Talk:Jerusalem in Islam

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Mediation issues:


  • Should the header start with "The city of Jerusalem is considered sacred by Islam" sourced to Yusuf Ali?
  • Should the statement "According to the vast majority of Islamic scholars, the "Farthest Mosque" referred to is the site of the Temple of Solomon, and the present day location of the al-Aqsa mosque of Jerusalem", also sourced to Yusuf Ali stay?
  • Should "The Quran (verse 7:161) refers to the city of Jerusalem", sourced to many persons, stay?
  • Can hadith relating to Jerusalem be added, (either entirely or paraphrased) to the article?
  • Does the section Religious_significance_of_Jerusalem#Controversial_claim violate Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view#Undue_weight and Wikipedia:Verifiability#Sources/Wikipedia:Reliable_sources?
  • Should only Yusuf Ali's work be taken seriously, or can other scholars be sourced as well?
  • Should vital but brief history and conflicting claims be at least mentioned?

-Ste|vertigo 01:16, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for mediating Stevertigo. After reading the dispute from the other discussion, do you have any comments, questions, suggestions? I think that might help pull things together. Thanks a lot again, your help is appreciated. --Shamir1 00:58, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Let's just go through with an issue one by one. I'll present my position, and you yours. If Stevertigo feels there is something missing from either argument he/she will request the user to address that problem. Hopefully that way I can better understand your perspective, and you mine. What do you think?Bless sins 20:57, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree, Bless sins, but both of us have made our points on the previous talk page. I think the idea is there. And Stevertigo, it is not too necessary to read the comments posted by neither me nor Bless sins. We made the bulk of each argument, and other comments are of little importance. I think Bless sins would agree... In either case, have you become familiar with the case after reading the discussion? Any questions or ideas we should expand on? Let us know. --Shamir1 01:38, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Mediator comments

Regards to you both. Observations: You two have very polar views, neither of which are entirely consistent with Wikipedia's NPOV policy. Bless sins you have stated among your requirements that sources should:

"(1) have considerable knowlege of the Quran and the Shariah, (2) are well-respected amongst Islamic jurists and interpreters of the Quran throughout the Muslim World."

Ignoring the Sharia reference for a moment, the first seems to be a no-brainer, as we would expect sources to have some expertise. The second point is not as valid, because it rests on a subjective concept of "respected." Bless, you seem to want to complicate things by including the matter of Sharia. Clearly, when Muslims cannot even agree on hadith and other narratives, we can't expect that your second requirement be proper for Wikipedia. More to the point, there are no doubt people who fit the first requirement, but dont fit the second. These no doubt include those who might by some designation be considered non-Muslims, but whom are nevertheless qualified to comment on the matter of relevance.

Shamir, you appear to be violating WP:POINT. The sources you cite are political in nature and at best represent an only tangential or marginal degree of relevance to the article. I think Bless said it well when he explained the issue of giving proper WP:WEIGHT.

Lastly, the issue about the ambiguity in the use of names needs to be explained. Its fine to use the English translation of course, but its necessary to explain that this translation makes an interpreted translation, not a direct translation, about the name of Jerusalem. -Ste|vertigo 08:12, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

I do see how I adopted a rather extreme position. However, what I meant by (1) is that the persons should be acknowleged by others as having knowlege of the Islamic faith. Thus, a self proclamation of expertise on Islamic issues is not enough. But, for example, if a person is employed as a professor at a univeristy to teach Islam, then that is evidence that others believe this person has knowlege of Islam. Similar acknowlegements can be given in many ways.
What I meant by (2) is that the person's comments must be reflective of mainstream Muslims. This article talks about how Muslims view their faith and holy sites. If a person's comments don't at all represent what Muslims believe and practice then that position is an extreme one, and should be given due weight.Bless sins 03:15, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I did not say you adopted an "extreme" position, I said you both had "polar" (as in polarized) positions. This tends to happen in partisan disputes. "If a person is employed as a professor at a univeristy to teach Islam.." He could also teach archaeology or ancient history could he not? Perhaps you use the term differently, but you make it appear as if you would characterise any critical view as "extremist." Im sure this is not the case, but I suggest using a different term. " This article talks about how Muslims view their faith and holy sites." No, this article is about the relationship between Jerusalem and Islam. All aspects are relevant including views which distinguish the city itself from particular holy sites. "The person's comments must be reflective of mainstream Muslims" This view is not consistent with NPOV. All views, including minority views, must be included. You do however show some understanding of balance. Perhaps what you mean is that NPOV requires us to present views in proportion and not to give undue weight to minority views. -Ste|vertigo 03:42, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

