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Masjid Al-Aqsa is the third holiest Masjid for Muslims. It is the second Masjid built on earth, forty years after the Masjid Al-Haram, housing the Kabah in Makkah. Below is a short list of the spiritual significance of the Masjid.
· the first Qiblah of the Muslims
· the station of Al-Isra and Al-Miraj (the miraculous journey of Muhammad (s.a.a.w.)
· the second house of Allah built on earth
· a place which Allah Himself calls a 'blessed place'
· referred to directly and indirectly, 70 times in the Holy Quran
· the only place on earth where all the Messengers of Allah prayed at the same time led by the Muhammad (s.a.a.w.)
· the only Masjid mentioned by name in the Holy Quran apart from the Ka'bah
Allah T'ala says in The Quran:
سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
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)
Masjid Al-Aqsa is located in Jerusalem. Most people identify it with the Dome of The Rock and do not know that Masjid Al-Aqsa is the entire compound bounded by walls. The following picture explains it well.
The following Hadeeth teaches us that a Muslim should only take a religious trip for three Mosques:
حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيٌّ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنْ سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ " لاَ تُشَدُّ الرِّحَالُ إِلاَّ إِلَى ثَلاَثَةِ مَسَاجِدَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ، وَمَسْجِدِ الرَّسُولِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصَى ".
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Do not set out on a journey except for three Mosques i.e. Al-Masjid-AI-Haram, the Mosque of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) , and the Mosque of Al-Aqsa, (Mosque of Jerusalem)." (Sahih al-Bukhari)
The following Hadeeth tells us when the Masjid was built:
حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ مَيْمُونٍ الرَّقِّيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عُبَيْدٍ، ح وَحَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو مُعَاوِيَةَ، عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ التَّيْمِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي ذَرٍّ الْغِفَارِيِّ، قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَىُّ مَسْجِدٍ وُضِعَ أَوَّلُ قَالَ " الْمَسْجِدُ الْحَرَامُ " . قَالَ قُلْتُ ثُمَّ أَىٌّ قَالَ " ثُمَّ الْمَسْجِدُ الأَقْصَى " . قُلْتُ كَمْ بَيْنَهُمَا قَالَ " أَرْبَعُونَ عَامًا ثُمَّ الأَرْضُ لَكَ مُصَلًّى فَصَلِّ حَيْثُ مَا أَدْرَكَتْكَ الصَّلاَةُ " .
It was narrated that Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari said:
"I said: 'O Messenger of Allah! Which mosque was built first?' He said: 'Al-Masjid Al-Haram (in Makkah).' I said: 'Then which?' He said: 'then Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem).' I said: 'How many years between them?' He said: 'Forty years, but the whole earth is a mosque for you, so pray wherever you are when the time for prayer comes.'" (Sunan Ibn Majah)
The following important points are taken from soundvision.com newsletter:
- The official position of the United States as well as the United Nations is that it is an occupied territory.
- Muslims did not demolish any Jewish buildings to build Masjid Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock.
- What Jews call the Second Temple was demolished by Romans exactly 500 years before Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) was born. Romans even took away the Temple's building material with them and banned Jews from entering the city.
- Muslims did not demolish anything to build the Dome of the Rock and Masjid Al-Aqsa compound, the first Qibla and the third holiest peace sanctuary (Haram) for Muslims.
- Don’t assume all Jews support occupation. Jewish Voices for Peace is the fastest growing Jewish organization which demands freedom for Palestine.
- The issue of Palestine should not be set aside in the Jewish-Muslim Relationship.
- We have a common cause in America against hate.
- We also have a common cause abroad to have peace for both Jewish and Palestinian people.
- Read the following articles for more information: