Big blunder of the Quran- Masjid-ul-Aqsa
All we need to reject the Quran as a word of God is one mistake. This is one major blunder of the Quran. This article is reproduced from the original faithfreedom.org site which can be read here https://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina/masjidalaqsa.htm
by Ali Sina
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’l Haram to Masjidu’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 light (the fastest thing in the universe) 8 years to make a round trip to the closest solar system, and 30 billion years [now at least 46 billion years] to the outskirts of the known universe, and considering that wings don’t serve beyond the atmosphere of the Earth, such a 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?
Is God inside the universe or outside of it? If inside it, then he is contained by it and therefore cannot be infinite. If outside it, then he must be billions of light years away from us and no winged horsy can reach his throne in one night and come back. And if He is omnipresent, like air in the atmosphere, then one does not need to go anywhere to meet Him. God must be where you are right now. This story is simply fairytale. Its very existence belies Muhammad’s lack of understanding of the concept of omnipresence.
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 Muhammad. The problem we want to discuss is that Masjid’ul Aqsa “the Farthest Mosque” did not exist at the time of Muhammad.
First Temple on that site was built in 960 BC, allegedly by Solomon to house the Ark of the Covenant which his father, David, had brought to Jerusalem. The first temple was burned to the ground by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The Second Temple was consecrated in 515 BC, rebuilt by Herod in 20 BC and destroyed by Titus in 70 AD.
The Romans in 70 A.D destroyed that temple. Since then no temple, church or mosque stood on that spot. When Caliph Omar Ibn al-Khattab conquered Jerusalem in 638 AD, he performed a prayer in the site where Temple of Solomon used to stand. 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. Muhammad’s alleged Mi’raj took place around the year 621. There is 70 years gap between Mi’raj and the construction of Masjid ul Aqsa. 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.
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.
How could Muhammad mention Masjid ul Aqsa when such a mosque did not exist? Either Muhammad did not know that that temple was destroyed in 70 AD or the Quran is manipulated and “enriched” years after the death of its author, permitting the fables that were constructed around Muhammad after his death to creep into his book.
In my opinion the former is the case. Muhammad was an unlettered man. His knowledge was limited to what he heard from others – story tellers and priests. His references to historic and Biblical stories are sketchy. He throws a name here and mentions an event there and often makes mistakes [Admin’s comment: e.g. saying that Samaritans existed during Moses’s time, or mistaking Jesus’ mother Mary for Moses’s sister Mariam though there is a time gap of more than 12 centuries between the two in Quran 19:27-28, 66:12]. This is to be expected of a man who is not acquainted with books and whose only source of knowledge is hearsay.
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’ul 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.
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 Masjid 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.
[This can also be read here https://alisina.org/?p=409 ]
Some more articles on mistakes in the Quran can be read here https://alisina.org/?cat=73
To read more of Ali Sina’s articles on the original faithfreedom.org site, open https://www.faithfreedom.org/Author/Sina.htm