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The Relation between the Yathreb City-State of Prophet Muhammad and the People of the Book

 

The Relation between the Yathreb City-State of Prophet Muhammad and the People of the Book

Published in August 27, 2017

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

Firstly: Quranic facts about the People of the Book during the era of Muhammad:

1- Almighty God has given glad tidings to Moses, when He talked to him at Mount Al-Tur in Sinai, Egypt, about the Gospel, the Quran, and Muhammad; see 7:156-157, and some Jews in Arabia when they heard the Quran, they believed in it and prostrated on their chins as done by their ancestors who gathered at Mount Al-Tur and God made a covenant with them; see 17:107-109, 2:63, and 7:171. 

2- Jesus brought glad tidings to the Israelites about Muhammad the Prophet who will succeed him; see 61:6.

3- Some scholars of the Israelites in Arabia knew about the Quran and this was the refutation of views of Arabs who denied the Quran; see 26:197, and even God has told Muhammad that if he had any doubts regarding the Quran, he should ask scholars of the Israelites about predictions of the descent of the Quran; see 10:94.    

4- Though some scholars of the Israelites in Arabia knew about the Quran, as much as they knew their offspring, and yet, they concealed this Truth out of envy and hatred; see 2:146 and 6:20.

5- Some of the People of the Book in Arabia immigrated to Yathreb in particular to wait for the coming of the seal of all prophets, Muhammad, and once they settled in Yathreb, as their predictions told them he would come to this city, they used to brag to the two major tribes there, Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj, that they will join this Last Prophet of God in an alliance against all the Yathreb dwellers; yet, once Muhammad emerged and then immigrated to Yathreb later on, they disbelieved in the message of the Quran out of envy and hatred, because they preferred to have the Last Prophet to come from the progeny of Isaac and not Ishmael; see 2:89-91. Of course, the Jews in Yathreb talked a lot about the imminent coming of a prophet, to the extent that early believers in Yathreb exceeded the number of those Meccan believers, and they cared, with love, for the immigrants who came from Mecca; see 59:9.       

6- The scrolls or scriptures of Abraham and Moses existed in Arabia  during the era and lifetime of Muhammad; see 53:36-37.

7- At the time when the Roman Empire banned the real Gospel and spread on purpose fake gospels narrating false accounts of Jesus Christ, to pass them off as if they were authorized and authenticated gospels, the true, real Gospel existed in Arabia within the hands of Arab Christians who enjoyed religious freedom without any form of ecclesiastic authority or clergymen to control them at all; God has commanded those People of the Book in the Quran to use this Gospel in judging and arbitration; see 5:47. This implies clearly that the true, real Gospel was there in Arabia and its sharia laws should have been applied by them, as a kind of religious duty and obligation ordained by God.      

8- Likewise, the true, real Torah existed in Arabia during the lifetime of Muhammad; God has commanded those People of the Book in the Quran to use this Torah as the source of arbitration and judgment instead of resorting to Muhammad himself; see 5:43. God has defied them to bring forth the Torah and read it in Arabia to make sure that Muhammad brought to them the Quranic Truth from God; see 3:93. God has commanded all People of the Book (Jews + Christians) in the Quran to apply the Torah and the Gospel sharia laws; see 5:66.

9- On the Last Day, the People of the Book will be divided into three groups (like the rest of humanity) as per their deeds and faith: two groups in Paradise and one larger group (i.e., the vast majority of them) in Hell; see 3:113-115, 5:82-85, and 7:166-170. The same division applies to the so-called companions who were contemporaries of Muhammad during his lifetime; see 9:100-102. The same division applies to all Quran-believing people; see 35:32 and 4:160-162. The same applies to all human beings in all eras, and this division will be on the Last Day; see the Quranic Chapter 56. God mentions in the Quran repeatedly the early believers among the ancient People of the Book; see 3:199-200 and 28:52-55.

10- The Quranic term ''Jews'' refer only to some groups of misguided persons among the Israelites, and those errant ones committed military aggression against early believers in Yathreb and worshipped Osir (or Osiris) as the son of God (like some Christians who assume that Jesus was a son of God), and in some cases, those Jews allied themselves to some Christians in Yathreb to fight peaceful early believers and they were the worst enemies to them along with aggressive Arab polytheists; see 9:30-35, 5:82, and 5:64.

 

Secondly: Quranic facts about military relations between Muslims and the People of the Book during the era of Muhammad:

1- The Quranic Chapters 2, 3, 4, and 5 (revealed in Yathreb) are filled with information and facts about the schemes and plots of the misguided and errant ones among the People of the Book and God addresses them within many verses in these Chapters; besides, there are several verses within the Quranic stories of the Israelites in Chapters revealed in Mecca like the Quranic Chapter 7 and 28. The Way God addresses them in the Quran shows clearly the greatness of Islam regarding absolute religious freedom within tolerance and peaceful dealings with others; this is shown in verses revealed in Yathreb within the Yathreb city-state led by Muhammad and where those People of the Book lived at the time; for instance, see 2:75-113, 3:59-85, and 5:58-59.   

