Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Is all of what is called the "Holy Land" truly holy?

Presentation on the Importance of the “Holy Land” in Islam

According to the Qur’an, the land of Israel and Palestine that has been given the moniker of the “Holy Land” is not all sacred land. Sacred (haram) areas designated by the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad are three:

1) Makkah (Mecca) – the city where Muslims believe that Abraham built the first house of worship for the One Deity. (Qur’an 3:96-97) Islam’s most holy mosque, Al-Masjid Al-Haraam, is located here.

2) Al-Madinah (Medina) – the city that Prophet Muhammad migrated to once being exiled from Makkah where he established his spiritual, intellectual and governmental capital. Islam’s second most holy mosque, Al-Masjid Al-Nabawi, is located here.

3) Al-Quds (Jerusalem) – the city where Muslims that Prophet Muhammad’s spirit made a night journey from Makkah to Jerusalem then ascended to the seven heavens. (Qur’an 17:1) Islam’s third most holy mosque, Masjid Al-Aqsa, is located here.

Al-Khalil (Hebron) contains a house of worship shared by the Abrahmic faiths, where it is believed that Prophet Abraham is buried. The mosque area in Al-Khalil is called Masjid Ibrahimi.

In Islam, three things are sacred for all, regardless of ethnicity according to Prophet Muhammad:

1) A person’s blood

2) A person’s property

3) A person’s honor/dignity

In this regard, the “Holy Land” is not more sacred than any other land nor are the lives of the people who dwell there more sacred that the lives of any other people.

In regards to the Jewish people’s claim to the “Holy Land,” The Qur’an narrates that the Children of Israel were chosen by G’d above all nations (Qur’an 2:47) and summoned by G’d to dwell in the land of security (17:104); however, their insolence and disobedience to G’d and his messengers caused them to be banished from the land that G’d had blessed them with. (Qur’an 17:4-7)

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