This post was originally published on this site

When speaking about Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa the third holiest sight in Islam, many Muslims are familiar with the hadith of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) as reported by Bukhari and Muslim

وَعَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ اَلْخُدْرِيِّ ‏- رضى الله عنه ‏- قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اَللَّهِ ‏- صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏-: { لَا تُشَدُّ اَلرِّحَالُ إِلَّا إِلَى ثَلَاثَةِ مَسَاجِدَ: اَلْمَسْجِدِ اَلْحَرَامِ, وَمَسْجِدِي هَذَا, وَالْمَسْجِدِ اَلْأَقْصَى } مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيْهِ 1‏

“One should not undertake journeys except to three mosques: al-Masque al-Haram (in Makkah), this Masjid of mine (in Medinah) and Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem)

And so this hadith restricts the undertaking of religious pilgrimages or religious journeys to any masjid other than these three. In the past two weeks you’ve heard about Al-Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca, and Al-Masjid Al-Nabawi, what then about Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa makes it special?

A few qualities about Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa:

Firstly, it is in Al-Shaam.

And this is unique and something that is not shared by Al-Masjid Al-Haram and Al-Masjid Al-Nabawi in that although those places in and of themselves are incredibly blessed, Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa is not just blessed in and of itself, but it is in a region that is blessed, that region being al-Shaam.

Al-Sham (Greater Syria) is bordered by the Euphrates River on the northeast and by Egypt on the southwest. Al-Shaam is the region that includes the modern day countries of Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, and there are many verses and hadith that mention that it is a blessed land. Its major cities are Damascus, Jerusalem, Nabulus, Homs, Hemah, Halab, Amman, Beirut, Askalan, Gaza, Saida; Sur, Tripoli, Ba’labek, Manbij and Al-Ma’rah. Al-Sham is a vast land with an abundance of blessings. It is full of gardens, farms and fields. Fruits are abundant and cheap, and there is generous rain and snow. Al-Sham is a blessed and sacred land that Allah destined to be the place of revelations, the birthplace of prophets and a refuge for godly men.

Allah says,

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

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. (Al-Isra v. 1)

And so here Allah mentions that not only is the Masjid Al-Aqsa blessed but it’s surroundings have been blessed and this is unique to this land of Al-Shaam.

It being blessed is mentioned in a number of other verses, of them are;

وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَلُوطًا إِلَى الأَرْضِ الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا لِلْعَالَمِينَ [الأنبياء:71]

And We delivered him and Lot to the land which We had blessed for the worlds.

Ibn Taymiyyah said “it is known that Allah delivered Ibrahim and Lot to Al-Shaam from the lands of the peninsula and Iraq.”

And as for Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) Allah says,

وَأَوْرَثْنَا الْقَوْمَ الَّذِينَ كَانُوا يُسْتَضْعَفُونَ مَشَارِقَ الأَرْضِ وَمَغَارِبَهَا الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا

And We caused the people who had been oppressed to inherit the eastern regions of the land and the western ones, which We had blessed. (Al-A’raaf v. 137)

Al-Hassan and Qatadah both said, “It is Al-Shaam”

يَا قَوْمِ ادْخُلُوا الأَرْضَ الْمُقَدَّسَةَ الَّتِي كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلا تَرْتَدُّوا عَلَى أَدْبَارِكُمْ فَتَنْقَلِبُوا خَاسِرِينَ [المائدة:21]

O my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you and do not turn back [from fighting in Allah ‘s cause] and [thus] become losers.

And the Kingdom of Sulayman was in Al-Shaam

وَلِسُلَيْمَانَ الرِّيحَ عَاصِفَةً تَجْرِي بِأَمْرِهِ إِلَى الأَرْضِ الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا وَكُنَّا بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَالِمِينَ [الأنبياء:81]

And to Solomon [We subjected] the wind, blowing forcefully, proceeding by his command toward the land which We had blessed. And We are ever, of all things, Knowing.

وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُمْ وَبَيْنَ الْقُرَى الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا قُرًى ظَاهِرَةً وَقَدَّرْنَا فِيهَا السَّيْرَ سِيرُوا فِيهَا لَيَالِيَ وَأَيَّامًا آمِنِينَ [سبأ:18]

And We placed between them and the cities which We had blessed [many] visible cities. And We determined between them the [distances of] journey, [saying], “Travel between them by night or day in safety

Ibn Abbas, Qatadah and Mujahid all mentioned that the land mentioned in this verse is Al-Shaam.

Some manifestations of the blessings of Al-Shaam

As we read the hadith that speak about the virtues of Al-Shaam it is important to note that this all falls under the realm of prophecy. The prophet (ﷺ) was not speaking about a land that had fallen under his authority during his lifetime, in fact the Muslim armies did not begin to conquer Al-Shaam until the time of ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, yet the amount of praise and blessings accorded to this land indicates that Al-Shaam would not only become Muslim but a pillar of Islam until the day of Judgment.

Firstly, the angels extending their wings over Al-Shaam

عَنْ زَيْدِ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ، قَالَ كُنَّا عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم نُؤَلِّفُ الْقُرْآنَ مِنَ الرِّقَاعِ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ طُوبَى لِلشَّأْمِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقُلْنَا لأَىٍّ ذَلِكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ ‏”‏ لأَنَّ مَلاَئِكَةَ الرَّحْمَنِ بَاسِطَةٌ أَجْنِحَتَهَا عَلَيْهَا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ إِنَّمَا نَعْرِفُهُ مِنْ حَدِيثِ يَحْيَى بْنِ أَيُّوبَ

Zaid ibn Thabit Narrates, “We were with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) collecting the Qur’an on pieces of cloth, then the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Tuba is for Ash-Sham.’ So we said: ‘Why is that O Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘Because the angels of Ar-Rahman spread their wings over it.’” (Tirmithi)

And Toobaa is a prayer for glad tidings. Al-’Izz ibn Abdisalaam said, “The prophet (ﷺ) indicated that Allah had designated angels to protect and preserve Al-Shaam.”

Secondly, It is the chosen land of God

 

عَنِ ابْنِ حَوَالَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ سَيَصِيرُ الأَمْرُ إِلَى أَنْ تَكُونُوا جُنُودًا مُجَنَّدَةً جُنْدٌ بِالشَّامِ وَجُنْدٌ بِالْيَمَنِ وَجُنْدٌ بِالْعِرَاقِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ ابْنُ حَوَالَةَ خِرْ لِي يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنْ أَدْرَكْتُ ذَلِكَ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ عَلَيْكَ بِالشَّامِ فَإِنَّهَا خِيَرَةُ اللَّهِ مِنْ أَرْضِهِ يَجْتَبِي إِلَيْهَا خِيَرَتَهُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ فَأَمَّا إِنْ أَبَيْتُمْ فَعَلَيْكُمْ بِيَمَنِكُمْ وَاسْقُوا مِنْ غُدُرِكُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَكَّلَ لِي بِالشَّامِ وَأَهْلِهِ

 

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: It will turn out that you will be armed troops, one in Al-Shaam, one in the Yemen and one in Iraq. Ibn Hawalah said: Choose for me, Messenger of Allah, if I reach that time. He replied: Go to Al-Shaam, for it is Allah’s chosen land, to which his best servants will be gathered, but if you are unwilling, go to your Yemen, and draw water from your tanks, for Allah has on my account taken special charge of Al-Shaam and its people. (Abu Dawood, Authenticated by Al-Abaani)

