Photo of I love Jerusalem by Maimoona Harrington/SpokaneFāVS

I Love Jerusalem

I Love Jerusalem

By Maimoona Harrington

Let me start by quoting the Quran:

“On account of [his deed], We decreed to the Children of Israel that if anyone kills a person-unless in retribution for murder or spreading corruption in the land-it is as if he kills all mankind, while if any saves a life it is as if he saves the lives of all mankind. Our messengers came to them in clear signs, but many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.” Quran (Chapter59, Verse 32)

In light of recent events in Jerusalem in the holy month of Ramadan, all of my social media platforms are full of posts, forwards, messages of prayers, mercy, condemns, sadness and anger. As much as I feel the pain, most often I find it challenging to instantly react, respond, acknowledge or comment. It does not mean I do not feel the plight of people or get sad. I instead opt for the pen to express my thoughts and grief. Emotions run high, graphics distort facts and history makes it convoluted to comprehend.

Sacred To All

Jerusalem more than 5,000 years old, epic center of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, is a sacred sanctuary for all.

Jerusalem is important to Christians, because of Jesus. This is where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is. This is where Jesus was crucified, buried and rose from the dead.

Jerusalem is important to Jews, because The Temple Mount, the holiest site to Judaism and the Western Wall is in Jerusalem. Jews pray facing Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is important to Muslims, because before the reorientation of the direction of prayer to Mecca, Muslims prayed facing towards Jerusalem. From here the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ ascended to heavens.

Beyond Comprehension

I simply wanted to highlight these basic facts. It does not matter how much I learn about the region, its conflicts, geography, history, cultures, I cannot comprehend, why this sacred sanctuary, a geographical gem, so valuable to the children of Adam, always suffers. I cannot comprehend why its inhabitants are never at peace. Where is the acceptance, tolerance, compassion, mercy taught by all religions of the world? Being a strong believer of peace and harmony, I am always saddened seeing, reading and hearing when such events of violence unfold. Will we ever be able to resolve the old grievances. Will neither side ever be secure and safe for the sake of sacredness of Jerusalem, only if nothing else? These are some of the questions I often ask myself and then I return to pray. Prayer is one powerful tool I can use in these moments of exasperation, sorrow and grief.

“The sun cannot overtake the moon, nor can the night outrun the day: each floats in [its own] orbit.” Quran (Chapter36, Verse 40)

Let’s learn to be like our universe, a model of harmony and peace. O’ Children of Adam, let’s take a moment to pray for peace, mercy and harmony for all. Be compassionate.

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