If a person teaches ancient history (most probably pre-Islamic) then that in itself is not enough to support their knowlege on Islam. Ofcourse, the person may make up for it in other ways, such as writing a book on Islam that is acclaimed by scholars. Not all "critical" views is not "extremist", but many are. I gave you many examples here. One of the sources that used to be quoted infact adopted a very extremist perspective. "The person's comments must be reflective of mainstream Muslims". They must be, else (depending on the case) given a very small space, or none at all. This is consistent with NPOV which says "'Views held only by a tiny minority of people should not be represented as significant minority views, and perhaps should not be represented at all."Bless sins 03:55, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
In any case there was a two way argument, where I was blocking some of Shamir1's sources, and he was blocking mine. Please note that.Bless sins 03:56, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

"If a person teaches ancient history (most probably pre-Islamic) then that in itself is not enough to support their knowlege on Islam." I would agree with this (mostly) if you removed the "probably pre-Islamic" part. Of course the article must be limited to the context of Islamic history - thats what the article is about. But just to be clear, one need not be a convert to comment on a specific aspect which happens to relate to this subject - simply because Jerusalem also relates to other groups as well. This is important, because whats really being argued is a political argument by both sides, where the sides are arguing over the relative importance of Jerusalem. Where I do agree with you is that political views must come last, after genuinely scholarly views. In that vein, it is important to describe the debate between Muslims and non-Muslims - Jews and Christians for example. Of course religious scholars of note should be prominent, but those types are often enough criticised for being political. Isnt the viewpoint of a contemporary Islamic scholar also a political viewpoint? There are often no finite boundaries between topics, and there is no rule which excludes particular subjects, even religious ones, from discussion by a foreign view. -Ste|vertigo 04:56, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

"In any case there was a two way argument, where I was blocking some of Shamir1's sources, and he was blocking mine. Please note that." I appreciate this, and my job as mediator is to get you both to agree on a set of sources and organize the article accordingly. -Ste|vertigo 05:05, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Sure, per WP:NPOV, we must give political opinions due wieght. But these must be restricted to notable politicans. Also, a similar arguments should also be made on the pages of Jerusalem in Judaism (e.g Yasser Arafat said the temple never existed).Bless sins 14:15, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

"Per WP:NPOV, we must give political opinions due wieght. But these must be restricted to notable politicans." "Restrict[ions]" don't work. The way that this must be dealt with is like this:

In recent years there have been political efforts aimed at questioning or discounting the view that Jerusalem as a city has relevance to Islam. Often these efforts are in support of Zionism, asserting the view that Jerusalem has greater relevance to Jews than to Muslims. Likewise these views are countered by Muslims who assert their own religious views about the importance of Jerusalem. In essence these arguments (on both sides) attempt to use religious texts as a basis for supporting a political viewpoint. ...In this context, the central criticism has been that there is no direct mention of the name "Jerusalem" in the Qur'an. This issue has been noted by ... and recently popularised by ... Muslim scholars like ... have argued that while Jerusalem is not mentioned by name, the city has been given other names in the past and these are referenced in the Qur'an.

This is the NPOV way to deal with the issue. Frame the debate. Represent and describe the debate between Muslims and non-Muslim views in an appropriate section. -Ste|vertigo 04:30, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Stervertigo. 1) It has nothing to do at all, whatsoever, with Zionism. Also, there are other Muslim commentators as noted before. It has not been in "recent years" it is long ago noted by an Egyptian man. I did not block any sources, I included all views. Also, you are mistaken. For starters, some of that is WP:OR. Secondly, there are names for the mosque, not the city, that are different and mentioned. Please make note of this. --Shamir1 20:32, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Okay, for starters, I really do not disagree with the bulk of Stevertigo's statements, and hardly do with mediators. Here are some of the issues.

