First Qibla - Bait-al-Maqdis (Al-Aqsa):
AT THE HEART OF JERUSALEM is the Masjid Al Aqsa or Al-Haram Ash-Shareef (The Noble Sanctuary). It is the third most sacred mosque in the world (after Masjid al-Haram in Makkah and Masjid Nabawi in Medinah), enclosing over 35 acres of fountains, gardens, buildings and domes. At its southernmost end is Masjid Al Aqsa, which was re-built by Khalifa Omar Bin Al-Kattab in the year 19 Hijri. At its center is the celebrated Dome of the Rock. The entire area is regarded as Baitul-Maqdis or Al-Qudus and comprises nearly one sixth of the walled city of Jerusalem.
Masjid Al Aqsa in Qur'an is referred to in chapter 17 (surat al-isra), verse 1:
Translation: 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.
- Most scholars are of the opinion that Masjid Al Aqsa was first built by Prophet Adam.
- Ibrahim (as) rebuilt the Masjid Al Aqsa in Jerusalem as he and Ismail rebuilt the Ka'ba in Makkah.
- Prophet Daud (as) began the rebuilding of Masjid Al Aqsa.
- It was Prophet Sulayman (as) who finally completed the building of Masjid Al Aqsa.
- Masjid Al Aqsa built by Sulayman (as) was destroyed in 587 BC by Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon.
- The Jews call this same Masjid Al Aqsa built by Sulayman as their Temple.
- The Jews re-built their Temple on them same site in 167 BC but was destroyed in 70 AD and Jews banished from Jerusalem.
- The site of Masjid Al Aqsa remained barren and was used as a rubbish tip for nearly 600 years until the Great Khalifah Umar bin Khattab liberated Jerusalem in 637/8 AD.
- The Khalifah Umar bin Khattab began the foundation of Masjid Al Aqsa and a timber mosque was built.
- The Umayyad Khalifah, Abd' al Malik ibn Marwan in 691/2 [72/73 AH] began the construction of, Dome of the Rock - today this is the Golden Domed Mosque.
- The al Buraq wall or Western Wall where Prophet Muhammad tied his animal the Buraq on the night journey of al Isra is what the Jews call the wailing wall.
- To Muslims it is the land or the Haram Sharif area which is most holy and important.
- The Haram area of Al Aqsa has within it the Masjid Al Aqsa [Black Domed Mosque] and Dome of the Rock [the Golden Domed Mosque].
- Israel occupied Masjid Al Aqsa in 1967.
- The fundamentalist Jews have made 100's of attempts to destroy Al Aqsa since 1967 when they occupied it. A fire in 1967 started by their help destroyed the 900 year old Mimbar installed by Slaudeen Ayub, the Great Muslim Hero.
- The fundamentalist want to blow up and destroy Masjidul Al Aqsa and replace it with a Jewish Temple
Important Note: Every Muslim accepts the fact that Bayt Al-Maqdis must never be a strictly Christian, a solely Jewish, nor an exclusively Muslim city, but must forever remain a multi-faith metropolis. So, any attempt by any party to make this noble city a uni-faith town must be challenged and totally refused to ensure the persistence of peace and to prevent further bloodshed. Only Muslims throughout the history of Bayt Al-Maqdis have respected this multi-faith nature of this great city.
[The very existence of various Christian as well as Jewish religious complexes up until this day is a clear evidence of the true and sincere adherence the Muslims have shown towards this multi-faith concept mentioned above.]
In the picture below, the following are identified by colors:
Masjid al-Qubbatus-Sakhra (The Dome of the Rock)
Masjid al-Aqsa (The Farthest Mosque)
Al Madrasa An-Nahawiah
Al Musalla Al-Marwani
Click on any picture below to see full size.
Al Madrasa An-Nahawiah was built in 603 AH (1206 AD) and as its Arabic name suggests, it is The School of Grammar. Currently, it serves as the workspace of Mufti Bayt Al-Maqdis.
Al Musalla Al-Marwani is an underground structure built around the same period that Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa was built. The Prayer Hall was bulit by the Islamic Umayyad Khalifa, Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan.
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Updated March 21, 2012