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Jerusalem in the Qur’an is a great book that thrilled and delighted me in a number of ways. I am surprised that such a meticulously documented book had to wait for such a long time before seeing the light. It is now more than half a century since the Zionists began their appalling oppression and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people whose only offense is that they happened to live in a country considered by the Jews to be their promised Holy Land.
The Zionists have continuously referred to distorted scriptures from the Torah and other Biblical material to justify their atrocious behavior and to motivate the Jews to establish a State of Israel that extends from the Nile to the Euphrates with Jerusalem as its capital.
For example, David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, is quoted to have said, The Bible is our deed to the land of Israel. Muslim scholars, on the other hand, have largely failed in refuting Zionist claims from authenticated historical and religious sources and have also failed to accomplish their religious responsibility in clearly documenting this question from the Holy Qur’an and the Blessed Ahadith of our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). As far as I know, whatever is written on this subject is rather superficial and emotionally tainted or simply stating facts in a cool manner.
May Allah Ta’ala reward Brother Imran Hosein for writing this scholarly document, which will indeed fill up this intellectual and religious gap and serve as an academic reference to Muslims in all parts of the world. As I write this introduction, this book that was published only this year is already being translated to Arabic and Bosnian. In a short time it will be rendered into other European languages and to all the other tongues of the Islamic world.
It must be reported however that the importance of writing a book about the Holy Land in the Qur’an have not escaped the vision of far-sighted and creative Muslim thinkers such as Dr. Kalim Siddiqui, Founder-President of the Muslim Institute for Research and Planning, and Professor (Shaheed) Ismail Al-Farouqi. I am surprised at the vision of the former scholar who asked Imran Hosein to write this book as early as 1974. He urged him saying that Jerusalem is the key to understanding the historical process of the Middle East and the world at large. Shaikh Imran successfully accomplished this task after 27years. Though seemingly late, but it has come at the right time in which the whole world is being shocked by Jenin and what happened in Sabra and Shatila.
Ismail Al-Faruqi actually put this issue in writing in his book, Islam and the Problem of Israel that the author referred to. He strongly stated that Israel poses a greater danger to Muslims than the Euro-Christian Crusades of the Middle Ages or the Euro-Colonialism of modern times. Israel, he wrote, is neither of these, but that it is both and more, much more. He therefore urged Arabs and Muslims not to accept the Jewish State as an integral part of the world nations of Asia and Africa. He also incited Muslim scholars to investigate this issue in depth. I am sure that if both of these great Muslim thinkers were alive, they would have acclaimed this classic book as what they have aspired for.
I am amazed by Imran’s style of writing. Though Jerusalem in the Qur’an, is a meticulously written thesis combining religious and historical documents with recent political events and penetrating interpretations from the Qur’an and Hadith, it runs like a story. Once you begin reading it, it is hard to stop. This is the general quality of a novel. The person would read it once and throw the book away - but not that of a serious thought-provoking dissertation like the book that Brother Shaikh Imran published. It is a reference that one needs to keep and reread whenever the subject is to be researched. I believe that this eloquence of the Shaikh must be the result of a natural gift that has interacted with his indefatigable work as a preacher and da’iyah and the Divine Blessings for his sincerity.
Finally, in spite of the seemingly depressing situation of the Muslims in general and the Palestinians in particular, reading the book would certainly give one a warm surge of optimism about our future; a bright light that shines at the end of our long dark tunnel of history. We are living at the end of time. This is the age in which the prophesies of the Holy Qur’an and the Blessed Hadith are unfolding right before our very eyes to prove to humanity the truthfulness of our faith.
Exactly as our Prophet told us, we have seen the barefooted-poor shepherds of sheep and goats in the Arab Peninsula competing with each other in building higher and higher skyscrapers. And we have witnessed the Muslims exploding in numbers but weakening in character and subdued by their love of this dunyah and their fear of death thus confirming the authenticated Hadith. And exactly as our Prophet told us, the strong enemies of Islam are now devouring our countries as though they were a hungry group invited to a large cauldron of food. And as Allah Ta’ala Himself told us in his Revealed Holy Qur’an, the Children of Israel, who had been scattered all over the earth during their Diaspora, have returned to the Holy Land. And as recorded in the Qur’an, they have indeed committed much corruption and have become powerful and elated with mighty arrogance.
Just as we have seen these incidents as though we were watching a horror movie, we will indeed see its imminent happy ending that was prophesized to us in the Qur’an and the Sayings of our Prophet. The Muslims will wake up from their slumber and the Jews will receive their promised Divine punishment. The Zionist State will be destroyed and whatever they have built will be raised to the ground.
The book gives a detailed beautifully written exposition of these episodes with brilliant interpretations from the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah. Though some may differ with him with respect to his interpretations of some of the Qur’anic Verses or the Blessed Prophetic sayings, no one would fail to appreciate his penetrative thought and his spiritual depth. I therefore recommend the book very much to scholars and laity.
International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization,
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