  • The question of the location of the al-aqsa mosque is not a new one. It does not seek to disprove the claim to jerusalem, but rather claim that it would be more likely or possible that the ascension was to Medina, Jir'ana, or Heaven
  • Realistic history: The mosque was built and named after the Quran was received.
  • Please distinguish between the mosque, the site, or their other names and Jerusalem, the city, or its other names.
  • Things about a political viewpoint can be a tough one...better to just leave that sentence out. I can see the pov tags, and rv's already.
  • Certain people are scholars or professors of Islam, but not Muslims. That is not important though and little to do with our discussion. its just to keep in mind.
  • The controversy is somewhat widespread, however, it can and should be cut to basics. It would be a good idea to merge some bits and pieces of it into the similar Al-Aqsa Mosque#Location of the “farthest mosque”.
  • "The question of the location of the al-aqsa mosque is not a new one. It does not seek to disprove the claim to jerusalem, but rather claim that it would be more likely or possible that the ascension was to Medina, Jir'ana, or Heaven"
    • I dont understand this. What does "likelihood" have to do with religion?
  • "Realistic history: The mosque was built and named after the Quran was received."
    • As I understand it the mosque was built afterward at a site believed to be where Muhammad was believed to have ascended to heaven.
      • Yes, however, that is a bit disputed. The extant inscriptions of it there are newer. It is controversial since the site was called al aqsa afterwards. However, this is minor and should be general, it does not deserve a whole lot of mention --Shamir1 21:30, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
  • "Please distinguish between the mosque, the site, or their other names and Jerusalem, the city, or its other names.
    • I think this is important. Its improper to generalize a view of "holiness" to a whole city when the object of reverence is a particular place.
  • "Things about a political viewpoint can be a tough one...better to just leave that sentence out. I can see the pov tags, and rv's already."
    • I dont think this should be avoided, and certainly not because some will dispute it. Politics is often the central context, and its necessary to give an overview of political debates.
      • If that is so, then i dont think its accurately described. I dont think its that mentionable.
  • "Certain people are scholars or professors of Islam, but not Muslims. That is not important though and little to do with our discussion. its just to keep in mind.
    • Fine. I mention it because Bless sins had a problem with using Spencer as a reference. He characterised Spencer as an "extremist." I dont think this view is correct, even if Spencer appears to have a political view, or a view which differs from most Muslims.
  • "The controversy is somewhat widespread, however, it can and should be cut to basics. It would be a good idea to merge some bits and pieces of it into the similar Al-Aqsa Mosque#Location of the “farthest mosque”." --Shamir1 22:51, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Sounds good. -Ste|vertigo 06:07, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
      • I think were moving along...hopefully. =) --Shamir1 21:30, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

First issue[edit]

I think the best way to start mediation is by addressing the issues. THe first issue is:

Should the header start with "The city of Jerusalem is considered sacred by Islam" sourced to Yusuf Ali?

My answer is yes. Shamir1 do you still dispute this?Bless sins 15:34, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

