Jerusalem Archaeological Park
The Beginning of Islam

While the Persians were engaged in the occupation of Jerusalem, Muhammad, founder of Islam, was struggling for the leadership of the city of Mecca. Eight years later he was forced to flee to Medina (622 CE), where he began to organize the first Muslim community, which was made up of members of various tribes.
What faith, Christianity or Judaism had the most influence on Muhammad's views is still debatable. In any case, it is certain that Muhammad was highly aware of the status of Jerusalem. During his residence in Mecca, and even after his flee (Hijra) to Medina, he and his followers faced Jerusalem in prayer. It was sixteen months later, when due to divine instruction, he turned the Qibla southward, to face Mecca.
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