We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more Palestine - Oxford Islamic Studies Online
Select Translation What is This? Selections include: The Koran Interpreted, a translation by A.J. Arberry, first published 1955; The Qur'an, translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, published 2004; or side-by-side comparison view
Chapter: verse lookup What is This? Select one or both translations, then enter a chapter and verse number in the boxes, and click "Go."
:
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Next Result

Palestine

Source:
The Islamic World: Past and Present What is This? Accessible coverage of Islam from the seventh century to the twenty-first century

    Read More About…

    Palestine

    Palestine (Filastin in Arabic) has great value and significance for Muslims, Christians, and Jews, and many religious groups refer to it as the Holy Land. Situated on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, Palestine borders Lebanon and Syria to the north, the Kingdom of Jordan to the east, Egypt to the southwest, and the desert of the Negev to the south. Its population includes Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Druze. Palestine contains sacred sites of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, such as the Wailing Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Dome of the Rock, and the Haram as-Sharif (called the Noble Sanctuary by Muslims and the Temple Mount by Jews), which contains the mosque of al-Aqsa.

    Muslims consider Palestine the most important site after Mecca and Medina. The miraculous Night Journey (isra) and Ascension (miraj) of the Prophet Muhammad is associated with Palestine. During the Night Journey, he traveled from Mecca to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where he ascended to heaven. Muhammad told his followers to turn toward Jerusalem while they prayed. Later, when the early Muslim community moved from Mecca to Medina, the direction of prayer was changed to Mecca.

    Jews and Christians also view Palestine as a holy site. Jews established a kingdom there in ancient times and believe that God promised Palestine to them as a homeland. Christians value Palestine for its associations with Jesus. During the Middle Ages, they embarked on the Crusades, a series of wars to capture Palestine from the Muslims.

    Despite the efforts of the Christians, Palestine has remained mostly under Muslim rule for the past 12 centuries. From 1517 to 1917 , Palestine and the rest of the Middle East came under the control of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans divided Palestine into the vilayet (province) of Beirut and the sanjak (district) of Jerusalem. Palestine as an administrative unit came into existence at the end of World War I ( 1914 – 1918 ), when Great Britain and France defeated the Ottomans. Britain took over Palestine and Iraq, while the French gained control of Syria and Lebanon. The League of Nations granted Britain and France an official mandate over these countries in 1923 .

    Britain, however, was soon involved in conflict with the Arabs and the Jews of Palestine. In order to gain support from the Arabs during World War I, Britain had promised the Arabs the establishment of an Arab kingdom that would unify all countries from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea. Jewish interest groups, however, lobbied Britain for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. Faced with increasing anti-Semitism in Europe, Jews wanted control of the territory they considered the Promised Land. The Arabs felt betrayed and bitter when Great Britain entered into negotiations with Zionist leaders and officially declared that it would support the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Britain outlined its intentions in the Balfour Declaration in November 1917 .

    Britain's conflicting promises led the Arabs to organize against the British government. Afraid that they might lose their land to Jewish settlers from Europe, the Arabs rioted against the British colonial authorities in the 1920s and 1930s. The most important of these demonstrations occurred in 1936 , when Muslims called for a general strike throughout major Palestinian towns, including Nablus, Jaffa, and Jerusalem. This uprising led to the deaths of several Arabs and Jews. The British, however, continued to allow Jews from Europe to immigrate into Palestine. Funded with international donations, the settlers built a modern infrastructure and economy. The Palestinians felt the region slipping from their control. As a result of the increasing violence between Arabs and Jews, Great Britain dispatched a Royal Commission headed by Lord Peel in November 1936 .

    The Peel Commission recommended that Britain partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, with a British-mandated area that would include Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Jaffa. The Arabs opposed the plan, believing that it prevented them from having their own nation. They initiated more anti-British actions, which led to the killing of a British colonial officer in 1937 . In 1939 the British government met with Zionists, Palestinians, and representatives of various Arab governments to discuss the future of Palestine. The conference resulted in the drafting of the 1939 White Paper, which detailed a plan to halt Jewish immigration in five years. The British pledged to grant the Arabs their own state in ten years, and to limit the amount of land Jews could buy.

    Both Arab and Jewish groups rejected these proposals. During World War II ( 1939 – 1945 ), the Zionists increasingly struggled with the British to allow more Jews into Palestine. They staged riots and armed conflicts with the British in order to secure a place for Holocaust survivors. In July 1945 , the Anglo-American Committee emerged to resolve the conflict. The commission recommended the creation of autonomous Arab and Jewish provinces, with two areas—including a Jerusalem enclave—under the control of the British. In November 1947 , the United Nations adopted a resolution ratifying this plan and ending the British mandate in Palestine. Israel declared its independence, and the Arab nations declared war on the new nation. With the help of overseas funding, Israel successfully defended itself. The establishment of the state of Israel, however, caused around 700,000 Arabs to flee the area and become refugees. Palestinian Arabs continue to struggle for the creation of their own state. See also Arab-Israeli Conflict; Israel; Jerusalem; Palestinian Liberation Organization.

    • Previous Result
    • Results
    • Highlight On / Off
    • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
    • Next Result
    Oxford University Press

    © 2020. All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice