From the Islamic Invasion to the Crusades – A History of the land of Israel by Rabbi Joseph Schwarz (first published in 5610/1850) with Commentary

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The Historian, Rabbi Joseph Schwarz, wrote the article: History of Palestine: 614-1096 C.E. From the Accession of the Mahomedans to that of the Europeans for a Periodical Called the Occident.


I decided I would directly quote an excerpt from his account without tampering at all with the quotation. Although I highlighted words from his article on my own discretion.

I would have preferred that Rabbi Schwartz had called the founder of Islam, the M-Prophet based on what I wrote in the article When Is It Permitted to Bow to Men and When Is Bowing Considered Forbidden Intermediary Worship , According to Rabbeinu Nissim. Now here’s the quote:

In the year 4374* (614) there lived in Medina, in Arabia, Mahomed ibn Abdallah, descended from Keder, son of Ishmael (Gen. 25:13), who had taken possession of Arabia and the neighbouring countries. Mahomed had two secret counsellors, who assisted him in the construction of his new system of doctrines and belief; these were Allman Mam Ali, of Jewish descent, and Turchman, a Christian; hence it resulted that the Koran contains many rules bearing analogy to Jewish ideas, for they were derived from Mam Ali.

* It is not easy to give the precise year of the Chadjra (the flight of Mahomed), since all authorities are not agreed in this respect. In general, the year of the text is assumed. In a Hebrew work, out of which I have drawn largely, the year 4384 (621) is given. The Mahomedans reckon this year 5605 (1845) as the 1261st of the Chadjra. If we now calculate their years in general at 355 days, as they have no leap year, we shall have only about 1226 solar years, which would give us the year 4379 (619 of the Christian Era) as the year of the Chadjra.

Mahomed had an astrologer at his court called Bucheran, who was a very great enemy of the Jews, and urged the prophet constantly to persecute and exterminate them entirely, so that Mahomed at length listened to the proposition, since he had without this already a hatred towards them, because they had not aided him in his campaigns according to his expectation; wherefore the whole Jewish population under his rule, ran great danger of being entirely cut off. Rabbi Shallum, son of the then Resh Gelutha, in Babel, perceiving this dreadful predicament, went to Mahomed, and offering him his submission, friendship, and services, endeavoured to enter with him into a friendly compact. Mahomed accepted his proposition with pleasure, conceived a great affection for him, and took his daughter, a handsome young girl, for wife; he made him also a general in his army, and gave him the name of Abu Bachr al Chaliva al Zadik, literally: The father of the maiden, the descendant of the righteous; this means, that of all his wives, who were either widows or divorced women, this one was the only one who had never been married before, and then she was the granddaughter of the celebrated chief of the captivity; therefore, the descendant of the righteous. This occurrence induced Mahomed to give up his terrible intention to destroy the Jews in his country, and thus did Rabbi Shallum save his people.

Abu Bachr and Aliman now resolved among themselves to remove the dangerous enemy of the Jews, Bucheran. One evening Mahomed, Bucheran, Aliman, and Abu Bachr, were drinking together; the latter two soon saw that Mahomed and the astrologer were strongly intoxicated, and lay stretched out in a deep and profound sleep. Abu Bachr thereupon drew the sword of Mahomed from its scabbard, cut off therewith Bucharan’s head, and put the bloody sword back into its receptacle, and both then lay themselves down quietly near Mahomed to sleep. When Mahomed awoke and saw his friend lying decapitated near him, he cried out in a fury: “This terrible deed has been done by one of us three in our drunkenness!” Abu Bachr thereupon said quite unconcernedly: “Let each one draw his sword, and he whose weapon is stained with blood, must needs be the murderer!” They all drew their swords, and that of Mahomed was completely dyed with fresh blood, which proved thus clearly to his satisfaction that he had murdered his friend. He was greatly grieved at this discovery; cursed and condemned the wine which was the cause of this murder, and swore that he never would drink any more, and that also no one should do so who wishes to enter heaven. This is the cause why wine is prohibited to the Mahomedans.

At a later period, Mahomed learned the whole transaction, and that his father-in-law was the perpetrator of the bloody deed; wherefore, he lost his favour, and he would not permit him to come before him. Abu Bachr went thereupon and conquered sixty places, which had not yet submitted to Mahomed, and presented them to him, through which means he became again reconciled to him, was received in favour, and remained thereafter at court.