Thirdly, The Pillar of the Book (ie Faith) was placed in Al-Shaam

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ حَوَالَةَ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” رَأَيْتُ لَيْلَةَ أُسْرِيَ بِي عَمُودًا أَبْيَضَ كَأَنَّهُ لُؤْلُؤَةٌ تَحْمِلُهُ الْمَلائِكَةُ ، فَقُلْتُ : مَا تَحْمِلُونَ ؟ فَقَالُوا : عَمُودُ الإِسْلامِ ، أُمِرْنَا أَنْ نَضَعَهُ بِالشَّامِ ، وَبَيْنَا أَنَا نَائِمٌ رَأَيْتُ عَمُودَ الْكِتَابِ اخْتُلِسَ مِنْ تَحْتِ رَأْسِي ، فَظَنَنْتُ أَنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى قَدْ تَخَلَّى مِنْ أَهْلِ الأَرْضِ ، فَأَتْبَعْتُهُ بَصَرِي وَإِذَا هُوَ نُورٌ سَاطِعٌ بَيْنَ يَدِي حَتَّى وُضِعَ بِالشَّامِ ” ، فَقَالَ ابْنُ حَوَالَةَ : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ، خِرْ لِي . فَقَالَ : ” عَلَيْكَ بِالشَّامِ

I saw the night of my Isra a white pillar as if it were of pearl being carried by the angels, I said, “What are you carrying?” They said, “The pillar of Islam, and we were commanded to place it in Al-Shaam. And while I was sleep I saw the pillar of the book taken from underneath my head, and so I thought that Allah had takhala from the people of the world, and so I followed it with my sight and it was a bright light in front of me until it was placed in Al-Shaam. Ibn Hawala then said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, choose for me! He said, “Upon you is Al-Shaam.” Reported by Ibn Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq and authenticated by Ibn Hajr in Fath Al-Bari.

In another version reported by Al-Tabari in his tafsir the prophet (ﷺ) said,

رَأَيْتُ فِي الْمَنَامِ أَنَّهُمْ أَخَذُوا عَمُودَ الْكِتَابِ فَعَمَدُوا بِهِ إِلَى الشَّامِ، فَإِذَا وَقَعَتِ الْفِتْنَةُ فَالْأَمْنُ بِالشَّامِ

While I was alseep I saw that they had taken the pillar of the book and carried it to Al-Shaam, so when fitan (trials) touch down, faith will be in Al-Shaam.

Al-Haakim said, “This is a authentic hadith upon the conditions of the two shaykhs (Bukhari and Muslim) and Al-Dhahabi agreed. Al-Izz ibn Abdissalaam defined “The Pillar of the Book” to be “Iman” or faith. 

Fourthly, the Prophet (ﷺ) prayed for it to be blessed

عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ ذَكَرَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي شَأْمِنَا، اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي يَمَنِنَا ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالُوا وَفِي نَجْدِنَا‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي شَأْمِنَا، اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي يَمَنِنَا ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَفِي نَجْدِنَا فَأَظُنُّهُ قَالَ فِي الثَّالِثَةَ ‏”‏ هُنَاكَ الزَّلاَزِلُ وَالْفِتَنُ، وَبِهَا يَطْلُعُ قَرْنُ الشَّيْطَانِ

Ibn ‘Umar reports that

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Sham! O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Yemen.” The People said, “And also on our Najd.” He said, “O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Sham (north)! O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Yemen.” The people said, “O Allah’s Apostle! And also on our Najd.” I think the third time the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “There (in Najd) is the place of earthquakes and afflictions and from there comes out the side of the head of Satan.” (Bukhari)

Fifthly, Al-Shaam is a yardstick for the righteousness of the ummah

عَنْ مُعَاوِيَةَ بْنِ قُرَّةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ إِذَا فَسَدَ أَهْلُ الشَّامِ فَلاَ خَيْرَ فِيكُمْ

Ma’awiyyah ibn Qurrah reports from His father that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

“When the inhabitants of Ash-Sham become corrupt, then there is no good in you.”

(Recorded by Al-Tirmithi who graded it a Hassan Sahih hadith).

Sixthly, Al-Shaam will host a group of people unwavering upon the truth

قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عُمَيْرُ بْنُ هَانِئٍ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ مُعَاوِيَةَ، يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ لاَ يَزَالُ مِنْ أُمَّتِي أُمَّةٌ قَائِمَةٌ بِأَمْرِ اللَّهِ، لاَ يَضُرُّهُمْ مَنْ خَذَلَهُمْ وَلاَ مَنْ خَالَفَهُمْ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَهُمْ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ وَهُمْ عَلَى ذَلِكَ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ عُمَيْرٌ فَقَالَ مَالِكُ بْنُ يُخَامِرَ قَالَ مُعَاذٌ وَهُمْ بِالشَّأْمِ‏.‏ فَقَالَ مُعَاوِيَةُ هَذَا مَالِكٌ يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ مُعَاذًا يَقُولُ وَهُمْ بِالشَّامِ

‘Umayr ibn Hani stated that he heard Mu’awiyyah says,

“I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, “A group of people amongst my followers will remain obedient to Allah’s orders and they will not be harmed by anyone who will not help them or who will oppose them, till Allah’s Order (the Last Day) comes upon them while they are still on the right path.”

