If I'm not mistaken, to be a Noahide you must accept that the Torah is unchanged and from G-d. (I am not arguing that this is one of the 7 Noahide Laws by the way, I'm merely saying that this could be a prerequisite to be considered a Noahide).

However, according to my understanding, Muslims are not Noahides, since they reject the infallibility of the Torah. In other words, they say that the contemporary Torah has been altered from the one that Moshe Rebbeinu received at Sinai. Therefore, according to their beliefs, they would not feel compelled to abide by the 7 Noahide Laws because they don't believe it to be from G-d in the first place.

I say the above in light of what Maimonides says in Mishneh Torah, Melachim uMilchamot, Chapter 8:

Anyone who accepts upon himself the fulfillment of these seven mitzvot and is precise in their observance is considered one of 'the pious among the gentiles' and will merit a share in the world to come.

This applies only when he accepts them and fulfills them because the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded them in the Torah and informed us through Moses, our teacher, that Noah's descendants had been commanded to fulfill them previously.

However, if he fulfils them out of intellectual conviction, he is not a resident alien, nor of 'the pious among the gentiles,' nor of their wise men.

So my question is: What categories do Muslims fit into in light of what Rambam says above? Are they Noahides? If not, what are they?

  • @DoubleAA Surely one would only accept the Noahide Laws because they believe it is from G-d. If the Torah was corrupted, nobody would feel the need to follow it since it's no long the word of Hashem Therefore, I think it's fairly logical to say Rambam's statement is implying that a prerequisite of being a Noahide is to accept the infallibility of the Torah – Yosef Feb 4 at 7:57
  • @Yosef, their saying that some things in the Torah are corrupted, ח"ו, doesn't have to include the seven mitzvos. I'm no expert in Islam, but my guess would be that they keep to them because they see them as a commandment from God, and probably to Adam and Noah specifically. – Mordechai Feb 4 at 8:25
  • related: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/48952 – הנער הזה Feb 4 at 16:31

The Rambam says (Hilchos Teshuvah, 3(8)), in his list of those who have no share in the World to Come:

שְׁלֹשָׁה הֵן הַכּוֹפְרִים בַּתּוֹרָה. הָאוֹמֵר שֶׁאֵין הַתּוֹרָה מֵעִם ה' אֲפִלּוּ פָּסוּק אֶחָד אֲפִלּוּ תֵּבָה אַחַת אִם אָמַר משֶׁה אֲמָרוֹ מִפִּי עַצְמוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה כּוֹפֵר בַּתּוֹרָה. וְכֵן הַכּוֹפֵר בְּפֵרוּשָׁהּ וְהוּא תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה וְהַמַּכְחִישׁ מַגִּידֶיהָ כְּגוֹן צָדוֹק וּבַיְתּוֹס. וְהָאוֹמֵר שֶׁהַבּוֹרֵא הֶחֱלִיף מִצְוָה זוֹ בְּמִצְוָה אַחֶרֶת וּכְבָר בָּטְלָה תּוֹרָה זוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא הָיְתָה מֵעִם ה' כְּגוֹן הָהַגְרִים. כָּל אֶחָד מִשְּׁלֹשָׁה אֵלּוּ כּוֹפֵר בַּתּוֹרָה
There are three categories of deniers of the Torah: (1) he who says that the Torah is not God given, even if he says that a single Verse or one word thereof was spoken by Moses on his own authority is, indeed, a denier of the Torah; (2) he who denies its Oral explanation, that is the Oral Torah, or its exponents, even as Zaduk and Bythos did; (3) he who says that the Creator commuted this Duty for another duty and that the Torah had been nullified long ago though it really was God given; like the Hagarites; every one of these three is a denier of the Torah.

Presumably that means Moslems, descended spiritually from Ishmael Hagar's son. Not sure if he's referring to just the last one. I think all three could apply.

