The important facts about Masjid-al-Aqsa

Monday, April 1, 2019 / 0 Comment(s)

Masjid-al-Aqsa is the third holiest place in Islam and is situated in the old city of Jerusalem. This mosque has a rich history and is of great significance in our religion, Islam.

Who built Masjid-al-Aqsa first?

It was Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) who built Masjid-al-Aqsa first after he built Kabah. It came to be known as Beteyel that means the House of Allah in the Hebrew language. Later, Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) named it Masjid-al-Aqsa which means the “Farthest Mosque.”

The event of Israa and Miraj and Masjid-al-Aqsa:

Israa and miraj are the important events in Islam. Israa is the night journey when Prophet (SAWW) travelled from Makkah to Jerusalem, basically to Masjid-al-Aqsa and, Miraj is the ascension of the Prophet (SAWW) to heaven. Prophet (SAWW) also prayed in Masjid-al-Aqsa before his ascension to heaven. So, Masjid-al-Aqsa is very important due to the event of Israa and Miraj as well.

“Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (17:1)

First Qibla of Muslims:

Masjid-al-Aqsa is called as the first qibla of Muslims and they used to offer their salat with their face towards the direction of this mosque. Also note that the Muslims who migrated to Madina from Makkah also prayed with Masjid-al-Aqsa as their qibla for first 17 months.

It was then during the zuhar namaz in the 2nd AH that the revelation of Allah about the change of qibla from Masjid-al-Aqsa to Masjid al-Haram came in the Masjid al-Qiblatayn. Then Prophet (SAWW) then prayed towards Kabah as the new qibla.

“The foolish among the people will say, “What has turned them away from their qibla, which they used to face?” Say, “To Allah belongs the east and the west. He guides whom He wills to a straight path.” (2:142)

Hazrat Umar’s (RA) arrival at Masjid-al-Aqsa:

When Jerusalem came under the possession of the Muslims in the rule of Hazrat Umar (RA), the second caliph of Islam entered the city and arrived at Masjid-al-Aqsa. He (RA) located the place in the mosque where Prophet (SAWW) prayed before his ascension to heaven. After finding the place, he (RA) cleaned that place and then led the Muslims in prayer in Masjid-al-Aqsa.

Mention of Masjid-al-Aqsa in Ahadees:

Masjid-al-Aqsa is an important and holy site of the Muslims. The following ahadees [sayings of the Prophet (SAWW)] about Masjid-al-Aqsa are;

  • Abu Dharr (RA) reported that he asked the Prophet (SAWW), “O Messenger of Allah, which masjid was first built on the surface of the earth?” He (SAWW) replied, “Al- Masjid-ul-Haram (in Makkah).” I asked, “Which was built next?” He (SAWW) said “Masjid-al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem).” I asked, “What was the time of construction between the two?” He (SAWW) replied, “40 years.” He (SAWW) added, “Wherever (you may be, and) the prayer time becomes due, perform the prayer there, for the best thing is to do so (i.e. to offer the prayers in time).” [Sahih Bukhari 3366]
  • Abu Hurairah (RA) relates that the Prophet (SAWW) said: “Do not undertake a journey to visit any Masjid, but three: this Masjid of mine, the Mosque of al-Haram and the Mosque of Aqsa” [Sahih Muslim 1397]

Thus, the Quranic verses, ahadees and historical events tell us that Masjid-al-Aqsa is one of the sacred and important mosques in Islam and Muslims must have detailed information about this holy site.

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