Why is Jerusalem holy for Muslims


All three major revelation religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - Jerusalem is a holy city: Here stood the holy of holies of the Jews, for Christians it is the place of Jesus' suffering and resurrection and for Muslims Jerusalem is the third most important city after Mecca and Medina. Today the political status of the city is internationally controversial: The State of Israel regards Jerusalem as its capital, but this is not recognized internationally.

Site of "Solomon's Temple"

David, the king of Judah and later also of Israel, had conquered Jerusalem from the Jebusites and had it around the year 1000 BC. Made his seat of government. According to biblical historiography, the first temple of the Jews was built in Jerusalem under his successor, King Solomon. This temple is said to have housed the Holy of Holies - the foundation tent and the Ark of the Covenant. In the sixth century BC "Solomon's Temple" was destroyed by the Babylonians. The "Wailing Wall" (Hakotel) in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem's old town is the western part of the surrounding wall of this temple and is still considered a holy place of prayer today.

The Second Temple, which was built on the site of "Solomon's Temple" after the Jews returned from their exile in Babylon, no longer stands. It was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70 (more on this in the entry Jewish history) A little later the Jews were expelled from the Roman province of Syria Palestine (more on this in the entry Diaspora - Galut), but the longing for Jerusalem remained. Synagogues all over the world are oriented towards Jerusalem and Jews pray Psalm 137 on every working day: "... 5. If I ever forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand wither. … ”(Psalm 137,5 according to the standard translation of the Bible).

Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus

Christians - both Orthodox and Roman Catholic - know this psalm as an integral part of their prayers. Jerusalem is a holy city for Christians, also because they see themselves following the Jews through their “new covenant” with God, but above all because of Jesus' work in this city. Christians regard Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah who was condemned to death on the cross by the Roman governor Pontius Pilate.

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem's old town is known to Christians as "Golgotha", the hill on which the crucifixion is said to have taken place, and the site where the tomb of Jesus is located. According to Christian belief, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his death, but for Christians the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is a particularly holy place of pilgrimage. In the Church of the Holy Sepulcher there is also a cave in which Helena, mother of the Roman emperor, Constantine the Great, is said to have found the cross of Jesus.

[[5224011 / View of the Dome of the Rock, sacred for Muslims, in the foreground the Western Wall as an important place of Jewish prayer]]

Third holiest city in Islam

The Muslims consider Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock and the "Al-Aqsa" mosque the third holiest city after Mecca and Medina. Before the Islamic prophet Mohammed changed the direction of prayer to the Kaaba in Mecca after a dispute with the Jewish tribes of Medina, the Muslims prayed in the direction of Jerusalem.

The Dome of the Rock (“qubbat as-sahra”) was built in early Islamic times and is not designed as a mosque, but as a shrine. The Umayyad building covers a rock from which Mohammed is said to have undertaken a heavenly journey on his heavenly horse Buraq. One should also be able to recognize a footprint of the prophet in the stone and whiskers should be kept here in a small shrine. Right next to the Dome of the Rock is the "Al-Aqsa" mosque, which is the third holiest after the mosques in Mecca and Media. And finally, Jerusalem is sacred to the Muslims because Abraham and Jesus, who are recognized as prophets in Islam, worked there.

Review article on the three book religions