Temple Mount in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM – Jews have no historical connection to the Western Wall, which is actually the “Al-Buraq Wall,” is part of the Al Aqsa Mosque and served as a tying post for Muhammad’s horse, according to messages broadcast this month on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ state-run television.
“The issue of the Al-Buraq Wall (the Western Wall) is one of the wonders which we don’t know why it happened in this order [of historical events]. Who would have believed, back then, when Islam began in the time of the prophet, who would have believed that the Israelis would arrive 1,400 years later, conquer Jerusalem and would make this wall into their special place of worship, where they worship and pray? It’s incredible!,” said Dr. Hassan Khader, founder of the popular Al Quds Encyclopedia, in an interview on PA television.
According to Palestinian Media Watch, Khader’s interview has been broadcast repeatedly the past few weeks, coinciding with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Continues Khader: “The first connection of the Jews to this site began in the 16th Century. … The Jewish connection to this site is a recent connection, not ancient … like the roots of the Islamic connection.”
The Muslim academic goes on to claim the Western Wall, which predates the Al Aqsa Mosque by over 1,100 years, actually is part of the mosque and once served as a post for Muhammad’s horse, Al-Buraq.
“Know that this wall is the only one of the four walls of the Al-Aqsa Mosque – the mosque has four sides – this wall is the only one that carries an Islamic name since the beginning of Islam.
“Allah, praise him, gave Al-Aqsa its name, and the Al-Buraq Wall was named by the prophet. … The Al-Buraq Wall is the station, similar to a space station, where Al-Buraq (Muhammad’s horse) landed. This is the place where Al-Buraq landed and the prophet tied Al-Buraq [to the wall],” Khader said in the PA-television interview.
The Western Wall dates from the time of the Second Jewish Temple, which was rebuilt in 515 B.C. after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. The second temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in A.D. 70.
The PA television denial of a Jewish historic connection to the Western Wall is not uncommon in the Middle East. Many leaders of the Waqf, the Muslim custodians of the Temple Mount, openly deny Jewish connections to the holy site.
Leaders of the Islamic Movement, the Muslim group most associated with the Temple Mount and the Al Aqsa Mosque, say the Western Wall is actually Muslim.
In a previous interview with WND, Kamal Hatib, vice-chairman of the Islamic Movement, claimed the Al-Aqsa Mosque was built by angels and that a Jewish Temple may have existed but not in Jerusalem.
“When the First Temple was built by Solomon – God bless him – Al Aqsa was already built. We don’t believe that a prophet like Solomon would have built the temple at a place where a mosque existed,” said Hatib.
“And all the historical and archaeological facts deny any relation between the temples and the location of Al Aqsa. We must know that Jerusalem was occupied and that people left many things, coins and other things everywhere. This does not mean in any way that there is a link between the people who left these things and the place where these things were left,” Hatib said.
The Al Aqsa Mosque was constructed in about 709 to serve as a shrine near another nearby shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic caliph. Al Aqsa was meant to mark what Muslims came to believe may have been the place at which Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven to receive revelations from Allah.
Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran. Islamic tradition states Mohammed took a journey in a single night from “a sacred mosque” – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to “the farthest mosque” and from a rock there ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque later became associated with Jerusalem.
Al Aqsa official: Jewish Temples existed
Not all Islamic scholars agree with the Islamic Movement’s views. In a widely circulated WND interview in June, a former senior leader of the Waqf said he has come to believe the first and second Jewish temples existed and stood at the current location of the Al Aqsa Mosque.
The leader, who was dismissed from his Waqf position after he quietly made his beliefs known, said Al Aqsa custodians passed down stories for centuries from generation to generation indicating the mosque was built at the site of the former Jewish temples.
“[The existence of the Jewish Temple at the site is obvious] according to studies, researches and archaeological signs that we were also exposed to. But especially according to the history that passed from one generation to another – we believe Al Aqsa was built on the same place were the Temple of the Jews – the first monotheistic religion – existed.”
He cited samples of some stories he said were related orally by Islamic leaders.
“We learned that the Christians, especially those who believed that Jesus was crucified by the Jews, used to throw their garbage at the Temple Mount site. They used to throw the pieces of cotton and other material Christian women used in cleaning the blood of their monthly cycle. Doing so, they believed that they were humiliating, insulting and harming the Jews at their holiest site. This way they are hurting them like Jews hurt Christians when crucifying Jesus.
“It is known also that most of the first guards of Al Aqsa when it was built were Jews. The Muslims knew at that time that they could not find any more loyal and faithful than the Jews to guard the mosque and its compound. They knew that the Jews have a special relation with this place.”
He said the Muslim world’s widespread denial of the existence of the Jewish temples is political in nature and is not rooted in facts.
“Prophet Solomon built his famous temple at the same place that later the Al Aqsa Mosque was built. It cannot be a coincidence that these different holy sites were built at the same place. The Jewish Temple Mount existed,” said the former senior Waqf leader, speaking to WND from an apartment in an obscure alley in Jerusalem’s Old City.
“I am mentioning historical facts,” said the former leader. “I know that the traditional denial about the temple existing at the same place as Al Aqsa is more a political denial. Unfortunately our religious and political leaders chose the option of denial to fight the Jewish position and demands regarding Al Aqsa and taking back the Temple Mount compound. In my opinion we should admit the truth and abandon our traditional position.”
The leader said his conclusion that the Jewish temples existed does not forfeit what he calls “Islamic rights” to the Temple Mount and Al Aqsa Mosque.
“Yes, the temple existed. But now it is the place of the mosque of the religious who came to complete the divine religion [that started with Judaism] and to improve humanity,” said the leader.
“We believe that Islam is the third and last religion. It came to complete the monotheistic message. The mosque is here at the place of the temple to serve for the same purpose, for the work of Allah.”