Short Answer: Because it’s the third most important place of worship for Muslims, after Makkah and Madina. Allah brought Prophet Muhammad to Jerusalem in his Night Journey, where he led the other Prophets in prayer, signifying that Islam is the final revelation after many before it. But also because the United Nations ruled that Jerusalem should remain a free place of worship, so for some outside force, such as the President of the United States, to come and declare that Jerusalem is the capital of occupying Israel, strips Palestinians of their rights to worship freely alongside their Jewish and Christian neighbors in Jerusalem.
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Dr. Shabir Ally from Let the Quran Speak addresses this question in the video below.
Aisha Khaja: “The question today is, “What is the significance of Jerusalem to Muslims and why does it matter to them?”
Dr. Shabir Ally: Well, it matters because Jerusalem is the place of the third holiest site of the Muslim faith which is Masjid al-Aqsa, the “Distant Mosque.”
This is mentioned in the Quran in the 17th chapter where it says that God transported the Prophet by night to the distant mosque.
And Muslims believe that many of God’s prophets who are mentioned in the Holy Bible, in the Hebrew Scriptures, came to Jerusalem and prayed there and Muslims would want to go and pray there.
So it is very important!
So the decision by the United States president to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the U.S. embassy there that has been received with great concern among Muslims, in particular, but the world in general, partly because it also hinges now on the rights of Palestinians.
When the United Nations had mandated that East Jerusalem should be returned and freed from Israeli occupation and that eventually if there’s to be a two-state solution, then Jerusalem can be a free area that would be under the Mandate of the United Nations…
For one country to unilaterally take this over and say “Well, this is going to be the capital of Israel,” this is really denying the Palestinians the opportunity to negotiate and to settle an issue like this, which should be settled by peaceful negotiations.
So it really forces the issue ahead in favor of one party and that is not fair.”
We hope this helps you understand the gravity of this decision. Please, keep in touch.