Mahomed urged his conquests to the north and west; made war against Heraclius and his son Constantine, captured the country around Antiochia, Armenia, a part of Asia Minor (Anatolia), and Palestine. Jerusalem, however, continued in possession of the Greeks. Mahomed reigned 11 years, and died in 4385 (625); he was succeeded by his father-in-law, Abu Bachr, but he survived him but two years, when he also died.

In 4387 (627), another father-in-law, Omar ibn Kataf, ascended the throne. In the tenth year of his reign (4397) he appeared before Jerusalem with a large army. He besieged it, and after producing great distress thereby in the city, it surrendered to his arms. He then made a treaty with the Greek inhabitants of the city, that they should pay him a ransom for their lives, and send an annual tribute. He commanded to rebuild the temple, and appropriated several pieces of ground, the proceeds of which were destined to defray the expenses and keep it in repair, which is continued to be done to this day. He built, accordingly, the great Mosque al Sachara [Dome of the Rock]of which I have spoken above. He also conquered the whole country around Damascus and Ispahan, which is a part of Persia.

Egypt was taken by his general Omar ibn Aleaz, as also the city of Alexandria, where he burnt the celebrated library, through which learned posterity suffered an irreparable loss. This conquest of Egypt put an end to the government of the Mameluks, and it came under the rule of the Califs, and so it remained till the country was conquered by the Tartars in 4502 (742). In 4400 (640), Omar built the present al Mazr and called it Al Kairo, which means, “care, pains, sorrow;” since this building cost him much trouble, care, and labour. In the town of Pastat, the ancient Zoar (for which see the Appendix), he prohibited and prevented a terrible ancient custom, which was prevalent among the Greeks of that place. They used, on the day when the Nile begins to rise, to take a handsome young woman, to dress her in the most costly and brilliant attire, to lead her to the river under accompaniment of music and dancing, and then to throw her into the water; since, according to their opinion, the Nile would, in reward for this beautiful sacrifice, rise higher and higher, and scatter its rich blessings over the land. Omar reigned 15 years.

In the year 4402 (642), Osman (or Othman) ibn Afan assumed the government. He was a son-in-law of Mahomed. In the year 4406 (646), he took the island of Rhodes, and in 4413 (603) the island of Cyprus, from the Greeks.

In 4413 (653), the Calif Ali ibn Abu Talbih, also a son-in-law of Mahomed, who had slain his predecessor Osman, succeeded to the throne. The Persians, and many other Mahomedans, regard this Ali also as a prophet, equal to Mahomed. Even at the present day there are two sects of Mahomedans; one is composed of those who only believe in and acknowledge Mahomed as a prophet [Sunni], and the other of those who ascribe the same honour to Ali [Shia]. These two sects always are inimical towards, and persecute each other. In Syria and on the Lebanon there are likewise several Mahomedans who belong to the sect of Ali.–Under him the Mahomedans conquered the whole of Anatolia, and penetrated as far as Africa and Spain. He was succeeded, in 4419 (659), by his son, Calif Chazan ibn Ali.

Calif Maevia ibn Sefian began his reign in 4434 (674). Under him there were constant wars and contests among the great men of the state, concerning the califate, and it was always doubtful whether he should be able to maintain himself on the throne or not.

In 4435, Calif Abd al Maleki assumed the government. He made a treaty with the Greek Emperor of Constantinople, Justinian II. He built the city of Ramla, and several other towns in that neighbourhood. The district of Abu Gosh (see above, Kirjath-Jearim), is to this day called Belad Beni Amaleki, perhaps in allusion to this Calif. In his time, in 4459 (699), there ruled in Iraq and Babel yet another Calif, Chadjadj ibn Jusif. Abd al Maleki was succeeded in 4467 (707) by his son, Calif Walid I., ibn Abd al Maleki.

