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Al-Aqsa: The Blessed Land: Part 3

Mar 10, 2021

Reasons Why Muslims Love Al Aqsa

Palestine in general, and Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Masjid have always been prominent in Islamic thought throughout its history. This has been due to several factors and reasons.

The first reason: Its Sacredness and Sanctity in Islamic Teachings

Its sanctity is matched only by Makkah and Madinah. In the Qur’ān there are many verses implying that the Land of Palestine, the city of Jerusalem, the entire environs are set apart as blessed, as they have received special divine blessings. The land around Masjid Al-Aqsa is referred to 70 times as the blessed land in the Qur’ān amongst which are the following verses:

سُبْحَٰنَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِۦ لَيْلًا مِّنَ ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْحَرَامِ إِلَى ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْأَقْصَا ٱلَّذِى بَٰرَكْنَا حَوْلَهُۥ لِنُرِيَهُۥ مِنْ ءَايَٰتِنَآ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْبَصِيرُ

“Glory be to the One who took His Slave for a journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Furthest Mosque, whose precincts We have blessed – in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: He is the One Who hears and sees (all things).” (Surat al-Isra’, 17:1)

Thus, Ibn Abbās (RA) states that “whose precincts we have blessed” refers to Palestine and Jordan.

قَالَ رَجُلَانِ مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَخَافُونَ أَنْعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمَا ٱدْخُلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلْبَابَ فَإِذَا دَخَلْتُمُوهُ فَإِنَّكُمْ غَٰلِبُونَ ۚ وَعَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَتَوَكَّلُوٓا۟ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

[Mūsa (AS) said:] “O my people! Enter the holy land which Allah has assigned you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then you will be overthrown, to your own ruin.” (Sūrah al-Maidah, 5:23)

The ‘holy land which Allāh has assigned you’ is thus clearly the land of Palestine. Ibn Abbās, however, takes it more restrictively as referring to Jerusalem and the surrounding area.

These are just a few examples amongst many of the sacredness of Palestine in the Qur’ān.

Ahādith

Second Masjid to be established on Earth.

سَمِعْتُ أَبَا ذَرٍّ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، أَىُّ مَسْجِدٍ وُضِعَ فِي الأَرْضِ أَوَّلُ قَالَ ‏”‏ الْمَسْجِدُ الْحَرَامُ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ ثُمَّ أَىٌّ قَالَ ‏”‏ الْمَسْجِدُ الأَقْصَى ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ كَمْ كَانَ بَيْنَهُمَا قَالَ ‏”‏ أَرْبَعُونَ سَنَةً، ثُمَّ أَيْنَمَا أَدْرَكَتْكَ الصَّلاَةُ بَعْدُ فَصَلِّهْ، فَإِنَّ الْفَضْلَ فِيهِ ‏”‏‏

Narrated Abu Dhar (RA): I said, “O Allah’s Messenger ()! Which mosque was first built on the surface of the earth?” He said, “Al- Masjid-ul-,Haram (in Mecca).” I said, “Which was built next?” He replied “The mosque of Al-Aqsa ( in Jerusalem) .” I said, “What was the period of construction between the two?” He said, “Forty years.” He added, “Wherever (you may be, and) the prayer time becomes due, perform the prayer there, for the best thing is to do so (i.e. to offer the prayers in time). Sahih al-Bukhari 3366

Thus due to these teachings throughout Islamic History, there was a profound attachment to this holy land.

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