my hearing. I was pursuing my walk, when he turned round, and said, “El Yahoodi khanzeer! Khanzeer el Yahoodi! (The Jew is a hog! A hog is a Jew!)”

Now I must tell the reader, that, in the Mahomedan vocabulary, there is no word lower than a hog, that animal being in their estimation the most defiled of animals; and good Mahomedans are prohibited by the Koran from eating it. The Jew, in their estimation, is the vilest of the human family, and is the object of their pious hatred, perhaps from the recollection that a Jewess of Khaibar first undermined the health of the prophet by infusing poison into his food. [206] Hence a hog and a Jew are esteemed alike in the eye of a Moslem, both being the lowest of their kind; and now the reader will better understand the meaning of the man’s words, “El Yahoodi khanzeer!”

Tudor Parfitt notes two less overtly degrading variations on these themes which persisted at least through the latter half of the 20th century in Yemen: [207]

…if someone behaves badly while eating—either taking more than they can eat, or throwing food around, the response is likely to be “O Jew!”, or “Pig”. Monkeys are customarily called Said or Salim—both common Jewish names…Salim particularly is viewed by Muslims as being the most typical Jewish name of all. If you do not happen to know a Jew’s name you call him Salim.

At present, the invocation of Qur’an inspired references to the Jews as apes and pigs—conveyed through, print, audio, video, and internet venues—pervades Arab Muslim religious and political discourse. [208] A small representative sampling from 2001 and 2002 follows:

Sheikh Ibrahim Mahdi, an official Palestinian Authority cleric, from a sermon at the Sheikh ‘Ijlin mosque in Gaza, April 3, 2001 [209] –“There is no choice but to direct all our pressures against the Jews, the infidels, the people cursed by the Qur’an. Allah referred to them as, apes, pigs, worshippers of the [golden] calf and of satan.”

Egyptian Sheikh Atiyyah Saqr, former chairman of the Religious Rulings Commission at the al-Azhar University in Egypt issued a fatwa, which was made public in Germany on April 15, 2002, entitled, Reincarnation of the souls of the children of Israel in the bodies of apes and pigs. The crux of his “modern” interpretation of Qur’an 5:60 is that the Jews punishment was, [210]—“…Allah incarnated their souls in the bodies of apes and pigs, and turned them into humiliated ones, or in other words – outcasts, wretched and despised ones”

From an article published by the columnist Dr. Muhammad bin Sa’ad al-Shwey’ir in the Saudi daily al-Jazirah, 7 June 2002—[211] “Allah decreed that the Jews be humiliated, He cursed them and turned them into apes and pigs. Whenever they ignite the fire of war, Allah extinguishes it. They disseminate corruption over the face of the world, they fight the believers [i.e. the Muslims] only from within fortified villages or from behind walls…”

Saudi Sheikh Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayyis, imam and preacher at the Al-Haram mosque, which includes the cuboidal Ka’ba, the most important shrine in Islam, from an April, 2002, sermon—[212] “Read history and you will understand that the Jews of yesterday are the evil fathers of the Jews of today, who are evil offspring, infidels, distorters of [God's] words, calf-worshippers, prophet-murderers, prophecy-deniers... the scum of the human race whom Allah cursed and turned into apes and pigs… These are the Jews, an ongoing continuum of deceit, obstinacy, licentiousness, evil, and corruption...”

Even young children are inculcated with these beliefs and coached to repeat them for additional public consumption. [213] A May 2002, broadcast on Iqraa, the Saudi satellite television station, which claims at its website, “to highlight aspects of Arab Islamic culture that inspire admiration … to highlight the true, tolerant image of Islam and refute the accusations directed against it,” featured an interview of a three-and-a-half-year-old “real Muslim girl” about Jews, on The Muslim Women's Magazine program. When the little girl was asked whether she liked Jews; she replied, “No.” Asked why not, she replied that Jews were “apes and pigs.” The moderator then asked. “Who said this?” And the child answered, “Our God.” “Where did He say this?”, asked the moderator. “In the Qur'an.” this three-and-a-half-year-old girl replied. At the close of the interview, the moderator stated approvingly: “No [parents] could wish for Allah to give them a more believing girl than she... May Allah bless her and both her father and mother.”

Given the murderous historical legacy of Muslim societies that invoked these Qur’anic motifs (i.e., in Granada, Baghdad, and Touat, Morocco), as described earlier, Menachem Milson’s contemporary warning is not overstated: [214]

This insult should not be dismissed as mere vulgar invective, nor should the belief that Jews were transmogrified into apes, pigs or other creatures be seen merely as a sign of primitive magical thinking. Repeated reference to Jews as despised beasts dehumanizes them and provides justification for their destruction.

Apropos of Milson’s concern, Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir repeated these dehumanizing Qur’anic motifs when he issued a vitriolic call for jihad against Israel during a speech delivered at the headquarters of the ruling Islamic party in Khartoum, broadcast live by Radio Monte Carlo on April 5, 2002: [215]

Let us prepare ourselves for the decisive battle against the Jews, those apes, pigs, and worshippers of calves. This should be a decisive battle… There will be no peace with the Jews… This battle is the battle, and this jihad is the jihad…

Following the murderous acts of jihad terrorism committed on September 11, 2001, Ibn Warraq highlighted the tragic irony of many apologists quoting selectively from Qur’an 5:32, “whoso slays a soul …shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether; and whoso gives life to a soul, shall be as if he has given life to mankind altogether”, attempting to demonstrate that the Qur’ran disapproved of violence and killing. Here is the entire verse (5:32), quoted in full context, with the intimately related verse, Qur’an 5:33:

(5:32) Therefore We prescribed for the Children of Israel that whoso slays a soul not to retaliate for a soul slain, nor for corruption done in the land, shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether; and whoso gives life to a soul, shall be as if he has given life to mankind altogether. Our Messengers have already come to them with the clear signs; then many of them thereafter commit excesses in the earth. (5:33) This is the recompense of those who fight against God and His Messenger, and hasten about the earth, to do corruption there: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land. That is a degradation for them in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty chastisement

[For direct comparison see, Mishna, Sanhedrin, IV, 5, “Thus was created a single man, to teach us that every person who loses a single soul, it shall be written about him as if he has lost the entire world, and every person who sustains a single soul, it shall be written, about him as if he has sustained the entire world”]

As Warraq noted, with regard to Qur’an 5:32/33, [216]

The supposedly noble sentiments are in fact a warning to Jews. [217] “Behave, or else” is the message. Far from abjuring violence, these verses aggressively point out that anyone opposing the Prophet will be killed, crucified, mutilated, and banished

After reiterating the Qur’an’s major accusations against the “inveterate” Jews, and their eternal punishments—Jews falsifying their scriptures, and holding false doctrines (such as Ezra being the son of God [Qur’an 9:30], which in fact Jews never proclaimed [218]), so they must be compelled to return to the true religion, Islam; Jews harboring an intense hatred of all genuine Muslims, and being punished for their sins (especially the curse of Qur’an 2:61), or even by transformation into apes and swine (Qur’an 2:65, 5:60, and 7:166)— Warraq concluded with this measured observation: [219]

The attitude enjoined upon the Muslims toward Jews can only be described as antisemitic, and it certainly was not conducive to better understanding, tolerance, or coexistence.