‘Umayr said, Malik ibn Yukhamir said, “Mu’adh said, ‘they are in Al-Shaam”

Seventhly: It is a land of many martyrs

أتاني جبريل بالحمى والطاعون فأمسكت الحمى بالمدينة وأرسلت الطاعون إلى الشام، فالطاعون شهادة لأمتي ورحمة لهم ورجس على الكافرين‏

“Jibreel came to me with (carrying) fever and plague. Fever was kept in Medina and Plague was sent to Al-Shaam. Plague is martyrdom for my ummah and mercy and wrath upon the disbelievers. (Ahmad, authenticated by Al-Albani in Sahih Al-Targhib wal Tarhib)

And so plague has touched the region of Al-Shaam many times over from the dawn of Islam as early as the army of Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn Al-Jarrah in 638-639 AD in two waves and it is accounted that 25,000 soldiers died of that plague, of them Mu’adh ibn Jabal, his son Abdulrahman and Abu Ubaydah ibn Al-Jarrah himself. The Middle East Black Death epidemic in which it is reported that around 10,000 people died in Gaza between April 10 and May 10 1348. Plagues that affected the crusaders and cholera outbreaks over the past two centuries among others.

 The Virtues of Al- Masjid Al-Aqsa

It is the second masjid ever built

عَنْ أَبِي ذَرٍّ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏.‏ أَىُّ مَسْجِدٍ وُضِعَ أَوَّلُ قَالَ ‏”‏ الْمَسْجِدُ الْحَرَامُ ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ ثُمَّ أَىٌّ قَالَ ‏”‏ ثُمَّ الْمَسْجِدُ الأَقْصَى ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ كَمْ كَانَ بَيْنَهُمَا قَالَ ‏”‏ أَرْبَعُونَ ‏”‏‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ حَيْثُمَا أَدْرَكَتْكَ الصَّلاَةُ فَصَلِّ، وَالأَرْضُ لَكَ مَسْجِدٌ

Narrated Abu Dhaar:

I said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Which mosque was built first?” He replied, “Al-Masjid-ul-Haram.” I asked, “Which (was built) next?” He replied, “Al-Masjid-ul-Aqs-a (i.e. Jerusalem).” I asked, “What was the period in between them?” He replied, “Forty (years).” He then added, “Wherever the time for the prayer comes upon you, perform the prayer, for all the earth is a place of worshipping for you.”

Although it’s commonly considered that Ibrahim and Sulayman are the ones who built those masjids respectively, this hadith becomes difficult to resolve when there was more than a thousand years between them! Ibn Hajar mentions a number of positions on who built Al-Ka’abah and Bayt Al-Maqdis he says,

Adam built Al-Ka’abah and then his children built Al-Aqsa

Ibrahim built Al-Ka’abah and then he built Al-Aqsa so he built both

Ibrahim built the Ka’abah and Ya’qoob his grandson built Al-Aqsa and Sulayman rebuilt the Aqsa

It is where the prophets intended and migrated to:

It is where Abraham and Lot migrated to, it is where Moses intended to take Bani Israel

