Masjid Al Aqsa in Jerusalem is the third Holiest site on the face of this planet for Muslims. It’s sanctity is so important in Islam that it is in fact mentioned by name in the Quran. Below is a list of its importance to Muslims around the world.
- It is the third Holiest site after the two Holy Sanctuaries in Makkah and Madinah.
2. It was the second house of prayer established on earth, built 40 years after the Kaaba in Mecca.)
3. It was the first Qibla (direction of prayer) in Islam. Muslims were commanded by God to turn in direction to this mosque in Jerusalem for prayer before the Kaabah in Mecca was declared as the Qiblah.
We have certainly seen the turning of your face, [O Muhammad], toward the heaven, and We will surely turn you to a qiblah with which you will be pleased. So turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] are, turn your faces toward it [in prayer]. Indeed, those who have been given the Scripture well know that it is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do. (2:144)
4. The Prophet Muhammad explicitly advised Muslims to visit this mosque and offer prayer in it.
5. Prayer in Masjid Al Aqsa will generate great blessings and worshippers will receive 500x the reward of prayer performed in any other location.
6. It is the location that the Prophet was transported to during the miraculous Night Journey (Israa wa-Miraaj). Muslims believe Prophet Muhammad was transported from the sacred mosque in Mecca to the Masjid Al Aqsa during this miraculous night journey and then onto heaven.
7. It was the location for the most extraordinary gathering in which the Prophet Muhammad led prayer in congregation with all previous prophets and then ascended to the heavens to receive Gods command to the Muslims to pray 5 times a day. 8. Muslims believe that the land of Jeruselem is the final resting place of many previous prophets and their companions including Prophet Ibrahim, Yaaqub and Ishaq and some close companions of the Prophet Muhammad Saw