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