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The name Al-Quds is an abbreviation for "The Jewish Temple"

by Rabbi Joseph Katz

The Arabic name for Jerusalem is "el-KuDS"  which is abbreviation for another Arabic name used for Jerusalem until the last century, "bet el-maKDeS".  Under the Arab rule, in the 10th century Jerusalem was always called "bet el maKDeS"

The name "BeT el-MaKDeS" is a translation of the Aramaic and Hebrew "BeiT ha-MiKDaSH", which means Temple.  But Islam has no Temple, only the Jews did.

Thus the Arabic name for Jerusalem makes no reference to Mohammed's trip to Heaven, but rather refers to the Jewish Temple.

For instance Jordan still lists
"Beit El Makdes Tourism & Travel"

Islamic Itineraries offers 1. Night / 2 Days in Beit El Makdes
with a picture of the Temple Mount

There is a Turkish description of the conquering of Beyt El-Makes
by Suleman at

In general it can be seen that significant Islamic interest in the Temple Mount does not precede 1967.

This page was produced by Joseph E. Katz
Middle Eastern Political and Religious History Analyst 
Brooklyn, New York 
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Copyright © 2001 Joseph Katz
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