In 4502 (742), the country was invaded by innumerable hordes of Tartars, from the vicinity of the Caspian Sea. They were called Turkemans ; hence the name of Turks. These conquered the whole of Syria, Cappadocia, and Palestine, and caused everywhere terrible devastations. The Arab Califs made war against them, and drove them out of the country; they, however, came back a third time, as I shall relate hereafter, till at length the Arabs and Turks became united, by the latter assuming the Koran and the Mahomedan religion, and formed, as at this day, but one nation, only that the former are called Arabs or Ishmaelites, and constitute the greater portion of the inhabitants of Palestine; whilst of the others, called Turks, but few are in our country, whereas in Turkey, in Europe, the population is mostly composed of them.

In 4523 (763), there reigned the Calif Al Mansur, who built Bagdad, the modern Babylon.

In 4546 (786), the Calif Harun al Rashid (i.e. the just) became ruler, and reigned till 4569 (809). He completed the building of the city of Baghdad, commenced by Al Mansur. In 4557 (797) there arose a terrible war between the Saracens and the Arabic tribes in Palestine, through which means Gaza, Ashkelon, Sarifea צריפין and Beth-Gubrin were entirely destroyed.

In 4572 (812), the Mahomedans attacked and slew the ecclesiastical chiefs of the Christians in Jerusalem.

In the year 4573 (813), ruled Calif Almamans ibn Harun, until the year 4603 (843).

In 4628 (868), there reigned Sultan Ibn Achmad ibn Tulun over Egypt. In that year the Tartaric hordes made another irruption, and conquered Palestine and Egypt. Sultan Ibn Achmad had constant wars with them: he reigned till 4644 (884).

In 4729 (969), there reigned the Calif Ma’ez, of the Fatimite family. This name was borne by the Califs of Kairuan, a country to the west of Egypt, in the neighbourhood where Carthage formerly stood (see Appendix). He conquered Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, and had his seat in Cairo (Al Mazr).

Calif Al Chakim, the third of the Fatimite family, became sovereign in the year 4756 (996). He was a great enemy to the Christians, and persecuted them everywhere.

In the year 4776 (1016), he advanced with a large army against Jerusalem, and drove away the Tartars, who yet occupied the same. He also destroyed totally the church which Constantine had built over the so­called place of Jesus’s sepulchre. His reign extended till 4781 (1021).

The pilgrims who came from the west (Europe) to Palestine, and beheld these persecutions, painted them in strong and glaring colours on their return to their native countries, and moreover calumniated the Jews, as though these had contributed much to produce the enmity and persecution of the Christians on the part of Al Chakim. These and still other falsehoods and calumnies increased the hatred and the persecution towards the Jews in European countries; and when at a later period the pious crusaders from the west went eastward, to snatch the Holy Land from the power of the Mahomedans, they found ample opportunity to execute a pious and holy vengeance on these poor Israelites, as I shall relate somewhat more circumstantially hereafter.

In 4781 (1021), his son Calif Dahir ibn Chakim became sovereign. He was a friend to the Christians, and permitted them to rebuild their destroyed church.

In 4800 (1040), the Tartaric hordes made a third irruption under their leader Seldjuk, who was of the tribe Hildokiao. This chief was uncommonly successful in his conquests: he made war against the Egyptian Calif, and conquered Syria, and Jerusalem with its environs. He bitterly persecuted the Christians in the Holy City, and they had to endure terrible exactions, and were compelled to submit entirely to his arbitrary will.

In 4859 (1099), the Arabs under the Egyptian Calif again acquired Jerusalem and the surrounding country, and drove the Tartars away from there, and thought themselves secure in possession of the city, when suddenly a new enemy came over them, with whom they had to wage a long and bloody strife. This enemy was the Europeans of the West, who in that very year entered the land of Palestine and conquered it.

This ends the quote from Rabbi Joseph Schwarz.

Rabbi Schwarz Implied in His Article That Rabbi Shallum Fooled the M-Prophet Under the Identity of Abu Bachr In Order to Save A Large Number of Jews

It must also be stressed that although Rabbi Shallum and his daughter might have had good intentions, a Jew is not allowed to change his religion, even when the goal is to save lives. See Radbaz Vol. 4, siman 92 and Beit Yosef to Yoreh Deah, siman 157 why the excuse that they were saving lives is not accepted by Halacha and for more precise definitions on what is considered changing religion.

Calif Al Chakim Who Rabbi Schwarz Mentioned In the History Quoted Above Not Only Persecuted the Christians But Also Persecuted The Jews.

