Author Topic: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?  (Read 446 times)

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Offline Sethrak

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Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« on: June 12, 2018, 12:15:47 PM »
                                                        Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
                                                                  James M. Arlandson

It has been bandied about in the media that Islamic fanatics shriek that Allah turned certain Jews into apes and pigs. Where does this harsh polemics come from? Do they get it from the hadith (Muhammad’s sayings and deeds outside of the Quran)? From later traditions? From thin air?

MEMRI TV provides a translated video clip and a transcript of an Egyptian cleric singing about Allah's punishment of the "apes and pigs" in the Last Day.

Sadly, fanatics get it from the Quran itself, in three different verses: 7:166, 2:65, and 5:60.

To show how, we follow a specific method of exegesis (detailed analysis of a text), where relevant. First, the historical context of the three verses is explained, so their meaning can be made clear. Second, the literary context of each one is described, so we do not take them out of context—a frequent reflexive reaction from Muslims. Third, we quote them from a reputable Muslim translator, not a Western one, so that the Muslims speak for themselves in their sacred book. Fourth, we explain the content of the verses itself, such as key words. Fifth, we compare them with a passage or two from the New Testament, so we can put Islam into a clear perspective. And finally we look at how fanatics use the verses.

Sura 7:166

The historical context of this sura (chapter) is Muhammad’s persecution by his fellow Meccans before his Hijrah or Emigration from Mecca to Medina in AD 622. Still, despite this persecution, Muhammad seeks to demonstrate that his revelations are superior to the Torah and Moses, and this brings us to the literary context, which is far more revealing of the content of Sura 7:166 than the historical context.

After recounting the stories of various prophets, Muhammad comes to Moses (v. 103) and sketches out Moses’ mission: he liberates the Children of Israel from the grip of Pharaoh (vv. 103-137); he encounters God on Mt. Sinai on which receives the Two Tablets (vv. 142-147); and finally he confronts Israel’s transgression in worshipping the golden calf (148-156). Now Muhammad turns to himself and asserts that the Torah (and the Gospels) describes himself and his Quran; he is now the one who commands people to do good and forbids them to do wrong; that is, he is the one who is rightly guided and who now fulfills and completes the mission of Moses (and Jesus).

Muhammad then recounts a legend—not found in the Talmudists—about Jews fishing or working on the Sabbath in a town that tradition says was located on the Red Sea (vv. 163-167). God made fish appear on the surface only on the Sabbath, never on weekdays. This tempted some Jewish fishermen to break their holy day of rest, ignoring their teachers’ warnings. The Sabbath-breakers become so arrogant and deep in their violations that God says to them in the royal "We":

7:166 But when even after this they disdainfully persisted in that from which they were forbidden, We said to them, "Become apes—despised and disgraced!" (Maududi)

The question is: should this verse be taken literally or metaphorically? That is, does this verse assume that these Jews physically transformed? This question is better answered in two later passages, chronologically speaking, in the Quran.

Sura 2:65

The historical context of Sura 2:65, as far as this can be determined, sees the founding of the Muslim community in Medina, a year or two after the Hijrah. Muhammad works hard at reconciling his message with the earlier religion of Judaism—indeed, he sees himself as a reformer of both Judaism and Christianity. But the Jews do not receive his message for two major reasons: he is a Gentile, and his knowledge of the Torah is confused. But the polemics is not yet heated up, at least not as much as it will be.

Thus, the literary context of Sura 2:65, having as its background the fishermen’s legend in Sura 7:163-166, says that if the People of the Book (Jews and Christians, but he deals mostly with Jews in Medina) believe in Allah, the Last Day, and do good, they will not suffer at judgment. However, Muhammad issues a warning against Sabbath-breakers. Allah through Muhammad addresses the Jews as "you" and refers to himself in the royal "We":

2:65 And you know well the story of those among you who broke Sabbath. We said to them: "Be apes—despised and hated by all." 66 Thus We made their end a warning to the people of their time and succeeding generation, and an admonition for God-fearing people. (Maududi)

So the question, again, is—does this passage support the literal or figurative transformation of the Jews?

