Jerusalem embraces all three faiths

Jerusalem is one of three holy sites in Islam after Mecca and Medina, and is the meeting position of the prophets and the destination of the three biblical beliefs: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as sacred to their followers, and linked to the spiritual life of those religions.

An aerial view shows Al-Aqsa mosque compound with the Dome of the Rock, the third most holiest site to Muslims in east Jerusalem’s the Old City, 02 October 2007. Photo by Yossi Zamir/Flash 90

Jerusalem’s holiness is displayed according to the Islamic vision.

One of Ramadan nights in Jerusalem. Photo by Islam Fawaqa

Islam inherited the Judaic and Christian religions, and all the former prophets are believed and venerated by Muslims, and most notably because Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) lead the prayer that gathered all the messengers of all time in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Isra and Mi’raj incident.

According to the Islamic concept of the Abrahamic monotheistic origin to which these religions belong, Islam recognizes, glorifies and sanctifies the prophets who were all preceding them, and whose mention was linked to the city of Jerusalem, such as Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them). This unique Islamic vision makes Jerusalem, compared to Judaism and Christianity, holier according to the Islamic view.

Jerusalem welcomes its people, all under Islamic law.

Photograph shows a religious procession with the Greek Orthodox Patriarch going into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem during the Ottoman era in 1915

Muslims have allowed Christians and Jews to live in Jerusalem and to practice their religion freely therein. When Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may God be pleased with him) conquered/freed the city, the Muslims guaranteed the safety of the lives of the Christians of Jerusalem through the pledge of age, the security of their property and churches, and the freedom of their belief and worship. Caliph Umar also refused to pray in the Holy Sepulcher Church as Sophronius of Jerusalem told him to do in order to catch up prayer time, instead he prayed nearby so that Muslims would not make this an excuse to convert the church into a mosque later.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher / Photo by Saleh Zighari

Muslims also guaranteed the Jews’ return to settle in, after being prevented from merely approaching or looking at it in previous ages. Later when Salahuddeen freed Jerusalem, Christians were not banned from visiting the city, and the Eastern Christians were allowed to settle back and openly oversaw their holy sites inside it. Jews were also allowed to remain in it. Thus, Jerusalem remained under Islamic rule a city that accepts the followers of the three religions, and that its people did not enjoy stability and freedom, except in the period of Muslims rule the city.

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