JERUSALEM: The Blessed Land, Through Bible, Qur’an & History

Excerpts from eBook: Pelistine, Bible, Quran & History:

Domestication of plants and animals can be dated to about 10,000 BC. The most notable achievement of the ancient Palestinians was the development of a linear alphabet, originated by the Canaanites in the 2nd millennium BC and picked up by the Phoenicians and Israelites about 1000 BC. The occupation of Palestine by the Hebrews, to whom the area was known as Canaan, was probably completed by the end of the 13th century BC. Palestine also remained  under Egyptian control from about 1550 to 1200 B.C.E (Before Christian Era).

The Promised Land, God have blessed for all the people of the world. Abraham settled and was buried there. Prophet Jacob (pbuh) and his children moved to Egypt during time of Prophet Joseph (pbuh). This immigration took place probably about 350 years before period of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) (may be, around 1650 B.C). The Israelis prospered until the Hyksos Kings were deposed in Egypt (1570 B.C.E), thereafter once their influence in the court diminished, Israelites were persecuted as aliens and forced into slavery. It was Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), who delivered his people from Egyptian slavery in early 13th Century B.C.E to be later reunited with other Hebrew tribes with whom they retained a sense of kinship. The land (Canaan) was given to the children of Israel over much after their move out of Egypt (around 13th Century B.C.E) under the leadership of Prophet Moses (pbuh).

‘Shiloh’: The Real First Israeli Temple:

After the Israelite conquest of Canaan, the Tabernacle [Hebrew; ‘Mishkan’ (“dwelling”)], in Jewish history, the portable sanctuary constructed by Moses as a place of worship for the Hebrew tribes during the period of wandering that preceded their arrival in the Promised Land] and the Ark of the Covenant [The ornate, gold-plated wooden chest that in biblical times housed the two tablets of the Law given to Moses by God. The Ark rested in the Holy of Holies inside the Tabernacle] were installed in ‘Shiloh’, a Canaanite town that became the central sanctuary site of the Israelite confederacy during the Period of the Judges (12th-11th century BC). The Ark was captured by the Philistines (1050 B.C.E) and Shilohwas soon thereafter destroyed. Excavations at Khirbat Sayun, Jordan, during 1920-32 suggest that Shiloh remained a ruin for several centuries. Historically and spiritually,Shiloh’ is the actual site of 1stTempleofHebrews, not even mentioned now.

The Promised Land, God have blessed for all the people of the world. Abraham settled and was buried there. Prophet Jacob (pbuh) and his children moved to Egypt during time of Prophet Joseph (pbuh). This immigration took place probably about 350 years before period of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) (may be, around 1650 B.C). The Israelis prospered until the Hyksos Kings were deposed in Egypt (1570 B.C.E), thereafter once their influence in the court diminished, Israelites were persecuted as aliens and forced into slavery. It was Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), who delivered his people from Egyptian slavery in early 13th Century B.C.E to be later reunited with other Hebrew tribes with whom they retained a sense of kinship. The land (Canaan) was given to the children of Israel over much after their move out of Egypt (around 13th Century B.C.E) under the leadership of Prophet Moses (pbuh).

Period of the Judges: (12th-11th century B.C.E).

For roughly two centuries, Hebrews had existed as a loose confederation of tribes, dependent for their unity upon bonds of religious faith and covenant that were renewed periodically in cultic ceremonies at the central shrine at ‘Shiloh’. By Saul’s day, however, the tribal rallies were no match for the superior iron weapons and chariots of the Philistines, who were pressing ever deeper into the central highlands.

Saul, the First king of Israel (1021-1000 BC)

Saul (Hebrew; Sha`ul), the first king of Israel was made king by the league of 12 Israelite tribes in a desperate effort to strengthen Hebrew resistance to the growing threat from locals. He defended Israel against numerous enemies.

1St Temple Constructed by Solomon:

Saul was succeeded by King and Prophet David and then Solomon (10th century B.C.E). The construction of the First Temple (as called by Hebrews, disregarding ‘Shiloh’, the temple for first two centuries) was started during the reign of Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him), and completed in 957 B.C.E. The reign of Prophet David and Solomon (peace be upon them), was the golden period in the history of Hebrews. (Term, Jews had not yet evolved, a later development).

Hebrews after King & Prophet Solomon (pbuh):

The persistent disobedience to God resulted in the divine punishment. The kingdom got divided after the death of King and Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him). Two independent Jewish kingdoms were established in Palestine after 930 B.C.E, the ten northern tribes constituting the ‘Kingdom of Israel’ were known as Israelites to distinguish them from ‘Jews’ in the southern ‘Kingdom of Judah. The northern kingdom was conquered by the Assyrians in 721 B.C.E, which led to the partial dispersion of the 10 northern tribes and their gradual assimilation by other peoples. (Legends thus refer to them as the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel). Thereafter, the name Israelite referred to those who were still distinctively Jewish, namely, descendants of the Kingdom of Judah. God sent many prophets for their guidance, some are mentioned by name like; Elisha, (9th Century B.C), Elijah,(9th Century B.C), Isaiah, (8th Century B.C), Jonah, (flourished around 785 B.C at Nineveh), Jeremiah,(7-6th Century B.C), Job (Book of Job written around 6-4th Century B.C), Elias, Ezekiel, (6th Century B.C) and Daniel (6th Century B.C).

