Holy Land
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The Holy Land;
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C ...
: or is an area roughly located between the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the e ...
and the Eastern Bank of the
Jordan River The Jordan River or River Jordan ( ar, نَهْر الْأُرْدُنّ, ''Nahr al-ʾUrdunn'', he, נְהַר הַיַּרְדֵּן, ''Nəhar hayYardēn''; syc, ܢܗܪܐ ܕܝܘܪܕܢܢ ''Nahrāʾ Yurdnan''), also known as ''Nahr Al-Shariea ...
, traditionally synonymous both with the biblical
Land of Israel The Land of Israel () is the traditional Jewish name for an area of the Southern Levant. Related biblical, religious and historical English terms include the Land of Canaan, the Promised Land, the Holy Land, and Palestine (region), Palesti ...
and with the region of Palestine. The term "Holy Land" usually refers to a territory roughly corresponding to the modern
State of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
and the modern
State of Palestine Palestine ( ar, فلسطين, Filasṭīn), Legal status of the State of Palestine, officially the State of Palestine ( ar, دولة فلسطين, Dawlat Filasṭīn, label=none), is a state (polity), state located in Western Asia. Officiall ...
.
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites""The ...
,
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...
, and
Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the ...
s regard it as
holy Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity; is considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspires awe or Reverence (emotion), reverence among believers. The property is often asc ...
. Part of the significance of the land stems from the
religious significance of Jerusalem The city of Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երու ...
(the holiest city to
Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots ...
, and the location of the First and Second Temples), as the historical region of Jesus' ministry, and as the site of the first
Qibla The qibla ( ar, قِبْلَة, links=no, lit=direction, translit=qiblah) is the direction towards the Kaaba in the Great Mosque of Mecca, Sacred Mosque in Mecca, which is used by Muslims in various religious contexts, particularly the directi ...
of Islam, as well as the site of the
Isra and Mi'raj The Israʾ and Miʿraj ( ar, الإسراء والمعراج, ') are the two parts of a Night Journey that, according to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around ...
event of 621 CE in
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
. The holiness of the land as a destination of
Christian pilgrimage Christianity has a strong tradition of pilgrimages, both to sites relevant to the New Testament narrative (especially in the Holy Land) and to sites associated with later saints or miracles. History Christian pilgrimages were first made to sit ...
contributed to launching the
Crusades The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The best known of these Crusades are those to the Holy Land in the period between 1095 and 1291 that were in ...
, as
European Christians Christianity is the largest religion in Europe. Christianity has been practiced in Europe since the first century, and a number of the Pauline Epistles were addressed to Christians living in Greece, as well as other parts of the Roman Empire. ...
sought to win back the Holy Land from Muslims, who had conquered it from the Christian
Eastern Roman Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn R ...
in 630 AD. In the 19th century, the Holy Land became the subject of diplomatic wrangling as the holy places played a role in the Eastern Question which led to the
Crimean War The Crimean War, , was fought from October 1853 to February 1856 between Russian Empire, Russia and an ultimately victorious alliance of the Ottoman Empire, Second French Empire, France, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Uni ...
in the 1850s. Many sites in the Holy Land have long been
pilgrimage A pilgrimage is a journey, often into an unknown or foreign place, where a person goes in search of new or expanded meaning about their self, others, nature, or a higher good, through the experience. It can lead to a personal transformation, aft ...
destinations for adherents of the
Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions are a group of religions centered around worship of the God in Abrahamic religions, God of Abraham. Abraham, a Hebrews , Hebrew patriarch, is extensively mentioned throughout Abrahamic religious scriptures such as the B ...
, including Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Baháʼís.
Pilgrim A pilgrim (from the Latin ''peregrinus'') is a traveler (literally one who has come from afar) who is on Pilgrimage, a journey to a holy place. Typically, this is a physical journey (often on foot) to some place of special significance to the a ...
s visit the Holy Land to touch and see physical manifestations of their
faith Faith, derived from Latin ''fides'' and Old French ''feid'', is confidence or trust in a person, thing, or In the context of religion, one can define faith as "belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion". Religious people often ...
, to confirm their
belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "belief" to refer to attitudes about the world which can be either truth value, true o ...
s in the holy context with collective excitation, and to connect personally to the Holy Land.


