In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful
BEING THE FOURTH SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF R/AWWAL, 25TH R. AWWAL/1439AH (15/DEC/2017CE)
JERUSALEM IS OF ISLAM AND ARAB
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, Who honoured His messenger- Muhammad with the Israa and Mi’raaj, Allah says: (سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ) “Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (17:1)
And I bear witness that there is no God but Allah alone, the compassionate, the merciful, the oft-forgiving, and I bear witness that our master Muhammad is His servant and messenger, the chosen among His creatures and His beloved, the master of the sons of Adam and the best of Allah’s creatures. May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be on him, his household, companions and whoever follow their guidance and footsteps till the day of accountability.
As to what follows:
Dear Muslims, I advise you all and myself to fear Allah, the Almighty in accordance with the words of Allah thus: “O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. ( 71 ) He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.” (33:70-71).
Dear faithful, being the fourth sermon in the month of Rabiul Awwal, three sermons were dedicated to discuss, The Prophet (PBUH) Our Role Model; and Celebrating birthday of the prophet (pbuh); history, conditions and etiquettes, and The Rights Of The Prophet (pbuh), however, today we will be focusing a different subject of concern to every Muslim- The issue of Quds- Jerusalem, which is being infringed upon by the enemies of Islam, as Israel makes Jerusalem her capital, with America giving such injustice a recognition. So we have titled it as- Jerusalem is of Islam and Arab.
Jerusalem in the Creed of Muslims
Muslims all over the world, regardless of their different sects, parties, and ideologies, firmly believe that Jerusalem enjoys a prominent religious status in the heart of Islamic creed. No wonder then that all Muslims fervently stand together to defend this sacred city, protect its sanctity and sacred places, sacrifice their souls, and painstakingly spare no effort for the sake of its safety and driving the aggressors away from it. However, Muslims, Arabs, and Palestinians have adopted different views with regard to the issue of making peace with Israel: Is it permissible or not? And if permissible, would it be feasible or not? Yet, they all have a profound belief in the eternal nature of Jerusalem as an Islamic and Arab city and the obligation of resisting all the desperate Israeli attempts to Judaize it, alter its features, distort its history, and obliterate its Arab, Islamic, and Christian historicity. Indeed, Jerusalem has a predestined Islamic sanctity. It embodies in the Muslim conscience and sentiment the first Qiblah (direction towards which Muslims turn their faces in prayer), the land of Isra’ (the Night Journey of the Prophet – peace be upon him – from Makkah to Jerusalem) and Mi`raj (the Prophet’s Ascension to Heaven), the third sacred city in Islam, the land of prophecies and blessings, and the land of Jihad, as will be explained in the following pages.
Jerusalem: The first Qiblah The first image that is conjured up in the mind, conscience, and religious thought of Muslims regarding the status of Jerusalem is that it is the “First Qiblah” towards which the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions turned their faces in Prayer since Prayer was ordained on the Night of Isra’ and Mi`raj, in the 10th year of the inception of the Islamic Message – i.e. three years before the Hijrah. From the early days of Muslims in Makkah until sixteen months after their Hijrah to Madinah, Muslims prayed towards Jerusalem. Then, the Divine Command came to them in the Ever-Glorious Qur’an ordering them to turn their faces in Prayer towards the Ka`bah, the Sacred Mosque (Al-Masjid Al-Haram).
Allah (Exalted be He) says, (And from wheresoever you start forth (for Prayer), turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah), and wheresoever you are, turn your faces toward it (when you pray).] (Al-Baqarah: 150)
There is still a monument of the place in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah where the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions performed one prayer time, part of which was with their faces in the direction of Jerusalem while the other part was performed with their faces in the direction of Makkah. It has recently been renovated and been taken great care of. Today, Muslims still flock to visit it and perform Prayer therein. Upon such conversion in the direction of the Qiblah, the Jews in Al-Madinah stirred up considerable suspicion about it, and the Ever-Glorious Qur’an refuted their pretensions by accentuating that all directions belong to Almighty Allah and that He (Exalted be He) alone decrees which of them should be the Qiblah of the one who performs Prayer: [The fools (pagans, hypocrites, and Jews) among the people will say, ‘What has turned them (Muslims) from their Qiblah [Prayer direction (towards Jerusalem)] to which they used to face in Prayer.’ Say, (O Muhammad) ‘To Allah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to a Straight Way.'” The verses then go on declaring, “And We made the Qiblah (Prayer direction towards Jerusalem) which you used to face, only to test those who followed the Messenger (Muhammad) from those who would turn on their heels (i.e. disobey the Messenger).] (Al-Baqarah: 142 – 3) Among their claims was that “The prayer of the Muslims during all the years preceding (the change of the Qiblah) were nullified and wasted because it was not performed towards the right Qiblah”. Therefore, Allah (Exalted be He) replies, [And Allah would never make your faith (Prayers) to be lost (i.e. your Prayers offered towards Jerusalem)], as the Prayers were performed towards a valid Qiblah that had been decreed by Allah (Exalted be He).
