What is the importance of Jerusalem for the three Abrahamic religions?

The Palestinian-Israeli war, which has intensified in recent days, has deeply affected the world agenda. The Jews want to expel the Palestinians from the land they claim was promised to them, and to take full control of Jerusalem, where they want to build the Temple of Solomon in place of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Muslims and Christians, at least in terms of peoples and ideas, stand against Israel on this issue. So what is the significance of Jerusalem for the three Abrahamic religions? What does Jerusalem mean for whom? Mücahit Akbal, Research Assistant at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, commented on the issue for Herkes Duysun readers.

Zübeyde ÖZLÜ – Rüstem PEHLİVANLAR – Herkes Duysun / BURSA (İGFA) – Stating that in order to be able to talk about the importance of Jerusalem for the three religions, it is necessary to first look at the issue in terms of the historical process and to start with the Israelites, Istanbul Sabahattin University Research Assistant Mücahit Akbal mentioned the importance of Jerusalem and Masjid al-Aqsa for the Jews and emphasized that Judaism is a temple-centered religion.


Stating that the majority of the prophets sent to the Israelites were sent to that geography (Middle East), Akbal said, “Since it is a temple-centered religion, we see that two temples were built in Judaism, the temple built during the reign of Solomon and the temple built before. The first of these temples was built during the Babylonian period, the second during the Titus period… This temple was destroyed with the Romans. When we look at the history of Judaism from that period until today, we see that Judaism does not have a central temple. Therefore, in terms of Judaism being a temple-centered religion, today the Jews want to rebuild a temple and the only point where they will build this temple is Jerusalem. And within Jerusalem is the land where the Al-Aqsa Mosque is located. Therefore, when we evaluate it in terms of Judaism, Jerusalem is an indispensable point for Jews.”

Mücahit Akbal, Research Assistant at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, emphasized the importance of Jerusalem for Christians and said, “In the history of Christianity, most of the process of Jesus Christ takes place in Jerusalem. Jesus Christ (before he was crucified) visits the tomb of Prophet David. Immediately after this visit, the so-called ‘last supper’ takes place with his governors, and afterwards, when he goes to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, one of his disciples who was with him denounces Jesus. Jesus was arrested by Jewish soldiers. Then he was crucified and it is rumored that he was killed there according to Christian belief. According to our belief, immediately after the Jewish soldiers received the denunciation of Jesus, Jesus ascended to the sky with the grace of Allah (swt). He ascends to the sky, he is elevated. So he does not die, he is not killed. However, according to Christian belief, he was arrested by Jewish soldiers, crucified and then taken to the church that is today called the Church of the Resurrection, where he was washed and buried. From the Christian point of view, Jesus is both God and the son of God, and from the Christian point of view, he is in a supreme position, and the son of God, who is in a supreme position, according to them, is buried in Jerusalem today. In other words, his tomb is in Jerusalem and therefore the center point for Christendom is Jerusalem today. For this reason, Jerusalem has become an indispensable and important point on earth for Christians. In other words, the belief in Jesus Christ connects Christians to Jerusalem.”


Referring to the importance of Jerusalem for Muslims, Akbal said, “We know the events of Isra and Miraj. We know that the event of ‘Isra’ mentioned in the first verse of Surat al-Isra took place from Masjid al-Haram to Masjid al-Aqsa, we witness it. The place where Masjid al-Aqsa is located is Jerusalem… Therefore, Masjid al-Aqsa is the land under the spot where the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) came face to face with Allahu ta’ala after the event of Isra from Masjid al-Haram to Masjid al-Aqsa and then the event of Miraj, that is, after he reached the seventh layer of heaven and from there to Sidre-i Munteha. Aqsa is our center of Isra and Miraj. After that, the prayer was made obligatory, and after the prayer was made obligatory, the point to which our Prophet and his companions were oriented while praying for 16-17 months, that is, our first qibla. Again, we know from the Hadiths of our Prophet (peace be upon him) that the second masjid built on earth is Masjid al-Aqsa. They ask the Prophet: ‘O Rasulallah, what is the first masjid built on earth? Our Prophet replied: ‘Masjid al-Haram’. When they asked, ‘What was built next?’ he replied, ‘Masjid al-Aqsa’. The Prophet says that there was 40 years between them… Therefore, our first qiblah, second masjid and third haram is Al-Aqsa Mosque. In this sense, it is a holy shrine, a holy place and a holy town for us. In this sense, it is a land that cannot be given up until the Day of Judgment for Islam.”

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