History of Judaism and the reason behind the name ‘Jews’
Fatwa No: 121115

  • Fatwa Date:9-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 8, 1435
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Question

Could you please answer my question for I have searched for the answer and was not able to find a good answer. What is the exact date of the revelation of Judaism? Who are the prophets who were sent with it? When was Judaism considered an official religion? I would like to ask the same questions about Christianity. May Allaah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

 

Islam is the one and only religion that Allaah The Exalted approves for mankind. Islam means submission, obedience to Allaah The Exalted, following His prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention, and disownment and disassociation from Shirk (polytheism). In fact, this is the essence of the religion of Nooh (Noah), Ibraaheem (Abraham), Moosa (Moses), ‘Eesaa (Jesus) and Muhammad, may Allaah exalt their mention. Their sincere followers adhered to the same set of principles and beliefs; Allaah The Exalted Says about what the magicians of Pharaoh said after believing in the religion of Moosa  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention (what means): {Our Lord, pour upon us patience and let us die as Muslims [in submission to You].} [Quran 7:126] Allaah The Exalted Informed us that the followers of ‘Eesa (Jesus)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention said (what means): {We have believed in Allaah and testify that we are Muslims [submitting to Him].}  [Quran 3:52]

At the time of Prophet Moosaa  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention the Religion of Allaah The Exalted was predominantly called Judaism before the Jews distorted the Torah; and the reason behind this name is the phrase that was said by the followers of Moosaa  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention that reads: “Indeed, we have turned back to You," which reflects the meaning of the word ‘Jew’ in Arabic. “Turned back” in Arabic is “Hudna” from which the term “Yahood” which is Arabic for “Jews” originated. [Narrated by Ibn ‘Abi Haatim on the authority of Ibn Mas‘ood  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them]. Furthermore, Professor ‘Abdul-Wahhaab Al-Miseeri underlined in his book Mawsoo‘at Al-Yahood wa Al-Yahoodiyyah that Moosaa  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention left Egypt in 1275 B.C; and this proves that he lived during the thirteenth century B.C.

Maseehiyyah (Arabic for Christianity) is derived from the name of the Messiah  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention. In fact, it is well-known that ‘Eesaa the Messiah  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention lived during the sixth century before the Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was sent to mankind. ‘Eesa  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention was sent to renew the message of Moosaa  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention; as Allaah The Exalted Says (what means): {And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], 'Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allaah. And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of Allaah. And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers. * And [I have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you. And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allaah and obey me. * Indeed, Allaah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is the straight path.} [Quran 3:49-51]

In fact, the correct name of the message of ‘Eesa  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention is An-Nasraaniyyah, while Al-Maseehiyyah is a name that was invented by disbelievers in order to attribute themselves to the Messiah. Indeed, the Messiah will descend to prove their lies and exaggerations, to break the Cross and to kill the swine.

Muslims must believe that the two messages were abrogated with Islam; accordingly we are all obliged to comply with the ordainments and obligations of Islam while believing in all the previous prophets, may Allaah exalt their mention; Allaah The Exalted Says (what means):

·        {And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.} [Quran 3:85]

·        {Say [O believers], We have believed in Allaah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.} [Quran 2:136]

Allaah Knows best.

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