Five Muslim rulers that saved Jews

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There is a great history of tolerance within Islam, which states that Jewish citizens of a Muslim state are a protected minority. This article demonstrates this decree of protection by naming five Muslim rulers that saved their Jewish subjects from certain death.

The Jewish tribe protected by decree of the Prophet (ﷺ)

The Banu Harith (Hebrew: Banim Chorath) are an Arabian Jewish tribe that were protected by their Muslim rulers for over 1,300 years. Ever since the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) explicitly stated they should be protected in the Constitution of Medina. In the 1930s most of the tribe lived in the Yemeni city of Najran, Saudi Arabia conquered the city in 1934 and the community began experiencing increased persecution which culminated in the local governor Amir Turki ben Mahdi giving the 600 Jews living there a single day to either flee the city or convert to Islam.

The Jews chose to leave and Saudi soldiers escorted them to the Yemeni border. They settled in the cities of Saada and Aden. The Saudi King Abdulaziz demanded their return, but Yemen’s Shia Muslim King, Ahmad bin Yahya, refused his demand as he considered them to be Yemeni and not Saudi refugees.

It is impossible to say what the fate of this Jewish tribe would have been, but it is likely to have ended tragically as Judaism is forbidden within the borders of Saudi Arabia. Today the remnants of Banu Harith live in Yemen and Israel.

While these actions were truly commendable, there are questions as to the general treatment of Jews under Adhmad bin Yahya’s rule. While stories of persecution do exist, he was also one of the few Muslim leaders that permitted his Jewish subjects to leave for Israel – which prompted nearly 50,000 Yemenite Jews to flee to the fledgling state.



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Five Muslim rulers that saved Jews