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ أُرْسِلَ مَلَكُ الْمَوْتِ إِلَى مُوسَى ـ عَلَيْهِمَا السَّلاَمُ ـ فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُ صَكَّهُ، فَرَجَعَ إِلَى رَبِّهِ، فَقَالَ أَرْسَلْتَنِي إِلَى عَبْدٍ لاَ يُرِيدُ الْمَوْتَ‏.‏ قَالَ ارْجِعْ إِلَيْهِ، فَقُلْ لَهُ يَضَعُ يَدَهُ عَلَى مَتْنِ ثَوْرٍ، فَلَهُ بِمَا غَطَّتْ يَدُهُ بِكُلِّ شَعَرَةٍ سَنَةٌ‏.‏ قَالَ أَىْ رَبِّ، ثُمَّ مَاذَا قَالَ ثُمَّ الْمَوْتُ‏.‏ قَالَ فَالآنَ‏.‏ قَالَ فَسَأَلَ اللَّهَ أَنْ يُدْنِيَهُ مِنَ الأَرْضِ الْمُقَدَّسَةِ رَمْيَةً بِحَجَرٍ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ لَوْ كُنْتُ ثَمَّ لأَرَيْتُكُمْ قَبْرَهُ إِلَى جَانِبِ الطَّرِيقِ تَحْتَ الْكَثِيبِ الأَحْمَرِ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ وَأَخْبَرَنَا مَعْمَرٌ عَنْ هَمَّامٍ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم نَحْوَهُ‏

The Angel of Death was sent to Moses when he came to Moses, Moses slapped him on the eye. The angel returned to his Lord and said, “You have sent me to a Slave who does not want to die.” Allah said, “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.” Moses said, “O Lord! What will happen after that?” Allah replied, “Then death.” Moses said, “Let it come now.” Moses then requested Allah to let him die close to the Sacred Land so much so that he would be at a distance of a stone’s throw from it.” Abu Huraira added, “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, ‘If I were there, I would show you his grave below the red sand hill on the side of the road.” (Bukhari)

The Sun stood still for the Conquest of Jerusalem

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ غَزَا نَبِيٌّ مِنَ الأَنْبِيَاءِ فَقَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ لاَ يَتْبَعْنِي رَجُلٌ مَلَكَ بُضْعَ امْرَأَةٍ وَهْوَ يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَبْنِيَ بِهَا وَلَمَّا يَبْنِ بِهَا، وَلاَ أَحَدٌ بَنَى بُيُوتًا وَلَمْ يَرْفَعْ سُقُوفَهَا، وَلاَ أَحَدٌ اشْتَرَى غَنَمًا أَوْ خَلِفَاتٍ وَهْوَ يَنْتَظِرُ وِلاَدَهَا‏.‏ فَغَزَا فَدَنَا مِنَ الْقَرْيَةِ صَلاَةَ الْعَصْرِ أَوْ قَرِيبًا مِنْ ذَلِكَ فَقَالَ لِلشَّمْسِ إِنَّكِ مَأْمُورَةٌ وَأَنَا مَأْمُورٌ، اللَّهُمَّ احْبِسْهَا عَلَيْنَا‏.‏ فَحُبِسَتْ، حَتَّى فَتَحَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “A prophet amongst the prophets carried out a holy military expedition, so he said to his followers, ‘Anyone who has married a woman and wants to consummate the marriage, and has not done so yet, should not accompany me; nor should a man who has built a house but has not completed its roof; nor a man who has sheep or shecamels and is waiting for the birth of their young ones.’ So, the prophet carried out the expedition and when he reached that town at the time or nearly at the time of the `Asr prayer, he said to the sun, ‘O sun! You are under Allah’s Order and I am under Allah’s Order O Allah! Stop it (i.e. the sun) from setting.’ (Bukhari)

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” مَا حُبِسَتِ الشَّمْسُ عَلَى بَشَرٍ قَطُّ إِلا عَلَى يُوشَعَ بْنِ نُونَ لَيَالِي سَارَ إِلَى بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ

The sun has never stopped for any man besides Yusha bin Noon when he when he was campaigning to conquer Bayt al-Maqdis.” (Ahmed)

Bayt Al-Maqdis is the abode of the prophets.

It is the abode of Ya’qoob and the prayer place of Dawood, and the prayer place of Mary, and the abode of Sulayman and Zakariyyah, John the Baptist and Jesus.

