Al Aqsa Mosque is located in the Old City of Jerusalem, is the third holiest site in Islam. It was built on top of the Temple Mount where the First and Second Jewish Temples existed.
Muslims believe that Muhammad was transported from Mecca to this site during the Night Journey. Islamic tradition holds that Muhammad led prayers towards this site until the 17th month after his migration from Mecca to Medina, when Allah directed him to turn towards the Kaaba in Mecca.
Al-Aqsa Mosque with the Dome of the Rock on top
A functioning House of Worship
While the Dome of the Rock serves more as a shrine than a mosque, Al-Aqsa is a functioning house of worship, that may accommodate up to 5000 worshipers at a time.
The name itself means “The Farthest Mosque” in reference to Muhammad’s Journey from Mecca, to receive instructions from Allah.
Al-Aqsa Mosque built on top of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem
Sacred to Muslims and also Christians
It was originally built during the years 705 and 715 CE, by the order of the Umayyad caliph Al Wali, this landmark stands on what the Crusaders thought to be the site of the First Temple and what others believe was a marketplace on the edge of the Temple. Some Christians revere it as the location where Jesus turned over the tables and drove out the money changers as told in Matthew 21:13.
Al-Aqsa Mosque rebuilt at least twice
It has been rebuilt at least twice due to earthquakes. After the Crusaders took the city of Jerusalem in 1099 CE, it was converted into the residence of the Kings of Jerusalem. The on 1131 the building was handed over to an order of soldier-monks, that started to be called the “Templars”.
The many crusaders extensions were destroyed by Saladin or Salah Ad Din who lived from 1137 to 1193, the first of the Sunni Ayyubid dynasty.
King Abdullah of Jordan (1882–1951)
Tragic Events through History
King Abdullah of Jordan (1882–1951) was assassinated while attending Friday prayers here.
In 1969, an arson attack by an Australian visitor irreparably damaged priceless religious objects.
Israeli metal detectors were temporarily installed at entrances to Al Aqsa in 2017 as a response to the shooting of two Israeli police officers and this prompted bloody clashes and several deaths.
images for al aqsa mosque
#1 by ralf roletchek
#2 by godot 13
#3 by berthold werner
all courtesy of wikimedia commons
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