Are Hadiths Anti-Semitic? There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him!

Some people claim that the following Hadith is anti-Semitic:

تُقَاتِلُونَ الْيَهُودَ حَتَّى يَخْتَبِيَ أَحَدُهُمْ وَرَاءَ الْحَجَرِ فَيَقُولُ يَا عَبْدَ اللَّهِ هَذَا يَهُودِيٌّ وَرَائِي فَاقْتُلْهُ

You will fight with the Jews until some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, ‘O `Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him. [Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 56, Hadith 138] (emphasis mine)

Putting it as it is may give this impression; however, the emphasised part is essential here. Moreover, one has to see the Hadiths in totality. The above narration is further explained by the one below:

بَعَثَ اللَّهُ الْمَسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ فَيَنْزِلُ عِنْدَ الْمَنَارَةِ الْبَيْضَاءِ شَرْقِيَّ دِمَشْقَ بَيْنَ مَهْرُودَتَيْنِ وَاضِعًا كَفَّيْهِ عَلَى أَجْنِحَةِ مَلَكَيْنِ إِذَا طَأْطَأَ رَأَسَهُ قَطَرَ وَإِذَا رَفَعَهُ تَحَدَّرَ مِنْهُ جُمَانٌ كَاللُّؤْلُؤِ فَلاَ يَحِلُّ لِكَافِرٍ يَجِدُ رِيحَ نَفَسِهِ إِلاَّ مَاتَ وَنَفَسُهُ يَنْتَهِي حَيْثُ يَنْتَهِي طَرْفُهُ فَيَطْلُبُهُ حَتَّى يُدْرِكَهُ بِبَابِ لُدٍّ فَيَقْتُلُهُ

Allah would send Christ, son of Mary, and he will descend at the white minaret in the eastern side of Damascus wearing two garments lightly dyed with saffron and placing his hands on the wings of two Angels. When he would lower his head, there would fall beads of perspiration from his head, and when he would raise it up, beads like pearls would scatter from it. Every non-believer who would smell the odor of his self would die and his breath would reach as far as he would be able to see. He would then search for him (Dajjal) until he would catch hold of him at the gate of Ludd and would kill him.

Dajjal (anti-Christ) would have arrived and would cause chaos and corruption on the earth. Eisa ibn Maryam (عليه السلام) would descend and kill him at the gate of Ludd. There would be believers with Eisa ibn Maryam (عليه السلام) and there would be disbelievers with the Dajjal and one group of disbelievers would be the Jews. Moreover, not every Jew would be a disbeliever as some Hadiths mention that several Bani Ishaq would be on the believing side [refer Sahih al-Muslim, Book 54, Hadith 99]. It appears that at that time, the Jews would divide between good and evil.

Therefore, we learn that ethnic Jews would be on both sides of this conflict – the good and the bad. However, one may ask as to why the disbelieving ones from the Jews would be totally eliminated. The Qur’an answers this question. It is very clear from the Qur’an that nations that reject Prophets are destroyed by Allah (ﷻ).

فكاين من قرية اهلكناها وهي ظالمة فهي خاوية على عروشها وبئر معطلة وقصر مشيد

How many populations have We destroyed, which were given to wrong-doing? They tumbled down on their roofs. And how many wells are lying idle and neglected, and castles lofty and well-built? [Qur’an 22:45]

Wrong-doers were destroyed and these wrong-doers were those who rejected the Prophets. Allah (ﷻ) says in Qur’an 22:44 that Prophet Musa (عليه السلام) was rejected and the rejecters were destroyed. From this we see a clear rule of destruction of rejecters. A question may be asked as to why the Jews were not destroyed as they rejected the Messengers. The answer is simple. Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) did not die. He will return and before his death, rejecters of him would be destroyed. If he had died, then those who rejected him would not have survived. Allah (ﷻ) says that punishment is a promise in Qur’an 22:47 and it has been delayed (Qur’an 22:48).

