A brief Jewish history from Stone Age to Modern Age.

A brief Jewish history from Stone Age to Modern Age.

 

Palestine (Jerusalem) is the birth place of three main religions of the world, Jews, Christians and Muslims. Jews emerged from Palestine and spread in the whole world. While emerging and spreading, Jews changed their religion from Muslim to Jewish. Also Jews lost and changed (added to/ subtracted from) their religion many times which was one reason why Islam had to come. The other reason was that Allah wanted to change some laws given to past prophets to make this monotheist religion complete and easier.

From Quran we know in ancient times Allah Almighty gave religious dominance to the Children of Israel with the promise that they will follow His right path and will represent the true monotheism. When Prophet Ibrahim asked Allah for the chiefdom of his offspring, He All-Mighty said if his offspring commit wrong doings, they will not be entitled to have the chiefdom. Many generations after Prophet Ibrahim, Jews got chance to live in company of other faiths. They did not remain steadfast to monotheism. First they started liking other faiths then got impressed by them, then deviated from their own Torah or the Old Testament and then changed Torah also to their own liking i.e. changed it to look like other faiths. Afterwards they kept following the path of the deviated Torah. They rejected to believe in Allah, disobeyed His messengers, slew His prophets, broke their covenants and oaths with Allah and rejected to follow Islam preached by Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him). The glad tidings of whose coming were given by their Prophets and are also written in their scriptures, by doing so they ultimately forego their right to hold religious dominance.

According to Islam the nation of monotheism is considered as one nation that came from Adam (peace be upon him) till Allah inherits the earth. Allah’s prophets and messengers and their followers are part of the nation of monotheism, and the call for Islam is an extension of their call. According to the Qur’anic understanding all Prophets were Muslims and believers in One Allah. Muslims respect and believe all the Prophets. Provided we Muslims remain committed to Allah All-Mighty and His principles we are now chosen by Allah to dominate and propagate this religion of monotheism which is completed by Muhammad PBUH.

Now we will read the history of Palestine from Stone Age till modern age.

In the Modern Stone Age 8000-4500 BC [Before Christ] the cave life of man in Palestine was changed to settlements. Man changed from food collector to food producer. The first evidence supporting settled life appeared in Jericho, which is the most ancient city in the world. It was established in 8000 BC.
The Middle Bronze Age extended from 2000 BC to 1550 BC. During this age, around 1900 BC, Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) came to Palestine from Iraq, accompanied by his nephew “Prophet Lut” (peace be upon him) and there, Isma’il, Isaac and Jacob (peace be upon them) were born.
Prophet Moses was given Torah during 1350 BCE, Before Christian Era. That was late bronze age (1539- 1250 BCE). It is apparent from the comparative historical indications that Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) led the Children of Israel towards the Holy Land in the second half of the thirteenth century BC, i.e. in the Late Bronze Age.

By the time it was Iron Age I (1035-928 BCE); Jews became very impressed by the Egyptians. Therefore in the United Israelite Monarchy period (1017- 928 BCE), they started importing Egyptian administrative system, wisdom, traditions and literature. At that time for the first time the Jewish scholars changed Torah.

During 1004 BC and 923 BC Prophets David and Solomon (peace be upon them) were sent among Jews who (peace be upon them) brought Jews back to their monotheist religion and Torah was restored. This was the golden period of Jews. Prophets David and Solomon (PBU them) were very powerful kings of their times. Kingdoms of that stature were never heard of, before or after those times. There were two separate kingdoms of Jews at that time. One was kingdom of Israel (northern kingdom) and other was kingdom of Judah (southern kingdom).

During Iron Age II, 928-586 BCE Assyrians attacked Jews and completely destroyed the kingdom of Israel in 734-712 BCE. Kingdom of Judah held the Temple of Solomon which was not attacked therefore Torah remained unharmed. A transition from Israelite (a member of the ancient Hebrew people descended from the patriarch Jacob) religion to Judaism (Jewish religious practices, customs, and culture as a way of life) began in this period. As a result of the attack many Israelites were expelled from their land. From 730 BC till 645 BC Jews in general, were under the Assyrian dominion, who themselves came from Iraq. Jewish scholars changed Torah as they got much impressed by Assyrians.

In, 628-609 BCE, Prophet Uzair wrote Torah from memory, as he knew Torah by heart, and implemented reforms in Judah. During this period Jews faced extreme poverty and slow recovery.

Then Babylonians from Iraq attacked Assyrians in 597-582 BCE and the Babylonians were the successors in dominion till 539 BC. In the process Jews were again expelled from their land. Babylonians completely destroyed whole of Jewish kingdom in 586 BCE including the ancient Temple of Solomon. Costly valuables of gold were stripped off the Temple and were looted. All Jewish religious scholars were killed and Torah was destroyed. Jews were forced into slavery. Common Jewish population did not know Torah, only their scholars used to read it in the Temple of Solomon. So with scholars killed, Temple and the holy book destroyed, they were completely lost. They forgot their religious customs, even how to pray. At that time in an effort to retain their religion they started building synagogues for prayers. To achieve this they built a synagogue at every place where 10 adult males could group together and could read Torah between them. Redaction (edited and re-edited many times before it was re-written) of Torah was completed during this period. Jews were extremely arrogant people and called themselves the chosen people of God. They even lost their belief in afterlife and resurrection. This deficiency in belief resulted in many moral degradations. They advocated that they were not compelled to behave well in society because hell-fire would not touch them more than a few days. They started experimenting with religion, adding and subtracting from Torah on their own will.

