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The Genuine Farthest Mosque Is in the Land of Egypt

The Debate between the Might and the Truth within a Quranist Vision (17):

The Genuine Farthest Mosque Is in the Land of Egypt

Published in January 6, 2018

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy


Firstly: Egypt is the Land in the Quranic story of Joseph:

1- Egypt, as the most ancient civilization on earth, has preceded the whole world in forming a State that has been continuous, prosperous, and thriving within stability in its land since the dawn of human history. This fact made its ancient rulers describe Egypt as (the Land), as the other areas around them contained Bedouins, nomads, and desert-tribes who had no State and, therefore, cannot be described as (the Land), as we infer from the words of Joseph to his father Jacob/Israel in this verse: "And he elevated his parents on the throne, and they fell prostrate before him. He said, "Father, this is the fulfillment of my vision of long ago. My Lord has made it come true. He has blessed me, when he released me from prison, and brought you out of the Bedouin desert, after the Devil had sown conflict between me and my brothers..." (12:100). Hence, from the Quranic Chapter 12, we infer that the only State at the time (with a king, prisons, civilization, pomp, splendor, etc.) was Egypt, and other peoples at the time around the Egyptian borders were desert-tribes, nomads, and Bedouins with no State. This is why at the Egyptians borders at the time, there were strong, powerful military guards feared by the Bedouins who desired to enter into the Land of Egypt. In light of this, we understand why Jacob had advised his sons against crossing the Egyptian borders from one gate, so as not to stir any suspicions: "...."O my sons, do not enter by one gate, but enter by different gates..." (12:67). Other elements of the Egyptian State during Joseph's lifetime were the palaces,sumptuous residences, pomp, splendor, luxurious lifestyle, parties of affluent men and women, etc. as witnessed by Joseph when he was raised and brought up in the palace of the Potiphar (or grand vizier) of Egypt.

2- In light of the above, we understand why Egypt, within the Quranic story of Joseph, is regarded as (the Land) by Joseph and by all people at the time as per their vision, worldview, and dominant culture, and also by Almighty God Who comments on the events that took place in Egypt. Let us provide some examples from the Quranic Chapter 12. 

2/1: When the Potiphar of Egypt bought Joseph as an adolescent and decided to treat him as though he were his own son, he told his wife to care for Joseph: "The Egyptian who bought him said to his wife, "Take good care of him; he may be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son."..." (12:21). The comment from God about this event is that this had been the commencement of establishing Joseph in the Land: "...We thus established Joseph in the land..." (12:21). This means that establishing Joseph in Egypt was establishing him in the Land (or on earth) in the political sense as Joseph later on would have political influence and authority, which implies a deeply rooted State with power and stability.

2/2: After Joseph was declared innocent and the Hyksos king admired his character, Joseph requested from this king to make him in charge of the storehouses of the Land; i.e., storehouses of Egypt:   "He said, "Put me in charge of the storehouses of the land; I am honest and knowledgeable."" (12:55). This means that since the storehouses of the Land (or on earth) were in Egypt, there were not any known storehouses elsewhere at the time; this is understood from describing storehouses of Egypt, the mother of the whole world and cradle of civilization, as the storehouses of the Land.

2/3: The comment of God comes in the very next verse: "And thus We established Joseph in the land, to live therein wherever he wished. We touch with Our mercy whomever We will, and We never waste the reward of the righteous." (12:56). We are informed thus in 12:56 that Joseph was given political authority and influence in the Land; i.e., in Egypt, as Egypt at the time is the Land, and whoever controlled Egypt controlled the whole known world (or the earth) at the time.

2/4: When the brothers of Joseph were accused of theft, they denied this false accusation in amazement by saying: "They said, "By God, you know we did not come to cause trouble in the land, and we are not thieves."" (12:73). Thus, the term (the Land) here refers only to Egypt, as per the culture/mentality of those Bedouin brothers (the sons of Israel/Jacob) after their coming to Egypt.

2/5: The brothers of Joseph discussed what to do after the Egyptian authorities arrested their youngest brother; God says in the Quran:  "And when they despaired of him, they conferred privately. Their eldest said, "Don't you know that your father received a pledge from you before God, and in the past you failed with regard to Joseph? I will not leave this land until my father permits me, or God decides for me; for He is the Best of Deciders."" (12:80). Again, the term (the Land) here refers only to Egypt.