Jerusalem: The land of the Isra’ and Mi`raj:
The second symbol of significance that Jerusalem represents for the Islamic conscience is that Almighty Allah made it the destination of the earthly Night Journey (Isra’) and the point of departure for the heavenly ascension to Heaven (Mi`raj). Almighty Allah ordained that the blessed Night Journey of the Prophet Muhammad commence from Makkah, specifically from Al-Masjid Al-Haram, where the Prophet (peace be upon him) then lived, and end at Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa. Such a course of action was neither arbitrary nor haphazard, but was, rather, assigned according to a divine plan and for a divine purpose, namely that the Seal of the Prophets and Messengers (Muhammad) should meet the Messengers and Prophets there and lead them in Prayer. This situation implies a declaration of the passage of religious leadership of the world from the children of Israel to a new universal nation (Ummah), a new universal Messenger and a new universal scripture. Almighty Allah says, (And We have sent you (O Muhammad) not but as a mercy for the Worlds.) (Al-Anbiya’: 107). And, (Blessed be He Who sent down the criterion (of right and wrong, i.e. this Qur’an) to His slave (Muhammad) that he may be a warner to the Worlds.] (Al-Furqan: 1) The Glorious Qur’an clearly identified the point of departure and the destination of this Isra’ and Mi`raj journey in the verses of the eponymous sura (Al-Isra’). Allah (Exalted be He) says; [Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allah)Who took His servant (Muhammad) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah) to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem), the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad) of Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.)] (Al-Isra’: 1). Despite the reverent position and glory of the Sacred Mosque Al-Masjid Al-Haram, the verses overstepped it and here underlined the following qualifications and characteristics of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, saying “the neighborhood whereof We have blessed”. Therefore, if the neighborhood of the Mosque is blessed, then it follows that the mosque itself is more worthy to be blessed. The story of the Isra’ and Mi`raj is invested with symbols and denotations that reveal the significance of such a blessed spot, where Jibril tied the Buraq (miraculous mount that transported the Prophet from Makkah to Jerusalem) to the Sacred Rock waiting for the return of the Prophet (peace be upon him) from his Mi`raj – the journey that commenced from Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa through the high heavens to Sidrat Al-Muntaha (lote-tree of the utmost boundary beyond which none can pass]. Such a journey endowed the Muslims with blissful memories of Al-Buraq Wall and the Sacred Rock. Indeed, if Jerusalem were not a focal point in the journey, then the Mi`raj could have taken place directly from Makkah to Heaven. However, passing by the consecrated station of Jerusalem is purposeful, as is indicated by the Ever-Glorious Qur’an and the noble Hadiths. Among the fruits of the Isra’ journey is establishing a connection between the journey’s point of departure and its destination, i.e. between Al-Masjid Al-Haram and Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa. This connection has a great impact and connotation on the perception, conscience, and sentiment of Muslims that the sanctity of each of the two Mosques becomes inseparable from that of the other. Consequently, one who renounces either of them is almost abandoning the other.
