If Palestine is on your list of countries to visit, you’re on the path towards an unforgettable visit. Palestine is home to delicious cuisine, greenery and hospitality. The landscapes of the villages full of mountains are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Bustling streets, a clear night, mouth-watering food, elegant and artistic structures- Palestine has it all. Not to mention the ever-famous Dead Sea.
The people of Palestine are incredibly kind and welcoming, making your experience even better and giving you some warm, happy memories to remember.
Most of all, Palestine is known for its history. Several historical monuments can be found in Palestine- as full of majestic beauty as they are of intriguing history. Among them all, Masjid al Aqsa takes the spotlight.
Masjid Al Aqsa
Masjid Al Aqsa is the third holiest masjid in Islam, right after Masjid Al Haram and Masjid e Nabvi (Mosque of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him). Also known as Bayt-al-Maqdis to Muslims, it is rich with not only Islamic history but with the history of other religions as well. Judaism and Christianity, along with Islam form the complete and baffling history of this sacred mosque.
History is not the only thing that will make Masjid Al Aqsa worth your while. With gold plated domes, mosaics, lush greenery and ancient architecture, Masjid Al Aqsa is a sight for sore eyes.
Masjid Al Aqsa
Along with it being aesthetically pleasing, you will find that this Mosque has a serene and peaceful environment like no other. It envelops you, calming your soul and focusing your mind- an otherworldly experience altogether.
Muslims HISTORY AND IMPORTANCE
Masjid Al Aqsa holds a high place in Muslims. The history of the place is extremely interesting. Muslims all over the world value this Mosque not only for it holiness but also for the religion it represents; Muslims.
Masjid Al Aqsa was the first Qiblah for Muslims before it was changed to Haram.
Qiblah is the direction towards which Muslims pray.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) visited Masjid Al Aqsa during Isra and Mi’raj; The Night Journey and the Ascension to Heaven. During this journey, The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was guided by the angel Jibreel.
Hundreds of Messengers of Allah are buried in Masjid Al Aqsa. It is also the place where many companions of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) are buried.
Masjid Al Aqsa is a place for miracles. Many miracles have taken place here by Allah’s will. It has been referred to in The Holy Quran several times- and has a place in not only the history of the Muslims but also the future.
It is the only place on earth where all the Prophets prayed Salah together, led by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).
Angels have descended in this Mosque throughout the centuries, carrying Allah’s message.
Masjid Al Aqsa was the second Mosque ever to be built- the second home of Allah built on earth.
Dome Of The Rocks
As the name suggests, the Dome of the Rock houses a sacred rock. It is believed that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) of Muslims ascended to heaven from this rock. Several changes have been made to it throughout history, resulting in the breathtaking structure the Dome of the Rock now is.
When the crusades took over, they tried their best to block out all signs of Muslims from this place. The Dome of the Rock was restored to its full glory once Muslims regained control of it.
The Dome Of The Rocks
The dome has been plated with pure gold, the exterior decorated with exquisite tile work. The heart of the Holy Quran, Surah Yaseen is inscribed on the top of this structure, giving it an altogether charming look.
On the interior of the Dome of the Rocks, verses from Surah An Nisa are engraved over the curves of the inward arches- warning the Christians from saying that Allah has a son.
Surah Ikhlas can be seen on the interior roof of this structure.
From the seven prayer niches, the number of pillars and columns to the inscriptions of Quranic verses and tile work, everything about the interior represents Islamic history.
The Dome of the rocks is often mistaken to be the mosque itself, but it is only a part of the magnificent Masjid Al Aqsa.
Domes You Need To Visit In Masjid Al Aqsa
There are a lot of domes in the compound of Masjid Al Aqsa, but here are the ones you absolutely need to visit.
The Dome Of The Prophet
In front of The Dome of the Rock is a small structure called the Dome of the Prophet. It is said to be the place where the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) led the other Prophets in prayer.
Though the structure had been built, no authentic sources are proving the claim.
The Dome Of Al Khidr
Another dome worth seeing close to the Dome of the Rock is the Dome of Al Khidr. It is said to be the place where Khidr (a believer of Allah mentioned in the Quran) prayed. There are no authentic sources to back this claim, but the structure is a marvel in itself.
The Dome Of The Chain
The Dome of the Chain marks the exact centre of Masjid Al Aqsa. It is one of the oldest structures in Masjid Al Aqsa, with pillars of ancient design and exquisitely detailed artwork on the arched roof. The inside is a sight to behold- it is the height of Muslim artwork. It has been renovated throughout the centuries.
The Dome Of The Chain at the east of The Dome Of The Rock.
The Dome of the Chain lies to the east of The Dome of the Rock and is a must-see for those visiting Masjid Al Aqsa.
Masjid Al Qibly is silver domed Masjid in the compound of Masjid Al Aqsa. It is called "Qibly" as it is nearest to the Qiblah; the direction towards which Muslim pray.
Masjid Al Qibly in Masjid Al Aqsa
In the far left corner of Masjid Al Qibly is a small room. This small room is Masjid Umar, built in the honor of the companion of the Holy Prophet, Caliph Umer Farooq RA. When the Caliph Umer RA entered Masjid Al Aqsa, he found it to be covered in rubbish. He knelt down and started cleaning the area with his own hands, and his companions soon joined him. Masjid Umer is said to be the place where this event happened.
Masjid Al Buraq
Masjid Al Buraq is a part of the compound of Masjid Al Aqsa. It was here that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) tied his ride during Isra and Ma’raj: the Buraq. The Buraq are the traditional mounts of the Prophets from heaven.
The wall across from the spot where the Buraq was tied is called the Western Wall or the Wailing Wall. It is sacred to Jews and plays an important part in their history.
Not only had the Prophet (peace be upon him) been to this place, but also the Buraq; a heavenly creature. Visiting such a blessed place is a balm to the soul. The structure has a homely feeling and you could stay there all day.
Muslim, Christian or Jewish- Masjid Al Buraq warrants a visit from everyone. The inside is adorned with chandeliers and lined with praying mats. The walls give off a comfortable and alluring feeling, betraying the holiness and complexity of this Mosque.
The first Museum founded in Palestine, the Islamic Museum is located in Masjid Al Aqsa. To represent various historical eras, this museum houses several collections of art and archaeology. It also has several beautiful manuscripts of the Quran, including ancient ones
The oldest manuscript dates back to the 8th century. This museum also has a very large Quran- one of the biggest.
You can never get tired of visiting such a place. No matter how many times you visit it, there is always something new to see. A new secret or a hidden place to discover. The history of this place is endless. You might find something new about it every time you visit or learn about it.
All Muslims have a right to this place, but it is currently in the hands of Israel. Visitors are limited and numbered, but there is still a chance for you to visit it. Even if you can't go in, a view from the outside will be more then enough to emphasize the value and honor of Masjid Al Aqsa.
Don’t hesitate! Get ready to explore your history in Masjid al Aqsa.