2- Quranic stories that mention self-defense jihad fighting of the Yathreb city-state have their own special terminology; e.g., aggressive ones who persecuted early believers are described as (disbelievers) and (polytheists), because disbelief/polytheism in term of behavior is aggressive violent demeanor especially by attacking peaceful persons. On the margin of this, we find that God prohibits alliance and befriending the aggressive enemies who attack one's country, as we read in many verses; the nature and description of details of such attack and attackers are found in 60:1-9, 4:139, 9:23-24, and 8:72-73. Of course, the Quranic command of engaging into self-defense fighting jihad is linked directly that this must be done for God's sake; this means that this is done ONLY in cases of self-defense against attackers who launched attacks first against the peaceful ones, and this self-defense and retribution must be equal (not exceeding) the attack and must be stopped once the aggression stops: see 2:190-193. The Quran tells us that this self-defense endeavors were in most cases heavy burdens on many of the so-called companions or contemporaries who lived with Muhammad in the Yathreb city-state that lasted about ten years (c. 1-11 A.H.); see 2:216, and they have been blamed repeatedly for their reluctance; see 4:77, 8:5-7, 9:13-16, and 9:38-39. God has urged them repeatedly to engage into the self-defense fighting; see 4:84 and 8:65-66, and God made their hearts steady in battles as they originally were peaceful ones who hated and feared fighting; see 8:9-13, 33:9-10, 48:4, and 9:26.         

3- In light of the above points, we can understand the Quranic context of the military battles that took place between Muhammad's Yathreb city-state and the aggressors among the People of the Book as we read the details in some verses of the Quranic Chapters 59, 33, 5, and 9. We write the following points based on our understanding of these verses and in light of the above points.  

3/1: We have mentioned before that the Quranic term "Jews" refers ONLY to the errant, misguided ones among the Israelites; God describes them in the Quran as disbelievers in terms of aggressive behavior (i.e., military aggression against peaceful early believers in Yathreb city-state) and wrong belief tenets as well that reflect polytheism: "The Jews say, "God's hand is tied." It is their hands that are tied, and they are cursed for what they say. In fact, His hands are outstretched; He gives as He wills. Certainly, what was revealed to your from your Lord will increase many of them in defiance and blasphemy. And We placed between them enmity and hatred, until the Day of Resurrection. Whenever they kindle the fire of war, God extinguishes it. And they strive to spread corruption on earth. God does not love the corrupters." (5:64); God calls them to the way of repentance and guidance: "Had the People of the Book believed and been righteous, We would have remitted their sins, and admitted them into the Gardens of Bliss." (5:65). 

3/2: Some of the People of the Book settled in Yathreb before the ministry of Muhammad and his coming to it as an immigrant so that they would ally themselves to the Last Prophet and the seal of them all to oppress and rule over the two major Yathreb tribes Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj within militarily defeating them one day, but once they knew about Muhammad in Yathreb and the Quranic message that never goes along with their whims and desires, they hated the Quran and disbelieved in it; see 2:89-91. These aggressive Jews posed a threat to early believers among the Yathreb dwellers and immigrants, and they attacked Muhammad and his followers many times. When Yathreb was besieged by the Meccan and Qorayish troops (called the confederates), those Jews allied themselves with these Meccan polytheists, and when the confederates were defeated by God Himself without fighting, the troops of the early Muslims sieged the barracks and military castles of the Jewish aggressors inside Yathreb. These People of the Book were terrified and were defeated easily by the grace of the Lord God: "God repelled the disbelievers in their rage; they gained no advantage. God thus spared the believers combat. God is Strong and Mighty. And He brought down from their strongholds those of the People of the Book who backed them, and He threw terror into their hearts. Some of them you killed, and others you took captive. And He made you inherit their land, and their homes, and their possessions, and a region you have never stepped on. God has power over all things." (33:25-27). We notice that the Quran never mentions that Muslims in Yathreb had any barracks or military castles of their own; rather, they used to get out of the city to face the aggressive troops of the enemies before they might enter Yathreb by force, as per Quranic terms indicting these tactics of self-defense fighting.  

