Posted by: Dawud Israel | February 23, 2020


Let’s talk about Jerusalem.

I watched the old movie Kingdom of Heaven which much excited Muslims for its great portrayal of Salahuddin.

My reflection on this movie was that the reality of the holy city of Jerusalem is that it is not conquered with any permanence, by physical force, but by spiritual and moral high grounds.

Like the hill of Golgotha, the moral high ground, is seen by the whole Jerusalem not just in space but in time. The religious and symbolic value of this holy city, Jerusalem, to not one but 3 faiths, means the ownership or guardianship, has to be with those with the highest moral traits – trustworthiness, honour, justice, etc. And hence the reality of the affair is Jerusalem is about which religion can produce the best man.

The most upright person deserves a holy city – not the most corrupt. And whichever religion can and does produce the most upright individual – merely by doing so, that religion has has the claim to guarding the amanah of Jerusalem.  


Salahuddin learned how to conquer a holy city – the haram al sharif – from the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasalam). Salahuddin established a moral high ground over the Christians by letting Jerusalem’s Christian folk go free and in a sense they acquiesced to him being the better man and worthy of being the guardian of Jerusalem. If they cannot do a better job of guarding the city and honouring its subjects as if on behalf of God, then why object? Hence the Muslims have checkmated the Christians in the Jerusalem’s chessboard of deserving righteousness. 


The Jews and Muslims now square of. Each faith without a champion of piety. Under the intoxicants of nationalism and secularism, the religious champion has a diminished meaning. Islam can produce a religious champion – but it has not yet.

Umar took the city by prophecy.

Salahuddin by treaty.  

What will make the Muslims reach the moral high ground needed to deserve al-Quds? That’s the question to answer to get Jerusalem back.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

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