Notes

1. Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi. Banu Isra’il fi al-Qur’an wa al-Sunna [Jews in the Qur’an and the Traditions], Cairo, 1986. Qur’an 3:113, “They are not all alike. Of the People of the Scripture there is a staunch community who recite the revelations of Allah in the night season, falling prostrate (before Him).”. The classical Qur’anic commentator Ibn Kathir (d. 1373) provides support for Tantawi’s contemporary interpretation of 3:113. Ibn Kathir (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Riyadh, Vol. 2, 2000, p. 246), wrote:

Muhammad bin Ishaq and others, including al-‘Awfi who reported from Ibn ‘Abbas, said; “These Ayat [verses] were revealed about the clergy of the People of the Scriptures who embraced the faith. For instance, there is Abdallah bin Salam, Asad bin ‘Ubayd, Tha’labah bin Sa’yah, Usayd bin Sa’yah, and so forth. This Ayah [3:113] means that those among the People of the Book [Book = Bible] whom Allah rebuked earlier are not all the same as those among them who embraced Islam.

2. Aluma Solnick. “Based on Qur’anic Verses, Interpretations, and Traditions, Muslim Clerics State: The Jews Are the Descendants of Apes, Pigs, And Other Animals.” Middle East Media Research Institute, November 1, 2002. Special Report No. 11. http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sr&ID=SR01102
3. “Leading Egyptian Government Cleric Calls For: 'Martyrdom Attacks that Strike Horror into the Hearts of the Enemies of Allah' ”, Middle East Media Research Institute, April 7, 2002, No. 363. http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP36302
4. “The Meeting between the Sheik of Al-Azhar and the Chief Rabbi of Israel”, Middle East Media Research Institute, February 8, 1998, Special Report No. 2. http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sr&ID=SR00398
5. Ibn Warraq. Why I Am Not a Muslim. Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York, 1995, p. 105.
6. Theodore Noldeke. “The Koran”, originally published in the Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th edition, vol. 16 (1891), pp. 597ff. Reproduced in Ibn Warraq (editor). The Origins of the Koran. Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York, 1998, pp. 37-38.
7. Warraq, Why I Am Not a Muslim, pp. 105, 216.
8. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, pp. 164-168.
9. Saul S. Friedman. “The Myth of Islamic Toleration”, chapter 1, pp. 2-3, in, Without Future. The Plight of Syrian Jewry. Praeger, New York, 1989.
10. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, pp. 164-168.
11. Friedman, “The Myth of Islamic Toleration”, pp. 2-3.
12. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, p. 164.
13. Ibid. p. 164. In the accompanying notes p. 169, n.9 and n.10, Ben-Shammai elaborates on the notion of the permanence of the Jews abasement in the hadith, and a related Qur’anic verse:

There are interpretations ascribed to Muhammad’s companions such as his cousin, Abdallah Ibn Abbas. These attributions are most doubtful, but by the mid-eighth century the earliest interpretations were already in writing…The identical expression, in the sense of an everlasting decree, also occurs in Sura 3 of the Koran, verse 112. [“Ignominy shall be their portion wheresoever they are found save (where they grasp) a rope from Allah and a rope from men. They have incurred anger from their Lord, and wretchedness is laid upon them. That is because they used to disbelieve the revelations of Allah, and slew the prophets wrongfully. That is because they were rebellious and used to transgress.”]

14. The Qur’anic poll tax or jizya, based upon Qur’an 9:29.
15. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, p. 169, note 11, observes:

As was apparently done with most the traditions during the second century of the Hegira [i.e., the second century after 622 C.E.]. Most of the traditions cited here are from the comprehensive commentary of Muhammad b. Jarir at-Tabari (d. 923) and are found in parallel versions in most of the collections of the traditions assembled in the ninth and early tenth centuries C.E.

16. Ibid., p.165.
17. Ibid., p. 165.
18. Ibid., p. 165.
19. Ibid., p. 165.
20. Mufti Muhammad Shafi. Ma’ariful-Qur’an, Karachi, 1996-2004, 6 Vols.
21. Shafi. Ma’ariful-Qur’an, Vol. 3 p. 233
22. The Life of Muhammad. A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah. Translated by A. Guillaume, Oxford, England, 2001, p. 461; Ibn Sa‘d. Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir. English translation by S. Moinul Haq and H.K. Ghazanfar. New Delhi, India, 1993, p. 95.
23. Shafi. Ma’ariful-Qur’an, Vol. 3 p. 233.
24. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, p. 167.
25. Qur’an 3:54-56—

“ And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers… (And remember) when Allah said: O Jesus! Lo! I am gathering thee and causing thee to ascend unto Me, and am cleansing thee of those who disbelieve and am setting those who follow thee above those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then unto Me ye will (all) return, and I shall judge between you as to that wherein ye used to differ… As for those who disbelieve I shall chastise them with a heavy chastisement in the world and the Hereafter; and they will have no helpers.”

26. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, p. 167.
27. Tabari. The Commentary on the Qur’an. With an Introduction and Notes by J. Cooper. Edited by W. F. Medlung, A. Jones. Oxford University Press, 1987, pp. 353-355.
28. Tabari. Jami` al-Bayan fii Tafsiir al-Qur’aan Ed. M. Shakir. Beirut 1421/2001. Vol. X, pp. 125, 126. English translation by Michael Schub.
29. Baydawi. ed. Fleischer, H. O. Commentaius in Coranum. Anwaar al-Tanziil Wa-Asraar al-Ta’wiil. 1846—48. Reprint Osnabrück 1968, p. 63. English translation by Michael Schub.
30. Ibn Kathir. Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Riyadh, Vol. 1, 2000, pp. 245-246.
31. Sayyid Qutb. In the Shade of the Qur’an. Leicester, England, 1999, Volume 1, Surah 1-2, p. 91.
32. Ibid., pp. 91-92
33. Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi. Towards Understanding the Qur’an. Leicester, England, 1988, Vol. 1, p. xiii.
34. Ibid., pp. 78-80.
35. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, p. 167. Qur’an 5:82 as cited by the author is the Pickthall translation.
36. Tabari. Jami` al-Bayan fii Tafsiir al-Qur’aan, Vol. VII, p 5ff. English translation by Michael Schub.
37. Zamakshari, Tafsir al-kashshaf an haqa’iq ghawamid at-tanzil wa-uyun al-aqawil fi wujuh at-ta’wil. Cairo, 1953-1955. English translation in, Helmut Gatje. The Qur’an and its Exegesis. Berkeley, CA, 1976, p. 134. The last line included (“the Jews focused their hostility to the Muslims in the most overt and intense manner”) was omitted by Gatje, and was translated by Dr. Michael Schub from the Beirut 2001 edition of Tafsir al-kashshaf, p. 701 and ff.
38. Baydawi. Anwaar al-Tanziil Wa-Asraar al-Ta’wiil, Vol. I, p. 270
39. Ibn Kathir. Tafsir Ibn Kathir, p. 246.
40. Sayyid Qutb. In the Shade of the Qur’an. pp. 217-218, 220.
41. Ibid., pp. 220-221.
42. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, p. 167.
43. Edward William Lane. An Account of the Customs of the Modern Egyptians. (Facsimile of the 1860 edition), Dover, New York, 1973. See pp. 553-556.
44. “A Risala of Al-Jahiz”. Translated by Joshua Finkel. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 1927, Vol. 47, pp. 311-334.
45. Ibid., p. 319.
46. Indeed, Finkel (Ibid., p. 316) underscores the devastating nature of the trenchant anti-Christian arguments mustered by Al-Jahiz:

While there are other anti-Christian writings extant in Mohammedan literature, no work goes so directly to the vital features of the problem, no work is of so potential of deadly effect.

47. Ibid, p. 322-323.
48. Ibid., p. 323.
49. See Qur’an 2:105,

Neither those who disbelieve among the people of the Scripture nor the idolaters love that there should be sent down unto you any good thing from your Lord. But Allah chooseth for His mercy whom He will, and Allah is of Infinite Bounty.

50. “A Risala of Al-Jahiz”, p. 324.
51. Ibid., pp. 316,317.
52. Ibid, p. 328.
53. Roger. Arnaldez. “al- Muhasibi”. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007.
54. al-Muhasibi. The Book of the Patronage of the Law of Allah (Arabic), edited by Margaret Smith, London, 1940/41, p. 256. English translation cited in, Avraham Grossman, “The Economic and Social Background of Hostile Attitudes Toward the Jews in the Ninth and Tenth Century Muslim Caliphate”, in Shmuel Almog, Antisemitism Through the Ages, Oxford, 1988, p. 186, note 39.
55. Lane. An Account of the Customs of the Modern Egyptians, p.554
56. Ibid., pp. 554-555.
57. A.B. Clot. Apercu general sur l’Egypte, 1840, Vol. II, pp. 139-142. Excerpts translated by Martine Chauvet from, Jacob M. Landau. Jews in Nineteenth Century Egypt. New York, 1969, Document XII, pp. 152-154.
58. Moritz Lüttke. Aegyptiens neue Zeit. Ein Beitrag zur Culturgeschichte des gegenwartigen Jahrhunderts sowie zur Charakteristik des Orients unde des Islam. Leipzig, 1873, Vol. 1, pp. 97-99. English translation in, Landau. Jews in Nineteenth Century Egypt, pp. 18-19.
59. Landau. Jews in Nineteenth Century Egypt, p. 19.
60. Friedman, “The Myth of Islamic Toleration”, pp. 2-3.
61. Ibid, p.2. Friedman derives all his Qur’anic citations (numberings and excerpts) from N.J. Dawood. The Koran, Harmondsworth, U.K., 1956.
62. Ibn Kathir. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, pp. 579-80), mentions Nebuchadnezzar’s depredations, but warns,

The earlier and later commentators differed over the identity of these invaders. Many Israiliyyat (reports from Jewish sources) were narrated about this, but I did not want to make this book too long by mentioning them, because some of them are fabricated, concocted by their heretics, and others may be true, but we have no need of them, praise be to Allah.

He continues,

What Allah has told us in his book is sufficient and we have no need of what is in the other books that came before. Neither Allah nor His Messenger required us to refer to them. Allah told His Messenger that when [the Jews] committed transgression and aggression, Allah gave their enemies power over them to destroy their country and enter the innermost parts of their homes. Their humiliation and subjugation was a befitting punishment, and your Lord is never unfair or unjust to his servants. They had rebelled and killed many of the Prophets and scholars.

Yusuf Ali’s discussion of Qur’an 17:4 (in, Abdallah Yusuf Ali. The Holy Qur’an. Text, Translation, and Commentary. Reprint of the 1934 edition, Elmhurst, New York, 2001, p. 694, note 2174) suggests,

…it may be that the two occasions refer to (1) the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C, when the Jews were carried of into captivity, and (2) the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in A.D. 70, after which the Temple was never rebuilt…On both occasions it was a judgment of God for the sins of the Jews, their backslidings, and their arrogance.

