Those who don’t know much about the history of religions might ponder over why is Jerusalem important to Islam- Particularly in the context of the Muslim world’s staunch support for the Palestine cause.
Jerusalem A Rare Sacred City
Jerusalem is the one rare city in the world which is historically and spiritually significant to Christians, Muslims, and Jews- all these are the followers of Abrahamic religions that preach monotheism or oneness of God. The Prophets like Moses, David, Jesus, Solomon, and Abraham who are equally revered among Muslims, Christians, and Jews preached in the city.
Today Jerusalem is a controversial Middle Eastern city. Israel whose various government institutions work in the town has the support of US President Donald Trump who aims to shift his country’s embassy to Jerusalem. But, his decisions faced harsh criticism. Many Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia condemned the Jerusalem as the embassy of Israel, in order to support the Israel cause.
Why Is Jerusalem Important to Islam?
Saudi Arabia and rest of the Muslim world inevitably supports the Palestine cause. But, there is a religious factor too. Three factors make Jerusalem Important for the Islam.
1. Is Jerusalem Qiblah-e-Awal?
Qiblah is the place towards which Muslim turn to during their prayers. Jerusalem which is known as Al-Quds are Baytul- Maqdis was the first Qibla or Qibla-e-Awal. Muslims used to turn in the direction of this Aqsa Mosque located in this city. Later, Muslims started offering prayers by turning in the direction of Khana Kaba in Mecca.
2. A Place Where Muhammad (PBUH) Stayed
The incident of Miraj or Isra has much significance in Islamic history. It refers to the night when Holy Prophet (PBUH) ascended to the heaven in the company of angel Jibreel. Muslims believe that on the eve of Isra, Jibreel miraculously accompanies Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) from Masjid-e-Haram in Mecca to Masjid-e-Aqsa in Jerusalem and then ascended to the heaven to witness the signs of God. During this miraculous journey of few hours, Holy Prophet (PBUH) met with Prophets on different realms and led prayers to them. The incident that took place on 27 of Rajab (sixth month of Islamic calendar) is also mentioned in Quran.
(Credit – iLovUAllah)
3. The Holy City For Muslims
So, one underlying reason that makes Jerusalem important to Islam is its sacredness of this Holy city. Being Qiblah-e-Awal and a place that establishes a connection between Holy Mosque in Mecca and Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem occupies a special place in the hearts of Muslims. Today the followers of Islam from all over the world show their spiritual devotion to this place and hope for the restoration of peace in the now conflicted land.