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Monday, October 01, 2007

Qods Day is coming! Jerusalem Poetry edition

Last year I celebrated Qods Day with a series of posts showing that the Muslim attachment to Jerusalem was essentially nonexistent before Zionism. (The third post, contrasting Jewish art depicting Jerusalem with the nonexistence of Islamic art concerning the "third holiest city in Islam," has lost most of its links to the pictures. I will try to reproduce it this year.)

Well, it's that time again, so continuing the theme:

Here is every Islamic poem I could find about Jerusalem before the 20th century:









Not a single one.

And here is one from a Jewish source, written in the 12th century:
In Remembrance of Jerusalem

A poem by Yehudah ha-Levi

Beautiful land,
Delight of the world,
City of Kings,
My heart longs for you from the far-off west.
I am very sad when I remember how you were.
Now your glory is gone, your homes destroyed.
If I could fly to you on the wings of eagles,
I would soak your soil with my tears.


Remember, the word "Qods" itself is a variant of the Hebrew "Qodesh" which means "holy." Another popular Muslim name for Jerusalem, "Beit ul-Moqaddas," comes from the Hebrew "Beit ha-Miqdash" which means "Holy Temple" that predates Islam by centuries. In other words, any holiness that Islam claims for Jerusalem is derivative of Judaism's claims. See this posting from 2005 for more details.

So, have a happy Qods Day! Because it is impossible to celebrate Jerusalem honestly without coming to the conclusion that its primary significance is to Jews, and it has been that way for millennia.