63. Friedman, “The Myth of Islamic Toleration”, p.2.
64. Ibid., pp. 2-3.
65. This verse is 2:61 in most Qur’anic numbering systems.
66. This verse is 2:96 in most Qur’anic numbering systems.
67. This verse is 2:54 in most Qur’anic numbering systems.
68. Friedman, “The Myth of Islamic Toleration”, p.3.
69. This verse is 4:46 in most Qur’anic numbering systems.
70. This verse is 4:161 in most Qur’anic numbering systems.
71. This verse is 3:110 in most Qur’anic numbering systems.
72. This verse is 3:78 in most Qur’anic numbering systems.
73. Friedman, “The Myth of Islamic Toleration”, p.3., citing N.J. Dawood’s translation. Ibn Kathir’s commentary refers to Qur’an 58:8—10 as indicating that the Jews are consigned to Hell for their plotting to kill (Muslim) believers (Ibn Kathir. Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 9, p. 520, section entitled, “The Evil of The Jews”)
74. Ibid., Friedman, p. 3.
75. This verse is 98:6 in most Qur’anic numbering systems.
76. Ben-Shammai, “Jew-hatred in the Islamic tradition and Qur’anic exegesis”, pp. 164-168.
77. Friedman. “The Myth of Islamic Toleration”, pp. 2-3.
78. Ronald M. Nettler. “Islamic Archetypes of the Jews: Then and Now”, in Robert Wistrich, Editor, Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism in the Contemporary World. New York, 1990, pp. 64-65.
79. Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 47, Number 786; Sahih Muslim Book 026, Number 5430; Sunan Abu Dawud Book 39, Number 4498; Ibn Sa’d. Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir. Volume 2, New Delhi, 1993; pp. 249-252. English translation by S. Moinul Haq and H.K. Ghazanfar
80. Hartwig Hirschfeld. Abdallah Ibn Saba. The Jewish Encyclopedia.com. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=189&letter=A; Tabari. Ta’rikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk, M.J. de Goeje, Editor, Leiden, 1898, Vol. 1 (6), pp. 3941-42, English translation in Nettler, p. 66.
81. Ibid. Nettler, pp. 65-66; Tabari as above in note 86.
82. “Speech of President Bashar Al-Assad Welcoming His Holiness Pope John Paul II on his arrival in Damascus”, Syria, May 5, 2001. Syrian Arab News Agency.
83. Ibn Kathir. Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Riyadh, Vol. 4, 2000, pp. 405-406.
84. Mawdudi. Towards Understanding the Qur’an. Vol. 3, pp. 201-202.
85. See notes 57-69, above
86. Tabari. Ta’rikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk, M.J. de Goeje, Editor, Leiden, 1879, Vol.3, pp. 1389-90, English translation in Norman Stillman. The Jews of Arab Lands. A History and Source Book., Philadelphia, 1979, p.167.
87. Moshe Gil. A History of Palestine, 634—1099, Cambridge, 1992, p. 159, note 32.
88. Georges Vajda. “À propos de la situation des Juifs et des Chrétiens à Séville au début du XIIe siècle”, Revue des Études Juives, 99, 1935, pp. 127-129. English translation by Michael J. Miller.
89. “Friday Sermons in Saudi Mosques: Review and Analysis”, Middle East Media Research Institute, September 26, 2002, Special Report # 10.
90. Kaufmann Kohler, Isaac Broydé. “Solomon ben Jeroham”. The Jewish Encyclopedia

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view_friendly.jsp?artid=916&letter=S
91. Georges Vajda. “À propos de la situation des Juifs et des Chrétiens à Séville au début du XIIe siècle”.
92. Salomon Feuerstein. Der Commentar des Karäers Salmon ben Jerucham zu den Klageliedern : Zum ersten Male nach der Pariser Handschrift edirt. 1898, Krakau, p. xiii. English translation by Haggai Ben-Shammai, in “The Attitude of Some Early Karaites Towards Islam”, from Isadore Twersky, editor, Studies in Medieval Jewish History and Literature, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1984, Vol. II, p. 10.

Additional examples of this Muslim doctrine on salutation were provided in the opinions of the 10th century Kairouan (northeast Tunisia) jurist al-Qayrawani, and the 18th century Egyptian Sheikh Damanhuri. From Qayrawani (La Risala. Translated from Arabic to French by Leon Bercher, Algiers, 5th edition, 1960. English translation in Bat Ye’or. Islam and Dhimmitude. Where Civilizations Collide. Cranbury, New Jersey, 2001, p. 99):

One should not be the first to say salam [blessing be upon you] to Jews or Christians; but when one has (inadvertently) said salam to a tributary, he should be asked to consider it null and void. If a Jew or Christian greets you, you must reply “alayka” [“the same to you”] (nothing more). But you can also reply: “alayka’ s-silâm,” with kasra of the sîn [vocalized with an “i” and not an “a” to make it an insult], for it would then mean: “the stone,” because, according to one opinion, this is permitted.

Sheikh Damanhuri issued a similar ruling on this subject some eight centuries later (from, Shaykh Damanhuri on the Churches of Cairo, 1739. Edited and translated by Moshe Perlmann. Berkeley, California, 1975, p.57):


If you greeted one whom you considered a Muslim, only to learn he was a dhimmi, withdraw your word, pretending “he considered my salutation.” If one of them salutes he is answered with “same to you” only. If you correspond with one, you say: “Salutation to him who follows right guidance.” But avoid congratulating, consoling, or visiting them, unless you expect the person visited to convert to Islam.



93. Sir John Drummond Hay. Western Barbary: Its Wild Tribes and Savage Animals, London, 1844, p. 3.

94. Sahih Bukhari. Vol.2, Book 23, #376 http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/023.sbt.ht...

Sahih Muslim Book 004, #2029

http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/muslim/004.smt.htm...

95. Sahih Bukhari Vol.2, Book 23, #457; Sahih Muslim Book 040, #6861

96. Tudor Parfitt. The Road to Redemption. The Jews of the Yemen 1900-1950. Leiden, 1996, p. 89.

97 Suyuti wrote a famous, and ubiquitous commentary, *Tafsiir al-Jalalayn* he composed with his teacher, Jalaal al-Diin al-MaHallii; the latter composed the second part, and then Suyuti wrote the first part to complete it, including this translation/quote for Q9.29.Tafsir al-Jalalayn. Beirut 1404/1984. 244. from Suyuti's Durr al-Manthur... Beirut, no date, Vol. III, p. 228, where Suyuti quotes various traditions. These quotes, in English translation, are reproduced from, Andrew Bostom , editor, The Legacy of Jihad, Amherst, New York, 2005, p. 127.

98. Georges Vajda. “Un Traite Maghrebin ‘Adversos Judaeos: Ahkam Ahl Al-Dimma Du Sayh Muhammad B. ‘Abd Al-Karim Al-Magili’ ”, in Etudes D’Orientalisme Dediees a La Memoire de Levi-Provencal, Vol. 2, Paris, 1962, p. 811. English translation by Michael J. Miller.