Jerusalem: The third sacred city
With the revered city of Makkah being the most sacred city in Islam due to the honor of housing Al-Masjid Al-Haram, and “Teebah” or Al-Madinah AlMunawwarah coming second in ranking with the honor of housing the Mosque of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and being the place of his grave, Jerusalem or “Bayt Al-Maqdis” comes third in Islam. Jerusalem enjoys the honor of holding within its boundaries Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, the neighborhood of which Almighty Allah has blessed. In this context, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said in the authentic hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah, “Do not set out on a journey except for three Mosques i.e. AlMasjid AI-Haram, Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, (in Jerusalem), and this mosque of mine (Al-masjid AnNabawi).” (Agreed upon) Hence, all the mosques are equal in honor with regard to the reward of praying in them, and a Muslim is not allowed to set out on a journey – with the purpose of praying or religious devotion – for any mosque other than the three distinguished mosques stated in the hadith. Therefore, the hadith came in the restrictive mode implying that such honorable exception does not apply in analogy to other mosques. In fact, the Ever-Glorious Qur’an underscored the significance and sanctity of AlMasjid Al-Aqsa even before the building of the Mosque of the Prophet (Al-Masjid An-Nabawi) six years before the Hijrah. Besides, the Prophetic traditions came to reiterate what the Glorious Qur’an stated, such as the above quoted hadith and the hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “(The reward of) A prayer in AlMasjid Al-Aqsa equals (that of) five hundred prayers in any other mosque, except for Al-Masjid AlHaram and Al-Masjid An-Nabawi”. (Agreed upon). Moreover, Abu Dharr reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked, “Which mosque was first built on earth?” He (peace be upon him) replied, “Al-Masjid Al-Haram.” Then he was asked, “Which was next?” He said, “Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa” (Agreed upon).
When Islam declared Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa the third of the two great mosques (AlHaram and An-Nabawi), it consequently annexed Jerusalem as a third to the two sacred cities (Makkah and Madinah). In this way, it intended to establish one of the basic principles, namely that it (Islam) has come not to destroy but to construct, to fulfill, and not to demolish. For Jerusalem has been the land of prophethood, and the Muslims with greater reason are the most entitled among people to acknowledge Allah’s Prophets and Messengers. The Prophet (peace be upon him) once said to the Jews of Madinah, “We have a closer connection with Moses than you do”.
Jerusalem: The land of Prophethood and blessings
Jerusalem is part of the land of Palestine. Rather, it is the gem and seed pearl and the kernel of it. Besides, Almighty Allah has attributed benediction to it in five verses of the Glorious Qur’an:
First: In the sura of Al-Isra’, Almighty Allah described Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa as follows: […the neighborhood whereof We have blessed.].
Second: Upon mentioning the story of Friend of Allah, Prophet Ibrahim, Almighty Allah says, [And We rescued him (Ibrahim) and Lot to the land which We have blessed for the Worlds.] (Al-Anbiya’: 71).
Third: Upon mentioning the story of Musa, Allah says about the Children of Israel, after drowning Pharaoh and his troops, [And We made the people who were considered weak inherit the eastern parts of the land and the western parts thereof which We have blessed.) (Al-A`raf: 137)
Fourth: Reporting the story of Sulayman (Solomon) and the blessings Allah (Exalted be He) bestowed upon him, a sovereignty the likeness of which none after him will ever possess, including subjecting the wind to blow by his command, Almighty Allah says, (And to Sulayman (We subjected) the wind strongly raging, running by his command towards the land which We had blessed.) (Al-Anbiya’: 81).
Fifth: Upon mentioning the story of Saba’ (Sheba) and how Almighty Allah endowed them with safety and prosperity, He (Exalted be He) says, (And We placed between them and the towns which We had blessed, towns easy to be seen, and We made the stages (of journey) between them easy (saying), ‘Travel in them safely both by night and day.’) (Saba’: 18) Such towns that Almighty Allah had blessed are the land of Palestine and the Levant. The reputable exegete of the Glorious Qur’an, Al-Alusi, said, “The towns referred to – in the verses – as being blessed are the villages of the Levant, due to the opulent trees and fruits and the abundant life with which its people are endowed. Ibn `Abbas asserted, “They are the villages of Bayt Al-Maqdis”, and Ibn `Atiyyah said, “The exegetes unanimously agree on this opinion”.
