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Rebuttal to Ali Sina's article "Masjidul Aqsa Didn't Allah study history?"


By
Bassam Zawadi

 

 

Introduction

This article is in response to Ali Sina's article "Masjidul Aqsa Didn't Allah study history?" which can be accessed here http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina/masjidalaqsa.htm.

It is very unprofessional of Ali Sina to keep an article on his website that has already been refuted. I am not going to provide anything new. This article has already been refuted, I am just going to simply provide the answers.

 

Ali Sina said:

Muslims are absolutely certain that Allah revealed Quran through his angle Gabriel to Muhammad and nothing of that is changed.

Let us put this claim to the test. There is a hadith that reports Muhammad one night, riode on a winged horse that drove him from Masjidu’lHaram to Msjidu’l Aqsa (in Jerusalem) and from there to the seventh heaven where he was shown the hell and the paradise and then taken to the presence of Allah. This story that is commonly accepted by All the Muslims and is known as Mi’raj is also confirmed in Quran

Glory to (Allah)
Who did take His Servant for a journey by night,
From the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque.

-- Quran 17:1

Here we are not going to question the absurdity of such trip. Considering that it would take the light (fastest thing in the universe) 8 years to make a round trip to the closest solar system, and 30 billion years to the outskirts of the known universe, and considering that wings don’t serve beyond the atmosphere of the Earth, such trip performed on the back of a horse with wings in one night is just stuff of the fables. If Muhammad could travel from Medina to the presence of Allah, riding on a winged pony, and come back in one night, then Allah’s palace must be not much far from Medina. I wonder how come no one has found it yet?  We are not also going to ask whether the gate of the heaven is in Jerusalem? Why Muhammad had to go to Masjidul’ Aqsa in order to go to heaven?

 

My Response:

Ali Sina is an anti super naturalist, therefore does not believe in the supernatural. That is why he calls this story absurd. Well he first has to prove that the supernatural does not exist in order to make such an assertion. His subjective opinions carry no weight and is discarded as any evidence against this story. 

We do not know how fast the "winged horse" took the Prophet to God. It might have been faster than the speed of light. We do not know, this is an issue of faith. But no one especially Ali Sina has the right to say that it is false or absurd just because he does not personally accept it. 

Ali Sina said:

The biggest problem with this story is that the Masjid’ul Aqsa “Farthest Mosque” was built after the death of Muhammad.

When Omar conquered Jerusalem he performed a prayer in the site where Temple of Solomon used to stand. The Romans in 70 A.D destroyed that temple.  Since then no temple, church or mosque stood on that spot. It was Calif ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan who built the Dome of the Rock around 691 A.D. i.e 72 years after Hijrah. And Masjidu’l Aqsa was built on the Temple Mount by the end of the 7th century. This is reported in The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, Harper & Row, 1989, p. 46 and 102. 

Muhammad’s alleged Mi’raj took place around the year 622. At that time Jerusalem was in the hands of the Christians. There were no Muslims living there and certainly there was no Mosque in Jerusalem. 53 years after the death of Muhammad, Muslims built the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa on the site where Solomon had his temple 

This makes one wonder that perhaps, just like the Bible, also Quran was written, manipulated and “enriched” years after its author passed away, permitting the fables that were constructed around Muhammad after his death to crepe into his book. Whoever has been the author of the verse 17:1, was not aware that Masjid ul Aqsa did not exist during the time of Muhammad and he could not have made his trip to heaven from a place that did not exist. 

My Response:

Taken from http://www.answering-christianity.com/nightjourney_rebuttal.htm

The Arabic word "Masjid", which means Mosque or Temple, is derived from the root word "Sujood", which means Prostration.  A Masjid does not have to be a building decorated with arts and standing on strong pillars.  It can be an area of worship where it is surrounded by boundaries; whether it is small walls or stones gathered by men.  So it is quite possible that since the area where the modern "Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa" is located in is believed to be the place where the Temple of Solomon was built in, that the Jews used to gather together and do their Prayers and Prostrations to GOD Almighty there.  That area can be technically called a Temple or Mosque; a place of Prostration.

That is why "Qubbat Al-Sakhra", which is the building with the golden dome top, was built.  It is strongly believed that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him had set his foot on that land before he was taken up to Heaven and sent back.   It was an open land.  So to preserve that holy site, the Muslims decided to build Qubbat Al-Sakhra near the Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa.  This should prove my theory that the area where the Temple of Solomon was believed to be built in was really an open area that was dedicated for worship.  That area was called Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, which means the Farthest Mosque.

