Islam Rewrites the Bible
Millions of people today fail to grasp the differences between Jewish and Muslim claims to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. But the differences are enormous. Jewish claims are based on Scripture and more than 1,000 years of historical possession that predates Islam; Muslim claims are based on Muhammad’s vision of a mystical midnight ride and a rewriting of the Holy Bible.
Muhammad was born around A.D. 570 in Mecca in what is Saudi Arabia. In 610, at the age of 40, he began to receive what he said was revelation from Allah who demanded complete surrender (Arabic, Islam). So began the Islamic faith—more than 2,000 years after the Five Books of Moses were written and more than 2,500 years after the Jewish patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Yet, according to Islam, the patriarchs were Muslims.
How can someone belong to a religion that would not exist for another 2,500 years? Rewriting sacred Scripture makes everything possible.
According to the Muslim publication History of Al Aqsa Mosque by Kais Al-Kalby and Emad J. Meerza on the Stanford University Web site, Islam claims the following:
- The “prophet Ibrahim” (Abraham) built the Kaaba in Mecca with his son Ishmael. Muhammad is Ishmael’s descendant. Fact: Scripture never puts Abraham in Saudi Arabia nor says he built anything with Ishmael. There is no reliable way to prove Muhammad descended from Ishmael because Muhammad was born about 1,000 years after the Old Testament was completed.
- Abraham also built a house of worship in Jerusalem “known as The House Of Allah (God), or Beteyel.” Fact: Scripture never says Abraham built anything in Jerusalem.
- Isaac worshiped in Beteyel “but also made journeys to Kaba [Kaaba] in Makkah [Mecca] for Hajj (Pilgrimage) as did Ibrahim.” Fact: Scripture never says Isaac worshiped in Jerusalem or that anyone in all of Scripture ever journeyed to Mecca.
- “The natives of the land, the Palestinians, believers in the teachings of the Prophet Ibrahim,” also worshiped there. Fact: The “natives” of the land were not Palestinians. They were Canaanites who did not believe in the God of Abraham and whose practices were so vile God ordained the Canaanites’ destruction. The name Palestine comes from the word Philistine and was not used until A.D. 135.
- Abraham “referred to Beteyel as ‘Masjid Al-Aqsa’, which means the farthest place of worship of the One God…stating that Masjid Al-Aqsa was the farthest place of worship west of Kaba in Makkah.” Fact: No record of any aspect of this claim exists in the Bible. No Temple existed until Solomon’s, which was completed approximately two millennia after Abraham’s time. Furthermore, Jehovah would not have condoned worship in Mecca because He stated explicitly that He was to be worshiped in the Temple in Jerusalem because He put His name there (Dt. 12:5; 1 Ki. 9:3).
Muhammad, in fact, never set foot in Jerusalem. The Qur’an says, “Glory to Him Who carried His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque [in Mecca] to the Remote Mosque [in Jerusalem]” (surah 17:1). The passage refers to a mystical night ride Muhammad purportedly had in A.D. 621 when a winged, donkey-like creature called al-Buraq brought him from Mecca to Jerusalem and back (a round trip of 1,510 miles) in a single night. Tradition says Muhammad ascended to heaven from Jerusalem and led all the prophets in prayer in the Masjid Al-Aqsa. But the experience was purely mystical. Wrote Muslim scholar Maulana Muhammad Ali: “The Ascension was not a translation of the body, but the spiritual experience of the Holy Prophet.”1
The Qur’an existed in book form in 632. However, not a single Muslim structure existed on the Temple Mount until after 638, when the Muslims conquered Jerusalem. So to what does the Qur’an’s men-tion of “Masjid Al-Aqsa” refer? It is the site of the Jewish Temple that Islam says began with Abraham as a mosque and was eventually enlarged by Solomon.2
In other words, Muslims today claim the Temple Mount is holy to them because the Jewish Temple was actually a mosque (although Islam would not exist for another 1,500 years) and because Muhammad spiritually ascended to heaven from there on his night ride.
The Jewish people say the Temple Mount is holy to them because Scripture says a Jewish Temple stood on the site for 389 years and then for 585 years. Unlike Muslims, who revere Mecca above all else, there is no place holier or dearer to Jewish people than the city of Jerusalem, which was the seat of the historic Davidic kingdom for more than 400 years—and will be again when the Messiah returns.
- Maulana Muhammad Ali, The Holy Qur’an, trans. Maulana Muhammad Ali, (Columbus, OH: Ahmadiyyah Anjuman Isha’at Islam, 1995), 544, n 1410.
- Kais Al-Kalby with Emad J. Meerza, History of Al Aqsa Mosque, Stanford University, <stanford.edu/~jamila/Aqsa.html>.