Many modern commentators claim that this transformation is merely a metaphor. For example, M.A.S. Abdel Haleem says in his notes in his Oxford University Press translation (2004) that it is a figure of speech. The radical Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, who was tried and executed for plotting to overthrow the Egyptian government, says that one does not need to be concerned with whether the metamorphosis was physical, for the Jews’ minds and spirits fell into a beastly state. He is also honest enough to say, though, that the Arabic implies that it really happened physically, e.g. "Be apes," not "be as or like apes." Several commentators and apologists take it figuratively, inserting the softening word "as" in their commentary or even their translations, although it is not found in the Arabic original (e.g. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Maulana Muhammad Ali, Muhammad Asad, Rashad Khalifa, et al.).

The early Muslim sources and classical commentators, however, largely agree that Allah transformed them literally. For example, Ibn Ishaq, an early and largely reliable biographer of Muhammad, takes the metamorphosis literally, and he has Muhammad calling the Medinan Jewish clan, Qurayzah, "brothers of monkeys." This implies that Muhammad takes the transformation physically. Medieval commentator Ibn Kathir references Ibn Abbas, Muhammad’s cousin, who interpreted this metamorphosis literally, again implying that Muhammad did too. The Iranian Medieval commentator Razi, widely respected even today, speculates that perhaps the "accidents" or appearances of the Jews were changed, but they kept their mental awareness. Even the Medieval mystic and commentator Ibn Arabi says that the transformation, at its base, is real and not metaphorical, though he puts mystical spins on the verse.

Maududi is a modern scholar who agrees with the classics: "In my opinion their bodies were transformed into those of apes, but their human minds were left intact in order to subject them to extreme torture." He says of the Arabic wording: "The words of the Qur’an ... indicate that it was not a moral but a physical metamorphosis."

More important than all of these is Muhammad. Did he take this transformation literally or metaphorically? A hint is found in v. 66. He needs to hold over the heads of his enemies (and the God-fearing people) this miraculous act and threaten them with the same punishment. It is a very special historical case designed to warn people. It must be seen as an object lesson, and in this case the objects are the literally changed Jews.

Also, Muhammad is constantly incorporating tall tales into his Quran, which too often make Jews look bad, such as the fiction about Moses and Khidir, a servant (so named in Islamic tradition, but not in the Quran). Khidir leads Moses around by the nose, so to speak, revealing to the baffled prophet the divine purposes of Allah (Sura 18:60-82). The clear message: Muhammad is better than Moses. Hence, a physical metamorphosis in v. 65 would fit with such passages that make Jews look bad.

Thus, it is Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad’s cousin Ibn Abbas, the classical commentators, and Maududi, agreeing with Muhammad, who correctly interpret these verses, not the modern apologists.

Sura 5:60

Read more:    https://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Arlandson/jew_apes.htm

Offline biro

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Re: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2018, 02:05:40 PM »
Why did you write this?  :o
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Offline Jackson02

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Re: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2018, 02:12:49 PM »
Why did you write this?  :o
+1  :o
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 02:17:42 PM by Jackson02 »
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Offline LivenotoneviL

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Re: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2018, 03:31:38 PM »
I like to pseudo-quote Tocqueville - when you are able to completely dehumanize someone or a group of people, removing any characteristic of their humanity to the point that you can view them like animals or non human things / monsters, it becomes increasingly justifiable to do horrendous, immoral things to those people. You can lie to yourself and say "oh, they aren't human like me!"

It's why communists portrayed "the Bourgeoisie" in such a fashion.



or why the Jews were portrayed the way they were.



