Sacredness of Al-Aqsa

This is the Third Holiest site of Muslims for a reason

Jerusalem, Palestine

Coordinates: 31.776074, 35.235773

‘And the Prophets lived therein. There is not a single inch in Jerusalem where a Prophet or angel not stood’

The Al-Aqsa Sancurtary in Jerusalem is respected and held dear by Muslims for numerous reasons.

It is this place where Hz. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was transported from the Great Mosque of Mecca to al-Aqsa during the Night Journey.

It is also the place where Hz. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ did the Imamat of all the prophets.

First Qibla for Prayer

From the beginning of time Muslims always prayed facing Jerusalem. This is important because it shows the significance and special position of Jerusalem. Muslims carried on facing Jerusalem in their prayers until 18 months after the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ migrated from Makkah to Medina.

The Muslims changed the direction of qibla from Jerusalem to the Kabah in Makkah after Allah commanded them. The Jews in Madinah used to face Jerusalem for their prayers and they did not like it that the Muslims did too and would mock the Prophet ﷺ.

So Allah revealed: (Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad’s) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah).

Quran (2:144)

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ informed the Muslims that even though the Qibla had changed this did not reduce the importance of Masjid Al-Aqsa to Muslims.

Second Masjid built on Earth

The second Masjid to be built on earth was Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, in Palestine by Hz. Adam عليه اسلام.

He built Masjid Al-Aqsa 40 years after building the Kabah in Makkah. This makes Masjid Al-Aqsa a central place for Muslims as Allah ordered it to be built by the very first man he put on Earth.

Over the years Masjid Al-Aqsa was rebuilt by a number of noble people. Hz. Ibrahim عليه اسلام left his birth town, Ur in Iraq (or Turkey) and travelled to Jerusalem and started to live in the Blessed Land. He found Masjid Al-Aqsa in ruins so he re-built it with his son Hz. Ishaq عليه اسلام.

After Hz. Ishaq عليه اسلام passed, his sons left Palestine and travelled to Egypt. Masjid Al-Aqsa was now left alone and became neglected because people started to forget about Allah.

The Masjid then started to crumble and fall down. Many years later the Masjid became completely destroyed. Then Allah sent Hz. Dawud عليه اسلام who was very strong and brave. After becoming the leader of Jerusalem he started to rebuild Masjid Al-Aqsa.

Hz. Dawud عليه اسلام used to pray in the compounds of the Al-Aqsa sanctuary, whilst the Masjid was being constructed. However he did not finish building it before he passed away.

His son Hz. Sulaiman عليه اسلام who was also a Prophet of Allah continued to build the Masjid until it was complete.

Hz. Sulaiman عليه اسلام had a lot of love for Masjid Al-Aqsa and he commanded the Jinns to help him complete the building.

Many Prophets that came after Hz. Sulaiman عليه اسلام who lived nearby Masjid Al-Aqsa prayed in it and took care of it. Third holiest mosque in Islam Masjid Al-Aqsa is the holiest Islamic site in Jerusalem and is the third most sacred Masjid in Islam.

Significance in Hadiths

There are many other Masjids and places of significance but Masjid Al-Aqsa has the greatest significance that dates back to the first man on earth, Hz. Adam عليه اسلام.

Masjid Al-Aqsa has been mentioned many times by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in regards to its virtue and importance.

More Rewards for Prayers

Hz. Abu Darda رضي الله عنه relates that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “A prayer in Makkah (Ka’bah) is worth 1000,000 times (reward), a prayer in my Masjid (Madinah) is worth 1,000 times and a prayer in Al-Aqsa Sanctuary is worth 500 times more reward than anywhere else”.

[Tabarani, Bayhaqi, Suyuti]

Al Isra is a Blessings For Ummah

Hz. Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrated that:

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ was presented with two cups one containing wine and the other milk on the night of his night journey at Jerusalem. He looked at it and took the milk. Gabriel said, “Thanks to Allah Who guided you to the Fitra (i.e. Islam); if you had taken the wine, your followers would have gone astray.”

[Sahih Bukhari]

Hz. Ibn Mas’ud رضي الله عنه reported:
Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “I met Ibrahim عليه اسلام on the Night of Ascension (Al-Asra), and he said to me: ‘O Muhammad, convey my greetings to your Ummah, and tell them that Jannah has a vast plain of pure soil and sweet water. It is a plain levelled land. The plants grow there by uttering: Subhan-Allah, Al-hamdu lillah, La ilaha illallah and Allahu Akbar (Allah is free from imperfection; praise be to Allah; there is no true god except Allah; and Allah is Greatest).”

[At- Tirmidhi]

The Importance of Donating to Masjid Al-Aqsa

Hz. Maymunah Bint Sa’d رضي الله عنها relates that she asked the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

“O Messenger of Allah, tell us the legal injunction about (visiting) Bayt al-Muqaddas. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: go and pray there. All the cities at that time were effected by war. If you cannot visit it and pray there, then send some oil to be used in the lamps.”

