Muslims don't believe Torah to be corrupt nor do they deny the Torah and it is considered in the six articles of faith to believe in all revealed scriptures like Torah, Psalms etc . Also Muslim share a common patriarch Prophet Moses and believe in all of the subsequent prophets like Israel etc , yet why are Muslims considered to be gentiles?

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    @R.Sebag Who cares? There's no Jewish source for it. – Isaac Moses Mar 3 '13 at 8:20
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    @SethJ Overthunk. This really is simpler than that despite all the noise that gives the false impression that there's anything complicated about this. Approval of Judaism != Jewish nationality. – Isaac Moses Mar 3 '13 at 14:13
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    (... and kal vechomer, approval of a selected aspect of Judaism != Jewish nationality) – Isaac Moses Mar 3 '13 at 14:38
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    @Ali "Rambam who throws a strawman saying Muslims are gentiles because they reject Torah which is simply false" The Rambam does not say that. You made that up. -1 for making things up. – Double AA Mar 3 '13 at 16:46
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    @Dan I wouldn't bother. Your answer is still very valid. Plus there's nothing to address re the Rambam because the OP seems to have made it up. I highly encourage you to downvote the question, in case you haven't already. – Double AA Mar 3 '13 at 17:47

In Judaism, someone is considered a gentile (or Jew) not based on his beliefs or actions. Being a Jew is having a status that attaches to a person under very specific circumstances; without those circumstances, he's a gentile. Specifically, to be a Jew one must be born to a Jewish mother or undergo the process of conversion that is specified in Jewish law. That is why most Muslims are considered gentiles.

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    This doesn't really answer the question which claims Moses as a common patriarch. – Double AA Mar 3 '13 at 6:56
  • @DoubleAA I don't see why not. No one said anything about matrilineal descent. – msh210 Mar 3 '13 at 6:57
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    @DoubleAA, I think you're reading more into "patriarch" than was intended. – Isaac Moses Mar 3 '13 at 6:57
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    @msh210 What evidence is there of anyone's female line patriarch back 3000 years? – Double AA Mar 3 '13 at 7:29
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    @DoubleAA Evidence shmevidence. We have no tradition of people who happen to believe in Islam all being as a result descendants of Moshe. I don't know how anyone could, as belief and descent are two different questions. The claim is dubious on its face and, in the context of our tradition, false. – Isaac Moses Mar 3 '13 at 8:12

I am not going to discuss whether it Islam thinks that the Torah text was corrupted (though from proffered quotes and discussions about which son of Abe was bound make me wonder) but I am going to answer the question exactly as asked "why are Muslims considered to be gentiles?" This is similar but not identical to "Why aren't Muslims Jewish"?

The answer is simple, really. Because they aren't Jewish. The word Jew (and therefore, its opposite word, the label for 'not-being') developed significantly after Moses' time -- it had to do with the divided kingdoms and the lineage of most of the people in the kingdom of Judah. When the term became the generalized title for "people of the Kingdom of Judah" it excluded people who were not of that kingdom. And when it became used (as it was in the scroll of Esther) to mean "those who subscribe to the code of religious law of the people of the Kingdom of Judah" it created the class of "Gentile" if not in name then in theory (the word gains its current meaning as a noun in the 14th century. So semantically, the deciding factor is about being a Jew (which can come about by proper conversion or through descent as codified by Jewish law).

So if one asks "is a Muslim a Jew, because semantically, many Muslims say that every Jew could be considered a Muslim in the broadest sense of the word as submitting to the will of god" the answer is "no." Being a member of the Jewish religion (and therefore not a gentile) has to do either with descent as defined by Jewish law or conversion as defined by Jewish law. It is not about a personal sense that one can find a link for himself to some historical personage.

Also note (as I have been musing about some of the comments on the Q and A's) -- Jews don't claim Moses as a biological patriarch, nor do we list him as a spiritual patriarch (the forefathers were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) so finding a shared belief in him as a prophet or a great grandfather doesn't have an effect on one's status as Jewish.

  • so the muslim pashtun tribe(jewish ancestery) would be jewish going by your answer? – knowit Mar 3 '13 at 12:42
  • I know nothing of that claim, nor of any reason to think Pashtuns are Jewish based on a quick review of the theory at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Pashtun_descent_from_Israelites . Aside from a 16th century historically incorrect statement, what are you pointing to? – rosends Mar 3 '13 at 12:53
  • scribd.com/doc/70360662/… – knowit Mar 3 '13 at 13:05
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    That's a completely different question. – rosends Mar 3 '13 at 14:27
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    @Ali If a group of Jews were to begin ascribibg to the teachings of a false prophet and adopting a system of practice other than that of the Torah, they'd be sinning Jews, but still Jews. The more they intermarry with gentiles, the fewer of their descendants will be Jewish. – Isaac Moses Mar 3 '13 at 14:28

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