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Last Updated: 2010/04/24
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Why do Muslims believe that Jews are cursed?
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Why do Muslims believe that Jews are cursed?
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Detailed Answer

The Jews have been cursed in the Quran due to their actions and Muslims curse them as a way of following the Quran. Any person who ignores Allah's commands and disobeys Him deserves to be cursed.[1]

The Quran has explained the history of the Jews, their beliefs, behavior and attributes and features in detail and the history of no other divine religion has been mentioned in the Quran in such detail. Therefore many verses of the Quran revolve around the Jews, and each of these verses mention one the features, attributes, qualities and characteristics of the Bani Israel (Children of Israel). For example this Quranic passage in which Allah says: " We revealed to the Children of Israel in the Book:" Twice you will cause corruption on the earth, and you will perpetrate great tyranny." Or this Quranic verse which says: "The Jews say," Allah's hand is tied up." Tied up be their hands, and cursed be they for what they say! Rather, His hands are wide open: He bestows as He wishes. Surely many of them will be increased by what has been sent to you from your Lord in rebellion and unfaith, and we have cast enmity and hatred amongst them until the Day of Resurrection. Every time they ignite the flames of war, Allah puts them out. They seek to cause corruption on the earth, and Allah does not like the agents of corruption."[2]

At the same time we do not believe that if a group, tribe or followers of a certain religion are cursed by Allah, then not even one them can compensate for his evil deeds until the day of Judgment and that all of those who are among this group will be punished in Hell, because this would entail the belief in Jabr (predetermination), and as you know such a belief is utterly rejected in Shia theology, unlike some sects of the Sunni Muslims, meaning the Asha’irah which hold that Allah can force one to do an evil act and then punish him for what he has done. Shias along with the Mo’tazelis from the Sunnis believe that Allah is just and therefore they are known as the Adliyyah (those who believe in Allah’s justice). According to this belief we can not predict that all people of a certain group or tribe deserve to be punished in hell without looking at the actions and behaviors of each individual separately, because this would contradict Allah's justice.

The Quran emphasizes on this in some of its verses that relate to the Jews: "And they say: "Our hearts are uncircumcised (covered)." Rather Allah has cursed them for their unfaith, so few of them have faith." [3] In another verse the Almighty says: "But Allah has cursed them for their faithlessness, so they will not believe except a few."[4]

After examining these verses we can conclude that even if a certain group of people like the Bani Israel are cursed by Allah, it does not mean that none of them can truly be believers, but rather it means the percentage of true believers will be small. Jews were not the only group that were cursed, but also those falsely claiming to be Muslim, like the Bani Umayyah were cursed because of all the hardships, difficulties and problems they caused the prophet of Islam and his household.

Ibn Abi Hatam, one of the Sunni Quranic commentators of the fourth century mentions a hadith relating to this Quranic verse in his tafsir: " وَ الشَّجَرَةَ الْمَلْعُونَةَ فىِ الْقُرْءَانِ" The prophet said: "I saw Bani Umayyah in my dream sitting on the Minbars (pulpits) and soon they will rise to power and gain supremacy over you and will prove to be bad rulers." After this dream the prophet was deeply saddened and Allah revealed this verse to relieve the prophet of his grief.[5],[6]

For more information you can refer to Question 2796 (website: 3372).



[1] Ra’d:25; Baqarah:161; Nisa:93 etc.

[2] Adopted from Question 1909 (website: 4529).

[3] "و قالوا قلوبنا غلف بل لعنهم الله بکفرهم فقلیلا ما یومنون".

[4] "و لکن لعنهم الله بکفرهم فلا یومنون إلا قلیلا".

[5] Ibn Abi Hatam, Tafsir Al-Quran Al-Athim, vol. 7, pg. 2336.

[6] Adopted from Question 2796 (website: 3372).

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