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Khalifa Ali bin Abu Talib - The Bani Qainuqa

Ali and the Jews

In the original accounts that have come down to us there is no mention of the activities of Ali with reference to the Jews. The silence of the authorities in this respect does not mean that Ali was inactive, and he took no part in the cold war that prevailed between the Muslims and the Jews. The Jews boasted of their superior knowledge and argued that as Muhammad (peace be upon him) was illiterate he could not be a prophet of God. Ali was the most learned scholar among the Muslims, and it appears very probable that Ali met the arguments of the Jews at intellectual level, and exposed their perfidies and transgressions during the course of history. Ali was a prominent poet as well, and we will not be far from the truth when we say that Ali composed verses vindicating Islam. Islam is a missionary religion, and when the Muslims had established a polity at Madina, they took steps to convert the unbelievers and the people of the Book to Islam. As Ali was the most eloquent person among the Muslims, excepting the Holy Prophet, it appears that Ali played a prominent role in propagating the message of Islam. In spite of the general hostility of the Jews to the Muslims, Ali succeeded in converting some of the Jews to Islam. The Holy Prophet as the Head of the State, had to adjudicate on disputes among the people, including the Jews. Because of his great learning and vast legal knowledge, Ali assisted the Holy Prophet in settling the disputes. Certain persons in Madina had accepted Islam for considerations of self-interest and expediency. Such persons led by Abdullah b Ubayy owed nominal allegiance to Islam. These hypocrites and dissemblers aimed at the subversion of Islam from within. The Holy Prophet made Ali responsible for keeping a watch on the activities of the hypocrites. The Jews aided and patronized the hypocrites in violation of the terms of the agreement between the Muslims and the Jews.

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