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The greatness of Masjid al-Aqsa

Question:

What do the scholars and experts of shari’ah say regarding the honour and greatness of Masjid al-Aqsa?

Answer:

Masjid al-Aqsa has an immense rank in Islam and in the hearts of all the Muslims. It was the initial qibla (direction of prayer) for the believers and it was the location where Allah ﷻ honoured the Prophet ﷺ with concluding the isra (night journey) and beginning the mi’raj (ascension) to the heavens. It is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, “Glory to Him who took His noble servant on a night journey from the sacred Masjid to the farthest Masjid – whose surroundings we made holy – to show him Our signs. He is the Hearer, the Seeing.” (Surah al-Isra: 1)

The land of Masjid Aqsa has been called ‘holy’ by Allah ﷻ Himself. It has been honoured with such titles in several verses. Aside from the verse mentioned earlier, in another verse the Holy Quran states, “We rescued Ibrahim and Lut, and took them to the land We blessed for all humanity.” (Surah al-Anbiya: 71)

It was on this very land that Allah ﷻ gathered all the Prophets and granted our Beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ with leadership over them all. The Prophet ﷺ led them in prayer here and it was a manifestation of the completion of the line of Prophets which ended with the coming of the final Prophet ﷺ. The Prophet ﷺ mentioned in a narration, “My likeness in comparison with the prophets before me is that of a man who built a house, he beautified it and adorned it, except for the place of one brick at its corner. People walk around it and are in awe of it. They say: ‘Why is this brick not placed?’ I am that brick, and I am the seal of the Prophets” (Agreed upon)

The greatness of Masjid al-Aqsa can also be seen from another narration where the Prophet ﷺ included it amongst the three mosques which can be travelled towards with the intention of increased reward in prayer. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Do not undertake a journey except to three mosques: Masjid al-Haram, the Mosque of the Messenger ﷺ, and Masjid al-Aqsa. (Agreed upon)

And Allah ﷻ knows the best

This Fatwa is written by Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Munir Al-Azhari