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    I'm not sure this includes non-Jews. See the end of that chapter (halacha 14) and the quote in the OP. – Mordechai Feb 4 at 8:27
  • @Mordechai I don't see why any of that excludes non-Jews from the exclusion listed here? – MichoelR Feb 4 at 13:47
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    He's saying a Jew who has a view like what the Hagrites have is a Kofer. It doesn't say that all Hagrites don't have a share in the world to come. – Double AA Feb 4 at 14:06
  • Understood, but I'm not hearing the need to say that distinction. Do we have evidence from somewhere that he considers the standards for non-Jews to be less? The quote from the OP sounded like they ought to be theologically similar to Jews. – MichoelR Feb 4 at 14:10
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    I'm not saying that the answer is wrong, just stating my doubt. – Mordechai Feb 4 at 20:20

The Talmud quotes prophet Havakuk, recalling “G-d releasing the gentiles from their 7 Noahide laws.”[1] However, this did not occur literally, meaning that there is no longer any direct transmission dating from the time Noah. Thus, modern gentiles do not observe the Noahide laws out of G-d's will but of their own thinking, forfeiting any deeper reward.

However, if a gentile accepts that these Seven laws of Noah stem from G-d's Will, they will receive a greater reward. More importantly, if they accept all of Torah as the word of G-d, their reward is equal to a full-fledged Jew.

Thus, it seems that a Muslim does need to accept the Noahide commandments as God’s words, but he need not accept Torah.

[1] Talmud Avoda Zara 2b-3a

  • "if they accept all of Torah as the word of G-d, their reward is equal to a full-fledged Jew" no one says that – robev Feb 7 at 5:39
  • @robev The sages did. – Turk Hill Feb 7 at 16:47
  • No they didn't. – robev Feb 7 at 17:15
  • @robev Or a famous rabbi did. Let me try to find the source. – Turk Hill Feb 7 at 18:03
  • @robev Talmud Sanhedrin 59a states the Noachide laws are in the Torah. The sages said it. – Turk Hill Feb 7 at 22:14

I would note that whether Islam is idolatry is a question mark. There are many rabbis that say it is. Nowadays many say it's not, based on RAMBAM, but they aren't aware of the numerous views that say it is. (added- or worse, they are aware but they hide those views, either because they disagree with them, which is no excuse, or possibly out of political correctness).

Is Islam Avodah Zara?

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    @barlop I don't understand why you are assigning people bad motives. It's enough to say that they disagree without doing that. It is part of any authority's job to decide which views to choose and focus on. They are not obligated to weigh things the same way you do. – MichoelR Feb 4 at 16:00
  • Against all this, that "whether Islam is idolatry is a question mark" is certainly a true statement, given the sources here. A reasonable point to raise, tho I'd suggest leaving out the personal attacks. – MichoelR Feb 4 at 20:23
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Double AA Feb 4 at 23:38

The Seven Noahide Commandments[1] are as follows:

Prohibition of idolatry, blasphemy, bloodshed, sexual immorality, theft, the establishment of law courts, and the prohibition against eating a limb from a live animal. Nowhere, at least among these seven, does it say that the people must accept the Torah.[2]

[1] According to Maimonides’ Code (though the Tosefta lists the commands differently)

[2] Although Meir pointed out to me Rambam, Laws of Kings 8:11

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    The Rambam does mention that point (that they must accept that these mitzvos were given by Hashem) in Laws of Kings 8:11. – Meir Feb 4 at 18:08
  • @Meir Does that Rambam pertains to non-Jews? Even if it does, this command or idea that G-d gave the Torah is not one of the Seven Noahide mitzvot. – Turk Hill Feb 4 at 19:55
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    @TurkHill are you arguing on your hero, the Rambam? – robev Feb 4 at 20:03
  • @robev Do we only see Rambam or other commentators? – Turk Hill Feb 4 at 20:18
  • @TurkHill Yes, that's whom he's talking about in that halachah. He goes on to say that if a non-Jew accepts these seven mitzvos because they're logical, rather than because G-d said so, then "he's not one of the righteous of the nations" - and then there are variant versions (different manuscripts and printings) whether he continues that such a person is or isn't "one of the wise among the nations." – Meir Feb 4 at 20:18

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