Published in  
April 30, 2024

A Short History of Masjid al-Aqsa and Bani Israel

The Virtues of Masjid al-Aqsa

Masjid al-Aqsa is one of the three greatest Masajid in Islam. It ranks third after Masjid al-Haram in Makkah and Masjid al-Nabawi in Madinah. It was the first Qiblah of the Muslims. The land of al-Aqsa is known as Jerusalem to the Christians and Jews. The land is considered a sacred as well as a blessed land in their religions too. It was the land of the Prophets of Allah. Add to that, all three religions believe it to be the site where the events leading to the End of the World will unfold.

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Do not travel (specifically) to any masjid except three: al-Masjid al-Haram, Masjid al-Aqsa, and this masjid of mine.” [Bukhari]

When this hadith occurred, Masjid al-Nabawi was not under Muslim control. This was a form of prophecy and a positive mindset of the Prophet ﷺ that was shared with his sahaba.

There is an ijma of the scholars that there is a special reward for praying in Masjid al-Aqsa. It was narrated that Abu Dharr رضي الله عنه said, "We were discussing when we were with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), which is better, the Masjid of the Messenger of Allah (peaﷺ) or Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem). The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, 'One prayer in my masjid is better than four prayers offered there (in Bayt al-Maqdis), and what a good place of prayer it is. Soon there will come a time when, if a man has a piece of land the size of a horse’s rope from which he can see Bayt al-Maqdis, that will be better for him than the whole world.” [Mustadrak al-Hakim]

Other than mention of the reward of praying there, we see another prediction being made by our Prophet ﷺ. This hadith indicates that towards the end of time, it will be difficult for Muslims to pray in Masjid al-Aqsa.

Abdullah Ibn az-Zubair رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "Offering prayer in my masjid (in Madinah) is better than one thousand prayers elsewhere, save for those offered prayer in al-Masjid al-Haram (in Makkah). And prayer offered in al-Masjid al-Haram is better than prayer offered in my mosque by one hundred prayers." [Ahmad]

Jabir ibn Abdullah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “One prayer in my masjid is better than one thousand prayers elsewhere, except the Sacred Masjid, and one prayer in the Sacred Masjid is better than one hundred thousand prayers elsewhere.” [Ibn Majah]

From these narrations, we learn that the rewards for one prayer in Masjid al-Haram is one hundred thousand and the reward for one prayer offered in Masjid al-Nabawi is one thousand prayers (offered elsewhere). The reward for one prayer offered in al-Masjid al-Aqsa is equivalent to two hundred and fifty prayers.

Abu Darda رضي الله عنه relates that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The prayer prayed in the Sacred Mosque (Masjid al-Haram) is akin to one hundred thousand prayers, and the prayer in my mosque is akin to one thousand prayers and the prayer in Jerusalem is akin to five hundred prayers.” [Tabarani]

Some other narrations like the one above suggest five hundred rewards but InshaAllah the narrations that mentioned the reward as two hundred fifty are more authentic.

Despite its high standing, it is important to note that Masjid al-Aqsa is not a Haram in the technical sense of the work as is Makkah and Madinah. Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri رضي الله عنه said, "The Prophet (ﷺ) said, 'O Allah, Ibrahim made Makkah sacred and made it a sanctuary, and I have made Madinah a sanctuary… no blood is to be shed therein, no weapon for fighting is to be carried, and no tree is to be struck to make its leaves fall, except to provide food for animals…” [Muslim]

Allah tells us,

سُبْحَـٰنَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِۦ لَيْلًۭا مِّنَ ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْحَرَامِ إِلَى ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْأَقْصَا ٱلَّذِى بَـٰرَكْنَا حَوْلَهُۥ لِنُرِيَهُۥ مِنْ ءَايَـٰتِنَآ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْبَصِيرُ

Glory be to the One who took His Servant (Prophet Muhammad ﷺ) 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. [Surah al-Isra, 1]

An important point to note here is that the term, 'Masjid' was known prior to the advent of Prophet Muhammad as well. When this ayah was revealed, the pagans of Makkah who were looking for the slightest excuse to mock the Prophet, did not find this name strange and they did not say, “We do not know what al-Masjid al-Aqsa is.” They did not reject the title of it being called a Masjid and this indicates that this name was known to them.

Scholars of the Arabic language indicate that the term “Masjid” is a word that was actually pretty well known among the pre-Islamic Arabs. It simply referred to a place in which people prostrate, and any place of worship is a masjid.

Allah says,

وَٱلتِّينِ وَٱلزَّيْتُونِ

By the fig and the olive (of Jerusalem) [Surah at-Tin, 1]

As Muslims, we take an oath only by Allah. When Allah takes an oath on something, it is to place an immense importance on them or to highlight its great importance. Scholars of tafseer like Imams Ka'b al-Ahbar, Qatadah, Ibn Zayd and others have said about this ayah that, "It is the Masjid of Jerusalem (Bayt al-Maqdis)." The 'fig' and the 'olive' symbolise the lands in which these trees are predominantly found: that is, the lands of al-Shaam and specifically Palestine. This was the land of the Prophets as a large number of them lived, taught, preached, and are buried here. Another interpretation of this and the following ayat is that Allah is taking an oath on these places to signify their connection to Prophets Musa عليه السلام, Isa عليه السلام, and our beloved Muhammad ﷺ. This second interpretation also in a way supports the first one that talks about the importance of these lands.

Note: al-Shaam or the Levant refers to the lands that include modern day Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and some nearby areas around them.

Zaid ibn Thabit رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Glad Tidings for Ash-Shaam.” So, they asked, “Why is that O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “Because the angels of Ar-Rahman spread their wings over it.” [Tirmidhi]

The Origins: The Family of Prophet Ibrahim and Yaqub

The story of Masjid al-Aqsa and Bani Israel traces back to Prophet Ibrahim who is known as Abraham the Patriarch. Prophet Ibrahim is known as the Father of the Prophets. After him, no Prophet was sent by Allah except that he was from among his descendants. Prophet Ibrahim had two sons, Ishaq (Isaac) and Ismail (Ishmael) who were both Prophets of Allah. Prophet Ibrahim was born in Ur (modern day Iraq). After calling his people to Allah, he had migrated from Mesopotamia to Palestine. Allah details the life and journey of Prophet Ibrahim in multiple places in the Quran. Prophet Ibrahim had married his paternal cousin, Sarah. He migrated with his wife and his brother’s son Lut towards al-Shaam. From there he travelled to Egypt and then back again to al-Shaam. Sarah who was growing old and was childless, gave Prophet Ibrahim a salve woman named Hajar who bore for him Prophet Ismail.

At the command of Allah, he would take his wife Hajar and his son Ismail and settle them in the valleys of Makkah. Allah later gave him the glad tidings of another son named Ishaq when Prophet Ibrahim returned to Palestine. Prophet Ibrahim soon returned to Makkah where he built the Kabah with Prophet Ismail.

