top of page

๐—ง๐—›๐—˜ ๐—๐—˜๐—ช๐—œ๐—ฆ๐—› ๐—š๐—ข๐—Ÿ๐——๐—˜๐—ก ๐—”๐—š๐—˜, ๐—จ๐—ก๐——๐—˜๐—ฅ ๐— ๐—จ๐—ฆ๐—Ÿ๐—œ๐—  ๐—ฅ๐—˜๐—œ๐—š๐—ก

๐˜”๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ ๐˜Œ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜‘๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด....

Nothing could be more historically inaccurate. In fact, the Jewish community experienced their golden age under Muslim reign, serving as Ministers, Scholars, Physicians, Jurists and Financiers under several powerful Islamic empires from the Almoravids through to the Ottomans.

There is perhaps no greater testament to this historical fact other than that of Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon, most commonly known as ๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐˜€ (Rambam), who is undoubtedly one of Judaism's most famous and prominent thinkers, ideologues and scriptural scholars.

Born in Cordova during the reign of the Almoravids, Maimonides spent his entire life living among Muslims and was not compelled to renounce his faith or embrace Islam in order to progress in his career, which permitted him to lead an exemplary and awe inspiring life, having even been elected to official posts across the Muslim realms, particularly in Morocco and Egypt. The following testament was written on his tombstone:

"๐‘ญ๐’“๐’๐’Ž ๐‘ด๐’๐’”๐’†๐’” (๐‘ท๐’“๐’๐’‘๐’‰๐’†๐’• ๐‘ด๐’–๐’”๐’‚) ๐’•๐’ ๐‘ด๐’๐’”๐’†๐’” (๐‘ด๐’๐’”๐’‰๐’†)

๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’† ๐’˜๐’‚๐’” ๐’๐’๐’๐’† ๐’๐’Š๐’Œ๐’† ๐‘ด๐’๐’”๐’†๐’” (๐‘ด๐’‚๐’Š๐’Ž๐’๐’๐’Š๐’…๐’†๐’”)"

Rabbi Moshe's writings influenced Jewish communities across the known world, from North Africa down to Yemen, where Jewish communities have long been welcomed and accommodated by the native Muslim majorities. As a testament to his genius but also illustrating the spirit of tolerance and meritocracy that flourished under Muslim reign, Rabbi Moshe eventually occupied the exclusive and high post of personal physician to one of the most influential and powerful Muslim emperors in all of history.

๐—ฆ๐˜‚๐—น๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฆ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ต๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—น-๐—”๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฏ๐—ถ employed Rabbi Moshe (Rambam) as his personal physician, serving as the chief medic and personal doctor for the Sultan himself. No antisemitism or intolerance there. But this was not an anomaly or exception because the Ottomans had welcomed Jewish people fleeing from oppression in Europe several times, offering them refuge and opportunities to participate in the economy and state affairs. In fact, the Ottoman parliament even discussed whether or not it was possible to have a Jewish or Christian Prime Minister!

๐—ฆ๐˜‚๐—น๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—•๐—ฎ๐˜†๐—ฒ๐˜‡๐—ถ๐—ฑ ๐—œ๐—œ welcomed tens of thousands of Jews seeking refuge from persecution in Spain following the fall of Granada and the final Muslim Sultanate in Europe.They settled in various cities such as Salonika (Thessaloniki), Smyrna (ฤฐzmir) and Constantinople in particular.

Elsewhere, Jewish exiles from France found solace and safety with the Ottomans during the reign of ๐—ฆ๐˜‚๐—น๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐— ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐—œ๐—œ, while they were being persecuted and in France by the Duke of Bavaria, Louis IX in 1470.Likewise, groups of Jews who managed to escape massacres in Poland and Ukraine in 1660 settled in the Ottoman Empire, as well.

120 views0 comments
bottom of page