Article on Jewish Muslim relations

Jewish-Muslim Relations Article. Submitted to Oxford 03/01/04
Modern Judaism: An Oxford Guide


Earliest Contacts and the Paradigms of Relationship

It is impossible to understand the complex nature of modern Jewish-Muslim
relations without revisiting Arabia of the 7th century, when the new Believers
(mu’minun) of emerging Islam began to establish their foundational worldviews. It is
already in this earliest context that Muhammad and his followers came into contact
with Jews, and this particular contact became extremely important because reactions
to it were recorded for posterity in the Qur’an. The only sources for the earliest
relations between Jews and Muslims are the Qur’an and its attendant literatures,
which, like other sacred literatures, are interested in history only insofar as it helps to
define the emerging community and its values and ideas.

Jews lived in Arabia for some generations before the birth of Muhammad …


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