Rabbi Avraham Feld

  "Mohammed Wept"  
 A Response to Islam 

Chapter Four
Jewish sparks in early Islam

When Mohammed, his new wife Ayisha, her father, and convert Abu Bakr arrived in Yatharib (later named Mecca ), they found the city ready for monotheism simply because Jews had developed the township. The Jews had openly taught the pagans the beauty of pure ethical monotheism. The hallmarks of early Islam were tolerance, and conciliation with the Jewish elders. Mohammed went so far as to bring a huge amount of Jewish thought, ritual, and tradition into Islam. Before Mohammed’s mythical overnight ride to Jerusalem, before the victories over Medina and Mecca, he decreed that Muslims should pray toward Jerusalem. Although Mohammed admitted he never actually read Jewish tradition (because he couldn’t read…), he did however have ample exposure to learned Jewish traders, scholars and elders. Using the ancient the ancient Judaic framework, he was able to build his own spiritual, theological edifice.

The 114 chapters of the Koran are profoundly influenced by both the Jewish oral and written tradition (the Bible and the Talmud). Doctor Abraham Geiger, around 170 years ago, already document this biblical influence on the Koran. More recently, Prof. A. Katz, Andre Zaqui, Rabbi Doctor Kolatch, and my own (less well-known) writings, show that the sermons of Mohammed borrow extensively from Jewish sources. An honest look at history will show that many Jews and Christians who had converted to Islam were among the copyists, scribes, editors and even scholars who helped canonize the Koran. The scholar Andre Zaqui even wonders how “surprising that the adherents of Islam did not collect the Bible and the Koran into one volume as did the Christians with the Bible and their New Testament.

Mohammed does confirm the data of biblical revelation and G-d’s promises to His people Israel , but does not undertake some of the precepts of the Torah.” Both Christianity and Islam (with minor adjustments), contain the seven universal commandments revealed to Noah in the rainbow ten generations before the first Hebrew, Abraham. Andre Zaqui continues to explain “Thus it is common knowledge that sages such as the Rambam (Maimonides, Hilchot M’lachim, 11,4) and Rabbi Yehuda Halevi (Kuzari, 23) {etc.} recognized Christianity and Islam as having originating (in large part) in Judaism, as religious movements ‘essential for the redemption of mankind’ in as much as they made possible the conversion of many people to the belief of one G-d as referred to in the Bible, also containing the prophetical principles of ethics.”

The Prophet Micah as preserved and passed on by all the sages and scribes of Israel , proclaims in chapter 4-5: “Let all the peoples walk, each in the name of its god, but we shall walk in the name of the Lord our G-d forever.” Thus, even in messianic times there could still be room for some disagreement concerning G-d, and the sages of Israel present a tolerant, legal decision regarding those yet to be resolved differences.

Who cares about some contradictions that exist between the Torah (Bible and Talmud) and the Koran? The whole point here is that it’s ok to have some differences and it’s up to all of G-d’s creatures to emphasize the common denominator amongst themselves, and for heavens sakes get along with each other. “Come on people now, smile on your brother, everyone get together, try to love one another right now”.

As Professor A. Katz has said, and with which the researcher Andre Zaqui agrees, is that “the solution lies in the many quotations from Midrash contained in the Koran, but direct or indirect knowledge of Jewish traditions does not prevent theological originality, literary richness and poetical format in the Koran. It follows from this that apart from the inspiration taken from Jewish sources, the literary nature of the Koran and the beauty of the Arabic language, grant the book its attractiveness and enticing originality. It can therefore be determined that if Mohammed came to confirm the Torah of Moses and to adjust it and update it for his Arab brethren in Mecca and Medina, then the Torah suffices as it is for the Children of Israel who accepted it 2000 years before the period of Mohammed, and likewise for the New Testament which confirmed the Torah of Moses and was written some 13 centuries after the Torah and 5 centuries before the time of Allah’s Messenger.

