Antisemitism in the Qur’an, Part 4

Several years ago Andrew Bostom published a comprehensive survey of antisemitism as expressed in the Qur’an. The article is unfortunately no longer available online, so the author has kindly sent us the full text.

This is the final of four installments. Previously: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Koran, 9th century AD

Antisemitism in the Qur’an: Motifs and Historical Manifestations

Part 4

by Andrew G. Bostom

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.


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,
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.

One thought on “Antisemitism in the Qur’an, Part 4

  1. Just another good reason why Islam
    MUST be dismantled Worldwide.It is
    incompatible with any other system,
    religious or political.

Comments are closed.