Muslims — The Real Sympathisers of the Jews

Friday Khutba by Dr Zahid Aziz, for Lahore Ahmadiyya UK, 19 April 2024

“And We gave him (i.e., Abraham) Isaac and Jacob. Each did We guide; and Noah did We guide before, and of his descend­ants, David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. And thus do We reward those who do good to others, and Zacharias and John and Jesus and Elias; each one was of the right­eous, and Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot; and each one We made to excel the people; and some of their fathers and their descendants and their brethren. And We chose them and guided them to the right way. This is Allah’s guidance with which He guides whom He pleases of His servants.…

These are they whom Allah guided, so follow their guidance. Say: I do not ask you for any reward for it. It is nothing but a Reminder for the nations.” — ch. 6, v. 84–88, 90

وَ وَہَبۡنَا لَہٗۤ اِسۡحٰقَ وَ یَعۡقُوۡبَ ؕ کُلًّا ہَدَیۡنَا ۚ وَ نُوۡحًا ہَدَیۡنَا مِنۡ قَبۡلُ وَ مِنۡ ذُرِّیَّتِہٖ دَاوٗدَ وَ سُلَیۡمٰنَ وَ اَیُّوۡبَ وَ یُوۡسُفَ وَ مُوۡسٰی وَ ہٰرُوۡنَ ؕ وَ کَذٰلِکَ نَجۡزِی الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۸۴ وَ زَکَرِیَّا وَ یَحۡیٰی وَ عِیۡسٰی وَ اِلۡیَاسَ ؕ کُلٌّ مِّنَ الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۸۵  وَ اِسۡمٰعِیۡلَ وَ الۡیَسَعَ وَ یُوۡنُسَ وَ لُوۡطًا ؕ وَ کُلًّا فَضَّلۡنَا عَلَی الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۸۶  وَ مِنۡ اٰبَآئِہِمۡ وَ ذُرِّیّٰتِہِمۡ وَ اِخۡوَانِہِمۡ ۚ وَ اجۡتَبَیۡنٰہُمۡ وَ ہَدَیۡنٰہُمۡ اِلٰی صِرَاطٍ مُّسۡتَقِیۡمٍ ﴿۸۷ ذٰلِکَ ہُدَی اللّٰہِ یَہۡدِیۡ بِہٖ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِہٖ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ الَّذِیۡنَ ہَدَی اللّٰہُ فَبِہُدٰىہُمُ اقۡتَدِہۡ ؕ قُلۡ لَّاۤ اَسۡـَٔلُکُمۡ عَلَیۡہِ اَجۡرًا ؕ اِنۡ ہُوَ اِلَّا ذِکۡرٰی لِلۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿٪۹۰﴾

I have recited these verses to show that the prophets in whom the Jews believe, on the basis of their scriptures, are also accepted by Muslims as prophets. Among the prophets named here, only Ishmael and Jesus are not accepted by the Jews, the rest are accepted by them. Moreover, the Quran describes these prophets as:

·       Being guided by God,

·       doing good deeds,

·       being of righteous character,

·       excelling the ordinary people of the world,

·       being chosen by God, and

·       as being guided by God on the right path.

And it was not only these prophets who possessed these high qualities, but even some of the fathers and descendants and brethren of these prophets were of a morally upright character and close to God. For some prophets the Quran in other places mentions their mothers or wives as being women of the highest righteousness.

I will explain the reason why I am highlighting the beliefs of Muslims about the prophets of the Jews. In the West there is a large number of staunch and fervent supporters of the state of Israel on a political basis. But as I will show, these supporters have no respect whatsoever for the prophets and the religion of the Jews.

The vast majority of the supporters of the modern state of Israel in Western countries fall into three categories. The first category, which in Europe is the largest, consists of those reject all religions. In the USA this may not be the largest category. They have no belief in God or in the Bible. Far from honouring the prophets of Israel, as Muslims do, people of this category hold that either these holy figures never existed and their lives are mere fiction, or that if they existed their claims of revelation from God were falsely made up by themselves and were intended to deceive their followers, or perhaps they were deluded. They believe that when the Jews accepted prophets such as Abraham, Moses and others, it was because they were living in the times of ignorance and superstition before the spread of education, knowledge and science. Of course, they have the fullest right to hold and proclaim these beliefs about how religion originated. But what they are saying is that while they whole-heartedly support the state of Israel, they believe that the Jewish religion, like every other religion, is a human fabrication and a relic of the times of ignorance and savagery.

Our own respected Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Mr Rishi Sunak, is a devout Hindu, and as such he does of course believe in God. But that God is not the God of the Bible Who sent the prophets of the Jews. Muslims read in the Quran:

“Surely We revealed the Torah, having guidance and light. By it did the prophets who submitted themselves (to Allah) judge for the Jews, and the rabbis and the doctors of law, because they were required to guard the Book of Allah, and they were witnesses of it” (5:44).

Mr Rishi Sunak, who is a staunch and unwavering supporter of the state of Israel, will not find any such statement in his own scriptures.

