In Hebrew it is called Yerushalayim. What follows is a short and concise history of the city until the Muhammadan Muslim occupation.
Around the year 1010 B.C.E., King David defeated the Jebusites in Jerusalem (Ursalim)and decided to make the city his administrative capital. When he brought the Ark of the Covenant to the city, he stripped the Twelve Tribes of the spiritual source of their power and concentrated it in his own hands.
King David wanted to build a great Temple for Godas a permanent resting place for the Ark of the Covenant. According to Jewish tradition, David was not permitted to build the Temple because he had been a warrior, with blood on his hands. The task was to fall to a man of peace, David's son, Solomon. The Temple would become the focus of Israeliteand later Jewish veneration from that point to the present.
After Solomon died in 931 B.C.E., a civil war led to a split in the Israelite nation. Jerusalem became part of the southern Kingdom of Judah, while ten of the northern tribes formed the new Kingdom of Israel. The Kingdom of Israel lasted until 722 B.C.E., when it was conquered by the Assyrians.
In 586 BCE, the Babylonians conquered Judea and destroyed the Temple of Solomon, the First Temple, and took most of theJewish leadership as prisoners of war to Babylon.
In 66 A.D., after the Roman procurator Florus provoked the Jews through a variety of activities that ranged from stealing silver from the Temple to desecrating the vestments of the High Priest, the Zealots started a revolt.
The Jews initially met with success, routing Roman armies in Jerusalem, but the Romans returned with a larger force. The Jews hoped to hold off the Romans in fortified Jerusalem, but they began a fratricidal battle in which the Zealots murdered Jewish leaders who refused to go along with their rebellion.
The Romans laid siege to the city and in the year 70 A.D. overwhelmed the remaining defenders and destroyed the Second Temple. Some of the Zealots escaped and made their last stand at the fortress of Masada.
Though the mighty Romans had been held at bay for four years, their ultimate victory was never in doubt and the consequences of the Jews' defeat was devastating. Not only was the Temple destroyed, but perhaps as many as one million Jews were killed and many survivors enslaved.
After the suppression of the Jewish revolt, relative calm settled on the Holy Land for nearly 60 years. The Emperor Hadrian had even talked at one point of rebuilding the Temple. He did build a temple; however, it was in honour of the pagan god Jupiter rather than the God of the Jews. He also renamed Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina and made it a Roman city.
This insult, along with other indignities that went along with being Roman subjects, provoked yet another rebellion beginning in 132 A.D., this time under the charismatic leadership of Simeon Bar-Kokhba. It took nearly three years for the Romans to pacify the country and, when they were done, roughly 600,000 Jews were dead (including Bar-Kokhba) and Judea had been devastated.
The Emperor renamed the entire province Syria- Palaestina,Jerusalem became a pagan city that Jews were forbidden to enter, and the persecution of Jews and their religion became wide-spread. The reason why it was renamed Palestina, was because the Phillistines, were historically among the most oppressive enemies of the Israelites; so, in order to humiliate the rebellious Jews even further, their country, Judea,was called by the name of their worst enemy.
Justinian, in order to restore the glory of Rome and defeat Germanic armies first bought off the Persian Kings who threatened Syria and Asia Minor.
In 533 he seized North Africa from the Vandals, but it took 20 years of war for his generals to retrieve Italy from the Ostrogoths and in the process most of the great cities of Italy lay in rubble. He also recovered a small part of Spain.
With Justinian's death in 565 the greatest period in Byzantine history had ended and the tired empire entered a period of instability lasting from 600 to 900 AD.
Slavic tribes had invaded the Balkans, a new wave of Asiatic nomads were being kept at the gates of the empire only by paying tribute, and the Persians were well on their way of conquering Syria, Palestine and Egypt.
But the emperor Heraclius who ruled from 610 to 640 conducted 3 brilliant military campaigns and destroyed the Persian empire and regained Syria, Palestine (March 21, 629), Egypt and the Holy Cross.
It is important that the reader is made aware of the following historical facts:
614Jerusalem fell to the Persians.
629 Byzantine Emperor, Heraclius marched into Jerusalem in triumph over the Persians
633The Islamic conquest of Palestine started and was the beginning of a 1,400-year span during which more than ten different empires, governments, and dynasties were to rule in the Holy Land prior to the British occupation after World War I.
