Encyclopaedia Islamica

Get access

Banū Isrāʾīl
(1,856 words)

Banū Isrāʾīl (‘The Children of Israel’) are mentioned some forty times in the Qurʾān as a general designation for the Jewish people. The term was exclusively used during the Meccan period (the term al-Yahūd, ‘Jews’, being used in verses from the Medinan period), and mostly in reference to the story of Moses—this may help explain the form of the phrase, ‘children of Israel’, which parallels the usage bnei-yisraʾel (בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל) in the Book of Exodus. However, the Banū Isrāʾīl are not depicted in the Qurʾān simply as the historical people of Moses, but also…

Cite this page
Khani (Farhang Mehrvash), Hamed and Translated by Alexander Khaleeli, “Banū Isrāʾīl”, in: Encyclopaedia Islamica, Editors-in-Chief: Farhad Daftary. Consulted online on 25 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-9831_isla_SIM_00000063>
First published online: 2015

▲   Back to top   ▲