Al-Aqsa Mosque

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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.

Sources:

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
PNN/ Jerusalem/ Tens of thousands of Jewish Israeli settlers are known to have raided the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa in 2017, Anadolu has reported.
Worshippers hold Palestinian flags as they protest after Friday prayers on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, as Palestinians call for a "Day of Rage" in response to President Donald Trump RAMALLAH - 29 December 2017: Israeli occupation forces stepped up security measures in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem city ahead of the fourth "Friday of Rage" protests against US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli state.
The route will run close to but not directly under the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where tradition holds that Jesus was crucified and buried, and a contested holy site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.
Worshippers sit around before Friday prayers on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, as Palestinians call for a "Day of Rage" in response to President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital December 15, 2017 REUTERS/Ammar Awad/MANILA BULLETIN
At times of heightened tension between Israel and the Palestinians, violence has often erupted after Friday prayers at the Jerusalem compound where Al Aqsa is located, atop a hill known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.
At times of heightened tension between Israeland the Palestinians, violence has often erupted after Friday prayers at the Jerusalem compound where Al Aqsa is located, atop a hill known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.
Abdullah's visit to the West Bank, his first in five years, came at a time of rising Israeli-Jordanian and Israeli-Palestinian tensions over the shrine, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.
Summary: Jerusalem [Israel], July 27 (ANI): Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Qatar-based media broadcaster Al Jazeera network of fermenting violence in the Old City, that houses Temple Mount and the Noble Sanctuary, following the recent clashes between Palestinian Muslim worshippers and Israeli forces.
The 37-acre esplanade, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount, has been a lightning rod for rival religious and national narratives of the two sides.
In a statement earlier Tuesday, the security cabinet said it would accept the recommendation of Israel's security bodies and replace the metal detectors with "smart checks" and "other measures" at the site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.
com/unesco-jerusalem-another-controversial-resolution-adopted-days-after-motion-holy-2437183) controversial resolutions that Israel alleges deny the connection between Judaism and its holiest site, The Temple Mount, known to Muslims as The Noble Sanctuary.
It can no longer make tall claims about the liberation of the Noble Sanctuary, as now Muslims have understood that it was just a political slogan to gain a foothold in other parts of the region.