Jews or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity, nationhood, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance.


Rebecca Masterton, Dr Rebecca Masterton graduated with a BA in Japanese Language and Literature; an MA in Comparative East Asian and African Literature and a PhD in Islamic literature of West Africa. She has been... Answer updated 1 month ago

Posted below are a range of responses to your question, and also links. Jonathan Brown's answer is quite detailed, and seems fairly plausible. In short, the person 'Uzayr could be an amalgamation of two personalities in history. Secondly, the term 'son of God', used in one of the Books of Enoch, has a different meaning from how Christians used the term. It just meant someone pious. There does not appear to be an extensive tafsir of this ayah in Imami books, but I will update this if I find it, inshaAllah.

On Quora:

"Meir Lipnick: Did any Jews actually refer to Ezra as the Son of God, as the Qur'an claims?

Originally Answered: Did any Jews actually worship Ezra as the son of God, as the Koran claims?

If such a sect existed ever, it would be such an outlier that no memory of it exists amongst the Jewish people today. Suffice it to say that every religion has groups of heretics that spring up from time to time. I had never heard of this particular bit of heresy before. When I wrote this answer: Meir Lipnick's answer to Who was Uzair in Jewish literature? about a year ago, I had never heard of this controversy, and had not thought of any reason why this question would be asked. Having read some of the other answers and discussion on this question, it makes sense. Still, this seems to be a very odd controversy. The discussion that it was only some small sect of Jews living in Yemen in the 11th century CE is quite baffling given certain legends that Yemenite Jews felt snubbed by Erza and no Yemenite Jews would name their children after him despite being a prominent biblical figure. See the Wikipedia article on Yemenite Jews
(early history). As the article continues, this particular legend is probably apocryphal, but the fact that it exists seems very counter to the passage in the Quran and any accompanying commentary.

What makes this even more baffling is the nature of this bit of heresy. The whole "son of God" motif is very pagan in character. All legitimate Jewish הַשׁקָפָה (outlook) characterizes God as a single entity, one non-corporeal being. The idea of Him having a son is simply a contradiction in Jewish theology.

Now, this did happen one time in history that such a heresy came about. Christianity could be said to have evolved from a Jewish heresy involving a cult of personality surrounding a particular individual. But, this doesn't translate well to Ezra. There was no cult of personality around Ezra. The Book of Ezra in Jewish scriptures clearly discusses a human being and his pivotal involvement in some of the goings on around the time the Jewish people first returned to Israel after the Babylonian exile. No claim in this book ever mentions anything supernatural about Ezra. He is regarded very highly as one of the founding members of the Great Assembly, but he's not even called a prophet! The era of prophecy ended when the first temple was destroyed many decades before Ezra. But the Book of Ezra shares no similar characteristics as the Christian New Testament. The cult of personality behind Jesus is quite obvious in the New Testament."

"A history of the Jews of Arabia Book by Gordon Darnell Newby Page 61 :
We can deduce that the inhabitants of Hijaz during Muhammad's time knew portions, at least, of 3 Enoch in association with the Jews. The angels over which Metatron becomes chief are identified in the Enoch traditions as the sons of God, the Bene Elohim, the Watchers, the fallen ones as the causer of the flood. In 1 Enoch, and 4 Ezra, the term Son of God can be applied to the Messiah, but most often it is applied to the righteous men, of whom Jewish tradition holds there to be no more righteous than the ones God elected to translate to heaven alive. It is easy, then, to imagine that among the Jews of the Hijaz who were apparently involved in mystical speculations associated with the merkabah, Ezra, because of the traditions of his translation, because of his piety, and particularly because he was equated with Enoch as the Scribe of God, could be termed one of the Bene Elohim. And, of course, he would fit the description of religious leader (one of the ahbar of the Qur'an 9:31R) whom the Jews had exalted."

"George Sale Alkoran of Mohammed page 152 (1923):
This grievous charge against the Jews, the commentators endeavour to support by telling us, that it is meant of some ancient heterdox Jews, or else of some Jews of Medina; who said so for no other reason, than for that the law being utterly lost and forgotten during the Babylonish captivity, Ezra having been raised to life after he had been dead one hundred years, dictated the whole anew unto the scribes, out of his own memory; at which they greatly marvelled, and declared that he could not have done it, unless he were the son of God. Al-Beidawi adds, that the imputation must be true, because this verse was read to the Jews and they did not contradict it; which they were ready enough to do in other instances

Jewish life in late Antiquity was relatively centralized in Sura, Pumbedita and Tiberias, with most Jewish splinter groups being obliterated by then (the emergence of multiple Jewish denominations is a modern phenomenon, while Karaites emerged during the late Abbasid period). The idea that God could have a son has been universally considered antithetical to Jewish thought.

