The third Abrahamic religion, Islam, also lays a lot of importance with the city of Jerusalem and considers it a holy site.
Muslims believe that the faithful were previously required to turn to the Jerusalem city when offering their prayers and it was only later with the advent of Islam that the direction was change to Makkah (Mecca)
According to certain verses in Quran, Muhammad experienced ascent to heavens and a visit to the Jerusalem city during a miraculous journey one night.
During medieval ages, Jerusalem was first occupied by Muslim Arabs who wrested away the region’s control from the Byzantine Empire.
This was followed by Crusades and eventually, the city was conquered by Seljuk Turks who ousted the Arabs from the region.
Holy Land as Jerusalem
Religiously and historically, a large area is considered part of the Holy Land in the three Abrahamic religions.
Despite such a large area being considered the Holy Land, the actual significance of the area in each religion is associated specifically with the city of Jerusalem.
Jews revere the city for being the site of Solomon’s Temple and Isaac’s binding, Christians revere it for being the birthplace of Jesus and Christianity, and Muslims revere it as the second most holy city after Makkah.
So the actual holiness of the Holy Land is because of the city of Jerusalem.
Muslim Control of Holylands
At the beginning of the Middle Ages, the control of the Holylands was in the hands of the Byzantine Empire. When Islam rose in Arabia, the Byzantine Empire was already on its decline.
In 638, Muslims were able to gain control of the city of Jerusalem after having defeated Byzantine armies in previous battles.
From 638 to 1072, the control of the Holylands passed through Umayyad, Abbasid and Fatimid dynasties.