Islam recognizes Abraham, Moses and the other Jewish prophets. Furthermore, unlike Judaism, they accept Jesus as a prophet but not as the son of God. Finally, of course, Muhammad is believed to be his final messenger.

However, if that's the case and Islam accepts Abraham as a prophet why isn't his covenant with God (and later repeated with Moses) to offer the Jewish people the land of Israel recognized?

Jerusalem will always be open to Muslim worshippers but whats wrong with having Israeli sovereignty at Judaism's holiest site if Muslims already have sovereignty in Mecca and Medina?

The Qur'an says:

And [mention, O Muhammad], when Moses said to his people, "O my people, remember the favor of Allah upon you when He appointed among you prophets and made you possessors and gave you that which He had not given anyone among the worlds. O my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you and do not turn back [from fighting in Allah 's cause] and [thus] become losers."
Qur'an 5:20-21

Therefore, from an Islamic point of view, there is no fundamental reason which prohibits Muslims from recognizing Israel as a friendly State.

  • 4
    Which covenant did God make to the Jewish people about land? Please provide the Islamic reference to such covenant.
    – III-AK-III
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 11:32
  • It's in the Old Testament. From Wikipedia: Tawrat (also Tawrah or Taurat; Arabic: توراة‎) is the Arabic word for the Torah. Muslims believe it was a holy book of Islam given by God to Musa (Moses).
    – user27343
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 18:28
  • @user27343 . Muslims believe the Torah was corrupted and the Quran was revealed to correct it, so if there was a covenant of land that is still relevant today it should be mentioned in the Quran. So show reference from the Quran.
    – The Z
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 19:24
  • Taken from another website: "And [remember] when Moses said to his people: 'O my people, call in remembrance the favour of God unto you, when he produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave to you what He had not given to any other among the peoples. O my people, enter the Holy Land which God has assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin.'" [Qur'an 5:20-21] Therefore, from an Islamic point of view, there is no fundamental reason which prohibits Muslims from recognizing Israel as a friendly State.
    – user27343
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 20:21
  • 1
    @user27343, when you say it is in the Taurat, are you referring to Genesis 12? If so, please edit your question to say so.
    – III-AK-III
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 22:08

2 Answers 2


In Islam, no nation has the innate right to sovereignty over any land:

قال موسى لقومه استعينوا بالله واصبروا إن الأرض لله يورثها من يشاء من عباده والعاقبة للمتقين

قال عسى ربكم أن يهلك عدوكم ويستخلفكم في الأرض فينظر كيف تعملون ...

Said Moses to his people, "Seek help through Allah and be patient. Indeed, the earth belongs to Allah. He causes to inherit it whom He wills of His servants. And the [best] outcome is for the righteous."

... He said, "Perhaps your Lord will destroy your enemy and grant you succession in the land and see how you will do."

Quran 7:128-129

قل اللهم مالك الملك تؤتي الملك من تشاء وتنزع الملك ممن تشاء وتعز من تشاء وتذل من تشاء بيدك الخير إنك على كل شيء قدير

Say, "O Allah , Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honor whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is [all] good. Indeed, You are over all things competent.

Quran 3:26

Abraham's covenant did not extend unconditionally to all of his descendants for perpetuity:

لا ينال عهدي الظالمين

My covenant does not include the wrongdoers.

Quran 2:124

And the covenant with the Children of Israel was conditional to them believing and obeying Allah's commands, revelations and Messengers:

يا بني إسرائيل اذكروا نعمتي التي أنعمت عليكم وأوفوا بعهدي أوف بعهدكم وإياي فارهبون

وآمنوا بما أنزلت مصدقا لما معكم ولا تكونوا أول كافر به ولا تشتروا بآياتي ثمنا قليلا وإياي فاتقون

O Children of Israel, remember My favor which I have bestowed upon you and fulfill My covenant [upon you] that I will fulfill your covenant [from Me], and be afraid of [only] Me. And believe in what I have sent down confirming that which is [already] with you, and be not the first to disbelieve in it. And do not exchange My signs for a small price, and fear [only] Me.

Quran 2:40-41

ولقد أخذ الله ميثاق بني إسرائيل وبعثنا منهم اثني عشر نقيبا وقال الله إني معكم لئن أقمتم الصلاة وآتيتم الزكاة وآمنتم برسلي وعزرتموهم وأقرضتم الله قرضا حسنا لأكفرن عنكم سيئاتكم ولأدخلنكم جنات تجري من تحتها الأنهار فمن كفر بعد ذلك منكم فقد ضل سواء السبيل

And Allah had already taken a covenant from the Children of Israel, and We delegated from among them twelve leaders. And Allah said, "I am with you. If you establish prayer and give zakah and believe in My messengers and support them and loan Allah a goodly loan, I will surely remove from you your misdeeds and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow. But whoever of you disbelieves after that has certainly strayed from the soundness of the way."