It cannot therefore be stated sufficiently how great is the obligation of Islam to Judaism and the Jews who brought to the whole world the Book of Books, the prophecy, the Psalms, and the Song of songs. ‘This obligation is so tremendous in its own right that it forces by its power, respect for the People of Israel’, (in the words of the French historian, the late Jules Isaac).

“The above religions are based on the faith of their adherents in one G-d and on the spiritual and moral values by which they have always tried to live. Indeed, from the point of view of morals and the purest spirituality, only such an effort on the part of the spiritual leaders of the believers and their institutions can advance humanity on the divine and universal path of truth, brotherhood, justice and peace. In conclusion, we mention the rebuke of Jules Isaac: “At the present time, when hunger on the one hand, and nuclear threat on the other, are weighing down on the whole of humanity, the duty of pure heartedness and conciliation between the nations is urgent and obliges every one of us to thoughts of Auschwitz .”

As continues Andre Zaqui, “I have tried to show the similarity between the Torah and the Koran and to compare the principles of faith and religion between Judaism and Islam in their various developments and particularly to emphasize the borrowing of the Koran from the Torah and the tradition of Jewish sages.

Apart from a number of concepts that are foreign to Judaism, (such for example the Jinns - the strong emphasis on demonology, the particulars of material life that believers enjoy in the Garden of Eden after their death, and the exaggerated apocalyptic… descriptions of… the Fire of Gehinnom)… many scholars note that the crucial points in the beliefs and opinions of Judaism and Islam are similar and near-identical. For example, the six pillars of Islam are: Belief in one G-d who is first and last, belief in the existence of angels, belief in the Scriptures and in the prophecy of the prophets, in the End of Days and the matter of good and evil and, finally, the five precepts of the religion and the rite the Muslims have to uphold: the proclamation of the testimony by every believer that there is no G-d but G-d, the precept of pilgrimage and the precept of fasting.” (Andre C. Zaqui, Jewish Sources in the Koran, 1983). In short, for practical purposes, for everyday life in society, what is important is not so much what divides us, but rather what we have in common (which is sometimes so much more then we think) and what unites us!

Emir Fassil son of Sherif Hussein and recognized Arab leader, signed an agreement with Zionist leaders that basically acknowledged all that it is written above. They stated for instance,
“Mindful of the racial kinship and racial bonds existing between the Arabs and the Jewish people… the surest means of working out the consummation of their national aspiration is through the closest possible collaboration of the Arab state and Palestine .”
(“ Palestine ”, in this context referred to the part of the Near East to be given to and designated for a Jewish state in the 1919 Paris Peace Convention).

Emir Fassil and friends likewise agreed to the realization of the Balfour declaration as just and right, and in harmony with Islam. They agreed to and called for
“…All necessary measures... To encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale, and as quickly as possible to settle Jewish immigrants upon the land through closer settlement and extensive cultivation of the soil.”

So what happened? Fanatic radical groups took possession of political leadership and inherited the oil fields, which the westerners had discovered. The meek may inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights. With scores of years of propaganda, brainwashing, political murders gave birth to the following; statements which are representative of current leadership as well. “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the crusades.” (Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League, 1948. Where? Where else. Cairo of course.) Arafat, Abu Mazen. Mubarak, Anwar Sadat, Assad (The Lion of Syria), have all denied the Holocaust, but have wished that there had been (as seen when they applauded the above kind of statement.)

The above leaders and many others have embarked on a brave new path that calls for the annihilation of the Jewish entity by way of slices and stages and fake diplomatic negotiations and overtures. The pure deception of the plan of stages is so thoroughly against the demands of the Koran for thinking the truth, speaking the truth, acting the truth, and getting closer to the God of truth. There are, thank G-d, a growing number of Muslims who see the truth. For example, a fast-growing web-site: Arabsforisrael.com. There, Arabs and Muslims bravely express their pro-Israel views.

Join the Brit-Am E-Mail Discussion Group


Next Chapter