When did Judaism start & what makes a person jewish as per Islam? Was Prophet Abrahim (AS) a jew?

  • At least your last question can be answered by Quran legacy.quran.com/3/67
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 12:33
  • Thank You. So what are followers of Prophet Abraham (AS) called?
    – Ahmed
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 12:46
  • Well in Islam they to say that those who still followed the religion of Ibrahim (at least to some extent) are following the hanifiyah (~inclining toward truth). Of course according Islam all Prophets were Muslims. But this doesn't answer your first Question.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 12:49

1 Answer 1


In the name of Allah the most beneficent the most merciful

When did Judaism start ?

Abraham peace be upon him had two children according to Quran, Ishmael and Isaac:

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي وَهَبَ لِي عَلَى الْكِبَرِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ إِنَّ رَبِّي لَسَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ

Praise to Allah , who has granted to me in old age Ishmael and Isaac. Indeed, my Lord is the Hearer of supplication. Quran 14:39

ishmael إسماعيل (peace be upon him) was the grandfather of Arabs and the story of his coming and his mother to Mecca is known

رَبَّنَا إِنِّي أَسْكَنْتُ مِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِي زَرْعٍ عِنْدَ بَيْتِكَ الْمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مِنَ النَّاسِ تَهْوِي إِلَيْهِمْ وَارْزُقْهُمْ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ

Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful. quran 14:37

Isaac إسحاق (peace be upon him) fathered Jacob يعقوب (Israel إسرائيل) and he was also a prophet. His offspring are bani-israel (Children of Israel بني إسرائيل). He was mentioned with the name of Jacob and Israel in Quran:

كُلُّ الطَّعَامِ كَانَ حِلًّا لِّبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِلَّا مَا حَرَّمَ إِسْرَائِيلُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ

All food was lawful to the Children of Israel except what Israel had made unlawful to himself Quran 3:93

The children of Israel had a lot of prophets in their different ages, starting with Joseph, Moses, and so on, to Jesus and Yahya.

Moses (peace be upon him) was the prophet of children of Israel after Joseph (peace be upon him). I don't know if there are prophets between them, but the believer of al-feraoun in Moses's time said:

وَلَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ يُوسُفُ مِنْ قَبْلُ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ فَمَا زِلْتُمْ فِي شَكٍّ مِمَّا جَاءَكُمْ بِهِ

And Joseph had already come to you before with clear proofs, but you remained in doubt of that which he brought to you Quran 40:34

I read that there was prophets between Moses and Joseph such as Ayoub (peace be upon him), but Moses was the famous prophet of bani-Israel after Joseph.

Judaism starts with Moses according to some views, and it started with Joseph and his brothers according to others. But it's in the majority of cases attributed to Moses because the holy book of Jews, the Torah (توراة), came with him.

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا التَّوْرَاةَ فِيهَا هُدًى وَنُورٌ يَحْكُمُ بِهَا النَّبِيُّونَ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُواْ لِلَّذِينَ هَادُواْ

Indeed, We sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light. The prophets who submitted [to Allah ] judged by it for the Jews Quran 5:44

In this verse the origin of "who submitted" in Arabic is "الذين أسلموا", meaning those prophets where Muslims (!). All of them were Muslims and I will talk about this the third point.

Some say Jews were the believers of bani-Israel. Time even people who are not from bani-Israel, some others says Jews are bani-Israel even those who don't believe.

The origin of the name "Jews" يهود:

In the origin of the name "Jews" we have a lot of opinion according to Islamic and Arabic sources:

  1. Related to Judah (يهوذا), son of Jacob.
  2. Related to the الهَوَد (Arabic word); it is repentance and return, in proportion to the words of Moses to Allah.

    إِنَّا هُدْنَا إِلَيْكَ we have turned back to You

  3. Related to the rapprochement and good deeds zuhair bin abi-salma says:

    سوى رَبَعٍ لم يأتِ فيه مخافةً

    ولا رهقاً من عابد متهود

And other reasons without any references from Quran or Sunna.

Was Abraham (peace be upon him) a Jew?

The answer, briefly, is no! As we mentioned, Abraham was the father of Ismael and Jacob. After Jacob came Joseph and after him Moses , so if we consider Judaism start with Joseph or Moses it is always later than Abraham's time .

يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تُحَآجُّونَ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمَا أُنزِلَتِ التَّورَاةُ وَالإنجِيلُ إِلاَّ مِن بَعْدِهِ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ

O People of the Scripture, why do you argue about Abraham while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed until after him? Then will you not reason? Quran 3:65

مَا كَانَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ يَهُودِيًّا وَلَا نَصْرَانِيًّا وَلَٰكِن كَانَ حَنِيفًا مُّسْلِمًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to Allah ]. And he was not of the polytheists. Quran 3:67

وَقَالُوا كُونُوا هُودًا أَوْ نَصَارَىٰ تَهْتَدُوا ۗ قُلْ بَلْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا ۖ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

They say, "Be Jews or Christians [so] you will be guided." Say, "Rather, [we follow] the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth, and he was not of the polytheists." Quran 2:135


إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللَّهِ الْإِسْلَامُ ۗ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ

Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam. And those who were given the Scripture did not differ except after knowledge had come to them - out of jealous animosity between themselves. Quran 3:19

The only true religion on the Earth throughout the different ages is Islam. The prophets were sent with Islam, even if different names (Judaism , Christianity, etc.) were used in the prophets' time (Jesus, Moses, etc.).

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَذَكَرَ أَحَادِيثَ مِنْهَا وَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ أَنَا أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ فِي الأُولَى وَالآخِرَةِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالُوا كَيْفَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ ‏"‏ الأَنْبِيَاءُ إِخْوَةٌ مِنْ عَلاَّتٍ وَأُمَّهَاتُهُمْ شَتَّى وَدِينُهُمْ وَاحِدٌ فَلَيْسَ بَيْنَنَا نَبِيٌّ ‏"‏ ‏.‏

Abu Huraira reported many ahadith from Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) and one is that Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said: I am most close to Jesus, son of Mary, among the whole of mankind in this worldly life and the next life. They said: Allah's Messenger how is it? Thereupon he said: Prophets are brothers in faith, having different mothers. Their religion is, however, one and there is no Apostle between us (between I and Jesus Christ). sahih Muslim 43:190

The majority of scholars explain this Hadith that all the prophets have the same religion (in beliefs, such as monotheism, etc.) but with different laws.

Here are some verses from Quran which explain that all the prophets were Muslims and their followers were Muslims too:

إِذْ قَالَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ أَسْلِمْ قَالَ أَسْلَمْتُ لِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ* وَوَصَّى بِهَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ بَنِيهِ وَيَعْقُوبُ يَا بَنِيَّ إِنَّ اللّهَ اصْطَفَى لَكُمُ الدِّينَ فَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إَلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ

When his Lord said to him, "Submit", he said "I have submitted [in Islam] to the Lord of the worlds." And Abraham instructed his sons [to do the same] and [so did] Jacob, [saying], "O my sons, indeed Allah has chosen for you this religion, so do not die except while you are Muslims." Quran 2:131

: أَمْ كُنتُمْ شُهَدَاء إِذْ حَضَرَ يَعْقُوبَ الْمَوْتُ إِذْ قَالَ لِبَنِيهِ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن بَعْدِي قَالُواْ نَعْبُدُ إِلَهَكَ وَإِلَهَ آبَائِكَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَقَ إِلَهًا وَاحِدًا وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ

Or were you witnesses when death approached Jacob, when he said to his sons, "What will you worship after me?" They said, "We will worship your God and the God of your fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac - one God. And we are Muslims [in submission] to Him." Quran 2:133

وَقَالَ مُوسَى يَا قَوْمِ إِن كُنتُمْ آمَنتُم بِاللّهِ فَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلُواْ إِن كُنتُم مُّسْلِمِينَ

And Moses said, "O my people, if you have believed in Allah , then rely upon Him, if you should be Muslims." Quran 10:84

فَلَمَّا أَحَسَّ عِيسَى مِنْهُمُ الْكُفْرَ قَالَ مَنْ أَنصَارِي إِلَى اللّهِ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنصَارُ اللّهِ آمَنَّا بِاللّهِ وَاشْهَدْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ

But when Jesus felt [persistence in] disbelief from them, he said, "Who are my supporters for [the cause of] Allah ?" The disciples said," We are supporters for Allah . We have believed in Allah and testify that we are Muslims [submitting to Him]. Quran 3:52

We must know that the important point is to follow the prophet, not to say that he was sent to our country or our nation.

إِنَّ أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِإِبْرَاهِيمَ لَلَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ وَهَٰذَا النَّبِيُّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ۗ وَاللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Indeed, the most worthy of Abraham among the people are those who followed him [in submission to Allah] and this prophet, and those who believe [in his message]. And Allah is the ally of the believers. Quran 3:68


وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلاَمِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

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 3:58

  • 1
    @Ahmed i've added a beautiful verse about was abraham a jew :)
    – melbx
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 0:32

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