Muftah Al-Maqased Wa Misbah Al-Marased Fee Ziyarati Bait Al-Maqdis By: Abdul-Raheem Bin Ali Bin Ishaq Bin Sheeth Al-Qurashi (died 1228 A.D – 625 H)

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Adnan Mohammad Melhem
Hatem Abdullatif Daoud 'Daoud Alhamad'
Abu Alqasim Abdulraheem Ibn Ali Ibn Ishaq Ibn Sheet Alqurashi belongs to the Umayyads. He was born in (Isna) (1167 A.D 563 H) and was brought up in (Qoos) where he got his education and he traveled a lot between Egypt and Syria and finally settled in Damascus where he was a minister and a writer of composition for king Isa until his death in 1228 A.D 625 H. Alqurashi was well known for his modesty, good manners, generosity, almsgiving, treating others well, piety and his wide knowledge of poetry, literature, memorizing and explanation of Quran, so everyone liked him. Consequently, he wrote for the Sultans of Egypt and the Kings of Syria. His writings indicate that he favored tashayyu' as he was brought up in an environment which encouraged that. All the historians who wrote about his life agreed that he had a high rank among the writers of his time and described him as a knowing person (allama), genius, Imam and head. His writings and poetry proved their description as he was a student of Alqadi Alfadel Abdulraheem ibn Ali (died 1199 A.D 596 H) who was the head of a department in Egypt. Among his students were Abu Albarakat Almubarak Ibn Ahmad (known as Ibn Asha'ar Almosili) who died in 1256 A.D 654 H and other students. The method of Ibn Sheet Alqurashi was marked by the religious and storytelling pattern and writing on such issues makes the writer follow this method. Ibn Alqurashi often used to clarify the stories and novels and comment on them in addition to following the narrative method in gathering the material for his book from those who were before him in this field. He took from the book (the Virtues of the Sacred House) written by Abu Bakr Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Alwasiti (died in the 5th Hijri century). He also quoted the book (the Virtues of Bait Almaqdis) by Abu Alma'ali Almosharraf Ibn Almurajja Almaqdisi (died 1098 A.D 492 H). He also economized in introducing his material and deleting the narrators except in a few cases. Despite all that, some of his stories consisted of many pages. Add to that using story which was not authentic (Israeliat) from which he aimed to horrify sinners in holy places. Alqurashi quoted 134 verses from the Quran, 41 Hadiths, 163 verses of poetry in 32 pieces of poetry all of which he used to serve the aims of his book such as glorifying mosques, awakening the religious sense of Muslims to defend their holy places and visit them and do good there and pray in them to get forgiveness and God's rewards. The importance of the book comes from including a huge religious material shown through the Quranic verses, Hadiths concerning Jerusalem and the kinds of worship that must be practiced in it and the prayers that must be said in certain places and the reward that comes from that and his presentation of the narratives that aim at attracting the visitors to Jerusalem and the importance of the visit and the value of praying and almsgiving and doing good in it and God's care of the inhabitants and visitors of Jerusalem and the benefits they get from it. The book differed from the books written before it in including a big historical material as in building Jerusalem and its opening by Omar Ibn Alkhattab and Salah Eddin Alayyubi and the establishing of the state of Bani Ayyub in Egypt, the book also contains an architectural element as in its talking about Alaqsa Mosque, its domes, alters and doors as it was a geographical guide for the visitors of Jerusalem as it mentioned a lot of places that the author advised people to visit there. In that book he included prayers which he himself wrote- that should be said in the places that he recommended. He also wrote a chapter dedicated for visiting the shrines of prophets and Muslim tombs especially in the Holy Land. Consequently, the writes of the virtues books concentrated on guiding visitors and pilgrims who come to Jerusalem and teaching them about the holy places, rituals, prayers suitable for each place in Jerusalem. In short, these books were guide books for pilgrims and visitors. The scholars' writing about Jerusalem and its virtues shows their care and being interested in this city through the ages because of being a city which is sacred to Muslim countries as this city was the place where prophets were born or where they died or where there is a shrine of a prophet or one of the disciples. The prophet Mohammad's urging to open Syria encouraged Alqurahi and other writers to write about the virtues of Jerusalem. Politically speaking, what encouraged him was the disputes between the Umayyads and the followers of Ali and the coming of the large number of princes and heads of Syria and the moving of caliphate from Damascus to Baghdad. Add to all that the role of narrators who put Hadiths and claimed that they were said by Mohammad. These narrators sometimes praised some groups to get money. The Christians and Jews becoming Muslims caused the spread of the Israeli narratives and adding them to the Islamic culture. Those had their won tales which they used after becoming Muslims. Among them was Ka'b Alahbar who told many virtues of Jerusalem all of which come of the Jewish heritage. Among them, too was Wahb Ibn Munabbeh who told the stories of prophets and the Israelis. The book approached four subjects. The first is about building Jerusalem at the time of Daoud and the virtues of those who pray in Jerusalem, and the prophet's ascending to the sky and the opening of Omar Ibn Alkhattab (636 A.D 15 H) and the building of Alaqsa mosque and the care of Abdul Malik Ibn Marwan who built and decorated the dome of the rock and the liberation of Salah Eddin (1187 A.D 583 H). All that gave a comprehensive picture about Jerusalem in which he showed its religious and historic interest. In the second chapter he defined the places that must be visited in Jerusalem as he joined religion to geography through pointing out the religious importance of those places and the surplus the visitor gets from his visit. The third chapter was about the prayers associated with every place in Jerusalem while the fourth was dedicated to visiting the graveyards in general and those of prophets in particular and the surplus of those visits. Alqurashi wanted to draw the attention of Muslims to the importance of visiting Jerusalem and considering it as a pilgrimage. He defined the parts of the visit and described its rituals. He talked about the places of virtue and guided the visitors to pray in them, so he has put something like a geographical guide for the visitors of the holy city.
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