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Inspired by Islamic studies, I came to wonder about the Jewish community in Medina (Yathrib) in the time of the Prophet Muhammad.

  • What "school of thought" did the Jews of Medina (or Yathrib) follow that time?
  • Did that school of thought have any major differences with other schools of thoughts (that time or today)? Provide some if possible.

If this is impossible to answer, what about trying to speculate:
If one collects the information about (some) Jewish "beliefs" which exists in the Quran and other reports, and then analyses it (it has to be interpreted correctly too though), one might draw a conclusion or pin point that the result given in the analyse is similar to sect X understanding or some schools of thought have inclined to similar understandings.

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    Offhand I think that little is known about that community, as it was outside of the primary Jewish centers of the time, primarily Babylon, and was in a very poorly documented point in Jewish history; after the amoraic period, and before the geonic period really got going. I an not sure if they're is even any reference to them outside of Islamic records. – mevaqesh Aug 29 '16 at 15:03
  • Thanks for your comment. Hmm the one down voting my question; Could you make a comment on why? – Kilise Aug 29 '16 at 17:05
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    Get used to it. Some of the most popular questions and answers on the site have some commentless downvotes. Try not to let it discourage you. – mevaqesh Aug 29 '16 at 18:55
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    My pleasure. related: faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina/jews.htm and jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10545-medina. They mostly discuss the dealings with Mohammed, but they have a little bit if background. – mevaqesh Aug 29 '16 at 19:07
  • @mevaqesh You might be interested in the materials giving in the answer. – Kilise Sep 5 '16 at 20:26
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+50

The Jews of Medina are the subject of Mamuz's book The Religious and Spiritual Life of the Jews of Medina.

He notes that "on many halakhic issues, their observances were identical to those of the Talmudic sages. They observed the Sabbath, fasted on the Day of Atonement, and prayed toward Jerusalem. In addition, they were extremely conservative in regard to sexual issues. However, they chose a lenient approach toward issues such as adultery, compensation for physical injuries and vandetta." (p. 67) Their religious beliefs too appear to be rabbinic.

The author also finds that they "avoided wearing earrings and dyeing their beards and white hair, probably because of the Mosaic prohibition to wear 'a woman's garment.'" They also had peyot and wore talitot in the Yemenite fashion.

He concludes: "our findings demonstrate that the Medinan Jews were Talmudic-Rabbinic Jews in almost every respect" (p. 99).

  • Thanks. This is exactly something I've been looking for. I will certainly have a read - If God wants. I'll wait a bit before I accept the answer. Maybe someone wants to add something or comment on your answer. – Kilise Sep 5 '16 at 14:16
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    i was going to link this book as well. another good article by him is this: drive.google.com/open?id=0B8F_PW9P6dqlWTBCV2thZXJ2dzA – MoriDowidhYa3aqov Sep 5 '16 at 18:59

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