It's all conditioning.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 03:32:02 PM by LivenotoneviL »
"Miri it is while sumer ilast with fugheles song, oc nu
neheth windes blast and weder strong. ei ei what this
niht is long. and ich with wel michel wrong, soregh and
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Offline LivenotoneviL

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Re: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2018, 03:33:29 PM »
And the Muslims - even though I think that there are intrinsic flaws and evil ideas within Islam as a whole - aren't the only group to do this tactic.

"Miri it is while sumer ilast with fugheles song, oc nu
neheth windes blast and weder strong. ei ei what this
niht is long. and ich with wel michel wrong, soregh and
murn and fast."

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Offline Luke

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Re: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2018, 03:58:35 PM »

Offline Sharbel

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Re: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2018, 07:13:01 PM »
Is click bait creeping into OC.net?  Because it worked.
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Offline Jackson02

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Re: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2018, 07:41:22 PM »
Is click bait creeping into OC.net?  Because it worked.
I think it crept in a long time ago.
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Re: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2018, 10:31:11 PM »
The Talmud calls Christians abominations and says that Jesus is in Hell boiling in feces. Let's have ourselves a pogrom.

Religious groups will always argue within themselves about iffy passages in ancient texts. It doesn't make every member some kind of evil threat.
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Re: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2018, 12:53:28 AM »
The Talmud calls Christians abominations and says that Jesus is in Hell boiling in feces. Let's have ourselves a pogrom.

Religious groups will always argue within themselves about iffy passages in ancient texts. It doesn't make every member some kind of evil threat.

+1
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Offline Sethrak

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Re: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2018, 03:55:19 PM »
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« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 04:03:31 PM by Sethrak »

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Re: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2018, 09:53:01 AM »
have any of you ever seen anti-religious propaganda from the soviet union it makes religion look more horrible than it really is!!!
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Re: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2018, 06:14:28 PM »
have any of you ever seen anti-religious propaganda from the soviet union it makes religion look more horrible than it really is!!!

Indeed.
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Re: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2018, 09:16:01 PM »
have any of you ever seen anti-religious propaganda from the soviet union it makes religion look more horrible than it really is!!!

I have. Weird 'art' like that fascinates me.
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Re: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2018, 10:48:15 PM »
The Talmud calls Christians abominations and says that Jesus is in Hell boiling in feces. Let's have ourselves a pogrom.
Jews would also pogrom themselves if they took this at face value, since the Talmud might also offend them by claiming Adam had sex with all animals of Eden before meeting Eve.
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Re: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2018, 03:48:23 PM »
have any of you ever seen anti-religious propaganda from the soviet union it makes religion look more horrible than it really is!!!
Sometimes the propaganda has a grain of truth that presents a real problem that deserves grappling with.

For instance, in one, a girl is given a choice between church and a happy school, and she wants school, while her grandmother drags her by the hair to church. (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/375346950176309381/?lp=true) Personally, in general I would pick church, but there are children that would pick school. On the other hand, my mother's church (when she was little) had catechism classes on the weekdays, but her parents (who were quite religious) considered homework and studying to be more important for the weekdays, so she stayed home instead.
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Re: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2018, 03:52:51 PM »
have any of you ever seen anti-religious propaganda from the soviet union it makes religion look more horrible than it really is!!!
Sometimes the propaganda has a grain of truth that presents a real problem that deserves grappling with.

For instance, in one, a girl is given a choice between church and a happy school, and she wants school, while her grandmother drags her by the hair to church. (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/375346950176309381/?lp=true) Personally, in general I would pick church, but there are children that would pick school. On the other hand, my mother's church (when she was little) had catechism classes on the weekdays, but her parents (who were quite religious) considered homework and studying to be more important for the weekdays, so she stayed home instead.

yes, I have seen that poster before and I do like you have to say on it
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Offline Sethrak

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Re: Did Allah transform Jews into apes and pigs?
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2018, 08:52:13 PM »
I haven't seen Soviet Posters ~ it's good that the Soviet is no more ~ good riddance ```