Judaism

Researchers consider that the concept of a land made holy by being the "earthly dwelling of the God of Israel" was present in Judaism at the latest by the time of Zechariah (6th century BCE). Jews commonly refer to the
Land of Israel The Land of Israel () is the traditional Jewish name for an area of the Southern Levant. Related biblical, religious and historical English terms include the Land of Canaan, the Promised Land, the Holy Land, and Palestine (region), Palesti ...
as "The Holy Land" (
Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-surviving descendants, ...
: ). However, the
Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
'' deuterocanonical books The deuterocanonical books (from the Greek meaning "belonging to the second canon") are books and passages considered by the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denomi ...
(, ). The holiness of the Land of Israel is generally implied in the Tanakh by the Land being given to the
Israelites The Israelites (; , , ) were a group of ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes in the ancient Near East who, during the Iron Age, inhabited a part of Canaan. The earliest recorded evidence of a people by the name of Israel ...
by God, that is, it is the "
promised land The Promised Land ( he, הארץ המובטחת, translit.: ''ha'aretz hamuvtakhat''; ar, أرض الميعاد, translit.: ''ard al-mi'ad; also known as "The Land of Milk and Honey"'') is the land which, according to the Tanakh The H ...
", an integral part of God's covenant. In the
Torah The Torah (; hbo, ''Tōrā'', "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") is the compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, namely the books of Book of Genesis, Genesis, Book of Exodus, Exodus, Leviticus, Book of Numbers, Numbers a ...
, many
mitzvot In its primary meaning, the Hebrew language, Hebrew word (; he, מִצְוָה, ''mīṣvā'' , plural ''mīṣvōt'' ; "commandment") refers to a commandment Divine law, commanded by God to be performed as a religious duty. Jewish law () in l ...
commanded to the Israelites can only be performed in the Land of Israel, which serves to differentiate it from other lands. For example, in the Land of Israel, "no land shall be sold permanently" ().
Shmita The sabbath year (shmita; he, שמיטה, literally "release"), also called the sabbatical year or ''shǝvi'it'' (, literally "seventh"), or "Sabbath of The Land", is the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle mandated by the Torah ...
is only observed with respect to the Land of Israel, and the observance of many
holy Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity; is considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspires awe or Reverence (emotion), reverence among believers. The property is often asc ...
days is different, as an extra day is observed in the
Jewish diaspora The Jewish diaspora ( he, תְּפוּצָה, təfūṣā) or exile (Hebrew: ; Yiddish: ) is the dispersion of Israelites or Jews out of their ancient ancestral homeland (the Land of Israel) and their subsequent settlement in other parts of th ...
. According to Eliezer Schweid: From the perspective of the 1906
Jewish Encyclopedia ''The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Religion, Literature, and Customs of the Jewish People from the Earliest Times to the Present Day'' is an English-language encyclopedia containing over 15,000 articles on th ...
, the holiness of Israel had been concentrated since the sixteenth century, especially for burial, in the "
Four Holy Cities The Four Holy Cities of Judaism are the cities of Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed and Tiberias which were the four main centers of Jewish life after the Ottoman–Mamluk War (1516–17), Ottoman conquest of Palestine. According to the 1906 Jewish Encyc ...
":
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałēm. i ...
,
Hebron Hebron ( ar, الخليل or ; he, חֶבְרוֹן ) is a State of Palestine, Palestinian. city in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judaean Mountains, it lies Above mean sea level, above sea level. The second-lar ...
,
Safed Safed (known in Hebrew language, Hebrew as Tzfat; Sephardi Hebrew, Sephardic Hebrew & Modern Hebrew: צְפַת ''Tsfat'', Ashkenazi Hebrew pronunciation, Ashkenazi Hebrew: ''Tzfas'', Biblical Hebrew: ''Ṣǝp̄aṯ''; ar, صفد, ''Ṣafad''), i ...
and
Tiberias Tiberias ( ; he, טְבֶרְיָה, ; ar, طبريا, Ṭabariyyā) is an Israeli city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. A major Jewish center during Late antiquity, Late Antiquity, it has been considered since the 16th century one ...
– as
Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots ...
