Daily Israel Report
More

Zion's Corner Blogs


Moslem Claim to Jerusalem Rests on Wobbly Verse

A commentator in the official Egyptian government weekly, of all places, writes this week that the entire Moslem claim on Jerusalem and El-Aksa is based on a mistaken reading of one chapter of the Quran.
First Publish: 8/28/2003, 7:19 PM

A commentator in the official Egyptian government weekly, of all places, writes this week that the entire Moslem claim on Jerusalem and El-Aksa is based on a mistaken reading of one chapter of the Quran. Ahmed Mahmad Oufa wrote that the verse that mentions a night journey by Muhammed to a mosque has nothing to do with Jerusalem, as is generally claimed, but with a mosque near the holy Moslem city of Medina.

Prof. Moshe Sharon, Middle Eastern expert in the Hebrew University, commented on Arutz-7 today: "This is not a new claim. We must remember that Jerusalem is not mentioned at all in the Quran [though it is mentioned hundreds of time in the Bible - ed. note]. The verse in question is in Sura [chapter] 17, which states that Muhammad was brought at night from one mosque to a "more distant" - aktsa, in Arabic - mosque. The first Moslem commentators did not explain this as referring to Jerusalem at all, of course, but rather as a miraculous night journey or night vision or some such. In the beginning of the 8th century, however, they began associating this with Jerusalem, because they had a need to start giving sanctity to Jerusalem, and so they started connecting this verse with Jerusalem... Originally, however, the Moslems recognized the area of the Dome of the Rock as holy because of the Jewish Temple of King Solomon."

It should be noted that the Al Aksa mosque was built on the Temple Mount 621 years after Mohammed's death. Prof. Shamir expressed great surprise at the fact that such an article would be published in Arabic and in an Arabic-speaking country.