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Islamic Recognition of Temple Mount History

January 26, 2001
from the Jerusalem Post

1930 Moslem Council: Jewish Temple Mount ties 'beyond dispute'
By Etgar Lefkovits

JERUSALEM (January 26) - Although Islamic Wakf officials are currently denying any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, a 1930 booklet about the site published by the supreme Moslem body in Jerusalem during the British Mandate states categorically that the site's identification with the First Temple is "beyond dispute."

Published by the Supreme Moslem Council, the nine-page English-language tourist guide, entitled A Brief Guide to al-Haram al-Sharif, a copy of which was obtained by The Jerusalem Post, states: "The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings." A footnote refers the reader to 2 Samuel 26:25.

The Supreme Moslem Council "was the supreme Moslem body appointed by the British Government during the Mandate period to administer the Moslem affairs in Palestine which included Wakf affairs," said Dr. Eli Reches, an Arab affairs expert at Tel Aviv University.

The booklet focuses on the Moslem connection to the site, with the authors stating clearly: "... for the purposes of this Guide, which confines itself to the Moslem period, the starting point is the year 637 A.D."

But Judaism's unequivocal connection to the Temple Mount comes up again on the last page of the booklet, which discusses the "substructures" of the Dome of the Rock.

Describing the area of Solomon's Stables, which Islamic Wakf officials converted into a new mosque in 1996, the guide states: "...little is known for certain about the early history of the chamber itself. It dates probably as far back as the construction of Solomon's Temple... According to Josephus, it was in existence and was used as a place of refuge by the Jews at the time of the conquest of Jerusalem by Titus in the year 70 A.D."

The guide mentions in passing Christianity's connection to Solomon's Stables. "We also know that this space was used by the Knights Templar as stables and the holes to which they tethered their horses can still be seen in the masonry of the piers... The contrast between lower and upper courses of the larger piers would tend to show that they belong to two distinct periods, and that the upper parts and the vaults of Arab construction [are] superimposed upon ancient foundations."

The guide also refers to Christianity's link to a small chamber in the vast subterranean structure, "which was believed in medieval times to have been associated with Jesus Christ's infancy, a belief that was prevalent long before the advent of the Crusaders, and was subsequently accepted by them."

Published by the Moslem Orphanage Press as a visitor's guide to the site and priced at 200 mils, the booklet contains seven full-page photographs of the Dome of the Rock which the guide says were reproduced courtesy of the American Colony.

This week, Palestinian Authority Mufti Ikrima Sabri, interviewed by the German Die Welt said, "There is not [even] the smallest indication of the existence of a Jewish temple on this place in the past. In the whole city, there is not even a single stone indicating Jewish history."



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