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Islam and the West ( 9 Jun 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Masjid-e-Aqusa: Historical Status and Its Importance in Sharia


By Maulana Nadeem-ul-Wajidi

(Translated by Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam)

June 04, 2012

The illegal possession of Bait-ul-Muquaddas by Jews had kept Muslims in shock and now their high handedness against Masjid-e-Aqusa is making them worried. The Jews want to demolish it and construct Haikal-e-Suleimani.

Israel had captured the eastern portion of Bait-ul-Muquaddas on June 7, 1967 where Masjid-e-Aqusa is situated. Now Israel wishes to construct a new township there getting the eastern and western portion together as a new capital of Israel. To make its dream come true Israel is establishing new colonies in Bait-ul-Muquaddas even when any new construction there has been internationally banned. They are bringing Jews from far flung areas and establishing them there so that there are more Jews than the Palestinians.

Jews plan to destroy Masjid-e-Aqusa, which is Quibla-e-Awwal of Muslims and where Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had visited on the night of Meraj and led a prayer (Namaz) with all other blessed prophets (Ambia-e-Keram) behind him. All the Ambia-e-keram were present there waiting for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to come. It is a centre of Love and faith for all Muslims. Jews are making such schemes since 1967 to translate their plan into action. In the name of archaeological research they start digging under the walls and some times in the veranda of Masjid-e-Aqusa. It is done to make its foundation weak so that it itself demolishes. This digging is continuing after short intervals.

Jews say that Masjid-e-Aqusa was constructed after demolishing Haikal-e-Suleimani. This digging process is to search that Haikal.  Jewish activists had even constructed a tunnel just under Masjid-e-Aqusa in 1968 along with a prayer house of theirs.

Islamic world’s reaction is natural. The whole world is annoyed with the activities of Jews.

UNESCO, an organ of UN also had condemned and demanded through its resolution 327/3 of its 18th international conference to stop this digging process. The destructive activities of the Jews can harm the thousands of years old Bait-ul-Muquaddas’s historical and cultural identity greatly.

The extent of jess’ hatred of Bait-ul-Muquaddas can be gauged from the fact that they had made an unholy effort to set it on flame too. And those doomed to death had even succeeded in their attempt to a certain extent.

This incident is of 21st of August 1969. One day before this incident Israelis militia had cut the pipeline and stopped Muslims from coming near Masjid-e-Aqusa. In the meantime a terrorist Jew torched Masjid-e-Aqusa. The fire, in no time, engulfed the inner walls of Masjid-e-Aqusa. It had fully spread in the southern part of the holy mosque. Mujahid-e-Azam Shaikh Salahuddin Ayyubi’s tall tower was also affected. All of a sudden large number of Muslims entered the holy mosque, notwithstanding the military’s interference and extinguished the flames.

Israel had claimed that this fire had broken due to short circuit. Experts, after investigation had said that this fire was not accidental and that the mosque was consciously torched. An Australian Jew was arrested and then released on the pretext that he was mad.

The UN Security Council passed a resolution condemning Israel for its unholy acts in 1969 but the latter took no notice of it. And this illegitimate offspring of America and Britain is even today demonstrating its insolence.

Israel’s ruling party’s members are entering in Masjid-e-Aqusa and are raising illegal and unholy slogans in favour of constructing Haikal-e-Suleimani and demolishing Masjid-e-Aqusa. Among the illegal entrants of Masjid-e-Aqusa are also the Members of Israeli Parliament. These happenings have created terror in the surroundings of Masjid-e-Aqusa. People are not being allowed to enter the premises of Masjid-e-Aqusa for offering Namaz. Israeli police and Border security Guards are patrolling the entire city. Security guards have been deputed on all the entrance and exit points of Haram Sharif.

Zionists’ hoisting their flag in the veranda of the holy mosque shows how outrageous they have become. It shows their unholy objectives and schemes.

Imam and Khateeb of Quibla Awwal Masjid-e-Aqusa, the head of Supreme Islamic Council Abu Shaikh Akrama Sabri, while expressing his grief and anguish on hoisting of Zionist flag in the veranda of the holy mosque by Israeli army has said, “It has happened for the first time. And it is a very dangerous step. Masjid-e-Aqusa is a sacred place for Muslims and its safety is the responsibility of all the Muslims. Israel is trying to create a fake Jewish graveyard to establish its right on Quibla-e-Awwal. Giving a Jewish colour to the surroundings of Quibla-e-Awwal is a Jewish conspiracy to claim the possession of a Muslim worship place. In this background the Municipality of Al-Qudus has drawn a plan worth one million dollars to establish a Jewish colony on the outskirts of the town.

If this continued and Muslims of the world remained mute spectators, the day is not far when there will be only two Harams and the third one will become a part of history.

Commonly it is understood that Masjid-e-Aqusa and Bait-ul-Muquaddas are two names of one building. This misunderstanding is because of the photos having Golden Tomb inscribed in Masjid-e-Aqusa. It is in fact Bait-ul-Muquaddas. Masjid-e-Aqusa is located in its veranda. There are mosques there other than this one also. This city has tombs of Ambiya-e-keram and other remarkable things. It is the only city in the world that followers of three great religions have made a centre. Muslims love this city as Haram-e-Salis and Masjid-e-Aqusa are situated here.

The importance of this city is more so because Prophet Muhammad (saw) visited Masjid-e-Aqusa in the night of Meraj, led a prayer of Ambiya-e-Keram and continued his journey to Meraj from there.

Christians love this city because fifteen kilometres from here the historical city of Bait-ul-Laham, birthplace of Hazrat Isa (as) is situated. Christian’s caravan keeps coming here all 24 hours of the day. It is said that the tree from which Hazrat Maryam (as) used to eat dates before and after pregnancy is still there. This tree has its description in Quran also.

Jews take this as a holy city because it has the distinction of being the capital of Hazrat Suleiman (as). The Jews say, he had built a Haikal here and that Masjid-e-Aqusa was constructed in its place.

Known by many different names Bait ul Muqaddas has a long history going back thousands of years. Many Arab tribes such as Mamoori, Aarami, and Kana’ani came and settled here. This city was known as ‘Baboos’ also. It is one of the ancient tribes of Kina’an. Philistine was called Kina’an also because of the various tribes living here. After some time it was called “Yoor Saalim” which has now become Jerusalem. During the days of Africans and Roman it was called “Iliya”.

This region came under Muslim control during the Caliphate of Hazrat Umar Ib-ul-Khattab (ra). This was when its name was changed to “Bait-ul-Muquaddas”. This term means ‘holy house’ or ‘holy and sacred land’.  (Muajjam-ul-Bildaan: 5/661). This happened in 16th Hijri, i.e., 16 years after the Prophet saw’s migration to Medina. This land was under Muslim rule for about five hundred years. In 492 hijri Christians occupied it defeating Abbasi rulers. It was under the possession of non-Muslims for about 90 years. Salahuddin Ayyubi the great Mujahid won it again in 583 hijri and thus it became a Muslim country again. From then since 1948 Muslims ruled this city. Till the First World War it was under the rule of Turkey. British army for the first time entered Bait-ul-Muquaddas in 1917. At that time, Jews from all over the world had migrated and settled in Palestine. British Minister for Foreign Affairs raised a voice for a permanent country for Jews and in 1948 UN partitioned Palestine in two parts. The western part of Palestine, the 25% of the whole, came under Jewish possession. They made Tel Aviv their capital. Arabs live in the rest of Palestine. Jews captured a big portion of western Palestine in 1967. Earlier Bait-ul-Muquaddas was looked after by Jordan. Now, this also is under Jewish possession. Now Jews have twenty thousand four hundred square kilometres under their rule. Muslims constitute only twenty percent of the total seven million population of this area. Earlier it was more than fifty percent.

A large chunk of Muslim population has shifted to the surrounding countries because of the prevailing cruel social environment there. There they are living a very pathetic life. Rest of the Palestinian Muslim population is also living in an atmosphere of fear.   Although Israel signed a Memorandum of Sovereignty for the Palestine but for all practical purposes it is still Israel’s rule there. Innocent Muslims are falling prey to the brutality of Jews and the whole of Muslim world is a silent spectator.

Masjid-e-Aqusa is the second mosque built in this world. As per the narrative of Abuzar Ghaffari (RA): “I asked Prophet Muhammad (saw), O’ Prophet (pbuh) which mosque in this word was built first of all, he replied, Masjid-e-Haram. I asked and which is the next one, he replied, Masjid-e-Aqusa. I asked what the difference of time between these two is, he replied, forty years.” (Sahih-ul-Bukhari: 11/152, Raqum3115, Sahih Muslim: 3/105) Above mentioned narratives show that both these mosques were the first to be built for the prayer of the Almighty God.

Although it is said that Masjid-e-Aqusa was built by Hazrat Suleiman (as) and it seems right for the reason that many mosques were built during his governance. But the fact is that its foundation also was laid by Hazrat Adam (as) as he laid the foundation of Masjid-e-Haram. The credit for the construction of Kha’ana-e-Kaaba goes to Hazrat Ibrahim (as) and it is true in the sense that although its foundation was laid by Hazrat Adam (as) it had vanished by the time Hazrat Ibrahim (as) and his son Hazrat Ismail (as) constructed Kha’ana-e-Kaaba on the foundation laid by him.  

Masjid-e-Aqusa also kept getting renovated and new constructions kept coming up as Masjid-e-Haram. Hazrat Ibrahim (as) again constructed Masjid-e-Aqusa in 2000 BC on the foundation laid by Hazrat Adam (as) and in this constructive mission his sons Hazrat Ishaque and Hazrat Yaqub (as) helped him and exactly after 1000 years Hazrat Suleiman (as) reconstructed it. (Sanan-ul-Nesaai: 2/34) Hafiz Ibn-e-Hujra (ra), Allama Ibn-ul-Joozi (ra) and Allama Qurtabi (ra) have clarified that the main building was constructed by Hazrat Adam (as). It got a facelift by Hazrat Ibrahim (as) and third renovation was performed by Hazrat Suleiman (as) in which Jinns helped him. (Fatah-ul-Baari: 6/408, Tafseer-ul-Qurtabi: 4/130) Masjid-e-Aqusa got a renovation during the age of Hazrat Umar (ra) also.

The present structure of Masjid-e-Aqusa was started to be constructed during the age of Umayyad Khlifa Abd-ul-Malik bin Mirwan and his sons Waleed bin Abdul Malik got it completed in the year 715, (94 Hijri). This mosque is an example of extravagant architectural beauty. It is built in 47000 sq. Ft. It has a length of 262ft. And width 180 ft. There are eleven entrances of the mosque. About 5000 people can offer prayer in this mosque at a time.

Narratives have it that after completing the construction of Masjid-e-Aqusa, Hazrat Suleiman (as) prayed for three things from Allah. First, may his judgements be exactly on the line shown by Allah, secondly, may he get a kingdom which nobody gets after him and thirdly, anyone who enters Masjid-e-Aqusa just with an intention of offering prayer may exit from there as pious and holy as if he had just taken birth. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says, “Two of these things Suleiman (as) has got and I hope he will get the third one also.” (Sanan Ibn Ma’aja: 4/326, Raqum: 498)

Masjid-e-Aqusa has many graces. The greatest of them all is that it has got a mention in Quran in connection with Meraj. Allah says, “Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed,” (Surah-e-Isr: 1) This Ayah has the description of Shab-e-Meraj which is an exalted miracle of our Prophet Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (pbuh) The journey from Masjid-e-Haram to Masjid-e-Aqusa is called “Isra” in the context of Sharia language and the journey from Masjid-e-Aqusa to the skies is called “Meraj”. Analysts of Islamic studies and Muhaddeseen write that Isra and Meraj descriptions are simultaneous.  Hafiz Ibn-e-Kaseer has mentioned names of twenty five companions of the Prophet (Sahaba-e-Keram) who have described the details of Isra and Meraj. (Tafseer Ibn-e-Kaseer: 6/136) Quran Kareem says, “Whose surroundings We have blessed” and it is the greatest grace of God.

