Why were the Jews not subjected to punishment of death after rejecting Jesus (pbuh) as the prophet of Allah?
While explaining the law relating to the messengers of God, I had mentioned in one of my earlier responses:
An important point to remember here is that, according to the Qur’an, it is the special and specific position of the Rasu’l (messengers) of Allah, which renders the rejecters among his direct addressees “themselves witnesses on their own rejection“. The Qur’an tells us that the messengers of the Almighty, in contrast to Nabi’s (prophets), are not merely deliverers of God’s message. It tells us that a messenger of God is a sign of God’s final justice. When God sends his messenger among a people, these people are left with no excuse of rejection. The truth becomes as apparent for them as the shining sun. Consequently, if these people persist in their rejection, they are sentenced to one of the following two punishments depending upon their beliefs:
- If they are polytheists (Mushrik), they are sentenced to death, as a punishment of their rejection. The Qur’an has presented the people of `aad, Thamud, Nooh, Lut, Musa etc. as examples of this category;
- On the other hand, if these people are not polytheists, they are not sentenced to death, however they are forced to become subservient to the believers of the messenger. The Banu Israeel, after their rejection of Jesus (pbuh)1 were subjected to this punishment.
The lessened punishment of the Jews – in response to their rejection of Jesus (pbuh) as well as Muhammad (pbuh) – was primarily because they did not ascribe to polytheism, as was the case of the other rejecters of God’s messengers.
I hope this helps.
October 26, 2001
- They were administered the same punishment for rejecting the Prophet [↩]