Friday, June 10, 2022

  • Friday, June 10, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
Zubdat-al Tawarikh is a 16th century Islamic history book that is filled with color, miniature illustrations. It is in the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Istanbul.

Here is one of its illustrations, depicting Jonah, Ezra and Jeremiah.


The description of this artwork shows that Muslims not only were well aware of the Jewish ties to Jerusalem, but they created legends about how strong they are:

Still another miniature depicts the stories of three different prophets (fig. 9). In the upper section is found the story of Jonah and the fish. Jonah, the text tells tried to avoid his mission by sailing away but was caught by a violent storm. He was then swallowed by a fish and after three days left on shore. In the miniature Prophet Jonah is shown trying to hide nis nakedness in the midst of bushes. Below him is a brook full of brightly colored fish. On the upper left hand corner, another prophet is represented. Sitting among trees and animals according, to the text, Prophet Jeremiah, grieving over the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylonians, hid in a wild forest. A similar story is narrated in the text for Prophet Uzeyr [Ezra], depicted in the lower section of the miniatures, who also grieved over the destruction of the Holy City but his grief was so deep that God took his soul and gave him life, years after Jerusalem was reconstructed. The building on the lower right hand corner undoubtedly symbolises the rebuilt city of Jerusalem, yet it is the accurate rendering of a typical sixteenth century Ottoman building with a dome and an arched portico. The ruins of the once destroyed city, on the other hand, are indicated by broken arches and columns on the left.
Before the 20th century, no Muslim doubted that Jerusalem has a Jewish history. The idea that Jerusalem has nothing to do with Judaism - which was one of the themes of a speech by Mahmoud Abbas yesterday - is just one of many Palestinian lies that is widely believed by dint of repetition. 

See also here for another early Muslim work about the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.



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