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The Jews and the Muslims: By Mustansar Hussain Tarar

Any way our fears that Herman was taking us downstairs to sacrifice us as rams on the altar of Solomon, were totally unfounded. Instead he treated us with some delicious brownies along with steaming hot coffee in a cellar which looked like a class room of sorts, perhaps a madressah where Jewish fundamentalists were trained.

“Now this is my grand daughter, isn’t she the prettiest thing in the world?” Herman showed us a framed photograph of a little girl who was so plain and ordinary that imagination had to be stretched to the limit to call her pretty, which I did, and then I produced my trump card, a photo of Noffel and showed it to Herman “Now this is my grandson.”

“Well, he is almost as pretty as my granddaughter,” he exclaimed.

This Herman the Jew must be stone blind. I decided and did not pursue the matter further.

It is a strange phenomenon that Jews do not accept Christianity. And both Jews and Christians do not accept us, Muslims. But as the people of the book, not only do we accept them but it is part of our faith that Moses and Jesus were true prophets of Allah as we are the true followers of Din-i-Ibrahimi. So it is natural that in faith we Muslims are very close to Jews and there are a lot of similarities.

Jews greet each other with “Sholom” and we say “Salam” when we meet.

We consider the pig totally Haram and Jews also refrain from eating it.

We only eat Zabiha meat and Jews have their equivalent of kosher meat. Like us they fast. Their skull cap is similar to our Namazi Topi, and their dress code is very strict. On the streets of New York you will come across neatly dressed Jews, men in black suits and woman in ankle length skirts and they never wear jeans or revealing dresses. We believe that a Muslim has no nationality; but Jews have proved it in the span of thousands of years and perhaps this is one of the reasons that they were persecuted throughout history as they did not abandon their faith and never committed themselves to any nationality. Jews actually suffered because of their conviction and remaining steadfast to their belief. They are very strict as far as personal hygiene is concerned. And they, like us, get circumcized.

In modern times as soon as the male child is born the needful is done immediately by a competent doctor; but in old days circumcision of a male child used to be a joyous event celebrated by the whole family. I wonder why have we abandoned this festive custom?

I still remember the day when I was hardly two years old when I felt that there was something special in the air. My mother was dressed as if she was going to a wedding and the women in the family were chirping and humming and extra ordinary love and kisses were being showered upon me. Even the servants wore new clothes and there were baskets full of Moti Choor Laddus wonderfully decorated. Little did I know what was in store for me. Then Ibrahim Nai, holding a small black bag, entered the house and my beaming father welcomed him like an old friend which he was. Needless to say that I was also dressed in a silk shirt, just the shirt mind you. I was garlanded heavily and then my father lovingly carried me to the roof of the house where two bricks were already placed in closed vicinity. I was made to sit on those bricks and I sat on them willingly because I was sure that we were going to play some new game. In the meantime Ibrahim Nai had opened his black bag and I don’t recollect what fatal instrument he brought out of it. Then he sat right in front of me and suddenly looking upwards towards the sky he said, “Mustansar look a cheel is carrying a donkey.” I involuntarily looked up towards the sky and who would not look up if a cheel was carrying a donkey and at that particular moment the needful was performed and I was never the same again.

Jews and Muslims have been very close to each other not only through some common beliefs but have had a very strong relationship throughout history. They were included in the “Millat” by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in the Islamic state of Medina. The most glorious chapter of the Muslim and Jewish co-operation is the common heritage of Undlus which lasted for almost 700 years. Some of the greatest philosophers, writers and Hakims of Muslim Spain were Jews, among them Ibne Maimun was the personal physician of the great Saladin. Maimun died in Cairo and according to his will his body was carried on the same path which was taken by Moses while he guided the Banu Israel out of Egypt. In Cairo, there is still a synagogue by the name of Maimun. Local Jews believe that someone with an incurable disease can be cured if he spends a night there. However, Alqafti states that Ibne Maimun embraced Islam before dying. In the old quarters of Almanzar and Ibne Rushd where in Arabs’ times Jewish population of Cordoba resided, I saw a memorial bust of this great Physician in front of his old house. Out of hundreds of prime ministers of Granada most were of Jewish faith, so much so that a Jewish historian claimed that the famous Alhamra was actually built by Jews — he could be partly right. When finally the Christian reconquest took place the wrath of the conquerors fell upon Jews heavily. They were massacred for their co-operation with Muslims and were deported along with Muslims. After the fall of Granada in 1492 the Sultan of Turkey welcomed them and rehabilitated them in Istanbul where to date descendants of those Undlasi Jews reside.