Commenting on Almighty Allah’s Saying, “By the fig, and the olive. By Mount Sinai. And by this city of security (Makkah)” (At-Tin: 1 – 3), a number of exegetes of the Glorious Qur’an – from among the early and late scholars – viewed that the “fig” and the “olive” is an implicit reference to the land or the city where they grow, namely Bayt Al-Maqdis. Moreover, Ibn Kathir added, “Some Imams said, ‘the verse refers to three places, to each of which Almighty Allah sent one of the resolute Prophets (Ulu Al- `Azm). The first of these places is Bayt Al-Maqdis, where Almighty Allah sent `Isa ibn Maryam – Jesus – (peace be upon them); the second is Sinai, where Almighty Allah addressed Musa ibn `Imran; the third is Makkah, the city of security whosoever enters it is granted peace'”. According to this exegesis or interpretation, the three places go together in harmony and congruence. For, if the city of security refers to the cradle of Islam where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) preached his message, and Mount Sinai implies the birthplace of Judaism and the Message of Musa, then the “fig and the olive” refer to the Message of `Isa, who grew near Bayt Al-Maqdis and delivered his famous sermon on the Mount of Olive.
Jerusalem: The land of garrisoning and Jihad
For Muslims, Jerusalem is the land of garrisoning and Jihad, since the Qur’anic verses and prophetic hadiths on the virtue of Prayer therein included good tidings that Jerusalem will be opened by Islam, and that Muslims would gain sovereignty over it, and that they shall flock to visit its mosque to pray and worship the Almighty there. Sure enough, Jerusalem – previously known as Ilya’ – was opened during the reign of the second Caliph in Islam, `Umar ibn Al-Khattab. The then-patriarch of the city, Sophronios, stipulated that he would hand in the keys of Jerusalem only to the Caliph himself, and not to any of his army generals. Hence, `Umar set out from Madinah to Jerusalem in an extraordinary historic journey to receive the keys of the city, and concluded a momentous peace treaty, known as “Al-`Uhdah Al-`Umariyyah”, with the Christian citizens of the town. According to this treaty, the Caliph guaranteed safety for their souls and properties, their places of worship, freedom of belief, and practice of their rituals.
A number of the prominent Muslim figures, such as Khalid ibn AlWalid, `Abdurrahman ibn `Awf, `Amr ibn Al-`Aas, and Mu`awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, then witnessed and testified to the treaty.
It is worth noting that Almighty Allah had informed His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that this sacred land will be under threat of occupation by the enemies. Therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) urged his Ummah to garrison there and undertake the activities of Jihad to defend it from falling into the hands of its enemies, or to liberate it in case it was destined to fall in their hands. He (peace be upon him) foresaw the prospective decisive battle between the Muslims and the Jews, ensuring that victory will eventually be on the side of the Muslims and that everything – including stones and trees – will assist the Muslims in their battle. He (peace be upon him) added that the stones and the trees in the battlefield will inform the Muslims of the hideouts of their enemies, and the means of communication could be real or figurative. Moreover, Abu Umamah Al-Bahili narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “A group of my Ummah will remain constant to hold to the truth, conquering their enemies and unharmed by those who challenge them – except for what befalls them of distress – until the Command of Allah comes while they are still in that condition.” They (the Companions) asked, “Where will they be (then), O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “In Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) and the vicinities of Bayt AlMaqdis”.
Jerusalem is of Islam and Arab:
The invalidity of Jewish claims to Jerusalem and to Palestine in general
The Jews and the Zionists claim that they have right to Jerusalem or to the entire Palestine, and they are proud of these claims, which are not supported by religion or history, even when they falsely assign that to religion and history.
There is no right for Jews in Jerusalem or in Palestine:
We hereby affirm beyond any doubt, that Jerusalem is both Islamic and Arabian, in the same way that all of Palestine is Islamic and Arabian, and the Jews have no right to take it away from its people and turn it into the capital of their state usurpation and aggression.
The Jews claim to have a historical and religious right in Palestine, but the fact is that they are usurpers of other people’s land, they have no right to this land, neither in terms of history nor religious. As will be shown below:
The Historical Right Claim:
It is known historically that the first set of people to build Jerusalem were the “Jebusites”; one of the ancient tribes of Arab, who fled from the Arabian peninsula with the Canaanites, about thirty centuries BC. It was called Urshalim or the city of “Shalim”, who was the god of the Jebusites, it equally retained its first name “Jebus” in relation to the tribe, this name is mentioned in the Taorah.