Destruction of 1st Temple & Babylonian Exile:

The history of the Israelites from 721 B.C.E time forward is predominantly the history of the tribe of Judah (hence called Jews). The southern Kingdom of Judah thrived until 587-586 B.C.E, when it was overrun by the Babylonians, Nebuchadnezzar who destroyed the 1st Temple and carried off many of the inhabitants into exile, it was beginning of ‘Diaspora’(Greek “dispersion”). Historically, Diaspora Jews outnumbered the Jews in Palestine even before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. Thereafter, the chief centers of Judaism shifted from country to country (e.g., Babylonia, Persia, Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, and the U.S.), and Jewish communities gradually adopted distinctive languages, rituals, and cultures, some submerging themselves in non-Jewish environments more completely than others. While some lived in peace, others became victims of violent anti-Semitism. While the vast majority of Jews have supported Zionism [An organized movement of world Jewry that arose in Europe in the late 19th century with the aim of reconstituting a Jewish state in Palestine. Modern Zionism is concerned with the development and support of the state of Israel, more follows]. Orthodox Jews go so far as to oppose the modern State of Israel on the grounds that it is a godless and secular state defying God’s will to send his messiah at the time he has preordained.

‘Cyrus the Great’ Return of Jews & 2nd Temple:

When the Persians conquered Babylonia in 538 B.C.E, ‘Cyrus the Great’ allowed the Jews to return to their homeland, where they soon set to work to replace the magnificent Temple of Jerusalem that the Babylonians had destroyed. The 2nd Temple was completed from 520-515 B.C. Ezra (Prophet Uzair, peace be upon him) returned to Jerusalem in 458 B.C to reform the society according to Mosaic Law. So important was he in the eyes of his people that later tradition regarded him as no less than a second Moses. The 7th century C.E Jewish tribes in Arabia, even revered by calling him son of God (Qur’an;9:30). Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in 440 B.C.

Palestine under Greco-Roman Rule:

In 331 B.C.E, Greek culture was introduced into the Middle East with the conquests of Alexander the Great. Ptolemy I (367-283 B.C), a general in army of ‘Alexander the Great’ who succeeded him as ruler of Egypt, established an Egyptian dynasty of Macedonian kings (323-30 B.C). Palestine was ruled by the Ptolemaic kings of Egypt throughout the 2nd century B.C. In 198 B.C Palestine fell to the Seleucids (a Hellenistic dynasty founded by Seleucus I after the death of Alexander the Great. It ruled much of Asia Minor from 312 to 64 B.C.). Maccabean were a family of Jewish patriots of the second and first centuries B.C., who were active in the liberation of Judea from Syrian rule. The Maccabean revolt (165-142 B.C); ended as a successful war for Judean political independence from Syria. The Jews were ruled by the high priests like Alexander Jannaeus (103-76 B.C), Alexandra (76-67 B.C), Aristobulus II (67-63 B.C) and Hyrcanus (63-40 B.C)

Pompey, conquered Palestine for Rome in 63 B.C.  Pompey, also seeing in Hyrcanus a means of controlling Judaea, restored him to the high priesthood and some semblance of civil authority. Herod was appointed king of Judaea (37-4 B.C.E) by Romans. Hyrcanus was allowed by Herod to return to Jerusalem; six years later, he had him executed.

Prophet Jesus Christ (pbuh) & Christianity:

Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), the last messenger for the Israelites was born in 4 or 5 B.C.E. Herod Antipas became the ruler of Judea and tetrarch in Galilee (4 B.C.- 40 C.E). Prophet Jesus Christ was sent to ease the tough restrictions imposed on Jews due to hardness of their hearts and to guide them. They humiliated him and tried to kill him. God took up his prophet, though it was made to appear as if they killed him. Later some of his followers dominated the actual monotheistic followers of Jesus Christ, they created a different faith totally opposed to the monotheistic teachings of Jesus Christ, and they came to known as ‘Christians’. They  Consider Jesus as son of God and incarnate God, part of Trinity, miraculously born to virgin Mary, performed miracles, died at the cross for the sins of humanity, raised up on 3rd day and ascended to Heaven, to be returned before day of Judgement.

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Islam & Jesus Christ:

According to Islamic traditions, Jesus Christ was miraculously born to virgin Mary, performed miracles, did not die at cross, raised up, will return before the day of Judgement, break the cross and kill swine, will rule the earth according to Shari’a of Qur’an and will die a natural death. [Any negative view about Prophet Jesus Christ (pbuh), his mother Mary or any other Prophet of God is considered high blasphemy, in Islam]. Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ is highly revered in Qur’an, a whole Chapter (No.19) is named as ‘Mary’, she being a chaste women have been exalted over all the women of the world, God made her and her son a sign for the whole world. (Quran;21:91,3:42)

Jesus Ridiculed in Jewish Texts:

Jews, do not consider Jesus as messenger of God or in his miraculous birth. The Talmud claims that this Yeshu (Jesus) was the son of a Jewish woman named Miriam (Mary) who was betrothed to a carpenter (more accurately, their marriage was in the stage of kiddushin, where she is legally his wife but not yet living with him or having sexual relations with him).She [Miriam (Mary)] was either raped or voluntarily slept with a Greek or Roman soldier known as Pandeira, and Yeshu was the product of that union. Because of the status of Miriam’s marriage, Yeshu is considered to be a mamzer (the product of an adulterous or incestuous relationship). The Talmud describes Yeshu as a heretic who dabbled in sorcery and lead the people astray (into idolatry). He was stoned to death by the Sanhedrin for his crimes, and in accordance with the procedure for heretics, his dead body was hung in a tree until nightfall after his death.”

Allah says:

“Those of the children of Israel who went astray were cursed by the tongue of David, and of Jesus, son of Mary. That was because they rebelled and used to transgress”.(Qur’an;5:78).

Development after Prophet Jesus Christ (pbuh):

Christianity was originally a movement of Jews who accepted Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) as the prophet and messiah, but the movement quickly became predominantly Gentile (non-Jewish) with change in the doctrine acceptable to the Greco-Roman pagans. The early church was shaped by St. Paul and other Christian missionaries and theologians; who declared Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) to be the Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity, that God’s love for the world is the essential component of his being, and that Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) died to redeem humankind from the Original Sin (sin committed by Adam by disobeying God). Those who followed the teachings of Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) were persecuted and marginalized.

The Christians were persecuted under the Roman Empire but by winning over Constantine I, the Emperor of Rome (306-337 C.E) who adopted the Christian faith and suspended the persecution of Christians the situation was reversed. In 313 C.E he issued, with Licinius, the Edict of Milan, granting tolerance to Christians; he also gave land for churches and granted the church special privileges. He opposed other groups, notably following Donatism (Fourth century C.E, North Africa sect, which believed in sanctity as requisite for church membership and administration of all sacraments) and Arianism (The doctrines of Arius, denying that Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was of the same substance as God and holding instead that he was only the highest of created beings.), and convoked the important Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E. He rebuilt Constantinople (now Istanbul) as the new Rome (330 C.E).

Jews after Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him):

After Pontius Pilate, Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod I the Great was appointed the king of Judea (41-44 C.E) by Roman Emperor. He displayed great acumen in conciliating the Romans and Jews. Herod Agrippa II , a great-grandson of Herod I the Great, was the king of Chalcis in southern Lebanon and south Syria from 53 C.E, who unsuccessfully mediated with the rebels in the Jewish Revolt of 66-70 C.E. The entire kingdom passed under Roman rule in 44 C.E and was reconstituted as the procuratorial province of Judea.

Jewish Revolt and Destruction of 2nd Temple:

Disturbances were frequent, caused by maladministration. The incompetence and anti-Jewish posture led in 66 C.E to the decisive and final outbreak of revolt. The Greeks massacred the Jews in many towns of Palestine. In turn, the Jews responded by slaughtering Gentiles in Samaria, Galilee, and elsewhere. The Jews were successful in an early engagement against the governor of Syria, In 67 C.E, however, Vespasian, the future emperor, with his son Titus, arrived with force and the war became increasingly bitter. By the end of 67 C.E Galilee was captured, and Judea was reduced in three campaigns, which ended with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. The Temple was destroyed, and the city became the permanent garrison town of a Roman legion. By 73 C.E all the Jewish resistance had ceased.

After the destruction of Jerusalem:

The Jews, deprived of the Temple, founded a new religious centre in the rabbinical school of Jamnia (Jabneh). The revolt in 115 C.E was put down. In 132 C.E the emperor Hadrian decided to build a Roman colony, Aelia Capitolina, on the site of Jerusalem. The announcement of his plan, as well as his ban on circumcision (revoked later, but only for the Jews), provoked a much more serious revolt, led by Bar Kokhba. It was ruthlessly repressed by Julius Severus, more than half a million people were killed. In Judea proper the Jews seem to have been virtually exterminated, but they survived in Galilee. Tiberias in Galilee became the seat of the Jewish patriarchs. No Jew was thenceforth allowed to set foot in Jerusalem or the surrounding districts. This prohibition apparently was relaxed some time later to permit Jews to enter Jerusalem once in an year, on the Day of Mourning.

While this ban was officially still in force as late as the 4th century C.E, there is some evidence that Jews visited the city at certain festival times. About the time the Bar Kokhba revolt was crushed (135 C.E), Hadrian (Emperor of Rome) proceeded to convert Jerusalem into a Greco-Roman city. He also erected temples dedicated to Jupiter and himself on the site of the destroyed Temple of Jerusalem. The Jewish presence however remained strong in Galilee. The Jews have flourished financially all over the Christendom for centuries, however they were ill treated as hated community branded as killers of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) and money lenders. They were confined to ghettos. Jews enjoyed freedom in the Islamic world, especially in the Muslim Spain, till expelled by Christians only to be welcomed again by Muslims in Ottoman Turkey.

Palestine under Christian Rule:

With the conversion of Constantine I to Christianity early in the 4th century C.E, a new era of prosperity began for Palestine. The emperor himself built a magnificent church on the site of the Holy Sepulcher, the most sacred of Christian holy places; his mother, Helena, built two others, at the place of the Nativity at Bethlehem and of the Ascension in Jerusalem and his mother-in-law, Eutropia, built a church at Mamre. Palestine began to attract floods of pilgrims from all parts of the empire. It also became a great centre of the eremitic life; men flocked from all quarters to become hermits in the Judaean wilderness, which was soon dotted with monasteries. Eventually, Juvenal, bishop of Jerusalem from 421 to 458 C.E, achieved his ambition and was recognized by the Council of Chalcedon (451 C.E) as patriarch of the three provinces of Palestine.

Jewish Revolt Suppressed by Christians:

There was a revolt of the Jews in Galilee in 352 C.E, which was suppressed by the Caesar Gallus. Under Marcian (reigned 450-457 C.E) and again under Justinian I (reigned 527-565 C.E) the Samaritans revolted. Palestine, like Syria and Egypt, was also troubled by the Monophysite Controversy (a debate among Christians who disagreed with the Council of Chalcedon’s assertion that the person of Prophet Jesus Christ comprised two natures, human and divine). Gradually, however, the Chalcedonian doctrine gained ground, and Palestine became a stronghold of orthodoxy.

Palestine under Persians [615-628]:

Apart from these disturbances the country enjoyed peace and prosperity until 611 C.E, when Khosrow II, king of Persia, launched an invasion. His troops captured Jerusalem (614 C.E), destroyed churches, and carried off the True Cross. Earlier Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the descendent of Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon him) had already received the first revelation in 610 C.E at Mecca Arabia. In 615 C.E, when total destruction of Byzantine Empire seemed imminent, the victory of Christians over Persians in the coming years was prophesied in Qura’n;30:2-4. Accordingly in 628 C.E the Byzantine emperor Heracles recovered Palestine, and he subsequently restored the True Cross to Jerusalem, not knowing that 10 years later Jerusalem was to fall to the true followers of legacy of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him).

