[Excerpts, with occasional modest edits, from The Real Muḥammad: In the Eyes of Ibn Isḥāq, copyright 2013, TEI Publishing House. All quotations from the Sīrat Rasūl Allāh (“Life of the Messenger of Allāh”) are from the translation by Alfred Guillaume (Oxford University Press), copyright 1955. These stories are faithfully passed along from the most ancient, extant and authoritative biography of Muḥammad. All Muslims are called to imitate Muḥammad in their daily lives, and Muslim scholars know that Ibn Isḥāq is the best source for the historical Muḥammad, despite concern for various hon-historical material. The question is this: Can Muḥammad satisfy the Muslim thirst for freedom? How many people, of their own volition, would follow Muḥammad if they were free to choose otherwise? The same question is freely received by Muslims who would question Christians who follow Jesus as the Son of God]

Friendship with the Jews Forbidden by Muḥammad the Jews Forbidden

John C. Rankin

Ibn Isḥāq continues: “Some Muslims remained friends with the Jews because of the tie of mutual protection and alliance which had subsisted between them, so God [Allāh] sent down concerning them and forbidding them to take them as intimate friends: ‘O you who believe, do not choose those outside your community as intimate friends. They will spare you no pains to corrupt you longing for your ruin. From their mouths hatred has already shown itself and what their breasts conceal is greater. We have made the signs plain to you if you will understand. Behold, you love them but they love not you[,] and you believe in the book – all of it,’ i.e., you believe in their book and in the books that were before that[,] while they deny your book, so that you have more right to hate them than they to hate you.”

The treaty of Medīna is further broken by Muḥammad, for whereas the Jews were to fight side by side under Muḥammad alongside the Muslims, they are now being systematically ostracized socially, while being proselytized at the same time.

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