Talmudic sages in general in general saw Ezra as the greatest figure after Moses. The Quran may present a mockery of Rabbinical Judaism by accusing Jews of calling Ezra son of God and taking Rabbis as their lords. Indeed, throughout the Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, many condemnations of Rabbinical Jewish practices could be found."

Quranic tafsir depicts Ezra in a slightly different way. Some tafasir say he was a prophet, although he could have just been the equivalent of a 'sabiq' (in Islam 'someone of the foremost group of righteous people').

"Uzair is Arabic for Hebrew Ezra. This is the only verse in the Holy Qur’an where such a reference is made. Who is this alleged Jewish son of God? After the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem at the hands of Nebuchadnessar, the Torah was lost. Since there was none who remembered the law when the Jews returned from captivity, God raised up Ezra from the dead a hundred years after his death. When the Jews saw him thus raised from the dead, they said he must be the son of God. This is the contested view of some scholars. This raising from the dead is confused with another incident which actually took place to someone else and which is narrated in the Holy Qur’an in 2:261. It involves Bal’am (Balam) ibn Ba’r, a learned Israelite, who passed by a dead town (some say Antioch or one of its suburbs) and wondered how God would bring it back to life. The Almighty caused him to die then raised him back to life to see for himself that He can do anything at all."


Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 year ago

Both are required depending on your surroundings. If you are living among Muslims who need to be nurtured to be better Muslims, you should then focus on that. If you are living among non Muslims who do not know enough about the facts of Islam being the last and final message to all human beings, you need to try to enlighten them and help them know the facts then leave to them to think and decide. No doubt, the reward of enlightening non Muslims is very great, nevertheless,BT he reward if nurturing Muslims to make them better Muslims is also very great.

You can do both as our Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) and his great successors the infallible Imams did. It depends on the need of your surroundings and your abilities.




Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 years ago

The evidence of the prophet hood of Muhammad (SAWA) are too many but Quran and Ahlul Bayt (AS) are the greatest evidence. Any human being who uses his senses will see when reading Quran and the sayings of Ahlul Bayt (AS) that it is miraculous and it can never come from any human being with out link with or support from Allah.

The prophet hood of Jesus (AS) was proven by many miracles which can never be denied by sensible human being. Some people have enmity against Jesus and his mother which is the reason of denying his prophet hood.



Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 2 years ago

In addition to what has been said, my understanding of this verse is with respect to the meaning of "wali/awliya" as putting one's self under someone else's authority. That is, one should not put one's self under the authority (in the sense of dependence or giving over power of one's self to someone else, e.g. politically, financially, personally) of someone who is not Muslim in such a way that one loses control over one's life or society and cannot easily recover it.

To my understanding, one of the principles of the early Muslim community was self-definition and self-sufficiency. It doesn't mean that one cannot be friends; friendship is different from disempowerment. To see the results of political or economic disempowerment, one can look at what happened during the colonialist era as an instructive example. (I am not saying that European colonialism was a morally Christian act, but just that this is how these dynamics can play out in the real world)

I would like to add that, in this day and age, no one would argue the reverse; that is, none of the Western countries (which are somehow connected to the Christian heritage even if they are not necessarily "Christian") woud put themselves under the political, legal, financial, or cultural authority of Muslims, yet no one says that this is prejudiced. 

Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the... Answer updated 2 years ago


Asalamu Alaykom, 

The verse that you have asked about is often used by some anti-Islam supporters to  portray Islam as a hateful and intolerant religion which goes against peaceful co-existence. 

They use the verse to say that a Muslim isn’t allowed to be friends with non-Muslims. It is correct that some translations have translated the word ‘Awliya’ - the plural of wali’ - as ‘friends’ but the word wali or awliyah, can have various meanings depending on the context. 