After that, the Canaanite Arabs and other people lived in Jerusalem and Palestine in general for many centuries until Abraham migrated there from his native land in Iraq as a stranger. He came to Palestine with his wife Saarah, he was 75 years old then as mentioned in the Old Testament.
When he was 100 years, he gave birth to Ishaaq (Isaac) (Genesis: P 12), and Ibrahim died at the age 175 years, without acquire a shred of Palestine, to the extent that when his wife Saarah died, they requested from the Palestinians for a grave to bury her. (Genesis: P 23).
When Ishaaq (Isaac) was 60 years old, he gave birth to Ya’quub (Jacob). Ishaaq (Isaac) died at age 180years and he did not acquire a shred of the land also.
Ya’qub (Jacob) moved his descendants after his father to Egypt, and died at the age of 147 years, he had 70 children when he came to Egypt, at the age of 130 years old. (Genesis 46: 46).
The meaning of this is that the time Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son Ishaaq (Isaac) and his grandson- Ya’qub (Jacob) spent in Palestine was a total of 230 years, living there as strangers and they had no shred of the land.
The Taorah says that the period spent by the children of Israel in Egypt until Moses took them out was 430 years (Genesis 10: 10), they were also strangers who acquired nothing. The Taorah also says that Musa and the Israelites lived in Sinai for 700 years, without acquiring anything in Palestine. Why didn’t God actualize His promise to them??
Musa did not enter the land of Palestine until his death, he only entered the east Jordan where he eventually died. (Exodus: Deuteronomy: 3).
Yusha’u (Joshua) entered the land after him (Musa) and died after destroying the people and sharing the land to the tribe heads of the Israelites (as said in the Taorah) but never established a kingdom for the Israelites.
And after him came kings and judges who ruled them for 200 years, and after the judges came the rule of kings: Saul, David and Solomon, and they ruled for 100 years or ever less. This was the duration of their rule, and the golden period for them. After Solomon, his kingdom was divided among his children: Judah in Jerusalem, and Israel in Shechem (Nablus), and there was fierce war between which went non-stop until the Babylonian conquest which came to destroy them, destroying their temple and Jerusalem, burnt the Taorah, and took captive all those left alive as it is known In history.
All praises are due to Allah, the lord of the worlds Who favoured the Arabic language over other languages of the world, and has revealed His chosen book in Arabic language to the leader of the messengers. Allah says: (وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لِتُنْذِرَ أُمَّ الْقُرَى وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا وَتُنْذِرَ يَوْمَ الْجَمْعِ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ فَرِيقٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَفَرِيقٌ فِي السَّعِيرِ [الشّورى:42\7]) “And thus We have revealed to you an Arabic Qur’an that you may warn the Mother of Cities (Makkah) and those around it and warn of the Day of Assembly, about which there is no doubt. A party will be in Paradise and a party in the Blaze.” (42:7) May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon Prophet Muhammad, his household, companions and believers till the end of time.
As to what follows,
Servants of Allah, Arabic speakers commemorate the International Day of the Arabic Language of Religion, on December 18 annually, which is the date when UN General Assembly approved the introduction of Arabic into the official languages and working languages of the United Nations.
The importance of Arabic language.
Language in general has three major functions, namely:
- Language is the first pillar in the process of thinking.
- It is the storage of knowledge.
- It is the primary means of communication, understanding and sharing of feelings and sensations.
Specifically the Arabic language has the following importances which distinguishes it from other languages:
- Full and complete explanation could only be achieved by the Arabic language alone, and that explains why the Qur’an was revealed in Arabic.
- Arabic language is the key to the two great sources of Islam; the Qur’an and Sunnah
- Establishment of argument and facts can only be best achieved through it.
- Making speaking in Arabic a habit positively affects the mind, character and religion.
- Arabic language and its preservation is part of our religion.
- Arabic language is an honourable source for the Muslim nations
- Ignorance of Arabic language is one of the causes of deviation.
Oh Allah descend peace; flowing with continuous tranquility and security upon Nigeria and all other Muslim nations. O Allah accept the worship of the pilgrims of hajj and Umrah, and grant us all Your pleasure, And the last of our call will be, “Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds!”