Coexistence insha'Allah
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Need help, am having a big row about al-Aqsa mosque. It is my understanding that it is built on top of a Jewish religious site but eveything I google only goes back to the wooden mosque built by Umar because I don't know what the Jewish site was called.

Am I right, was there an important Jewish site underneath? or did I just make that up in my own mind?? :eek:
not "an" important site. *the* important site. the Temple mount, the site of the first and second and, insha'Allah, third Temples. the first was built by solomon and the second by the returning exiles from babylon. the only part still visible is the western wall of the Temple, known as the "wailing wall". there are a number of links and resources here:

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem

think of it as our equivalent of the ka'aba and the vatican combined and you won't be going far wrong. it's also the site of the binding of isaac (it is generally agreed that the "rock" in the dome of the rock is the "even shetiyyah" or "foundation stone") and, according to some, the beginning of Creation. in jewish law, about 30% of our learning is taken up with Temple sacrificial and purificatory procedure, all stored up against the coming of the Messiah.

it is currently controlled by the islamic waqf that runs the mosques. jews are not currently permitted to go up there according to religious law, although there are some nutcases that would like to blow up the mosques and start rebuilding the Temple right now. fortunately, so far, the israeli government has come down on them like a ton of bricks - they considered it for a short time after the recapture of jerusalem in 1967, but (fortunately?) decided against the idea, as it would have inflamed islamic opinion still further.


Thank you BB, a fountain of knowledge as always. I was sure I hadn't just dreamed it. I have been trying to explain why Jews are so 'emotional' about al-Aqsa, having a site buried underneath but I keep being told there is nothing under there. I was aware of the wailing wall but am rather ignorant of the geography in Jerusalem. :eek:

So why would the former Israeli Prime Minister enter the mosque with his shoes on if it is your holiest site? Do you wear shoes in the synagogue?

Oh dear, what is the long term answer then? Two important religious sites in one place and both groups no doubt prepared to fight for it. I don't suppose there is any chance we could ever share the site because Jews do not accept Mohammad (pbuh) as a Prophet so would not see it as a religious site and we know the mainstream Muslim attitude toward Judaism. Oh cripes, I see trouble ahead!!
trouble is right. what we have at the moment is a holding pattern based on the idea that you don't rebuild the Temple until Meshiah shows up. although there are opinions that say you should build it first.... that could cause problems. there are architectural answers i suspect; i think there are even a couple linked to from that site. i suspect if the ark of the covenant was found then the jews would be in little mood to compromise.

as for sharon's visit up there, he isn't/wasn't a religious man. it was done for political effect - as was arafat's reaction. besides, it kind of depends on whereabouts he went. as for keeping his shoes on, i don't believe he actually went in the mosque, i certainly didn't see him filmed inside it. even for sharon i'd find it surprising if he didn't take his shoes off. it's all a bit complicated and, no, we keep our shoes on in the synagogue, but we do wash our hands.


Isn't there talk about the Temple site actually located just south of the Dome mosque? If so, there exists the possibility of compromise.
Please explain BB, I would be most interesting how it could be resolved.
Isn't there talk about the Temple site actually located just south of the Dome mosque? If so, there exists the possibility of compromise.

I heard many theories. dont know what is true.
i suppose it all depends on where precisely everything is decided to be. as i understand it, the "foundation stone" is supposed to be where isaac was nearly sacrificed and, as far as i know, this is supposed to be the location of the Holy of Holies. as for the existing mosque building of the dome of the rock, i think you'd either have to incorporate it into a larger structure, or agree that the jewish Temple was slightly to the south. as i say, i'm really not an expert in this sort of thing, but i do have it from the horse's mouth, as it were, michael melchior, who is an israeli politician and that oddest of beasts, a left-wing orthodox rabbi, that they had worked out an interim (ie until the Messiah shows up) agreement with the palestinians and the waqf as part of the oslo deal. his actual words were "we resolved it". unfortunately, as we all know, the deal fell through.