99. Bat Ye’or, Islam and Dhimmitude, pp. 70-71.

100. David Littman, “Jews under Muslim Rule in the late Nineteenth Century” The Wiener Library Bulletin, 1975, Vol. 28, p. 75.

101. Norman Stillman. The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times, Philadelphia, 1991, p. 51.

102. Jacques Chalom. Les Israelites de la Tunisie: Leur condition civile et politique, Paris, 1908, p. 193.

103. For Yemen: Parfitt, The Road to Redemption, p. 163, and Aviva Klein-Franke. “Collecting the Djizya (Poll-Tax) in the Yemen”, in Tudor Parfitt editor, Israel and Ishmael : studies in Muslim-Jewish relations, New York, 2000, pp. 175-206; For Afghanistan: S. Landshut. Jewish Communities in the Muslim Countries of the Middle East, Westport, Connecticut, 1950, pp. 67-70.

104. Klein-Franke. “Collecting the Djizya (Poll-Tax) in the Yemen”, pp. 182-83, 186.

105. S. Landshut. Jewish Communities in the Muslim Countries of the Middle East, p. 67.

106. Al- Mawardi, The Laws of Islamic Governance [al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah], London, United Kingdom, 1996, p. 211; Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam, 1985, Cranbury, New Jersey, p. 169; K.S. Lal, The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India, New Delhi, 1992, p. 237.

107. For example, see Marghinani Ali ibn Abi Bakr, d. 1197, al-Hidayah, The Hedaya, or Guide- A Commentary on the Mussulman Laws, translated by Charles Hamilton, 1791, reprinted New Delhi, 1982, Vol. 2, pp. 362-363.

Malik and Shafi’i have said that their (i.e., the non-Muslim dhimmis) is absolutely inadmissible, because as infidels are unjust, it is requisite to be slow in believing anything they may advance., God having said (in the Koran) ‘When an unjust person tells you anything be slow in believing him’; whence it is that the evidence of an infidel is not admitted concerning a Mussulman; and consequently that an infidel stands (in this particular) in the same predicament with an apostate…Besides, a dhimmi may be suspected of inventing falsehoods against a Mussulman from the hatred he bears to him on account of the superiority of the Mussulmans over him.

And, from, Joseph Schacht, An Introduction to Islamic Law, Oxford, United Kingdom, , 1982, p. 132.

..the dhimmi cannot be a witness, except in matters concerning other dhimmis…

108. Watt, W.M. [Translator]. The Faith and Practice of Al-Ghazali, Oxford, England, 1953, p. 13.
109. Al-Ghazali (d. 1111). Kitab al-Wagiz fi fiqh madhab al-imam al-Safi’i, Beirut, 1979, pp. 186, 190-91; 199-200; 202-203. [English translation by Dr. Michael Schub.] Reproduced from Bostom, The Legacy of Jihad, p. 199.
110. Parfitt, The Road to Redemption, p. 187.
111. Ibid., p. 87; Yehuda Nini. The Jews of the Yemen, 1800—1914. Translated from the Hebrew by. H. Galai. Chur, Switzerland, 1990; pp. 24-25.
112. Nini, The Jews of the Yemen, p. 24.
113. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes. “Marocain Mellah”, Journal Asiatique, 1914, Vol. 3, p. 651; Meakin. “The Jews of Morocco” p. 372.
114. Eliezer Bashan. “New Documents Regarding Attacks Upon Jewish Religious Observance in Morocco during the Late Nineteenth Century” Pe’amim 1995, p. 71. English translation by Rivkah Fishman.
115. Al-Mawardi, The Laws of Islamic Governance pp. 60; 77-78; 200-201.
116. Moshe Perlmann, “Eleventh Century Andalusian Authors on the Jews of Granada,” Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research, 1948-49, Vol. 18, pp. 286-87
117. Sultan 'Abd Allah of Granada. Kitab al-Tibyan, translated by Bernard Lewis. Extracts reproduced from Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands, pp.224-225. The account was part of a memoir composed during 'Abd Allah’s imprisonment beginning in 1090 when Granada was conquered by the Berber Muslim Almoravids from North Africa.
118. Perlmann, Ibid., p. 284; Reinhart Dozy. Spanish Islam: A History of the Muslims in Spain, Translated by Francis Griffin Stokes, London, 1915 (reissued by Kessinger Publishing), p. 653.
119. Richard Gottheil, Joseph Jacobs. “The Crusades” in The Jewish Encyclopedia http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view_friendly.jsp?artid=908&letter=C
120. Walter Fischel. Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam, London, 1937, p.91.
121. Ibid., p. 91
122. Bar Hebraeus. The Chronography of Bar Hebraeus. Translated by E.A.W. Budge, London, 1932, p. 490.
123. Ghazi b. al-Wasiti. “An Answer to the Dhimmis”, English translation by Richard Gottheil. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 1921, Vol. 41, p. 449
124. Fischel. Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam pp.91-92.
125. Bar Hebraeus, The Chronography, p. 484
126. Fischel, Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam, p.108
127. Ibid., p. 110
128. Cited in Ibid., p. 110
129. P. Jackson. “Wassaf—The court panegyrist”. Encyclopedia of Islam. Edited by P. Bearman, Th. Biaqnquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, and W.P. Heinrichs, Brill, 2006, Brill Online.
130. Fischel, Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam, p. 111
131. Ibid., p. 111
132. Cited in Ibid., p. 111
133. Ibid., pp. 112, 114
134. Bar Hebraeus, The Chronography, p. 491
135. Cited in Fischel, Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam, p. 116.
136. Cited in Ibid. p. 117
137. Bar Hebraeus, The Chronography, p. 491
138. Fischel, Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam, p. 117, and note 5, p. 117
139. E.G. Browne. A Literary History of Persia [electronic resource], with a new introduction by J.T.P. de Bruijn , Bethesda, 1997, Vol. 3, pp. 35-36
140. Qur’an 44:25—“They left how many gardens and fountains,”
141. H.Z. Hirschberg. A History of the Jews of North Africa. Leiden, Netherlands, 1974, Vol. 1, pp. 392-399; Jane S. Gerber. Jewish Society in Fez. 1450-1700. Leiden, Netherlands, 1980, pp. 20-21.
142. Hirschberg. A History of the Jews of North Africa, p. 395.
143. Ibid., p. 395.
144. Sunni Muslims in the Arab world tended to reserve the terms “sharif” for descendants of Hassan (son of Caliph Ali ibn Ali Talibi), and “sayyid” for descendants of Husayn (also a son of Caliph Ali ibn Ali Talibi, and revered as the third imam by most Shi’a Muslims)
145. Hirschberg. A History of the Jews of North Africa, pp. 395-396.
146. Ibid., pp. 396-397.
147. Ibid., p. 398.
148. Unfortunately, ‘Abd el-Basit was wrong. Some 6000 (six thousand) Jews were slaughtered in the Jewish quarter of Fez in 1032/33 during the ravages led by a Berber sheikh. (see Edmond Fagnan, “Le Signe Distinctif des Juifs Au Maghreb”, Revue Etudes Juifs, 1894, Vol. 48, p.297; Salo W. Baron, A Social and Religious History of the Jews, New York, 1957, Vol. 3, p. 108; and Hirschberg. A History of the Jews of North Africa, p. 108)
149. Gerber. Jewish Society in Fez, p. 21
150. Y.D. Semach. “Une Chronique Juive De Fes: Le “Yahas Fes” De Ribbi Abner Hassarfaty”, Hesperis, 1934, Vol. 19 (1-2), pp. 91-93. English translation by Susan Emanuel.
151. Gerber. Jewish Society in Fez, p. 21.
152. Hirschberg. A History of the Jews of North Africa, p. 402; Gerber. Jewish Society in Fez, p. 18;
John O. Hunwick. “Al-Maghili and the Jews of Tuwat: the Demise of a Community” Studia Islamica, 1985, Vol. 61, pp. 155-183.
153. G. Deverdun. “Ibn ‘Askar”. Encyclopedia of Islam. Edited by P. Bearman, Th. Biaqnquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, and W.P. Heinrichs, Brill, 2006, Brill Online.
154. Ibn ‘Askar. Dawhat al-nashir li-mahasin man kana bi ‘l-maghrib min mashayikh al-qarn al-‘ashir. Fez, 1891/2, p. 95. English translation in Hunwick, “Al-Maghili and the Jews of Tuwat”, p. 161.
155. Vajda. “Un Traite Maghrebin ‘Adversos Judaeos”, p. 811. English translation by Michael J. Miller.
156. Hunwick, “Al-Maghili and the Jews of Tuwat”, pp. 173-174 and 162. On pp. 173-74, Hunwick summarizes the opinion of one of at least two major contemporary Moroccan jurists who supported al-Maghili’s views, al Tanasi (d. 1494):

