Al-Quds by Br Osama Abusidou
Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allah) Who took His slave (Muhammad SAW) 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 SAW) of Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He (Allah) is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.
Masjid Al-Aqsa is no ordinary Masjid; it forms the basis of our history and it is the cornerstone of mankind's foundation. The Prophet dedicated a great deal of his life in promotion the Companions to appreciate the excellent qualities of Masjid Al-Aqsa and prepared them to embark on an expedition to liberate Jerusalem which at the time was in the hands of the mighty Roman empire.
Some of the reasons why Masjid Al-Aqsa should form an important aspect of a believer's dedication, where many pious individuals have given their wealth and lives, include the fact that Masjid Al-Aqsa is:
- the first Qiblah of the Muslims
- the station of Al-Isra and Al-Miraj
- the second house of Allah built on earth
- the place where hundreds of Messengers of Allah are buried
- the place where many companions are buried
- a place where miracles were shown by Allah's will
- a place which Allah Himself calls a 'blessed place'
- referred to directly and indirectly, 70 times in the Quran
- the place where Angels have descended with Allah's message
- the only place on earth where all the Messengers of Allah prayed at the same time led by the prophet
- the only Masjid mentioned by name in the Holy Quran a part from the Ka'bah
Abu Dharr (ra) reported that he asked the Prophet (saw), "O Messenger of Allah, which Masjid was built first on earth"? The Prophet (saw) replied, "The Sacred Masjid of Makkah". Abu Dharr (ra) again asked, "Which was next"? The Prophet (saw) said, "Masjid Al-Aqsa". Abu Dharr (ra) further asked, "How long was the period between the building of the two Masjids"? The Prophet (saw) said, "Forty years". Apart from these, offer your prayer anywhere when it is time to pray, although excellence is in praying in these Masjids". (Bukhari)
Abu Hurayrah relates that the Prophet said, "You should not undertake a special journey to visit any place other than the following three Masjids with the expectations of getting greater reward: the Sacred Masjid of Makkah, this Masjid of mine, and Masjid Al-Aqsa.
Maymunah Bint Sa'd (ra) relates that she asked the Prophet (saw), "O Messenger of Allah, inform us about Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem)". He said, "Visit it for prayer ". She further asked, "If one of us cannot visit it, what should we do"? He said, "If you cannot go for prayer then send some oil to be used for its lamps, will be as if he has prayed in it". (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawud, T)
Umm Salamah (ra) relates that the Prophet (saw) said, "If anyone puts on Ihram for Hajj or Umrah from Masjid Al-Aqsa and then proceeds to the Sacred Masjid (Ka'bah), their past and future sins will be forgiven, or they will be entered into Paradise". (Abu Dawud)
Maymunah Bint Sa'd (ra) reports that she asked the Prophet (saw), "O Messenger of Allah, give us a pronouncement about Al-Quds (Jerusalem)". The Prophet (saw) replied, "It is the land where they will be raised (Al-Hashr) and gathered (Al-Mahshar)". (Ahmad)
Umamah Al-Bahili reports that the Prophet 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 asked. The Prophet said, "In and around Al-Quds. (Ahmad)
Abu Hurayrah reports that the Prophet said, "The Angel of death was sent to Musa. When he came to Musa, Musa 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 decided, let it be now'. Musa 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 added, the Prophet then said, "If I were there, I would show you his grave below the red sand hill on the side of the road". (Bukhari)
Al-Numan Ibn Bashir relates that the Prophet 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)