The internationally renowned Muslim scholar, Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi, who teaches Islamic theology, makes a point of stating that nowhere in the Quran is the word “Palestine” mentioned. On the contrary, he offers proof from the Quran that God (Allah) gave the Land of Israel to the Jews.
He begins his thesis by stating that most Muslims have never read the Quran but are devout to it based upon the teachings and preaching of their imams. They know their religion not from reading but rather from hearing.
He states that “Israel exists by divine right and the Quran clearly states in Sura 5:21 that God (Allah) granted the Land of Israel to the Children of Israel and ordered them to settle there”.
Offering conclusive evidence from Islam’s holy book, the Sheikh quotes from Sura 17: 101-104 (The Night Journey). “And Allah said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land and on the Day of Judgment you will be gathered together in a mingled crowd’”.
It is said that the Prophet Mohammed, peace be unto him, made these declarations prior to his death. Prof. Palazzi assures us that “the Quran explicitly refers to the return of the Jews to the Land of Israel before the Last Judgment. Therefore, from an Islamic point of view, Israel is the legitimate owner of the land God (Allah) deeded to her and whose borders were defined by Ibrahim (Abraham) in the Book of Genesis”.
Some Muslim preachers teach that Mecca is the capital of Islam and Jerusalem is the capital of Judaism. Other Muslim scholars disagree, citing that all land belongs only to God (Allah) and that no one people can claim ownership of God’s lands.
In our lifetime, religious hostility of Muslims against Jews had been fueled in the 1920’s-1930’s by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the infamous pro-Nazi Haj Amin al-Husseini (may his name, like Haman’s, be forever erased). It was he who incited the pogroms in Jerusalem and Hebron by falsely proclaiming that the Jews intended to attack the Mosque of Omar in order to re-build their holy temple there.
Hundreds of Jews were slaughtered mercilessly, even small children and pregnant women whose bellies were cut open by the Muslim crowds, encouraged only by the Mufti’s repeated cry of ‘itbach al-yahud’ (kill the Jews).
Even in communities where Jews and Muslim Arabs had lived side-by-side in friendship and tranquility for many decades, Muslim neighbors turned against Jewish neighbors and attacked them all the while that the British mandatory police did not intervene.
To be fair, it must be stated that a few Arab families hid Jews in their homes in the 1929 Hebron massacre and saved their lives. I personally knew one outstanding Jew who was saved by an Arab family in Hebron by being hidden in a wardrobe closet while marauders went from house to house in search of Jews. His name was Rabbi Aryeh Lev Ravitz, the rabbi of the Montefiore quarter of Tel-Aviv who married my wife and me in 1960. He was in favor of friendship between Jews and Muslims, as a dedicated Zionist religious leader.
Historically, Jews and Muslims lived in harmonious relations in Andalusia (Spain) until the fifteenth century when they were expelled to Morocco and the Jews to Europe and Turkey by the Catholic monarchy and the Inquisition under Cardinal Tomas de Torquemada.
During that period there were no religious conflicts between Muslims and Jews and certainly no political friction. The latter began only in the twentieth century following the end of World War I and the Treaty of Versailles at which the active Zionist movement demanded and received recognition for a Jewish national home in Palestine.
If only more educated Muslims were able to read and study the teachings of Mohammed in the holy Quran and pay less attention to the vitriolic preaching from their mosques, the day may yet come when Muslims will recognize Jewish rights to the Land of Israel. That may be the day when Moshiach (our awaited Messiah) appears among us. Insh’Allah. Im yirtzeh Hashem.