Khidr: Now Farouk said that these calls are to humanity but this is incorrect to say these calls are to humanity as to say all of humanity at large. The call is to Bani Israel which narrows down to a particular tribe / nation within humanity. The call itself is not to humanity in general who seek a higher level of existence and emancipation from an oppressive system.
Who are Bani Israel?
Allah says that the Children of Israel were brought across the sea:
“And We brought the Children of Israel across the sea, and they came upon a people devoted to some of their idols. They said: “O Musa (Moses)! Make for us an ilah (a god) as they have alihah (gods).” He said: “Verily, you are a people who know not.” Sura 7/138
“And We took the Children of Israel across the sea, and Fir’aun (Pharaoh) with his hosts followed them in oppression and enmity, till when drowning overtook him, he said: “I believe that none has the right to be worshipped but He (Allah) in Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am one of the Muslims.” Sura 10/90
Allah says the Children of Israel were delivered from their enemies and made a covenant on the right side of the Mount along with being provided Manna and Quails:
“O Children of Israel! We delivered you from your enemy, and We made a covenant with you on the right side of the Mount, and We sent down to you Al-Manna and quails” Sura 20/80
Farouk: This all depends on how one approaches Quran itself. Is the Quran explaining some sacred history of an ancient tribe? The scope of Quran does not seem to tell us this. Rather Quran calls itself ‘guidance to mankind’ (2/185 which is the first time word ‘Quran’ is mentioned). The experiences of bani israil in Quran were recorded for us to experience ourselves as human beings
Quran contains no superfluous information. All information must be practically applicable to produce the best of deeds (‘ahsanu ‘amal – in 67/2). It is these deeds which matter and not an atom of them be forgotten (99/7-8). Quran tells us that it guides towards the most establishable (hiya aqwam – 17/). Therefore the story of bani israil must be eternally and universally applicable.
However, if we assume Khidr’s historical lens, a few problems will arise:
1. The listeners of the calls to bani israil (2/40, 2/47, 2/122, 20/80) are not the people who experienced the situations recorded in Quran. For example, it was not they who enslaved by and later emancipated from firaun. From Khidr’s point of view, it is their descendants who would be the audience of those calls. Why would Allah discriminate between the racialised Bani Israil and other members of the human race? Other tribes and races have also been enslaved. Should they not receive guidance on how to emancipate themselves?
2. There are a few claimants to this title. Each of them say they are the legitimate tribes of the historical Israel. Who are we to believe? Furthermore, when we have identified this race, what would we expect them to do that non-Bani Israil members cannot?
3. Since we are going by history, we must also admit that that history can only be detailed through the literature of Traditional Islam. This being the case, why does the literature of Traditional Islam not record this discrimination? Muhammad is never recorded to deny the lessons to Bani Israil to the to his companions.
(last updated 1/5/14)