Jerusalem: Is, and Always Has Been--A Jewish City
Despite 1,300 years of Muslim Arab rule, Jerusalem was never the capital of an Arab entity.
Op-Ed: Islam's Connection to Jerusalem - vs. Israel'sPublished: Thursday, March 29, 2012 8:00 AMVarious Islamic dynasties governed Jerusalem, but not one made it their capital. The Jews were a majority there - in what is called East Jerusalem today - for generations, including in 1948.
Oddly, the PLO's National Covenant, written in 1964, never mentioned Jerusalem. Only after Israel regained control of the entire city did the PLO "update" its Covenant to include Jerusalem.
Overall, the role of Jerusalem in Islam is best understood as the outcome of political pressure impacting on religious belief.
Mohammed, who founded Islam in 622 CE, was born and raised in present-day Saudi Arabia, he never set foot in Jerusalem.
His connection to the city came years after his death when the Dome of the Rock shrine and the al-Aqsa mosque were built in 688 and 691, respectively, their construction spurred by political and religious rivalries...
... Jerusalem never replaced the importance of Mecca in the Islamic world. When the Umayyad dynasty fell in 750, Jerusalem also fell into near obscurity for 350 years, until the Crusades. During those centuries, many Islamic sites in Jerusalem fell into disrepair and in 1016 the Dome of the Rock collapsed...
...Indeed, Jerusalem's importance in the Islamic world only appears evident when non-Muslims (including the Crusaders, the British, and the Jews) control or capture the city. Only at those points in history did Islamic leaders claim Jerusalem as their third most holy city after Mecca and Medina.
That was again the case in 1967, when Israel captured Jordanian-controlled East Jerusalem (and the Old City) during the 1967 Six-Day War.