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What is so special about the Al-Aqsa Mosque?
Is Al-Masjid al-Aqsa considered to be a sanctuary?
Is there mosque on Temple Mount?
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According to the Quran and Islamic traditions, Al-Aqsa Mosque is the place from which Muhammad went on a night journey (al-isra) during which he rode on Buraq, who took him from Mecca to al-Aqsa. Muhammad tethered Buraq to the Western Wall and prayed at al-Aqsa Mosque and after he finished his prayers, the angel Jibril ( Gabriel ) traveled with him to heaven, where he met several other prophets and led them in prayer.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque, originally constructed about 20 years after the nearby Dome of the Rock, is Jerusalem’s biggest mosque. Its spacious interior, divided by columns into seven aisles, allows room for more than 4000 Muslims to prostrate themselves on the carpeted floor during worship.
- The History of Al-Aqsa
- Importance and Story of Al-Aqsa Mosque
- Al-Aqsa Architecture
The Mosque built on Temple Mount is known as Haram al-Sharif, this was expanded by King Herod the Great. Before this, in Islamic beliefs, the masjid is known to be dated to the time of Prophet Ibraham (PBUH). The Aqsa mosque was an important mosque during the lifetime of Prophet Ibrahim, his son Prophet Ishaq and grandson Prophet Yaqub(PBUH). When Prophet Yaqub’s son, Prophet Yusuf (PBUH) came into power, he suggested leaving Egypt where they were engulfed by poverty. Ever since there was no one to guard the Al-Aqsa mosque as their own and hence it expanded, renovated, and reconstructed many times. He trusted the people of Palestine, who were his believers to take care of the mosque. The Israelites migrated to Egypt to look for better prospects of better material life. But these people fell into becoming slaves for the Egyptians until Prophet Musa (PBUH) or Moses was ordered by Allah to save them. However, they refused to return to Palestine on the orders of God and therefore were b...
The Al-Aqsa masjid played a very important role in the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The main reason was that the masjid was home to many Prophets before Muhammad (PBUH) went there. It was the center of preaching monotheism. Later by order of Allah, the believers turned from facing the masjid to the holy Kaaba. A significant part of the history of Al Aqsa, which actually makes it an important mosque in Islam is the night of the journey or the night of Isra. During this journey, the Prophet fell asleep on the Kaaba, late at night. That is when the angel Jibreel provided him with a winged creature known as Burqa, who carried the Prophet(PBUH) to this mosque. Later that night, the Prophet (PBUH) departed his journey to Heaven. Suggested Read: Isra Miraj: The Night Journey Of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) After the Prophet (PBUH) died, the second kalif of Islam, Umar Al Khattab entered Jerusalem without shedding any blood, when a Christian leader invited him. Umar’s personality resembled t...
The history of Al-Aqsa mentions some important architectural changes. The mosque is constructed upon an artificial platform supported by arches that were built to overcome difficult typographic conditions. The first renovation started in 1922. The renovations caused the establishment of the mosque’s ancient Umayyad foundations that changed the interior columns by the replacement of beams. These conserved the arches and drums in the interior of the main dome. The southern wall was also rebuilt and replaced timber with a slab of concrete. However, earthquakes destroyed some of the renovations. And thus, finally, the architecture came down to: 1. A rectangular mosque, that goes over for 36 acres and can accommodate 5000 worshipers. 2. There is a Dome of Rock, which exhibits Byzantine architecture. Although nothing remains originally, the present-day dome is woodwork plated with enamelwork. 3. Under the dome is a chapel or a Muslim prayer hall which is situated in the southern part of t...