The Prayer of Sulayman

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ قَالَ ‏”‏ لَمَّا فَرَغَ سُلَيْمَانُ بْنُ دَاوُدَ مِنْ بِنَاءِ بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ سَأَلَ اللَّهَ ثَلاَثًا حُكْمًا يُصَادِفُ حُكْمَهُ وَمُلْكًا لاَ يَنْبَغِي لأَحَدٍ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ وَأَلاَّ يَأْتِيَ هَذَا الْمَسْجِدَ أَحَدٌ لاَ يُرِيدُ إِلاَّ الصَّلاَةَ فِيهِ إِلاَّ خَرَجَ مِنْ ذُنُوبِهِ كَيَوْمَ وَلَدَتْهُ أُمُّهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏”‏ أَمَّا اثْنَتَانِ فَقَدْ أُعْطِيَهُمَا وَأَرْجُو أَنْ يَكُونَ قَدْ أُعْطِيَ الثَّالِثَةَ

 

Abdullah Ibn Amr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reports that the prophet (ﷺ) said,

“When Sulaiman bin Dawud finished building Baitil-Maqdis, he asked Allah for three things: judgment that was in harmony with His judgment, a dominion that no one after him would have, and that no one should come to this mosque, intending only to pray there, but he would emerge free of sin as the day his mother bore him.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Two prayers were granted, and I hope that the third was also granted.” (Ibn Majah, Authentic)

It is the first Qiblah

The prophet (ﷺ) for the entire time that he was in Mecca and the first 16 months that he was in Medinah would pray towards Jerusalem. And so while he was in Medinah he would pray with his back towards Mecca. This was until Allah revealed the verses in Surat Al- Baqarah.

Originally that Qiblah was the dome of the rock itself, and when Jerusalem surrendered in the year 15 H to the forces of Umar ibn Al-Khattab and Umar himself arrived he saw the Masjid and at that time it was ruin. He said, “Allahu Akbar, by the One in whose Hand is my soul, this is the masjid of David that the prophet (S) told us he was taken on a nights journey to.” He then told Ka’b Al-Ahbar do you know where the place of the rock is? He informed him and said dig there and you will find it, at the time it was a dump. When it was excavated or found Ka’b suggested to Umar that the masjid be placed behind the wall so that the two Qiblahs would merge and ‘Umar rebuked him for that and built the masjid in front of the rock.

The Prophet (ﷺ) was taken on a Night’s journey there.

The scholars mentioned that of the wisdoms on why the prophet (S) was taken to Bayt Al-Maqdis was to establish proof against the polytheists and those who doubted him. Meaning that if the prophet (ﷺ) had simply ascended to the heavens from Mecca there would have been no way for them to test his truthfulness. However when he claimed that he had traveled to Jerusalem, they asked him to describe to them Bayt Al-Maqdis, a place that they were familiar with due to their trade and travels. They also knew that the Messenger (ﷺ) had never been there and so when he was able to describe in detail Bayt Al-Maqdis it established the truthfulness of his claim, and if they were to believe him in that they would also believe in him traveling to the heavens.

Also, Bayt Al-Maqdis is the migratory point of the prophets and the first of the two Qiblahs and the second of the two masjids built and Allah took the prophet (ﷺ) there to honor him by having him pray in both places.

Prayers are Multiplied

عَنْ أَبِي ذَرٍّ ، قَالَ : تَذَاكَرْنَا وَنَحْنُ عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، أَيُّهُمَا أَفْضَلُ : أَمَسْجِدُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَمْ بَيْتُ الْمَقْدِسِ ؟ ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” صَلاةٌ فِي مَسْجِدِي أَفْضَلُ مِنْ أَرْبَعِ صَلَوَاتٍ فِيهِ وَلَنِعْمَ الْمُصَلَّى هُوَ , وَلَيُوشِكَنَّ لأَنْ يَكُونَ لِلرَّجُلِ مِثْلُ شَطَنِ فَرَسِهِ مِنَ الأَرْضِ حَيْثُ يَرَى مِنْهُ بَيْتَ الْمَقْدِسِ خَيْرًا لَهُ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا جَمِيعًا ” ، قَالَ : أَوْ قَالَ : ” خَيْرٌ لَهُ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا فِيهَا

Abu Dhar mentions we were discussing in the presence of the prophet (S) which Masjid was better, the Masjid of the prophet (S) or Bayt Al-Maqdis. He, (S), said, “A prayer in my masjid is better than four prayers there, and what an excellent prayer place it is, and there may come a time when a person having the size of a rope of land from which they can see Bayt Al-Maqdis is more beloved to them then the entire world.” Or he said, “the world and everything in it.” Reported by Al-Hakim which an authentic chain.

