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Anger and me have a bit of a weird relationship, I get angry pretty easily/fast but for the most part I can keep it in, especially in public. But there are so few rare times when I get so angry that cheeks burn. One such recent occasion was because of a website known as jewishencyclopedia.com. Now let me start off by saying I didn’t get mad when the website said Prophet Muhammad copied things from the Jews, Christians, and some pagans (well I was a little annoyed), the reason why I wasn’t angry with that was because I didn’t make sense for me to be annoyed that people from another religion don’t consider him a prophet. No, I was angry for (many) other reasons.
Let’s start off by setting up the scene. I should of been doing my homework, I really should of, but ya’ll can see the first word of the blog’s name and indeed I was doing that. I was doing some research about the Arabs, usually stuff, but then I came upon Hagar’s entry in the jewishencyclopedia. The first half of it was okay, it talked about Hagar in the Bible and the some positive things about her from the Talmud.
Then I kept reading.
And the second half of the article began talking about negative views/things about Hagar from the Talmud. This was the first and most thing that made me angry. My noble friends, Hagar means a Lut (I know it’s not funny, but I still enjoy it) to me, not only is she the mother and wife of two very important prophets, she is also my many great grandmother. And sir, no one dares talks bad about my family when I’m around. The second half of the article went on about how Ishmael (I’m writing the English version of his name, deal with it. I’m reading it as the Arab version and you probably are too.) was actually her second son because Sarai (at this time in Genesis Abraham’s and Sarah’s
names were Abram and Sarai) caused Hagar to miscarriage by giving her the “evil eye.”
(A quick side not, in the Genesis, Sarah is the half-sister to Abraham. I found that out when I was talking to my Bib Lit. teacher about how one of David’s sons raped his (half) sister, and my teacher said, “Remember Genesis? It mentions how Sarah was the half-sister to Abraham. I got more to say about my Bib Lit. class, I really loved it, probably gonna have a blog about it.)
And that’s not all! The article also mentions that some Talmud scholars even say that Hagar would make fun of Sarai (again at this time her name is Sarai, God changed their names after he told them Sarai was pregnant with Isaac) for being barren. The article mentions that some Genesis and Talmud scholars believe that the reason Sarah wanted Abraham to kick out Hagar and Ishmael was because Sarah was scared Isaac wouldn’t get the full inheritance and some even mention Ishmael was sexually deviant when it came to Sarah. (Just a reminder, the story in the Bible and the Islamic version differ, if you want some clarification just ask, I consider myself a bit of a non-expert expert when it comes to the Bible (mostly the Old Testament/Tanakh)). Then what made my blood really boil is when I read that some scholars believe that Hagar didn’t really believe in God because she gave Ishmael an Egyptian wife. Oh and just to add a cherry on the anger, they tell the Islamic version of Ibrahim leaving Hagar and Ishmael in the desert and they get the story wrong.
“That was pretty long,” some of you might be thinking.
That was only the article on Hagar, which admittedly got me the most mad, but like an idea, I decided to read some other articles. The articles about the Arabs/Ishmaelites, Prophet Muhammad, and the Jews of Arabia have many things in common that ticked me off.
The author(s) of the articles try to distant the relationship between the Hebrews and Arabs as much as they can. They say that Arabs are actually mainly descendants of the Babylonians (I just wanna point out that in the Bible, the Babylonians were viewed negatively and were at one point the opposers of the Hebrew) and with some blood from Ishmael and Esau mixed in. When they talk about the Jews of Arabia, they mention that these Jews weren’t as “good” (whatever the hell that means, but I think they're referring to intelligence and spirituality in this context) as other Jews but because they were still Jewish it meant they were superior to the surrounding Arabs. They talk about how that Prophet Muhammad went to war with the Jews was because he wasn’t smart enough to convince him that he was a prophet because they were so much smarter than him. They fail to mention the many reasons why it was the Jewish tribes fault for those wars, such as breaking treaties, assassination plots, and making many bad decisions just to name a few.
Another thing they do is instead of saying Muslims, they would instead say Muhammadan. Which is a pretty obvious (and petty) way of putting down Muslims.
There’s a lot more they get wrong and insulting things they write, but I’m gonna wrap it up with this. In the article about Jesus (I’m gonna skip over most of it, most of it is blugh and the Christians in the comments say more than I care to talk about at this time) they say Sura 3 verse 43 is about Jesus making birds out of clay.
Quran 3:43: O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow [in prayer]." (Sahih International)
I seem to notice a lack of Jesus, clay, and birds. But that could just be me.
I went to bed not long after that, but I stayed awake for a long time because how angry I was. I don’t have anything against Jews/Hebrews. I’m not anti-Semitic (but I am anti-Israeli/Zionist). But this site made me really mad and I’m gonna avoid it for the time being. When it comes to the Tanahk and the Talmud, these guys are pretty good about their job but when it comes to talking about other religions… Let’s just say they shouldn’t put it in their resume (I wanted to end the blog with that line or “Let’s just say they shouldn’t write home about it”. I don’t know which one to put so I’m leaving them both in.)