Judaism and Islam Relations
Interaction between Muslims and Jews has been taking place since the 7th century when Islam was created by the prophet Muhammad. Followers of Islam along with Muhammad came into contact with the Jews due to the fact that Judaism (along with Christianity) was one of the major religions at the time in the Middle East. Since the region of the Middle East mainly consists of Muslims today, there has been a definite struggle between Muslims and Jews over land (especially in the region of the Palestinian Territories and Israel). It is already in this earliest context that Muhammad and his followers came into contact with Jews, and this particular contact became extremely important because reactions to it were recorded for posterity in the Qur'an. The only sources for the earliest relations between Jews and Muslims are the Qur'an and its attendant literatures, which, like other sacred literatures, are interested in history only as it helps to define the emerging community and its values and ideas.
Jews lived in Arabia for some generations before the birth of Muhammad. Legends place Jewish penetration into Arabia as early as the exiting from slavery in Egypt, when Moses sent an army into Arabia to pursue the Egyptians that had taken the Jews into captivity and worked them as slaves. The Jewish community claims its origins in the exile following the destruction of the First Temple or further back with the Queen of Sheba, whose child by Solomon was raised as a Jew. There is no reason to believe these legends as accurate history, but they point to the awareness among Arabs that Jews had been living among them for a long time before the birth of Muhammad. According to the Torah, Jews have been dated on the earth from before the time of Christ and even as far as 500-1000 B.C.
According to the Islamic sources, there is no record of a Jewish community living in Muhammad's home town of Mecca, but there was a thriving community in Medina. Muhammad was...