I dont disagree with this, provided that the caveat is mentioned that the Yusuf Ali translation is interpretation and not a direct translation. This is an important difference. -Ste|vertigo 06:07, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
When it comes to that I think it should be written as: Jerusalem has played a great role in Islam. I think it sounds better since it also is written in the style like it has played a role, as in it has come to use by Islamic figures. This way, there is less dispute between interpretation and translation. --Shamir1 21:23, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Shamir1 are you saying that I'm misrepresenting the sources? This is what Yusuf Ali says. Do you think that Yusuf Ali is not a reliable source? Please state clearly your reason (based on wiki policy) for objecting to the statement.Bless sins 22:51, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I dont understand either of you. I was talking about the Ali quote, and Shamir you are talking about how the lede is written - two different things entirely. Bless, RS was a nice policy for people to assert the superiority of certain sources over others. RS is now a note within WP:ATT with the important caveat "reliable sources, wherever possible" (WP:RSWP). In the case of religion there are no reliable sources. There are only religious texts and interpretations, neither of which are very authoritative according an objective standard of "reliability." As far as quoting Ali, the most prominent English Qur'an translation there is no issue. The issue is in explaining the process by which Ali used the name "Jerusalem," when this meaning is not a direct translation (Yerushalem -> Jerusalem) but an interpreted one, relying on an interpretation of religious scriptures. Again, (once again) where intepretation (or "innovation") is concerned, there is no issue of "reliability." There are only views in proportion. -Stevertigo 03:32, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Yusuf Ali doesn't translate a particular verse into saying what he says, rather makes his own commentary on a verse. And why do we need to evaluate "the process by which" a scholar performs his/her research? You yourself have said that the issue is of "views in proportion" and Ali's work is the "most prominent English Qur'an translation". SO what's the problem here?Bless sins 05:46, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

The problem is the usage of the word "translation" in a manner not consistent with the common definition. "Translation" is quite different from "makes his own commentary." Because these two things are different, an explanation is about the source of the text is necessary. Simply attributing the text to Yusuf Ali as a "translation" is not sufficient. Remember the purpose of an encyclopedia is understanding - for which explanations are vital. -Stevertigo 11:11, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I do not understand your argument about "translation". Yusuf Ali's work is written in English, and I'm not doing any translation myself.Bless sins 21:24, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Forgive me, as I am not entirely familiar with the subject, but I don't know how much more clear I can put the question: Is Ali's work a translation of the Qur'an or not? Is the quoted text from the Qur'an or is it just Ali's "own commentary?" Clearly you see the difference in importance between 1) a revered text and 2) someone's commentary. Because there is that difference, there is naturally a difference in the weight people will give to their respective claims.

But I think you have already answered the question, and the impression you give is that Ali's "commentary" (your word) is the primary source for stating the relevance of Jerusalem to Islam. Is this correct? We of course cant rely on any "translation [you yourself]" would do, so that's (mostly) besides the point. And though the text is commentary it doesn't make it irrelevant, however it does require that such be stated as "commentary", and the context of both the commenter (his life, his relevance) and his comment (the source, the translation) need to be explained. Perhaps there is more relevant text, but in the absence of that, its perfectly fine to explain in depth the particular cited quotes. Regards, -Stevertigo 23:35, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

The literature I quote from is Ali's translation and commentary on and of the Quran. Ali's conclusion is part of his commentary on the Quran, not the translation of any particular verse. However, he bases his conclusion on a particular verse of the Quran. In this case Ali's opinions are very widely accepted (and I need to show you sources that suggest this), so we don't need to attribute him.Bless sins 23:52, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
So, to get to the point, are you saying that Ali should not be quoted now? Ali's notability and his reference to Jerusalem alone makes him relevant. On the one hand you've suggested that you should offer "sources that suggest [the popularity of this view]", but on the other you say that Ali himself "[need not be attributed]? I find your argument strange to say the least. Naturally there is a problem with asserting that Ali's views are supported in religious scripture, without explaining how he bases such interpretation. Likewise there is a problem with stating the popularity of his views without a source - I agree with you there. I think it will be interesting for the article to explain his commentary in depth, including, as you suggest, a note about his popularity among Muslims of diverse beliefs. Regards, -Stevertigo 05:04, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

No, Ali should still be quoted. I never said that. I only realized a potential problem, that is: I must show that Ali's views (on Jerusalem) are popular. I never anticipated the problem. For now though, we can put in the sentence, Yusuf Ali writes in his commentary to the Holy Quran that Jerusalem has always been holy in the eyes of Islam.

But do take a look at the following: Religious_significance_of_Jerusalem#Jerusalem_in_Judaism starts with "Jerusalem has been the holiest city in Judaism and the spiritual homeland of the Jewish people since the 10th century BCE.[1] Jerusalem has long been embedded into Jewish religious consciousness."

