Wednesday, July 04, 2012

So, The Qur'an Relates Temple Tales

Excerpts from a paper, The Temple in the Qurʾān, presented by William J. Hamblin, Professor of History, Brigham Young University today

Taken together, all of the elements mentioned in this passage [Sūrah 34:12b-13a] --Solomon as builder of a place of worship, the massive use of bronze, the jinn as workers, the images, and water basins -- make it certain that this passage is describing the building of Solomon’s Temple, viewing its construction as having been ordered by God and facilitated by divine intervention.

In these Qurʾānic narratives about Mary, the temple appears in Qurʿān 3:35-37, describing the birth of Mary and her dedication as a youth to serve in the temple, where she is miraculously fed by God. 

The Qurʾān also includes a rather detailed description of the destructions of the Jerusalem temple       by the Babylonians and the Romans in 17:4-8. 


The Qurʾān views the temple of Jerusalem through three different lenses.  First, the Qurʾānic temple was an Israelite holy place intimately tied to the lives of the ancient prophets.  Solomon built it by divine decree and with miraculous assistance.  It was commemorated as a place of repentance and miracles.   Second, it was a Christian holy place, where God fed Mary miraculous food, and angels spoke to Zachariah.  Finally, it was a contemporary Muslim sacred place, directly linked to the spiritual life of the Muslims, where Muhammad ascended to heaven in vision.  But, despite its holiness, it was destroyed because of the apostasy of the Jews.  For the Qurʾān, the Jerusalem temple is thus a sign of God’s miraculous power, and a warning, that sacredness does not derive from a place alone, but from submission (ʾislām) to the will of God. 

Interesting but I think there is room for debate on sum of his interpretations.

Temple Denial anyone?



I forwarded the lecture to Dr. Mordechai Kedar and he sent Hamblin this letter:

Dear Prof. Hamblin,
I read your article "The Temple in the Qurʾān" and I was surprised to find no mention to the well-established evidence (based on Islamic sources) that the al-Aqsa Mosque was ORIGINALLY in the Arab peninsula, between Mecca and Taʾif, near the village of al-Ji‘irrana. In addition, it is not mentioned in the Qurʾān, in any of its four names: ʾIlya, Urshalim, Bayt al-Maqdis or al-Quds.
And the fact that Jerusalem, traditionally, is not sacred to Shi‘ites, (Najaf in Southern Iraq is the third place in holiness for Shi‘ites) hints to the possibility that the whole issue of holiness attributed to Jerusalem in Islam is connected to politics more than anything else.
Ibn Taymiyya in his Ziyarat Bayt al-Maqdis relates to the status of Jerusalem in Islam in a rather negative way.Al-Ghazali places the al-Aqsa Mosque in heaven, something like the concept of Civitate Deo....
Please read my piece on this matter: How did Jerusalem come to be so holy to Moslems? 
Please note that it was written 12 years ago, when Arafat was still alive..
I'd appreciate your comments,
Dr. Mordechai Kedar
Bar-Ilan University


1 comment:

Juniper in the Desert said...

Excellent! Let's see what the fakers have to say to that!