"Jerusalem's not in the Qur'an, and Muhammad was never there"
Reader comment on item: More on the Muslim Claim to Jerusalem
Submitted by Lactantius Jr. (United Kingdom), Jun 5, 2007 at 15:50
Concerning Muhammad's alleged "night-journey" (isra) to "the farthest mosque" (al-masjid al-aqsa) and the Islamic claim to Jerusalem.
Since January 2006, Doctor Pipes has been offering $1million to anyone who finds "Jerusalem" in the Qur'an.
Offer: $1 million for Finding "Jerusalem" in the Koran January 4, 2006
It is unclaimed, and will remain so, because Jerusalem is never mentioned by name in the Qur'an. In contrast, it is 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.
In emphasising this pronounced contrast between Bible and Qur'an, columnist Moshe Kohn notes, that Jerusalem and Zion appear as frequently in the Qur'an, "as they do in the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita, the Taoist Tao-Te Ching, the Buddhist Dhamapada, and the Zoroastrian Zend Avesta," which is to say, not once. ("Whose Jerusalem? Whose Land?" Moshe Kohn )
The Qur'an refers to Muhammad's alleged "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 biAAabdihi laylan mina almasjidi alharami ila almasjidi al-aqsa allathee barakna hawlahu linuriyahu min ayatina innahu huwa alssameeAAu albaseeru")
When this Surah was revealed ~621AD, 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 AD 630. Palestine had not yet been conquered by the Muslims, and contained not a single mosque.
The Ummayad Dynasty (AD 661-750)
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, religious edifices, a palace and roads, and they effectively treated it as their administrative capital.
The Ummayad Caliph, in AD 688-691, built the Dome of the Rock, right on the spot of the Jewish Temple, then in AD 715, to build up the prestige of their dominions, the Umayyads built a second mosque on the Temple Mount, and called this one the farthest mosque (al-masjid al aqsa). With this, the Umayyads retroactively gave Jerusalem a role in Muhammad's life, and inserted Jerusalem post hoc into the Qur'an, thus making it more important to Islam., for if "the farthest mosque" was in Jerusalem, then Muhammad's "night jouney" and his subsequent ascension to heaven (mi'raj) also took place on the Temple Mount.
• Solomon's Temple built 958-951 BC and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonian armies in 587 BC.
• Second Temple (King Herod) built 37-4 BC and destroyed by General Titus and his Roman soldiers in AD 70
• Muhammad born AD 572
• Muhammad's alleged "night journey" and mi'raj AD 622
• Muhammad died AD 632
• Dome of the Rock built by Amir Abd-ul-Malik AD 688-691
• Masjid al-Aqsa built AD 715
In light of these dates:-
• What Temple did Muhammad visit, enter and pray at, before ascending to heaven??
• Seeing that the Qur'an mentions an alleged journey of Muhammad's to a mosque that did not exist during his lifetime, how should this be interpreted??
• Does the incompatibility of the dates quoted in the Timeline increase your confidence in Muhammad as a prophet of the true and living God??
The Bonfils family photograph of the Dome of the Rock, taken in the late nineteenth century, shows just how important it was to the Muslims then, and this, allegedly one of Islam's holiest sites.
Well may Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiya (AD 638-700), a close relative of Muhammad, have said, denigrating the notion that the prophet of Islam ever set foot on the Rock in Jerusalem; ‘these damned Syrians,' by which he means the Umayyads, ‘pretend that Allah put His foot on the Rock in Jerusalem, though [only] one person ever put his foot on the rock, namely Abraham.'
With kind regards and best wishes
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