The Assyrians and the Babylonians exchanged power over Palestine with Egypt. Then, after 48 years, the Persians invaded Palestine and defeated Babylonians. They established Persian rule (538- 332 BCE) and liberated Jews from the slavery of Babylonians. Many Jews came back to Jerusalem, re-built it and also the Temple of Solomon.

Then in 332 BCE – 167 BCE, Alexander’s Conquests changed the map. Jews entered the Greek Hellenistic Age. They were ruled by the Ptolemaics till 198 BC. Greek language and culture dominated the next 1000 years throughout the region. Greeks were strict masters. Religious freedom of Jews was taken away from them. With changing history, Jews changed their religious book Torah once again.

After Greeks, Romans conquered the lands which Jews inhabited in 63 BCE. Herod and his heirs ruled as client state of Rome in 40 BCE – 44CE. In this period, the population was Jewish but the rulers were pagan Romans. The rule of Herod lasted till the year 4 BC, which was contemporary with the two prophets Zakariya and his son Yahya (peace be upon them). This was also contemporary with Maryam bint Imran (peace be upon her). By the end of Herod’s life, Jesus (peace be upon him) was born. Jews did not listen to the Christ, so Allah bodily lift the Christ up, to the heavens. Due to the hard work of the Christ’s disciples, in 4th CE, Roman Empire gradually got Christianized. Even after Christ, Jews were all the time creating troubles and destroying peace of the land. The conspiring and fighting nature of Jews clashed with Roman Christians. So Roman Christians strongly persecuted them and killed them. This resulted in the severe decline of Jewish population. Jewish temples were destroyed and scholars murdered. In 135 CE [Christ Era] almost all Jews had to leave Jerusalem for good. They spread away to many places. Some came to Arabia and settled in Madina. Jewish tribes Banu Nazeer, Banu Qoreza and Banu Qainqa migrated to Madina at that time. They were present in the time of Prophet Muhammad PBUH too and strongly opposed the Prophet.

Till now Jews had a patriarchate [a social system in which men are regarded as the authority within the family and society, and in which power and possessions are passed on from father to son, tribal] way of life. In 425 CE the patriarchate was abolished therefore the family rule of the tribal Jewish life ended.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born on 12 Rabi ul Awal 570 A.D. The Prophet entered the city of Yathrib with his friend Abu Bakr on Monday 27 September 622 A.D. From then on wards Yathrib was called al-Medina, The City and counting of Hijra (A.H.) calendar started. Prophet Muhammad PBUH died on 12 Rabi ul Awal, 11 A.H. (8 June, 632 A.D.) Six years after the death of Muhammad PBUH, 17 A.H., 638 A.D., Caliph Omar Ibn Al Khattab took Jerusalem with out blood shed. He allowed the Jews who were in minority there to stay in the city and also allowed their religious freedom. Muslim Conquest gave Palestine its Arab-Islamic character.

Then after 461years of generally peaceful Muslim rule, crusaders led by Godfrey de Bouillon took Jerusalem in 1099 A.D. At that time Muslims were tortured inhumanly and slaughtered. About that period Christians very proudly used to say that the Muslim blood flowed ankle deep in the streets of Jerusalem.

After 88 years of bloody Christian rule a Kurd Muslim General Salah ud din Ayyubi recaptured Jerusalem from crusaders, in 1187 A.D. He gave Jews and Christians general amnesty and religious freedom. Thus peace returned to Jerusalem with Muslim rule. From then on wards Muslims ruled Jerusalem for seven centuries.

Jews had such poor habits, bad civic manners and fighting nature that they had to endure very hard times in Europe. During the days of Jewish inquisition in Europe, 1391, Christians made Roman Catholic courts. These courts had powers to punish those Jews who did not accept Roman Catholic religion. Thousands of Jews were killed through these courts. Thousands accepted Roman Catholic religion to avoid death and disgrace.

After 730 years of generally peaceful Muslim rule, in 1917, at the end of World War Two, British captured Jerusalem from Muslims.

Jews went through holocaust in Europe in 1920’s. Hitler’s government threw all Jews out of government jobs, in Germany 1933. They were prohibited from entering any educational institutions, colleges and schools. Their properties and valuables were confiscated by the government. It is estimated, six million Jews were killed during that period. Gas chambers were used to kill Jews and then their corpses were burnt in furnaces. As a result of holocaust whole Jewish communities in eastern and central Europe were destroyed completely. All their religious and educational institutions, which were working since thousands of years, were also destroyed by Nazis who wanted their complete extermination. Italy, Romania, Hungary and many other European countries also followed Nazis in killing the Jews.

In 1948 British withdraw from Palestine. The country was invaded by armies from neighboring countries.

With the help of British and America, the State of Israel was made on May 14, 1948.

So after nearly 2000 years past the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, in135 CE by Romans and expulsion of Jews, the Jews came back to Palestine (Jerusalem) when Israel was made in 1948. And they started practicing their centuries old bad morals and fighting habits in Israel too, all the time practicing mischief, dishonesty, faithlessness and destroying peace of the land.

 

Acknowledgements:

1.           Lectures of Dr Farhat Hashmi.

2.           http://www.palestine-info.co.uk 

3.           Jewish History Tables, By David Steinberg, david@adath-shalom.ca, Home page http://www.houseofdavid.ca/

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