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Truth and Muslim History

Reader comment on item: What Jewish Ties to Jerusalem?
in response to reader comment: Jerusalem and Islam

Submitted by tianxiang (United States), Jun 22, 2006 at 17:08

Stanley, I agree with you completely. Historically, if we look at the evidence, it is difficult to argue that Mohammed ascended from the Temple Mount. But, in history according to Muslims, which is not based on factual evidence but rather on tradition.

Most Muslims, most importantly those claiming Jerusalem as sacred, believe that he did. Of course the temple had long since been destroyed by the Romans and it would have been impossible for him to have actually seen the Temple of Solomon. This was a fantastic journey that was a "miracle" that would not preclude any irrational additions such as seeing the Temple of Solomon. Would seeing the Temple centuries after it was destroyed be any more fantastic than travelling to the heavens and meeting Moses and Jesus?

Since the Muslims, rightly or wrongly, believe that he ascended from the Temple Mount and use an interpretation of the Quran which claims the distant mosque was the Temple of Solomon, then for those same Muslims to claim that the Jews had no temple there is contrary to their own beliefs, hence blasphemous. There is a story told in the biography of Muhammed where his close companions like Abu Bakr told him not to reveal the journey to the rest of the people out of fear they wouldn't believe something so fantastic.

To prove his claim he described Jerusalem and the area of the Temple Mount to someone who had travelled there earlier. According to the legend, when Muhammed was asked to describe the place, he couldn't because it had been dark. but the angel Gabriel came and whispered the details in his ear so he could convince everyone he had actually been there.

I personally don't believe Mohammed ascended from any place into heaven and the whole idea isn't a "fact" but a belief centered in Islamic mythology. But, to argue against an irrational belief, we have to show the inconsistency of that belief not the irrationality of the premise, which is merely based on faith. The Muslims have to decide to either a) believe that Mohammed ascended from the Temple Mount and therefore admit the existence of the Jewish temple there or b) deny that the Jewish temple was there which would negate the interpretation of the distant mosque from the Quran as referring to Jerusalem and lose any claim to that city as sacred to Muslims.


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