As part of his case al-Tanasi quoted a ruling in Tunis by the jurist ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-‘Abdusi (d. 1434) that there could be neither building nor repair of religious edifices in the land of the Muslims (bilad al-muslimin). Should dhimmis subsequently build a place of worship after being forbidden to do so, this would constitute an abrogation of the pact [dhimma], making it lawful to enslave their women and children and seize their property.
157. Ibid., pp. 176-177; 165-166.
158. H. I. Gwarzo. “The Life and Teachings of al-Maghili with Particular Reference to the Saharan Jewish Community”, unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of London, 1972 (Microfilm copy, 1985), p. 136.
158a. Ibid., p. 134.
158b. Ibid., p. 137.
159. Ibid., pp. 49-50. Gwarzo further notes (p. 261.) that the Muslim rank and file afforded Al-Maghili, “…respect, reverence, and blind loyalty…”
159a. Hunwick, “Al-Maghili and the Jews of Tuwat”, p. 183.
160. Raphael Israeli. “Anti-Jewish Attitudes in the Arabic Media, 1975—1981”, in Robert Wistrich, Editor, Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism in the Contemporary World. New York, 1990, pp. 103, 112.
161. Emmanuel Sivan. “Islamic Fundamentalism, Antisemitism, and Anti-Zionism”, in Robert Wistrich, Editor, Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism in the Contemporary World. New York, 1990, p. 82
162. See discussion in text associated with notes 120 and 121, above, from Walter Fischel. Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam, London, 1937, p.91.
163. Sivan. “Islamic Fundamentalism, Antisemitism, and Anti-Zionism”, pp. 77-78.
164. Ahmad Yusuf Ahmad. Al-Sh’b al-Dalil Isra’il (Israel—the Misled People), Cairo, 1962, p. 78. Cited in Y. Harkabi. Arab Attitudes to Israel. Jerusalem, Israel, 1972, Translated by Misha Louvish, p. 92.
165. ‘Abdallah al-Tall. Khatr al-Yahudiyya al-‘Alamiyya ‘Ala al-Islam wa-al-Mashiyya. (The Danger of World Jewry to Islam and Christianity). Cairo, 1964, p. 65. Cited in Y. Harkabi. Arab Attitudes to Israel., p, 92.
166. D.F. Green. [“D.F. Green” is a compound pseudonym for David Littman and Y. Harkabi] Arab Theologians on Jews and Israel. Extracts from the Proceedings of the Fourth Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research. Geneva, 1976, p. 15.
167. The fourth conference of the Academy of Islamic Research, Rajab 1388, September 1968. Cairo, General Organization for Government Printing Offices, 1970, 935 pp.
168. D.F. Green. Arab Theologians on Jews and Israel, .p. 70.
169. Ibid., p. 91
170. Sylvia Haim. “Islam and the Theory of Arab Nationalism” Die Welt Des Islams, 1955, Vol. 2, pp. 124-149. See especially her conclusion on, p. 149:

Another feature of the modern doctrine which fits in with the Muslim past is the emphasis which both of them lay on communal solidarity, discipline and cooperation. The umma in Islam is a solidary entity, and its foremost duty is to answer the call of the jihad. [emphasis added}This brings us to the third feature which both modern and ancient systems have in common, to wit the glorification of one’s own group. The traditional attitude of the Muslims to the outside world is one of superiority, and the distinction between the Dar al-harb, Dar al-Islam, and Dar as-sulh, is an ever present one in the mind of the Muslim jurist. It may therefore be said in conclusion of this modern doctrine of nationalism, that although it introduces into Islam features which may not accord with strict orthodoxy, it is the least incompatible perhaps of modern European doctrines with the political thought and political experience of Sunni Islam. [emphasis added]

Also from Sylvia Haim, Arab Nationalism—An Anthology, Berkeley, California, 1962, pp. 63-64, Haim quotes the founder of the Arab Nationalist Ba’ath Party, Michel Aflaq:

Muhammad was the epitome of all the Arabs, so let all the Arabs today be Muhammad…Islam was an Arab movement and its meaning was the renewal of Arabism and its maturity…[even] Arab Christians will recognize that Islam constitutes for them a national culture in which they must immerse themselves so that they may understand and love it, and so that they may preserve Islam as they would preserve the most precious element in their Arabism.