The source for this is: Yeruchem Eilfort, and his article here. No attempt has been made to show that this is the majority position in Judaism. Yusuf Ali's commentary on the Quran is far more popular, scholarly and widely circulated amongst Muslim than in amongst Jews. Eilfort has been unquestiongly accepted as scholar, while Ali is not. I just want to say that we should not paractise double standards.Bless sins 18:57, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

You are free to make suggestions and improvements for other article as well, and if it interests you I suggest you challenge how the phrase you quoted is worded. It does seem to be a bit general, in the sense that its glorifying in that typically self-aggrandizing manner that all religions seem to conform to. But back to the subject at hand, which is this article, I like your suggested additional sentence, but ideally, if Ali's is a major source or viewpoint, there should be more than just an added sentence. The most intereresting question that comes to mind is whether this view of Jerusalem was popular among Muslims before Ali. Regards, -Stevertigo 10:28, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
PS: "Yusuf Ali's commentary on the Quran is far more popular, scholarly and widely circulated amongst Muslim than Chabad i[s] amongst Jews" I'm not familiar with either Ali or Elifort, nor am I qualified to make some statement about their relative importance in their own cultural contexts. I will say that if you want to deal with the political status of Jerusalem, that is certainly relevant, but is best left in the context of the contemporary conflict articles, which can deal with more than just a religious view. For this mediation, I'm not very interested in getting into the political aspects until the religious ones are settled. -Stevertigo 10:36, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Whoa, I didnt think this would be such a deal at all. As for the Judaism section, yes, the Chabad source is used, but I dont believe the author is quoted or the statements are exactly the same. Even so, it can easily be attributed directly to Jewish scripture and tradition, such as the ending of a Passover Seder. Like Stevertigo, I'm not familiar with Elifort and am probably more familiar with Ali. Nothing is wrong with the other sentence. I didnt say that Yusuf Ali is unreliable, but for Wikipedia (as an encyclopedia) his sentence seems a bit poetic rather than historical. --Shamir1 20:15, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Were not talking about "unreliability," nor are we talking about any other articles. We're talking about the order and characterization of relevant sources - most important first. -Stevertigo 06:02, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
As I said, "I didnt say that Yusuf Ali is unreliable", or anything else about unreliability. But yes, let's leave it to this article. Go on. --Shamir1 00:35, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
So do you agree or disagree with the Yusuf Ali lead? The sentecne "Jerusalem has long been embedded into Jewish religious consciousness" is definetly poetic.Bless sins 17:26, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
Lets not base our work on bad examples. Again, if you have issues with how that statement is phrased, please reword it yourself, explaining your issues in the comment line. From what I gather from this conversation, as neither of you are very forthcoming with your answers: As a city, Jerusalem has traditionally been of marginal importance in Islam, save for the Al Aqsa Mosque, built on the site at which Muhammad is believed to have ascended physically into heaven. However the issue of its religious importance is compounded by the contemporary conflict between Jews and Arab Muslims — arguments for and against the existence of the Jewish state are given a religious character by those who assert competing religious claims. In that context, the views that Jerusalem has a place of importance in Islam has gained in recent popularity among Muslims." Is this more or less correct? -Stevertigo 05:58, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Bless sins, I don't think you correctly understand the wording of the Judaism sentence you cited, but I prefer not to write much about it since it is off topic. I think Stevertigo is on the right path though, unless I hear any objections. --Shamir1 21:33, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. "Jerusalem has traditionally been of marginal importance in Islam". Compeltely wrong, as Yusuf Ali's quote suggests. "However the issue of its religious importance is compounded by the contemporary conflict between Jews and Arab Muslims". Again is thre any reliable source to show this?Bless sins 21:37, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
The point is that there is little besides the Yusuf Ali quote to suggest a place of importance for Jerusalem, no? And because Ali is a very recent commentator, how is it possible to assert that his views are not recent views without other evidence? And, the reality of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and its pre-state history are obvious factors which relate to religious claims to Jerusalem. We hardly need a more reliable source than applying basic context. -Stevertigo 00:22, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

This is what EOI says about Jerusalem: "Sūra XVII, significantly named both al-Isrāʾ and Banū Isrāʾīl , in vv. 2-8 clearly refers to the destruction of the first and second temples (called id in V, 7) as crucial events in the history of the Banū Isrāʾīl. Al- masjid al-aqsā in the opening verse of the Sūra is taken by the prevailing Muslim tradition as referring to the sanctuary of Jerusalem."