He is worth a brief mention, because the Druze religion made that man into a Deity or to be more precise, makes the extremely false claim, that he was one of the 7 body incarnations of the Creator of the Universe. Many religious Jews are not aware of the true beliefs of the Druze religion and attribute to the Druze a spiritual status that they do not deserve.

Was the Muslim Exile Better or Worse than the Christian Exile?

Rabbi Joseph Schwarz towards the end of his article (I only quoted the first two thirds) gives the impression that the Muslim exile was better than the Christian exile. This is  a very debatable idea.

The yellow badge of shame that the Nazis made the Jews wear was originally invented or inspired by the Muslims.

The practice of wearing special clothing or markings to distinguish Jews and other non-Muslims (Dhimmis) in Muslim-dominated countries seems to have been introduced in the Umayyad Caliphate by Caliph Umar II in the early 8th century. The practice was reissued and reinforced by Caliph Al-Mutawakkil (847–861), subsequently remaining in force for centuries.[2][3] A genizah document from 1121 gives the following description of decrees issued in Baghdad:

Two yellow badges [are to be displayed], one on the headgear and one on the neck. Furthermore, each Jew must hang round his neck a piece of lead with the word Dhimmi on it. He also has to wear a belt round his waist. The women have to wear one red and one black shoe and have a small bell on their necks or shoes.[4]

It should be pointed out that Rambam who barely survived the religious persecution of the Almohide Muslims, but later went on to become the Doctor of the Muslim Sultan, Saladin, claimed (in Iggeret Teiman) that the Muslim Exile  was the worst of all the exiles. Rambam also informs us (in Iggeret HaShmad) that the founder of Islam murdered 24,000 Jews! 

The Islamic Backlash Over the Advent of “Messiah”

In the letters of the Rambam {Maimonides} printed by Mossad Harav Kook after his letter to Teiman {Iggeret Teiman} [page 191] a short history by the Rambam on the Messianic movements is brought.
“I will tell you about the events that occurred after the Yishmaelite {Islamic} kingdom stood, and from this you will receive benefit. After these events it happened that in the east of Isfahan (in Persia) there appeared a big mass of Jews, hundreds of thousands, and at their head was a man that considered himself to be the Messiah. They wore weapons of war, drew their swords and killed all that stood against them. At the end they reached as it became known to me to the outskirts of Baghdad. This occurred during the Omayed Dynasty. The king (that is to say Caliph) said to the Jews of his land: let their sages speak to these people and if it be true what they say, and that this man (clearly) is the one that they are awaiting (the Messiah) we will make a peace treaty with them under any conditions that you want; but if the matter is false – I will fight them. All the sages went out to them. These men said: “we are from the district across the river” (that is to say Sambatyon). The sages asked them: “why have you arisen (against the government)? They replied to them: “this man here is known to be pious and honorable, and he is from the offspring of the house of David. It was known that he was inflicted with the plague of Tzaraat and that he went to sleep one night and in the morning he rose up healthy and in perfect shape”. Howbeit this is one of the signs of the Messiah, for they claim that this is the intention of the verse about the Messiah “plagued and smitten by the L-rd and inflicted” (Yishayahu {Isaiah 53,4}: namely, that he will be plagued with Tzaraat.
But the sages explained to them that this explanation is not correct and that this man is lacking some of the aspects of the Messiah, if not all of them. Then the sages added by reprimanding them: “our brothers, until now you are still near to your land and you have the opportunity to return, but if you remain here any more in this country – all of you will die, and you will also nullify the words of Moshe (Rabbeinu, that is to say the designated ends of the Torah), for the masses will believe that the Messiah already appeared and he was conquered. Behold there is no prophet among you and you have no wondrous sign”! These men at the end accepted the words of the sages and the Sultan (that is to say the Caliph) gave them a present of several thousand Dinars so that they could return home. But after they were already distant and on the way back to their places of origin, the Sultan began to act aggressively towards the Jews and punished them on account of all what he was forced to spend on their account. He decreed upon them that they would carry special signs upon their clothes and to write on their wardrobe the word, “CURSED” and to go in the streets with clothes that have iron attached to their backs and upon their chests.
From that time onward all the congregations of Kursan and Isfahan (districts in Persia) are in bitter exile until this day. All this has become known to us by a story recounted orally.