Haim concludes (p. 164), “ For Aflaq, Islam is [emphasis in original] Arab nationalism…”

171. Official English translation in Zuhair Diab, editor, International Documents on Palestine, 1968, Beirut, 1971. Cited in Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, p. 390.

172. Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, p. 390.

173. Musa Kazem el-Husseini, (President Palestinian Arab Congress), to High Commissioner for Palestine, December 10, 1920 (Translated January 2, 1921), Israel State Archives, R.G. 2, Box 10, File 244.

174. “A Friday Sermon on PA TV: … We Must Educate our Children on the Love of Jihad…” July 11, 2001, Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch #240. http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP24001

175. Bostom, The Legacy of Jihad, pp. 43-51.

176. The expression “fay” is found in Qur’an 59: 6—10, which describes Muhammad’s attack upon the Jewish tribe, Banu Nadir. In the traditional Muslim interpretation of these verses the theocratic conception of property rights is confirmed, as voiced by the Prophet—Allah returns to the Believers the possessions of His foes, what is properly His. See Leone Caetani. Annali dell’ Islam, Milan, 1905-1926, Vol. 5, p. 332.

177. Joseph B. Schechtman, The Mufti and The Fuehrer, New York, 1965, pp. 114-15, 151; Jennie Lebel, Hajj Amin ve Berlin (Hajj Amin and Berlin), Tel Aviv, 1996, pp. 140-142; Yossef Bodansky, Islamic Antisemitism as a Political Instrument, Houston, 1999, p. 29.

178. Shai Lachman. “Arab Rebellion and Terrorism in Palestine 1929-39: The Case of Sheikh Izz al-Din al-Qassam and His Movement”, in Zionism and Arabism in Palestine and Israel, edited by Elie Kedourie and Sylvia G. Haim, Frank Cass, London, 1982, pp. 52-99.

179. Bat Ye’or, “Aspects of the Arab-Israeli Conflict”, Wiener Library Bulletin, Vol. 32, 1979, p. 68.; Efraim Karsh, Arafat’s War, New York, 2003, p. 117.

180. David Littman. “The Genocidal Hamas Charter”, National Review Online, September, 26, 2002.

181. “The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement—Hamas”, Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch Series, No. 1092, February 14, 2006.

182. Sahih Muslim Book 041, Number 6985; Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 176/177

183. Excerpts from, Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, pp.391-94.

184. Excerpts from, Bat Ye’or, Eurabia- The Euro-Arab Axis, Cranbury, New Jersey, 2005, pp. 284-295.

185. Excerpts from, Bat Ye’or, Eurabia, pp. 312-19.

186. “Sheik Yousef Al-Qaradhawi: Our War with the Jews is in the Name of Islam”, Middle East Media Research Institute, TV Monitor Project, Clip No. 1052, February 25, 2006.

187. Tabari. Jami` al-Bayan fii Tafsiir al-Qur’aan, Vol. IX, p. 122. Regarding Qur’an 7:166—“…God made them into apes and pigs, howling, with wagging tails, whereas previously they had been men and women.…the youths became apes; the mature people became pigs.” In contrast, regarding Qur’an 5:60, from Al-Muntakhab fii Tafsiir al-Qur’aan al-Kariim. [Al-Azhar paraphrase of, and commentary on the Qur’an, in Modern Standard Arabic]. 11th ed. Cairo 1406/1985., p. 158, “He is angry with you for your unbelieving disobedience, He has obliterated your minds, so become like [emphasis added] apes and pigs…”

188. Suyuti, Jalal al-Din. Tafsiir al-Jalaalayn. Beirut 1404/1984, p. 149, regarding 5:60: “[The Jews] ‘[are] the one[s] whom God has cursed’ exiled him from His mercy ‘and on whom God’s wrath has fallen’…‘ [they] who worship the Taaghuut’ ..obey Satan. He made them into apes and monkeys ‘by transformation’ ”; Mawdudi. Towards Understanding the Qur’an. Vol. 2 , p. 175, regarding 5:60: “This alludes to the Jews, whose history shows that they were subjected, over and over again, to the wrath and scourge of God. When they desecrated the law of the Sabbath, the faces of many of them were distorted, and subsequently their generation reached such a low point, they took to worshipping Satan quite openly.”; The Al-Azhar paraphrase of, and commentary on the Qur’an in Modern Standard Arabic, 1985, [see note 187, above] p. 158, also states that the Jews were punished because they “worship Satan, and follow error”

189. Ibn Kathir. Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Riyadh, Vol. 4, 2000, p. 193. Elaborating on the Jews punishment, i.e., the apes transformation of 7:166, and the related statement of 7:167 [“And when Thy Lord proclaimed He would send forth against them, unto the Day of Resurrection, those who should visit them with evil chastisement.”], Ibn Kathir comments that afflictions will continue to sent against the Jews, “…on account of their disobedience, defying Allah’s orders and Law and using tricks to transgress the prohibitions…When Islam came and Muhammad was sent, they came under his power and had to pay the Jizyah as well. Therefore, the humiliating torment [chastisement] mentioned here includes disgrace and paying the Jizyah…In the future, the Jews will support the Dajjal [False Messiah]; and the Muslims, along with Isa [the Muslim Jesus], will kill the Jews…”

190. Suyuti, Jalal al-Din. Tafsiir al-Jalaalayn, p. 149, “their fate is the Fire”

190a. M.J. Kister, “The massacre of the Banu Qurayza: a re-examination of a tradition” Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam, Vol. 8, 1986, pp. 61-96; W.H. T. Gairdner, “Muhammad Without Camouflage”, The Moslem World, Vol. 9, 1919, p. 36.

190b. The Life of Muhammad. A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah. Translated by A. Guillaume, Oxford, England, 2001, p. 461.

190c Ibn Sa‘d. Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir. English translation by S. Moinul Haq and H.K. Ghazanfar. New Delhi, India, 1993, p. 95. (The translators wrote: “Brothren [sic] of monkeys and boars fear me, fear me!”)

191. H. R. Idris. “Contributions a histoire de l’Ifriqiya” (Riyad an Nufus d’Al-Maliki), Revue des Etudes Islamiques, 1935. English translation in Bat Ye’or, The Dhimmi, p. 186.