's holiest cities. Jerusalem, as the site of the
Temple A temple (from the Latin ) is a building reserved for spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. Religions which erect temples include Christianity (whose temples are typically called church (building), churches), Hindui ...
, is considered especially significant.Feintuch, Yossi (1987). ''U.S. Policy on Jerusalem'', Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 1. . Quote: "For the Jews the city has been the pre-eminent focus of their spiritual, cultural, and national life throughout three millennia .e. since the 10th century BCE." Sacred burials are still undertaken for diaspora Jews who wish to lie buried in the holy soil of Israel. According to Jewish tradition, Jerusalem is Mount
Moriah Moriah (Hebrew language, Hebrew: , ''Mōrīyya''; Arabic: ﻣﺮﻭﻩ, ''Marwah'') is the name given to a mountainous region in the Book of Genesis, where the binding of Isaac by Abraham is said to have taken place. Jews identify the region me ...
, the location of the
binding of Isaac The Binding of Isaac ( he, , ), or simply "The Binding" (, ), is a story from Book of Genesis#Patriarchal age (chapters 12–50), Genesis 22 of the Hebrew Bible. In the biblical narrative, God in Abrahamic religions, God tells Abraham to sac ...
. The
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
Hebrew: ''Tān ...
mentions the name "
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałēm. i ...
" 669 times, often because many mitzvot can only be performed within its environs. The name "
Zion Zion ( he, צִיּוֹן ''Ṣīyyōn'', LXX , also variously Romanization of Hebrew, transliterated ''Sion'', ''Tzion'', ''Tsion'', ''Tsiyyon'') is a placename in the Hebrew Bible used as a synonym for Jerusalem as well as for the Land of Isra ...
", which usually refers to Jerusalem, but sometimes the Land of Israel, appears in the Hebrew Bible 154 times. The
Talmud The Talmud (; he, , Talmūḏ) is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law (''halakha'') and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the center ...
mentions the religious duty of populating Israel. So significant in Judaism is the act of purchasing land in Israel, the Talmud allows for the lifting of certain religious restrictions of
Sabbath In Abrahamic religions, the Sabbath () or Shabbat (from Hebrew ) is a day set aside for rest and worship. According to the Book of Exodus, the Sabbath is a day of rest on the seventh day, Ten Commandments, commanded by God to be kept as a Holida ...
observance to further its acquisition and settlement. Rabbi Johanan said that "Whoever walks four
cubit The cubit is an ancient units of measurement, unit of length based on the distance from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger. It was primarily associated with the Sumerians, Egyptians, and Israelites. The term ''cubit'' is found in t ...
s in Eretz Yisrael he Land of Israelis guaranteed entrance to the
World to Come The world to come, age to come, heaven on Earth, and the Kingdom of God are eschatology, eschatological phrases reflecting the belief that the World (theology), current world or Dispensation (period), current age is flawed or cursed and will be r ...
". A story says that when R. Eleazar b. Shammua' and R. Johanan HaSandlar left Israel to study from R. Judah ben Bathyra, they only managed to reach
Sidon Sidon ( ; he, צִידוֹן, ''Ṣīḏōn'') known locally as Sayda or Saida ( ar, صيدا ''Ṣaydā''), is the third-largest city in Lebanon. It is located in the South Governorate, Lebanon, South Governorate, of which it is the capital, ...
when "the thought of the sanctity of Palestine overcame their resolution, and they shed tears, rent their garments, and turned back". Due to the Jewish population being concentrated in Israel, emigration was generally prevented, which resulted in a limiting of the amount of space available for Jewish learning. However, after suffering persecutions in Israel for centuries after the destruction of the Temple, Rabbis who had found it very difficult to retain their position moved to
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Bāḇel'' * syc, ܒܒܠ ''Bāḇel'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bāvel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babi ...
, which offered them better protection. Many Jews wanted Israel to be the place where they died, in order to be buried there. The sage Rabbi Anan said "To be buried in Israel is like being buried under the altar." The saying "His land will absolve His people" implies that burial in Israel will cause one to be absolved of all one's sins.


