The village stood on a hill on the southern slope of a mountain, facing southeast. A wadi ran along its western and southern perimeters. 'Islin was about 1 km west of the highway between Bayt Jibrin (a large village in the Hebron district) and the Jerusalem−Jaffa highway. Dirt paths linked it to nearby villages. 'Islin was divided into two main sections, one to the east and one to the west. New construction extended to the north. The village is identified with the sixteenth-century village of 'Islit which was mentioned in the Ottoman tax records for that time. It was in the nahiya of Ramla (liwa' of Gaza) and had a population of seventy-seven. It paid taxes on wheat, barley, and fruit trees as well as on goats and beehives. In the 1870s the village was uninhabited; the ruins of the sixteenth-century village were still visible. It was probably repopulated sometime around the beginning of the twentieth century.
The residents of 'Islin were Muslims, and they built their houses of stone and mud. Springs and wells provided drinking water and crops were rainfed. The economy was based on grain, fruit trees, olive trees, and vineyards. In 1944/45 a total of 830 dunums was allotted to cereals; 104 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. The agricultural lands lay north and southeast of the village site.
The only information available about 'Islin is that it fell to the Israeli army in a limited offensive that was implemented as part of Operation Dani (see Abu al-Fadl, al-Ramla District). Along with a chain of other villages, it was mortared and captured by Israeli troops on 17−18 July 1948, according to Israeli historian Benny Morris.
The settlement of Eshta'ol (150132), founded in 1949, is on land belonging to 'Islin and the neighboring village of Ishwa'.
Partially destroyed walls and stone terraces can be seen throughout the site. A thick forest, bushes, and grass grow over and around the stone rubble. Many carob trees and some olive trees grow on the northern edge of the site, and eucalyptus and fir trees grow in the south. The Jewish National Fund (the land purchase and development body of the WorId Zionist Organization―see Glossary) has established a plant nursery on the southern edge of the village. The site also houses a bus repair yard belonging to the Israeli public transportation cooperative, Egged.