Books, pages and prophets sent to all mankind… Jerusalem is the name of the city the Children of Israel, and Moses and Aaron walked towards while the Torah was revealed. It is the region where parts of the Psalm and the Bible were revealed, where the Prophet Abraham who received pages, and other prophets with names unknown to us, lived. Jerusalem is also the destination the last prophet Mohammed, sent to realms as God’s grace, was forced to walk towards in the middle of the night when he was living in Mecca. Our Prophet was brought to Jerusalem in such a period that it was very difficult to stay in Mecca and Ta’if. Jerusalem tells us as the horizon; “As Ummah, remember Jerusalem if your path has come to an end and you have reached an impasse. Return to the spirit of Jerusalem. Come and unite if you are divided, Jerusalem unites you. If you have lost your position as a Muslim, Jerusalem reminds you of that dignified position. Jerusalem is the finest example of your views of other religions or nations. If you are so spiritually blinded that you can not tolerate each other as Ummah, come to Jerusalem and see your past in the saying ‘Lailahe İllallah İbrahim Halilullah’ at Jaffa gate. And learn your lessons from them. Jerusalem creates awareness to respect the rights, law and diversity of brothers and sisters who turned to Islam, and to tolerate the rights and laws of non-Muslims. Perhaps Jerusalem reminds us of the Pact of Umar, an example, a practice we have known which is beyond ages.”
JERUSALEM FROM DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES
Jerusalem is a matchless place rarely seen in the world. Although it has been destroyed and changed hands numerous times, it was raised again in the same place, and used as a settlement. It is a city that dazzles with a history of five thousand years. Its historical, geographical and religious value has made it a point of attraction.
CRITICAL, SENSITIVE AND STRATEGIC
Jerusalem is one of the most important places in the world that concerns international law. Such that it is the favourite city of three divine religions, and will undoubtedly remain as the holy lands on the world until the end of time. So all religions, and currents and sects within them, compete to exist in the city. The way to rule it, is also about existing there. For example, Christians feel the urge to be there as nations because it does not suffice to be represented as a sect. Therefore, they want to be in these lands preserving all their upper and lower identities and diversities, as a German Catholic, a French Catholic, an Armenian Catholic, a Vatican Catholic or a Russian Orthodox, a Greek Orthodox or an Armenian Orthodox. Being in these lands with differences, is a reality of Palestine. Coptics, Abyssians, Assyrians and Protestants can also be included. In general, Muslims, Jews and Christians endow their real estates to protect and survive these assets, due to the critical, sensitive and strategic circumstances in and around Jerusalem.
A REGION OF REVELATION
Jerusalem a unique place for us Muslims. Jerusalem is the only place we have observed the whole period after the Islamic conquest, uninterruptedly and dynamically. Jerusalem is the place where there is no broken or missing link in the chain of history. We believe and follow the ideology of tracing the Islamic period back to Prophet Adam, even before the Islamic conquest. We must also keep in mind that there are other aspects to this region of revelations as the place where numerous parables in the Koran took place.
Since the Islamic conquest in Jerusalem, we witness all phases of Islamic architecture, its finesse and beauty. Jerusalem tells us something with places of worship, public works and works of civil Islamic architecture; as its barracks and castles, foundation buildings, madrasahs, schools, public fountains, bazaars and streets still stand, and moreover preserve their beauty and strength. Of course, Jerusalem not only hosts the works of Islamic architecture, but also the most important, spectacular and rare examples of Christian architecture from the early periods to date. Kubbet es Sakhra, the most artistic, most aesthetic, and beautiful monument of the Islamic world, is located here. Also, at every step we come across Islamic works in Masjid al-Aqsa and Jerusalem from Four Caliphs period to Umayyad, Abbasid, Seljuk, Artuqid, Fatimid, Ayyubi, Memluk and Ottoman periods. Again, the pre-Roman, Roman, Eastern Roman – Byzantine Christian and Crusader monuments still stand solemnly. We had a governor in Jerusalem in 1071 the year of the Battle of Manzikert, even before the conquest of Anatolia.
BOTH A TEST AND A DIVINE TREAT
Islamic ummah is put to test whether it can or can not protect this sacred and holy legacy. Jerusalem should not be viewed not only as a test but also as a divine treat. In order to hold on to such a valuable place as Jerusalem, one must have political, military, scientific, economic and technological superiority. Maybe Jerusalem is the uprising of the Islamic world. We bow before Mecca and Medina. Jerusalem is our uprising. As we build ourselves spiritually in Mecca and Medina, we feel the need to be vigilant in Jerusalem as we pray for forgiveness, and focus on worship and obedience. We strive to hold on to Jerusalem. In this sense, Jerusalem is us standing vigilante as we do in our prayers, and our bold uprising in the face of troubles.
No matter how much it is destroyed or how many times it has changed hands, we see that there is an uninterrupted life in Jerusalem with a history of about 5 thousand years. In this respect, it has a very rich history, art and archaeology.