Reader: While you and I know (very well) that Mohamed was indeed a FALSE PROPHET, this issue may not be so simple. I am in contact with a group of Islamic B’nai Noah. Let me explain. They realize the inaccuracies of their religion but still feel there is a base underneath that recommends going to Orthodox Rabbis as its final ruling on issues. This has to do with verses in the Koran that speak of asking the house “Beit” for rulings. Also, they interpret verses about the murder of Jews mentioned in the Koran to refer to idolatrous Jewish tribes – not Jews who believe in Hashem. They base this in linguistic analysis of the original language. And there is other suggestive evidence in their “Hadith” that this may indeed be the case.
Now we know that Islam has many different Hadiths (their equivalent of our Oral Law/ lehavdil). So while it may be convenient for us to just read the Koran’s verses and decide it as written on the surface, it may not have been so simple in the beginning of Islam – which many of them are trying to get back to.
Bottom line: they are trying to follow the Noahide Laws – one of which is not to spill blood. The potential here for reconciliation with Jews – in terms of their not slaughtering us anymore here – should not be dismissed. They are also disgusted with their leadership. Plus, there are trying to bring Islam into conformance with the Noahide Laws.
Anyway, my goal is to disperse the Temani psak…which most of the time matches the RAMBAM. But need we be so blatantly HONEST about everything?
You are the only site on the web I see that comes out and says Mohamed is a Navi Sheker. WE KNOW THAT… But is this the wisest course. I am not saying to be dishonest.
Here is my response to the Islamic B’nai Noah regarding their query about Mohamed as a Prophet:
“Here is the answer for a Jew: The Christian beliefs that Jesus was G_D incarnate and mediator between G_D and man are clearly idolatrous (Yad, Avodath Kokhavim 2:1, MN 1:36). A Jew must therefore be martyred rather than embrace Christianity (according to most opinions). However, since Islam is not idolatrous... one need not be martyred rather than accept Mohammed as a Prophet (Rambam, Iggereth HaShmad). But in the Jewish sense of the word, a Prophet had to be recognized through certain tests in an official capacity. Accordingly, after the Prophet Micah, there were no more Prophets as 'true Prophecy' had been officially closed. This doesn't mean that someone (Jew or non-Jew) cannot still possess characteristics of Prophecy that actually exhibit themselves as real Prophecy. It's just that they cannot be called 'Prophets' anymore.
For Benai Noach: It seems obvious that Jewish Law (and Noahide Law) has no problem with a B’nai Noah believing someone to be a prophet - regardless of what us Jews believe or don't believe about him.”
I just don’t see the point in telling the entire non-Jewish world that we think their leader was a false – especially as they are not idolatrous and are attempting to follow the Noahide Laws as Muslims under an Orthodox Bet Din. But most importantly, is this the wisest thing to publish for the JEWISH PEOPLE? We are just thinking as Jews with over 1,600 years of experience living with the Arabs and thinking about the Jews still left in Arab countries. The Rambam risked death saying the things you are freely publishing on the web. Will this make the lives our brothers and sisters in Arab lands better or worse?
Mesora: You write: "...This doesn't mean that someone (Jew or non-Jew) cannot still possess characteristics of Prophecy that actually exhibit themselves as real Prophecy. It's just that they cannot be called 'Prophets' anymore." This misleads the reader to believe in prophecy - to some extent. You should have removed all possibility by not writing this sentence.
There must be no apologetics when striving to teach truth. That which is essential is not compromised. Sparing the truth to foster peace with fallacy is not G-d’s goal; hence, it cannot be ours. Life is useless when truth is compromised.
And no, I do not suggest we walk over to a Moslem and denounce his god to his face. It is both foolish, and probably useless in such a design. Proper teachings have a time, place and approach. Our goals as Jews must include a genuine concern for all people, making G-d’s Torah knowledge available to them, with the proper delivery.
Understand that our goal is to teach those who desire to learn. If faced with the choice of removing material offensive to false religionists, or maintaining it online so seekers of truth may learn, I opt for the latter. Honesty opts for the letter. Abraham, Maimonides and all genuine teachers opted for the latter. There is never an excuse for concealing truth.
