The importance of Al-Aqsa Mosque to Muslims comes due to its religious reasons, as it is the first of the two qiblas, the third of the two holy mosques, and the Messenger of God Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) prayed there during his night journey. Most of the prophets and messengers, peace be upon them, lived around it. Among them are Ibrahim AS, Sulaiman AS, Zakaria AS, Dawud AS, Isa AS and his mother Maryam AS.
It is not known precisely when the Al-Aqsa Mosque was built for the first time, as historians differed among themselves on who laid the first building block for Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Some of them said that the Prophet Adam AS (the father of humankind) was the one who built it, and some say that Sam bin Nuh and others said that it was Prophet Ibrahim AS who built the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
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The Al-Aqsa Mosque in Islam has great merits, and it has a high status in the hearts of Muslims. The verses of the Noble Qur’an and the hadiths of the Noble Prophetic Sunnah refer to several features of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Al-Aqsa Mosque is the first Qibla for Muslims; Muslims continued to pray towards the Al-Aqsa Mosque before Allah SWT commanded them to turn the qibla to the honorable Kaaba after sixteen or seventeen months.
Allah SWT has told us that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is blessed and that what is around it is also blessed with His blessings. The Messenger Muhammad SAW was taken to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the journey of Isra' and Mi’raj, when the Messenger SAW, was taken from Al-Masjid Al-Haram to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa.
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The city of Jerusalem is not only of historical importance to Muslims but has religious significance to Muslims, Christians, and Jews.
Next to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its religious importance to all Muslims, there is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher within the Christian Quarter, which enjoys special importance to Christians all over the world.
For Christians, they believe that Isa AS, was crucified there and that his tomb is located inside the church, he was resurrected there.
As for the Jews, the importance of the city is the presence of the Wailing Wall, which the Jews believe is what remains of the temple of the Prophet King Solomon, and it is the most sacred site for the Jews.
The Jews also believe that it is the site where Ibrahim AS was to sacrifice his son.
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The area of Al-Aqsa Mosque is about 14,000 square meters, and the lengths of the wall that borders it on the four sides are as follows: (west 491 meters, eastern 462 meters, northern 310 meters, and southern 281 meters).
The mosque now has 4 minarets dating back to the days of the Mamluk era. Al-Aqsa Mosque consists of several buildings and contains many different parts of up to 200 landmarks. The mosque includes a large central portico, built on marble columns. The portico ends with a great dome, which in turn rests on four stone pillars, topped by four stone arches.
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The dome itself consists of two layers, an interior, and an exterior. The interior is decorated with mosaic decorations, and it is covered from the outside with copper plates coated with gold.
Historically, Al-Aqsa Mosque has 15 doors, 10 of which are open and 5 are closed.
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Some Muslims confused about what exactly is the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Some of them consider Al-Aqsa to be that building with a golden dome in reference to the Dome of the Rock, and others think that the blessed Al-Aqsa is that building with the black lead dome “the Qibli mosque”, but the real concept of Al-Aqsa is all located inside the fence that surrounds Al-Aqsa Square and what is inside it.
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Al-Aqsa Mosque is of great importance in Islam, and the scholars explained the duty of Muslims toward the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Qur’an reminded people of Al-Aqsa Mosque and its place in Islam:
Allah SWT knows best.
Let us follow the advice of our beloved Prophet and may Allah give us ease and guidance to perform our ibadah and forgive our sins. In Shaa Allah.