Examination of Verse 155 of Surat an-Nisa’
In the preceding verses a community of deniers from among the People of the Book is described. The promise secured from this community, who were forgiven by God despite all their excesses, is cited in verse 154 of Surat an-Nisa’. Verse 155 then reveals they went back on their word, returned to their denial and killed the prophets. These are the reasons why they are cursed.
Subsequent verses again refer to a Jewish community, and God distinguishes between those who are deniers and those who possess deep faith:
But those of them [the Jews] who are firmly rooted in knowledge, and the believers, have faith in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down before you: those who pray and pay alms, and have faith in God and the Last Day – We will pay such people an immense wage. (Qur'an, 4:162)
To those Jews who are deniers and behave to excess are applied different provisions in the same way that different provisions apply to Muslims who are deniers and behave excessively. However, God explicitly excludes sincere Jews, and says that He will “pay them an immense wage.” How could this Jewish community whom God praises and says that He will reward possibly be cursed? How can someone possibly stand up and say that “All Jews are cursed and they must all be killed” when God praises them? The problem with the fanatics is that they do not appreciate God properly, do not understand the Qur’an and have fallen into the trap of fabricated hadiths on the subject that we shall be looking at in the section that follows.
Let us remind ourselves of one very important point here; someone may be a denier in this world but so long as he is not a hypocrite, does not make problems for believers and lives an honest and respectful life, he is still under the protection of Muslims: This is a responsibility imposed on Muslims through the Qur’an. The community that is cursed, however, is one that has betrayed the community of believers, has behaved hypocritically in other words, and has even killed prophets. God regarded their killing prophets as grounds for cursing them. He also describes them as a community that stabs believers in the back by “breaking their covenant.” These people also represented a threat to the Prophet Moses (pbuh) and to devout believers. In other words, this community of deniers is cursed, not from emerging from among a Jewish society or because of their denial alone, but because of their crimes in the Sight of God. It is important for this difference to be properly understood.
God makes a distinction for sincere Jews in verses and reveals that He will give them a great reward. How can anyone curse a Jewish community that God says He will reward, that He praises and on whom He will bestow paradise.