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Jerusalem-traditions.pdf A Comment on the Antiquity of Traditions Praising] erusalem MEIR KISTER UR TOPIC of discussion is closely related to the hadiths of Fadd'il Bayt af-Maqdis. Two of the most important problems in the analysis of these hadiths are determining their dates of composition, and when they were committed to writing. We can say with cfcrtainty that they were well-known and widely circulated as early as the beginning of the second century after the hidjra. Decisive proof of this is the incl usion of a large chapter of hadiths extolling the merits of Jerusalem in the work of Muqatil (d. 150 A.H.1765 C.E.). I These l;adFths-about 60 in number-are transmitted without isndd [chain of authorities] and contain most of the elements known to us from later works in praise of Jerusalem. 2 Ibn al-Faqih transmits them in Muqatil's name in the chapter of his book devoted to praise of Jerusalem.' Examples of these hadiths are: "Jerusalem is the land God has chosen from among other lands"; "He who chose to die in Jerusalem, has died as if in heaven"; "All sweet water originates beneath the Rock [foundation stone of the Temple]"; "The Rock is the navel of the universe"; "God will destroy Yddjtid] lI'aMiidjudj (Gog and Magog) in Jerusalem"; "Before his death in India, Adam commanded that he be brought to Jerusalem for burial"; "The ingathering and resurrection of the dead will take place in Jerusalem." It seems to me that all these hadiths may be attributed without hesitation to the latter half of the first century of the hidjra (the end of seventh century C.E.). No less ancient, in my opinion, is the hadith, "The establishment of the site of the Temple will be the destruction of Yathrib." 4 I would ascribe it to the period of the building of Jerusalem, i.e. the seventh decade of the first century, along with other hadiths of a similar nature: the tradition that Muhammad's nation will build the "Temple", 5 the O l 2 3 4 5 See F. Sezgin, GAS I, p. 36-37. Muqatil, Tafsir, ms. Saray Ahmad III, 74, I, f. 2 lOa. Kitdb al-Bulddn, ed. De Goeje (Leiden, 1885), p. 93-95. Al-Djahiz, al-Baytin wa-l-Tabyin. II, ed. al-Sandubi, (Cairo 135111932), p. 28; Abu Dawud, Sa~rI:zSunan al-Mustafd, (Cairo 1348/1929), p. 209; al-Samhudi, Wafa' al-Wafd. I, ed. M. Muhyi al-Din 'Abd al-Hamid (Cairo 1375/1955), p. 120; Ibn Kathlr, Nihdyat al-Biddya wal-Nihdya. I, cd. M. Fahim AbuUbayd (Riyad 1968), p. 79; al-Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir, IV (Cairo 1391/1972), p. 360, no. 5612; al-Dhahabi, Mtzan aiI'riddl, II, ed. 'All M. al-Bidjawi (Cairo 1382/1963), p. 552, no. 4828; al-t Azizi, al-Sirddj al-Munir, II (Cairo 1377/1957), p. 460; al-Daylami, Musnad al-Firdaws, ms. Chester Beaty, no. 3037, f. 105a; al-Bukhari. alTa'rikh al-Kabir, III (Hyderabad 1377/1958), I, p. 193, no. 613. Ibn Nasir al-Din, Djdmi' al-Athdr fi Mawlid al-Nabi al-Mukhhar, ms. Cambridge, Or. 913, f. 48b. MEIR KISTE"R dispute over Muhammad's place of burial, in which a group of his friends demanded that he be brought to Jerusalem, the resting place of the prophets," the stories about the construction of the Temple 7 and the burning of the Temple, 8 about Israfil standing on the Rock on the Day of Resurrection, 9 or Jesus blessing Hebron, 10 and the tradition about the Ka'ba's journey to the Rock on Judgment Day.1I To summarize, Jerusalem praise literature emerged in the second half of the first century of the hidjra (the end of the seventh century C.E.) and was put into writing in the first half of the second century of the hidjra (eighth century C.E.}.lJadfths in praise of Jerusalem may be found in the earliest collections of hadiths and Qur'anic exegesis. Jewish converts to Islam played an important role in disseminating stories from the Bible and Midrash, and even held parties upon completion of reading the Torah." Although they had severed their ties with the Jewish community, they did not relinquish their heritage, passing this wealth on to Islam. These isrd'iliyydt were absorbed in the Islamic system of values and eventually became an integral part of it. It is only natural, then, that praise of Jerusalem should be of such importance in the body of isrd'Iliyyiit. The role played by the zuhhdd or pious ascetics has also been mentioned. There is evidence that these people did in fact circulate Jerusalem praise literature. I) It should also be noted that some of them served in the Umayyad government 14which was extremely interested in developing and promoting such literature. 6 7 8 9 10 II 12 13 14 Ibn Hadjar al-Haythami, al-Sawd' iq al-Muhriqa, ed. 'Abd al-Wahhab 'Abd al-Latif (Cairo 13751 1955), p. 32; Life of the Prophets. anon., ms. British Museum 1510. f. 250a. See 'Abd al-Razzaq, al-Musannaf. V, ed. 'Abd al-Rahrnan al-A'zarni (Beirut 1392/1972j, pp. 426-428. AI-FakihI, Ta'rfkh Makka, ms. Leiden, Or. 463, f. 469b-470a. Muqatil, Tafsir. II, p. 169a. Nu'ayrn b. Harnmad, K. al-Fitan. ms. British Museum, Or. 9449, f. 65a (and compare ibid .. f. 65bj. Al-FakihI, ibid., f.416b. See Ibn Sad, Tabaqtit, VII (Beirut, 1960), pp. 110, 222. See for example Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, Isti'tib, ed. 'All M. al-Bidjawi, III (Cairo 1380/1960j, p. 894. no. 1518 (wa-rawa /f fadli-l-shtim al-a~iidfth). See for example al-Minqari, Waq'at Siffin. ed. 'Abd al-Salarn Harun (Cairo 1382/1963), pp. 85-86, about the role of Abu Muslim al-Khawlani in the battle between 'All and Mu'awiya.