Firstly in Islam as we know, marriage is allowed  with the people of the book. Therefore it wouldn’t make sense for Allah to command us not be friends with the people of the book and at the same time, allow marriage with them. Is it possible that one may have a Christian or Jewish wife but not be her friend?! 

Secondly, when we read history, we find that the prophet Mohammad had (sawa) peaceful interactions with the people of the book as well as friendship. 

Extracted from a longer Hadith in Kitāb Al-Tawhīd by Sheikh Saduq, we find the following: 

كان لرسول الله صديقان يهوديان 

“The Messenger of Allah had two Jewish friends” 

This shows us that according to our books, the prophet did in fact have friendship with those from the people of the book. By coupling this hadith with the verse, we would come to realise that the word ‘wali’ must have a different meaning than friend. 

When we look into some books of history, we find that according to some reports, this verse was revealed during an incident relating Jews who had breached a covenant with the prophet. 

Please read the passage below: 

“It is reported that the Messenger of Allah besieged them for six days until finally they surrendered to him. `Abdullah ibn Ubayy came to him and interceded on their behalf saying: “O Apostle of Allah, these are my allies and clients who have defended me against the black and the red (that is, against all kinds of people). They were three hundred armoured soldiers and four hundred without armour. Would you now cut them down all in one morning? By Allah, I can then find no security; rather I dread the turns of for- tunes!” The people of Banu Qaynuqa` were allies of the Khazraj tribe only, and not of the Aws. `Abdullah ibn Ubayy persisted in his entreaties until the Prophet relented and granted him their blood. But seeing the humiliation which they had suffered, the people of Banu Qaynuqa` left Medina altogether and settled in Adhri'at in Syria. Then Allah sent down concerning `Abdullah ibn Ubayy and others of the Khazraj tribe:

O you who have faith, take not the Jews or the Christians as patrons. . . (Qur'an. 5 : 51‐ 52) .”

Source: Beacons of Light: Muhammad, the Prophet and Fatimah az-Zahra’ (the Radiant) a Partial translation of I'lamu 'l Wara bi Alami 'l-Huda of Abu Ali al Fadl ibn al Hasan ibn al Fadl at Tabarsi (c. 468/1076 - 548/1154). 

So we see that from this source, a hypocrite from among the companions, tried to intercede for the Jews of Banu Qaynuqa who broke the peace treaty with prophet which was a betrayal. The Prophet allowed this Jewish tribe to reside in Medina on the condition that they do not help enemies against the Muslims; despite this, they still broke their agreement. 

From this source it shows that Allah revealed this verse to rebuke the hypocrite Abdullah bin Ubay who took these people as his allies and his protective guardians. He relied on them and had a type of attachment towards them over the prophet and Muslims. 

This leads us understand that if we take the verse to mean friends, it would indicate those from them who Muslims  have conflicts with, and not regular people from Ahlul kitab. 

However from the context of the historical report, it seems that the correct translation could be the following: 

O you who have faith, take not the Jews or the Christians as patrons or protective guardians. . . (Qur'an. 5 : 51‐ 52) 

Also it could be possible for a Muslim to be forbidden from friendship with some other Muslims. For example if they would lead him astray or to an immoral path, he must not be friends with them despite them being Muslims. So this isn’t discriminatory and restricted to only people of the book. 

If a Muslim was to have a Christian friend for example, who he may study with or partake in sports with etc, then this would be permitted providing that this person wouldn’t lead him down an immoral path or a deviated path. How many times have we found ourselves around Christians who held better moral traits than Muslims although they are upon Batil? 

Also to mention, it is better for someone to take mu’minin as friends as  this will lead them to become stronger in iman and prevent them from haram things. 

It should be noted that the  book above, also contains reports from non-Shia reported Seerah of the prophet. This is due to the Shia losing many books by having them burnt by the enemies, so the above opinion is a possible exegesis for the verse and not 100% definite. Allah swt knows best and the full explanation of the Quran will be with us when Imam Mahdi (May Allah hasten his reappearance) returns. 

What we do know for certain, is that it wouldn’t mean friends in the absolute sense as the Prophet had two Jewish friends as reported in our sources. As we know, the Prophet Mohammad (sawa) is of course our role model who we try to imitate. If he showed friendship and kindness towards the non-Muslims, we may also take this example. 

May Allah grant you success 


Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 years ago

Those who claim that Uzair is son of God are condemned in Quran as those who claim that Maseeh (Jesus) is son of God.

