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Al Aqsa

Masjid Al Aqsa

There are many reasons why Muslims should make a sincere intention and their best efforts to visit Al Masjid Al Aqsa – and inshAllah below is of the most important:

1. Status of Al Aqsa and its associated reward

Prophet Muhammad (saw) taught us that we should only undertake a special journey to one of three masaajid; Al Masjid Al Haram in Makkah, Al Masjid An-Nabawi in Madinah, and Al Masjid Al Aqsa in Jerusalem. In addition – prayer in each of these blessed masaajid are multiplied in virtue, with one salaah in Al Masjid Al Aqsa receiving at least 500 times the reward of salaah elsewhere.

Al Masjid Al Aqsa has a very special status for Muslims because of its own unique history, including being:

The first qibla in Islam;
The second place of worship built in Islam (built 40 years after Kaaba);
The place where the Prophet Muhammad (saw) travelled to on the night of Isra;
The place where the Prophet Muhammad (saw) led all the other Prophets in prayer;
The place where the Prophet Muhammad (saw) ascended during the Miraj;
A place mentioned in the Quran as being “blessed” and “holy”, on numerous occasions. A few of these Quranic references are extracted below:
Surah Isra (17:1): “Glorified be He [Allah] Who did take His servant for a journey by night from Al Masjid Al Haram to Al Masjid Al Aqsa, whose precincts We did bless, in order that We might show him some of our Signs. Verily He is the All Hearing, All Seeing”

Surah Maidah (5:21): “Remember Musa said to his people: “O my people! Call in remembrance the favour of God unto you, when He produced Prophets among you, made you kings and gave you what He had not given to any other among the peoples. O my people! Enter the Holy Land which God has assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will you be overthrown, to your own ruin”

Surah Al Anbiyya (21:69-71): “We said, O Fire! Be thou cool and [a means of] safety for Ibrahim. Then they planned against him, but We made them the greater losers. But we delivered him and Lot (and directed them) to the land which We have blessed for the nations”

One final point relating to reward is that some shayukh have said that if one remembers Allah at a time when others forget, then inshAllah the reward is greater because it is harder to do so. So imagine the reward one will get for visiting Al Masjid Al Aqsa if one embarks on that journey at a time when the rest of the Muslims are neglectful and / or forgotten to visit this blessed place.

 

Why is the Al-Aqsa Mosque so special?

Masjid Al-Aqsa is an important holy site in Islam, located in the Old City of Jerusalem in Palestine. It’s name translates literally as ‘the Farthest Mosque’. The wider compound includes the Dome of the Rock, seventeen gates and four minarets, and is usually referred to as al-Haram ash-Sharif, which means ‘the Noble Sanctuary’.

A brief history of Masjid Al-Aqsa
Originally, the building was constructed as a small prayer house, but in 705 CE it was rebuilt and made bigger by the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik and his son al-Walid. An earthquake completely destroyed the mosque in 746 and again in 1033, and each time the mosque was rebuilt. Various ruling dynasties of the Islamic Caliphate built additions to the mosque and surrounding area, including the famous dome, façade, minbar, minarets and the inside of the mosque.

During the Crusades, Jerusalem was captured in 1099 and Masjid Al-Aqsa was used as a palace unit it was recaptured by Saladin, the first sultan of Egypt and Syria, in 1187. The mosque continued to undergo renovations and additions at the behest of the Ayyubid (Mulsim-Kurdish) dynasty, the Mamluk Sulanate (spanning Egypt, the Levant and Hejaz), the Ottoman empire, the Supreme Muslim Council, and Jordan.

It is currently under the administration of the Jordanian and Palestinian Islamic Waqf, a religious trust that manages Islamic historical sites around the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

What makes Masjid Al-Aqsa important?
Masjid Al-Aqsa is important in Islam because Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad was transported from the Scared Mosque in Mecca to Al-Aqsa during the Night Journey, and then on to heaven. It is also believed that the Prophet Muhammad led prayers towards this site until Allah directed him to turn towards the Kaaba.

It was the second place of worship build in Islam, 40 years after the Kaaba, and is mentioned in the Qur’an as being ‘holy’ and ‘blessed’ in numerous extracts.

“Glorified be He [Allah] Who did take His servant for a journey by night from Al Masjid Al Haram to Al Masjid Al Aqsa, whose precincts We did bless, in order that We might show him some of our Signs. Verily He is the All Hearing, All Seeing.” Surah Isra (17:1)

According to Islamic scriptures, the Prophet Muhammed taught followers that they should undertake a special journey to one of three important mosques: Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca, Al Masjid An-Nabawi in Madinah, and Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem. Prayers in these special mosques will generate amazing blessings and worshippers will receive at least 500 times the reward of Salaah performed in another location.

A place of comfort and hope
This Ramadan, there are millions of Palestinians who will continue to experience terrible suffering during the holy month. In Gaza, 50% of people don’t have enough to eat, and hungry families will fast all day without anything to eat for iftar. To make matters worse, a serious water shortage is blighting the lives of thousands of families.

Many Palestinians will seek spiritual sanctuary in Masjid Al-Aqsa and will spend long nights worshipping there throughout the sacred month of Ramadan. However, when night falls, they will be left in darkness.

Coming Soon

We will be in the summer holidays 2023 combined with the blessed ziyaraat of Jordon
July 2023 TBC