The Struggle for Jerusalem and the Holy Land: A New Inquiry into the Qur’an and Classic Islamic Sources on the People of Israel, their Torah, and Their Links to the Holy Land

The Struggle for Jerusalem and the Holy Land: A New Inquiry into the Qur’an and Classic Islamic Sources on the People of Israel, their Torah, and Their Links to the Holy Land

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Nissim Dana

ISBN: 9781618113795 (hardcover)
Pages: 262 pp.
Publication Date: June 2014

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In recent generations, the Muslim and Arab world has been suffused with publications on the subject of the People of Israel, its Torah, and this people’s affinity to the Land of Israel. Most of these publications are tendentious, written with a hostile attitude toward Jews and Judaism; indeed, some of them are tainted with antisemitism.

The Qur’an, the Holy Scripture of the Muslims, also deals with the question of the status of Eretz Israel, the Land of Israel. Many of its exegetes, following in the tracks of Islam’s holy book, have done so as well. Somewhat surprisingly, perhaps, these Islamic sources express an approach asserting that this land is promised exclusively to the People of Israel. This book explores these sources and discusses them in light of the recent developments.


Nissim Dana (PhD Dropsie College, Philadelphia) is a chairman of the Multi-Disciplinary Department of Social Sciences and Humanities at Ariel University. He has served for decades as Head of the Department for Religious Minorities in Israel’s Ministry of Religions. Professor Dana taught in Bar-Ilan University (1982-2011) and Haifa University (1996-2002). Among his publications are The Druze, A Religious Community in Transition (Jerusalem-London-Montreal: Turtledove Publishers, 1980), Sefer Ha-Maspik Le’Ovdey Hashem (Kitab Kifayat al-‘Abidin) of Rabbi Abraham ben Moshe ben Maimon (Jerusalem: Bar-Ilan University Press, 1989, in Hebrew), The Druze (Jerusalem: Bar-Ilan University Press, 1998, in Hebrew), and The Druze in the Middle East (Sussex: Sussex Academic Press, 2003).


In this new book Nissim Dana describes the apparent paradox between the persistent negativity expressed by modern adherents of Islam toward Jews and Judaism and the attitude evident in the Quran and other classical Islamic sources towards the appropriating of the Holy Land for the people of Israel. . . . Dana’s analysis of the contrasting opinions is a useful resource for libraries focusing on Middle Eastern studies.
— Randall C. Belinfante, Director of Library and Archives, American Sephardi Federation, AJL Reviews, Volume V, No. 3
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.... It is a Copernican study: pioneering, fascinating, and carefully reasoned.
— Zeev Maghen, Chair, Department of Middle Eastern Studies, Bar-Ilan University
In an era in which “hearts and minds” are turned through disinformation and propaganda, through the use of shallow, unreliable channels of communication, great importance attaches to this deep, profound book.
— Moshe (Bogi) Yaalon, Minister of Defense, Israel