However, this historical relationship ended the day the state of Israel was established on the lands and bodies of the Palestinians. The day, according to western terminology, terrorism was born. I believe that Israel was the greatest injustice in the history of humanity and if there was no Israel this world would have been a comparatively peaceful place to live in. There would not have been any George Habbash, Laila Khalid or Hamas or 9/11 for that matter. I always get amazed that victims of the holocaust, which let’s face it did take place — though its extent can be debated — the same people when in power descend upon Sabira, Shatila, Hanin and Ghaza they are capable of committing such atrocities which even the Nazis would admire. I am also amazed that the Christian right in America fanatically supports Israel without realizing that a vast number of Palestinians are staunch Christians — Laila Khalid and George Habbash being two of them.

On American media a very aggressive campaign has been launched to rescue the poor Jews from their countries of birth and send them to Israel. “Fellow Americans, if you donate just $350 to the noble cause a homeless Jew can fly to Israel. If you give $700, a Jewish couple in distress can be helped to settle in Israel. And if you send $1400, a whole Jewish family can go to the promised land.” Along with these appeals heart-wrenching scenes of Jews arriving in Israel, weeping by the wailing wall are flashed. Among these zealots is singer Pat Boone who in our heyday used to sing “Don’t forbid me to kiss your lips”. The Christian right believes that when all the Jews will be gathered in one place then once again Christ will descend from heavens and convert the whole world into Christians, including the gathered Jews. Jews don’t mind this notion as long as the money is pouring in.

Jews or Muslims- Who is on the right track? 

By Mustansar Hussain Tarar

It clearly goes to the credit of Jew’s ingenuity that they have resurrected all the men, women and children from the ashes of gas chambers and made them walk on the media, newspaper and Europe’s guilty conscience as if they are still alive. These victims and the atrocities committed by the Nazis are the trump card which they used for the establishment of Israel, and are still using it for the continuous military and financial support of the West and America. Jewish film-makers and intellectuals were mainly responsible for keeping the holocaust tragedy alive and indeed it is a great achievement on their part.

However, in the meantime, the human tragedies which occurred in Palestine, Africa, Chechnia and in other parts of the globe were completely forgotten as they did not have genius film-makers, authors and historians who could record and imprint the atrocities their nations suffered.

Take the case of Spielberg, perhaps the most talented and innovative director in Hollywood, who would produce The Schindler’s List but would conveniently forget as to what happened in Sabira, Shatila and Janin. Or how hundreds of ancient Palestinian towns and villages were bulldozed along with the centuries old orchards and the ancestral graveyards, their occupants either massacred or evicted forcibly. And then the new Israeli towns and settlements were built on this land which did not belong to them. Even the names of these ancient towns and villages were erased from the official maps along with their history. Instead, their Jewish past was dug up and a new history was created.

When an Israeli massacred dozens of Palestinians praying in the mosque of Abraham, he was dubbed as a madman and not as a terrorist, mind you. I assure Mr Spielberg that all these subjects are also excellent film material and I am sure that Mr Spielberg would assure me in return that let there be a Palestinian Spielberg to do the job.

Along with other holocaust victims, the Dutch girl Anne Frank is till alive. After the end of war, her father, who managed to save his life from the Nazis, returned to his house in Amsterdam where in a cellar he found some of the pages of Ann’s diary. “We have no food left, I have not eaten anything for last two days and I am very hungry .... During the night I could hear the sound of German Boots who are searching for Jews, how am I different from other little girls that they want to kill me.”

The diary of Anne Frank was published by her father and it became an instant hit throughout Europe and subsequently was translated into all the major languages of the world. During my visit to Amsterdam, I also visited the ‘Ann Frank House’ which is a museum now, displaying some personal effects, family photographs, original pages of the diary and the translated versions. There is the ‘Ann Frank Foundation’ which sees to it that her memory does not fade away. I also contributed few guilders because for me she was not a Jewish girl, but just a girl who should not have died.

There was only one Ann Frank.

And there were dozens of Ann Franks who were shot while playing with dolls or bulldozed by Israelis and some of them maintained little diaries which were published in the Arab world. I had the occasion to read some of their extracts and they moved me to tears. After a while these diaries, just like the little girls who wrote them, went into oblivion only because their writers were not Jewish but Muslims and Christians.

One of them was a girl with golden hair, when in the middle of night the Israelis attacked their ancient village and started massacring the population and bulldozing their homes. she was so terrified that she just ran out of her home and kept on running. After a few months her moth-eaten body was discovered in a wheat field, only her golden hair remained and amongst them sprouted the golden corns of wheat shining in the sun. This Ann Frank had also written a diary describing the fear of oncoming Israelis and the way they had already murdered some of her relatives but this dairy also met the same fate.