Change of Leadership role to Children of Ishmael:

God had made a Covenant with the prophets, specially mentioned are Moses and Jesus that: they (and by implication their followers) will believe and help the prophet to come (Muhammad, pbuh) whose signs were mentioned in their scriptures, which still exist in the Old Testament and New Testament.

Due to their disobedience and continuous transgression, the Children of Israel proved them to be unworthy of leadership of mankind. God in His wisdom and in fulfilment of His covenant with Abraham, shifted the ‘leadership of mankind’ form the Children of Israel to the Children of Ishmael by appointing Muhammad (peace be upon him) as His last Prophet (1st Revelation 610 C.E) for the mankind till eternity. Though already prophesized in their scriptures, some Jews and Christians accepted him as a prophet, many among the children of Israel and those claiming to be the followers of Jesus Christ declined, hence not only violated the covenant but transgressed. They are at loss by disbelieving in the Prophet and scripture.

No Inheritance to Chosen People without Good Deeds:

There is no special status for Chosen People or Chosen Race, due to inheritance only. The true faith (Eman) and good deeds are the normal criteria for reward and punishment.

Every human being is equally responsible for his/her faith and deeds. God is Just; there is one standard of justice for all the human being. No one will be wronged on the day of judgement. Faithful believers of God and true followers of His messengers will be entitled for forgiveness of sins, if God desires He may do what ever He likes.

No peace of land is permanently allotted to the ‘Chosen Race’ for ever, God fulfilled His promise despite violations and transgressions by the Children of Israel at the time of David and Solomon (10th Century B.C.E).

With the shift of leadership of mankind from the Children of Israel to the last Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his followers, (Children of Ishmael) the obligations, responsibilities of Covenant with Abraham along with the privileges and blessings also shifted.

Jerusalem & Muslim Rule [637-1917 C.E]

The most sacred sites in Islam are, the three mosques (houses of worship of God) ; 1) Ka’ba, 2) Prophet’s Mosque in Medina and 3) Al-Aqsa Mosque at Jerusalem. This indicates the importance Islam attaches to Monotheism (Tawhid). The site of Al-Aqsa  Mosque in Jerusalem is sacred to Muslims, for three main reasons: 1)The Second House of Worship of One God built by Solomon, the first one being Ka’ba,  built by Abraham & Ishmael at Makka. 2): Venue of Prophet’s ascend to heaven (Mair’aj) and leading the prayer which was attended by all the prophets at this blessed place.3) The Initial Direction of Prayer (Qibla) of Muslims. Apart from their religious significance, they are also of great historical value. Sa’id bin Al-Musayyib reported from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “You should not undertake a special journey to visit any place other than the three Mosques: the Sacred Mosque of Makkah, this mosque of mine (at Medina), and Al-Aqsa Mosque (of Jerusalem).” This is reported by Bukhari, Muslim, and Abu Dawud (Fiqh-us-Sunna, Volume 5 Number 132c). Traveling to these three mosques is prescribed because of their special position in Islam. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said; “Prayer in the mosque of Aqsa (i.e. Bayt al-Maqdis) has a reward of fifty thousand prayers; his prayer in my mosque (the Prophet’s mosque in Medina) has a reward of fifty thousand prayers; and the prayer in the Sacred Mosque (Ka’bah) at Makkah has a reward of one hundred thousand prayers. Transmitted by Ibn Majah. (Al-Tirmidhi Hadith,752, Narrated by Anas ibn Malik).

In 637 C.E, Palestine came under the control of the Muslims, thus began the golden era of 500 years of peace and stability in Jerusalem and Palestine (The Blessed Land for all).The Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in harmony and peace. Muslims, the decedents of Abraham are adherents of true legacy of Abraham, proved themselves to be worthy of the custodianship of the heritage. Caliph Omar himself cleaned the garbage from the holy site, and the house of Worship of God (Mosque) was built in continuation of legacy, this is known as Omar Mosque near the Dome of Rock (built later in Umeyad period).

Crusaders [1095-1291] Shatter Peace of Jerusalem

The term Crusade is commonly used to refer to military expeditions organized by Western Christians against Muslim powers in order to take possession of or maintain control over the Holy City of Jerusalem and the places associated with Jesus Christ. The peace of Jerusalem was shattered by the Crusaders, who in 1095 on the call of Pope Urban II, set out and captured Jerusalem in 1099. They brutally killed around 40,000 Muslims and Jews. Between 1095, when the First Crusade was launched, and 1291, when the Muslims finally expelled Latin Christians from their bases in Syria, historians have formally enumerated eight major expeditions. Many other lesser ventures also took place, and even after 1291 there were attempts to recover what had been lost.

One of the greatest of the Muslim leaders and a man devoutly religious and deeply committed to jihad, Sultan Saladin Ayubi, expelled the crusaders in 1187 without any Christian being killed. He died in 1193, not long after the departure of the Third Crusade.  Later in 1194, Crusade, Richard the Lion hearted, executed around 3,000 Muslims in the Castle of Acre. Saladin was, respected by his opponents. His death led once again to divisions in the Muslim world, and his successors were willing to continue a state of truce with the crusaders, which lasted into the early years of the 13th century. The truce was politically and economically advantageous to both sides, and the Italians were quick to make profitable trade connections in Egypt. The Franks were able to adjust themselves to a new situation and to organize what in effect was a new titular kingdom of Jerusalem centering at Acre, generally known as the Second Kingdom.

Europe‘s fear of Muslim power was such that the Crusade idea continues to persist well into the 17th century & beyond. The conviction that, in certain circumstances, war might be just became more deeply enrooted in the conscience of the West. Along with the now generally accepted use of the word ‘Crusade’ to denote any common endeavour in a worthy cause, this is one of the most enduring results of the movement. Use of term ‘Crusade’ by US President George Bush against suspected militants after 9/11 reflects the same mindset.

