Below is an Islamic religious ruling (“fatwa”) issued by the Mufti of Jerusalem,
A’akramah Sabri, concerning the ‘Kotel’ (the Western Wall).
The ruling was broadcast on the Palestinian Authority’s ‘Voice of Palestine’ radio, on February 20, 2001.
“The subject of ‘El-Buraq’ Wall arose at the beginning of the 20th century after the First World War,
following the Balfour Declaration concerning the establishment of a national home for the Jews in
Palestine. In consequence, vast numbers of Jews started coming to Palestine and praying opposite
‘El-Buraq’ Wall, claiming that it was ‘The Wailing Wall’.
There are many explanations for why the Jews
cry at the Wall. According to one tradition, they cry because they have not kept the 10 commandments
of our lord Moses, peace be upon him. According to another version, they cry because the prophet
Mohammed was an Arab and not a Jew. It is for this reason that they call it “the Wailing Wall”.
However, according to international law, this is an Islamic holy place, because ‘El-Buraq’ Wall is part of
the wall of the Al-Aqsa mosque. In addition, Mohammed established its holiness on the night of the
‘Isra’ and the ‘Me-araj’ when he tied (his horse) ‘El-buraq’, who carried him from Mecca to Jerusalem,
to that wall.
Therefore, we establish that the Wall belongs to Islam and has no connection to the Jews.
Concerning the recent report that some stones have fallen out of the Wall and the Jews wish to repair
it, we say that repairing the Wall comes under the purview of the Administration of Moslem Holy
Places and the Jews are forbidden to have anything to do with it because it does not belong to them.”