What does it mean to be the “chosen people”? And what does it mean from the Islamic perspective? It means that from the 70 nations of the world, God chose the Children of Israel (Jacob) to give the Covenant of the Torah. It also says in Deuteronomy 28 that if they followed this covenant, they would be blessed. So it was a conditional covenant. It means that if you CHOOSE to follow the covenant of the Torah, then you are the Chosen of God. So essentially what it means is that the nation of Israel was chosen for the covenant of the Torah, but if an Israelite (Jew) does not abide by that covenant, then there is nothing chosen about that individual. It is the nation that was chosen. It is up to the individual to choose to follow the covenant and be blessed or ignore the covenant.
It is the same with Islam. Just because you are born of Muslim parents, does not make you the beloved of Allah, you have to choose to follow the Covenant of the Qur’an to be the beloved of Allah.
There are quite a few ayah in the Qur’an that do quite explicitly say that the Children of Israel were the Chosen People of God. Let us look at a few of those:
Qur'an 2:47, "O Children of Israel! Call to mind My favour which I bestowed on you and that I preferred you to all others (for my Message)".
Qur'an 3:33, "Allah did choose Adam and Noah, the family of Abraham, and the family of 'Imran (Maryam's father) above all people."
Qur'an 5.020: "Remember Moses said to his people: "O my people! Call in remembrance the favour of Allah unto you, when He produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to any other among the peoples."
Qur'an 6:84-87, "We gave him (Abraham) Isaac, and Jacob: all We guided and before him, We guided Noah, and among his progeny David, Solomon, Ayub, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron :Thus do We reward those who do good. And Zakariya and Yahya, and Jesus and Elias: all in the ranks of righteous. And Isma'il and Elisha and Jonah (Yunus) and Lut. And to all we gave favour above the nations. (To them) and to their fathers, and progeny and brethren (the Bani Israel): We chose them, and we guided them to a straight way."
Qur'an 29:27, "And We gave (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob, and ordained among his progeny Prophethood and Revelation, and We granted him his reward in this life; and he was in the Hereafter (of the company) of the Righteous."
Qur'an 44:32, "And We chose them (Bani Israel) aforetime above the nations, knowingly."
Qur'an 45:16, "And verily we gave the Children of Israel the Scripture and the Command and the Prophethood, and provided them with good things and favoured them above (all) peoples;"
Qur'an 57:26, "And We verily sent Noah and Abraham and placed
the prophethood and the scripture among their seed, and among them there is he
who goeth right, but many of them are evil-doers."
Qur’an 2.122: “O Children of Israel! Call to mind the special favour which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all others (for My Message).”
Qur’an 7:137: “And We made a people, considered weak (and of no account), inheritors of lands in both east and west, - lands whereon We sent down Our blessings. The fair promise of thy Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because they had patience and constancy, and We leveled to the ground the great works and fine buildings which Pharaoh and his people erected (with such pride).”
Now in the Hebrew Bible where the Children of Israel are described as the chosen people:
Deu 7:6 For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that [are] upon the face of the earth.
Deu 14:2 For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that [are] upon the earth.
1Ch 16:13 O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
Psa 33:12 Blessed [is] the nation whose God [is] the LORD; [and] the people [whom] he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
Psa 89:3 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,
Psa 105:6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.
Psa 106:5 That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.
Psa 135:4 For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, [and] Israel for his peculiar treasure.
Isa 41:8 But thou, Israel, [art] my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.
Isa 41:9 [Thou] whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou [art] my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.
Isa 43:10 Ye [are] my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I [am] he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
Isa 43:20 The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, [and] rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.
Isa 44:1 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen:
Exd 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
Isa 42:6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
Isa 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
Gen 17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, [and] with his seed after him.
Psa 105:10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, [and] to Israel [for] an everlasting covenant: