The emblematic city of Jerusalem is one of the oldest in our humanity and has played a central role in historical events. It has been conquered, destroyed and rebuilt over and over again. Israel celebrates May 29 as Jerusalem Day every year.. This day, which for the Israelis means the reunification of the city, for the Palestinians, on the other hand, is considered the beginning of the occupation of their territory.
It is a city that I never visited, but that since my childhood resonated with me like a dream land. Although in recent decades, Jerusalem has often been the focus of division and conflict between peoples, it is the geographical place that unites the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Due to its significant weight in the three monotheistic religions, Jerusalem is considered one of the holiest places in the world. Even in Islam one of its attributed names is “Al-arzul Quds” (the sacred land).

According to him Judaism, Jerusalem is the heart and core of their tradition and the promised land for the people of Israel.

According to the christianityJerusalem was the place where Jesus lived, preached, died, and rose again. Even for many Christians it will also be the place of his second advent.

For the Muslims, Jerusalem is of great importance for several reasons: firstly, Islam is not considered a new religion, but rather a continuation of Judaism and Christianity. Therefore, as Muslims we honor and recognize the prophets that we share with the Judeo-Christian tradition such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon, etc. we even recognize Jesus as the prophet and Messiah of the Jewish people.

Given this theological context, in the early stage of Islam, Muslims used to pray towards Jerusalem. It was almost 15 years after the rise of Islam that the orientation for prayer (Qibla) was changed from Jerusalem to Mecca.

Second, Jerusalem plays an important role in the life of the Prophet Muhammad. According to Islamic tradition, the prophet made a night journey from Mecca to the Al Aqsa Mosque, located in Jerusalem, where he led the prayer. Some Muslims believe that this trip really happened and even maintain that the prophet physically ascended to heaven in Jerusalem.

However, according to the Qur’an, the night journey and ascension to heaven were not real events, but spiritual experiences and visions of the prophet. “Al Aqza” in Arabic means “far” and was a prophecy that the spread of Islam would reach places far from Mecca. And Jerusalem was a symbolic allusion that his message would reach the Jews and the Christians. In this context it would be beneficial to clarify that “Al Haram Al Sharif” (the Noble Sanctuary), consisting of the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, was built in Jerusalem after the passing of the Prophet of Islam in remembrance of the spiritual journey. of the.

In conclusion, Jerusalem is a place of great importance for Muslims, Christians and Jews and it is also the geographical point that unites them. Another notable similarity we find is that in both Hebrew and Arabic, Jerusalem means “place of peace.”

In this way, it is my profound wish that Jerusalem becomes a place of peace and protection not only for Jews, Christians and Muslims, but for all humanity and all of God’s creation.

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