Jump to content

Travelogue - Al-Masjid al-Aqsa


Recommended Posts

From White Thread Press


Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmat Allahi wa barakatuh,


Alhamdulillah I was blessed to travel to Palestine, the land of the Prophets. It was a spiritually enlightening and awe inspiring trip, connecting us to our Islamic history. It is a place where Allah's blessings descend. From praying in the masjid wherein each prayer is worth 5,000, feeling the acceptance of duas in the chambers of Maryam, offering salams to Ibrahim, Ishaq and Yunus (upon them all be peace), we came as honoured guests and left with teary eyes. 


Insha'Allah over the next few weeks I hope to share my experience of visiting Palestine, discussing the historical and spiritual significance of some of the places I visited to encourage you to also visit the Holy Land.


But first,


Where exactly is the 'Holy/Blessed Land'?


There is a difference of opinion about the boundaries of the 'Blessed Land'.

  • Classical scholars like Ibn Kathir and al-Qurtubi consider it to be the whole area of Sham (modern-day Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon).
  • Other scholars believe there are pockets of 'blessed land' scattered throughout the area of the modern Middle East such as Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, Masjid al-Haram in Makkah and Masjid an-Nabawi in Madina.
  • Some say it is contiguous from Hijaz, through Sham to Egypt

However, (in all opinions) there is no doubt that Masjid al-Aqsa is located within the Blessed Land.



Mention in the Qur'an:


It is clearly and directly mentioned in Surah al-Isra that Masjid al-Aqsa as well as its surrounding area has been blessed by Allah Most High for mankind to reap spiritual and material benefit:


سُبْحَـٰنَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِۦ لَيْلًۭا مِّنَ ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْحَرَامِ إِلَى ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْأَقْصَا ٱلَّذِى بَـٰرَكْنَا حَوْلَهُۥ لِنُرِيَهُۥ مِنْ ءَايَـٰتِنَآ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْبَصِيرُ 


Glorious is He who made His servant travel by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa whose environs We have blessed, so that We let him see some of Our signs. Surely, He is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing.



Surah Ma'idah mentions when Musa (upon him be peace) left Egypt with Bani Isra'il he said:


يَـٰقَوْمِ ٱدْخُلُوا۟ ٱلْأَرْضَ ٱلْمُقَدَّسَةَ ٱلَّتِى كَتَبَ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلَا تَرْتَدُّوا۟ عَلَىٰٓ أَدْبَارِكُمْ فَتَنقَلِبُوا۟ خَـٰسِرِينَ 


O my people! Enter the holy land which Allah has destined for you; and do not turn back, lest you should turn losers.


Mufti Taqi Usmani mentions in the footnotes of his new edition of The Noble Qur’an: Meaning with Explanatory Notes that 'the reference here is to Syria and Palestine that were occupied by Amalekites, and after Pharaoh drowned, the Israelites were directed to liberate those lands from them.'



Mention in Hadiths


The Prophet ﷺ said: "Allah has blessed what lies between al-Arish (in Egypt) and the Euphrates and has made Palestine particularly holy."

[Kanz al-Ummal]


Zaid ibn Thabit reports that the Prophet ﷺ said: “How blessed is Sham!" The Companions asked, “Why is that?” The Messenger ﷺ replied, “I see the angels of Allah spreading their wings over Sham." Ibn Abbas added, “And the Prophets lived therein. There is not a single inch in al-Quds (Jerusalem) where a Prophet has not prayed or an angel not stood.”

[Tirmidhi, Ahmad]



May Allah allow us all to visit the Blessed Land and reap benefit from the blessings therein.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Masjid al-Qibli

Located to the western most side of the compound, this grey domed masjid can accommodate 5000 people and is considered the largest masjid in Jerusalem. Originally built by Umar ibn al-Khattab, it has undergone several modifications, expansions and reconstructions having experienced several dynasties as well as two earthquakes. 

The Crusaders conquered Jerusalem in 1099 and renamed the Masjid as Solomon’s Temple - it was used as a palace while the Dome of the Rock was used as a church. You can still see some remnants of Christian architecture today, such as the Mihrab/Musallah of Zakariyya.


However, the great Salah ad-Din had an intense yearning to regain the holy city. Ibn Shaddad mentions "the Sultan was so keen for Jerusalem that the hills would have shrunk from bearing the burden he carried in his heart." (Saviours of the Islamic Spirit, page 214)


On Friday 2 October 1187, Jerusalem was recaptured and Salah ad-Din bought a magnificent wooden pulpit his uncle Nur ad-Din Zangi had designed under his orders twenty years prior. It was bought from Aleppo and erected it the masjid. Unfortunately, this mimbar was burnt down in 1969 in an arson attack by an Australian Christian Fundamentalist. 





If you look closely at the windows (in the second picture), you can see they have been broken due to recent violence in the masjid.


There is so much history overflowing in every inch of Jerusalem. Insha'Allah next week I hope to share other less-well known structures located in and around al-Masjid al-Aqsa.


May Allah allow us to learn about, visit and protect the Holy Lands.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • ummtaalib changed the title to Travelogue - Al-Masjid al-Aqsa

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...