This study presents the first comprehensive survey of the abundant early Islamic sources that recognize the historical Jewish bond to the Temple Mount (Masjid al-Aqsa) and Jerusalem. Analyzing these sources in light of the views of contemporary Muslim religious scholars, thinkers and writers, who – in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict – deny any Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and promote the argument that no Jewish Temple ever stood on the Temple Mount.
The book describes how this process of denying Jewish ties to the site has become the cultural rationale for UNESCO decisions in recent years regarding holy sites in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron, which use Muslim Arabic terminology and overlook the Jewish (and Christian) history and sanctification of these sites. Denying the Jewish ties to the Temple Mount for political purposes inadvertently undermines the legitimacy of Islam’s sanctification of Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock as well as the credibility of the most important sources in Arabic, which constitute the classics of Islam and provide the foundation for its culture and identity.
Identifying and presenting the Jewish sources in the Bible, Babylonian Talmud and exegesis on which these Islamic traditions are based, this volume is a key resource for readers interested in Islam, Judaism, religion and political science and history in the Middle East.
Table of Contents
1. Early Islamic Sources
2. Contemporary Islamic Sources
3. Contemporary Sources That Recognize a Jewish Bond with the Temple Mount
Summary and Conclusions
Yitzhak Reiter is an expert on Islamic, Middle Eastern and Israeli studies. He heads the Department of Israel Studies at the Ashkelon Academic College. Reiter specializes in, inter alia, conflicts in holy places, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israeli Arabs, Middle Eastern politics and Muslim law, and is active in Jewish-Arab dialogue in Israel and indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. His last two books are: Contested Holy Places in Israel-Palestine: Sharing and Conflict Resolution (2017) The Eroding Status Quo: Power Struggles on the Temple Mount (2018) .
Dvir Dimant is a graduate of the Shalem Academic Center in Jerusalem for a BA in Humanistic Studies and Middle East and Islam. Dimand served as a research assistant at the Truman Institute for Peace Research and the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, and in the Israeli-German Biblica Arabica Project. In recent years he has been involved in the study of Palestinian textbooks at the Impact-SE Institute and research projects on the Muslim World. He is currently a scholar of radical Islam movements around the world. This is a first research book in which he takes part as an author.