It is narrated from Abu Dharr, "I said, 'O Messenger of Allah, which masjid on earth was built first?' He said, 'Al-Masjid al-Haram (in Makkah).' I said, 'Then which?' He said, 'Al-Masjid al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem).' I said. 'How long was there between the two?' He said, 'Forty years'". [Bukhari]

Imam al-Tahir ibn ‘Ashur said, "What appears to be the case is that when Ibrahim passed through the land of al-Shaam (Greater Syria) and Allah promised him that his progeny would inherit this land, Allah showed him the place where the biggest masjid that his progeny would build would be. So he built a small masjid there, in gratitude to Allah, may He be exalted, and he built it on the rock that was allocated for the purpose of offering sacrifices. This is the rock on which Sulayman built the masjid. But as the people of that time were polytheists, that structure was neglected and disappeared, until Allah guided Sulayman to build al-Masjid al-Aqsa on it. This is knowledge that the Jewish books ignore and do not mention." [Al-Tahrir wa’l-Tanwir]

Prophet Ibrahim on his return lived in Palestine in the place that today takes its name after him: al-Khalil or Hebron. It is reported that Prophet Ibrahim built Masjid al-Aqsa with Prophet Ishaq. This came to be known as Beteyel (meaning the House of Allah in Hebrew). This masjid was maintained and repaired by the grandson of Prophet Ibrahim, Prophet Yaqub.

Before we proceed it is important to gain clarity on terminologies. The terms Jews and Christians need to be seen in the right context. As Muslims, we believe that followers of Prophet Musa (Moses) and Prophet Isa (Jesus) were Muslims and given the Torah and the Injeel respectively. They were not Jews or Christians per say. Allah sent no such thing as the Bible. All these came later when the nations deviated and corrupted the teachings of their Prophets. Add to that, the Jewish religion that developed down the line was exclusive to the descendants of Prophet Yaqub. Just like there existed Haneefs in Makkah amongst all the idolatry, there were monotheists on the teachings of Prophet Ibrahim that survived during the days when the Jewish religion emerged.

The name Yaqub refers to the wise or righteous servant of Allah in Hebrew. So might even call it the equivalent of Abdullah in Arabic. Whereas the name Isreal refers to the man of God or the strength that follows God.

Prophet Yaqub had 12 children and this is a fact confirmed by the Quran as well. It is reported that Prophet Yaqub married Layya (Leah), his maternal uncle's daughter first and had 7 sons with her over a period of time. He married Rahil (Rachel), the younger daughter of his uncle, after that. Prophets Yusuf (Joseph) and Benyamin (Benjamin) where from Rahil.

It is reported that his uncle agreed to marry his daughter to him on the condition that Prophet Yaqub pasture his sheep for seven years. This is in line with what the Prophet ﷺ had said, "Allah did not send any prophet but that he cared for sheep.” [Bukhari] He would go on to take care of the sheep for nearly twenty years.

Each of the daughters were gifted a female slave by their family which they in turn gifted to their husband. Rahil's slave gave birth to a boy and later on Layya's slave gave birth to two boys.

All the Prophets that Allah sent from the time of Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام all the way to Prophet Isa ibn Maryam عليه السلام, were all from the descendants of Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام: the Bani Israel.

From Prophet Adam to Prophet Yusha

Scholars differ over who the first person to build Masjid al-Haram and Masjid al-Aqsa was. It could be reconciled and said that Prophet Adam عليه السلام laid the foundation for both the masajid with his sons but it was Prophet Ibrahim عليه السلام to actually built the sites of worship with his sons. Irrespective of the difference, it is clear that these lands were marked to be blessed and hold a special status in Islam since the beginning of man. Prophet Ismail عليه السلام settled in Arabia whereas Prophet Ishaq عليه السلام continued to stay in Palestine. Prophet Yaqub or Israel عليه السلام was his son who continued to call people to Islam and take care of Masjid al-Aqsa. His son, Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام was betrayed by his brothers and wrongfully sold as a slave to Egypt. Prophet Yusuf was eventually freed and given a position of leadership in Egypt.

It is said that a person was asked to describe Palestine today. They said, "Palestine has the beauty of Prophet Yusuf, the grief of Prophet Yaqub, and feels the betrayal like the betrayal of the brothers of Prophet Yusuf."

Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام forgave his brothers and he asked his family to join him in Egypt. This was the first time that Bani Israel came into a position of power. It is reported that everyone from their family moved to Egypt to avoid the poverty that they were facing and there was no one left amongst Prophet Yaqub’s descendants to look after the maintenance of Masjid al-Aqsa. Before departing, the maintenance of Masjid al-Aqsa was entrusted to the native population of the land (Palestinians) who at that time were also Muslim like Prophet Yaqub, following the pure teachings of tawheed as was taught to them by Prophet Ibrahim.

Bani Israel voluntarily migrated to Egypt seeking a better life.

It is reported that they remained there for approximately four centuries. Eventually, they started going against the Commands of Allah and because of this, they fell from grace and became slaves to the Egyptians. The Pharaohs had taken over and ruled Egypt. One of the Pharaohs had a dream that a child from Banu Israel will destroy his rule. To safeguard his kingdom, he had all the male children killed.

This slavery and oppression only ended when Prophet Musa عليه السلام was sent to them. Such is the beauty of the Plans of Allah, that the boy he was looking to kill was adopted and raised in his own household. Prophet Musa عليه السلام went on to challenge the Pharaoh and eventually managed to escape Egypt with Bani Israel. Bani Israel witnessed the miracle directly when Allah parted the seas for them when death was imminent and drowned their biggest enemy and his entire army.

They were delivered to the Promised Lands across the sea. When Allah ordered them to enter Palestine and take control of the city from the reigning Canaanites, they refused to budge outright and showed their cowardice. This defiance incurred Allah’s wrath and they were banished to wander in the Desert of Sinai and the wilderness of Tih for 40 years. Allah says,

قَالُوا۟ يَـٰمُوسَىٰٓ إِنَّا لَن نَّدْخُلَهَآ أَبَدًۭا مَّا دَامُوا۟ فِيهَا ۖ فَٱذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَـٰتِلَآ إِنَّا هَـٰهُنَا قَـٰعِدُونَ

They said, "O Musa, indeed we will not enter it, ever, as long as they are within it; so go, you and your Lord, and fight. Indeed, we are remaining right here." [Surah al-Ma'idah, 24]

Compare this to the response Prophet Muhammad ﷺ got from his followers. The Prophet ﷺ asked the Muslims about fighting during the Battle of Badr and the Ansar said, "O Ansar! It is you whom the Prophet wants to hear." They said, "We will never say as the Children of Israel said to Musa, 'So go, you and your Lord, and fight you two, we are sitting right here.' By He Who has sent you with the Truth! If you took the camels to Bark al-Ghimad (near Makkah) we shall follow you." [Ahmad] The sahaba left everything they had and followed their Prophet ﷺ just like Bani Israel followed Musa عليه السلام. What separates the two groups and their imminent success/destruction was their adherence to the command of their Prophet. The times might have changed, the people might have changed, the Pharaoh of the times might have changed but Allah remains The Most Powerful and Ever in Command. If tawakkul (complete faith in Allah) can part the Red Sea, then how big are our problems in comparison?

During this exile of Bani Israel many miracles occurred, such as:

- Clouds would give shade to them in the scorching heat of the desert.
- Allah blessed them with food in the form of al-Manna (a gum-like food) and al-Salwa (a type of bird or quail) that Allah sent down from the skies for them.
- Allah brought forth 12 water springs from solid rock that they had access to at all times.
- Allah Revealed the Tawrah.

Bani Israel were direct witnesses to the manifestations of Allah's Blessings. Imam Ibn al-Qayyim and others write about the stubborn, rebellious, arrogant, yet inferiority complex induced mindset that Bani Israel had. They still looked up to the riches and mannerisms of their masters from Egypt. Their feet had not yet dried from the miracle of the sea being split and they had already started to worship a golden calf and had the audacity to mock Prophet Musa for the food that was descending for them from the skies.

Prophet Harun عليه السلام passed away in the lifetime of his brother. Prophet Musa عليه السلام also died before he could enter Palestine because of his stubborn and arrogant followers. Allah granted Prophet Musa's عليه السلام dua and allowed him to be buried close to al-Aqsa. The next person to be appointed as a prophet over the Bani Israel was Yusha bin Nun (Joshua) عليه السلام. Prophet Yusha is the same servant or apprentice that accompanied Prophet Musa when he went to meet Khidr عليه السلام as is detailed in Surah al-Kahf. When these 40 years of exile ended, Prophet Yusha bin Nun led those who remained among them and the second generation, and laid siege to Jerusalem. He conquered the land on a Friday afternoon. None of that generation remained who had worshipped the golden calf.

Yusha ibn Nun عليه السلام led the Bani Israel against the Jababirah (the inhabitants of Jerusalem at the time), who were a large giant-like people. The fighting was furious and the sun was about to set. Yusha bin Nun knew that he could not defeat these people except if the day was longer as, if night came, the Jababirah would be able to regroup. Also, the next day would be the Day of Sabbath where his people didn't work or fight. He said (to the sun), "You are commanded and I am commanded, as well. O Allah! Make it stop setting for me." Allah made the sun stop setting until Yusha bin Nun conquered Jerusalem. Allah says,

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا ٱدْخُلُوا۟ هَـٰذِهِ ٱلْقَرْيَةَ فَكُلُوا۟ مِنْهَا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمْ رَغَدًۭا وَٱدْخُلُوا۟ ٱلْبَابَ سُجَّدًۭا وَقُولُوا۟ حِطَّةٌۭ نَّغْفِرْ لَكُمْ خَطَـٰيَـٰكُمْ ۚ وَسَنَزِيدُ ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ

And (remember) when We said, “Enter this city and eat freely from wherever you please; enter the gate with humility, saying, Hittah (We seek forgiveness). We will forgive your sins and multiply the reward for the good-doers.” [Surah al-Baqarah, 58]

This was the first and only time such a miracle occurred by the Permission of Allah. The Prophet ﷺ said, “The sun has never stopped for any man besides Yusha bin Nun when he was campaigning to conquer Bayt al-Maqdis." [Ahmad] The Prophet ﷺ has informed us of this and it has been authentically transmitted to us. We submit to it and believe in it like we believe in the splitting of the moon.

Allah Commanded them to enter Jerusalem in a state of humbleness and seeking forgiveness. Instead, they walked in in a state of defiance and mocked the Words of Allah. They entered the door on their behinds and said: Habbah or Hintah (seed), in Sha'irah (barley) to play with the Words. Despite the multiple Blessings of Allah, they continued their attitude of neglect and stubbornness. Contrast this to howProphet Muhammad entered Makkah when he freed the city from idolatry or even when Umar ibn al-Khattab came to collect the keys to Jerusalem as we will soon see.

With this, Bani Israel re-entered Jerusalem and came into power after centuries.

After conquering Jerusalem, Prophet Yusha عليه السلام taught them the Torah and ruled according to it. Imam Ibn Kathir records that he lived up to be 127 years old. He lived 27 years after the death of Prophet Musa.

From Prophet Dawud to The Fall of the Kingdom of Israel

Bani Israel were sent Prophet after Prophet in succession by Allah. Yet, they remained defiant and disobedient.

The time of Prophets Dawud عليه السلام and his son Sulaiman عليه السلام is unique and is even considered as the golden age of al-Aqsa. They were Prophets of Allah who were also kings.

Prophet Dawud عليه السلام began re-building Masjid al-Aqsa once again during his rule, a venture that the Prophet Sulaiman عليه السلام then completed. Prophet Dawud was the second King of the Israelites who united all Jewish tribes and his rule lasted for 40 years and likewise Prophet Sulaiman ruled for 40 years after him.

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Sulaiman ibn Dawud asked Allah for three things. He was granted two, and we hope that he was be granted the third (also). He asked Him for judgement that was in accordance with His Judgement, and Allah granted him that; he asked Him for a kingdom such as would not belong to anyone after him, and He granted him that; and he asked Him that if any man went out of his house only wanting to pray in this Masjid (al-Aqsa), that he would emerge free of sin as on the day his mother bore him. We hope that Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, has granted that to him.” [Ahmad]

As enmity and infighting grew among the Jewish tribes, the united kingdom of Israel lasted for 90 years, from 1020-922 BCE. In 922 BCE the kingdom split into:
a. The Kingdom of Israel os Samaria in the North, which lasted for 200 years, from 922-722 BCE. Its capital was Shechem (Nablus) and its king was Jeroboam. The Israelite tribes swore allegiance to him, except for Judah and Benjamin.
b. The Kingdom of Judea in the South, which lasted for 336 years, from 922-586 BCE. Its capital was Jerusalem (al-Quds) and its king was Rehoboam. Two Israelite tribes swore allegiance to him, namely Judah and Benjamin.

King Je-hoia-chin of Jerusalem was the last Jewish king who tried to resist the Babylonian invasion. The kingdom was surrounded by the Babylonians laid siege and cut off supplies from entering. It is reported that when the people started running out of supplies, the king made a tunnel to eescape. The tunnel partially collapsed, the resistance had to give in and the Babylonians entered Jerusalem.

In 586 BCE, the Babylonian leader Nebuchadnezzar (Bakhtnasr) entered Jerusalem and destroyed it. Historically, this is known as the first Babylonian captivity or exile. Then he went back to the city and destroyed it again, in what is known as the second Babylonian captivity or exile, which put an end to the Kingdom of Judah.

This period marks the end of Jewish rule in Palestine. The Babylonians laid waste to the entire place.

At this point, it is important to reflect on some key ayat from Surah al-Isra. Allah says,

وَقَضَيْنَآ إِلَىٰ بَنِىٓ إِسْرَٰٓءِيلَ فِى ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ لَتُفْسِدُنَّ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ مَرَّتَيْنِ وَلَتَعْلُنَّ عُلُوًّۭا كَبِيرًۭا - فَإِذَا جَآءَ وَعْدُ أُولَىٰهُمَا بَعَثْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ عِبَادًۭا لَّنَآ أُو۟لِى بَأْسٍۢ شَدِيدٍۢ فَجَاسُوا۟ خِلَـٰلَ ٱلدِّيَارِ ۚ وَكَانَ وَعْدًۭا مَّفْعُولًۭا - ثُمَّ رَدَدْنَا لَكُمُ ٱلْكَرَّةَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَمْدَدْنَـٰكُم بِأَمْوَٰلٍۢ وَبَنِينَ وَجَعَلْنَـٰكُمْ أَكْثَرَ نَفِيرًا - إِنْ أَحْسَنتُمْ أَحْسَنتُمْ لِأَنفُسِكُمْ ۖ وَإِنْ أَسَأْتُمْ فَلَهَا ۚ فَإِذَا جَآءَ وَعْدُ ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ لِيَسُـۥٓـُٔوا۟ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَلِيَدْخُلُوا۟ ٱلْمَسْجِدَ كَمَا دَخَلُوهُ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍۢ وَلِيُتَبِّرُوا۟ مَا عَلَوْا۟ تَتْبِيرًا - عَسَىٰ رَبُّكُمْ أَن يَرْحَمَكُمْ ۚ وَإِنْ عُدتُّمْ عُدْنَا ۘ وَجَعَلْنَا جَهَنَّمَ لِلْكَـٰفِرِينَ حَصِيرًا

And We warned the Children of Israel in the Scripture, “You will certainly cause corruption in the land twice, and you will become extremely arrogant. When the first of the two warnings would come to pass, We would send against you some of Our servants of great might, who would ravage your homes. This would be a warning fulfilled. Then We gave you your turn to overpower them, and increased your strength with wealth and sons, and made you greater in number.

If you act rightly, it is for your own good, but if you do wrong, it is to your own loss. “And when the second warning would come to pass, your enemies would (be left to) totally disgrace you and enter that place of worship as they entered it the first time, and utterly destroy whatever would fall into their hands. Perhaps your Lord will have mercy on you (if you repent), but if you return (to sin), We will return (to punishment). And We have made Hell a (permanent) confinement for the disbelievers.” [Surah al-Isra, 4-7]

The First Warning

Allah had already told Bani Israel that they would be given positions of power and prestige that they would then end up using for spreading evil and corruption. The rulers after the demise of Prophet Sulaiman عليه السلام had become oppressive, corrupt, arrogant, and some people had even fallen into idol worship. Time and time again, Allah kept giving Bani Israel chances to repent and even blessed them from His bounties. Yet, they kept turning back to disobedience.

It can be understood that the first of these Warnings came to fruition when Bani Israel were at the peak of their power and might. This is when Prophet Dawud defeated Jalut (Goliath) and he set up the Kingdom. This also includes when Prophet Sulaiman built the kingdom to such a degree, the likes of which will never be seen ever again. His Kingdom spread across many countries, and he even commanded the winds, the animals, and the Jinn.

After this, Bani Israel became corrupted, their downfall started, and the Kingdom of Israel was annihilated by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC as we have mentioned above. Masjid al-Aqsa (or the Temple of Solomon as the Jews incorrectly call it) was completely destroyed and blood flowed in the streets when more than seventy thousand people were killed and many others taken as slaves back to Babylon. This has been reported to be the position of Imam Sa'eed ibn al-Musayyib, the son-in-law of Abu Hurairah and the leading scholar of the tabi'in. Nebuchadnezzar had installed a member of the family of the former king as a ruler of the city as his deputy. This new king was extremely corrupt, and worshipped idols. He rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar that rekindled his fury. He returned, killed even more people, destroyed all property and burned the city, razing it to rubbles. Bani Israel had lost

As time progressed, Bani Israel lived in humiliation as slaves in Babylon and Masjid al-Aqsa was destroyed.

Meanwhile, the Persian empire was rising on the horizon. They attacked and defeated the Babylonians in 550 BCE. Some Jews returned to Jerusalem while others opted to stay in Persia. Cyrus (Khosrow), the King of Persia, allowed the Jews to return to al-Shaam and resettle again in Jerusalem. It is reported that he also allowed and aided them in rebuilding Masjid al-Aqsa again. This was the period in which the Roman-Persian conflicts raged. The Jews naturally sided and helped the Persians against the Romans.

The Persian control of these lands lasted for 200 years before the invasion of Alexander the 'Great'.

The Second Warning

From a classical perspective, the Second Warning refers to when Bani Israel came back to power after the Babylonian era till they became corrupt again and were then subsequently destroyed and expelled from Jerusalem by the Romans.

It could also be said, as was by Imam Qatadah that, "The Children of Israel returned to aggression, so Allah sent this group against them, Muhammad ﷺ and his companions, who made them pay the Jizyah, with willing submission, and feeling themselves subdued."

As for the Second Warning Allah does not explicitly mention the time or even how the second corruption will be caused by Bani Israel. It could be said that all that happened with the Bani Israel including their fall under the Roman empire is all part of the First Warning and the Second Warning is a prophecy that is to be fulfilled. How?

Most scholars of tafseer interpreted the ayat based on the times that they were living in. Today, many of the scholars of tafseer interpret the ayat that talk about the second mischief in the light of what is happening in our times. They say that - The indication in these ayat that the second promise of Allah which will come to pass refers to the destruction of Israel is where it says, “to make your faces sorrowful and to enter the masjid (of Jerusalem) as they had entered it before”. In our context, it was the Muslims under the caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab that entered Jerusalem. They would then rule the lands for hundreds of years where even the Jews and Christians thrived. Down the line, even though Jerusalem was then captured by the Crusaders for a number of years it was never properly under the authority of the Jews like it is today under the occupying State of Israel. Based on the ayah and this reading of it, Allah promises that the Muslims will again enter Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem as we entered it before when we conquered it.

From Roman Control to The Caliphate of Umar

In this period of time, the Greeks became dominant to such a degree that even the Torah was translated into Greek. This is how the famous translation of the Old Testament, called the Septuagint, came into existence. The mix of Eastern and Western civilisations resulting from Alexander's conquests led to the emergence of a new civilisation and culture called Hellenism. Hellenism survived for over 300 years, during which the Middle East and the other regions that Alexander occupied not only enjoyed the best of Greek culture language and education, but also absorbed some of these characteristics into the respective local cultures.

During this period, the Jews tried to conquer Jerusalem in fractured groups but couldn't do much because of constant infighting. In 63 BCE, the Romans conquered Jerusalem. Palestine and neighbouring territories were divided into Roman provinces. This era saw the expansion of the second Temple of Solomon.

Prophet Isa عليه السلام was miraculously born around this period. He called his people to Allah Alone and tried to rectify their affairs. Bani Israel tried to crucify him but Allah saved him and lifted him to the Heavens. During his time, Palestine comprised of Jews, Sabians, Pagans, and Romans.

In May 66 CE, there was a major revolt against the Roman empire. The Romans crushed the rebellion, laid siege to Jerusalem, and eventually flattened the whole city in its entirety. The remaining Jews were exiled from Palestine at this point.

In 70 CE, the Romans destroyed Masjid al-Aqsa once again, and converted it into a place of Roman idol worship. 65 years later, during the the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 CE, the Romans massacred the Bani Israel and even dug out the foundations of the Masjid (or Temple).

Slowly, the religion of Christianity started to spread across the Roman empire to a point where the Roman emperor Constantine embraced Christianity in 315-320 CE. Christianity was the new heir of Jerusalem after Judaism. The enmity of the Romans toward the Jews intensified even further as they were seen as killers of Prophet Isa (Jesus) عليه السلام.

After nearly 300 years of this rule, the Persian empire attacked and captured Jerusalem in 614 CE. They were aided by the Jews who sabotaged from within and most churches were razed to the ground. They raided and sacked the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and carried off the "True Cross" to their capital at Ctesiphon. During the same period, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in Makkah had prophesied that the Romans would reconquer Jerusalem as was revealed in Sura ar-Rum. The pagans of Makkah mocked him openly and said that such a thing was impossible to happen.

As prophesied, within a few years, the Persians began losing their footing to the Roman around 624 CE. This was around the same time that the Muslims were victorious in the Battle of Badr. Finally, the Perians were defeated by Heraclius in 630 CE at the Battle of Nineveh and the Christians looted looted Jerusalem. The Jews were expelled and banished from Jerusalem. At this point, the Romans had a political as well as religious issue with the Jews. This was also the same period when the letter of the Prophet ﷺ inviting Heraclius to Islam reached his court.

As things settled, Sophronius was made the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Jerusalem would remain under the control of the Roman empire till the time of Umar ibn al-Khattab.

Before we end this section, it is important to highlight here what is known as the Temple of Solomon. The Hebrew word for the temple means the House of God. What the Jews today call the Temple of Solomon is a lie as they blatantly claim that he fell into idolatry towards the end of his life. Their own books contradict each other on the details of this supposed temple and there is insane exaggeration in everything written with regard to it. Add to that, no other historical sources make mention of this temple that can corroborate their claim.

The Bible says that the temple was sixty cubits long (30 metres); it was twenty cubits (10 metres) wide, and thirty cubits (15 metres) high. The porch (courtyard) in front of it was twenty cubits long and ten cubits wide. In other words, the size of the temple was 30 metres x 10 metres x 15 metres, and the area it covered was 300 m², with a height of four or five storeys. It is impossible to think that 1.6 tons of gold, 16 tons of silver and other precious materials were used, and 180,000 workers participated in its construction for a period of seven years. All this for the sake of such a small building? Add to that, the Jews were not even united on its location. Some said it was in Nablus and not Jerusalem while the other claimed vice-versa.

If such a grand structure was built, it is unfathomable that such details would be being disputed over. This story of the Temple of Solomon is a baseless lie. What might have happened here is that since the Bible was written during the period of captivity in Babylon, and we know that the Jews were allowed to return to Palestine after many years of captivity- it is a strong possibility the writers (distorters) added some exaggerated grand stories about the temple so as to encourage the Jews to return to Jerusalem. Allah says,

فَوَيْلٌۭ لِّلَّذِينَ يَكْتُبُونَ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ ثُمَّ يَقُولُونَ هَـٰذَا مِنْ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ لِيَشْتَرُوا۟ بِهِۦ ثَمَنًۭا قَلِيلًۭا ۖ فَوَيْلٌۭ لَّهُم مِّمَّا كَتَبَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَوَيْلٌۭ لَّهُم مِّمَّا يَكْسِبُونَ

So woe to those who write the Scripture with their own hands, then say, "This is from Allah," in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn. [Surah al-Baqarah, 79]

The Temple of Solomon is in reality Masjid al-Aqsa that Prophet Sulaiman re-built and continued to take care of after his father, Prophet Dawud (David).

As per Jewish sources:

  1. The temple was destroyed for the first time by the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE. Several decades after that, the captive Jews in Babylon were allowed to return to Jerusalem, so they returned and rebuilt the temple circa 521 BCE. Then the temple was destroyed again at the hands of Titus, the son of the Roman emperor Vespasian. This was the second destruction of the temple. To make sure that the Jews would not forget the temple, and so that it would remain alive in their memories, their rabbis introduced rituals and ceremonies that every Jew performs in order to remember the Temple, at the time of birth, at the time of death, at the time of marriage, when painting the house, and so on.
  2. The second destruction of the temple occurred on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Ab. The Jews fast on this day every year, in commemoration of this event. In 313 CE, the Emperor Constantine embraced Christianity, and began to build churches. The Church of the Resurrection was the first church to be built during that period, and the site of the temple became a rubbish dump, to spite the Jews.
  3. In 135 CE (at the time of the Emperor Hadrian) the city was destroyed completely and the Jews were expelled from it. A new city was built in its place, which was called Aelia Capitolina. It continued to be known by this name until the Muslims entered it during the caliphate of the second caliph, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), when it became known as al-Quds or Bayt al-Maqdis.

The Opening of Jerusalem During The Caliphate of Umar

The Muslims opened the gates of Jerusalem in 638 CE during the caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab رضي الله عنه without any bloodshed as they also considered the land to be blessed and holy just like the Jews and Christians. They laid siege around the city till they succeeded.

The markers leading up to this were already there for all to see. This victory was also prophesied but the Prophet ﷺ during the Battle of Khandaq. Al-Bara’ ibn Azib رضي الله عنه reports that while digging the trench outside Madinah to repel the approaching army, a massive boulder obstructed them and no ax could break it. With time running out, and with people’s fears and hunger growing, the Prophet ﷺ walked over and picked up the ax. He said, “Bismillah,” and hammered the boulder, reducing a chunk of it to rubble. He said, “Allahu Akbar! I have been given the keys to Shaam; I can see its red palaces at this very moment.” Then he shattered another chunk and said, “Allahu Akbar! I have been given the keys to Persia; I can see Madain’s white palace.” Then he shattered the last chunk and said, “Allahu Akbar! I have been given the keys to Yemen. By Allah, I can see the Gates of Sanaa at this very moment from here.”

When the Muslims opened Jerusalem, the Patriarch of Jerusalem refused to give the keys of the city to anyone and demanded that the leader of the Muslims to come and take it himself. Having been informed of such a condition, Umar ibn al-Khattab left Madinah, travelling alone with one camel and one servant. They would take turns on the camel throughout the journey. When he arrived near Jerusalem, it was the slave's chance to be atop the camel and Umar walked beside him. Such was the justice of al-Faruq.

Imam al-Hakim records in his al-Mustadrak, "They reached the ford of a river. Umar dismounted his camel, took off his shoes or leather socks, placed them on his shoulder and took the reins of his camel and began to go down the ford. Abu Ubaydah on seeing this said, 'O Leader of the Believers! You are doing this?! You take off your leather socks, put them on your shoulder, take your camel’s reins and go down the ford?! I wouldn’t want the people of this land to see you in such a state!'

At this Umar said his legendary words that our books have immortalised till date, “'f only someone else had said this O Abu Ubaydah. You have made a lesson for the Ummah of Muhammad – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him!

We were the lowliest of people but Allah gave us might and glory through Islam. If we seek glory through other than what Allah gave us glory through, He will humiliate us (again).'”

At the gates of Jerusalem, he was greeted by Sophronius. It is reported that Sophronius immediately recognised Umar and mentioned that their books had described a man like Umar who would take the keys from them. This was Umar, the Ameer of the Muslims, one of the most powerful man in the world at that point, and he was dressed in no more than simple patched robes and was indistinguishable from his servant. He entered in a manner of humility similar to how Allah had ordered Bani Israel to enter Jerusalem when they were first given victory over it. Some reports also mention how Umar and the other people of the Quraysh were even more overjoyed because they were seeing Masjid al-Aqsa infront of their eyes. and it matched the exact description the Prophet ﷺ had given the pagans of Makkah after returning from His Night Journey.

Sophronius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem signed a treaty and handed over the keys of the city to him. He gave the Christians and Jews of al-Aqsa freedom to practice their religions, and treat al-Aqsa as their Holy Land too.

Umar saw that the Christians out of hatred and to spite the Jews were using the site of Masjid al-Aqsa as a dumping ground. He immediately bent and started cleaning al-Aqsa with his own hands. Seeing the Ameer cleaning, the rest of the sahaba immediately stepped forward and joined in on the cleaning as well. He was invited to pray in the Church when the time of prayer entered. Umar was a visionary. He refused and asked for another place to pray. He told the Patriarch that if he prayed there, there might be some Muslims down the line that might break the treaty and erect a masjid in that place. Umar al-Faruq would then establish a masjid at the southern end of the compound of al-Aqsa and pray at the location where he was told Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had prayed. This location is what we know as Masjid al-Aqsa today.

Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله said, “Al-Masjid al-Aqsa is the name for the whole of the place of worship built by Sulaiman (peace be upon him). Some people started to give the name of al-Aqsa to the prayer-place which was built by Umar ibn al-Khattab in front of it. Praying in this prayer-place which Umar built for the Muslims is better than praying in the rest of the masjid, because when ‘Umar conquered Jerusalem there was a huge garbage dump on the rock, since the Christians wanted to show their scorn for the place towards which the Jews used to pray. So Umar issued orders that the filth be removed and he said to Ka’b: ‘Where do you think we should build a place of prayer for the Muslims?’ He said, ‘Behind the rock.’ He said, ‘O you son of a Jewish woman! Are you influenced by your Jewish ideas! Rather I will build it in front of it.’ [Majmu’at al-Rasail]

After Umar, when the future Muslim leaders entered the al-Aqsa compound, they would also usually pray in the masjid area that was built by Umar. With regard to the Dome of the Rock, neither Umar nor any of the sahabah prayed there, and nor did they place any importance to it specifically. There was no dome over it during the time of the Rightly guided caliphs. It was open to the sky during the caliphates of Umar, Uthman, Ali, Muawiyah, Yazid and Marwan.

For the first time in 500 years since their expulsion, the Jews were allowed to return and visit Jerusalem under Muslim rule.

From The Caliphate of Umar Till Today

The Muslim power expanded and rose till it covered a large part of the world. Under Muslim rule, Christians and Jews had religious freedom and were allowed to visit the holy sites without any issues. Till this point there was no concept of religious freedom. People either had to forcefully submit to the conquerors religion or they were killed, or expelled. Muslims on the other hand just took the jizyah tax from them and let the people live as they wanted. Peace ensued for many years after this in the area. As the Muslims, like the Jews before them fell into corruption, the clock started ticking for their downfall.

During the eleventh century, Al-Hakim, a Fatimid caliph, provided the perfect justification for a European invasion when he began to persecute not only Christians but also Muslim sects. They destroyed hundreds of churches and places of worship. The destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre gave the ruthless Pope Urban II the pretext for an invasion. Urban called on Christians to take up arms and march against the 'Saracens' (a derogatory term for Arabs and Muslims), and to liberate Jerusalem from the 'infidels'.

The First Crusade (1096-1099): The European forces joined the Byzantine army and advanced towards Jerusalem, capturing major cities along the way. On Friday, the 15th of July 1099, the Crusaders arrived at the gates of Jerusalem and laid siege to the city for six weeks, after which the city fell. The Crusaders smashed their way into the Dome of the Rock mosque and stripped it of all its gold and silver. More than 70,000 people were murdered by the Crusaders.

The Crusaders locked the Jews in their synagogues before burning the buildings, and all of their occupants, to the ground. Under Crusader rule, no Muslim or Jew was permitted to reside in the city of Jerusalem. The Dome of the Rock was then renamed as Templum Domini and a cross was placed on top of the golden dome. Masjid al-Aqsa was renamed Templum Solomonis. With this, they stablished the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. Some of the Jews fled to Andalus (Spain), to receive protection under Islamic rule.

The Muslims slowly awoke from their slumber and under the leadership of Nur al-Din Zenghi, and they started taking back territories from their control. This led to the Second Crusades.

The Second Crusade (1147-1149): After the death of Nur al-Din Zenghi, Salahuddin al-Ayyubi took charge of the Muslim armies. In 1187, Salahuddin confronted the Crusaders, led by Reginald of Châtillon, at Hittin near Lake Tiberias in northern Palestine. The Crusaders suffered a crushing defeat and the road to Jerusalem lay open. Salahuddin, after a brief siege, entered the holy city peacefully on 2 October 1187. His generosity knew no bounds; he not only set all surviving Crusaders free, but also provided many of them with provisions for their journey home.

The Third Crusade (1189-1192): The Crusaders down the line continued making attempts but all in waste. On 2 September 1192, the Third Crusade failed and they were forced to sign a peace treaty.

The Fourth Crusade (1202-1204): On 3 March 1193 Salahuddin passed away and the unity against the crusaders withered away. The new Ayyubid leadership entered into a truce with the Crusaders that provided the Europeans with a titular kingdom of Jerusalem, centring on Acre. This became known as the Second Kingdom. European rulers, however, were not interested in pilgrimage, worship or partnership. They wanted total control over land and riches, and the Fourth Crusade was soon commenced. This Fourth Crusade didn’t reach Jerusalem as the Crusaders got diverted by political interests. They attacked Constantinople, which weakened the Byzantine Empire. They were successful in gaining money and installed a new ruler by invading Constantinople.

The Fifth Crusade (1217-1221): In 1217, Jerusalem was under Egyptian rule. The Crusades commenced again at this time and failed yet again forcing them to return empty handed. Likewise the Sixth Crusade (1228-1229) and the Seventh Crusades (1248-1254) also ended in failure with the Muslims successfully defending Egypt and nearby areas. By 1291, the Muslims had taken over Acre, the last Crusader outpost in Palestine.

From 1255-1281, things would take a really bad turn in human history. The Mongols, a nomadic people from the vast steppes of Central Asia, rose to prominence in the 13th century under the leadership of Genghis Khan. The Mongols slaughtered the world left right and centre. The Muslim resistance could not hold back the Mongols and by 1258 they had lost Baghdad. This marked the downfall of the Abbasid Caliphate. The massacre and destruction of Baghdad pains us to date.

The Mongols continued advancing with the intention to overrun Jerusalem but were prevented from entering Palestine by the Mamluks in Egypt at the Battle of Ain Jalut in September 1260. The Mamluks, under the leadership of their sultan, Qutuz, decisively defeated the Mongols, marking a significant turning point in Muslim and world history. The Mamluk period was one of peace till the death of Baybar. The Burji Mamluks began a series of persecutions against Jews, Christians, and even the Muslims. In 1517, they were defeated by the Ottomans. With this, the blessed cities of Makkah, Madinah, and Jerusalem was brought under Ottoman control.

From 1100-1550, the Jews kept getting oppressed, killed, and exiled from places all across Europe. By the French Revolution in 1789, matters became somewhat better in comparison but still the Jews were being persecuted across Europe.

Sulaiman the Magnificent from the Ottomans developed a lot of infrastructure in Jerusalem and opened the Middle eastern cities to all. The Jews escaped European persecution and sought shelter in the Ottoman lands.Peace ensued for many years till slowly cracks started appearing in the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century.

Meanwhile missionaries brought an education system to the Levant that became the standard bearer of the region's elite. As more and more children from influential families passed through that educational system, a ruling class emerged that looked to the West for its solutions and standards. Much more crucial, however, was the system's ability to plant the seeds of nationalism.

In 1876, Levantine Arabs forced Abdul Hamid II, the Ottoman Sultan, to draft the first constitution for ruling the Muslim lands. This was suspended and then again forcefully reinstated in 1908 by a revolt. For the first time people in Jerusalem, Baghdad, Damascus and other cities could elect their own representatives to an assembly in Istanbul. The Ottoman Empire was transformed from autocratic rule to consultative (or democratic) rule.

As the world hurled towards the first World War, things just became worse for the region. During World War I, the British government made conflicting promises to both the Arabs and the Jews regarding the future of Jerusalem. Let's see the key highlights:

  • The McMahon-Hussein Correspondence (1915-1916): Sir Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner in Egypt, exchanged a series of letters with Sherif Hussein of Makkah. In these letters, the British promised support for Arab independence from Ottoman rule in exchange for Arab assistance against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. This implied the prospect of self-determination for the Arab people, including control over territories that would encompass Jerusalem.
  • The Balfour Declaration (1917): In a conflicting move, the British government issued the Balfour Declaration, a public statement named after Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary of the time. The declaration expressed support for the establishment of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine. This declaration was seen as a commitment to the Zionist movement and the establishment of a Jewish homeland in the same territory that was promised to the Arabs.
  • Sykes-Picot Agreement (1916): In a secret agreement between Britain and France, known as the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the two powers divided the Middle East into spheres of influence, effectively carving up the Ottoman territories, including Jerusalem, into separate zones of control. This agreement further complicated the conflicting promises made to the Arabs and Jews. Imagine a room of drunk men drawing imaginary lines on the map and not caring how it would affect the lives of thousands if not millions in the slightest as long as they could fill their pockets.
  • Mandate Period and the League of Nations: After World War I, the League of Nations granted Britain a mandate over Palestine, including Jerusalem. As the reality of the double promise emerged, tensions flared across Palestine among the Arabs and the Jews. An Arab revolt broke our in 1936-1939 against the British. The revolt aimed to end Jewish immigration and establish an independent Arab state in Palestine. The British White Paper of 1939, which sought to limit Jewish immigration to Palestine, exacerbated tensions.
  • 1947 UN Partition Plan: With the situation in Palestine becoming increasingly untenable, the United Nations proposed a partition plan in 1947. The plan recommended the division of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, with an international regime for Jerusalem.
  • Israeli Declaration of Independence (1948): On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, declared the establishment of the State of Israel. With this, the Jews had regained control and illegally established themselves in Palestine.

From 1948 till date, thousands of people have been killed by the Jews, their land has been illegally usurped, and thousands of Palestinians have been displaced. In short, Israel is raging a genocide and ethnic cleansing in broad daylight while the world watches and the Palestinians alone stand tall defending their home with Allah as their only hope. The Jews are repeating exactly or if not in an even worse manner what Hitler did to them in Germany during the Holocaust.

Indeed, Allah does not disappoint those that place their trust in him. He is the Best of Planners and The Most Wise. Just like the actions of Khidr might not have made sense to Prophet Musa عليه السلام at the start, the victories of the Jews might dishearten a few Muslims. Remember, we don't even have the pixel whereas Allah has the complete picture and more.

Debunked: The Claim of The Promised Land and Being The Promised People

This is a claim we see being thrown around day and night to justify the oppression that is happening in Palestine today. Let's break this down this claim and show how it is no longer valid..

Let's back track a bit. After Allah saved Bani Israel from Pharaoh and they were eventually granted access to Palestine after the death of Prophet Musa عليه السلام, they were not given unchecked authority or right to the land just because they were from a particular bloodline. It was all subject to their obedience to Allah or they would be replaced.

To say that Allah would give unchecked or unconditional freedom over something to a people would be a form of oppression and Allah is free from any such thing. Allah is Most Just and Most Wise.

Allah says,
يَـٰقَوْمِ ٱدْخُلُوا۟ ٱلْأَرْضَ ٱلْمُقَدَّسَةَ ٱلَّتِى كَتَبَ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلَا تَرْتَدُّوا۟ عَلَىٰٓ أَدْبَارِكُمْ فَتَنقَلِبُوا۟ خَـٰسِرِينَ
(Prophet Musa said) O  my people! Enter the Holy Land which Allah has destined for you (to enter). And do not turn back or else you will become losers.” [Surah al-Maidah, 51]

قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ ٱسْتَعِينُوا۟ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱصْبِرُوٓا۟  إِنَّ ٱلْأَرْضَ لِلَّهِ يُورِثُهَا مَن يَشَآءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِۦ  وَٱلْعَـٰقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ
Musa said to his people, “Seek Allah’s help and be patient. Indeed, the earth belongs to Allah (Alone). He grants it to whoever He Chooses of His servants. The ultimate outcome belongs (only) to the righteous.” [Surah al-A'raf, 128]

Allah said that He has granted the people who were considered weak, the Children of Israel, to inherit the eastern and western parts of the land. Imams Hasan al-Basri and Qatadah commented that this referred to the area of al-Shaam (Greater Syria). [Ibn Kathir]

This favour of Allah upon the people of Israel was the reward of their patience, as the ayah has specified saying, 'Because they stood patient.'

They eventually disobeyed and transgressed against the Shariah of Allah astronomically. Just one of their many evils was the murder of the Prophets of Allah. Allah says,
قُلْ قَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رُسُلٌۭ مِّن قَبْلِى بِٱلْبَيِّنَـٰتِ وَبِٱلَّذِى قُلْتُمْ فَلِمَ قَتَلْتُمُوهُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَـٰدِقِينَ
Say, (O Prophet), “Other prophets did in fact come to you before me with clear proofs and (even) what you demanded—why then did you kill them, if what you say is true?” [Surah Aal Imran, 183]

Asma bint Abi Bakr told Ibn Umar when he came to offer his condolences at the death Abdullah ibn Zubair, "The head of (Prophet) Yahya bin Zakariya was sent as a gift to a prostitute of Bani Israel." [Siyar A'lam an-Nubala]

Another important point from this that really hit me especially when reading it in the context of what is currently happening in Palestine - Imam Hasan al-Basri said that the ayah suggested that in case one is not as powerful as to defend himself against an enemy, the best way to succeed is to remain patient. He said when a person who has been wronged, tries to take revenge on his own by doing wrong to his opponent Allah leaves him alone and lets him manage his own affairs, ending in success or facing a failure. On the contrary, when one seeks help from Allah against the affliction from others and remains patient, Allah opens the door of success upon him.