Secondly: Egypt is the Land in the Pharaonic Era of the Ramses dynasty:

 During the lifetime of Joseph when he became the Potiphar of Egypt and brought his father Jacob/Israel and his brothers to dwell in Egypt (and thus, the 12 sons of Jacob/Israel founded the 12 Israelite tribes), the Hyksos were the rulers of Egypt, but they were defeated and chased away by the Pharaoh Ahmose I, the founder of the 18th Pharaonic dynasty, and later on, the Ramses dynasty ruled Egypt within chauvinism (i.e.,extreme patriotism and a belief in national superiority and glory) and extreme bias for the Egyptian nationalism and xenophobic bias against non-Egyptians (this was one of the reasons of the persecution inflicted on the Israelites by Moses' Pharaoh). The Ramses dynasty ruled Egypt within a military, feudal regime that control all villages, cities, and megacities (i.e., metropolises) throughout the Egyptian soil, and this is why Egypt, within the dominant culture at the time, has been described by most people as (the Land). Let us provide some examples from the Quranic story of Moses.

1- The term (the Land) was adopted by Moses' Pharaoh and his people to exclusively describe Egypt.

1/1: "The retinue members of Pharaoh's people said, "Will you let Moses and his people cause trouble in the land..." (7:127).

1/2: "They said, "Did you come to us to divert us from what we found our ancestors following, and so that you become superior in the land?..." (10:78).

1/3: "Pharaoh said, "Leave me to kill Moses, and let him appeal to his Lord. I fear he may change your religion, or spread corruption in the land."" (40:26).

1/4: "O my people! Yours is the sovereignty today, superior in the land..." (40:29).

2- Moses' Pharaoh and his people assumed that Egypt (the Land) was their private property:

2/1: "He said, "Did you come to us to drive us out of our land with your magic, O Moses?" (20:57).

2/2: "They said, "These two are magicians who want to drive you out of your land with their magic..." (20:63).

2/3: "He intends to drive you out of your land with his magic..." (26:35).

3- Likewise, Moses and his people, the Israelites, and the rest of the Egyptians considered Egypt as (the Land).

3/1: The Egyptian man, against whom Moses was about to fight to save an Israelite man from his hands, said the following to Moses: "...You only want to be a bully in the land..." (28:19).

3/2: Moses said the following to his people: "..."Seek help in God, and be patient. The land belongs to God. He gives it in inheritance to whomever He wills of His servants..." (7:128).

3/3: Moses said the following to his people: "...Perhaps your Lord will destroy your enemy, and make you successors in the land..." (7:129).

3/4: The pious Israelite men advised the sinful, affluent Quaroon by saying the following to him: "But seek, with what God has given you, the Home of the Hereafter, and do not neglect your share of this world. And be charitable, as God has been charitable to you. And do not seek corruption in the land..." (28:77).

4- The far more important point than the abovementioned points is the fact that Almighty God acknowledges and endorses the idea that Egypt is (the Land).

4/1: God says in the Quran: "Pharaoh exalted himself in the land..." (28:4), and since the arrogant Pharaoh became superior and exalted himself in the Land (i.e., in Egypt), this means that he made himself as such worldwide (or on earth) at the time, as Egypt is the Land.

4/2: "...Pharaoh was high and mighty in the land..." (10:83).

4/3: "He and his troops acted arrogantly in the land, with no justification..." (28:39).

4/4: "And Quaroon, and Pharaoh, and Haman - Moses went to them with clear arguments, but they acted arrogantly in the land..." (29:39).

4/5: "But We desired to favor those who were oppressed in the land, and to make them leaders, and to make them the inheritors." (28:5).

4/6: "And to establish them in the land..." (28:6).

4/7: "And We made the oppressed people inherit the eastern and western parts of the land, which We had blessed...." (7:137). We notice here an indication that Egypt (the Land) and eastern and western areas around it were ruled by Pharaoh and fell within his sovereignty, dominion, and control before he drowned, and such areas alongside with Egypt (i.e., the Land) were inherited temporarily by the Israelites.

