We know that Jerusalem has been a focal point for Muslims since the extraordinary event of ‘Israa wal Meraaj’ (the Night Journey & Ascension), Prophet Muhammad’s (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) miraculous night journey from Makkah to Masjid al Aqsa (the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem), and his subsequent ascension through the heavens. This journey has forever connected the hearts and minds of Muslims with Jerusalem.
The article below summarizes some of the key points highlighting significance of Jerusalem for Muslims. If you want to read more about this, you can read this here at IqraSense.com.
Al-Israa wal Me’raaj: Prophet Muhammad’s (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) night journey from Makkah to Masjid al Aqsa (Al-Israa) in Jerusalem and his ascension (Me’raaj) through the heavens link Jerusalem deeply to the Muslim faith. The Quran states: “Exalted is He (Allah) who took His Servant [i.e., Prophet Mu?ammad] by night from al-Masjid al-?ar?m to al-Masjid al-Aq??, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing (Quran: Surah al-Isra 17:1)”
Prayers at Al-Aqsa: The Al-Aqsa Mosque holds unique significance in Islam as the only place where all Prophets performed Salaah (prayers) in congregation, led by Prophet Muhammad during his trip of Israa wal Meraaj.
Prophet Ibrahim’s Migration: Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), revered in all three Abrahamic faiths, migrated to the land of Canaanite, now known as Palestine, further establishing Jerusalem’s religious significance.
Sacredness of Jerusalem: The city’s sacredness is underscored in the Holy Quran and emphasized by various Prophets. The Holy Quran reports Prophet Musa (Moses) [Alayhis salaam] telling his people (Children of Israel): ‘O my people, enter the blessed land [i.e., Palestine] which All?h has assigned to you…’(Surah Al-Maida 5:21)
First Qibla for Muslims: Jerusalem’s Masjid al Aqsa was the initial direction (Qibla) towards which Muslims faced for prayer, emphasizing its centrality in Islamic worship. Abu Dhar [May Allah be pleased with him] is quoted as saying, I asked the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) which was the first mosque on earth? ‘The Sacred Mosque (in Makkah),’ he said. And then which, I asked? ‘Masjid al Aqsa,’ he said. I further asked, what was the time span between the two? ‘Forty years,’ the Prophet [Alayhis salaam] replied. (Quoted in Sahih Muslim)
Resting Place of Prophets and Companions: Jerusalem is the final resting place of numerous Prophets and some of the Prophet Muhammad’s companions, reinforcing its spiritual significance.
Three Blessed Mosques – Allah’s Messenger [Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam] said, “…set out deliberately (with special intention) on a journey only to three mosques: this mosque of mine (in Madina), the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah) and the Masjid al Aqsa (in Jerusalem)” (Sahih Bukhari & Muslim)
The Rewards of Praying in Al-Aqsa – Abu Darda [May Allah be pleased with him] is quoted as saying that the Prophet of Allah Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “…a prayer in the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah) is worth 100,000 prayers, a prayer in my mosque (in Al-Madinah) is worth 1,000 and a prayer in Jerusalem is worth 500 prayers more than in an any other mosque.” (Sahih Bukhari).
Again, for more details you can read the article here on IqraSense.com.
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