فكذبوهما فكانوا من المهلكين

So they accused them of falsehood, and they became of those who were destroyed. [Qur’an 23:48]

ياايها الرسل كلوا من الطيبات واعملوا صالحا اني بما تعملون عليم – وان هذه امتكم امة واحدة وانا ربكم فاتقون – فتقطعوا امرهم بينهم زبرا كل حزب بما لديهم فرحون – فذرهم في غمرتهم حتى حين

O ye apostles! enjoy (all) things good and pure, and work righteousness: for I am well-acquainted with (all) that ye do. And verily this Brotherhood of yours is a single Brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore, fear Me (and no other). But people have cut off their affair (of unity), between them, into sects: each party rejoices in that which is with itself. But leave them in their confused ignorance for a time. [Qur’an 23:51-54]

حتى اذا اخذنا مترفيهم بالعذاب اذا هم يجأرون – لاتجأروا اليوم انكم منا لاتنصرون

Until, when We seize in Punishment those of them who received the good things of this world, behold, they will groan in supplication! (It will be said): “Groan not in supplication this day: for ye shall certainly not be helped by Us. [Qur’an 23:64, 65]

فكذبوه فاهلكناهم ان في ذلك لاية وماكان اكثرهم مؤمنين

So they rejected the messenger and We destroyed them. In this, is a sign of course! But most of them do not believe. [Qur’an 26:139]

From this we clearly see that those nations that rejected Prophets were destroyed. Wrath on some was delayed but it did come to them. A group of the Jews rejected Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) but they have not been destroyed yet. They used to be God’s chosen people and they were given a chance till the return of the Prophet they rejected.

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was also rejected and is still rejected by many of the people but they have also not been destroyed. The answer to this point is in the Qur’an as well. The Qur’an says that the Prophet (ﷺ) is for all mankind but most of them know not (Qur’an 34:28) and no nation/town/village is destroyed unless the message is conveyed to them clearly. Therefore, asking for their destruction is injustice.

Destruction of this group of Jews: A group from the children of Israel created mischief on the land and they were punished twice by Allah (ﷻ) through warrior nations. Allah (ﷻ) says that if they create mischief again, then their punishment would be repeated again. The punishment prescribed for them is destruction through warrior nations (Qur’an 17:8). In present times, we see a lot of oppression and mischief spread by them and therefore, we can expect a warrior nation to destroy them. We know from the Hadiths that the leader of that nation would be Eisa (عليه السلام) and the destroyers have been identified in the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).

More verses are as follows:

فقلنا اذهبا الى القوم الذين كذبوا باياتنا فدمرناهم تدميرا – وقوم نوح لما كذبوا الرسل اغرقناهم وجعلناهم للناس اية واعتدنا للظالمين عذابا اليما – وعادا وثمودا واصحاب الرس وقرونا بين ذلك كثيرا

And We command: “Go ye both, to the people who have rejected our Signs:” And those (people) We destroyed with utter destruction. And the people of Noah, – when they rejected the apostles, We drowned them, and We made them as a Sign for mankind; and We have prepared for (all) wrong-doers a grievous Penalty; – As also ‘Ad and Thamud, and the Companions of the Rass, and many a generation between them. [Qur’an 25:36-38]

ولقد ارسلنا من قبلك رسلا الى قومهم فجاؤوهم بالبينات فانتقمنا من الذين اجرموا وكان حقا علينا نصر المؤمنين

We did indeed send, before thee, apostles to their (respective) peoples, and they came to them with Clear Signs: then, to those who transgressed, We meted out Retribution: and it was due from Us to aid those who believed. [Qur’an 30:47]

ولنذيقنهم من العذاب الادنى دون العذاب الاكبر لعلهم يرجعون

And indeed We will make them taste of the Penalty of this (life) prior to the supreme Penalty, in order that they may (repent and) return. [Qur’an 32:21]

The above verse states that a worldly punishment is promised before the final punishment on the Day of Judgment. Qur’an 36:14-29 speaks of a nation destroyed after they rejected the third messenger sent to them. They were given chances for the first two times. This matches exactly with the position of the Jews as well. They not only rejected Eisa (عليه السلام) but also rejected Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and the third time will be the final time for them. If they reject Eisa (عليه السلام) again, they would be destroyed just like how the prophet rejecting nations were destroyed in the past.

