6 tips for relating to people of the Jewish faith

A very old jewish pomegranate above a store, Granada, Spain

The forced expulsion of Palestinians, their oppression and the attacks on Masjid al-Aqsa: these are things Muslims cannot bear to see or tolerate. In their anger and disgust, some Muslims mention individual Jews, people as a whole or their faith in a way that is not in line with Islamic teachings.

How can we relate to Jews on a personal level, without compromising our rights and sense of justice and fair play? Here are some ideas:

1. Be just

Remember that justice is a fundamental part of Islam. On a daily level, a person of the Jewish faith who is not harming you or attacking you must not become a target of attack, physical or otherwise.

Islam is a religion of peace and justice and we must demand justice for our brothers and sisters in Palestine, as well as our right to Jerusalem and the right of return for Palestinians.

We must also be just in our treatment of Jews. There are examples from the life of the Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings be upon him) as well as from the lives of his Companions, especially Umar, who conquered Jerusalem as the second Khalifah that show us how they dealt with Jews in a just manner.

2. Remember your history

Keep in mind that Muslims have, overall, had a much longer history of cooperation and peaceful coexistence with Jews than probably any other group of people.

While Jews were reviled and executed in Europe at different points in time, Muslims have no equivalent of this kind of hatred.

Remind not just Muslims, but also Jews of this history in the next discussion you have with them whether it's in class, at work or elsewhere.

3. Properly understand verses of the Quran and Hadiths about Jews

It is important to get a correct understanding of a number of verses of the Quran as well as sayings of the Prophet on Jews.

Some Muslims take one verse or a few, without looking at when they were revealed or why, as well as the historical circumstances relating to them, as an excuse to mistreat Jews. This is not correct.

Allah does criticize Jews in the Quran. He also criticizes Christians, polytheists, and Muslims. Our Creator has the perspective and the perfect knowledge which none of us can claim.

The purpose of the God's criticism is to invite people to reaffirm their faith in the original teachings brought by the all Prophets and to correct the group's behavior or respond to a question they raised.

Criticism of a people by their Creator though, is not a license to stereotype them, and certainly not an excuse to mistreat them individually or collectively with bad attitudes or behavior.

4. On Palestine

When discussing Palestine know the Muslims' position and state it clearly, confidently and respectfully. Don't compromise on the truth, but don't be rude, verbally abusive or insulting. There is no place for that kind of behavior in Islam, even when discussing an issue as important to Muslims and Jews as Palestine and Jerusalem.

5. Invite them to teaching brought by all of the Prophets

The Quran refers to the Jews as Ahl al-Kitab (People of the Book). There status is exactly the same as of Christians. Allah also gives Muslims this instruction about them:

Say: 'O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: that we worship none but God; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, lords and patrons other than God.' If then they turn back, say ye: 'Bear witness that we (at least) are bowing to God's Will.' (3: 64)

6. Don't forget to use Islamic communication skills

To be able to effectively put into practice the previous tip, we have to have the necessary Islamic communication skills. We must speak and deal with all in the nicest possible manner.

We can remember the example of Prophets Moses and Aaron, who are respected by Muslims and Jews alike, and how they approached Pharaoh with Allah's message. Allah's peace and blessings be upon them.

Allah instructed these prophets to address this tyrant and oppressor in the nicest possible manner despite the fact that he had rebelled against the Creator. Moses and Aaron were to help him with their nice talk to rethink his position, become fearful of God and change his ways. (see Quran 20:43-44)

This is a basic principle of Islamic communication and cannot be forgotten, whether the recipients are atheists, Muslims or Jews.


Photo Attribution: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jewish_pomegranate.jpg


An answer to my friend who said we are not in power yet, so we cannot do anything for Gaza!!!!

I don't think so, every individual has power, power to express, power to speak, power to imagine, power to love and power to hate, when we talk about our core issue we have to be specific because core issue cannot be left unnoticed, there is hell of difference between core issues and daily administrative issues, daily administrative issues may require power to enable movement in political arena, but core issue are all seasons issues we have to take care of them whether in power or not, one of the core issue for Muslims around the world is Jerusalem issues, because it covers many aspects of Muslim world, as it is 1st Kibla of Muslims, Zionist illegal occupation on it though many Jews are against it , killing of innocents, etc etc. .........Don't say we cannot do anything ......we can do a lot...... we can protest against bombing at least by expressing our views over here on face book,...... we can convince civil society to come forward and play a role in it........ we can attract people of the world toward this issue on humanitarian grounds......peace is the need of the day ....... no one can afford unrest in the world ............. i think there is room for action, isn't it?