4/8: When the Israelites were in the Egyptian Sinai peninsula, God has told them the following: "And recall when Moses prayed for water for his people. We said, "Strike the rock with your staff." Thereupon twelve springs gushed out from it, and each tribe recognized its drinking-place. "Eat and drink from God's provision, and do not corrupt the land with disobedience."" (2:60). This means that God has prohibited their spreading corruption in Egypt (the Land), as the term (the Land), in this context and other contexts quoted above, refers only to Egypt. 

5- It is noteworthy that the term (the Land) is mentioned within the context of God's establishing the political authority of David and Solomon: "O David, We made you a ruler in the land, so judge between the people with justice..." (38:26); "And to Solomon the stormy wind, blowing at His command towards the land that We have blessed..." (21:81).

6- The term (the Land) is also mentioned within the context of God's establishing the political authority of the people of Aad: "As for Aad, they turned arrogant in the land, and opposed justice, and said, "Who is more powerful than us?" Have they not considered that God, who created them, is more powerful than they? And they went on denying Our Verses." (41:15).

7- The term (the Land) is also mentioned within the context of God's establishing the political authority of the people of Thamood; their prophet, Saleh, said the following to them: ""And remember how He made you successors after Aad, and settled you in the land. You make for yourselves mansions on its plains, and carve out dwellings in the mountains. So remember God's bounties, and do not spread corruption in the land."" (7:74); "And to Thamood, their brother Saleh. He said, "O my people, worship God, you have no god other than Him. He initiated you from the land, and settled you in it. So seek His forgiveness, and repent to Him. My Lord is Near and Responsive."" (11:61).


Thirdly: in light of the above, we understand the contexts of the Quranic Chapters 5 and 17 about the Israelites:

 Moses passed the Red Sea and Sinai with his people to lead them to the Promised Land, where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel had lived earlier, but they refused to obey God's command. Moses said to them: ""O my people, enter the Holy Land which God has assigned for you, and do not turn back, lest you return as losers."" (5:21). "They said, "O Moses, we will not enter it, ever, as long as they are in it. So go ahead, you and your Lord, and fight. We are staying right here." He said, "My Lord! I have control only over myself and my brother, so separate between us and between the wicked people. He said, "It is forbidden for them for forty years. They will wander aimlessly in the land. So do not grieve over the defiant people."" (5:24-26). We, thus, conclude the following points.

1- Those disobedient sinners among the Israelites have tired Moses very much because of their defiance against the commands of the Lord God, despite the miracles, signs, and bounties they had witnessed, and they forgot God's command about not to spread corruption in Egypt (i.e., in the Land) as per 2:60.

2- Those wicked sinners among the Israelites adamantly refused to enter into Palestine and remained in Egypt, "...We are staying right here." (5:24), and Moses, Aaron, and the good, pious people among the Israelites left them and moved away. 

3- God has decreed that the disobedient sinners among the Israelites would remain wandering aimlessly in the Land of Egypt for forty years.

4- We tend to think that during this wandering in the Land of Egypt, the sinners among the Israelites returned to the Egyptian River Nile Valley that had no ruler(s) at the time, and this made Egypt weak and open for any possible invaders, where they dominated and spread corruption everywhere.

5- This is the first among the two times of corruption committed by the Israelites mentioned in this verse: "And We conveyed to the Israelites in the Book: You will commit corruption in the Land twice, and you will rise to a great height." (17:4). This corruption was their looting and confiscating possessions etc. from a passive, helpless, submissive nation (i.e., the Egyptians at the time). This is why these sinners among the Israelites could not face the powerful military troops that invaded Egypt and fought and defeated them: "When the first of the two promises came true, We sent against you servants of Ours, possessing great might, and they ransacked your homes. It was a promise fulfilled." (17:5).  

6- We tend to think that this corrupt generation of the Israelites ended by this defeat and by the passage of forty years, and another generation of the Israelites who were pious and had might/power managed to defeat these foreign military troops that invaded Egypt: "Then We gave you back your turn against them, and supplied you with wealth and progeny, and made you more numerous." (17:6). 