Analysts say that “Blessings” means the blessings of the world and heaven both. Heavenly blessings are that this mosque has been Quibla of all ‘Ambiya’ and this region of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine has been a dwelling and graveyard of innumerable Ambiya-e-Keram. Even today this region is the most fertile land of Mideast area. It has natural fountains, rivers, gardens and orchards. According to a narrative, Prophet (pbuh) says, “Allah says, O’ Syria you are my favourite land of all the cities. I will send my special creations to you.” (Tafseer Qurtabi b Hawala Muaareful Quran: 5/443) Quran says, “And We delivered him and Lot to the land which We had blessed for the worlds.” (Al Ambiya: 71)Hazrat Maimuna (ra) narrates, I asked, O’ Prophet! Tell me something about Bait-ul-Muquaddas. Prophet (pbuh) says, “It is a place of ‘Assembling’ and ‘Transmission’, go and offer Namaz there”. (Masnad Ahmad: 5/159, Raqum26343, Sanan Ibne Maaja: 4/325, Raqum: 397)

Masjid-e-Aqusa is one of those three mosques for which Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says, “A journey can be taken only for three mosques, Masjid-e-Haram, Masjid-e-Aqusa and my mosque, which is situated in Madina Munawwara. It is one of those four mosques in which Dajjal will not be able to enter and those four are Masjid-e-Haram, Masjid-e-Nabawee, Masjid-e-Aqusa and Masjid-e-Toor.” (Masnad Ahmad bin Hanbul: Source Maareful Quran: 5/444)

One of the graces of Masjid-e-Aqusa is that in the beginning Namaz was offered facing it. This continued even after Hijrat for sixteen to seventeen years. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had a thought that may Kaaba-tul-Allah be granted the place of Quibla and in the midst of Namaz it was ordered. Prophet (pbuh) turned towards Kaaba in the midst of Namaz and Sahaba-e-Keram followed him.

There are two other Islamic commemoratives in Masjid-e-Aqusa. One of them is a round rock from where Prophet (pbuh) had gone for Meraj. It is called “Qibbat-us-Sukhra” and is situated in the middle of the mosque. Waleed bin Abdul Malik had constructed a Minaret on it. It is about 120ft tall. It is a memorable thing of a great historical happening, Meraj, but it is not right to face it while praying because it does not have any Sharia value. Another memorabilia is a mosque, constructed outside Masjid-e-Aqusa. History books cite it as Masjid-e-Umar or Jama-e-Umar.

In 16 Hijri, when Hazrat Umar bin al Khetaab conquered Bait-ul-Muquaddas and went there a Christian came and invited him to visit his church. He went there. In the meantime it was time for Maghrib prayers. On request of the Christian he prayed on the stairs of the exit door of the church. After that incident he thought his followers may follow him and start praying on the doors of the church and then may convert it into a mosque. He immediately asked for pen and paper and gave in writing to the priest that no Muslim should pray there in order to follow me. The Priest were so impressed with this act of Umar that he constructed a mosque at twenty steps from the church and named it after Hazrat Umar.

World has to see on the one hand Hazrat Umar (RTA)’s justice and tolerance and on the other hand Jews’ and Christian’s intolerance. The world can decide by itself whether the discriminatory attitude of today’s Jews and Christians towards Masjid-e-Aqusa is in accordance with wisdom, justice, honesty and tolerance?

Source: Hindustan Express, New Delhi, June 04 2012