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3. Religious Beliefs

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Chapter Summary

When discussing the belief in the afterlife among the Jews of Medina, it is necessary to begin by examining the beliefs of the prominent Jewish sects that existed before the seventh century CE. The position of the Talmudic sages was in accordance with that of the Pharisees. This belief is discussed to a great extent in the Talmud. One of the consequences of a belief in the afterlife is often a concomitant belief in divine reward and punishment. Although angels appear in the Bible, the Sadducees did not believe in them. In contrast, the Pharisees accepted the existence of angels. Michael and Gabriel are mentioned frequently in the Talmud and in the Midrashim. Gabriel is described as both militant and as an angel of mercy and grace. The description of Michael in the Jewish sources lacks a militant aspect. Most of the Jews refused to accept Muhammad as a prophet.

Keywords: Gabriel; Jews of Medina; Michael; Midrashim; Muhammad; religious beliefs; Talmudic sages

10.1163/9789004266094_005
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