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its in the pudding!

Reader comment on item: The Muslim Claim to Jerusalem
in response to reader comment: Proof?

Submitted by bos (United Kingdom), Jan 9, 2009 at 06:12

You might note that my suggestion to Aisha was that she research her own history, I made this suggestion because it is always a mistake to accept an unsubstantiated religious assertion as the sole evidence of a 1400 year old reality. I wont insult you with a list of factors that colour partisan historical narratives (religious or otherwise) but my suggestion wasnt an offer to spend my time providing that research. Never the less I will offer this :-

"The next Umayyad step was subtle and complex, and requires a pause to note a passage of the Qur'an (17:1) describing the Prophet Muhammad's Night Journey to heaven (isra'):

Glory to He who took His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the furthest mosque. (Subhana allathina asra bi-‘abdihi laylatan min al-masjidi al-harami ila al-masjidi al-aqsa.)

When this Qur'anic passage was first revealed, in about 621, a place called the Sacred Mosque already existed in Mecca. In contrast, the "furthest mosque" was a turn of phrase, not a place. Some early Muslims understood it as metaphorical or as a place in heaven. And if the "furthest mosque" did exist on earth, Palestine would seem an unlikely location, for many reasons. Some of them:

Elsewhere in the Qur'an (30:1), Palestine is called "the closest land" (adna al-ard).

Palestine had not yet been conquered by the Muslims and contained not a single mosque.

The "furthest mosque" was apparently identified with places inside Arabia: either Medina or a town called Ji‘rana, about ten miles from Mecca, which the Prophet visited in 630.

The earliest Muslim accounts of Jerusalem, such as the description of Caliph ‘Umar's reported visit to the city just after the Muslims conquest in 638, nowhere identify the Temple Mount with the "furthest mosque" of the Qur'an.

The Qur'anic inscriptions that make up a 240-meter mosaic frieze inside the Dome of the Rock do not include Qur'an 17:1 and the story of the Night Journey, suggesting that as late as 692 the idea of Jerusalem as the lift-off for the Night Journey had not yet been established. (Indeed, the first extant inscriptions of Qur'an 17:1 in Jerusalem date from the eleventh century.)

Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiya (638-700), a close relative of the Prophet Muhammad, is quoted denigrating the notion that the prophet ever set foot on the Rock in Jerusalem; "these damned Syrians," by which he means the Umayyads, "pretend that God put His foot on the Rock in Jerusalem, though [only] one person ever put his foot on the rock, namely Abraham."

That excerpt comes from the article Aisha was commenting on so I offer it in case you were taking issue with my comment without actually having read the article (if you havent read it all you should).

You could also check out Martin Gilbert's 'Jerusalem in the Twentieth Century' and this essay - www.geocities.com/elf_sopron2005/jay/quran-js.pdf its all interesting but the bit you want is p35/36. please remember that research isnt about finding one perfect text to corroborate your entire opinon, so I am not interested in a semantic arguement about any particular source not matching my sentence exactly (I dont mean to be rude by implying you would do that but I have found myself in some truly silly debates on here and just dont want to do so again).

"Please back up your claim."

Please do the research.

PEACE

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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