Israel, Heb: Yisra'el
In the Bible, this name was used to refer to :
The Muslims use this to refer to the nation of Israel, or the Jews.
In other words, before the Torah was given, all food was lawful. But for those food that the Israelites restrictedly placed themselves on, it was unlawful. This reveals an element of voluntariness, and also that all food, by its nature, is not unlawful. (Incidentally, this verse also say that such a voluntary restriction was also mentioned in the Torah, which was not to be found in the Bible.) Often, Muslims asked why Christians do not observe the food laws in the Old Testament or those of the Muslims. The truth atttested by Al-Imran 3:93 was given by the teaching of Jesus and in a vision to the Apostle Peter :
Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him `unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him `unclean.'" After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. "Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him `unclean'? For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.") He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him `unclean.' For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man `unclean.'" (Mark 7:14-23)
About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat." "Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean." The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven. (Acts 10:9-16)
This verse seems to say that the Israelites were chosen above all other peoples (Sher Ali adds in "of their time" in an obvious attempt to wriggle out of the embarassing verse). However, I don't think I have come across Muslims who assent to Israel's election.
Of course, to the Muslims, this promise is no longer true (I don't know if Muslims have an abrogating verse) and Muslims have sought to end the modern nation of Israel.
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