638 The Jews in Palestine assisted the Muslim forces in defeating the Byzantines who had reneged on an agreement to protect them and allow them to resettle in Jerusalem. As a reward for their assistance, the Muslims permitted the Jews to return to Jerusalem. and to guard the Temple Mount.
Israis the name of the Surah which is also called Bani Isra'il, (The Children of Israel). It is the alleged Nocturnal Journey from Mecca to the Farthest Mosque mentioned in
17:1 Glory to (Allah) Who did take His Servant for journey by night [Asra] from the Sacred Mosque to theFarthest Mosque [al masjid al aqsa] whose precincts We did Bless in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the one Who heareth and seeth (all things)"
The reader should be made aware, that the name JERUSALEM, is NEVER mentioned in the whole of the Quran. The details of the Night Journey, should be looked at under its title in the Definitions Section.
It was the Muhammadan(Muslim) interpreters of the Quran, who decades later, expressed the erroneous, falsified and unsubstantiated opinion, and later the dogma, that he was transportedphysically to Jerusalem in spite of the fact that its name is not mentioned in the entire Quran.
Jerusalem, on the other hand, is mentioned 667 times in the Bible. Moreover, pre-Islamic pagan Arabs, had no tradition or knowledge of Jerusalem. Surah 17:1 is a single verse which does not describe a miraculous journey at all since if it were so, then it would have given us much greater details of such a wondrous and unusual event. In fact, the next verse 17:2, discusses Moses, and the subsequent verses other subjects; all of which, have absolutely no relevance to the alleged momentous and miraculous event.
Furthermore, the Muhammadan exegetes explained, that the 'Furthest Mosque' is at Jerusalem since it is far away from Mecca.
It is unfortunate, that the same scholars either missed, or deliberately chose to ignore verse30:2 which clearly states, that the land of Palestine, under the Byzantines, is a 'land close by'.It should hence be clear to any reader, that the same geographical point, cannot possibly be BOTH 'furthest' AND 'close by', at the same time.
30: 2 The Roman Empire[Byzantine Empire] has been defeated 3 In a land close by; but they (even) after (this) defeat of theirs will soon be victorious
# 3505 The remarkable defeats of the Roman Empire under Heraclius and the straits to which it was reduced are reviewed in Appendix No. 6 (to follow this Sura). It was not merely isolated defeats; the Roman Empire lost most of its Asiatic territory and was hemmed in on all sides at its capital, Constantinople. The defeat, "in a land close by" must refer to Syria and Palestine, Jerusalem was lost in 614-15 A.D., shortly before this Sura was revealed#
Even the interpreter, inadvertently agrees that 'in a land close by' can only be Syria and Palestine. In fact, Syria is geographically further from Mecca and Arabia than Palestine.
The two events occurred in the lifetime of Muhammad as reflected in the contents of the verse: first, Byzantine defeat, followed by triumph.
Considering all the points above, and the fact that it was Muhammad's own 'revelation' which asserts the nearness of Palestine to Arabia, there can be no more doubt as to the fact, that Jerusalem could not have been what Muhammad had in mind in 17:1; otherwise, the Quranic verses are irreconcilable.
Another remarkable point to add to the falsity of 'Muslim' claims to Jerusalem are the following Hadiths that were written at least two hundred years after Muhammad.
They relate, that in the days of Muhammad, Jerusalem was not called by that name among the Arabs, but was recognised as Ilya. This name is derived from (Ilia Capitolina), the name of the new city (c.135AD) that was built over the destoyed Jerusalem at the hands of the Roman Empire.
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 1.6Narrated byAbdullah bin Abbas
Abu Sufyan bin Harb informed me that Heraclius had sent a messenger to him while he had been accompanying a caravan from Quraish. They were merchants doing business in Sham(Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan),at the time when Allah's Apostle had truce with Abu Sufyan and Quraish infidels.