"... the Islamic tradition that it was intended by “ the first Qibla ” is no doubt genuine; since the new Qibla , which satisfied the Prophet's heart, was to the direction of the sanctuary of his native city, it stands to reason that the original one also was oriented to a holy city, and there was none for monotheists except Jerusalem. No “ political ” reasons, however, should be assumed for this change ( “ trying to win the Jews ” , “ breaking with the Jews ” ). One prayed towards Jerusalem because this was the direction of the People of the Book as was known in Medina. It simply was the proper thing to do. When Islam became a separate religion with Mecca as its central sanctuary, the change was natural and religiously cogent."

Emphasis is added to both quotes by me.Bless sins 21:52, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

This is helpful in that it explains a reductive argument for the importance of Jerusalem. EOI presumably stands for Encyclopedia of Islam? -Stevertigo 00:22, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes. You should agree that this source (in conjunction with Ali) should be reliable enough for the statement: "The city of Jerusalem is held sacred by the Islamic faith."Bless sins 13:55, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Pardon me for being away. I am glad to see this is moving along. From a secular-historical viewpoint, the first qibla was chosen and then switched due to the reluctance of Jews to convert to Muhammad's faith.[1] (see paragrah 1), [2] (see paragraph 2, or Ctrl+F --> Medina)[3] (section 1) --Shamir1 20:44, 31 March 2007 (UTC) There is probably a Quranic or other orthodox opinion as well, so I'd like to get that. --Shamir1 02:56, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Both sources presented make it clear that Jerusalem (as a city) is holy in Islam. Your source by Armstrong says "Jerusalem was central to the spiritual identity of Muslims from the very beginning of their faith. " Armstrong, however, is not a scholar.

Britannica says "Jerusalem is revered by Muslims as the third holiest place on earth, "[4] Britannica also, is not as relaible as EOI, as the primary audience for Britannica are school students. EOI makes clear the change of Qiblah was independent of the Jews. I can even get you the view of Muslim scholars on that.Bless sins 15:34, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Let's keep this moving forward. Shamir1, you've not objected to saying Jerusalem is holy in Islam (using the sources posted above and Ali). Do you agree with including as the opening statement the sentence "The city of Jerusalem is considered sacred by the Islamic faith"?Bless sins 00:55, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Let's not do two things at once. Jerusalem has been important to Islam since Muhammad, and I never disputed that. As for the view of Muslim scholars, I would love to have it and stated that I was in search of it above. Please dont jump to conclusions, there is an awful lot we do agree on. I still support the inclusion of the sentence I suggested above, rather than just Ali. Jerusalem has played a great role in Islam. The influence on Muhammad, the qiblah, the journey, that is all a role. It would be a good intro. So, if you can, I would appreciate the orthodox Islamic reason for the qiblah change. We can move on. --Shamir1 23:16, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

The sentence you have offered, I don't agree with. look at how the section about Jerusalem in Judaism starts " Jerusalem has been the holiest city in Judaism and the spiritual homeland of the Jewish people since the 10th century BCE". There is no need to water down the importance of something in a religion. It's absolutely fair to say ""The city of Jerusalem is considered sacred by the Islamic faith" or " Jerusalem in Islam is revered as a holy site". As soon as you agree to this, I'll move one. Believe me, I don't want to continue the debate any more than you do.Bless sins 16:36, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
The first thing we need to do is to stop comparing this article or its first, second or third sentence to that of any other one. It is irrelevant and does not help us. There is no problem with the sentence I suggested rather than quoting Yusuf Ali or any other scholar. --Shamir1 03:25, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
There is a problem, because the sentence you suggest is vague. Jerusalem has played a role in Islam, but so have hundreds of other cities. It must be said that Jerusalem is considered sacred by the Islamic faith. Where is Stevertigo?Bless sins 23:07, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Seriously where is he? (And that does not make it vague.) --Shamir1 06:20, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Also, I think the Yusuf Ali quote is okay. --Shamir1 16:51, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Sorry Ive been away so long. Real life raised its ugly head. I have some minor reservations here and there about certain comments from each of you, though I dont know if i should bother mentioning them, if they dont really make their way into the article. -Stevertigo 07:26, 6 June 2007 (UTC)


