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"Jerusalem's not there and never was Muhammad"

Reader comment on item: Offer: $1 million for Finding "Jerusalem" in the Koran

Submitted by Lactantius (United Kingdom), Jan 6, 2006 at 08:56

Dear Dr Pipes

Judaism, Christianity and Islam regard Jerusalem as extremely important, and since historically Islam is "the new kid on the block," why is it important to them, as their third holiest city, when it is never mentioned in the Qur'an, and Muhammad never visited it?

Islam's mythical and militant claim on Jerusalem is entirely without historical support or foundation. Islam comes way too late in history to lay claim to Jerusalem "The Holy City," it is on the wrong side of history, but despite Islam's fallacious claim to Jerusalem, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad provoked international outrage in October 2005, by saying "Israel should be wiped off the map," going on to say in early December last, that Europe, North America or even Alaska, should host the state of Israel, not the Middle East!

Why should Muslims such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad believe Jerusalem to be of such importance to Islam that "Israel should be wiped off the map??"

Why should "The Covenant of Hamas" say:- "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it" (The Martyr (sic) Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

Where does Islam's claim to Jerusalem come from? Where did it all start?

"Muhammad's 'night'-journey (isra) to 'the farthest mosque' (al-masjid al-aqsa)"

Jerusalem is never mentioned by name in the Qur'an, being mentioned 823 times in the Bible, and Zion (which usually means Jerusalem, and sometimes 'the Land of Israel'), appears 161 times.
Of the 823 mentions of Jerusalem by name in the Bible, 669 of them are in the Old Testament, and 154 times in the New Testament.

The Qur'an refers to Muhammad's "night journey" (isra) as follows:-

"Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest mosque........................(Subhana allathee asra biAAbdihi laylan mina almasjidi alharami ila almasjidi al-aqsa allathee barakna hawlahu linuriyahu min ayatina innahu huwa alssameeAAalbaseeruu)
Surah 17:001

When this Surah was revealed ~621 AD, the Sacred Mosque already existed in Mecca, but where was "the farthest mosque?" It was apparently identified with places inside Arabia; either Medina, or a town called Ji'rana, about ten miles from Mecca, which Muhammad visited in 630 AD.
Palestine had not yet been conquered by Muslim armies, and contained not a single mosque.

THE UMMAYAD DYNASTY (661-750AD)

The first Ummayad ruler, Mu'awiya, chose Jerusalem as the place where he ascended to the caliphate, and he and his successors engaged in a construction program in the city, building religious edifices, a palace and roads, and they effectively treated it as their administrative capital.
Amir Abd-ul-Malik, the Ummayad Caliph, in 688-691 AD built the Dome of the Rock, right on the spot of the Jewish Temple, then in 715AD, to build up the prestige of their dominions, the Ummayads built a second mosque on the Temple Mount, and called this one "the farthest mosque" (al-masjid al aqsa). In doing this, the Ummayads retroactively gave Jerusalem a role in Muhammad's life, and inserted Jerusalem post hoc into the Qur'an, thus making it important to Islam, for if "the farthest mosque" was in Jerusalem, then Muhammad's "night journey" and his subsequent ascension to heaven (mi'raj) also took place on the Temple Mount.

TIMELINE

958-951 BC Solomon's Temple built
587 BC Solomon's Temple destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonian armies
37-34 BC Second Temple built (King Herod)
70 AD Second Temple destroyed by General Titus and his Roman soldiers
572 AD Muhammad born
622 AD Muhammad's "night journey" and mir'aj
632 AD Muhammad dies
638 AD Muslim jihadists conquer Jerusalem, taking it from the Byzantines
688-691 AD Dome of the Rock built by Amir Abd-ul-Malik
715 AD Masjid al-Aqsa built by the Ummayads

QUESTIONS FOR DR JAMAL BADAWI (or any other Muslim)

In light of these dates:-

What Temple did Muhammad visit, enter and pray at, before ascending to heaven?

Seeing that the Qur'an mentions a journey of Muhammad's to a mosque that did not exist during his lifetime, how can Surah 17:001 possibly have it, and Muhammad, In Jerusalem???


Submitting....

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