In the Qur’an, Allah (ﷻ) says that had it not been for a thing already decided, their matter would have been decided, i.e. they would have perished.

وماتفرقوا الا من بعد ماجاءهم العلم بغيا بينهم ولولا كلمة سبقت من ربك الى اجل مسمى لقضي بينهم وان الذين اورثوا الكتاب من بعدهم لفي شك منه مريب

And they did not become divided until after knowledge had come to them out of envy among themselves; and had not a word gone forth from your Lord till an appointed term, certainly judgment would have been given between them; and those who were made to inherit the Book after them are most surely in. [Qur’an 42:14]

The verse above speaks of Jews and Christians dividing their religion after clear knowledge had come to them. It is stated that their matter would have been decided had it not been for a word already gone forth. From the explanations above, it appears that this word was the promise of the end times and destruction at the hands of the messenger they rejected i.e. Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام). The verse speaks of an appointed time for this promise to happen and this delay in the punishment is given to these disbelievers until Prophet Eisa (عليه السلام) returns before the final punishment on the Day of Judgment.

ولقد اتينا موسى الكتاب فاختلف فيه ولولا كلمة سبقت من ربك لقضي بينهم وانهم لفي شك منه مريب

And certainly We gave the Book to Musa, but it has been differed about, and had not a word already gone forth from your Lord, judgment would certainly have been given between them; and most surely they are in a disquieting doubt about it. [Qur’an 41:45]

What is interesting is that Christians have somewhat similar beliefs:

But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’ ” (‭Luke‬ ‭19‬:‭27‬ NIV)

Yes, this was a parable that Jesus told his disciples. But what was his intention in narrating this parable?  Gill’s Explanation to the Entire Bible explains that it was to explain what will happen to the Jews “when Christ shall come a second time”:  Jesus will “destroy the Jewish nation” for rejecting him “and then all other enemies will be slain and destroyed” as well.  Death and destruction will be the fate of whoever does not accept Jesus’ reign as Warrior King. God is the vineyard owner, the tenants are the Jews, the servants are the prophets and the son is Jesus.

Before I conclude, let us revisit the original Hadith under discussion:

تُقَاتِلُونَ الْيَهُودَ حَتَّى يَخْتَبِيَ أَحَدُهُمْ وَرَاءَ الْحَجَرِ فَيَقُولُ يَا عَبْدَ اللَّهِ هَذَا يَهُودِيٌّ وَرَائِي فَاقْتُلْهُ

You will fight with the Jews until some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, ‘O `Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him. [Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 56, Hadith 138] (emphasis mine)

From the Hadith and overall Hadiths we learn that some of the Jews would be killed which implies that a lot of them would embrace the truth. There are explicit Hadiths in this regard as well as well as implicit ones.

Indeed, Allah knows the best.

Related reading: Who and where are the Yajuj and Majuj (Gog and Magog)? Has their barrier been broken? | Sequence of Dajjal’s arrival: After conquest of Rome or Constantinople?Contentions against Islamic end times prophecies

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5 thoughts on “Are Hadiths Anti-Semitic? There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him!