Christianity

For
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...
, the
Land of Israel The Land of Israel () is the traditional Jewish name for an area of the Southern Levant. Related biblical, religious and historical English terms include the Land of Canaan, the Promised Land, the Holy Land, and Palestine (region), Palesti ...
is considered holy because of its association with the
birth Birth is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring In biology, offspring are the young creation of living organisms, produced either by a Asexual reproduction, single organism or, in the case of sexual reproduction, two organ ...
, ministry,
crucifixion Crucifixion is a method of capital punishment in which the victim is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross or beam and left to hang until eventual death from exhaustion and asphyxiation. It was used as a punishment by the Achaemenid Empire, ...
and
resurrection Resurrection or anastasis is the concept of coming back to life after death. In a number of religions, a Dying-and-rising deity, dying-and-rising god is a deity which dies and is resurrected. Reincarnation is a similar process hypothesized b ...
of
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, names and titles), was ...
, whom Christians regard as the Savior or
Messiah In Abrahamic religions, a messiah or messias (; , ; , ; ) is a salvation, saviour or liberator of a group of people. The concepts of ''Messiah in Judaism, mashiach'', Messianism#Judaism, messianism, and of a Messianic Age#Judaism, Messianic Age ...
. Christian books, including many editions of the Bible, often have maps of the Holy Land (considered to be Galilee, Samaria, and Judea). For instance, the ''Itinerarium Sacrae Scripturae'' () of Heinrich Bünting (1545–1606), a German Protestant pastor, featured such a map. His book was very popular, and it provided "the most complete available summary of biblical geography and described the geography of the Holy Land by tracing the travels of major figures from the Old and New testaments." As a geographic term, the description "Holy Land" loosely encompasses modern-day
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
, the
Palestinian territories The Palestinian territories are the two regions of the former British Mandate for Palestine that have been militarily occupied by Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of ...
,
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue ...
, western
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; Romanization of Arabic, tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; Romanization of Arabic, tr. ' is a country in Western Asia. It is situated at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, within the Levan ...
and south-western
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, translit=Sūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, الجمهورية العربية السورية, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a Western Asian country loc ...
. On 4 January 1964, Paul VI made the first visit of a reigning pontiff to the Holy Land. It was a one day visit to Jerusalem. On 20 April 1984,
John Paul II Pope John Paul II ( la, Ioannes Paulus II; it, Giovanni Paolo II; pl, Jan Paweł II; born Karol Józef Wojtyła ; 18 May 19202 April 2005) was the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 until his ...
fully recognized the Jewish nation and on 21 March 2000 he made the first five-days pilgrimage of a pope in Israel. Catholic Church guidelines for Holy Land pilgrimages recommend that visitors should seek "a healthy balance between visiting the holy places and encountering the local Christian community".