This article needs a re-write. I'll be attempting this here. For now I'll remove unsourced content (this article has been marked for sources for months), and will move material that looks like OR below. Feel free to help me out during the re-write.Bless sins (talk) 04:26, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

This content looks like Or, as it is not sourced to a secondary source:

Many Muslims celebrate the anniversary of the journey, the Isra and Miraj, on Rajab 27 with dhikr, gatherings and feasting, although Salafis (including Wahhabis) take the position that no regular festivals are permissible except the two Eids. Muslim prayers do not include Jerusalem. According to sound hadith (sayings of Muhammad) transmitted by Bukhari and others (and thus generally accepted by Sunnis, but not necessarily Shia) Jerusalem was the site of the second mosque built on earth, forty years after Mecca,[1] and is one of only three cities to which pilgrimage is permissible, along with Mecca and Medina.[2][3][4][5] Its conquest is described as one of the signs of the approach of the Hour (that is, the Day of Judgement).[6] Some hadith also specify Jerusalem (Bayt al-Maqdis) as the place where all mankind will be gathered on the Day of Judgement.

Bless sins (talk) 04:28, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Third holy[edit]

User:Zero0000 said jerusalem being the third holiest islamic site is a mainstream islamic viewpoint, but this is clearly false. Shias consider Najaf the third holiest place. Salafis disassociate from any shrines. Destruction of sacred sites in Hijaz by the Saudis, initiated by Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab continues even today, to prevent, what some consider to be the practices of grave-worshipping and revering the deads and ask favors of the dead buried there. So there is no way any Salafi scholar calls Al Aqsa 'holy' considering islamic prophets are buried there. Plus, Quranists do not accept hadith so Quranists wouldn't accept Bukhari interpretations of Jerusalem being holy either since there are differing tafsir and scholarly opinions on 'Al-Aqsa'.

I think i have demonstrated that Jerusalem being the third holiest site is NOT the view of 3 major denominations of Islam. Iwanttoeditthissh (talk) 12:56, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

These are the references used in the Jerusalem article to support the statement "due to the mentioning of the 'The Farthest Mosque' in the Qur'an (Sura al-Isra) and the subsequent building of a mosque called 'the Farthest Mosque' on the Temple Mount, Islam regards Jerusalem as its third-holiest city."

Third-holiest city in Islam:

  • Esposito, John L. (2002-11-02). What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam. Oxford University Press. p. 157. ISBN 0195157133. The Night Journey made Jerusalem the third holiest city in Islam 
  • Brown, Leon Carl (2000-09-15). "Setting the Stage: Islam and Muslims". Religion and State: The Muslim Approach to Politics. Columbia University Press. p. 11. ISBN 0231120389. The third holiest city of Islam—Jerusalem—is also very much in the center... 
  • Hoppe, Leslie J. (2000). The Holy City: Jerusalem in the Theology of the Old Testament. Michael Glazier Books. p. 14. ISBN 0814650813. Jerusalem has always enjoyed a prominent place in Islam. Jerusalem is often referred to as the third holiest city in Islam...  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help);