Located in Israel’s capital, mosque ordered to be built by Ottoman Empire’s Jaffa Governor Hassan al-Basri Aljabi in 1914
22 minutes ago
- Why Al-Aqsa Is So Important
- The Compound’S Religious Significance
- The Site’S Status Quo
- Recent Tensions
- The Greater Context
Al-Aqsa is the name of the silver-domed mosque inside a 35-acre compound referred to as al-Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary, by Muslims, and as the Temple Mount by Jews. The compound lies in the Old City of Jerusalem, which has been designateda World Heritage site by the United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, and is important to the three Abrahamic religions. The site has been the most contested piece of territory in the Holy Land since Israel occupied East Jerusalem, including the Old City, in 1967, along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip. However, the conflict dates even further back, to before the creation of Israel. In 1947, the UN drew up a partition plan to separate historical Palestine, then under British control, into two states: one for Jews, mainly from Europe, and one for Palestinians. The Jewish state was given 55 percent of the land, and the remaining 45 percent was for a Palestinian state. Jerusalem, which houses the al-Aqsa compound, belonged to the internatio...
For Muslims, the Noble Sanctuary hosts Islam’s third holiest site, the al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Dome of the Rock, a seventh-century structure believed to be where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. Jews believe the compound is where the Biblical Jewish temples once stood, but Jewish law and the Israeli Rabbinate forbid Jews from entering the compound and praying there, as it is considered too holy to tread upon. The compound’s Western Wall, known as the Wailing Wall to Jews, is believed to be the last remnant of the Second Temple, while Muslims refer to it as al-Buraq Wall and believe it is where the Prophet Muhammad tied al-Buraq, the animal upon which he ascended to the sky and spoke to God. Referring to Trump’s intention to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Saudi Arabia’s king said: “such a dangerous step is likely to inflame the passions of Muslims around the world due to the great status of Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque”.
Since 1967, Jordanand Israel agreed that the Waqf, or the Islamic trust, would have control over matters inside the compound, while Israel would control external security. Non-Muslims would be allowed onto the site during visiting hours, but would not be allowed to pray there. But rising Temple movements, such as the Temple Mount Faithful and the Temple Institute, have challenged the Israeli government’s ban on allowing Jews to enter the compound, and they aim to rebuild the Third Jewish Temple in the compound. Such groups are funded by members of the Israeli government, though it claims a desire to maintain the status quo at the site. Today, Israeli forces routinely allow groups, some in the hundreds, of Jewish settlers who live in occupied Palestinian territories to descend on the al-Aqsa compound under police and army protection, stirring Palestinian fears of an Israeli takeover of the compound. In 1990, the Temple Mount Faithful declared it would lay a cornerstone for the Third...
Tensions have been simmering near al-Aqsa for the past two years. In 2015, clashes broke outafter hundreds of Jews tried to enter the mosque complex to commemorate a Jewish holiday. A year later, protests also erupted after visits by groups of Jewish settlers to the compound during the last 10 days of Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, in contravention of tradition. Most clashes in the compound have occurred because of Israeli settlers trying to pray within the compound, which directly violates the status quo. Tensions have risen after Israel shut down al-AqsaMosque compound for the first time since 1969, after a deadly gun battle between Palestinian citizens of Israel and Israeli forces. The attack, which took place on July 14, ended in the deaths of two Israeli police officers and three Palestinian attackers. Israel subsequently closed the site for Friday prayers and reopened it the following Sunday with new measures of control, including metal detectors and additional cameras, at the...
Al-Aqsa is a small area within Palestine, but symbolically it is a large part of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Though the mosque itself is significant for Muslims especially, Palestinian Christians have also protested against Israeli encroachment on the compound, joining Muslims in prayer outside Lion’s Gate on Friday. “The issue of al-Haram al-Sharif stands as a symbolic, but very strong catalyser of the routine of injustice and oppression that Palestinians in Jerusalem are facing, and that causes a continuous eruption of popular anger and uprisings,” Yara Jalajel, a former legal adviser to the Palestinian minister of foreign affairs, told Al Jazeera in July 2017. With more restrictions placed on Palestinian access to the compound and ongoing calls by Israeli religious groups to allow Jews to pray at the site, many Palestinians fear a possible division of the compound.
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