Islam

In the
Quran The Quran (, ; Standard Arabic: , Classical Arabic, Quranic Arabic: , , 'the recitation'), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation in Islam, revelation from God in Islam, ...
, the term ( ar, الأرض المقدسة, en, "Holy Land") is used in a passage about Musa (
Moses Moses hbo, מֹשֶׁה, Mōše; also known as Moshe or Moshe Rabbeinu (Mishnaic Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ, ); syr, ܡܘܫܐ, Mūše; ar, موسى, Mūsā; grc, Mωϋσῆς, Mōÿsēs () is considered the most important Prop ...
) proclaiming to the
Children of Israel The Israelites (; , , ) were a group of ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes in the ancient Near East who, during the Iron Age, inhabited a part of Canaan. The earliest recorded evidence of a people by the name of Israel ...
: "O my people! Enter the holy land which
Allah Allah (; ar, الله, translit=Allāh, ) is the common Arabic language, Arabic word for God in Abrahamic religions, God. In the English language, the word generally refers to God in Islam. The word is thought to be derived by Contraction ( ...
hath assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin." The Quran also refers to the land as being 'Blessed'.
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałēm. i ...
(referred to as ''Al-Quds,'' ar, الـقُـدس, "The Holy") has particular significance in Islam. The Quran refers to
Muhammad Muhammad ( ar, مُحَمَّد;  570 – 8 June 632 Common Era, CE) was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of Islam. According to Muhammad in Islam, Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet Divine inspiration, di ...
's experiencing the
Isra and Mi'raj The Israʾ and Miʿraj ( ar, الإسراء والمعراج, ') are the two parts of a Night Journey that, according to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around ...
as "a Journey by night from '' Al-Masjid al-Haram'' to '' Al-Masjid al-Aqsa'', whose precincts We did bless ...". '' Ahadith'' infer that the "Farthest Masjid" is in Al-Quds; for example, as narrated by Abu Hurairah: "On the night journey of the Apostle of Allah, two cups, one containing wine and the other containing milk, were presented to him at Al-Quds (Jerusalem). He looked at them and took the cup of milk. Angel Gabriel said, 'Praise be to Allah, who guided you to Al-Fitrah (the right path); if you had taken (the cup of) wine, your ''
Ummah ' (; ar, أمة ) is an Arabic word meaning "community". It is distinguished from ' ( ), which means a nation with common ancestry or geography. Thus, it can be said to be a supra-national community with a common history. It is a synonym for ' ...
'' would have gone astray'."
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałēm. i ...
was Islam's first ''Qiblah'' (direction of prayer) in Muhammad's lifetime, however, this was later changed to the
Kaaba The Kaaba (, ), also spelled Ka'bah or Kabah, sometimes referred to as al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah ( ar, ٱلْكَعْبَة ٱلْمُشَرَّفَة, lit=Honored Ka'bah, links=no, translit=al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah), is a building at the c ...
in the Hijazi city of
Mecca Mecca (; officially Makkah al-Mukarramah, commonly shortened to Makkah ()) is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam. It is inland from Jeddah on the Red ...
, following a revelation to Muhammad by the Archangel Jibril. The current construction of the
Al-Aqsa mosque Al-Aqsa Mosque (, ), also known as Jami' Al-Aqsa () or as the Qibli Mosque ( ar, المصلى القبلي, translit=al-Muṣallā al-Qiblī, label=none), and also is a congregational mosque located in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is situate ...
, which lies on the
Temple Mount The Temple Mount ( hbo, הַר הַבַּיִת, translit=Har haBayīt, label=Hebrew language, Hebrew, lit=Mount of the House f the Holy, also known as al-Ḥaram al-Sharīf (Arabic: الحرم الشريف, lit. 'The Noble Sanctuary'), al- ...
in Jerusalem, is dated to the early Umayyad period of rule in Palestine. Architectural historian K. A. C. Creswell, referring to a testimony by Arculf, a Gallic monk, during his pilgrimage to Palestine in 679–82, notes the possibility that the second
caliph A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة , ), a person considered a political-religious successor to th ...
of the
Rashidun Caliphate The Rashidun Caliphate ( ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلرَّاشِدَةُ, al-Khilāfah ar-Rāšidah) was the first caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadersh ...
,
Umar ibn al-Khattab ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب, also spelled Omar, ) was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, ruling from August 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr () as the second caliph of the Rashidun C ...
