Israel was the ‘Laqab’ of Hazrat Yaqoob who was the son of Hazrat Isaac (son of Hazrat Ibrahim). Thus, the history of Bani Israel dates back to Hazrat Ibrahim. Hazrat Yaqoob’s eldest son was named Yahooda (Juda) and hence the name Yahood for the tribe of Bani Israel. The Yahood and the Christians are both Ahl-e-Kitaab (people of the Book).
Hazrat Yaqoob lived in Palestine but when a famine struck the region, they moved to Egypt where Hazrat Yousuf held a respectful and authoritative position. There they lived in good conditions for several years until the rise of Pharoah against them who made them slaves and inflicted severe sufferings upon them. For help in this matter Allah sent Hazrat Musa and Hazrat Haroon. Under the leadership of Hazrat Musa, the Bani Israel were relieved from the slavery of the Pharoah(who along with his army drowned). Bani Israel moved towards Palestine and on the way Hazrat Musa was summoned to Koh-i-Tur by Allah so that the Torah be revealed unto him for the guidance of his people. But behind his back, Bani Israel indulged in Shirk and started worshipping a calf (made out of their gold belongings). This displeased Allah to such an extent that for the next 40 years Bani Israel lived in that very desert and did not get to see their homeland again. Hazrat Musa and Hazrat Haroon both died in this desert.
Under the leadership of Hazrat Yusha (a student of Hazrat Musa), the Bani Israel were then able to enter into Palestine. During the time of Hazrat Dawood and Hazrat Sulaiman, Bani Israel had power in Palestine and this lasted for many years until intra conflicts caused them to be divided into two sects making them vulnerable to attacks by other civilizations.
They were attacked and defeated by Ashuri (Asyrians) in 800 BC and then by the Babylonians in 600 B.C who also destroyed their worship place as well as their Book (Torah). Then in 400 B.C Sikander Azam conquered them and they became a part of the Roman empire. But the Bani Isreal were under the illusion that they were the “Chosen People” the ones favoured by Allah and thus they were superior to all others. This illusion of superiority was a prime reason for their moral and ethical downfall, keeping them in a constant state of conflict with the Romans. Seeing this that the Bani Israel cannot learn to live in peace and harmony, the Romans decided to kill them. All those of the Bani Israel in Palestine were killed and the rest scattered all over the world.
To date, the Yahoods have been trying to get back their land of Palestine and in these efforts have come together in the form of Israel.
Bani Israel were blessed with a total of 4000 messengers of Allah.