Book Review: Jews and the Qur’an

Source: Princeton Press

By Meir M. Bar-Asher, who is the Max Schloessinger Professor of Islamic Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His books include Scripture and Exegesis in Early Imāmī Shiism and The Nusayrī-‘Alawī Religion: An Enquiry into Its Theology and Liturgy. He lives in Jerusalem.

In this panoramic and multifaceted book, Jews and the Qur’an (Princeton University Press; December 14, 2021), Meir Bar-Asher examines how Jews and Judaism are depicted in the Qur’an and later Islamic literature, providing needed context to those passages critical of Jews that are most often invoked to divide Muslims and Jews or to promote Islamophobia. He traces the Qur’anic origins of the protection of Jews and other minorities living under the rule of Islam, and shows how attitudes toward Jews in Shi‘i Islam are substantially different from those in Sunni Islam. Bar-Asher sheds light on the extraordinary contribution of Jewish tradition to the Muslim exegesis of the Qur’an, and draws important parallels between Jewish religious law, or halakha, and shari‘a law.

An illuminating work on a topic of vital relevance today, Jews and the Qur’an offers a nuanced understanding of Islam’s engagement with Judaism in the time of Muhammad and his followers, and serves as a needed corrective to common misperceptions about Islam.

Advance praise for Jews and the Qur’an

Jews and the Qur’an is a critically important book that advances our understanding of the Qur’an while clarifying misconceptions of the relationship between Islam and Judaism. Bar-Asher analyzes Judaism and Islam with sophistication and sensitivity.”—Gabriel Said Reynolds, author of Allah: God in the Qur’an

“Richly informed, admirably concise, unfailingly clear, and commendably balanced on a remarkably wide range of relevant, fascinating, and sometimes contested topics.”—Jack Miles, author of God in the Qur’an

“Meir M. Bar-Asher masterfully portrays [the] complex relation between Judaism and Islam. . . . I see in [this book] an informative basis for frank dialogue between the children of Abraham—no matter how deep-seated their intra-family issues.”—from the foreword by Mustafa Akyol


Meir M. Bar-Asher

Hardcover | $24.95 | 9780691211350 | 192 pages

5 ½” x 8 ½” 

Publication date: December 14, 2021

Additional Suggested Reading

Muhammad And The Jews: A Re-examination By Barakat Ahmad

The Muslim Times’ Collection to Show, Islam or the Holy Quran are Not Anti-Semitic

True Fasting: A Message of Compassion and Love from the Old Testament

Jewish Perspective on the Rights of Neighbors

Albert Einstein’s search for God, a detailed study from the Islamic perspective

Einstein’s Quote on Human Compassion

Proposing Daryl Davis as a Peace Maker for Palestinians and Israel, for he attends KKK rallies, despite being black

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