Jerusalem in Islam

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Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Jerusalem in Islam refers to the status of Jerusalem in the Muslim religious tradition. Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site in Sunni Islam after the mosques of al-Haram in Mecca and al-Nabawi in Medina.[1]

  1. It is strongly associated with the Biblical prophets David, Solomon, Elijah and Jesus.
  2. It was the first direction of prayer in Islam, before the Kaaba in Mecca;
  3. According to the Quran, the Islamic prophet Muhammad was taken by the miraculous steed Buraq to visit the Farthest Mosque (which many Muslims believe is the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem), where he prayed, and was then taken to heaven, in a single night in the year 620 This event is known as Isra wal Mi'raj, in Islamic tradition.

Muhammad's journey to the Farthest Mosque is mentioned in the Qur'an, in the verse (17:1).[2] The verse states:

"Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing."

— Qur'an, Sura 17 (Al-Is'ra), ayat 1[3]

It is then specified in the Hadith, the sayings of Muhammad, that the Al Aqsa Mosque is indeed located in Jerusalem:

"That he heard Allah's Apostle saying, "When the people of Quraish did not believe me (i.e. the story of my Night Journey), I stood up in Al-Hijr and Allah displayed Jerusalem in front of me, and I began describing it to them while I was looking at it."

— Sahih Bukhari: Volume 5, Book 58, Number 226.[4]

Islamic tafsirs (commentaries) hold the term "the farthest Mosque" (literally al-masjid al-Aqsa in Arabic) to refer to the Noble Sanctuary in Jerusalem.

The Dome of the Rock, built during Umayyad Caliphate.

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