Why were the Jews called the ‘Chosen People’?
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

Why were the Jews made the favoured nation. Why was God preoccupied with this nation so immensely that He called it His favourite?


The Bible says:

You are the children of the Lord your God … for you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession. (Deuteronomy, 14:1-4)

The Lord said to Moses: speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I your God am holy’. (Leviticus 19:1-2)

It is from such Biblical verses that the concept of ‘chosen people’ has arisen. If studied in the light of the Qur’ān, this term means that the Israelites for almost two and a half thousand years from Isaac (sws) to Jesus (sws) were given the responsibility of Shahādah ‘ala al-Nās by the Almighty. This means that it was their religious obligation to deliver the truth revealed to them by the Almighty to other nations of the world. This is the very responsibility which today the Muslims carry. Unfortunately, this status made them proud and haughty and gave birth to the concept of being superior and chosen, quite to similar to what many Muslims think today. Instead of fulfilling this obligation, the Jews were of guilty of severe disobedience.

The Qur’ān, while removing this superiority of the Jews, says:

And the Jews and the Christians say: We are the children of God and His loved ones. Tell them: [If you are His loved ones, then] why does He punish you for your sins. You are but men, part of His creation. He forgives whom He wills [according to His laws] and punishes whom He wills [according to His laws]. (5:18)

The later part of the verse clarifies that had they been God’s chosen people in the absolute sense, they would never have been punished.


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