The Importance Of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) And Do The Jews Have A Right To It?
The Importance Of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) And Do
The Jews Have A Right To It?
Shaykh Muhammad Sâlih al-Munajjid
Praise be to Allâh
Firstly: With regard to the importance of
Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem), you should know – may Allâh bless you – that the virtues of Bayt al-Maqdis are many:
Allâh has described it in the Qur’ân as being blessed. He said:
||“Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allâh)
Who took His slave (Muhammad) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid Al-Harâm (at Makkah) to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsâ (in Jerusalem),
the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed…” [Al-Isrâ’ 17:1].
Al-Quds is part of the neighbourhood surrounding the mosque and hence it
Allâh has described it as being holy, as He says (interpretation of the
||“[Mûsa said:] O my people! Enter the
holy land (Palestine) which Allâh has assigned to you…” [al-Mâ’idah 5:21]
In Al-Quds there is Al-Masjid al-Aqsâ, and one prayer there is equivalent
to two hundred and fifty prayers elsewhere. It was reported that Abu Dharr (may Allâh be pleased with him) said:
||We were discussing, in the presence of the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him), which of them was more virtuous, the mosque of the Messenger of Allâh
(peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) or Bayt al-Maqdis. The Messenger of Allâh (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon
him) said: One prayer in my mosque is better than four prayers there, but it is still a good place of prayer. Soon there will
come a time when if a man has a spot of land as big as his horse’s rope from which he can see Bayt al-Maqdis, that will
be better for him than the whole world. (Narrated and classed as sahîh by al-Hâkim, 4/509. Adh-Dhahabi and al-Albâni agreed
with him, as stated in al-Silsilah al-Sahîhah, at the end of the discussion of hadîth no. 2902). |
One prayer in al-Masjid al-Nabawi is equivalent to one thousand prayers
elsewhere, so one prayer in al-Masjid al-Aqsâ is equivalent to two hundred and fifty prayers elsewhere. With regard to the
famous hadîth which says that prayer in al-Masjid al-Aqsâ is equivalent to five hundred prayers elsewhere, this is da’îf
(weak). (See Tamâm al-Minnah [?] by Shaykh al-Albâni – may Allâh have mercy on him – p. 292).
The one-eyed Dajjâl (“Antichrist”) will not enter it, because
of the hadîth,
||“He will prevail over all the earth,
apart from al-Haram [in Makkah] and Bayt al-Maqdis.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 19665. Classed as sahîh by Ibn Khuzaymah, 2/327,
and Ibn Hibbân, 7/102). |
The Dajjâl will be killed close to al-Quds. He will be killed by the Messiah
‘Îsa ibn Maryam (peace be upon him), as was stated in the hadîth:
||“The son of Maryam will kill the Dajjâl
at the gates of Ludd.” (Narrated by Muslim, 2937, from the hadîth of al-Nawwâs ibn Sam’ân). |
Ludd (Lod) is a place near Bayt al-Maqdis. The Messenger (peace and blessings
of Allâh be upon him) was taken to Bayt al-Maqdis on his Night Journey (al-Isrâ’) from al-Masjid al-Harâm to al-Masjid
al-Aqsâ. Allâh says:
||“Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allâh)
Who took His slave (Muhammad) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid Al-Harâm (at Makkah) to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsâ (in Jerusalem)…”
It (al-Quds) was the first qiblah of the Muslims, as was reported by al-Barâ’
(may Allâh be pleased with him):
||the Messenger of Allâh (peace and blessings
of Allâh be upon him) prayed in the direction of Bayt al-Maqdis for sixteen or seventeen months. (Narrated by al-Bukhâri,
41 – this version was narrated by him – and by Muslim, 525). |
It is the place where Wahy (Revelation) came down, and it is the homeland
of the Prophets. This is well known. It is one of the mosques to which people may travel. Abu Hurayrah (may Allâh be pleased
with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) said:
||“No journey should be made except
to three mosques, al-Masjid al-Harâm, Masjid al-Rasûl (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) and Masjid al-Aqsâ.”
