I read that the Qur'an does not mention Jerusalem. Israel's former Prime Minister Menachem Begin said, "While Jerusalem and Zion are mentioned over 800 times in the Jewish Bible, the holy city is not mentioned even once in the [Qur'an]." I am curious if this his claim is accurate. Does the Qur'an mention Jerusalem at least once? If so, what are the major passages in the Qur'an that do mention the city? I am not trying to offend anyone or make a point, I am simple trying to learn the facts.

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    Maybe relevant: islamweb.net/emainpage/…
    – Kilise
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 14:51
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    Somewhat relevant Post: islam.stackexchange.com/questions/25090/…
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 15:42
  • First be aware the Bible is dislike the Quran a collection of Prophetic traditions beside (I assume at least) the word of God, while the Quran is the word of God exclusively. Secondly when we take the sunnah (the prophetic tradition) too we can easily reach a similar amount as the one pretended by Menachem Begin. The Quran is also known to often use the stories of former nations as examples, so they are often not quoted in details, as Muslims could easily ask the people of the book about that.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 15:48

2 Answers 2


The IslamWeb fatwa Kilise mentions in the comments summarizes the situation nicely:

The city of Jerusalem is not mentioned with this name in the Quran, but what is mentioned is the Holy Land and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Night journey: The Quran mentions the Prophet's night journey to the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The Aqsa mosque is generally understood to mean the remains of the Second Temple, given the tile Bait ul Muqadas (Holy House) in Hadith (example1, example2), derived from the Hebrew title Beit HaMikdash.

Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. -- Qur'an 17:1; tafsir

Temple of Jerusalem: The Quran mentions the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem as divine punishment for the Israelites.

And We conveyed to the Children of Israel in the Scripture that, "You will surely cause corruption on the earth twice, and you will surely reach [a degree of] great haughtiness. - Qur'an 17:4

So when the [time of] promise came for the first of them, We sent against you servants of Ours - those of great military might, and they probed [even] into the homes, and it was a promise fulfilled. - Qur'an 17:5

Then We gave back to you a return victory over them. And We reinforced you with wealth and sons and made you more numerous in manpower - Qur'an 17:6

[And said], "If you do good, you do good for yourselves; and if you do evil, [you do it] to yourselves." Then when the final promise came, [We sent your enemies] to sadden your faces and to enter the Temple [in Jerusalem], as they entered it the first time, and to destroy what they had taken over with [total] destruction. - Qur'an 17:7; tafsir

Note: I give the Sahih International translations. While this particular translation for 17:7 contains "Jerusalem", I don't believe it's in the Arabic, and it's not mentioned directly in every translation (Islam Awakened).

Direction of prayer: It's generally believed that the Al-Aqsa mosque was the direction of prayer (qiblah), before it was changed to the Kaaba at the al-Haram mosque in Mecca:

... So turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] are, turn your faces toward it [in prayer]. Indeed, those who have been given the Scripture well know that it is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do. And if you brought to those who were given the Scripture every sign, they would not follow your qiblah. Nor will you be a follower of their qiblah. Nor would they be followers of one another's qiblah. ... -- Qur'an 2:143-145; tafsir

See: Where was the first Qibla of Islam?.

Holy Land: The Quran mentions the "Holy Land" promised to the Tribes of Israel. This is taken as referring to Jerusalem:

And [mention, O Muhammad], when Moses said to his people, "O my people, remember the favor of Allah upon you when He appointed among you prophets and made you possessors and gave you that which He had not given anyone among the worlds. -- Qur'an 5:20

O my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you and do not turn back [from fighting in Allah 's cause] and [thus] become losers." -- Qur'an 5:21

And according to Tafsir al-Jalalayn, these are references to (Prophet Musa in) Jerusalem:

And [recall] when We said, "Enter this city and eat from it wherever you will in [ease and] abundance, and enter the gate bowing humbly and say, 'Relieve us of our burdens.' We will [then] forgive your sins for you, and We will increase the doers of good [in goodness and reward]." -- Qur'an 2:58; tafsir

And [mention, O Muhammad], when it was said to them, "Dwell in this city and eat from it wherever you will and say, 'Relieve us of our burdens,' and enter the gate bowing humbly; We will [then] forgive you your sins. We will increase the doers of good [in goodness and reward]." -- Qur'an 7:161; tafsir

The Jerusalem in Islam Wikipedia page also mentions several Prophets, e.g. Prophet Isa (i.e., Jesus) who are believed to have spent large amounts of time in Jerusalem.

  • Qur'an 17:7 doesn't even have Jerusalem in it. What it translated as "the temple in Jerusalem" really means "the Mosque" or as Quran.com says "the Masjid". Maybe there is something in the context that I am missing here. Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 15:05
  • Also, any idea why they wouldn't say the name of the city outright? Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 15:07
  • I would only be guessing as to why the Qur'an does not mention Jerusalem outright. Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 15:14
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    @AChildofGod 17:7 is talking about the destruction of the Temple of Solomon, see more context. The word Yerusalem is not present in the original arabic and only "Masjid" (temple). The Torah doesn't name the city either and the Quran is best compared with that since Muslims claim it to be dictated word of God (similar to the Torah) rather than divine inspiration (the remainder of the Tanakh).
    – UmH
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 17:10

It's Mentioned but in public In Quraan. First of Surah Al Israa (17) Aya (1) : English trans.

  • Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.

    "whose surroundings We have blessed, " it points to a places arround the Masjid Al- Aqsa and it's area of Jerusalem, but the borders are changes during times.

Even Current Jerusalem is not before 1947 year. and it's not what was before 700 years. not what we'll see in future as i think.

I hope it's clear.

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