Islam recognizes the validity of previous revelations from God to previous prophets throughout history, including biblical history, and Jerusalem figured prominently as a holy city to those earlier prophets.
Jerusalem also figures prominently in the story of Muhammad’s miraculous night journey and ascension, according to which the archangel Jibril (Gabriel) transported Muhammad first from Mecca to Jerusalem (for prayer), and then from Jerusalem to heaven (where he met and spoke with some of those previous prophets), all in a single night.
Jerusalem was also the first qibla (“direction”) that Muslims were instructed to face during their prayers, until a later divine revelation received by Muhammad subsequently resulted in changing the direction faced for Islamic prayer from Jerusalem to Mecca.
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