Peaceful Coexistence in Ottoman Rule – 1514-1917

Jerusalem came under 400 years of Ottoman rule [1514-1917]. This was an other era of peace, justice and mutual co-existence of Muslims, Christians and Jews. This ended on the fall of Ottoman Empire, through British treachery, revolt of Arabs, incited by British through Arab nationalism, intrigue and deceit.

Well known Orientalist, ‘Karin Armstrong’, in her book ‘The Battle for God’ writes that, the Jews under Muslims rule were not oppressed, as there is no tradition of anti-Semitism in Islamic world. They Jews enjoyed complete religious freedom and could settle their issues through their own laws; they were much more interdependent than the Jews of Europe in mainstream cultural activities and trade.

Muslims and Christian Chasm:

Many misconceptions exist in the West about Islam and Muslims, which were deliberately created by the Christian clergy and medieval rulers to disguise the true message of Islam to justify their hostility towards Islam. W. Montgomery Watt, a Western scholar observed: “Among the world’s major religions it is certainly Islam that the West has the most difficulty in approaching objectively. The reason for this are rooted in past history. Because of the crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries many people in the West wanted the religion of Islam to be better known. But the image they portrayed of Islam can quite accurately be qualified as ‘distorted’. Western opinion about Islam and Muslims was based for centuries on the distorted image.” The major misconceptions created in the minds of westerners against Islam and Muslims may be summed up as:

1        The God of Islam is different to the God of Jews and Christians. He is a ruthless God, urging Muslims to kill any one not believing in their faith.

2        Muslims are pagans who worship a black cubical structure at Makkah.

3        The Prophet of Islam was a warrior and conqueror who did not believe in the human rights and preached violence.

4        Islam was spread with the sword.

5        The scripture of Islam is based on the Old and New Testaments.

6        The women are treated as subhuman by the Muslims; polygamy and veil are to exploit the women, they have no human rights.

7        The Islamic Law (Shari’a) is very harsh, is based on strict punishment without meeting the requirements of justice; it awards flogging,  cutting of hand and stoning to death, all primitive laws of ancient times.

8        Muslims hate the Western values, considering them as thereat, hence they resort to aggression and violence as a means to undermine and destroy Western values so that they can enforce their values on the West.

Illusion of ‘Chosen Race’ & Zionist Movement:

Still obsessed with the illusion of ‘Chosen Race’, Jews wanted to get ‘The Promised Land’ [Palestine and Jerusalem], the Christian West hate Jews due to historic (alleged killers of Jesus Christ) and economic reasons (control economy being money lenders). During the French Revolution, the Jews acquired civil equality which facilitated them to realise their old cherished dreams.

Thus the seeds of the Zionist movement were sown by Austrian journalist Theodor Herzl, who founded political Zionism derived from Mount Zion (Moriah, site of Solomon’s Temple) in Jerusalem. Thus began the process of settlement of Jews in Palestine at the cost of expulsion of Palestinians through all means including, coercion, money, pressure and massacre through terrorism. The Holocaust [unfortunate and regrettable event] acted as a catalyst, later it was well exploited by Jews to achieve their aim. Prior to it, in 1917, British through Balfour Declaration supported the establishment of a national homeland for Jews in Palestine, provided that the rights of existing communities would be safeguarded. [self contradictory statement].

The Largest ‘13th Tribe- Jews by Conversion:

The ‘right of return’ is a founding principle of Israel. This implies that the Jews who have settled in the Zionist state are the descendants of the original twelve Israeli tribes of who went into exile and for centuries lived in the Diaspora. A further inference is that most of the Jews living in Israel and elsewhere are Semites descended from ancestors who came from the Middle East. But what if most Jews today are not of Semitic stock at all? How would this affect their claim to be the ‘chosen people’ with a claim to the Promised Land? These are some of the questions raised by Arthur Koestler in his remarkable book “The Thirteenth Tribe”. Written in 1976, it has been out of print since 1982. [Koestler himself a Jew and at one time an active Zionist].

The author mentions that around 740 C.E something remarkable happened in Khazaria (northern Caucasus region, Central Eurasia): its ruler and his immediate family and court converted to Judaism. [Medieval Jewish Kingdom] Historians have long speculated on the reasons for this seemingly bizarre decision. The consensus is that since the empire was located between the Muslim Caliphate and Christian Byzantium, the Kagan sought to shield his people and his kingdom from the ideological pull of either power centre by opting for an older and much respected faith. An additional factor in his calculus might have been the presence of many Jews in his kingdom who had fled persecution in Christian lands.

In their three centuries of decline, many Khazar tribes migrated westwards into East Europe, and especially to Hungary, Poland and Lithuania. When Genghis Khan’s Golden Horde broke apart in the 14th century, the anarchy its disintegration spread forced many settled Khazars to move westwards for a living. Soon the steppes were emptied of farmers and craftsmen. Colonies were established in Russia and in other East European lands. The fact that as early as 1267, a Papal legate decreed that Jews should not be permitted to construct more than one synagogue per town indicates their growing numbers in Europe. It is Koestler’s thesis — and he is supported by many scholars — that most European, American and Israeli Jews today are descendants of the Khazars, and not the original twelve tribes.

In a concluding appendix, Koestler writes: “While this book deals with past history, it unavoidably carries certain implications for the present and future… [and] it may be maliciously misinterpreted as a denial of the State of Israel’s right to exist…” He goes on to say, quite correctly: “Whether the chromosomes of its people contain genes of Khazar or Semitic, Roman or Spanish origin, is irrelevant, and cannot affect Israel’s right to exist — nor the moral obligation of any civilized person, Gentile or Jew, to defend that right…” However, having acquired their state, Zionists cannot really claim to be the ‘chosen people’, and occupy Palestinian lands on that basis. As we have seen, far too many have descended from The 13th Tribe for them to lay claim to all the Promised Land , writes Irfan Husain, in his article “The Promised Land & the ‘Thirteenth Tribe”.

Change of Heart-Why Christians Favour Jews?

The centuries long Christians abomination of Jews, being alleged killer of their God, [Son of God (Jesus Christ)] and due to their dominant position as controller of economy need no eleoboration. Then what happened suddenly in 19th century that this hatred (anti-Semitism) got converted to the love for the   Jews to get them a home land? The answer is not that simple, it requires deep pondering.

The Jews, though a very small group among the community of nations (Total: 14 Millions, 0.2 % of world population) enjoy disproportionate high status due to their strong hold at the international economy, financial system and media specially of USA and Europe. They have worked hard to remain abreast with the latest knowledge, scientific development and have positively contributed in the scientific discoveries and development of host countries. Their full control over international media which acts as a tool to mould the national and international public opinion in their favour with impunity. Through superior diplomacy they have been able to create conditions where by the American and Europeans fully support the Israeli cause employing all means including use of force. They are getting lot of support from the Evangelicals.

Evangelist Christians & Neo Conservatives [Neocons]:

Evangelicals are basically Protestants who believe that each individual has a need for spiritual rebirth and personal commitment to Jesus Christ as savior, through faith in his atoning death on the cross (commonly, although not necessarily, through a specific conversion experience). They emphasize strict orthodoxy on cardinal doctrines, morals, and especially on the authority of the Bible. They reject the official interpretation of dogma by the Roman Catholic Church. Many Evangelicals follow a traditional, pre-critical interpretation of the Bible and insist on its inerrancy (freedom from error in history as well as in faith and morals). They may be considered as Christian Fundamentalists.

The influential, pro-Israel Evangelical Christians in the United States believe that until the ancient land of Israel is restored to the Jews in the holy land, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and therefore Armageddon, will not occur. According to this dogma, until these events take place, good Christians will not be raised to the Kingdom of Heaven. This doctrine go to the very foundation of the state of Israel, and the open-ended support it receives from the United States, they enter the realm of politics. The Neocons have also been lured in, so this politically powerful lobby in USA has been made to serve the Jewish cause well.

The Jews have used their power and influence not only to establish the state of Israel but the continuous suppression of Palestinians, the main threat to the world peace. The European Jews could have given land in Europe to redress the atrocities, Christian West had committed against them for centuries. Creating Israel was an act of blatant colonization, oppression and violation of all international rules and customs. The European Christians and Americans achieved many objectives in one go, only few are mentioned here:-

  1. Getting rid of Jewish problem by settling them away from the mainland Europe.
  2. Controlling the oil rich and geostrategically important Middle East through their corny.
  3. Creating a permanent trouble spot to embroil the Arabs, Muslims and Jews in a never ending conflict with religious overtones, there by controlling their economies, resources and maintaining military and economic hegemony.
  4. To please the Evangelist Christians & Neocons (as known now), growing in influence and power for religious and political reasons.

Colonization of Palestine:

In 1947, before partition of Palestine, there were 1.3 million Palestinians and 0.63 million Jews in Palestine (mostly immigrants not locals). In 1947, Palestine was partitioned by the United Nations, the ill equipped Arabs could not stand to the well trained, Zionist forces of terror, hardened in 2nd World War. By 1948, Zionist had captured 75% of Palestine. The Palestinians were expelled form their homes in distress. In 1947, Jews owned only 6% land in Palestine By the time the state was established, it had confiscated 90% of the land. Later (1967, 1973) Israelis extended their occupation to the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights and even part of Lebanon. They captured but returned Sinai under a deal with Egyptians. While the miseries of Palestinians continue, there is no end to this conflict in sight. The numerous resolutions adopted by United Nations Organization have been blatantly rejected by Israel since its creation. The low intensity resistance through Intifada by Hamas continues. The disunity among PLO and Hamas on power struggle is providing good opportunities to Israel to increase the settlements for more and more land grabbing.

The Real Agenda- Future Plans of Zionists:

Some recorded historic statements by the Israeli Zionist leaders appended below are self explanatory.

1        “If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?” David Ben Gurion (the first Israeli Prime Minister) quoted by Nahum Goldmann in Le Paraddoxe Juif (The Jewish Paradox), pp121.

2        “We will have to face the reality that Israel is neither innocent, nor redemptive. And that in its creation, and expansion; we as Jews, have caused what we historically have suffered; a refugee population in Diaspora.” Martin Buber, Jewish Philosopher, addressed Prime Minister Ben Gurion on the moral character of the state of Israel with reference to the Arab refugees in March 1949.

3        “The present map of Palestine was drawn by the British mandate. The Jewish people have another map which our youth and adults should strive to fulfill — From the Nile to the Euphrates.” Bin Gurion

4        “Has any People ever been seen to give up their territory of their own free will? In the same way, the Arabs of Palestine will not renounce their sovereignty without violence.” Vladimir Jabotinsky (the founder and advocate of the Zionist terrorist organizations), Quoted by Maxime Rodinson in Peuple Juif ou Problem Juif. (Jewish People or Jewish Problem).

5        “Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.” Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001, to Shimon Peres, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio.

6        “We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves.” Chairman Heilbrun of the Committee for the Re-election of General Shlomo Lahat, the mayor of Tel Aviv, October 1983.

7        “Zionist colonization must either be terminated or carried out against the wishes of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, be continued and make progress only under the protection of a power independent of the native population – an iron wall, which will be in a position to resist the pressure to the native population. This is our policy towards the Arabs…” Vladimir Jabotinsky, The Iron Wall, 1923.

8        “A voluntary reconciliation with the Arabs is out of the question either now or in the future. If you wish to colonize a land in which people are already living, you must provide a garrison for the land, or find some rich man or benefactor who will provide a garrison on your behalf. Or else-or else, give up your colonization, for without an armed force which will render physically impossible any attempt to destroy or prevent this colonization, colonization is impossible, not difficult, not dangerous, but IMPOSSIBLE!… Zionism is a colonization adventure and therefore it stands or falls by the question of armed force. It is important… to speak Hebrew, but, unfortunately, it is even more important to be able to shoot – or else I am through with playing at colonizing.” Vladimir Jabotinsky, founder of Revisionist Zionism (precursor of Likud), The Iron Wall, 1923

9        “Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.” Moshe Dayan, address to the Technion, Haifa, reported in Haaretz, April 4, 1969.

10    “We must do everything to insure they (the Palestinians) never do return.” Assuring his fellow Zionists that Palestinians will never come back to their homes. “The old will die and the young will forget.” David Ben-Gurion, in his diary, 18 July 1948, quoted in Michael Bar Zohar’s Ben-Gurion: the Armed Prophet, Prentice-Hall, 1967, p. 157.

11    “Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China, when world attention focused on that country, to carry out mass expulsions among the Arabs of the territories.” Benyamin Netanyahu, then Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, former Prime Minister of Israel, tells students at Bar Ilan University, From the Israeli journal Hotam, November 24, 1989.

12    “Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours… Everything we don’t grab will go to them.” Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.

Reality Exposed by a Jewish Woman:

In 1999, Susan Nathan moved from the UK to Israel, taking advantage of the Jewish state’s standing offer of automatic citizenry for any Jew. Nathan soon learned that a million Israeli Arabs live in the country as well; descended from those Palestinians who refused to flee during Israel’s initial seizure of land and homes. Today, those citizens — referred to not as Palestinians but as ‘the Arabs’ by the Jewish majority — live in cramped, squalid conditions, their rights abridged, and their voices unheard in public. Many of their villages have been razed and planted over with pine forests. They are, for all intent and purposes, an invisible population.

Leaving her home and career in Tel Aviv, she moved into a small, third-story apartment in the village of Tamra, the only Jew living openly in a town of some 20,000 residents. She records her experience in her book; “The Other Side of Israel”. Nathan describes injustice piled atop injustice, as Israel’s Arab citizens struggle against ridiculous odds. She declares that ‘Israel chose the path of apartheid’ in creating its twin systems of law for Jews and non-Jews. More provocatively, she compares the current plight of Israeli Arabs with that of European Jews in the 1930s.

Watching a film about the Holocaust, she takes in the scenes of Jews being driven from their ghettos and remarks, ‘I could not help but see a parallel with what had happened to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians only three years after the Holocaust.’ [A short review of her book is attached as Appendix IV]

Word of Caution for Muslims!

Keeping in view the history of Children of Israel, and their own history, the Muslims have to be conscious to prove themselves to be worthy of these great responsibilities. As long as they adhere to the guidance provided by God thorough Qur’an and traditions of the Last Prophet (pbuh), they lead the world, but when ever they faltered, they were entitled for divine punishment in various forms:

“And how many a community revolted against the ordinance of its Lord and His messenger, and we called it to a stern account and punished it with dire punishment”(Qur’an;65:68).

“Corruption doth appear on land and sea because of (the evil) which men’s hands have done, that He may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return” (Qur’an;30:41).

However there is always a group among them who remain on the right path and endeavour to keep others along too.

Muslims Revived the Legacy of Abraham:

History is witness to the fact that the Muslims became the world leader with in short span of time. They were given the control on the Promised Land, rebuilt the house of worship near the original site of ‘Solomon’s House of worship of God’, the site sacred to Muslims as well. In 750 the author of book ‘Miracles of Rabi Shamoun Bin Youhai’ call the Dome of The Rock as beginning of messianic age, while praising the Muslim Caliph, he says; ‘This Jew loving ruler has ended the disrespect to Zion and the Temple. The Caliph has cleaned the Moriah and built the mosque at the rock of Temple.’ [‘Jerusalem: One City Three Faiths’ by Karin Armstrong]

Qur’an for Equitable Treatment to Non Believers:

It is wrongly propagated that Qur’an encourages violence against non believers, rather contrary is true:

“It may be that God will ordain love between you and those of them with whom you are at enmity. God is Mighty, and God is Forgiving, Merciful. God does not forbid you to be kind and equitable to those who had neither fought against your faith nor driven you out of your homes. In fact Allah loves the equitable. God only forbids you to make friendship with those who fought you on account of your faith and drove you out of your homes and backed up others in your expulsion. Those who will take them for friends are indeed the wrongdoers.”(Qur’an;60:7-9). Islam only forbids Muslims to take unbelievers as ‘protecting friends’ (those making mockery of faith, Qur’an;5:51,87). Only Allah, his messenger and true believers are their ‘protecting friends’ (Qur’an;5:55, 56).

Special Status of Jews and Christians in Islam:

The People of Scriptures (Jews and Christians) enjoy special status in Islam. Muslims are allowed to eat Halal food and to marry their women:

“We blessed him and Isaac both. Among their progeny there are some who are righteous and some who are clearly wrong doing to their own souls.” (Qur’an;37:113)

“In the nation of Moses there were some who guided others with the truth and thereby established justice.” (Qur’an;7:159).

“Yet they are not all alike: there are some among the People of the Book who are upright, who recite the revelations of Allah all night long and then prostrate before Him” (Qur’an;3:113).

“..amongst these (Christians) are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world and they are not arrogant”(Qur’an;5:82).

