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Islam's claim on Jerusalem is dubious

Reader comment on item: The Muslim Claim to Jerusalem

Submitted by Prashant, Dec 10, 2017 at 22:28

Dear Dr Pipes,

I did a short study of the history of Jerusalem in the Islamic context. It seems that throughout his life the prophet of Allah could not make up his mind about Jerusalem: in the beginning he asked Muslims to pray toward it but then he changed his mind and asked his followers to pray toward Mecca. And, it should be obvious to all of us that just praying toward a city does not make that city yours.

After some years he probably decided that Jerusalem was too good a city to let go and declared that it needed to have the third holiest site of Islam. To the best of my understanding till this declaration nothing much related to Islam had happened in Jerusalem (except praying toward it from a distance).

Toward the end of his life our Prophet hurriedly decided to ascend to heaven via Jerusalem after an over-night journey and solidified Islam's claim on Jerusalem. Once the Prophet declared that he went to heaven via Jerusalem (albeit hurriedly), the rest was easy and, of course, fully justified.

If my prophet goes to heaven through your pious city, your pious city becomes my pious city too. Thus, by 637 first Islamic siege of Jerusalem took place because if it is my holy city, I must occupy it. And in the auspicious first decade of the 8th century, our friends built the Al Aqsa mosque (believe it or not, the guys were very busy in those years; in the 700-710 decade they reached both Spain to the west and Sindh to the east even though Muhammad had not gone to Heaven via any of the two geographies!)

Most of the mythology (of all religions) is a flight of fancy but Islamic mythology is designed for occupation and siege and capturing land. From my distant perspective Islam should have nothing to do with Jerusalem.

Submitting....

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