This article provides some basic information on an important subject of Jerusalem, Bait al Muqaddas and Qibla e Awwal Al Aqsa Mosque and how these are Holy for All Muslims Jews & Christians.
Being a student myself I am also learning; so please highlight any error or omission you may find.
Jerusalem / Al Quds / Bait Al Muqaddas
Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world and considered to be the most sacred for all three monotheist religions of book i.e. Islam, Christianity and Judaism. The last two originated or centred around this area.
The city is also referred to as Al Quds (Holy one) & Bait al Muqaddas sometimes.
A large number of Prophets either originated from this area or lived here such as Ibrahim AS, Loot AS, Haroon AS, Eisa AS (Jesus), Dawood AS (David) & Suleiman AS (Solomon).
Musa AS lead the Jews (Bani Israeel) from Egypt, away from Firaown to Senai desert. He AS was ordered to take Israeels to Jerusalem but due to their misbehave they had to wander around the area for 40 years. Musa AS passed away, and later on Jews entered this city/area.
This is the city where Jews were organised as a nation by Dawood AS.
This is the city where young Eisa grew and interacted with Jews of the time and foundation of Christianity were laid.
Prophet Muhammad SAW passed through this city on his journey of Israa wal Mairaage. Allah Ta’ala says:
“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. Surah Al Isra (17:01)
No wonder you will be struck by strong spiritual feelings while visiting this Blessed city of Prophets.
Jerusalem is under Israel’s authority currently.
Old city of Jerusalem is surrounded by walls and divided into four quarters: Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Armenian. The most sacred sites (1 to 6 mentioned below) are located within the old city.
1. Harm Sharif / Temple Mount:
There is a flat area of approx. 488 m long and 315 m wide on a mountain in the old part of Jerusalem. This area is surrounded by Walls & is referred to as Harm Sharif or Temple Mount.
It is considered to be the Holiest of the holies by all. Sacred sites 2 to 5 are situated within the Haram Sharif.
Jews believe that Ibrahim AS offered to sacrifice his son Ismail AS here. Though Muslims believe this incident happened in Makkah.
2. Masjid Al Aqsa:
Sometimes referred to as Masjid al Quds, it is the 3rd Holiest Place in Islam. It is situated inside Harm Sharif along the Southern wall.
Masjid Al Aqsa was the first Qibla for Muslims. It was changed to Ka’aba after 16 or 17 months.
It is narrated in Bukhari by Abū Hurairah (RA) that:
“Muslims are not allowed to travel the earth with the intention of worship except to three places; Masjid Al Hraam (Ka’aba), Masjid Nabvi & Masjid Al-Aqsa.”
The current building was built by Umar RA upon conquering the area.
3. Dome of Rock / Quba tul Sakhra Mosque: The big prominent, the most beautiful Golden Dome in the middle of Harm Sharif is called
The big prominent, the most beautiful Golden Dome in the middle of Harm Sharif is called Quba tul Sakhra or Dome of Rock. It was built by Umayyad Khalifa Abbdul Mulk bin Marwan.
NOTE: Usually this Dome is confused with Masjid Al Aqsa. Please Mark the Difference between Masjid Al Aqsa and Masjid Al Sakhra.
4. First Temple / Haikal e Suleimani
Hazrat Dawood AS (King David) ruled this area for many years. He AS gathered the Jews and established them as a nation. Dawood AS wished to build to a Temple here.
His son Hazrat Suleiman AS (King Solomon) fulfilled his wish by building a temple somewhere on or around the Temple Mount (Harm Sharif) approximately 1000 years BC. It was destroyed after 480 years approximately.
On Destruction of the original temple, the 2nd temple was built here (sometimes referred to as Herod’s Temple). But it was also destroyed around 70 BC.
Jews used to visit the temples for Pilgrimage but it stopped after the destruction.
Jews believe they can only come up to western Wall. They are not allowed to go on the Temple Mount to avoid accidentally walking on their original temple (explained below) and disrespecting it.
Jews believe that Messiah (same as Muslims & Christians believe Eissa AS) will come back and build their temple again. Some of the Jews believe in not waiting for Messiah and want to go ahead & build the temple now.
5. Western Wall: Also known as Wailing Wall, Dewar e Girya, Wall of Weeping & Burraq Wall.
Also known as Wailing Wall, Dewar e Girya, Wall of Weeping & Burraq Wall.
It is believed that remains of temples are buried near Western wall. So this Wall is considered to be the Holiest place for Jews.
They cry here to remember the destruction of the Temples and pray here regularly.
6. Church of the Holy Sepulchre: The holiest church in Christianity; Orthodox & Catholic Christians believe Jesus (Eisa AS) was crucified here and this is where his body disappeared to heavens. Some Christians disagree on the
The holiest church in Christianity; Orthodox & Catholic Christians believe Jesus (Eisa AS) was crucified here and this is where his body disappeared to heavens. Some Christians disagree on the location though.