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memri
April 23, 2019 No.
8016

Egyptian Researcher Ahmed Saad Zayed: Quranic Story Of Al-Aqsa Mosque Meant To Prove Miraculous Nature Of The Quran To People Who Could Not Read Arabic

Ibrahim Issa conducted an interview with Egyptian researcher Ahmed Saad Zayed, which aired on March 31, 2019. In the interview Zayed said that at the time of Muhammad's "night journey" there was no Al-Aqsa Mosque at the site of the Dome of the Rock, it was a garbage dump. The story was conjured up in order to prove to the non-Arabic speaking Muslims, who could not read the Quran in its original language, that the Quran is miraculous. Zayed also said that the Quranic portrayal of Paradise was embellished to include extremely erotic details. Ibrahim Issa interjected that the description of Paradise refers only to men and "women feel that paradise for them is going to be torture." He added: "They are miserable – both in this life and in the afterlife." The interview was aired on the American Al-Hurra TV.

To view the clip of Ahmed Saad Zayed on MEMRI TV, click here or below.

"There Was No Al-Aqsa Mosque Back Then, The Place Was A Garbage Dump"

Ibrahim Issa: "What is the meaning of the 'night journey' in the Quran?"

Ahmed Saad Zayed: "The Quranic verse is very clear: 'Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque.' So, there was a sacred mosque, a mosque where a person can be safe in, and a second one, a far away mosque. 'Aqsa' means far away. There was no Al-Aqsa Mosque back then. The place was a garbage dump. The Christians wanted to upset the Jews, so the area on which the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque were later built... This whole area was deserted and filled with junk and garbage.

"There was no mosque there. The story here is [a figure of] Islamic imagination... The problem is that people want to pull miracles out of thin air. This is because the non-Arab peoples that joined Islam, like the Egyptian Copts, the Amazighs, the Indians, and the Persians did not speak Arabic? Imagine you talk to me about Naguib Mahfouz, when I don’t even know how to read Arabic... Back then, they did not know Arabic so how could they read the [Quran]?"

Ibrahim Issa: "How can you fathom the miracle of the Quran if you do not know Arabic? So they invented other miracles that were close to these peoples’ culture..."

[...]

"The Portrayal Of Paradise In The Quran Was Not Enough For Them, So They Added To It All Sorts Of Hadiths And Elaborate Details, If We Mentioned Them Here, The Show Would Be Taken Off The Air... 18+ Stuff"

Ahmed Saad Zayed: "The portrayal of Paradise in the Quran was not enough for them, so they added to it all sorts of Hadiths and elaborate details, if we mentioned them here, the show would be taken off the air... 18+ stuff..."

Ibrahim Issa: "Erotic plus..."

Ahmed Saad Zayed: "Very erotic and some pretty horrible stuff. Furthermore, all these descriptions refer only to men. Women are not..."

Ibrahim Issa: "Women feel that Paradise for them is going to be torture. They are always passive and never active... They are miserable – both in this life and in the afterlife."