(Narrated by al-Bukhâri, 1132. Also narrated by Muslim, 827, from the hadîth of Abu Sa’îd al-Khudri, with the words,
“Do not travel except to…”). |
The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) led the Prophets
in one prayer in al-Aqsâ, as reported in the lengthy hadîth:
||“… Then the time for prayer
came, and I led them in prayer.” (Narrated by Muslim, 172, from the hadîth of Abu Hurayrah). |
It is not permissible to travel to any spot on earth for the purpose of
worshipping there, except these three mosques.
The fact that Ya’qûb (peace be upon him) built al-Masjid al-Aqsâ
does not mean that the Jews have more right to the mosque than the Muslims, because Ya’qûb was a monotheist and the
Jews are mushrikîn. The fact that their father Ya’qûb built the mosque does not mean that it belongs to them. He built
it for the monotheists to worship in it, even if they were not his children, and he did not allow the mushrikîn to enter it,
even if they are his children, because the call of the Prophets has nothing to do with race; it is based on taqwâ (piety,
awareness of Allâh).
Understanding that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him)
led the previous Prophets in prayer to signify the unity of the message and all divine revelations is correct from the point
of view of the origin of the religion and ‘aqîdah (belief) of the Prophets. All of the Prophets received their Message
from one source, which was the Wahy (Revelation), and they all had the same ‘aqîdah, which was the belief in Tawhîd
(absolute unity of Allâh) and the worship of Allâh Alone, even though there were differences in the details of their laws.
This was confirmed by our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) when he said:
||“I am the closest of mankind to ‘Îsâ
ibn Maryam in this world and in the Hereafter. The Prophets are brothers although they have different mothers, and their religion
is one.” (Narrated by al-Bukhâri, 3259; Muslim, 2365). |
The phrase “brothers although they have different
mothers” means brothers who have the same father but different mothers, i.e., they are the children of co-wives.
Here we would caution readers against believing that the Jews, Christians and Muslims are following the same principles nowadays,
because the Jews have changed the religion of their Prophet. Indeed, part of the religion of their Prophet is that they should
follow our Prophet and not reject him, but they disbelieve in the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allâh be
upon him) and associate others in worship with Allâh.
The Jews do not have any stake in al-Quds, because even though they may
have lived in the land previously, that land now belongs to the Muslims from two points of view:
1. The Jews disbelieved and are no longer
following the religion of the believers among the Children of Israel who followed and supported Mûsa and ‘Îsâ (peace
be upon them).
2. We Muslims have more right to it than them,
because land does not belong to the people who lived there first, but to those who establish the laws of Allâh therein. Allâh
created the land, and He created people to worship Allâh in the land and to establish therein the religion, laws and rulings
of Allâh. Allâh says (interpretation of the meaning):
||“… Verily, the earth is Allâh’s.
He gives it as a heritage to whom He wills of His slaves; and the (blessed) end is for the Muttaqûn (the pious).” [al-A’râf
Hence if some Arabs came who were not followers of Islam and they ruled
the land with kufr, they would have to be fought until they submitted to the rule of Islam or were killed.
It is not the matter of race or ethnicity; it is the matter of Tawhîd and
Here it is useful to quote the words of one of the researchers:
||"History tells us that the first people
to settle in Palestine were the Canânites, six thousand years BCE. They were an Arab tribe who came to Palestine from the
Arabian Peninsula, and after their arrival, Palestine was named after them [i.e., Canân].” (al-Suhyûniyyah, Nash’atuhâ,
Tanzîmâtuhâ, Inshitatuhâ, by Ahmad al-‘Awadi, p. 7). |
||"As for the Jews, the first time they entered
Palestine was approximately six hundred years after Ibrahîm had entered the land, i.e., they entered it approximately 1400
years BCE. So the Canânites entered Palestine and lived there approximately 4500 years before the Jews.” (Ibid., p.
Hence it is clear that the Jews have no right to the land, whether according
to religious law or in terms of who lived there first and possessed the land. They are aggressors who are seizing the land
by force. We ask Allâh to rid Bayt al-Maqdis of them sooner rather than later, for He is Able to do that and He is Most Generous
in answering. Praise be to Allâh, the Lord of the Worlds.