7- When the second corruption, committed by the sinners among the Israelites of another generation, occurred again, the same invading military troops were sent by God to punish these Israelites, and such troops entered into the Masjid Al-Aqsa (the Farthest Mosque) at Mount Al-Tur in Sinai, for the second time, as this occurred earlier in the first time of corruption when the Israelites were defeated by these military troops. We read these verses about this second corruption and its consequences: "If you work righteousness, you work righteousness for yourselves; and if you commit evil, you do so against yourselves. Then, when the second promise comes true, they will make your faces filled with sorrow, and enter the Masjid as they entered it the first time, and utterly destroy all that falls into their power. Perhaps your Lord will have mercy on you. But if you revert, We will revert. We have made Hell a prison for the disbelievers." (17:7-8). 

8- After these verses, God says the following about the Quran, also in the first verses of the Quranic Chapter 17, significantly titled (Al-Israa) or (Night-Journey): "This Quran guides to what is most upright; and it gives good news to the believers who do good deeds, that they will have a great reward. And those who do not believe in the Hereafter-We have prepared for them a painful torment." (17:9-10).

9- Within the end of the Quranic Chapter 17, God mentions more  details about the story of Moses and Pharaoh and how Pharaoh drowned, and then, we read this verse: "After him, We said to the  Israelites, "Inhabit the land, and when the promise of the last time arrives, We will bring you all together."" (17:104). This verse indicates that the Israelites were made successors in the Land (i.e., Egypt) after the drowning of Pharaoh and his retinue embers and troops, and thus, the Israelites settled temporarily in Egypt. The phrase (when the promise of the last time arrives, We will bring you all together) refers to the gathering of all the Israelites in one place, but they committed corruption for the second and last time in Egypt, before being defeated once again by the foreign military troops of invaders, and this is echoed in this verse in the same Quranic Chapter 17: "Then We gave you back your turn against them, and supplied you with wealth and progeny, and made you more numerous." (17:6). 

10- Within the context of the verse 17:104, we read the following verses about the Quran itself: " With the Truth We sent it down, and with the Truth it descended. We sent you only as a bearer of good news and a warner. A Quran which We unfolded gradually, that you may recite to the people over time. And We revealed it in stages." (17:105-106). In the very next two verses, God warns the disbelieving Arabs at the time and reminds them of the Israelites in Arabia who believed in the Quran and prostrated humbly as they remembered the covenant and the appointment of 70 men with Moses at Mount Al-Tur that was made to suspend over their heads and how the Torah contains glad tidings of the descent/revelation of the Quran and of the coming of Muhammad as the seal of all prophets and the last one of them: "Say, "Believe in it, or do not believe." Those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, they fall to their chins, prostrating. And they say, "Glory to our Lord. The promise of our Lord is fulfilled." And they fall to their chins, weeping, and it adds to their humility." (17:107-109).

11- In fact, the verse 17:1 talks about how the entirety of the Quran was revealed to Muhammad's heart/soul at one night, during the Night-Journey as Muhammad was miraculously transported from the Sacred Kaaba Mosque in Mecca to the Farthest Mosque (at Mount Al-Tur in Sinai) during the Night of Decree to meet with archangel Gabriel who drew nearer to Muhammad to inscribe the Quranic text into his heart/soul, as we have explained in detail in our book (in English) titled "The Night-Journey Is The Night of Decree" found on this link: ( This is expressed in 17:1, whereas 17:2 talks about Moses who received Torah Tablets at the same location at Mount Al-Tur in Sinai: "Glory to Him who journeyed His servant by night, from the Sacred Mosque, to the Farthest Mosque, whose areas We have blessed, in order to show him of Our Signs. He is the Listener, the Beholder. And We gave Moses the Book, and made it a guide for the Israelites: Take none for protector other than Me." (17:1-2).

12- The Israelites had built a house of worship and prostration (i.e., masjid/mosque/temple) at Mount Al-Tur in Sinai, Egypt, and God refers to it as the military troops of foreigners who invaded Egypt and defeated the Israelites entered this mosque for the second time after the sinners among the Israelites committed corruption for the second time: "...Then, when the second promise comes true, they will make your faces filled with sorrow, and enter the Masjid as they entered it the first time..." (17:7). This Al-Aqsa/Farthest Mosque at Mount Al-Tur in Sinai is named as such because it is located far away from Arabs of Arabia, in relation to the location of the Sacred Kaaba Mosque in Mecca. 

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