[Abu Dawud]

The Virtues of Wearing Ihram From Masjid Al-Aqsa

Hz. Umm Salamah رضي الله عنها relates that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“If anyone puts on Ihram for Hajj or Umrah from Masjid Al-Aqsa and then proceeds to the Sacred Masjid (Ka’bah), his past and future sins will be forgiven, or he will be guaranteed Paradise”.

[Abu Dawud]

The Importance of Visiting Masjid Al-Aqsa

Hz. Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه relates that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“Do not undertake a journey to visit any Mosque, but three: this Mosque of mine, the Mosque of al-Haram and the Mosque of Aqsa”

[Sahih Muslim]

Masjid Al-Aqsa – The Best Place of Residence

Hz. Abd Allaah bin ‘Amr رضي الله عنه said:

“I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say “There will be emigration after emigration and the people who are best will be those who cleave most closely to places which Abraham migrated [i.e. Jerusalem].”

[Abu Dawud – Daeef]

Masjid Al-Aqsa – The place of Mujahideen

Hz. Umamah Al-Bahili رضي الله عنه reports that the Prophet ﷺ said, “A group of my Ummah will remain on truth, they will vanquish their enemy and those who disagree with them will not be able to harm them until Allah commands”. “Where are these people”? The Companions (ra) asked. The Prophet (saw) said, “In and around Al-Quds (Jerusalem).


Hz. Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه relates that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سل said, “A group of my Ummah will not cease to fight at the gates of Damascus and at the gates of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and its surroundings. The betrayal or desertion of whoever deserts them will not harm them in the least. They will remain victorious, standing for the truth, until the Final Hour rises”.


The Desired Site of Hz. Musa عليه اسلام

Hz. Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه reports that the Prophet ﷺ said, “The Angel of death was sent to Musa (عليه اسلام). When he came to Musa (عليه اسلام), he punched him on the eye. The Angel returned to Allah and said, “You sent me to a servant who does not want to die”. Allah ordered the Angel, ‘Return to him and tell him to put his hand on the back of an ox and for every hair that will come under it, he will be granted one year of life’. Musa asked, “O Lord! What will happen after that”? Allah replied, ‘Then death’. Musa (عليه اسلام) decided, let it be now’. Musa (عليه اسلام) then requested Allah to let him die close to the Sacred Land (near Masjid Al-Aqsa) so much so that he would be at a distance of a stone’s throw form it”. Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه added, the Prophet ﷺ then said, “If I were there, I would show you his grave below the red sand hill on the side of the road”.


The Place Where Allah’s Revelation Descended

Hz. Abu Umama رضي الله عنه reports that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سل said, “Prophethood descended upon me in three places: Makkah, Madinah and Al-Sham. Once it is brought out from any of them, it shall never return to it”. (Abu Dawud)

In another narration it states, “The Quran was revealed in three places – Makkah, Madinah and Al-Sham”. (Tabarani). Ibn Kathir, the great scholar of Islam, said, “Al-Sham here means Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem). (Abu Dawud, Tabarani)

Mentioned By Name In The Holy Quran

Bibi Aishah رضي الله عنها reports that the Prophet ﷺ used to recite Surah Al-Isra every night in his prayer:

Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allah) Who took His slave (Muhammad ﷺ) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) to the farthest mosque (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad ﷺ) of Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.

Quran (17:1)

The Site of the Future Caliphate

Hz. Abdullah Ibn Hawwala Al-Azdi رضي الله عنه reported, the Prophet ﷺ put his hand on my head and said, “Ibn Hawwala if you see that the Caliphate has taken abode in the Holy Land then the earthquakes and tribulations and great events are at hand. The last Hour on that day will be closer to people than my hand is to your head”. (Ahmad, Abu Dawud)

Hz. Yunus Ibn Maysarah رضي الله عنه relates that the Prophet ﷺ said, “This matter (the Caliphate) will be after me in Madinah, then Al-Sham, then Al-Jazira, then Iraq, then in Madinah, then in AL-quds (Jerusalem). If it is in Al-Quds, its home country is there, and if any people expel it, it will not return there forever”. (Ibn Asakir)

Hz. Al-Numan Ibn Bashir رضي الله عنه relates that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Prophethood will last with you for as long as Allah wants it. Then Allah will end it if He wishes to end it. Then there will be the Rightly Guided Caliphs according to the method of Prophethood and things will be as Allah wishes them. Then Allah will end it if He wishes it. Then there will be a voracious kingdom and things will be as Allah wishes them. Then Allah will end it if He wishes. Then there will be Khilafah (Caliphate) according to the method of Prophethood. Thereafter the Prophet (saw) fell silent”. (Ahmad)