Regarding the Israelite prophets, the Quran teaches Muslims more than just to believe that they were prophets. As I said above, it informs them that these prophets were the most morally upright humans that it is possible to find and were devoted to the doing of good deeds. This bring us to the second category of the supporters of the state of Israel. These are the practising, mainstream Christians of the West. Their fundamental creed is that Jesus Christ was the only sinless one who ever appeared on earth. Unfortunately, to support this belief they find that they need to pick faults and sins in everyone else, however high a spiritual rank those persons may hold.

They believe in the Israelite prophets, such as Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, etc., to be the next highest persons after Jesus, yet they are keen to portray them as sinners. To do so, they are able to find incidents from the lives of these prophets given in the Bible itself which attribute some very serious misdeeds and improper behaviour to them. In fact, they seem to take delight in listing the alleged sins of the Jewish prophets, such as worshipping idols, turning away from God, telling lies, deceiving people, and indulging in indecent and sexually immoral behaviour, because it makes Jesus look perfect. This then is the second category of the supporters of the state of Israel, who defame the character of all the Jewish prophets, while it is Muslims who regard those prophets as entirely free of sin, just as Jesus was and the Holy Prophet Muhammad was.

The third category of the supporters of the state of Israel is even more bizarre. These are known as evangelical Christians who wield enormous influence in the USA, including over the political and governmental leaders of that nation. Their basic belief is that the creation of the modern state of Israel in 1948 was part of God’s plan which will culminate in the second coming of Jesus. Their belief is that God has caused Israel to be created so that the Jews of the world can be gathered in one place to witness the return of Jesus and to accept him this time, which the Jews failed to do when Jesus first appeared in this world 2000 years ago. Then all Jews will become Christians and Jesus will rule from Jerusalem as his capital.

I was reading an interview with an American-Israeli specialist on this subject, called Zev Chafets, which he gave to a publication entitled European Affairs in its issue for Spring 2007. In the introduction to the interview, the interviewer writes that a few years ago these evangelical Christians were looked upon as being the opponents of the Jews because they are looking forward to a mass con­version of Jews to Chris­tianity. But now they are, as the article puts it in its heading, “Israel’s most devoted ally”, and it goes on to say that “their unwavering — indeed, unquestioning — loyalty to Israel is a major fact of life in U.S. policy”. George W. Bush was President of the USA at the time of this interview. Zev Chafets says about him:

“President [George W.] Bush personally is an evangelical who shares the special reverence for Israel. … People cite President Bush, who says he is acting to fulfil God’s will. That’s what he says and, I think, believes.”

I may add here that the billions of US dollars that these groups are sending to Israel is actually their investment in the second coming of Jesus. Obviously, Israelis don’t believe that Jesus will come and convert them all to Christianity, so they are happy to receive all this money, as they will never face Jesus returning to them!

The evangelical belief that Jews should convert to Chris­tianity, and indeed that they will do so en masse in Israel when Jesus return to this world, has infuriated many Jews. A Rabbi in the USA by the name of David Wolpe wrote an article in November 2013 in a Jewish newspaper, whose name is Forward, with the title: Why Jews Should Not Accept Jesus — Whatever George W. Bush Thinks. One reason he gives why Jews cannot accept Christian teachings is that the church teaches that anyone who dies while not accepting Jesus as their saviour will go to hell, even if they did good deeds, but anyone who, after doing evil deeds all his life, repents at the moment of his death and accepts Jesus as his saviour will go to heaven. David Wolpe says this implies that the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, who died as Jews, will be doomed to hell, but if any of their Nazi killers later on, at the moment of his death, repented and accepted Jesus, he would go to heaven.

Then David Wolpe writes that he agrees with the Polish-American Rabbi and scholar Abraham Joshua Heschel who wrote about the views of the Christian evangelicals as follows:

“How can we take seriously a friendship that is conditioned ultimately on the hope and expectation that the Jew will disappear? How would a Christian feel if we Jews were engaged in an effort to bring about the liquidation of Christianity?”

On the other hand, the Quran tells us that followers of all other religions will continue to exist till the Day of Judgment. So will Jews and Christians. It says to followers of every religion:

“So vie with one another in good works. To Allah you will all return, so He will inform you of that in which you differed.” (5:48)

And again:

“Those who believe [i.e., Muslims] and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the Christians and the Magians and those who set up partners [with Allah] — surely Allah will decide between them on the day of Resurrection.” (22:17)

In another place, the Quran mentions Jews and Christians holding opposite beliefs and says:

“And the Jews say, The Christians have no sound basis [for their beliefs], and the Christians say, The Jews have no sound basis, while they recite the [same] Book. … So Allah will judge between them on the day of Resurrec­tion in that in which they differ.” (2:113)

To conclude, the supporters of the state of Israel in the West, whether they are non-religious people, mainstream Christians or evangelical Christians, have no respect for the prophets and the religion of the Jews. They would rather have them consigned to the dustbin of history. It is only the Quran which has given moderate, rational, humane and sympathetic teachings about the Jews and their religious history, and in the end only the Quran will triumph and be proved correct as well as beneficial to humanity as a whole. May it so happen, Ameen.