Al-Aqsa Mosque

(redirected from Al-Haram al-Sharif)
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Located in Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque sits on land that is associated with miracles involving both Muhammad and Abraham. It is therefore regarded as holy land to both Muslims and Jews.AFP/Getty Images.

Al-Aqsa Mosque (Jerusalem)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the most holy site for Muslims in Jerusalem and one of the most holy of places for all Islam. Its origin relates to a famous supernatural event in Muhammad’s life, the so-called Night Journey or Al-Isra wa Al-Miraj. One evening he was visited by the angel Gabriel (from whom he was receiving the Qur’an). He led Muhammad to a spirit horse (buraq), which carried him to Jerusalem. Here he met, among others, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. In their presence, he offered a prayer to Allah.

While in the city, he had three dishes placed in front of him that contained, respectively, water, wine, and milk. Muhammad refused the water, knowing that if he chose it the Muslims would drown, and he declined the wine as it would mean Islam would leave the true path. He instead chose the milk, indicating the Muslim community would follow Allah’s true religion. Gabriel confirmed his choice. Muhammad next visited heaven, where he met and talked with Allah before returning to Mecca.

The meeting with the prophets, the prayer, and the drinking of milk are all believed to have occurred on Temple Mount in Jerusalem at the spot currently occupied by the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Muhammad’s presence in this place is further confirmed by the hoof print his horse left in a rock as it lifted Muhammad to heaven. Additionally, some believe the rock attempted to go to heaven with Muhammad and was pushed back into place by Gabriel, who left a handprint in it.

Following the capture of Jerusalem by the Caliph Omar in 638 CE, attention was immediately focused on the Temple Mount. The first spot marked by a building was the rock from which Muhammad was believed to have been lifted to heaven. That same rock, in the center of what is known as the Dome of the Rock, is also believed to be the axis of the world, the spot from which creation began and at which the final trumpet, ending history as we know it, will sound.

The original building on the site where Muhammad offered prayer was completed by Omar soon after the Dome of the Rock was dedicated. It was then rebuilt in the eighth century by the Caliph El-Walid.

Muslim presence in Jerusalem grew slowly, and in the eleventh century the Muslim rulers decided to Islamize the city by pushing the Christians out. In the process, a number of Christian churches were destroyed. Christian crusaders took thecity in 1099, and those Muslims who survived the attacks were sold into slavery. Muslims were largely denied access to the Temple Mount until 1187, when Saladin (1138–1193) retook the city. Jerusalem then remained in Muslim hands (except for a few years in the thirteenth century) until 1917, when the British took control.

The Temple Mount is now surrounded by a wall that predates Muslim presence in the city but essentially marks its most sacred area. This area of the city is off-limits to non-Muslims on Fridays and major Muslim holidays. The major conflict is with Jewish believers who believe the rock in the center of the Dome of the Rock is the place where Abraham bound Isaac and prepared to sacrifice him (Genesis 22). The major Christian sites are close by, but outside the wall.


Cragg, Kenneth. The Dome and the Rock, Jerusalem Studies in Islam. London: SPCK, 1964.
Graber, Oleg. The Shape of the Holy: Early Islamic Jerusalem. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996.
Landay, Jerry M., and the Editors of the Newsweek Book Division. The Dome of the Rock. New York: Newsweek, 1976.
Peters, F. E. Jerusalem and Mecca: The Typology of the Holy City in the Near East. New York: New York University Press, 1986.
The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena © 2008 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Safadi said he had summoned the Israeli ambassador to reiterate the Kingdom's condemnation and rejection of the Israeli violations at Al-Aqsa Mosque/ Al-Haram Al-Sharif, and to denounce remarks by the Israeli internal security minister regarding the status quo of the holy shrine.
AMMAN: Jordan issued a statement on Thursday condemning Israel's lack of action against Jewish extremists who regularly attempt to pray on the grounds of Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surrounding compound, Al-Haram Al-Sharif. The statement came after a week of tension in Jerusalem during the Jewish Passover holiday.
JERUSALEM, Thursday, March 21, 2019 (WAFA) -- After meeting with members of the Islamic Waqf Council in Jerusalem today for a briefing about recent developments at Al-Aqsa Mosque (Al-Haram al-Sharif) compound, European Union (EU) Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah called for upholding the status quo at the holy site.
The spokesman said that the ministry had lodged a protest with the Israeli Foreign Ministry, in which it voiced the government's condemnation of the provocative Israeli actions against Al-Haram Al-Sharif, and demanded their immediate cessation.--Petra News Agency L.Y
In a statement issued today, Jordanian State Minister for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani added that Jewish religious days have unfortunately become occasions for increasing tension in al-Haram al-Sharif, violating the sanctity of the holy sites and a provocation to Muslims.
they also violate all international norms and charters that emphasize the need to respect places of worship for all religions, inflame the passions of Muslims everywhere and also undermine efforts to ease the tension in Al-Haram Al-Sharif, he emphasized.
Summary: Palestinians are to hold a "Day of Rage" Friday in protest against Israeli security measures imposed at Jerusalem's holy site, Al-Haram al-Sharif compound, coinciding with the main weekly Muslim prayers.
21 (BNA): A group of extremist settlers early Sunday stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque (Al-Haram Al-Sharif) compound in the occupied holy city of Jerusalem, entering through the Bab Al-Magharebah Gate.
Both parties discussed the latest political developments, including Israel's persistent assaults and escalating incursions and violence on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound (Al-Haram Al-Sharif) and its Palestinian worshipers.
ANKARA, Oct 26, 2009 (TUR) -- Turkey expressed concern on Monday over tension created around al-Haram al-Sharif.
The clashes came amid rising tensions in the past weeks over the area known to Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif or Noble Sanctuary, site of the mosque and the Dome of the Rock, one of Islam s holiest sites.
Ankara, (SANA) -- Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday called on Israel to respect sanctity of al-Haram Al-Sharif saying that this place is of great importance to Muslims and Christians.