, erected a primitive quadrangular building for a capacity of 3,000 worshipers somewhere on the Haram ash-Sharif. However, Arculf visited Palestine during the reign of Mu'awiyah I, and it is possible that Mu'awiyah ordered the construction, not Umar. This latter claim is explicitly supported by the early Muslim scholar al-Muthahhar bin Tahir. According to the Quran and Islamic traditions, Al-Aqsa Mosque is the place from which Muhammad went on a night journey (''al-isra'') during which he rode on Buraq, who took him from Mecca to al-Aqsa. Muhammad tethered Buraq to the
Western Wall The Western Wall ( he, הַכּוֹתֶל הַמַּעֲרָבִי, HaKotel HaMa'aravi, the western wall, often shortened to the Kotel or Kosel), known in the Western world, West as the Wailing Wall, and in Islam as the Buraq Wall (Arabic: ...
and prayed at al-Aqsa Mosque and after he finished his prayers, the angel Jibril (
Gabriel In Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), Gabriel (); Greek language, Greek: grc, Γαβριήλ, translit=Gabriḗl, label=none; Latin language, Latin: ''Gabriel''; Coptic language, Coptic: cop, Ⲅⲁⲃⲣⲓⲏⲗ, transli ...
) traveled with him to heaven, where he met several other
prophets In religion, a prophet or prophetess is an individual who is regarded as being in contact with a divinity, divine being and is said to speak on behalf of that being, serving as an intermediary with humanity by delivering messages or teachings f ...
and led them in prayer. The historical significance of the al-Aqsa Mosque in Islam is further emphasized by the fact that Muslims turned towards al-Aqsa when they prayed for a period of 16 or 17 months after
migration Migration, migratory, or migrate may refer to: Human migration * Human migration, physical movement by humans from one region to another ** International migration, when peoples cross state boundaries and stay in the host state for some minimum le ...
to
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, , Turkish: Medine-i Münevvere) and also commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second-holiest city in Islam Islam (; ar, ...
in 624; it thus became the ''
qibla The qibla ( ar, قِبْلَة, links=no, lit=direction, translit=qiblah) is the direction towards the Kaaba in the Great Mosque of Mecca, Sacred Mosque in Mecca, which is used by Muslims in various religious contexts, particularly the directi ...
'' ("direction") that Muslims faced for prayer. The exact region referred to as being 'blessed' in the Quran, in verses like , and , has been interpreted differently by various scholars.
Abdullah Yusuf Ali Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, CBE, Master of Arts#Oxford.2C Cambridge.2C Dublin .28conferred.29, MA, Master of Laws, LL.M, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, FRSA, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, F ...
likens it to a wide land-range including
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, translit=Sūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, الجمهورية العربية السورية, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a Western Asian country loc ...
and
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue ...
, especially the cities of Tyre and
Sidon Sidon ( ; he, צִידוֹן, ''Ṣīḏōn'') known locally as Sayda or Saida ( ar, صيدا ''Ṣaydā''), is the third-largest city in Lebanon. It is located in the South Governorate, Lebanon, South Governorate, of which it is the capital, ...
; Az-Zujaj describes it as, ''"
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , map_caption = , ...
, Palestine, and a bit of
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; Romanization of Arabic, tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; Romanization of Arabic, tr. ' is a country in Western Asia. It is situated at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, within the Levan ...
"''; Muadh ibn Jabal as, ''"the area between al-Arish and the
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Tigris–Euphrates river system, Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia ( ''the land between the rivers'') ...
"''; and
Ibn Abbas ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbbās ( ar, عَبْد ٱللَّٰه ٱبْن عَبَّاس; c. 619 – 687 CE), also known as Ibn ʿAbbās, was one of the cousins of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad. He is considered to be t ...
as, ''"the land of
Jericho Jericho ( ; ar, أريحا ; he, יְרִיחוֹ ) is a State of Palestine, Palestinian city in the West Bank. It is located in the Jordan Valley, with the Jordan River to the east and Jerusalem to the west. It is the administrative seat ...
"''. This overall region is referred to as " Ash-Shām" ( ar, الـشَّـام).


Baháʼí faith

Followers of the
Baháʼí Faith The Baháʼí Faith is a religion founded in the 19th century The 19th (nineteenth) century began on 1 January 1801 (Roman numerals, MDCCCI), and ended on 31 December 1900 (Roman numerals, MCM). The 19th century was the ninth century of th ...
consider
Acre The acre is a Unit of measurement, unit of land area used in the Imperial units, imperial and United States customary units#Units of area, US customary systems. It is traditionally defined as the area of one Chain (unit), chain by one furlong ( ...
and
Haifa Haifa ( he, חֵיפָה ' ; ar, حَيْفَا ') is the List of cities in Israel, third-largest city in Israel—after Jerusalem and Tel Aviv—with a population of in . The city of Haifa forms part of the Haifa metropolitan area, the thir ...
sacred as Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Baháʼí Faith, was exiled to the prison of Acre from 1868 and spent his life in its surroundings until his death in 1892. In his writings he set the slope of
Mount Carmel Mount Carmel ( he, הַר הַכַּרְמֶל, Har haKarmel; ar, جبل الكرمل, Jabal al-Karmil), also known in Arabic as Mount Mar Elias ( ar, link=no, جبل مار إلياس, Jabal Mār Ilyās, lit=Mount Saint Elias/Elijah), is a c ...
to host the Shrine of the Báb which his appointed successor 'Abdu'l-Bahá erected in 1909 as a beginning of the terraced gardens there. The Head of the religion after him, Shoghi Effendi, began building other structures and the
Universal House of Justice The Universal House of Justice ( fa, بیت‌العدل اعظم) is the nine-member supreme ruling body of the Baháʼí Faith. It was envisioned by Baháʼu'lláh, the founder of the Baháʼí Faith, as an institution that could legislate ...
continued the work until the Baháʼí World Centre was brought to its current state as the spiritual and administrative centre of the religion. Its gardens are highly popular places to visit and
Mohsen Makhmalbaf Mohsen Makhmalbaf ( fa, محسن مخملباف, ''Mohsen Makhmalbaaf''; born May 29, 1957) is an Iranian film director, writer, film editor, and producer. He has made more than 20 feature films, won some 50 awards and been a juror in more than 1 ...
's 2012 film '' The Gardener'' featured them. The holiest places currently for Baháʼí pilgrimage are the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh in Acre and the Shrine of the Báb in Haifa which are
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international coope ...
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNES ...
s.


See also

*
Archaeological sites in Israel The archaeology of Israel is the study of the archaeology of the present-day Israel, stretching from prehistory through three millennia of documented history. The ancient Land of Israel was a geographical bridge between the political and cultu ...
*
Crusader states The Crusader States, also known as Outremer, were four Catholic realms in the Middle East that lasted from 1098 to 1291. These Feudalism, feudal Polity, polities were created by the Latin Church, Latin Catholic leaders of the First Crusade t ...
*
History of Palestine The history of Palestine is the study of the past in the region of Palestine, also known as the Land of Israel and the Holy Land The Holy Land; Arabic language, Arabic: or is an area roughly located between the Mediterranean Sea a ...
*
History of the Jews and Judaism in the Land of Israel The history of the Jews and Judaism in the Land of Israel is about the history and religion of the Jews, who originated in the Land of Israel, and have maintained physical, cultural, and religious ties to it ever since. First emerging in the ...
*
Holiest sites in Islam The holiest sites in Islam are predominantly located in Western Asia. While the significance of most places typically varies depending on the Islamic schools and branches, Islamic sect, there is a consensus across all mainstream branches of the ...
* Holy places * List of religious sites * Laws and customs of the Land of Israel in Judaism


Notes


References


External links


Manuscripts from the Holy Land
Shapell Manuscript Foundation
"Description of the Holy Land"
1585 map depicting the Holy Land at the time of Jesus, World Digital Library {{Portal bar, Christianity, Islam, Israel, Judaism, Palestine Abrahamic religions Christian holy places Crusade places Hebrew Bible places Historical regions in Israel Islamic holy places Jewish holy places Land of Israel Places in the deuterocanonical books Religion and geography Religious places Religious terminology History of Israel