Sham Arguments for Colonization of Palestine:

However no one may be allowed to impose their will on the pretext of being ‘Chosen Race’ or ‘Chosen People’, having  divine right to colonize “Promised, Holy or Blessed Land” on the basis of their scriptures, modified to suit their self interests. No such claim is proven to exist now in the Last Scripture. It is evident from above that there is no religious justification even according to the Bible read in the light of Qur’an, for Zionists to lay any claim on Jerusalem and Palestine. God is Just; He had fulfilled His Promise to the Children of Israel in 10th century B.C.E in the period of King and Prophet David and Solomon (peace be upon them) and thereafter. Due to their rebellion and transgression mentioned in Bible, Qur’an and evident from their conduct even now, God has assigned the role to Muslims, to pass the message of God to the humanity. The mosque and Dome of the Rock was built on the site abandoned since 70 CE, cleared of garbage by the Muslims. They did not destroy any temple, rather built the house of worship of One God, the same Supreme God of Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, David, Solomon, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all).  So there is no reason to claim it form Muslims even on the basis of historic continuity after 2 K or 1.4 K years.

If such claims are to be accepted, then Muslims ruled Spain for 800 years [expelled under coercion and inquisition], India for almost 1000 years, Greece and parts of Europe for 400 years, central Asian countries for centuries and so on, the list is long. Will European and USA support Muslims to get back these lands by use of force, especially Spain, as done in the case of Israel?

Geopolitics Under the Cover of Religion:

This is geopolitics in play under the cover of religion which should be tackled accordingly. The situation on ground is that Israel with full support of USA and West has not only established itself but is expanding the area under occupation at the cost of Palestinians through settlements. Presently the Arab and Muslims world is not militarily strong enough to get the area vacated by force; they are embroiled in their own disputes and problems. So what should be done? Should the Muslims Ummah and the Palestinians accept Israeli hegemonic designs and occupation to live as slaves in their own land? No self respecting individual and especially a Muslim will ever accept it.


This short review of the most complex geopolitical and religious issue, in the light of Bible, Qur’an & History bring us to conclusion that an urgent solution has to be found before its too late. Mr.Barak Obama, the US President has undertaken an initiative to make an effort to bridge the gulf between the Muslim world and the West (Christians). While emphasizing the US-Israeli friendship, he did not hesitate to talk about establishment of Palestinian state. This statement has been taken with a pinch of salt in Israel.

The people oppressed by powerful colonial forces have no choice but to struggle for their rights and independence. Islam does not encourage violence but it urges its adherents to strive against oppression. Jihad (striving in the cause of God, with all means) in true sense is applicable to Palestinians; there is complete consensus among all the Islamic scholars on this. Even by normal standards of a civilized society, this is the war of liberation thrust upon the Palestinians by the Zionists with full support of their colonial masters. It is obligatory upon the Muslims, that they should extend all sort of political, moral, diplomatic and material support to their Palestinian brothers in  this  just cause, through their respective governments.

The present half hearted effort is not enough. Arabs and Muslims world should think of other options and measures, which should hit the economic and political interests of Zionist and their supporters. These actions should be well planned and well coordinated to be result oriented. The Organization of the Islamic Conference, (OIC), [Munazamat Al-Mu`Tamir Al-Islami], the biggest forum of Muslim countries need to play effective role. This will ultimately result in creating suitable conditions to bring the aggressor on table for equitable, peaceful settlement of the issue, acceptable to Palestinians and Muslims.

If the OIC and the governments of Muslims countries don’t meet their obligations, then people have to exert pressure upon their governments through various peaceful means, like protests, and demonstrations. In no case non-state groups, individuals or political parties should be allowed to hijack this noble peaceful endeavour for their own agenda and interests. It is hoped that people of any faith, with character, courage and moral values will come forward to mobilize the pubic opinion.

Renowned Indian scholar, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan suggests a [temporary] peaceful solution to the issue of worship at Jerusalem[paving the way for final peaceful settlement], by separating the issue of worship from that of political supremacy. He draws support of his argument from the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) by applying the principle of ‘Al-fasl bayn al-qaziyatayn’ [The details are attached Appendix-V]

Though there have been set backs, 1.5 Billons Muslims, almost one fifth of humanity, still continue to enjoy an important position in the world, they are geostrategically located at the important population and communication centers, rich in natural resources, backed by history of great civilization. By turning back to the teachings of Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh), they can again achieve ascendancy in knowledge, with hard work and firmness in faith they can regain the lost ground, so important for the stability of this planet and the world peace. The present turmoil resulting in to killing of Muslims by fellow Muslims on the name of Islam is neither part of teaching of Qur’an nor the Sunnah (traditions) of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It appears to be enjoying the covert support of major power players. Any action leading to the weakening of Muslim states will serve the cause of enemies of Islam only.

“Allah never changes the condition of a people until they intend to change it themselves”(Qur’an;13:11).

Despite all the propaganda unleashed through the biased media, Islam is the fastest growing religion in Europe and North America, because Muslims are conveying the message of God to the humanity through peaceful preaching:

“There is no compulsion in religion. True guidance has been made clearly distinct from error. And he who rejects power of evil and believes in God has grasped a firm handhold which will never break. God is Hearer, Knower.”(Qur’an;2:256)

“It is He who has sent His Apostle with Guidance and the Religion of Truth to proclaim it over all religion: and enough is God for a Witness”.(Qur’an;48:28).

“Praise be to God Who has revealed the Book (Qur’an) to His servant (Muhammad) and did not make it complicated. It is straightforward so that He may warn about the terrible punishment for the unbelievers from Him and give good news to the believers who do good deeds that they shall have a goodly reward,”(Qur’an;18:1-2).

It is prayed the God:

“Our Sustainer! Do not punish us if we forget or make a mistake. Our Lord! Do not place on us a burden as You placed on those before us. Our Lord! Lay not on us the kind of burden that we have no strength to bear. Pardon us, Forgive us, Have mercy on us. You are our Protector, help us against the unbelievers.” (Qur’an;2:286)


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