Quran 5:12

The Children of Israel broke their covenant:

فبما نقضهم ميثاقهم وكفرهم بآيات الله وقتلهم الأنبياء بغير حق

And for their breaking of the covenant and their disbelief in the signs of Allah and their killing of the prophets without right

Quran 4:155

فبما نقضهم ميثاقهم لعناهم وجعلنا قلوبهم قاسية

So for their breaking of the covenant We cursed them and made their hearts hard

Quran 5:13

لقد أخذنا ميثاق بني إسرائيل وأرسلنا إليهم رسلا كلما جاءهم رسول بما لا تهوى أنفسهم فريقا كذبوا وفريقا يقتلون

We had already taken the covenant of the Children of Israel and had sent to them messengers. Whenever there came to them a messenger with what their souls did not desire, a party [of messengers] they denied, and another party they killed.

Quran 5:70

The Muslims did not take away the sovereignty of the land from the Children of Israel. According to both the Tanakh and the Quran, it was taken from them by Allah because of their sins and transgressions and was delivered into the hands of their enemies:

وضربت عليهم الذلة والمسكنة وباءوا بغضب من الله ذلك بأنهم كانوا يكفرون بآيات الله ويقتلون النبيين بغير الحق ذلك بما عصوا وكانوا يعتدون

And they were covered with humiliation and poverty and returned with anger from Allah [upon them]. That was because they [repeatedly] disbelieved in the signs of Allah and killed the prophets without right. That was because they disobeyed and were [habitually] transgressing.

Quran 2:61, Also see Quran 17:4-8

And Muslims took it from Rome, i.e. the Christian Byzantine empire; and they took it because they were commanded by Allah to do so.

Therefore, from an Islamic point of view, there is no fundamental reason 
which prohibits Muslims from recognizing Israel as a friendly State.

When the present state of Israel occupies land that was once ruled by Muslims, kills Muslims and drives them out of their homes and oppresses them and keep them under siege, then in such circumstances it can not be treated as a friendly state.

  • 1
    Excellent answer. Moreover, Genesis 26 (NIV) says that the offspring of Abraham will be given the land, not Isaac only. In addition, from an Islamic point of view, all prophets and messengers were Muslims, including the offspring of Jacob (2:133), so the covenant of the land with Moses was based on submission to Allah, not on lineage.
    – III-AK-III
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 16:16
  • 1
    @III-AK-III Indeed, 3:68 The most worthy of Abraham among the people are those who followed him (اتبعوه) and this prophet, and those who believe.
    – UmH
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 18:03
  • 1
    @TheZ To be clear, the grey part is a quote from the question.
    – UmH
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 19:26
  • I didn't realize that sorry.
    – The Z
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 19:42
  • @UmH but is it correct to say a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians/Arab nations is not religiously prohibited, since sovereignty is given according to Allah?
    – Colin
    Commented Aug 2, 2020 at 21:19

A covenant goes both ways. The Jews have to accept prophets and God's message and in return God will bless them and give them the holy land.

Let us see how well they did on their side of the bargain:

They did not accept one of the greatest messenger sent to them. The Messiah of all people. And they attempted to have him killed.

Then, they rejected the final messenger sent to all of mankind, the Prophet (SAW). And they attempted to kill him as well: https://islamqa.info/en/32762

Basically they failed to keep their end of the bargain:

Remember when We took a pledge from the children of Isra’il (Israel): “You shall not worship anyone other than Allah; and you shall do good to the parents, and to near of kin, and to orphans and the needy. And say to the people what is good, and be steadfast in Salah (prayer), and pay Zakah .” Then, you went back (on your word), all but a few among you, and you are used to turning away. (83) When We took a pledge from you: “You shall not shed the blood of one another, and you shall not drive one another out of your homes.” Then you agreed, being yourselves the witnesses. (84) Yet, here you are, killing one another, and driving a group of your own people out of their homes, supporting each other against them in sin and aggression - and if they come to you as prisoners, you would ransom them, while their very expulsion was unlawful for you! 37 Do you, then, believe in some parts of the Book, and disbelieve in others? So, what can be the punishment of those among you who do that, except disgrace in present life? And, on the Day of Judgement, they shall be turned to the most severe punishment. And Allah is not unaware of what you do. (85) (2:83-85)

And I suggest you read on in this passage where Allah is admonishing the Jews for what they have done. Breaking the covenant and more.

In conclusion, the Jews (Bani Israil) have broken their side of the covenant so the Holy Land is no longer their's to keep. If a Jewish state that followed the Laws of Allah and accepted the prophets Jesus (AS) and Muhammad (SAW) was established no muslim would have any problem with them.

But the fact remains that the current state of Israel does not follow the Law of Torah nor the Law of Allah and is rather a secular state ruled by secular people. So, it is not the fact that it is ruled by Jews that is the problem. The problem is that it is the Holy Land under the control of disbelievers.

  • The Messiah is supposed to rebuild the third temple, gather the Jews from exile, and usher an era of peace on earth. Jesus clearly did not do that (a second coming doesn't count). Rabbi Akiva believed Bar Kokhba was the Messiah in 135 A.D but abandoned the notion after his failed rebellion against the Romans. If a person fails to accomplish these things before his death he's clearly not the Messiah. But fair enough you provided Islam's take on the subject.
    – user27343
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 1:41
  • @user27343 . Just to clarify, the sin was not to reject him as a messiah, but it was to reject him as a prophet when he brought "wonders and miracles". After you accept him as a prophet, you can ask him about those prophecies and he would have explained it.
    – The Z
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 18:10

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