The first facing toward Jerusalem, and then toward Mecca??

At first Muhammad commanded Muslims to pray 3 times a day facing toward Jerusalem instead of Mecca.

What's up with this? Is it because Jews did not buy Muhammad's prophet claims?

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Jerusalem has played a great role in Islam. It is the location of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, considered by many Muslims to be the third holiest site. Also in particular:

    It is strongly associated with people regarded as Prophets of Islam - in particular, David, Solomon, and Jesus;

    It was the first qibla (direction of prayer) in Islam, before the Kaaba in Mecca;

    Muhammad is believed to have been taken by the flying steed Buraq to visit Jerusalem, where he prayed, and then to visit heaven, in a single night in the year 620. The Qur'anic verse (17:1) is interpreted by all widely used tafsirs (commentaries) as referring to this journey, with the term "the farthest Mosque" (al-masjid al-Aqsa) referring to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, on which a mosque of that name now stands:

    سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلاً مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ

    Subhana al-lazei asra b-abdihi laylan mmina al-masjidi al-haram ila al-masjidi al-aqsa al-lazei barakna haolah

    “ Glory to He (God) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless (Yusuf Ali's translation). „

    —Qur'an, 17:1

    However, Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Qur'an, so scholars and historians have different views on its status in Islam. Some scholars claim it is holy after the cities of Mecca and Medina, some assert it is a city that contains a holy site, and some conclude it has little or no actual sanctity.[1][2][3]

    Many Muslims celebrate the anniversary of the journey, the Isra and Miraj, on Rajab 27 with dhikr, gatherings and feasting, although Salafis (including Wahhabis) take the position that no regular festivals are permissible except the two Eids. Muslim prayers do not include Jerusalem.

    According to sound hadith (sayings of Muhammad) transmitted by Bukhari and others (and thus generally accepted by Sunnis, but not necessarily Shia) Jerusalem was the site of the second mosque built on earth, forty years after Mecca,[4] and is one of only three cities to which pilgrimage is permissible, along with Mecca and Medina.[5][6][7][8] Its conquest is described as one of the signs of the approach of the Hour (that is, the Day of Judgement).[9] Some hadith also specify Jerusalem (Bayt al-Maqdis) as the place where all mankind will be gathered on the Day of Judgement.

    The earliest dated stone inscriptions containing verses from the Qur'an appear to be Abd al-Malik's in the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, from 72 AH (692 CE).

    After the conquest of Jerusalem by the armies of the second Caliph, Umar ibn al-Khattab, parts of the city soon took on a Muslim character. According to Muslim historians, the city insisted on surrendering to the Caliph directly rather than to any general, and he signed a pact with its Christian inhabitants, the Covenant of Umar. He was horrified to find the Temple Mount - known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary - being used as a rubbish dump, and ordered that it be cleaned up and prayed there. However, when the Bishop invited him to pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, he refused, lest he create a precedent for its use as a mosque. He visited the church, but when his companions were overcome by emotion and wished to pray he instead ordered them to recite the fatiha, the opening chapter of the Qur'an. According to some Muslim historians, he also built a crude mosque on the Temple Mount, which was later replaced by Abd al-Malik. The Byzantine chronicler Theophanes Confessor (751-818) gives a somewhat different picture of this event, claiming that Umar "began to restore the Temple at Jerusalem" with encouragement from local Jews.

    In 688 the Caliph Abd al-Malik built the Dome of the Rock on the Haram al-Sharif; in 728 the cupola over the Al-Aqsa Mosque was erected, the same being restored in 758-775 by Al-Mahdi. In 831 Al-Ma'mun restored the Dome of the Rock and built the octagonal wall. During the Qarmatian rule of the Hejaz in the middle of the 10th century CE, Jerusalem was the destination for the hajj. In 1016 the Dome was partly destroyed by earthquakes; but it was repaired in 1022.

    In the context of proposals to radically reinterpret early Islamic history, certain Orientalists, such as John Wansbrough, have proposed that Muhammad's night journey to Jerusalem - the Isra and Miraj, one of the principal foundations of Jerusalem's sanctity in Islam - was a later invention intended to account for an otherwise obscure verse. Others, such as Patricia Crone, have proposed that Jerusalem was in fact the original Islamic holy city, and that the sanctity of Mecca and Medina was a later innovation. Neither of these controversial theories enjoys wide acceptance, least of all among Muslims.

  • 1 decade ago

    Mecca was the most beloved place on earth by prophet Muhammad (pbuh),so God wanted to make him satisfied,by making it the direction of prayers.

    002.142 The fools among the people will say: What has turned them from their qiblah which they had? Say: The East and the West belong only to Allah; He guides whom He likes to the right path.


  • bissel
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    the Catholic baptism ceremony is often done with all the parishioners to face the east at the same time as inquiring for gods blessing and dealing with the west to repel devil and the evil.

  • F R
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I think we were first told to pray more than five times a day not less...

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    u got debunked badly

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    because ---at the begining --it had idols around it and after it was cleared --it was ok

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