Jerusalem, known in Arabic as al-Quds or Bayt al-Maqdis, is a sacred site for all three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Because these three religions are all Abrahamic, they all emphasize monotheism and hold many of the same Prophets in high regard. The reverence for Jerusalem that each of these religions possesses originates from their shared history. While the shared history of Christianity and Judaism is generally known, many people are unaware that Islam also has an Abrahamic history.
The city of Jerusalem, as well as Palestine as a whole, is the home of many Prophets. The Qur'n refers to it as a land with blessed surroundings in various places (Qur'n 17:1). David and Solomon were in Jerusalem when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Lot, John the Baptist, and Zacharia were also residents of Palestine. Several of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, resided in Jerusalem after he died and were buried there.
As a result of its historical and theological significance, Jerusalem is cherished. Because Jews and Christians do not acknowledge Ishmael and Mohammad as God's Prophets and Messengers, Makkah and Madinah are not considered hallowed cities. Muslims, on the other hand, believe in the Prophets Moses, David, Solomon, and Jesus, and hence must acknowledge the sacredness and significance of Jerusalem in Islam.
During the first fourteen years of the Prophet Muhammad's message, Muslims faced Jerusalem for the first time during prayer. Jerusalem is particularly significant because the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, visited it during his al-Isr' wal mirj (night voyage and ascent to the skies).
In one night, the angel Gabriel flew the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, from Mecca to Jerusalem, and then to the sky. During this remarkable journey, the Prophet Muhammad encountered a number of other prophets, including Abraham, Jesus, and Moses, all of whom were blessed with peace. This incident is commemorated in the Qur'n with a whole chapter called the Ascension (al-Isr'). Glory to Him who guided His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram [in Mecca] to al-Masjid al-Aqsa [in Jerusalem], whose environs We blessed, to show him Our signs. Indeed, He is the One Who Hears and Sees (Qur'n 17:1).
From the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem, the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, ascended to the sky. He was given the mandate to pray five times a day during this visit to the heavens, which is the second pillar of Islam.
A prayer in Makkah (Ka'bah) is worth 1,000 times (reward), a prayer in my Masjid (Madinah) is worth 1,000 times, and a prayer in the Al-Aqsa Sanctuary is worth 500 times more reward than anywhere else, according to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (Bayhaqi). Because only these three locations are holy, the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, discouraged people from visiting any other sites in the mistaken belief that they are also holy.
“Do not travel to see any Mosque except three: this Mosque [in Medina], the Mosque of al-Haram [in Mecca], and the Mosque of Aqsa,” he urged (Muslim).
The mission of the Prophet Muhammad was to carry on the work of the previous Prophets. Jerusalem will also play a significant part in Islamic tradition at the end of the world. These are some of the reasons why Muslims regard Jerusalem with tremendous affection, spiritual affinity, and devotion. There are three crucial aspects to remember concerning Islam and Jerusalem, according to Dr. Muzammil Siddiqui:
1. Muslims have ruled Jerusalem for the longest period of time, from the time of Prophet David to the present day.
2. Muslims upheld the city's sacredness in the fullest sense of the word.
3. The most tolerant multi-religious and multi-faith character of Jerusalem was established and practiced by Muslims.
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