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Al Quds

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Al Quds

Al-Quds is the  Arabic and Muslim name of Jerusalem, meaning "the Holy." According to Surah Al Israh of the Qur'an, Muhammad  was transported to "the furthest mosque" on his horse, Al Buraq. Muslims believe that the site of the furthest mosque or furthest place of worship is the temple mount in Jerusalem, site of the ancient Jewish  temple and currently the site of the al Aqsa mosque. Muslims hold Al Quds to be the third holiest city, after Mecca and Medina, and it was originally the Muslim Qibla - direction of prayer.

The compound of the Beit-el-Maqdes (holy house, as in Hebrew- "Beit Hamiqdash - meaning the temple) is holy to Muslims. The Dome of the Rock or "Mosque of Omar"  which is not a mosque but a shrine. Next to it is the al-Aqsa mosque. The same ground is holy to Jews as the Temple Mount. The original buildings were apparently built by Caliph Abd al Malik between 687 and 691, but the original al-Aqsa mosque did not survive.

In the 1960s the dome was resurfaced with gold. The dome covers a rock that according to Muslim tradition is the place where Muhammad departed to heaven. According to Jewish tradition it is the rock upon which Abraham sacrificed his son Isaac.

Muslims also revere the remains of the West Wall of the temple, which they believe is the place where Muhammad tied his horse when he he was flown to Jerusalem in one night.

Timeline of significant events for Al-Quds (Jerusalem)

5th millennium: The "Canaanites" (or Yevusites) conquer the site. 

15th century: The area is conquered by  Egypt. 

About 990: The Hebrew king David conquers Yevus, including Zion and renames it Jerusalem, Yerushalayim or city of peace. He makes it his capital, and the Ark of the Covenant is brought to Jerusalem.

10th century: King Solomon builds the temple and  has a wall built around the city

c. 920: Jerusalem is sacked by the army of Egyptian pharaoh Sheshonk 1.

c. 785: Joash, king of Israel sacks Jerusalem.

c. 701: Unsuccessful siege of Senacharib, king of Assyria. According to some sources, Jerusalem is nonetheless forced to pay tribute. A tunnel built by Hezekiah, king of Judea, contains a Hebrew inscription from this time, recording that the tunnel was dug to bring water to Jerusalem in preparation for the siege, and deny it to the Assyrians, as was related in the biblical book of Chronicles and the book of Kings. (See Hezekiah's Tunnel)  

c. 612: Assyria yields its supremacy over Judea to Babylonia.

c. 604: Jerusalem is pillaged by the Babylonians, and the king Jehoiakim and his court are captured and transferred to Babylon.

c. 587: The Temple of Jerusalem is destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. Many of the inhabitants of Jerusalem are deported to Babylonia.

c. 538: The Persians defeat Babylon, and allow the Jews to return to Judea.

c. 515: Second temple is built under the patronage of Cyrus, king of Persia.

c 444: Nehemiah supervises rebuilding of the fortifications.

333: Jerusalem is part of Alexander's empire or sphere of influence.

320's: Jerusalem comes under control of Hellenistic Egypt, ruled by Ptolemy 1 Soter.

198: Jerusalem is transferred to Seleucus 1 Nicator, of Antioch.

167: Repressive measures spark a rebellion led by the family known as the Maccabees. The manage to drive the Selucids out of Jerusalem and Judea. Roman Senate recognizes Judah Maccabee as a "friend of the Roman people and senate, and places Judea under its protection.

63: Jerusalem conquered by Pompey of Rome, after he was invited to adjudicate a dispute regarding the priesthood.

40: Herod the Edomite becomes king of the Roman province of Judea.

4  Herod dies, and is succeeded by his son Archelaus.

6 ACE: Judean kingship is abolished and replaced by Roman procurators.

66: The Jews rebel against Roman rule.

70: Vespasian lays siege to Jerusalem; his son Titus conquers Jerusalem and razes the city, destroying the temple.

c. 132: After Romans under Caesar Hadrianus outlaw circumcision, a Jewish rebellion is staged by Simon Bar Kochba. The rebellion is crushed by 135 and large numbers of Jews are killed or exiled. With the advent of Christianity, Jerusalem becomes the center of that religion for a time, under the Church of St. James.

336: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is built over the ground where Jesus was buried according to tradition.

Mid 4th century: Large immigration of Christians to Jerusalem, and Christian pilgrimage becomes popular. The relatively small city of Jerusalem was soon turned into a Christian city.
6th century: The Armenian church establishes its patriarchate in Jerusalem.

614: Jerusalem was briefly conquered by the Sassanid Persian king Khosrau 2. Many of Jerusalem's inhabitants are massacred, and the churches destroyed.

628: Jerusalem  reconquered by the Byzantines.

c. 637: Jerusalem is conquered by the Arab Muslims.

c. 688:  Caliph Abd al Malik builds the holy compound over the ruins of the Temple of Jerusalem, and the place where the Muslims claimed that Muhammad had ascended to heaven. It includes the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa mosque.

10th century: The current al-Aqsa mosque is built next to the Dome of the Rock.

969: Jerusalem comes under the rule of the Fatimids of Egypt.

1010: Fatimid caliph al-Hakim orders the destruction of the Christian shrines of Jerusalem, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

11th century: New city walls are erected, which exclude the City of David and Mt. Zion.

1071: Seljuq Turks conquer Jerusalem.

1098: Jerusalem is recaptured by the Egyptians.

1099: European crusaders  conquer Jerusalem, murdering about 70,000 and expelling all the Jews.  The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem is founded.

1141: Spanish Jewish poet Yehuda Halevi goes to Jerusalem.

1149: The new Church of the Holy Sepulchre is consecrated.

1187: Jerusalem is reconquered by the Muslims under Salah-eddin (Saladin). The "Kingdom of Jerusalem" continues to exist as a small state limited to the coast of Palestine.

1192: Richard the Lion hearted fails to retake Jerusalem.

1229: The crusaders resume control of Jerusalem under a treaty between German Emperor Frederick II and the Egyptian Sultan al-Kamil.

1244: Jerusalem is conquered by the Tatars.

1247: Jerusalem conquered by Egyptian Mameluks. The only Christians remaining in town were Greek Orthodox and some eastern churches. Jews were allowed to return.

1259: Jerusalem is sacked by the Mongols.

1517: Jerusalem conquered by Ottoman Empire under Sultan Selim.

1535-8: Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilds city ramparts and wall around Jerusalem.

1556: Earthquake in Jerusalem.

1831: Jerusalem is conquered by Egyptian troops of Mehmet Ali.

1840: The Ottomans  conquer Jerusalem.

1847: The Latin Patriarchate (Roman Catholic Church) is reestablished in Jerusalem.

1859-60: Mishkenot Shaananim constructed outside the walled city by Jews.

1869: Nahlat Shiva constructed outside the walled city.

1873-5: Meah Shearim  constructed outside the walled city.

1887: A municipality is established for Jerusalem.

1917: British troops take control of Jerusalem, following the defeat of the Ottomans in the World War I.

1918: Cornerstone of Hebrew University is laid in Mount Scopus, northeast of the old city.

1920: Arab riots against Jewish community.

1921: Arab riots against Jewish community.

1922: Jerusalem becomes part of the British Mandate for Palestine.

1920s: Hajj Amin Al Husseini, Grand Mufti, solicits funds from Arab countries to renovate Muslim holy places.

1929: Arabs riot in Jerusalem and Hebron, killing Jews, owing to a false rumor claiming that the Jews planned to violate the sanctity of the Al Aqsa mosque.

1936: Arabs riot in Jerusalem as part of the "Great Arab Revolt," committing atrocities against the Jewish community in the old city. British authorities lose control of the city for a time. About half the Jews of Jerusalem leave the old city.

November 29, 1947: UN General Assembly Resolution 181 designates Jerusalem as an international enclave following the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Palestinian states. Arab states refuse to recognize internationalization.

December 1948: Arab riots break out in Jerusalem immediately following the partition resolution.

January 1948: Arabs begin blockade of Jerusalem.

January 16, 1948: Jewish rescue mission ("convoy on foot") to Gush Etzion, which guarded one of the approaches to Jerusalem, is intercepted and massacred.

April 9, 1948: Irgun and Lehi raid the Arab village of Deir Yassin, at the entrance to Jerusalem, and kill over 100 civilians.

1948: Israeli forces take control of western Jerusalem, as well as a corridor from the coastal regions. Arabs are expelled. Jordan legion conquers the old city of Jerusalem and eastern areas, expelling all the Jews. 

1950: West Jerusalem is declared capital of Israel. East Jerusalem becomes part of Jordan, when the West Bank is annexed by Jordan.

June 5-77, 1967:  Israel occupies all of Jerusalem as well as all land on the western side of Jordan river in the Six day war.

1980: United Jerusalem is declared the eternal capital of Israel. This is received with protests from much of international community following Arab pressure.

1981: The Old City of Jerusalem is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site

1996: Palestinians protest against the construction of a pedestrian tunnel from the Via Dolorosa to the Western Wall. They feared that it would undermine the Muslim sanctuaries Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque. More than 70 people die in the riots.

September 28, 2000: Ariel Sharon visits the area of the temple mount. Violence erupts, both spontaneously and deliberately kindled by Palestinian leaders such as Marwan Barghouti, resulting in a wave of attacks by Palestinians against Jews in Israel and Palestine.

Synonyms and alternate spellings:   Jerusalem, Qods, Quds Al Sharif

Further Information: See Jerusalem  History of Islam and the Arabs Islam

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Pronunciation - Arabic and Hebrew vowels are pronounced differently than in English. "o" is very short. The "a" is usually pronounced like the "a" in market, sometimes as the "a" in "Arafat."  The " 'A " is guttural.  " 'H "- the 'het ('Hirbeh, 'Hebron, 'Hisbollah') designates a sound somewhat similar to the ch in "loch" in Scots pronunciation, but made by touching the back of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. The CH should be pronounced like Loch, a more assertive consonant than 'het.

The "Gh" combination, and sometimes the "G," designate a deep guttural sound that Westerners may hear approximately as "r." The "r" sound is always formed with the back of the tongue, and is not like the English "r."

More information: Hebrew, Arabic

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