Their one Ann Frank is remembered and is still living but dozens of our Ann Franks are not only dead but forgotten because we do not have the genius and planning of the Jews.

Although Jews are amongst my favourite nations because we have so much in common, but they have built a wall of hatred between us, the wall of Israel. However, the Pakistanis living in America are all praise for the local Jewish population, in their opinion only a small minority is adverse to Muslims, the rest of them are very liberal and feel closer to Muslims than the Christians. An average Pakistani will prefer to work for a Jewish boss who is very honest in his dealings and very helpful in the times of distress.

A certain person by the name of Hussain Khan went to America almost 16 years ago. At one time he was working at the front desk of a hotel chain in New York. After about a year, his Jewish boss called him and said, “Hussain, I have been observing your conduct for a long time and I have found you hard working, honest and intelligent. You should not be spending your life on a front desk of a hotel. You deserve a much better mode of life. Son, if you want to progress in America you should first of all know the system in which you work.”

The boss suggested some banking and finance courses which Hussain completed and now he is almost a millionaire as a consequence. He is trusted so much that he manages the affairs of a synagogue which his boss patronizes. The Jewish boss also appreciates his commitment to Islam and at times reminds him about his prayers, saying, “Hussain, go and pray”.

Recently, when he built a new hotel of his chain, Hussain was given a proper share in it.

Another very interesting episode I would like to share with the readers. Hussain’s elder brother, Fareed Khan who is a very devout Muslim, dresses in a long robe, a huge turban and naturally with a flowing beard. Soon after 9/11 his deportation was ordered because he had not informed the home department when he changed his last abode. Hussain immediately challenged this order in a court of law through a Chinese lawyer who was a close friend.

On the day of the hearing, Hussain received a call from the lawyer who said, “Hussain, start packing your brother’s belongings, he is going to be deported in next half an hour.”

“Has the judge already rejected the appeal?” Hussain’s heart sank.

“It will be for sure, you know in what costume your brother has entered the courtroom? In a long robe, wearing a turban and carrying a prayer rug under his arm for heavens sake! And you know on top of it the judge is Jewish”

The final verdict was such a surprise that nobody believed it, the judge had declared that he respects all those people who are committed to their faith and dress accordingly. So his appeal was accepted. The next day the Jewish judge sent the prayer rug which Fareed Khan had forgotten in the courtroom to his home with a Shalom.

Well there are both good and bad ones among the Jews, as there are in all other faiths.

But Herman the Jew was definitely a good one because he offered us another cup of hot coffee and at least half a dozens more brownies. Finally, the much-awaited plumber appeared and we were vastly relieved. While parting, I thanked him profusely for his hospitality and said “Herman our faiths have a lot in common, only you are slightly off the track.”

“Well only on the Day of Judgment, it will be decided as to who is on the right track and who is off track, you or us,” he smiled amicably and went back to his synagogue.

"And We gave them clear proofs of the matter [of religion]. And they did not differ except after knowledge had come to them - out of jealous animosity between themselves. Indeed, your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that over which they used to differ."[Quran 45:17]
Similarities between Jews and Muslims 
  • We worship the same G-d
  • We are descendents of Abraham
  • Our Males are circumcised according to Abrahamic law
  • Both cultures are of Semitic origin
  • Jerusalem is our Holy City
  • We stress good works over faith.
  • We share many advances in medicine; philosophy; law; literature and poetry.
  • There are extremists and peacemakers on both sides.
  • We are descendents of Abraham
  • We worship the same G-d

Similarities over differences - Jew, Muslims & Christians

Much has been written about the differences between Jews and Muslims: a lot less about the similarities between us. Jews, Muslims and Christians have a lot more in common than we care to sometimes admit.
  • We share belief in the same one G-d.
  • The originator of our religions and cultures is 
  • the same person: Abraham.
  • Jews, Muslims and Christians - are regarded as Abrahamic religions.
  • We share one same holy place: The Temple Mount (the Rock) is where [according to Hebrew traditions ]Abraham brought his son to sacrifice him. Adam was buried there. Solomon built a great temple there. Jesus prayed there. [Prophet] Mohammad (pbuh) ascended there. (Source: Bruce Feiler Abraham). 
  • There are many common aspects between Islam and Judaism. As Islam developed it gradually became the major religion closest to Judaism. As opposed to Christianity which originated from interaction between ancient Greek and Hebrew cultures, Judaism is similar to Islam in its fundamental religious outlook, structure, jurisprudence and practice. (Source: 
  • There are many traditions within Islam originating from traditions within the Hebrew Bible or from post-biblical Jewish traditions. These practices are known collectively as the Isra'iliyat. (Source: 

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