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Attitudes towards Jews in the Muslim sacred texts

What perceptions of the Jews can be found in the Qur’an?

Below are examples of negative and positive attitudes towards the Jews in the Qur’an:

Positive attitudes:

Children of Israel, remember My blessing wherewith I blessed you, and fulfil My covenant and I shall fulfil your covenant; and have awe of Me. And believe in that I have sent down, confirming that which is with you, and be not the first to disbelieve in it. And sell not My signs for a little price; and fear you Me. (2:40-41)

Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, and the Christians, and those Sabaeans, whoso believes in God and the Last Day, and works righteousness – their wage awaits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them; neither shall they sorrow. (2:62)

Of the people of Moses there is a nation who guide by the truth, and by it act with justice. (7:159)

Indeed, We gave the Children of Israel the Book, the Judgment, and the Prophethood, and We provided them with good things, and We preferred them above all beings. (45:16)

Negative attitudes:

O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Whoso of you makes them his friends is one of them. God guides not the people of the evildoers. (5:51)

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. (5:82)

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 practise not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book – until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled. (9:29)

The likeness of those who have been loaded with the Torah then they have not carried it, is as the likeness of an ass carrying books. Evil is the likeness of the people who have cried lies to God´s signs. God guides never the people of the evildoers. (62:5)

Source: The Holy Koran, translated by Arberry, Arthur John, 1955.

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