3/3: The Quranic Chapter 59 tackles the fate of aggressors among the People of the Book, while showing clearly that they committed aggressions against early Muslims and then feared the retaliation of these Yathreb Muslims, and this drove them to leave Yathreb for good so as not to be fought by Muhammad and his followers, while leaving behind their possessions confiscated by troops of early believers as spoils. In the Quran, this is NOT ascribed to believers but to God Himself: "Glorifying God is all that exists in the heavens and the Earth. He is the Almighty, the Most Wise. It is He who evicted those who disbelieved among the People of the Book from their homes at the first mobilization. You did not think they would leave, and they thought their fortresses would protect them from God. But God came at them from where they never expected, and threw terror into their hearts. They wrecked their homes with their own hands, and by the hands of the believers. Therefore, take a lesson, O you who have insight." (59:1-2). We infer from 59:2 that these People of the Book had their mighty barracks and strong fortifications and castles, but God made fear seize their hearts, and the reason is provided in the very next verses: "Had God not decreed exile for them, He would have punished them in this life. But in the Hereafter they will have the punishment of the Fire. That is because they opposed God and His messenger. Whoever opposes God - God is stern in retribution." (59:3-4). This is the same reason of the defeat of the mighty Qorayish tribe in the battle of Badr, as we read the same words exactly in another verse: "That is because they opposed God and His messenger. Whoever opposes God - God is stern in retribution." (8:13). Thus, Muhammad and his followers did not sent troops to fight the aggressive ones among the People of the Book (whose aggression is mentioned solely in 59:4); when they left Yathreb in fear, their possessions became spoils to early believers who did not even fight: "Whatever God has bestowed upon His Messenger from them; you spurred neither horse nor camel for them, but God gives authority to His messengers over whomever He will. God is Able to do all things." (59:6).        

4- We find the same details in the Quranic Chapters 5 and 9, among the last verses revealed in Yathreb shortly before the death of Muhammad.

4/1: God says the following in the Quranic chapter 5 bout the aggression committed by the People of the Book in Yathreb against the early believers: "You see many of them competing with one another in sin and hostility, and their consuming of what is illicit. What they have been doing is truly evil." (5:62); "O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies; some of them are allies of one another. Whoever of you allies himself with them is one of them. God does not guide the wrongdoing people. You will see those in whose hearts is sickness racing towards them. They say, "We fear the wheel of fate may turn against us." But perhaps God will bring about victory, or some event of His making; thereupon they will regret what they concealed within themselves. Those who believe will say, "Are these the ones who swore by God with their strongest oaths that they are with you?" Their works have failed, so they became losers." (5:51-53). The prohibition of allying oneself to aggressive enemies or to befriend them is linked only in cases when those enemies are engaged into aggressive and unjust wars against one's country; some hypocrites in Yathreb at the time allied themselves to those aggressive ones among the People of the Book, and debates ensued about this topic, as those hypocrites were part of the citizens of the Yathreb city-state and betrayed it instead of defending it against the attacking enemies and this is high treason.    

4/2: Sadly, the Sunnite cattle among Sunnite Wahabi imams in Sunnite mosques misinterpret 5:51 to incite hatred and aggression against peaceful Christians in Arab countries, especially inciting sectarian violence against Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt!

4/3: We read in the Quranic Chapter 9 the following about aggressive Jews and Christians at the time in Yathreb city-state: "Fight those who do not believe in God, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid what God and His messenger have forbidden, nor abide by the religion of Truth - from among those who received the Book - until they pay the due tax, willingly or unwillingly." (9:29); we find here that these aggressors among the People of the Book legalized their aggression and disregarded the divine commands that fighting is only decree in cases of self-defense, and when the aggressors are defeated, it is fair to demand military tax (or fine/tribute) as a compensation and punishment and NOT to occupy the lands of aggressors who stop their aggression and were defeated.

 

Lastly:

1- The inveterate liar and writer Ibn Ishaq (who died in 152 A.H.) was the first man to write a biography of Muhammad; he wrote it during the Abbasid Era from his own imagination as he fabricated narratives and stories while assuming they were oral narratives hard from the narrator, orator, and tutor named Ibn Shehab Al-Zohary (who died in 125 A.H.), and we have proven in our historical researches that Ibn Ishaq never met with Al-Zohary at all and that Al-Zohary served the Umayyad caliphs and betrayed his folks and tribes in Yathreb; this means he and his oral narratives are never to be trusted at all, as they are biased and fabricated to serve the Umayyads politically. Besides, Ibn Ishaq never met with nor was tutored by Al-Zohary, and this latter was never one of the contemporaries of Muhammad at all in the first place.     

2- Ibn Ishaq in his fabricated narratives and hadiths within his fake biography of Muhammad has invented wars and battles that never took place within the Yathreb city-state, while he has disregarded all Quranic verses linked to Muhammad and his lifetime story; thus, he has distorted intentionally the lifetime story of Muhammad by creating an imaginary figure of him to match the personality and character of the Abbasid caliph Abou Jaffer Al-Mansour.    


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