Sean.hoyland - talk 13:42, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Not all Muslims regard Jerusalem as the third holiest place. In Shia Islam (Iranian variety) it is usually listed fourth. However all the groups Iwanttoeditthissh mentions add up to about 15% of Muslims in the world, so their view is a minority view. In a specialised article like this one, the minority views should be mentioned but the majority view should remain as the main theme. Zerotalk 03:06, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Iwanttoeditthissh, I think the most important point is that editors can't put a statement in an article on the basis that they have demonstrated something by putting forward an argument when that argument doesn't involve any reliable sources. It's the reliable sources that make the statements and the article content has to be based on their statements. It's mandatory policy, WP:V. Sean.hoyland - talk 10:32, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Among Sunnis, its status is actually as the "THIRD of the TWO sanctuaries" thālith al-ḥaramayn ثالث الحرمين (I'm not making this up, as Dave Barry would say).... AnonMoos (talk) 10:11, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Current state of the article seems to favor pietism over somewhat objective scholarship[edit]

I don't want to stir up needless and pointless controversy, but it's a fact that a number of academic scholars are skeptical (to varying degrees) as to whether the Qur'an itself refers to Jerusalem, other than as the rejected qibla of Sura 2, verses 142-143. In the article "Mi`rādj" in the Encyclopaedia of Islam, it's discussed how Qur'an verse 17:1 (the "night journey") was first interpreted so that al-masjid al-aqsa was understood as being a reference to heaven (which was how the idea of an "ascent" arose). Later on, there came to be another interpretation of al-masjid al-aqsa as meaning Jerusalem, yet the ascent from the first interpretation was kept in this second interpretation, so that there was conflation and harmonization between the two interpretations to form an overall folkloric narrative which ended up being quite remote in some ways from the literal words of the Qur'an (from the Qur'an itself, there's no evidence of any connection between the "night journey to the most distant mosque" of Sura 17 and the "outermost lotus tree near the garden" of Sura 53, or any indication that either involves any kind of ascent and/or reference to Jerusalem). The fact that the early Umayyad inscriptions in the Dome of the Rock contain absolutely no reference to any form of the "ascent" story (though they contain lengthy anti-Christian polemics made up of paraphrases of Qur'an verses) strongly indicates that any story connecting Muhammad to Jerusalem (beyond as the first rejected qibla of 2:142-143) was not either not yet in existence ca. 700 A.D., or was not then accepted by official Muslim authorities. The first extensive Qur'an commentary (by Tabari) also doesn't accept any Jerusalem interpretation of Qur'an verse 17:1. In short, there's a significant degree of legitimate scholarly doubt as to whether the "ascent" narrative as it's widely known today is either Qur'anic or dating back to anywhere near Muhammad's lifetime... AnonMoos (talk) 10:23, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

The source you are talking about clearly says:

The second explanation, the only one given in all the more modern commentaries, interprets al-Masjid al-Aksa as “Jerusalem”.

It further says:

The idjma [consensus] admitted both interpretations and, when the Umayyad version had arisen, harmonised the two by assigning to isrāʾ the special sense of night journey to Jerusalem.

That's what this article should note: that Muslim scholars believe that 17:1 is a reference to Jerusalem. I don't think anyone is necessarily denying the evolution of Islamic thought. See History of the Qur'an for an example of changes to Islam's holiest scripture (in form, not content) after the death of Muhammad.
In any case, can you define "Quranic"? The Qur'an is what Muslims interpret it to be.
Finally what is the point of differentiating between "pietism over somewhat objective scholarship"? This article is about Jerusalem in Islam, not History of Jerusalem. As such, I find it completely reasonable to include Islamic views in this article. Any reasonable wikipedian would agree.VR talk 22:49, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Can you back up your Dome of Rock theories with sources? The encyclopedia article doesn't seem to mention it.VR talk 22:52, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes it is reasonable that this article should focus on what Muslims believe about Jerusalem. But even in those terms the article is inaccurate. The article says: "According to the Quran Muhammad was taken by the miraculous steed Buraq to visit Jerusalem." That's not what the Quran says: Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran. The Quran says that Muhammad was taken to "the farthest mosque." It's only a later interpretation that holds that place to be in Jerusalem. That's why Caliph Umar built the mosque on the Haram al-Sharif and called it al-Aqsa. There was no mosque there in Muhammed's lifetime, there was a Byzantine church. Umar would have known perfectly well that the passage in the Quran describes a dream or vision of Muhammed, not an actual event. Intelligent Mr Toad (talk) 03:38, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

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