The agreement to normalize relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel has raised the unprecedented possibility that in the near future, large numbers of Muslim pilgrims will be coming to pray on the Temple Mount. Ironically, the Israeli government is welcoming them with open arms but the Palestinian religious leadership has already issued a Fatwa (religious ruling) banning Muslims from countries that have signed agreements with Israel from entering the silver-domed al-Aqsa Mosque.
Though essentially an agreement concerning political and economic considerations, the agreement relates directly to the Temple Mount.
“As set forth in the Vision for Peace, all Muslims who come in peace may visit and pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, and Jerusalem’s other holy sites should remain open for peaceful worshippers of all faiths,” the agreement states.
This is also true of Trump’s “deal of the century” peace plan concerning relations between the Palestinians and Israel.
“People of every faith should be permitted to pray on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, in a manner that is fully respectful to their religion, taking into account the times of each religion’s prayers and holidays, as well as other religious factors,” the Peace to Prosperity plan states.
Despite these proclamations, the Palestinian insistence on maintaining a hostile exclusivity at the site is the main obstacle to bringing about the Temple Mount’s prophesied role as a house of prayer for all nations. In a direct and immediate response to the UAE agreement, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, issued a Fatwa declaring that Muslim citizens of the UAE will not be permitted to pray at al-Aqsa Mosque.
Dubbed the Abraham Accords, the UAE agreement has Biblical roots as well as end-of-days implications.
Rabbi Nachman Kahana noted that this agreement would bring the Bnei Yishmael (the sons of Ishmael) to Israel, perhaps for the first time.
“The Palestinians are not the real Bnei Yishmael, Rabbi Kahana said. “The Palestinians are the result of all the nations that passed through the Fertile Crescent. With the Bedouins of this region and the true Arabs of the Persian Gulf, there is no mixing of blood. They were separate from the Persian and the Greeks.”
Rabbi Kahana noted that the arrival of the true Bnei Yishmael to the Temple Mount may be a part of the tshuva (repentance process) of Yishmael, citing a verse in Genesis.
“In this verse, Ishmael should have come first since he is older,” Rabbi Kahana noted, citing the medieval commentator Rashi who interpreted the incongruity in the verse to mean that Ishmael repented in his later years.
“Ishmael realized the spiritual superiority of Isaac and displayed this by allowing him to go first when burying their father,” Rabbi Kahana explained. He noted that this is being played out by the true Bnei Yishmael showing respect for the offspring of Jacob.”
But the arrival of the true Bnei Yishmael to the Temple Mount has end-of-days implications. The Zohar Hadash (Balak 68b) describes a process that will begin in the 274th year of the sixth millennium. This works out to be the year 5774 in the Hebrew calendar which began in September 2013. The Zohar predicts that the “Sons of Ishmael” will make war against the Messiah, and will “come and bow down before God at the holy mountain in Jerusalem”. The text specifically uses the name of the God of the Jews, and not a generic term or the expression used for non-Jewish worship. This prediction of the Zohar predicts that the Arabs will worship the Jewish God on the Temple Mount and, in fact, that does seem to be what is happening.
The Zohar goes on to say that Edom will rule Israel for 12 months. At the end of 12 months, the world will shake, and during that time, the Shechina (heavenly presence) will return to dwell in the cave of Moses. The Messiah will hide for 9 months – similar to the period of pregnancy – and then the people in Israel will hear a sound like the blowing of a shofar.
In fact, the Temple Mount was largely ignored by the Arabs until Israel conquered it in 1967. During the First Crusade, Islam was uninterested in the Dome of the Rock and it was turned into a church while al-Aqsa, with its lead dome, was a modest mosque. In the early 20th century, the attention of the Muslim world was much more focused on the silver dome of al Aqsa than on the Dome of the Rock, which was not covered with gold until 1993, after the Jews began ascending to the Temple Mount. It appears that the Arabs become intensely interested in the site only when the Jews, and their God, are present.
This same prophecy is repeated in other sources, adding that the “Sons of Ishmael” will make war against the Messiah, and will “come and bow down before God at the holy mountain in Jerusalem”.
“But this repentance of Ishmael didn’t last,” Rabbi Kahana warned. “After Isaac died, Ishmael married off his daughter Mahalath to the son of Esav, the enemy of Yisrael. Ishmael’s hatred was rekindled.”
The rabbi noted that Ishmael’s repentance is being played out today and may have the same tragic ending.
“The UAE recognizes the spiritual benefits of relations with Israel,” Rabbi Kahana said. “This is the form of repentance that Ishmael did but it didn’t have lasting results. In the end, the elements of Ishmael that hate the Children of Israel will unite with Esau. The Arab nations will unite with the evil elements of Esau that are dispersed across Europe and the US in order to attack Israel.”