192. H. R. Idris, “Tributaries in the Medieval Muslim West, according to the Mi’yar of al-Wansharisi”. English translation by Michael J. Miller of “Les tributaries en Occident Musulman medieval d’apres ‘miyar d’al Wansarisi’ ” (Vol. VI, p. 51 and pp. 286-303), in, Melanges d’islamologie: Volume dediae a la memoire de Armand Abel par ses colleagues, ses aeleves, et ses amis, 1974, pp. 172-196, selected extracts.

193. Dozy. Spanish Islam: A History of the Muslims in Spain, p. 653; Perlmann, “Eleventh Century Andalusian Authors on the Jews of Granada,”, p. 284.

194. Perlmann, “Eleventh Century Andalusian Authors on the Jews of Granada,”, p. 286.

195. Ibid., pp. 287-288.

196. Ibid., p. 288 note 56a.

197. Bar Hebraeus, The Chronography, p. 491; Fischel, Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam, pp. 116, 117, and note 5, p. 117.

198. Bar Hebraeus, The Chronography, p. 490; Ghazi b. al-Wasiti. “An Answer to the Dhimmis”, p. 449; Fischel, Jews in the Economic and Political Life of Medieval Islam, p. 91

199. E.G. Browne. A Literary History of Persia, Vol. 3, pp. 35-36

200. Ibid., p. 35.

201. See Vajda. “Un Traite Maghrebin ‘Adversos Judaeos”; Hunwick. “Al-Maghili and the Jews of Tuwat: the Demise of a Community”.

202. Zamakhshary. Al-Kashshaaf `an Haqaa’iq GhawaamiD al-Tanziil wa-`Uyuun al-Aqaawiil fii Wujuuh alTa’wiil. Ed. M. H. Ahmad. Cairo 1365/1946. p. 684, referring to Qur’an 5:60/61:

Some say that when this occurred, the Muslims taunted them, saying, ‘O brothers of apes and pigs,’ and the Jews would bow their heads. “These” the cursed transformed ones “are the lowest in stature” they were put in the evil place they deserved. The emphasis here is intended as ‘lowest and most erring’ for it became a by-name for them beyond mere metaphor. The reason for this revelation is that a group of Jews approached Muhammad with the worst intentions, being hypocritical in feigning belief, and God revealed to Muhammad that they would leave in the same state in which they entered, and would heed nothing he would say in unbelief and pretending.

See also notes 190b and 190c, above, and Muhammad’s references to the Banu Qurayza Jews as “monkeys”, or “monkeys and pigs”

203. Ibid., p.809. Vajda. “Un Traite Maghrebin ‘Adversos Judaeos”, p. 809.

204. See Hirschberg. A History of the Jews of North Africa, p. 402; Gerber. Jewish Society in Fez, p. 18; and Hunwick. “Al-Maghili and the Jews of Tuwat: the Demise of a Community”.

205. Gregory Wortabet. Syria and the Syrians. Vol. II, London, 1856, pp. 263-264

206. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 47, Number 786; Sahih Muslim Book 026, Number 5430.

207. Parfitt, The Road to Redemption, p. 89

208. Aluma Solnick. “Based on Koranic Verses, Interpretations, and Traditions, Muslim Clerics State: The Jews Are the Descendants of Apes, Pigs, And Other Animals”, November 1, 2002 Middle East Media Research Institute Special Report # 11

209. “Islamic Antisemitism: The Jews Depicted as Apes and Pigs”. Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, Bulletin # 5, Chapter 3, October 2002, www.intelligence.org.il/eng/default.htm

210. Ibid.

211. Ibid.

212. Solnick, “Muslim Clerics State: The Jews Are the Descendants of Apes, Pigs, And Other Animals”

213. Menachem Milson. “What is Arab Antisemitism?”, Middle East Media Research Institute, February 27, 2004, Special Report #26.

214. Ibid.

215. “Islamic Antisemitism: The Jews Depicted as Apes and Pigs”. Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center

216. Ibn Warraq. Leaving Islam. Apostates Speak Out. Amherst, New York, 2003, p. 401.

217. The classical Qur’anic commentary of Ibn Kathir, and the 20th century commentary of Mawdudi confirm and validate the anti-Jewish attitudes expressed in Qur’an 5:32/33. From Ibn Kathir (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Riyadh, Vol. 3, 2000, p.160), entitled, “Warning Those Who Commit Mischief ”:

This Ayah chastises and criticizes those who commit the prohibitions, after knowing that they are prohibited from indulging in them. [Like] [T]he Jews of Al-Madinah, such as Banu Qurayza, An-Nadir, and Qaynuqa..[Jewish tribes ultimately attacked, expropriated, expelled, and even massacred by Muhammad]

From Mawdudi (Towards Understanding the Qur’an. Vol. 2, pp. 155-56), who includes a contextual reference to Qur’an 5:30/31 as well:

God honored some of the illiterate people of Arabia and disregarded the ancient People of the Book because the former were pious while the latter were not. But rather than reflect upon the causes of their rejection by God, and do something to overcome the failings which led to that rejection, the Israelites were seized by the same fit of arrogance and folly which had once seized the criminal son of Adam [verses 5:30/31], and resolved to kill those whose good deeds had been accepted by God. It was obvious that such acts would contribute nothing towards their acceptance by God. They would rather earn them an even greater degree of God’s disapproval. Since the same qualities which had been displayed by the wrongdoing son of Adam were manifest in the Children of Israel, God strongly urged them not to kill human beings and couched his command in forceful terms.

The “land” (in verse 5:33) signifies either the country or territory wherein the responsibility of establishing law and order has been undertaken by an Islamic state. The expression “to wage war [fight] against Allah and His Messenger” denotes war against the righteous order established by the Islamic state.



218. For example, Ibn Kammuna (d. 1284), the 13th century Jewish physician-philosopher of Iraqi origin, wrote (1280) simply (see Moshe Perlmann, translator, Ibn Kammuna’s Examination of the Three Faiths, Berkeley, 1971, pp. 131-133):

There is no tradition by the authority of any Jew that 'Uzayr (Ezra) was the son of God…If any of them said that, he would be considered among them an unbeliever and outside of their community.

219. Ibn Warraq. Why I Am Not a Muslim. Amherst, New York, 1995, pp. 215-216.


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