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May 26, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 9984

Jerusalem's Supreme Muslim Council, Headed By Grand Mufti Hajj Amin Al-Husseini, In 1925: The Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound's 'Identity With The Site Of Solomon's Temple Is Beyond Dispute'

May 26, 2022
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 9984

The Haram Al-Sharif Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the old city of Jerusalem, known to Christians and Jews as the Temple Mount, is a focal point of tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.

In 1925, the Jerusalem-based Supreme Muslim Council,[1] which was headed by Grand Mufti Hajj Amin Al-Husseini, published a 16-page informational booklet about the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound titled A Brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif. The booklet establishes that the site is holy to Jews and that the ancient Jewish temples had stood there (contemporary Palestinian figures often reject such claims about the Temple Mount and about its historical and religious significance to Jews – see Appendix I).

Following are the quotes from the booklet (see Appendix II for the full booklet).

Excerpts From The Booklet

Page 4:

"The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest (perhaps from pre-historic) times. Its identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to the universal belief, on which 'David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings [2 Samuel 24:25].'"


"[The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound's] identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute."

Page 16:

"Little is known for certain of the early history of the chamber itself. It dates probably as far back as the construction of Solomon's Temple."


"[The Solomon's Stables chamber] dates probably as far back as the construction of Solomon's Temple."

The Jordanian Government Erases Mention Of The Temples In The 1966 Updated Version Of The 1925 Booklet

It should be noted that in 1966, the Jordanian Ministry of Awqaf (to which the Supreme Muslim Council's functions were transferred in 1951) published a new version of the Supreme Muslim Council's booklet, titled A Brief Guide to the Dome of the Rock and Al-Haram Al-Sharif.

In this new version, there are very few mentions of the compound's pre-Islamic history, and not one mention of the Jewish Temples. The term "temple" was only used twice in the 1966 booklet, on pages 20 and 60, in reference to when the Crusaders dubbed the Dome of the Rock "Templum Domini" ("The Lord's Temple") and the adjacent Al-Aqsa Mosque "Templum Solomonis" ("Solomon's Temple," a term that also refers to the First Temple).


The Crusaders dubbed the Al-Aqsa Mosque "Templum Solomonis." This (on page 60) is the only mention of the term "Solomon's Temple" in the 1966 booklet.

Appendix I – Contemporary Palestinian and Arab Figures Deny The Existence Of The Ancient Jewish Temples

In contrast to the 1925 booklet, contemporary Palestinian and Arab politicians, academics, and Islamic scholars frequently make claims to the contrary and deny the historical existence of the ancient Jewish Temples. [2]

Below are some examples:

According to chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, when U.S. President Bill Clinton asked Yasser Arafat to acknowledge that there had been a Jewish Temple in what is today the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Arafat responded: "I will not be a traitor… There is nothing underneath or above the [Al-Aqsa Mosque compound] except for Allah."[3]

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh[4] has similarly said that Israel has "failed to prove anything about a temple or whatever."[5]

Saleh Al-Arouri, Deputy Chairman of Hamas's Political Bureau, said in May 2021: "The Jews' immigration to Palestine from all corners of the world, in order to establish their state, was based on the myth that Jerusalem had been their capital and that they had a temple there, that Jerusalem belongs to them, and that it is their Promised Land. These are the myths that they have invented out of thin air."

In April 2010, Palestinian-Jordanian Professor of Religious Law Ahmad Nofal said: "You [Jews] have no land, no temple, no place of worship... You Jews worship Satan… They fight God and worship Satan, yet they are searching for Solomon’s Temple?"[6] Professor Nofal has also said: "The Jews dug 40 meters into the ground, and found nothing. There is no indication that a temple existed there. Brothers, they are making fun of you… This is heresy and blasphemy against God, history, human beings, and common sense."[7]

In an August 2017 sermon in Cape Town, South Africa, Moulana Ihsaan Hendricks said that the Wailing Wall has nothing do with the Jewish Temples, and that its only significance is the Islamic tradition that Muhammad tied the mythical Buraq creature to it during a miraculous night journey. Hendricks said: "Some of us believe it is a good interfaith exercise [to recognize the significance of the Wailing Wall to the Jews]. There is nothing interfaith about the Buraq Wall. Every portion of the mosque [and] compound [is] the right of the Muslims."[8]

Lebanese columnist Jihad Al-Khazen claimed in January 2012 that there is no archeological evidence in Jerusalem of the Jews or of any of their Temples, dismissing these claims as "Torah fairy tales".[9]

Former Jordanian MP Yaq'ub Qarash said in November 2013: "The [Jews] want everything, although they have no religious rights. They want to prove myths [that] they fabricated... By Allah, if that [Wailing] Wall really was part of a temple, I am certain that the companions of the Prophet [Muhammad] would have honored that."[10]

In September 2018, Jordanian Professor of Archeology Mohammad Waheeb Al-Husseini said that the Zionist movement aims to rule the world from Jerusalem, but that it has "reached a dead end" from a "scientific" perspective, because it has been unable to prove any previous Jewish national presence in Palestine, and particularly in Jerusalem. He said: "The [Jews] did not have any independence which would enable us to say that they had a kingdom, a temple, or anything."[11]

Appendix II – The Supreme Muslim Council's 1925 Booklet

 

 

[1] The Supreme Muslim Council was the highest body in charge of Muslim community and religious affairs in Mandatory Palestine. The Council was responsible for religious endowments, such as the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and oversaw all shari'a law courts in Mandatory Palestine. It was also responsible for the appointment of individuals to positions of Islamic religious authority.

[2] It should be noted that Jerusalem is often referred to in Arabic as Bayt Al-Maqdis, a term MEMRI usually translates simply as "Jerusalem." Etymologically, the term originates from the Hebrew name for the Jewish Temples, "Beit HaMikdash" (lit. The House of Sanctification).

[4] Manuel Hassassian, formerly the Palestinian Authority's Ambassador to the United Kingdom, said in October 2017: "These is no temple, and there is nothing Jewish in Palestine. This is an invention." See MEMRI TV Clip No. 8285, Palestinian Ambassador to the U.K. Manuel Hassassian: As a Student I Hit an Israeli for Claiming Felafel Was the National Food of the Jews, October 25, 2017.

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