Kadyrov says Jews are the ‚greatest enemy‘ of Islam

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Ramzan Kadyrov called Jews „the main enemy of Islam“ in a meeting with 150 Chechens living in Jordan which was broadcast on the Grozny state television service. Kadyrov cited the Islamic Prophet Mohamed ﷺ in his denunciation of Israel and the Jewish people, saying that „the Prophet had killed Jews more than any other people.“

His line of reasoning begins by misinterpreting the early history of Muslims and the prophet’s relationship with the Jews as if eternal enmity between Muslims and Jews were at the core of the Muslim faith. But what is overlooked here is that the Prophet and his congregation had no relation to „the Jews“ but to three Arab-Jewish tribes.

When Mohamed migrated to Madinah, there were three Jewish tribes in the city, namely Banu Qaynuqa‘, Banu an-Nadeer and Banu Qurayzah. He made treaties with all of them and agreed to live in peace with all of them, but they all committed acts of treachery and betrayal.

This relationship was determined not only by faith, but rather by other criteria, which at that time played a central role, such as: loyalty to certain clans, membership of certain tribes or control of caravan routes and oases. It was not a conflict between Muslims and Jews, as it is suggested today, but between parties with different interests.

The Prophet ﷺ understood the Jewish community as part of his community in the early years when he came to Medina. While he criticized certain understandings and concepts just as Jesus did before him, he did not question their existence and they could fully practice their beliefs. When, in the years that followed, armed confrontation with the polytheists in Mecca took lace and according to Muslim historiography, some Arab-Jewish tribes were accused of betrayal, they were fought or resettled.

Extremists today take this historical episode, which concerned three tribes, and make it a basis when it comes to the relationship to Jews in general. The three Arab-Jewish tribes have now become „the Jews“.. Contrary to this extremist understanding, the prophet mortgaged his shield on his deathbed to a Jewish merchant so he could buy barley for his family. So the question arises: Since when do you give your alleged enemy your own shield?

Kadyrov seems to forget that a Jewish-Muslim tradition exists and every prophet except Mohamed ﷺ had Jewish roots.

The reason for the spread of anti-Jewish slogans by people who call themselves „Muslims“ is lack of humanity and ignorance of their own religion. There are undoubtedly some Muslims who are anti-Jewish, as are some Christians, agnostics or atheists. But Islam sees itself in the chain of religions as the conclusion of the divine teachings for humanity. Any divine doctrine that existed before Islam should ultimately lead to this final religion. „Verily, the religion before Allah is Islam. And those to whom the book was given were at variance, only after the knowledge had come to them, out of mutual envy.“ (3:19). With this background, any hatred against Jews seems like building a multistory house, nesting on the top floor, and at the same time trying to destroy the foundations because you think they have nothing in common with the upper floors. Any abuse of Judaism is thus an attack on Islam.

 Deep respect for Jews in Islam

Those who are desperately trying to establish points of reference for anti-Semitism in the early history of Islam completely ignore the doctrine and tradition. Certainly in this early history there were arguments with the Jewish alliance partners, as some of them did not fulfill contractual and political obligations, even attempted to kill the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

Despite all these events, which put the relationship between Muslims and Jews to a great test, the Prophet of Islam himself proved time after time how much he respected and appreciated Jews for believing in the only common God and His prophets. Based on several similarities, the Prophet Mohammed ﷺ therefore concluded pioneering tolerance treaties with Jews and Christians.

The treatment of Jews by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was so appealing to them that some of the Jews developed such a love that they kissed the hands and feet of the Prophet (Trimdhi). The Prophet always remained faithful to his principles and not only condemned all injustice to allies, but the Quran also commanded it against enemies: „And the hostility of a people shall not deceive you to act otherwise than righteousness“ (5:8).

Islam critics emphasize that the religion itself promotes hatred of Jews by banning Muslims from friendship with Jews and Christians. However, the fact is that the verse is not a universal law and that criticism disregards the historical and textual context. For example, the word أولياء doesn’t mean friends to begin with, rather protectors, supporters, to depend on or follow, to regard as leaders.

Appealing to Muslims, God in the Qur’an warns concretely of friendship with Jews and Christians „who mock and joke with their faith“ (5:57) and „Allah only forbids you to be friends with those who have fought against you on account of religion and who have driven you out of your homes and have abetted in your expulsion.“(60:9). But this was ordered to the Muslims at a time when they were in conflict against other tribes and a wrongful friendship could lead to the possibility that important strategic plans were passed on to enemies. It’s not only about following Christians and Jew or taking their side, it’s doing that at the time of war with them or against your faith and your own people’s safety.

The Quran also criticizes Jewish practice. In a judgment on the children of Israel, ie Jews and Christians, God is angry that they have strayed from the right path and referred to them as „pigs and monkeys“ in one place. Who now considers this statement as a blanket judgment, shows only his ignorance regarding the content of the Quran.

The Holy Scripture of the Muslims is not a reference work, but must be understood holistically. And since the Quran contains images and parables, it must be interpreted. Thus, when some Jews and Christians are credited with the characteristics of a pig or a monkey, reference is made to those who, after God gave them direction and abundant gifts, choose to place god beside them and proved ungrateful. Like pigs, they began to consume everything without selection, and, like the apes, to imitate everything around them.

A closer look at the Quran reveals that Islam itself has a thoroughly differentiated view of Jewish faith practice. It is said again and again: „There are among them people who keep moderation.“ (5:66). It is also noticeable that Jews are allowed to enter eternal paradise. It says in sūrat l-baqarah: Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] – those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness – will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve. (2:62)

In addition to the Quran, there are countless traditions that testify the great appreciation of Judaism by the Prophet ﷺ. It is reported that once a Jew complained to the Prophet that a Muslim beat him when he put the Prophet Moses above the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet then rebuked the Muslim and said, „Do not give me priority over other prophets!“ (Bukhari). Elsewhere it is said that the Prophet rose out of respect when a Jewish funeral procession passed him by. When he was told by a companion that it was the burial of a Jew, he replied, „Is not that a human soul?“ (Bukhari). When Safiyyah, the Prophet’s Jewish wife, was contemptuously called the „daughter of a Jew,“ the Prophet asked to answer, „Why are you better than me when my husband is Mohammed, my father Aaron, and my uncle Moses?? „(Tirmidhi).

 

(3:19) Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam. And those who were given the Scripture did not differ except after knowledge had come to them – out of jealous animosity between themselves. And whoever disbelieves in the verses of Allah, then indeed, Allah is swift in [taking] account.

(5:8) Believers, be steadfast for the cause of God and just in bearing witness. Let not a group’s hostility to you cause you to deviate from justice. Be just, for it is closer to piety. Have fear of God; God is Well Aware of what you do.

(5:57) take not those who have taken your religion in ridicule and amusement among the ones who were given the Scripture before you nor the disbelievers as allies.

(60:9) Allah only forbids you to be friends with those who have fought against you on account of religion and who have driven you out of your homes and have abetted in your expulsion.

(5:66) If they had observed the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto them from their Lord, they would surely have been nourished from above them and from beneath their feet. Among them there are people who are moderate, but many of them are of evil conduct.

(5:6) Say: Shall I inform you of (him who is) worse than this in retribution from Allah? (Worse is he) whom Allah has cursed and brought His wrath upon, and of whom He made apes and swine, and he who served the Shaitan; these are worse in place and more erring from the straight path.

(5:66) If they had observed the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto them from their Lord, they would surely have been nourished from above them and from beneath their feet. Among them there are people who are moderate, but many of them are of evil conduct.

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