So Abu Sufyan and his companions went to Heraclius at Ilya (Jerusalem).Heraclius called them in the court and he had all the senior Roman dignitaries around him. He called for his translator who, translating Heraclius's question said to them, "Who amongst you is closely related to that man who claims to be a Prophet?" Abu Sufyan replied, "I am the nearest relative to him (amongst the group)…..The sub narrator adds, "Ibn An-Natur was the Governor of Ilya' (Jerusalem) and Heraclius was the head of the Christians of Sham. Ibn An-Natur narrates that once while Heraclius was visiting Ilya' (Jerusalem), he got up in the morning with a ……
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 4.191Narrated byAbdullah bin Abbas
Allah's Apostle wrote to Caesar and invited him to Islam and sent him his letter with Dihya Al-Kalbi whom Allah's Apostle ordered to hand it over to the Governor of Busra who would forward it to Caesar. Caesar as a sign of gratitude to Allah, had walked from Hims to Ilya
(Jerusalem)when Allah had granted Him victory over the Persian forces. So, when the letter of Allah's Apostle reached Caesar, he said after reading it, "Seek for me any one of his people (Arabs of Quraish tribe), if present here, in order to ask him about Allah's Apostle." At that time Abu Sufyan bin Harb was in Sham with some men from Quraish who had come (to Sham) as merchants during the truce that had been concluded between Allah's Apostle; and the infidels of Quraish.
Abu Sufyan said, "Caesar's messenger found us somewhere in Sham so he took me and my companions to Ilya (Jerusalem) and we were admitted into Ceasar's court to find him sitting in his royal court wearing a crown and surrounded by the senior dignitaries of the Byzantine. He said to his translator, 'Ask them who amongst them is a close relation to the man who claims to be a prophet……"
Al-Muwatta Hadith Hadith 5.17 The Special Time in the Day of Jumua
Yahya related to me from Malik from Yazid ibn Abdullah ibn al-Had from Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Harith at-Taymi from Abu Salama ibn Abd ar-Rahman ibn Awf that Abu Hurayra said, "I went out to at-Tur (Mount Sinai) and met Kab al Ahbar and sat with him. He related to me things from the Tawrah and I related to him things from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Among the things I related to him was that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'The best of days on which the sun rises is the day of jumua. In it Adam was created, and in it he fell from the Garden. In it he was forgiven, and in it he died. In it the Hour occurs, and every moving thing listens from morning till sunset in apprehension of the Hour except jinn and men. In it is a time when Allah gives toa muslim slave standing in prayer whatever he asks for.' Kab said, 'That is one day in every year.' I said, 'No, in every jumua.' Then Kab recited the Tawrah and said, 'The Messenger of Allah has spoken the truth.' "
Abu Hurayra continued, "I met Basra ibn Abi Basra al-Ghiffari and he said, 'Where have you come from?' I said, 'From at-Tur.' He said, 'If I had seen you before you left, you would not have gone. I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "Only make a special journey to three mosques: the mosque of the Haram (Makka),this mosque (Madina), and the mosque ofIlya (Jerusalem) or the Bait al-Maqdis (two names of Jerusalem)." ' " (He was not sure which expression was used.)
*** The ArabicBait al Maqdis is of course plagiarised - like almost every other concept, precept, thought or idea of value in the Quran - from the Hebrew original for the Temple of Solomon,BEIT HA MIQDASH, meaning the HOLY HOUSE (of God) ***
Al-Muwatta Hadith Hadith 20.26 Where People Should Enter Ihram.
Yahya related to me from Malik from a reliable source that Abdullah ibn Umar once entered ihram at Ilya (Jerusalem).
*** The question that should be asked by the inquiring mind of the reader is, why did the Arabs, in the days of Muhammad (c. 640 AD), refer to it in such a manner(Ilya)?
Once more, these 'unimportant' tit bits of information turn out to be GEMS that consolidate the fact that NEVER was Jerusalem of importance to the Muhammadan Arabs except, that it represented the city which had the Temple of Solomon, the holiest site for the Jews.
Since these are the facts, then one must come to the only logical conclusion, that the Furthest Mosque could only have meant, the Mosque in Heaven, by Allah's Throne in replication of Jewish traditions, regarding the Temple of Solomon.
During the span of almost 1400 of Arab and Muhammadan domination of the Holy Land,NOT ONCE was Jerusalem made the SEAT of any part of their extensive empire.
Arab and Muhammadan claims for Jerusalem are not based on actual religious requirements, but are entirely POLITICAL in nature and bereft of any historical and or theological foundations ***