HISTORY OF THE JEWS
As indicated earlier, all Palestinian land - particularly Jerusalem -
are sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The reason for this is that
most of the prophets God sent to warn people spent part or all of their
lives on this land.
According to historical studies based on archeological excavations and
sacred texts, Prophet Ibrahim, his sons, and a small number of people
who followed him first migrated to Palestine - known then as Canaan -
in the nineteenth century bce. The Qur'anic commentaries (tafsir) indicate
that Ibrahim (Abraham), peace be upon him, thought to have lived in the
Palestinian area known today as Al-Khalil (Hebron), settled there with
Prophet Lut (Lot). The Qur'an reports of his migration as follows:
We said: "Fire, be coolness and peace for Ibrahim!"
They desired to trap him, but We made them the losers. We delivered both
him and Lut to the land which We had blessed for all beings. (Qur'an,
This region, described as "the land which We had blessed," is mentioned
in various Qur'anic commentaries as referring to the land of Palestine.
Before Ibrahim, peace be upon him, the Canaanite (Palestinian) people
were idolaters. He convinced them to abandon their idolatry and recognize
the one and only God. According to historical sources, he settled his
wife Hajar and his son Isma'il (Ishmael) in Mecca and its surroundings,
while another wife, Sara, and his second son Ishaq (Isaac) stayed in Canaan.
Likewise, the Qur'an mentions that Prophet Ibrahim settled some of his
sons in the vicinity of al-Bayt al-Haram, which, according to the Qur'anic
commentaries, is located in the valley of Mecca.
Our Lord, I have settled some of my offspring by
Your Sacred House in an uncultivated valley. Our Lord, let them perform
prayer. Make the hearts of mankind incline towards them and provide them
with fruits, so that hopefully they will be thankful. (Qur'an, 14:37)
However, Ishaq's son Ya'qub (Jacob) emigrated to Egypt during his son
Yusuf (Joseph)'s royal appointment. (Ya'qub's sons also are remembered
as the "Children of Israel.") After Yusuf's release from prison and appointment
as the head of the Egyptian treasury, the Children of Israel lived in
peace and security in Egypt.
Somehow, their condition changed over time, and Pharoah treated them
with great cruelty. God made Musa (Moses) His prophet during this period,
and ordered him to lead them out from Egypt. He went to Pharaoh, asked
him to give up his pagan beliefs and to surrender to God, and to free
the Children of Israel also called Israelites. But Pharaoh was a cruel
and savage tyrant. He had enslaved the Children of Israel, working them
almost to death, and then ordered the execution of male children. Continuing
his cruelty, he responded hostilely towards Musa. To prevent his own followers
- actually his sorcerers - from believing in Musa, he threatened to cut
their alternate hands and feet.
Following the death of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph),
the Children of Israel endured great cruelty at the hands of Pharaoh.
Although Pharaoh refused permission, Musa, peace be upon him, and his
people fled Egypt, with the help of God's miracles, in approximately 1250
bce. They settled in the Sinai Peninsula and in eastern Canaan. In the
Qur'an, Musa commands the Children of Israel to enter Canaan:
My people, enter the Holy Land, which God has ordained
for you. Do not turn back in your tracks and so become transformed into
losers. (Qur'an, 5:21)
After Musa, peace be upon him, the Israelites continued to live in Canaan
(Palestine). Again according to historians, Dawud (David) became the Israelis'
king and created a powerful kingdom. During the reign of his son Sulayman
(Solomon), Israel's borders extended from the Nile River in the south
to the Euphrates River in today's Syria to the north. This was a magnificent
period for the Israelite kingdom in many fields, particularly architecture.
In Jerusalem, Sulayman had a magnificent palace and temple built. After
his death, God sent many more prophets to the Children of Israel, though
in most cases they did not listen to them and rebelled against God.
Those who disbelieve
filled their hearts with fanatical rage - the fanatical rage of
the Time of Ignorance - and God sent down serenity to His Messenger
and to the believers, and bound them to the expression of guarding
against evil which they had most right to and were most entitled
to. God has knowledge of all things.
As a result of their degeneracy, the Israelite kingdom dissolved and
was occupied by various idolatrous peoples, and the Israelites, also known
as Jews at the time, were enslaved once again. When Palestine was occupied
by the Roman Empire, Prophet 'Isa (Jesus), peace be upon him, came and
once again invited the Children of Israel to forsake their pride, superstitions,
and rebelliousness and to live according to God's religion. Very few Jews
believed in him; most of the Children of Israel denied him. And, as the
Qur'an reports, they were: "Those among the tribe
of Israel who disbelieved were cursed on the tongue Dawud and that of
'Isa, son of Maryam." (Qur'an, 5:78) After some time, God plagued
the Jews with the Romans, who drove all of them out of Palestine.
Our reason for this lengthy explanation is to show that the Zionists'
fundamental contention that "Palestine is the land God promised to the
Jews" is not true. This topic will be examined in more detail in the chapter
Zionism interprets the concepts of "chosen people" and "promised land"
through a racist lense. According to this claim, everyone descended from
the Jews is "chosen" and owns "the promised land." However, race has no
value in the sight of God, for what is important is godliness and righteousness.
In God's eyes, the chosen ones are those who continue to follow the religion
of Ibrahim, no matter what their race may be.
The Qur'an also emphasizes this fact. God announces that Ibrahim's heirs
are not the Jews who boast of being "children of Ibrahim," but the Muslims
who live according to his religion:
The people with the strongest claim to Ibrahim
are those who followed him and this Prophet [Muhammad], and those who
believe. God is the Protector of believers. (Qur'an, 3:68)
THE MUSLIM OBSERVER,
W.REPORT, JULY 96
While Jews opposed to Zionism openly defy
the Israeli government, fanatical Jews take the view: "The Promised
Land is for the Chosen People. For good. For keeps. Forever." On
a cover of Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, fanatical Jews
are pictured carrying signs with this slogan. Due to such mistaken
ideas, they behave cruelly toward their captive population of Palestinian
Christians and Muslims.