Written by http://www.alaqsa.org.uk
In the past it was a Sunnah of the Muslims that after having performed Hajj they would all travel to Medina and then to Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) to pray there too. Now, millions continue to travel to Mecca and Medina, while Al-Aqsa cries at its abandonment and neglect by the Muslims. Indeed many Muslims are oblivious to its religious significance. One of the myths most commonly propagated by the Zionists is that Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran, and therefore it has no significance to Muslims and Islam.
Therefore quite possibly there will be not be much of an outcry when the Al-Aqsa Masjid will re-open to non-Muslim visitors, even if the Waqf (the Islamic religious trust on religious sites) refuses, as Israel’s Internal Security Minister Tzahi Hanegbi has announced. This will allow thousands of non-Muslim scantily dressed tourists to visit the Masjid Al-Aqsa. We need to consider would we to tolerate such a sight the Kaaba Sharif or Masjid ar-Rasool?!?! Never!
We as Muslims treat Mecca as being very holy as we should. But if we are to treat it as a holy place, then we must also know about those things that make Bayt al-Maqdis almost as holy.
Why do we believe Mecca to be holy?
Because Ibrahim (AS) brought his child Ismayeel (AS) and Hajar (AS) to Mecca when there was no one else there and left them there, and then he visited Mecca three times.
Mecca is holy because of him and because of Ismayeel (AS), from amongst whose descendants was Muhammad (SAW). So if Mecca is holy because of this, then imagine just how holy Bayt al-Maqdis and its surrounding regions are because Ibrahim (AS) made Hijra there from his home place of Iraq.
So if Mecca is holy because he visited it, then Bayt al-Maqdis is just as important because that is where he lived, prayed, preached and that is where he died and was buried. And he was not the only one, Isa, Suleiman, Dawud, Yahya, Zakariya, Yaqub and Yusuf (AS) were all prophets who lived and died in and around Bayt al-Maqdis.
If Mecca and Medina are holy because the angels visited them, then so too did the angels descend upon Bayt al-Maqdis.
If we look at Medina before the Prophet (SAW) made Hijra there it was known as Yathrib and it was just an oasis, and it only became holy once the Prophet (SAW) and the Muslims emigrated to Medina and settled there.
But Bayt al-Maqdis did not just become holy at the emigration of Ibrahim (AS) or any other prophet for that matter. In fact it had been declared holy by Allah (SWT) at the time of creation, just like Mecca.
Abu Dharr al-Ghafari (RA) said, ‘I asked the Prophet (SAW) “YA Rasul Allah! Which was the first Masjid ever to be built on earth?” Rasul Allah (SAW) said “Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca.” I then asked “Ya Rasul Allah! What was the 2nd Masjid?” the Prophet (SAW) said “Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa.” I asked “what was the time between the 2?” he (SAW) said “40 years.” ‘ (Bukhari)
Allah (SWT) has described it as being blessed. In Surat al-Isra 17:1, He says, “Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allah) Who took His slave (Muhammad) for a journey by night from Masjid al-Haram (Mecca) to Masjid Al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem) the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed.”
In addition to this Abu Dharr al-Ghafari (RA) also said, “We were discussing in the presence of the Prophet (SAW) which of them was more virtuous, the Mosque of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) or Bayt al-Maqdis. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said “one prayer in my Masjid is better than 4 prayers over there but it is still a good place of prayer. Soon there will come a time when if a man has a spot of land as big as his horses rope from which he can see Bayt al-Maqdis, that will be better for him than the whole world.” (Al-Haakim and Adh-Dhahabi)
One prayer in Masjid an-Nabi is equivalent to 1000 prayers elsewhere, while prayer in Masjid Al-Aqsa is 250 times better than elsewhere. Read the rest of this entry »