So technically, there is no error in the Noble Quran's claims regarding this matter.

Ali Sina said:

This, is an obvious blunder of those who compiled Quran so much so that many Islamic scholars, including Yusuf Ali are of the opinion that by Masjid’u’ Aqsa, it is intended the SITE of the building and not the actual building. 

This apologetic line could have been a way out of the dilemma if it was not for the following Hadith, which unequivocally asserts that Masjid’ul Aqsa was an actual building which existed in the time of Muhammad. 

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 636:

Narrated Abu Dhaar:

I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Which mosque was built first?" He replied, "Al-Masjid-ul-Haram." I asked, "Which (was built) next?" He replied, "Al-Masjid-ul-Aqs-a (i.e. Jerusalem)." I asked, "What was the period in between them?" He replied, "Forty (years)." He then added, "Wherever the time for the prayer comes upon you, perform the prayer, for all the earth is a place of worshipping for you." 

Muslims could bring the excuse that “Masjid’ means any place of worship (sojda), that is why the prophet refers to the temple of Solomon as Masjid. In that case, all churches, synagogues and the Zoroastrian Ateshkadehs are Masjids. During the time of Muhammad there were many such “Masjids” built in cities much farther than Jerusalem. (i.e farthest from Mecca or Medina) and the Masjid’ul Aqsa actually was not the farthest mosque. 

This hadith presents yet another problem. Masjid’ul Haram (Ka’ba) was allegedly built by Abraham. He lived about 2000 BC and the Temple of Solomon (the site of the Msjid ul’Aqsa) was built about 958-951 BC.  There is a gap of about over 1040 years between the dates of the construction of the two buildings. His holiness Muhammad’s mistake was a mere one thousand years

My Response:

It seems like Ali Sina already has a response to the Muslim defensive claim and yet presents that hadith in order to further his argument. Well unfortunately for Ali Sina, that argument is also taken care of. 

Taken from http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Contrad/External/aqsa.html

Narrated Abu Dhaar:

I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Which mosque was built first?" He replied, "Al-Masjid-ul-Haram." I asked, "Which (was built) next?" He replied, "Al-Masjid-ul-Aqs-a (i.e. Jerusalem)." I asked, "What was the period in between them?" He replied, "Forty (years)." He then added, "Wherever the time for the prayer comes upon you, perform the prayer, for all the earth is a place of worshipping for you."

This hadith actually introduces yet another problem. Abraham supposedly (re)built the Kaaba, (and Abraham lived about 2000 BC) and the Temple was built by Solomon in about 958-951 BC, then Muhammad gave another historically false information based on a major confusion about the time when these people lived.

Firstly, we have already shown that the word masjid does not necessarily refer to a building but rather to a location, i.e., the place of prostration. Secondly, the missionaries try to deceive the readers in the above paragraphs. Indeed, they admit the Islamic opinion that Abraham(P) rebuilt the Ka`bah (it was Adam who built it originally according to the Islamic tradition), but for unjustified reason they overlook the Islamic traditions addressing the construction of the farthest mosque, presumably to generate a "contradiction". 

They identify the Farthest Mosque with the Temple of Solomon without further justification, and point out an error that they had invented themselves. Let us for example see what Imam Ibn Hajar says about this hadith in Fath al-Bari:

rebuttaltosina1_1.jpg (43356 bytes)

His saying (40 years)
Ibn al-Jawzi said: It raises a problem since Abraham built the Ka`bah and Solomon built Bayt al-Maqdis
[another name of al-Masjid al-Aqsa cf. Hebrew Bet ha-Miqdash] and there are 1,000 years between them. His evidence for saying that it is Solomon - peace be upon him - who built the Farthest Mosque is the narration of al-Nasa'i from the hadith of `Abd Allah Ibn `Amr Ibn al-`As attributed to the Prophet with an authentic isnad that "When Solomon built Bayt al-Maqdis he asked God the Most High for three things etc." and in al-Tabarani from the hadith of Rafi` Ibn `Umayrah that "David - peace be upon him - started building Bayt al-Maqdis but God inspired him: I shall accomplish its building with Solomon" and the hadith has a story. He [Ibn al-Jawzi] said: "The answer to that is that the mention concerns the first construction and the foundation of the mosque and it is not Abraham who built the Ka`bah for the first time nor is it Solomon who built Bayt al-Maqdis for the first time. Indeed, we have narrated that the first one who built the Ka`bah is Adam. Then his progeny spread out on earth. Therefore, it is possible that one of them built Bayt al-Maqdis. Later, Abraham (re)built the Ka`bah according to the Qur'an." Likewise, al-Qurtubi said: The hadith does not indicate that Abraham and Solomon were the first ones to build the two mosques. It was only a renovation of what had been founded by others.[16]

