By Reuven Firestone PhD
Muslim-Jewish relatives within the usa, Israel, and Europe are tenuous. Jews and Muslims fight to appreciate each other and recognize little approximately every one other's traditions and ideology. Firestone explains the striking similarities and profound modifications among Judaism and Islam, the advanced background of Jihad, the felony and non secular positions of Jews on this planet of Islam, how numerous expressions of Islam (Sunni, Shi`a, Sufi, Salafi, etc.) regard Jews, the variety of Muslim perspectives approximately Israel, and masses extra. He addresses those matters and others with candor and integrity, and he writes with language, symbols, and ideas that make experience to Jews. Exploring those matters in modern day vexed political weather is a fragile project. Firestone attracts at the examine and writings of generations of Muslim, Jewish, and different students, in addition to his personal enormous services during this box. The book's tone is neither disparaging, apologetic, nor triumphal. Firestone presents many unique assets in translation, in addition to an appendix of extra key resources in context. most significantly, this publication is readable and reasoned, featuring to readers for the 1st time the complexity of Islam and its courting towards Jews and Judaism.
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Additional info for An Introduction to Islam for Jews
4 When relations deteriorated with the Medinan Jews, the direction of Islamic prayer was changed to Mecca and the Ramadan fast took the place of the `Ashūra fast, which subsequently was no longer required. But given what seem to be virtually universal laws of relationship between established and emerging religions, it is quite natural that the two communities would not get along. The Jews could not validate Muhammad’s prophethood because they observed him reciting revelation that, while certainly reminiscent of and even parallel in many cases to their own scripture, did not conform with the revelations of the Hebrew Bible.
This is certainly the case with Islam, which emerged at a time before the Arabic language even had a functional writing system. However, the oral nature of pre-Islamic Arabian culture greatly admired storytelling, and epic stories and poems were remembered and recited regularly by experts. The first historical works written by Muslims retained much of this storytelling style, with literate individuals collecting and recording the memories of ancient days told by those who heard their narratives orally from their elders, who in turn heard them from their own.
The Qur’an also contains much invective against Judaism and Christianity. And more qur’anic anger is directed against Jews than Christians. This fact has puzzled some students of Islam, particularly because in the 7th century when Islam emerged as a religious system, Christianity was the religion of the Roman Empire, while Judaism was the religion of a dispersed and largely powerless minority. It would follow, therefore, that Christianity was a much more powerful and threatening establishment religion to Islam than Judaism.