What is the Islamic connection to Jerusalem? The purported Islamic connection begins thousands of years after the original Jewish connection, in the 7th century AD with the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in 638. If you look in the Koran, where the teachings of Muhammad are written, the word Jerusalem never appears anywhere.
Keep in mind that the initial connection was purely that of the site where the Jewish Temple stood.
We know that in the 7th century, the Muslims lose control of their “holiest” city, Mecca.
In the Koran there is a story about Muhammad’s dream, where he takes a ride on a flying horse, al-buraq, in the 17th sura, and in that story Muhammed flies from Mecca to “the furthest most place”, Al-Aqsa, and then ascends to heaven, and spends 40 days talking to God and all the prophets.
In the later part of the 7th century after Muslims had lost control of Mecca, they contrived the story, and said, “You know where Muhammed flew in his dream? It’s here to Jerusalem, to the site of the Temple.”
That’s it folks. That’s the extent of the Muslim connection. That is where it is born.
After that period of time in the late 7th century, the Muslims build first the gold dome in 691AD which is a shrine over the spot where Muhammed supposed ascended to heaven and later the black dome, which is the Al-Aqsa mosque.
What is important to appreciate is that while Jerusalem may be the third holiest site in the world for Sunni Muslims, Muslims where ever they are in the world, when it comes time to pray, even on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, turn south to pray towards Mecca while Jews everywhere in the world pray towards Jerusalem. So while it’s the third holiest place in the world for Muslims, to the Jewish people it remains the first holiest spot in the world.