Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Palestine in Islam

The Holy Land

Over three billion people around the world; more than half of the world's population, believe that Palestine, or at least some part of it, is holy; no other land on earth is held holy by such a huge number of people. For all the three Abrahamic eligions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism), and some other sects as well, Palestine is a holy land that houses some of the major holy shrines.

For Jews, Palestine is the land in which Prophet Jacob (Ya'qoub) (Peace be upon him), the grandfather of the tribes of Israel, lived with his children; it is the land to which they escaped with Moses (Musa) from the Pharaoh, and in which they lived in under righteous rule of Prophet David (Dawud) and his son Solomon (Sulayman), (Peace be upon them). In this land they established their kingdoms, Israel and Judah, which were later on destroyed by Assyrians and Babylonians.

For the Christians, Palestine is the land where Jesus of Nazareth (Isa) was born, around it he preached and conveyed his message to the world, and in it, Christians believe, he died on the cross for the salvation of humankind and was resurrected. Christian shrines narrate this story from the beginning until the end in their names: Church of Al-Mahd in Bethlehem, his birthplace "The Church of Nativity", and Church of Qiyamah "The Church of the Holy Sepulcher (Resurrection)", referring to Christ's believe resurrection.
Al-Aqsa Mosque

The first Qibla (the direction to which Muslims pray), stands in the heart of this land, in Al-Quds (Jerusalem). It is the third holy shrines of Islam preceded by Al-Haram in Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina (now located in Saudi Arabia).A prayer in Al-Aqsa mosque is equal to 500 prayers, as the Prophet said. It is the second mosque built on earth after Al-Ka'ba in Mecca.

It is from this land that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) escalated to the heavens (Mi'raj), after he reached there from Mecca on his night journey (Isra'); since then Muslims have called it: "the gate to the heavens". On this journey, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) led the prophets in a night prayer in Al-Aqsa Mosque. This was an hohor given to this land and to Muslims, indicating that from then on the leadership and promotion of faith in the whole world became their responsibility. It was during this journey that the five daily prayers were ordained.

Palestine is also described holy and blessed in the Qur'an and Sunnah. It is the land of Islam in the time of turbulence, and those who live in it and around it are considered Mujahideen (strivers in the Way of God). In some hadiths, the victorious and righteous group of Muslims live in Palestine and around it; Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "There shall be a group of my followers who stick to the right and never go astray irrespective of that they may face", the companions asked: "Where are they?"He replied: "In Bait-ul Maqdis (Jerusalem) and its vicinity."

Historically, many famous Muslims scholars originated, preached or lived in Palestine for some time; amongst them are names that were influential in forming the Muslim mentality. E.g. in historical sequence, Raja' ibn Hayat Al-Kindi, Rooh ibn Zinbac, Malik ibn Deenar, Imam Al-Awza'i, Sufyan Al-Thawri, Ibn Shihab Al-Zuhri, Imam Al-Syafi'i, Ibrahim ibn Adham, Al-Laith ibn Sa'd, Abu Bakar Al-Jerjanee, Ibn Qudama Al-Maqdisee.Other famous figures in this group were Abdulhameed ibn Yahya (known also as Abdulhamid the Writer because he established the art of the formal writing and documentation in Arabic), the chemist Khalid ibn Yazeed Al-Umawee, and the famous military leader and conqueror of Andalusia (Iberian peninsula) Musa ibn Nusair.


History of Palestine: A Methodical Study of the Palestinian Struggle
Dr. Mohsen Mohammed Saleh

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