February 17, 2019

Is Jerusalem a Sacred City for Islam?

“Jerusalem is home to around 400,000 Muslims, but is it a sacred city according to Islam?

This is a question the majority of Muslims within the political and academic world try to avoid, simply because it opens a rather uncomfortable discussion. In fact, a Muslim asking such a question could face serious consequences; such as society doubting in his/her faith.

Until 2014, I was an Islamist who abhorred Jewish people and was open to waging war against them. Today, however, I am friends with many Jewish faith leaders. This transition wasn’t political, it was rather theological. In brief, I started to question certain claims taught to me by my teachers and Muslim community. I began by asking myself the question, does Jerusalem really belong to Islam and Muslims?

To answer this vitally important question, we need to inquire how cities become sacred according to Islam.

Sacred cities in Islam

Throughout human history, every religion has been associated with an area that has been sanctified, respected and revered. Islam is no different. There are tens of sacred cities in Islam, such as Mecca, Medina, Qum, Karbala and Najaf – due to clear verses of the Koran acknowledging their glory or sayings of Prophet Mohammad assuring Muslims of their exaltation.”

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