Jerusalem: Birth place of the three widely spread religions

The holy land of Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is home to the two most popular nations, Palestine and Israel. It is also the birthplace of three of the most widely spread religions in the world: Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Jerusalem is a Middle Eastern city, located on the west of the Dead Sea and East of the Mediterranean. This city is situated on an uneven rocky plateau, surrounded by many hills and valleys.

Jerusalem holds a tremendous religious importance to the Muslims, Christians and Jews because it includes the Western Wall, which is sacred to Judaism. That wall used to support the main Jewish temple situated on the temple mount, nearly 2000 years ago, but the main tabernacle was destroyed by the Romans. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is a holy Christian pilgrimage site where Christians from all over the world gather to seek redemption by praying. According to the Christians, this site was where Jesus was crucified and will be resurrected. It has a strong religious value for Christians. As for the Muslims, Jerusalem is known as the land of many prophets. The Islamic shrine from 7th-century, “Dome of the Rock” with a golden dome is where Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him) ascended to the seven skies upon his Pegasus. This dome is present in Al-Aqsa Mosque, which was the first Qibla for Muslims.

Jerusalem has been a city of peace and bloodshed throughout the history. It has been annihilated and reconstructed several times in the past. Many great civilizations had left their marks upon this city. Prophet David, his son and Prophet Solomon were the ones who built and ruled over this city for the first time. After that many Muslim caliphs claimed this city and hoisted their flags.

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The time of the crusades was when a series of wars broke out in the name of God for the control of the holy land in the Arabian Peninsula. Primarily, they were fought between Muslims and Christians but after the first crusade, the Christians captured Jerusalem from Muslims but later on, Saladin, a great Muslim military leader of that time, came and took the city back under his rule.

After the death of Saladin, crusaders captured Jerusalem once again. Later, the Muslim Ottoman Empire ruled over the city and the Crusades ended with the Muslims maintaining the hold of the Holy Land. It remained under the Muslim control until the First World War broke out. The war ended with disintegration of the great Ottoman Empire into many smaller Muslim states of the Middle East, and Palestine came under the British control. Later on, in 1917, the British Government issued a declaration known as the Balfour Declaration, which proposed that the British were in support for the creation of a separate and free homeland for the Jews in British Palestine because they saw Jews as a needy and helpless nation who needed a free state of their own.

After the Second World War, the Jews gained more sympathy because of the Holocaust and United Nations approved the plan for dividing Muslim Palestine in two states, the Jewish Israel and the Muslim Palestine. The Jews worldwide, became enthusiastic and passionate about the declaration and received it willingly however, on the other hand, the declaration was opposed by Palestinian and Arab leaders.

After several events, the birth of Israel took place and Palestine was no longer a free state. After the Arab-Israel wars, in which Israel won and started expanding its borders and invaded nearly all of the Palestine except for the Gaza Strip because Gaza was under the control of Egypt but the Muslims there are not safe till to date. The Palestinian Muslims are being oppressed by the Israeli militants. The life of Palestinians is becoming difficult every day. This conflict between the Muslims and the Jews is one of the never ending conflicts but when a power is suppressed beyond a certain point, it tends to break free of that bondage, asserting dominance and causing a Revolution.

Author: Rafiya Alvi


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