Jews have many different sects and divisions in faith and we don't condemn but only those who went away from the real message of Torah and adverse stand against any prophet.

We read in Quran about the People of Book ( Not all of them are alike, a community from the People of Book stand for the right, they recite the Verses of Allah in parts of the night during prostrating to God. (Sura 3, Verse 113).

Allah (SWT) tells us in Quran to call the People of Book for common word between us and them (Say: O People of Bok, come to a common word between us and you, that we worship none but Allah and we do never associate any partner with Him) (3: 64)



Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 3 years ago

A scriptural perspective: According to Qur'an and hadith, it is good to share the message of Islam and invite others to it (what is known as da'wah). This should be done in a good way, with politeness and good forms of discussion and argumentation. 

However, nothing in Islamic texts that says that conversion for the sake of conversion is a goal. There is no real point to false conversion or forced conversion. The Qur'an and Islamic worldview acknowledge the existence of people of other faiths and that there is good and bad in other faiths. It is said that at the end of time when the Mahdi (the promised saviour/last imam) arrives, many people will convert to Islam because it will be clear that he has a true and good message. However, texts also indicate that some people will remain with their own religions and not convert to Islam. 

Many regions that today are majority Muslim took time to convert to Islam. This process happened gradually, over hundreds of years, and wasn't instant, even though the rulers of many of these regions identified as Muslim. Probably this is because while conversion is a social phenomenon, it is also a highly individual one, and individuals have different reasons for religious conversion. Sometimes there is a conflation between the expansion of the original Arab-Muslim Empires and conversion to Islam, but in reality just because the borders expanded did not mean that everyone in these territories suddenly became Muslim. 

A sociopolitical perspective: The Islamic world today does not have a single goal. While it would be ideal if Muslim-majority countries and Muslim leaders could unite (especially on the basics, such as economic cooperation), currently, this is not happening. Individual Muslim leaders and Muslim groups have their own goals. By and large, I think most Muslims today are more concerned about internal issues (politics, the threat of war) or questions regarding Islam and contemporary life, rather than expansion. Islam is already a large religion and isn't in danger of disappearing due to numbers. Also, most Muslim-majority countries have historically established religious minority communities. That being said, there are some Muslims who do work at spreading the message of Islam.

In any case, Islam is still spreading (particularly in the West and parts of Africa, but also - although there is less attention to it - in Muslim-majority countries and India). There is some interesting literature on the dynamics of the history of the spread of Islam if you wish to explore it.



Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 3 years ago

There is no question of any meat to be Halal without fulfilling all conditions of Halal meat including the condition of a Muslim slaughter. Any animal slaughtered by non Muslim can never be Halal.



Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 3 years ago

The cause of the rift was the betrayal of Jewish leaders of that time and mischief they played against the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) and the Muslims. They wanted to join the enemies of Islam instead of protecting Madina. They had secret ties with the enemies of Islam and Muslims to destroy the Muslim state in Madina.



Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answer updated 3 years ago

Any type of aggression against any human being , Muslim or non Muslim and even against peaceful animals or nature is very bad and Allah does not like the aggressors. 



There were certainly Jewish communities present in Medina at the time the muhajirun migrated there from Makkah. 

At the beginning of the seventh century A.D., there were three Jewish tribes living in Medina (Yathrib). They were Banu Qainuka'a, Banu Nadhir and Banu Qurayza. All three tribes were rich and powerful, and also, they were more civilized than the Arabs. Whereas the Arabs were all farmers, the Jews were the entrepreneurs of industry, business and commerce in Arabia, and they controlled the economic life of Medina (Yathrib). The two Arab tribes – Aus and Khazraj – were debt-ridden to the Jews perennially.

Besides Medina, the strong centers of the Jews in Hijaz were Khyber, Fadak and Wadi-ul-Qura. The lands in these valleys were the most fertile in all Arabia, and their Jewish cultivators were the best farmers in the country.

The migration of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, from Makkah to Medina (then Yathrib), brought him into contact with the Jews for the first time. At the beginning they were friendly to him. He granted them the famous Charter of Medina, and they acknowledged him the ruler of their city, and agreed to abide by his decisions in all disputes. They also agreed to defend the city in the event of an invasion by an enemy.

But, unfortunately, this friendship did not last long.

Read more -