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Old Testament Prophecy: Third Jewish Temple in Jerusalem?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Sep 23, 2018

Question

Hello, I'm a student of Religion. I find Muhammad's (PBUH) story compelling and the Qur'an very interesting. I think a lot about Islam and was wondering if Islam believes in the coming Messianic Age as prophesied in the Old Testament? More specifically, does Islam believe that there will be a Third Temple in Jerusalem when Jesus descends/returns?

Consultant

Answer


Old Testament Prophecy

Short Answer: The Quran views the Jews and Christians as Muslims (i.e. those who submit to God’s will), i.e. IF they obey the Law of God. This points to the fundamental truth that is exemplified in the present dilemma in Jerusalem. If the Jews, Christians and Muslims – that is their leaders and scholars – can sit down and discuss all the matters of contention, perhaps they can find a way of peaceful coexistence as inheritors of the same religious tradition God apparently meant us to nurture. And perhaps they may arrive at a consensus as to how to build a Third Jewish Temple in Jerusalem without touching the Masjid al Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock.

………….

Dear Brother,

Peace be with you.

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

Since President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, there has been a lot of discussion among orthodox Jews and fundamentalist Christians about the building of a “Third Temple” in Jerusalem.

King Solomon, built The First Temple and it lasted only 400 years. The Babylonians destroyed it in 586 B.C. (Bible – 2 Kings 25:9).

The Second Temple was completed after the Babylonian Captivity, in 515 B.C.

The Romans destroyed it in the year 70 C.E.

After the State of Israel was established in 1948, there arose a movement among the Israelis for the building of the Third Temple on the location they call “the Temple Mount”.

Trump’s declaration has given a new jolt to this movement.

Biblical Texts & Opinions

The biblical texts are not as explicit as they are made out to be regarding the prophecies about the Third Temple.

The Book of Daniel speaks about an end-time “abomination and desolation” by the Anti-Christ; and so for the fulfillment of the prophecy, namely the realization of the abomination and desolation the Third Temple is necessary.

But there is no direct command by God that the Third Temple should be built for restoring the practice of animal sacrifices.

Yet Orthodox Jews are bent on using the new situation to take control of the Temple Mount and start the building of the Third Temple.

But the followers of Reform and Re-constructionist Judaism do not believe in the re-building of a central Temple.

They also argue that the animal sacrifices belong to a primitive era from which Judaism has evolved into a modern religion.

In 1993, there was a great controversy between the former Chief Sephardic Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu and Rabbi Yisrael Ariel who heads the Temple Institute about whether it is the responsibility of Jews to build a third Temple or whether the Temple will be brought down from heaven when the Messiah comes.

Rabbi Ariel stated that the commandment obligates every Jewish man and woman to rebuild the Temple. The debate continues among the Jews to this day, whether or not the Temple should be built.

Some Conclusions

The foregoing brings into focus two important points:

1. Neither the First Temple nor the Second Temple stood for long in the place they were built. God allowed them to be destroyed as a punishment for the Children of Israel for their sins.

Thereafter there has not been a clearly worded command from God in the Jewish Bible that a Third Temple must be built.

2. The nature of the Third Temple is a subject of controversy today, even among Jewish scholars.

Some argue it is an earthly temple to be built here by human hands, while others think that it will descend from heaven with the Messiah.

Also, there is the Christian interpretation based on the words of Paul that the Third Temple will be a spiritual temple:

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (Corinthians 3:16)

The Muslim Stance on the Third Temple

The Israelis and the Zionist Christians never tire of arguing that the Quran supports the return of the Jews to the Land of Canaan (Palestine). As well as the rebuilding of the Third Temple.

To prove their point they misread certain Quranic verses, completely disregarding the context.

For instance they quote this verse of the Quran:

“And after that We said unto the children of Israel: “Dwell now securely on earth – but [remember that] when the promise of the Last Day shall come to pass, We will bring you forth as [parts of] a motley crowd!” (Muhammad Asad’s translation of the Quran 17:104)

The above verse refers to the Children of Israel whom God saved from the Pharaoh and led to the Land of Canaan.

God tells them that now on, they can live safely on earth. But they should remember that there will be a Last Day when they are brought before God for Judgment along with a multitude of different races and tribes.

The above verse (or any other verse for that matter) does not in any way justify the present policies of the Jewish State. A policy that systematically drives out their own brethren the Children of Ishmael from the land of their birth.

One God One Message

Judaism, Christianity and Islam are now three religions; but based on the teachings of all the prophets of God, they are essentially one religion .

This means that Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all) are the prophets of YHWH or the One and Only God of the universe, who has been progressively revealing His Religion to mankind through those prophets.

Hence Muslims are the religious heirs of the Jews and the Christians.

The Quran views the Jews and Christians as Muslims (i.e. those who submit to God’s will), i.e. IF they obey the Law of God.

This points to the fundamental truth that is exemplified in the present dilemma in Jerusalem.

If the Jews, Christians and Muslims – that is their leaders and scholars – can sit down and discuss all the matters of contention, perhaps they can find a way of peaceful coexistence as inheritors of the same religious tradition God apparently meant us to nurture.

And perhaps they may arrive at a consensus as to how to build a Third Jewish Temple in Jerusalem without touching the Masjid al Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock.

Allah knows best.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Is Allah Jehovah, God of the Old Testament in the Bible?

The Story of Prophet Abraham: The Father of Prophets

The Al-Aqsa Mosque Through the Ages

Muslims Too Believe That Jesus Will Return

Why Is Jerusalem So Important for Muslims?

Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque: The Same?

400 Faith Leaders Sign Declaration of Tolerance in D.C.

 




About Professor Shahul Hameed

Professor Shahul Hameed is an Islamic consultant. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.


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