As the above promise for the rule over the land was fulfilled by Allah, the same kind of promise Allah made with the people of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in a ayah of Surah Al-Nur:
'' وَعَدَ اللَّـهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ
"Allah has promised those of you who believe and do good deeds that he will make them inherit the land, as He had inherited those who were before them." [Surah an-Nur, 55]

To end, Allah says also,
إِنْ أَحْسَنتُمْ أَحْسَنتُمْ لِأَنفُسِكُمْ  وَإِنْ أَسَأْتُمْ فَلَهَا  فَإِذَا جَآءَ وَعْدُ ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ لِيَسُـۥٓـُٔوا۟ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَلِيَدْخُلُوا۟ ٱلْمَسْجِدَ كَمَا دَخَلُوهُ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍۢ وَلِيُتَبِّرُوا۟ مَا عَلَوْا۟ تَتْبِيرًا - عَسَىٰ رَبُّكُمْ أَن يَرْحَمَكُمْ  وَإِنْ عُدتُّمْ عُدْنَا  وَجَعَلْنَا جَهَنَّمَ لِلْكَـٰفِرِينَ حَصِيرًا

Maybe your Lord would bestow mercy upon you. But if you do this again, We shall do that again, and We have made Jahannam (Hell) a prison for the disbelievers.” [Surah al-Isra, 7-8]

Allah had mentioned how the Jews would cause major mischief twice. Allah told His Messenger that when (the Jews) committed transgression and aggression, Allah gave their enemies power over them to destroy their country and enter the innermost parts of their homes. Their humiliation and subjugation were a befitting punishment, and your Lord is never unfair or unjust to His servants. They had rebelled and killed many of the Prophets and scholars.  [Ibn Kathir]

Learning from this ayah and the actions of the Jews, some scholars write that it is because of how Muslims also acted down the line, that a few hundred thousand Jews overcame them. It clearly shows that everything that came to pass came as punishment for our own misdeeds.

Another interpretation of  "if you do this again, We shall do that again" could be that if the Muslims return to Jihad, Allah will return back to giving Muslims victory. This is what the Palestinians are InshaAllah doing today all alone while we merely watch.

InshaAllah the Ababeel of Allah are coming for Palestine.

Two more points that bring this discussion to a close after understanding the ayat above are:

  1. During the Night Journey, Allah raised all the previous Prophets and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ led them all in prayer. This was an indication that he was their Imam and by extension the Imam of the Children of Adam. His Shariah would supersede and prevail over all their messages. He was the first global prophet whereas all the previous prophets were sent to targeted demographics.
  2. As with the Prophet's ﷺ Imamate at al-Aqsa, the change of the Qiblah from Masjid al-Aqsa to Masjid al-Haram signified that  Bani Israel were no longer the chosen people. They had been replaced by the Ummah of Muhammad ﷺ because of their centuries of constant corruption, evil, and disobedience towards Allah.

Coming back to Jerusalem, from one of the signs of the Day of Judgement will be the return of Prophet Isa عليه السلام to the earth in Palestine. Prophet Isa عليه السلام will kill the Dajjal at Bab Ludd, a village close to Jerusalem in Palestine.


If we zoom out and look at things, from among all the different players involved, Britain's name pops us prominently. Britain might have been as disastrous to the Muslims and maybe even the world as were the Mongols when they set out on their rampage. The repercussions of what the British did is still being felt to date.

Every time the Jews were allowed into Jerusalem, and they lived there peacefully without oppression, it was under Islamic rule. Anyone and everyone else had always chased them away. Even when Europe was oppressing and exiling them en masse for centuries, it was the Ottomans, that gave them refuge.

Another point that we can pick is from a religious angle. As is very clear from their own Zionist leaders own published documentation, Israel being a Jewish state citing religious reasons is just a facade for gaining power. What they are doing today is no surprise. They have been doing the same for years and have been getting away with it conveniently while the world turns a blind eye for their own ulterior motives. The Muslims on the other hand continue with their own infighting to care seriously about it.

Throughout the history of Jerusalem, we see that be it the Jews or the Muslims, whenever infighting and a want for power grew, and they moved away from their religion, they were defeated or harmed, and then subjugated to foreign powers.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Soon the nations will be summoned to you just like one is invited to a feast.” It was said, “Will we be few in that day?” The Prophet ﷺ said, “No, rather you will be many in that day, but you will be scum like such flowing down a torrent. Allah will remove your esteem from the chests of your enemies, and Allah will insert feebleness in your own hearts.” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, what is this feebleness?” The Prophet ﷺ said, “Love for the worldly life and hatred of death.” [Abu Dawud]

Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله said, “When victory returns to the disbelievers, it’s because of the sins of the Muslims, their lack of iman, and their ignorance of Tawheed. But if they repent in perfecting their Iman, and in returning to authentic sunnah, Allah will ensure victory without the least of doubt!” [al-Jawab as-Sahih]

In another place he said, ‎“And likewise al-Shaam was at the beginning of Islam in a state of happiness in regards to its worldly life and its religion. ‎Then Fitan (tribulations) occurred and sovereignty slipped from their hands. ‎Then the hypocrites, heretics, and Crusaders, with their transgressions, dominated over them and they conquered Bait al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) and Qabr al-Khaleel (Hebron's Tomb) and turn the buildings that were there into churches. ‎Then the Muslims rectified their religion, so Allah honored them and aided them over their enemies, when they obeyed Allah and His Messenger ﷺ and followed what was sent down onto them from their Lord. ‎The obedience of Allah and His Messenger is the center of happiness, and happiness revolves around it.” [Majmuʾ al-Fatawa]

We call upon Allah just as his beloved Messenger ﷺ supplicated:

اللَّهُمَّ مُنْزِلَ الْكِتَابِ وَمُجْرِيَ السَّحَابِ وهازم الْأَحْزَاب واهزمهم وَانْصُرْنَا عَلَيْهِم

"O' Allah, the One who sent down the Book, disperses the clouds, and defeated the confederates (during the Battle of Trench), defeat them and assist us against them!" [Bukhari and Muslim]

I leave everyone with this hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad. The Prophet ﷺ said, “There will always remain a group of my Ummah clearly upon the truth, defeating and subjugating their enemy. Those who oppose them will not harm them—except for some calamities that shall (occasionally) befall them—until the command of Allah comes while they are in that condition.”

The companions asked, “And where will they be, O Messenger of Allah?” He ﷺ replied, “In Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) and the surroundings of Bayt al-Maqdis.” [Ahmad]

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