November 11, 2015 John

Why does the Mufti lie?

Brian Schrauger from Bridges For Peace News has written an important article regarding the current situation on the Temple Mount (ed. note).

Monday, 26 October 2015. The foremost legal scholar of Islam in Jerusalem is the Grand Mufti, Muhammad Hussein. He recently asserted that the first man, Adam, perhaps with the help of angels, built today’s Dome of the Rock, the 1,300-year-old Islamic shrine that sits atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. Accordingly, he said, the site has been an Islamic mosque “3,000 years ago and 30,000 years ago.” 

Hussein made the assertions during an Arabic interview on Israel’s News Channel 2. As he has before, he vehemently denied that the site was ever the place of Judaism’s Temples, not the first, built by Solomon, nor the second, refurbished by Herod the Great. Indeed, according to Hussein, it exclusively has been an Islamic holy site “since the creation of the world.”

This is not the first time that Israel’s foremost legal scholar of Islam has asserted that Israel’s biblical Temples never existed. About four years ago, on January 5, 2012, he did the same on a broadcast by Palestinian Authority TV News.

“They [Jews] want to say or suggest that this place [Temple Mount] was once, according to their claim, a Temple,” he said. “However, in truth there never was a Temple in any period, nor was there, at any time, any place of worship for the Jews or others at the Aksa Mosque site [built on the Temple Mount in 705 CE].”

In light of his own Sunni heritage and written history, the Grand Mufti’s claims are puzzling at best.

According to Islamic history, the Dome of the Rock was completed near the end of the 7th century, just over 1,300 years ago. It was commissioned by Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, head of the Islamic empire known as the Umayyad Caliphate. Al-Malik is regarded by the Sunni branch of Islam as the political and religious successor to Islam’s founder, Muhammad.

Abu Bakr al-Wasiti is a Sunni historian who died about 932 CE. He described the historical process by which the caliph undertook to build the Dome of the Rock: how his subjects would react, craftsmen he hired and money that he spent.

In more recent history, Islamic scholars have been unambiguous.

In 1924, the “Supreme Moslem Council” published A Brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif Jerusalem. Haram al-Sharif, “Noble sanctuary,” is Islam’s Arabic name for the Temple Mount. The Guide’s official English version is available online. It begins with a “Historical Sketch”: “The site is one of the oldest in the world,” it says. “Its sanctity dates from the earliest (perhaps from pre-historic) times.

“Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute.”

“This too,” it continues, “is the spot, according to universal belief, on which ‘David built an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.’ “But this Guide,” it clarifies, “confines itself to the Moslem period, the starting [point of which] is the year 637 A.D.” It goes on to describe construction of the Dome of the Rock completed “691 A.D.” and the Aksa Mosque two years later.

In stark contrast with his own religion’s historical affirmations, not to mention archaeological evidence and biblical references, today’s Grand Mufti of Jerusalem disputes what his own have said is “beyond dispute” and denies what his own historians affirm.

How can he? Why does he? …

“Why does he lie?” by Brian Schrauger. The author is the Bureau Chief for USA Radio News and Bridges For Peace News. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSchrauger. This article was originally published at (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons).


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