  1. Pingback: ‘The People vs Muhammad – Psychological Analysis’ Refuted | Qur'anic misconceptions addressed

  2. Pingback: ‘The People vs Muhammad – Psychological Analysis’ Refuted | Calling Christians

  3. What is notable here is how much emphasis Abu Rahma places upon the word, “some.” He provides us with this hadith: “You will fight with the Jews until some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, ‘O `Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him. [Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 56, Hadith 138]. Alas, he does not provide us with the very next hadith, in which the word “some” is not found: “Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 56, Hadith 139].
    Even the hadith Mr. Rahma provides does NOT preclude the action of Muslims fighting and killing ALL of the Jews; there simply could be not enough talking rocks for every Jew to hide behind. (In my lifetime, I have never encountered a single talking rock).
    Tellingly, he also does not provide us with the following verse from the Quran itself (and of course any Quranic verse supersedes all hadiths):
    “And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; MAY ALLAH DESTROY THEM; how they are turned away!” (Quran 9:30).
    Again, alas, that word “some” is simply not there. More importantly, the phrase, “May Allah destroy them (the Jews and Christians)” is at least somewhat anti-Semitic — would you agree, Mr. Rahma?
    Mr. Rahma makes reference to Sahih al-Muslim, Book 54, Hadith 99. But nowhere in this hadith is the word “Jews” mentioned. Presumably Mr. Rahma would argue that it is well-known that the Bani Ishaq remained Jews even in the afterlife, that is, they did not convert to Islam and become Muslims. But if this is true, Mr. Rahma, why on earth would they fight for any god of the universe who commands people to “FIGHT THE JEWS until they pay the Muslims money and feel subdued” (see Quran 9:29)?
    Is it reasonable to conclude that Muhammad hated the Jews? Well, he did spend a considerable amount of his life fighting against them, traveling all the way from Medina to fight the Jews living in Khaybar (this is how Muhammad acquired an additional wife, as well as other booty). Muhammad absolutely hated it when people rejected what he had to say (the “rejecters,” as Mr. Rahma would say). Despite Muhammad’s best efforts, he could not convince the vast majority of Jews that he was in fact receiving messages from the god of the universe, even though he had his followers praying for a while in the direction of Jerusalem. Muhammad must have first felt frustrated, and then quite angry.
    I ask Mr. Rahma and other Muslims: “How would you feel if another religion had written in its sacred documents something similar to Sahih Bukhari, book 56, hadith 139: ‘O Believer! There is a Muslim hiding behind me, so kill him’?”
    Would you regard this religion as anti-Islamic? Given how much your god (the god of Muhammad’s imagination) hates the Jews, and that you approve of all that your god does, is your own religion not anti-Semitic?

    • I find your comment difficult to understand because everything you argue is addressed in the essay above. The law of God, that we also find in the Bible, is clear. I’m not sure if you’re a Christian or a Hindu; if the former, then such does not make sense coming from you and if latter, then if you don’t trust me, you may ask Christians and Jews about it. Hear about this law from their own mouths (even though I copied a paragraph from a Christian Bible commentary.

      As for not witnessing something in your own life, I’m sure you haven’t witnessed Ram rescuing Sita nor have you witnessed Ganesh, Hanuman, or Krishna and so on. I’m sure you haven’t witnessed the Big Bang or Dinosaurs, nor have you witnessed events from the future and likelihood of the sun extinguishing (which science states). Is witnessing something an essential criteria?

      You quote 9:30 and I’m glad you did. An advice for the future: When you read a verse, look for commentary for a minute as well. The companion of the Prophet said that the word destroy refers to curse i.e. ‘the curse of God be upon them’. Is this hate speech? No, not at all. When one insults God by saying that He has a son or that He begets, then this is a curse to God from their end. We find that God is still patient with them and allows them to flourish.

      Moreover, the verse you quote includes both Jews and Christians who curse God. Why do you link it with the Hadith when Hadith only speaks of Jews? What happened to the Christians? Where did they disappear?

      You brought a comment on Sahih al-Muslim, Book 54, Hadith 99 which I honestly do not understand. Bani Ishaq is not a religion but means children of Ishaq. It is a race. Arabs are Bani Isma’il and Israelis are Bani Ishaq. If disbelievers from Bani Ishaq realise the truth of their ways and convert to the way of God, then what is so surprising? My ancestors, perhaps more than a 1,000 years back were idol worshippers and the Qur’an is not approving of idol worship yet they converted to Islam. Why on earth would they convert to God of the universe who commands them to refrain from idol worship?

      You quoted 9:29 and I again advise you to read the commentary. Copy/pasting here would take up a lot of space and divert from the intended purpose of this essay.

      Prophet Muhammad did not hate the Jews and he did not go to Madina to fight the Jews. He escaped persecution in Makkah and settled in Madina. There he fought those who fought against him and he did not initiate aggression.

      If you want to educate yourself further, I advise you to visit: https://discover-the-truth.com

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