After quoting other opinions, Ibn Hajar insists :

rebuttaltosina1_2.JPG (33953 bytes)

But the possibility mentioned by Ibn al-Jawzi is more pertinent. And I found evidence supporting those who say that it is Adam who founded both mosques. For instance, Ibn Hisham mentioned in "Kitab al-Tijan" that when Adam built the Ka`bah, God ordered him to walk to Bayt al-Maqdis and build it and so he did and offered worship in it. And the construction of the House [Arabic: al-Bayt, i.e., the Ka`bah] is famous and we have mentioned earlier the hadith of `Abd Allah Ibn `Amr that the House was elevated in the time of the flood until God showed Abraham its location. Ibn Abi Hatim narrated from the way of Ma`mar from Qatadah: God founded the House with Adam when he descended. But Adam missed the voices of the Angels and their prayers. Therefore, God told him: I sent down a House around which [people] will revolve like it is revolved around my Throne, so set out to it. Adam set out to Makkah - He had descended in India, and his steps were enlarged until he reached the House and revolved around it. It was also said that when he had prayed at the Ka`bah, he was ordered to set out to Jerusalem where he built a masjid [mosque] and prayed therein so that it became a qiblah to a part of his progeny.[17]

In summary, the verse 17:1 refers to the holy locations in Jerusalem and Makkah because they are blessed regardless of the presence or absence of a building at the time of the heavenly trip of Prophet Muhammad(P).  From an Islamic point of view, evidence has been given by eminent Muslim scholars like Ibn Hajar and Ibn al-Jawzi showing that it was Adam(P) who built both mosques for the first time and that the job of Abraham and Solomon(P) was only a renovation/reconstruction of these sanctuaries.

5. Conclusions

The word masjid from a linguistic point of view refers to a place of prostration without any religious distinction. From a legal point of view the word masjid in shari`ah constitutes every place on earth that is fit for prostration, whether or not it is a building.

The verse 17:1 may very well refer to the holy locations in Jerusalem and Makkah because they are blessed regardless of the presence or absence of a building at the time of the heavenly trip of Prophet Muhammad(P) from Makkah to Jerusalem to the Heavens. From an Islamic point of view, evidence has been given by eminent Muslim scholars like Ibn Hajar and Ibn al-Jawzi who have discussed the issue. They have shown that it was Adam(P) who built both mosques for the first time and that the duty of Abraham and Solomon(P) was only a renovation/reconstruction of these sanctuaries.

And Allah knows best!

 

Conclusion

Ali Sina's argument has failed and he has no ground to stand on and has failed to prove anything false regarding the Glorious Quran or anything about the one, true and beautiful religion and that is Islam.

 

 

 

 

 

Back to My Rebuttals, and exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team section.

Rebuttals to FaithFreedom.Org's Articles section.

Rebuttals by Bassam Zawadi.

Answering Trinity.

Contradictions and History of Corruption in the Bible.

Questions about Jesus that trinitarian Christians don't have logical answers for.

What parts of the Bible do Muslims believe are closest to the Truth? and Why?

"Allah" was GOD Almighty's original Name in the Bible according to the Hebrew and Aramaic sources.

Scientific Miracles in Islam and the Noble Quran.

Most of the Bible's books and gospels were written by mysterious people!

Jesus mentioned Muhammad by the name in the Bible.

Did Isaiah 53 really prophesies about the crucifixion of Jesus? It supports Islam's claims about Jesus peace be upon him never died on the cross.  I also addressed John 19:36-37 from the Bible and proved that Jesus never got crucified, since GOD Almighty promised that he will protect Jesus' body and not let even a single bone be broken.   My question to all Christians is: How in the world is it possible for the feet to get nailed on the cross without any penetration to the bones by the nails, hence breaking part of the feet's bones?! I also added refutations to Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12, Zechariah 12:10 and Psalm 34:20, which supposedly prove the Christians' belief about Jesus crucifixion.  I proved that this dogma has no truth what so ever and exposed the wrong Trinitarian English translation of Zechariah 12:10.


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