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info post here -- the term Jerusalem does NOT appear anywhere in the Koran...

Reader comment on item: Muslim Zionism
in response to reader comment: Dr. Pipes' New York Sun column on the significance of Jerusalem to Muslims

Submitted by J.S. (Canada), Jun 9, 2006 at 14:49

There is no reference to Jerusalem in the Koran. In the Koran a story is told about the Prophet having a dream (he rides on an imaginary animal), and in the Koran it states that the Prophet "goes to the farthest places" (presumably a mosque). Early interpreters of the Koran maintained that this was a reference to heaven. But another interpretation placed the "farthest mosque" in Jerusalem.

Bernard Lewis in the text, "The Middle East: A brief history of the last 2,00 years" (1995) writes about the Arabic inscriptions found on the Dome of the Rock (in Jerusalem). The verses in the Koran about the Prophet's visit to the "farthest mosque" are NOT found here (nothing about the "night journey" found on the Dome of the Rock). Bernard Lewis states: "A contrasting tradion, equally early, denied the sanctity of Jerusalem in Islam. According to this tradition, only Mecca and Medina are holy cities, and the veneration of the Temple Mount is a Judaizing error. The argument continued for centuries and was only settled in favour of sanctity in comparatively modern times" (p. 71).

Hope this clears matters up -- (again, for today's Muslims, Jerusalem is considered "holy." But this wasn't always the case.)


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