Since the conquest of Palestine by the Arabs, Samaritans have survived under the Islam patronage. Although the information about the relationship between the ancient Samaritans and Muslims is scanty, in recent times, it is clear that these two religious factions have been hostile to one another on social, political, and religious grounds.
Samaritans, just like Muslims and the Jews, trace their ancestry to Abraham, who was the first person to practice monotheism: the worship of one God. The two sons of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael, produced two lines of descendants. While from Isaac came the Jews-Samaritans, Ishmael produced Arabs. Since their existence, the Samaritans have always held the belief that they are the God’s chosen people and that they are a representative of the true Israel.
For the Samaritans to find themselves under the Arab rule must have been a bitter pill to swallow; no wonder their relationship with Muslims has persistently soured for many centuries. It is needless to mention that Samaritans believe they posses a sense of spiritual superiority and pride to a certain degree. In fact, they viewed Muslims as “infants of faith,” and they (Samaritans) strongly hold onto the belief that their way of worship, which is grounded on their Pentateuch, is the only authoritative religion of the people of Israel who managed to resist the foreign influence. They also oppose Judaism, a religion of the Israelites who came back from the exile in Babylon, because they (Samaritans) believe that it is an altered form of the original religion of Israel. The Samaritans believe that Judaism contains traces of foreign religious practices.
Many religious scholars believe that a significant number of Palestinian Muslims from Nablus are descendants of the Samaritans. These descendants later become Muslims. As a matter of fact, many family names in Nablus have links with the Samaritan ancestors.