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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Muslim scholar explains why Jerusalem is not in the Koran

I was browsing through the Quds Media site, which is one of the sources for some of the more ridiculous rumors about Israel and the Al Aqsa Mosque, and which has an English version. While there I saw this article:

Jerusalem in the Qur’an is a great book that thrilled and delighted me in a number of ways. I am surprised that such a meticulously documented book had to wait for such a long time before seeing the light. ...May Allah Ta’ala reward Brother Imran Hosein for writing this scholarly document, which will indeed fill up this intellectual and religious gap and serve as an academic reference to Muslims in all parts of the world. As I write this introduction, this book that was published only this year is already being translated to Arabic and Bosnian. In a short time it will be rendered into other European languages and to all the other tongues of the Islamic world.
Wow! a book about Jerusalem in the Quran when Jerusalem is not in the Quran!

I found an Internet version of the book, and to call it "scholarly" is, well, a bit misleading. The author spends much of the book on peripheral issues and bashing Israel. But when you dig in to find the meat of his laughable argument, you find this:

It is strange, mysterious, and enigmatic, … that the name of the city ‘Jerusalem’ (Arabic ‘Quds’ or ‘Bait al-Maqdis’) does not appear in the Qur’an! Yet so many of the Prophets mentioned in the Qur’an had links with that Holy City, and in it is located that only other House of Allah, apart from those built in Makkah and Madina, ever built by a Prophet of Allah, Most High. Not only is that House of Allah (Masjid al-Aqsa) mentioned in the Qur’an but so, also, is the miraculous night-time journey in which Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was taken from Makkah to Jerusalem and to that House of Allah. Perhaps the reason for this mysterious treatment of the subject is located in the Islamic view that Jerusalem is destined to play a central crucial role in the Last Age. Hence there was, perhaps, a divine need to cloud the name of the city, as well as its destiny, with a sacred cloud that would not be lifted until the appropriate time had come, and Jerusalem was poised and ready to play its role in the End of History.
There you go! The Quran doesn't mention Jerusalem because it is too darn holy!

In fact, this neatly explains not only why Jerusalem is not in the Koran, but why Islamic scholars ignored their supposedly third-holiest city for hundreds of years!

This, perhaps, explains the almost total absence of Islamic literature on the subject of the destiny of Jerusalem, something to which Dr. Ismail Raji al-Faruqi referred when he lamented: “Unfortunately, there is no Islamic literature on the subject” (see Ch. 1). The fact is that no one could have written on this subject until that time arrived when the cloud was lifted. This book was written in consequence of the conviction that the cloud is now being lifted.

You see? Jerusalem is more holy than Mohammed, more holy than Hajj, more holy than Zakat, more holy than prayer, more holy than the prophets - because they are all mentioned prominently in the Quran, but Jerusalem isn't.

The "proofs" in the book are even more ridiculous. The author claims that when the Quran mentions a "town" it means Jerusalem, and his first proof is the Quranic use of the word "town" referring to where the Jews lived - while they were in the desert.

I think that by using this logic we can deduce that Mickey Mouse is even more holy than Jerusalem in Islam, because Mickey isn't even hinted at!