But this also alludes to something which we will close with and that is there will come a time when if a person had just a little bit of space in Al-Quds with a view of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa. It would be so beloved to them. These are some of the virtues of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, there is more to be said about the Masjid and Al-Shaam in general especially when it comes to the End of Days as much of what was described of battles near the end of days, the return of Jesus Christ and the killing of the AntiChrist, as well as Gog and Magog who meet their demise in Al-Shaam.

What we ask for is to be allowed to pray in this Masjid, and be able to visit it and be a part of those who work towards freeing it and it’s people.

FAQ’s

What is Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa; it is not just the dome of the rock and it’s not just just the masjid itself it’s the entire prayer complex. That is all Al-masjid Al-Aqsa as mentioned by the scholars in the past and present.

Is it a Haram? No it is not a Haram, and it is not correct to call it the third Haram. A Haram is a place in which hunting and plucking of fruits is haram, and there is nothing to that effect in Al-Aqsa.

Is there anything special that is done there? It is like Masjid Al-Nabawi in that sense, there is nothing that is done there other than what is normally done in a Masjid.

Is there anything virtuous to be done at the Dome of the Rock? Ibn Taymiyyah writes about the ‘Dome’ that it was not prayed at by Umar or the companions, nor did any of the rightly guided khulafa build a dome over it. It was uncovered before, during the time of Umar, Uthman, Ali, Ma’awiyyah, Yazeed and Murwan, but when Abd Al-Malik took over Al-Shaam and he had his fitnah between him and Ibn Al-Zubayr people would go to perform the hajj and would meet with Ibn Al-Zubayr. AbdulMalik wanted to divert people away from Ibn Al-Zubayr, so he built the dome over the rock. As for the people of knowledge from the sahaah and tabi’een they did not exhalt the dome of the rock, it is a abrogated qiblah, just like Saturday was a holiday in the law of Mose and now Friday is the holiday in the law of Muhammad and so it is not persmissible for Muslims to specifiy Saturday or Sunday with any acts of worship as the Jews or Christians do.

A call to action:

A hadith that is controversial in its authenticity

 

عَنْ مَيْمُونَةَ، مَوْلاَةِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَفْتِنَا فِي بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ ائْتُوهُ فَصَلُّوا فِيهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ – وَكَانَتِ الْبِلاَدُ إِذْ ذَاكَ حَرْبًا – فَإِنْ لَمْ تَأْتُوهُ وَتُصَلُّوا فِيهِ فَابْعَثُوا بِزَيْتٍ يُسْرَجُ فِي قَنَادِيلِهِ

Narrated Maymunah ibn Sa’d:

I said: Messenger of Allah, tell us the legal injunction about (visiting) Bayt al-Muqaddas (the dome of the Rock at Jerusalem). 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.

Weak, Abu Dawood

(This hadith was authenticated by Al-Hafidh Al-Iraqi, Al-Tahawi and Al-Nawawi and declared weak by Al-Albani).

Though this hadith may not be authentic the meaning that it carries is one that we should internalize and that is that if a person is never able to make it to Bayt-Al-Maqdis that they act to serve it still in whatever capacity they can. And there are many ways that a person can serve Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa; communicating what is happening there to others, visiting the Masjid, supporting the people of Al-Aqsa especially those who are protecting the Masjid and praying there, as well as praying for them regularly in your own supplications,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ERROR: si-captcha.php plugin: GD image support not detected in PHP!

Contact your web host and ask them to enable GD image support for PHP.

ERROR: si-captcha.php plugin: imagepng function not detected in PHP!

Contact your web host and ask them to enable imagepng for PHP.