So, The Quran Relates Temple Tales

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(Word) Excerpts from a paper, The Temple in the Qurʾān, presented by William J. Hamblin, Professor of History, Brigham Young University today

Taken together, all of the elements mentioned in this passage [Sūrah 34:12b-13a] --Solomon as builder of a place of worship, the massive use of bronze, the jinn as workers, the images, and water basins -- make it certain that this passage is describing the building of Solomon’s Temple, viewing its construction as having been ordered by God and facilitated by divine intervention.

 In these Qurʾānic narratives about Mary, the temple appears in Qurʿān 3:35-37, describing the birth of Mary and her dedication as a youth to serve in the temple, where she is miraculously fed by God. 

  •  The Qurʾān also includes a rather detailed description of the destructions of the Jerusalem temple by the Babylonians and the Romans in 17:4-8.  


The Qurʾān views the temple of Jerusalem through three different lenses.  First, the Qurʾānic temple was an Israelite holy place intimately tied to the lives of the ancient prophets.  Solomon built it by divine decree and with miraculous assistance.  It was commemorated as a place of repentance and miracles.   Second, it was a Christian holy place, where God fed Mary miraculous food, and angels spoke to Zachariah.  Finally, it was a contemporary Muslim sacred place, directly linked to the spiritual life of the Muslims, where Muhammad ascended to heaven in vision.  But, despite its holiness, it was destroyed because of the apostasy of the Jews.  For the Qurʾān, the Jerusalem temple is thus a sign of God’s miraculous power, and a warning, that sacredness does not derive from a place alone, but from submission (ʾislām) to the will of God.

The Temple Mount, when King Herod enlarged and rebuilt it and the Temple in 19 B.C.E. Secrets of Jerusalem's Temple Mount, by Leen and Kathleen Ritmeyer. BAS, 1998. via

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