Interesting...you say in this article that while Jews have been reviled and executed across Europe there is no record of such treatment by Muslim towards Jews in their entire history of existence? I suppose that when the muslims "conquered" Jerusalem, no Jews were harmed or killed in the conquering of the holy land? Since when is conquest ever "just"?



it was a great inspiration for me to come in contact with you all and it makes me very happy that there are really people in the ummah who are greatly concerned about the generations ahead of us


buffalo ny

I do believe that this is a wonderful article! It refers to tolerance between faiths and thats one of the most important issues that we need to talk about..but, I can"t imagine the tolerance from one side, it has to be mutual and if the muslims tolerate with jews,the jews won"t tolerate and thats a fact! They are extremly fanatics to their own viewpoints and that makes it impossible.



living in a non muslim countryit has just become an everyday routine to be slandered at by the ignorant.my humble request for thes ignorant people (e.g david) to get educated.oh and also remove the two dictating idiots: arafat and sharon. they've been on the line for too long. all they do is continuosly fuel hate amongst the jews and the muslims.



great article.as for david we don't need people like you.you are fuul of hatreds



As a Muslim, we should be and seek only the Justices with all peoples regardless their beliefs. I like this article, and I like to see more of these types.



As a student of York University, watching the accelerating tensions of Israeli/Palestinian and Jewish/Muslim relations is an everyday ordeal. Recently, the brashes of hate-crimes in the city of Toronto against both synogoges and mosques, can be compared to the majority of the events that have similarily occurred at my university. It is the same back and forth disputes that have seemed to gotten worse, mostly because there has yet to be a peaceful address where groups and clubs of both sides have agreed upon. Personally, I don't think there can even be peace if there can't even be an agreement on rational and justified grounds to just agree to co-hosting an event that will sound not only all the drama, the events and the history, but also advocate what should be done and especially, what SHOULD'nt be done not only on grounds of being Canadian but more on the grounds of obeying religion.Some of the hate-crimes, through my perception, that have occurred by groups of Israeli advocates and Jewish believers include the wearing and distributing of a t-shirt stating "If I were a suicide bomber...(continued on the back)...you'd be dead by now" and spray-painting posters promoting an Islamic event (of addressing post-trauma that Muslims in Canada had to deal with) with quotes such as "Terrorism Lives at York". The reason I am presenting these events is because the Israeli/Jewish groups and clubs have admitted to them.An incident still under speculation, which I assume was probably acted by Muslims/Palestinians was tearing down and breaking apart a statue signifying a certain Jewish holiday/celebration not only once, but twice after it had been erected again because it had first been torn down.After examining these events, one can conclude that these forms of stupid and sometimes dangerous disputes will continue forever, unless simple ground rules are achieved to just discuss, not debate, the issues that are surrounding us.One step towards this has been taken by the formation of a group called Shalom-Salaam, which was recently formed to advocate peacefulness b/w students and relieve some of the tensions.This article has given me a lot of insight on how continuing to publish and promote peaceful discussions will lead Jews/Muslims and Israeli/Palestinians to living, working, and studying together again.


Ontario, Canada

May Allah reward you with these kind of efforts to bring peace to a war torn nation. For further writings I would suggest if particular references could be made, explaining the chapter and verse number from the Holy Quran, it will be great help for us to spread the message of peace to the world. We will be able to pin point the verses and be very precise.



I am a muslim, living in the UK, I read this article today and last night I went to watch the depiction of Issa's (jesus) last hours, in the 'Passion of the Christ'.After reading this article and the comments posted by other people and watching the film, I realized one very important issue, which has always and continues even today to provide the barrier between relations of many nations and many faiths.This issue is of Leaders, political and religious. The jewish leaders of christs time were to blame for the crucifiction, as the jewish leaders of today are responsible for the situation in the middle east, like wise leaders with their own secret agendas are the root cause of hatred amongst all people. Even within muslim sects the Shia's and Sunni's the hostility which most recently claimed numerous lives in Karbala in the month of Muharram, is all fueld by religous leaders.People in the middle east, both jewish and muslim starve and thirst for peace, but unfortunately peace seems to be priceless at this point and hence unattainable.


Hertfordshire, UK


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