Why is Masjid Al Aqsa in Jerusalem so important to Muslims?
Masjid Al Aqsa in Jerusalem is the third Holiest site on the face of this planet for Muslims. It’s sanctity is so important in Islam that it is in fact mentioned by name in the Quran.
- It is the third Holiest site after the two Holy Sanctuaries in Makkah and Madinah.
I asked the beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which was the first mosque on earth? ‘The Sacred Mosque (in Makkah),’ he said. And then which, I asked? ‘Masjid al Aqsa,’ he said. I further asked, what was the time span between the two? ‘Forty years,’ the Prophet [Alayhis salaam] replied. (Muslim)
We have certainly seen the turning of your face, [O Muhammad], toward the heaven, and We will surely turn you to a qiblah with which you will be pleased. So turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] are, turn your faces toward it [in prayer]. Indeed, those who have been given the Scripture well know that it is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do. (2:144)
“Set out deliberately on a journey only to three mosques: this mosque of mine (in Medina), the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah) and the Masjid Al Aqsa (in Jerusalem)”(Bukhari & Muslim)
Anas Ibn Malik (ra) relates that the Prophet (pbuh) said:” The prayer of a person in his house is a single prayer; his prayer in the Masjid of his people has the reward of 27 prayers; his prayer in the Masjid in which the Friday prayer is observed has the reward of 500; his prayer in Masjid Al-Aqsa (i.e. Al-Aqsa Sanctuary) has a reward of 5,000 prayers; his prayer in my Masjid (the Prophet’s Masjid in Madinah) has a reward of 50,000 prayers, and the prayer in the Sacred Masjid (Ka’bah) has the reward of 100,000 prayers”.(Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)
“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)
8. Muslims believe that the land of Jeruselem is the final resting place of many previous prophets and their companions including Prophet Ibrahim, Yaaqub and Ishaq and some close companions of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.
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