Bani Israel are Jews?!
April 28, 2011 12 Comments
This always messed up my reading back in the day. I remember thinking, why is there so much information on the ‘Jews’. I used to read a famous Malay tafseer by Ahmad Sonhadji Mohamed which was nothing more than a mouthpiece for classical tafseer. It made me wonder why exactly the Quran, a universal guide for human beings, is to preoccupied with the Jews. Then I got the answer: It isn’t.
A good read for those who wish to see the other side of the story is Dr Kamal Omar’s ‘The Ultimate Truth’. Dr Omar denies the racial (even racist) nature of the Traditional interpretation and says that Bani Israil are those who survived the deluge during the time of Nuh. This is confirmed by the Quran:
Descendants of those We carried [in the ship] with Noah. Indeed, he was a grateful servant (17/3)
Although I disagree that the deluge is universal, it is clear that Bani Israil were carried with Nuh. This does not show a racial trait but an ideological one. Nuh’s ark acted as a carrier for Israil ( a journey for God).
Also imagine, if Musa was preaching in Egypt and someone not Jewish came up to him and said ‘i want to be muslim’ would Musa tell him ‘sorry mate, this is only for my race’. Does this sound like islam to you? Me neither.
For those who insist that Bani Israil are Jews, sad to say, the Quran doesn’t agree with this. Bani Israil are a living community of anyone who wishes to undertake a journey to and for Allah.