But I am most troubled by you desire to condone the Koran. You wrote:
“This has to do with verses in the Koran that speak of asking the house “Beit” for rulings. Also, they interpret verses about the murder of Jews mentioned in the Koran to refer to idolatrous Jewish tribes – not Jews who believe in Hashem. They base this in linguistic analysis of the original language. And there is other suggestive evidence in their “Hadith” that this may indeed be the case.
Now we know that Islam has many different Hadiths (their equivalent of our Oral Law/ lehavdil). So while it may be convenient for us to just read the Koranic verses and decide it is written on the surface, it may not have been so simple in the beginning of Islam – which many of them are trying to get back to.”
If you have read through even a small portion of the Koran, you will see the book is as absurd as a childhood fable. I was astounded that any person would have the gall and revisionist stupidity to lay claim to taking the Jews out of Egypt, giving Judaism the man Moses, giving Jesus to the Christians, and an enormous amount of other fabrications. Intelligence is not found in such a work, and as it was not G-d’s word, I am dumbfounded as to why you seek to condone any part of it. We know the Torah is G-d’s single system intended for all mankind. Validating even a single letter of the Koran, the New Testament, or any other religion’s book, is a direct denial of G-d’s will that Moses’ Torah is G-d’s only word.
What the Koran’s author desired was to create a religion that would “rate” when compared to Judaism and Christianity - Judaism’s first knockoff. The author saw Judaism and Christianity as widely accepted. He was faced with opposing what was accepted by the world at large. In my opinion, the author’s plan was to create a religion that rated, not by Christianity’s sin of cannibalizing Judaism, but by a new sin: claiming authority of both of the world’s greatest religions. Through statements like, “we gave you Moses”, “we took you out of Egypt”, and “we gave Jesus to the Christians”, the Koran attempts to place itself higher on the totem pole - by sidestepping competition with others, and claiming authority over them all. Such an approach is both haughty and transparent. Christianity mimics Judaism, while Islam attempts to lay claim to authoring all religions.
If these people you are in touch with seek the truth, then they will recognize it…but only if you present the truth. You are compromising what you teach due to a false premise, i.e., to create harmony by condoning some of their cherished beliefs. You shoot yourself (and them) in the foot by hiding G-d’s truths. In your concern not to offend those child-reared in fable, the Koran, you hide the truth from them. You allow politics to reign supreme over truth, and destroy their ability to learn what G-d desires all people know: there is only one Torah.
There is an important point I wish to convey to you. If you appreciate its truth, I feel you will follow the true path. It is this: Only the absolute, undiluted truth possesses its unique ‘appeal’. Our minds are designed to appreciate reason, rationale, sound argumentation and proofs. The more precise and succinct a lesson, the quicker the mind will recognize it, and the easier it will be for one to attach himself to it, and live by it. If the stark truth is not presented to someone’s mind, he will always remain with dissatisfaction, regardless of the packaging. Be convinced, “truth” needs no advertising, and no salesman. It is inherently appealing. This is how G-d designed the human mind and soul to react when faced with profundity. Do not be insecure about how your teachings will be received. “Truth” has already been designed to resonate in us. Winning over people with anything but the idea itself, is contrary to teaching that idea. “Teaching an idea”, means you wish the student to be impressed with its truth, not with your delivery, and not with your friendship.
If one does not understand a given matter, he uses his mind, which works by laws…the laws of reason. To arrive at knowledge, it follows, that you must present undiluted idea s and arguments. To truly achieve your goal of benefiting others with G-d’s word, refer only to His word! Do not dilute it. By suggesting that there is some truth in the Koran, you have destroyed the exclusive nature of the Torah. You have also violated “Do not add to the Torah” as you claim G-d’s word is not limited to the Torah - you say it may be found elsewhere. This is the crime of that Rabbi in England who said there are “many paths to G-d”. This is the crime of those who say all religions are correct for their respective religionists.
Fearing the rebuke of others should not dampen our efforts. We receive negative and hostile emails at times. When we inquire of their rational defense for their views, we usually never receive a reply. As Jews, we are obliged to learn Torah, which carries with it the obligation to teach our brothers and sisters G-d’s singular system. The Internet is a wonderful means to achieve this goal, and we are most definitely making more of a positive impact through this medium, than if we don’t speak at all, or if we were to soften our tone.
Perhaps also, some other religions may, for a moment, lay down their swords and ponder an idea or two. However, only if ideas are presented undiluted, will they be afforded the opportunity to see the truth.