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Al-Aqsa Mosque and Salahuddin Ayyubi

Palestine is blessed to be the birthplace of numerous prophets of Allah. It is only because of Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) and alMasjid al-Aqsa, Muslims living all over the world love Palestine. Due to the hypocrisy of some anti-Islamic elements, the establishment of a free Zionist and extorter country namely Israel was announced in the heart of the Arab land, Palestine, on 14th May 1948. No sooner had Israel’s establishment was announced than some powerful countries recognized it and provided it political strength. Not to speak of other countries, even some Muslim countries have recognized it. It is very surprising that the UNO had recommended for 54% land of Palestine then for supposed Israel in 1947, the present Jew community in Palestine then had the ownership of only 6.59% of the land. Now the condition is worest that almost 87% of Palestinian land including Bayt al-Maqdis, where al-Masjid al-Aqsa is situated, is occupied by the illegitimate Israeli state. Now, it is trying to stomach al-Masjid al-Aqsa and even the original Palestinian Muslims are facing ban to enter freely al-Aqsa Mosque for worship. Al-Quds: The Blessed City Jerusalem, which is actually Al-Quds or Bayt Al-Maqdis as it is called in Arabic language, is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is an important and integral part of Palestine. It was called “Ilia” before the arrival of Islam. The Jebusites are the first to establish this city 3000 BC, and that is why its first name was Jebus, pronounced as Yebus, after their name. It is nearly 1,300 kms away from Makkah city of Saudi Arabia to North side. It was divided into two parts following the 1948 war. One part was named West Bayt Al-Maqdis (New City) and was controlled by Israel. Another part was named East Bayt AlMaqdis (Old City) and it was controlled by Jordan government. In 1967 Arab-Israel war, Israel occupied the whole city including East Bayt Al-Maqdis. The Old City is fenced from all four sides by high wall. The sacred and holy places are found in it. It is considered a Holy place by Jews as it is equally regarded by Muslims. Currently this city is occupied by the extorter Israel. The Israeli government claims it as its undivided capital city and even its some government departments are found there in the city as well. International communities have rejected Israel’s claim. They recognized it as a part of Palestine. Al-Masjid al-Aqsa is situated in the same city. Allah has blessed Bayt alMaqdis with many peculiar and antic things. This is third holy city for Muslims following Makkah and Madinah. It is the first Qiblah of Muslims as the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and the companions directed their faces towards it in their prayers for approximately sixteen months in Madinah. Al-Masjid al-Aqsa, which is situated in the same city, is such a sacred mosque if a person visits it is rewarded. The Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) travelled by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to the same al-Masjid al-Aqsa in the night of Miraj (Ascension to Heaven). He (PBUH) led Salah for all the prophets there. Then he (PBUH) started his journey of Miraj with Jibril (AS). The Holy Quran stated this place as the blessed one. The Quran describes that event in the following words: Glorious is He Who made his servant travel by night from Al-Masjid-ul-Haram to AlMasjid-ul-Aqsa whose environs We have blessed, so that We let him see some of Our signs. Surely, He is the All-Hearing, the AllSeeing. (Bani Israil: 01) (Al-Fath Al-Umari Lil Qudus Namudhaj Lil-Dawah Bi Al-Amal Wa AlQudwah, P.: 186) Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa (Al-Aqsa Mosque) Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa is called also Al-Haram Al-Qudusi AlSharif by the Palestinian people. It should be made clear that when Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa is said, it means the whole Haram Qudusi which is surrounded by establishing the wall. There are different buildings inside. The first Qiblah is the rock present there, upon which there is a beautiful yellow dome. (Aqsa Ke Aansu, P.: 25) There are different opinions and views regarding the foundation and the construction of alMasjid al-Aqsa. But the view which matches the prophetic narration is that Adam (Aleihis Salam), the first man, founded it after 40 years he had founded alMasjid al-Haram. As the renewal of the construction of the holy Kaabah was done by Ibrahim (AS), in the same way the construction of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa was renewed by Yaqub (AS) or Dawood (AS) and Suliman (AS) completed the construction. Abu Dharr (RA) narrates: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah (SAWS)! Which Masjid on the earth was built first?’ He said: ‘AlMasjid Al-Harâm (in Makkah).’ I said: ‘Then which?’ He said: ‘AlMasjid Al-Aqsa (in Bayt al-Maqdis).’ I said: ‘How long was there between the two?’ He said: ‘Forty years.” (Sahih Muslim: 520) Allamah Ibn Hajar Asqalani (1372-1448) says: The person who founded Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa is Adam (AS); while some people are of the opinion that it was the angels, some people say it was Sam bin Nooh (AS) and some people are of the view that it was Yaqub (AS). Following the discussion on the topic, Ibn Hajar prefers the stand of those who are of the opinion that Holy Kabah and AlMasjid Al-Aqsa both were founded by Adam (AS). (Fath Al-Bari: 6/409) Anyway, before the arrival of Islam, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon (Iraq) attacked the Bayt Al-Maqdis and demolished its buildings. When Roman general, Tights attacked it, he also destroyed it. The Roman King, Hedren after attacking it, sent its citizens in exile. Due to these attacks, this city continued being constructed and destroyed with the passage of times. After these destructions and demolition, it was conquered making peace with the citizens during the caliphate of the second Caliph Umar bin Khattab (RA) in 16 AH (637AC), under the leadership of Amr bin Al-Aas (RA) and Abu Obaidah (RA). According to the condition of the citizens, Ameer Al-Mumineen Umar (RA) arrived at the time of conquering Bayt Al-Maqdis. Due to the negligence and disrespect of the rulers and the clergymen, the whole places were deserted and the dirt was thrown at the holy rock. Umar (RA) commanded to clean it; even he himself joined the companions in cleaning. There is an authentic narration in Musnad Ahmad that Umar (RA) asked Kaab bin Ahbar (RA) where he should offer Salah? He replied, if you follow my suggestion, you should offer Salah from behind the Rock so that whole Qudus would be in front of you. Umar (RA) argued, ‘Your statement is similar to the Jews’. I will offer Salah at the place where the Prophet (PBUH) offered.’ So, he went to the Qiblah direction of the Haram and offered Salah with the victorious companions nearby the place where the Lighting Horse (Buraq) was tied. Then he ordered to build a Masjid there. (Aqsa Ke Aansu, P.: 25) In the regime of Umayyad Caliphate, when the center of Caliphate was in Syria; Bayt AlMaqdis had special importance. Walid bin Abdul Malik, the Umayyad Caliph reconstructed Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa. The construction was at the place where Umar (RA) had built and his mosque had come under the new constructed Masjid. The present foundation is the same which was built by the Umayyad caliphs. The historian says as the victory of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa is the memorable work of Umar (RA), similarly the credit of its marvelous construction goes to the Umayyad caliphs. After that, other Muslim Sultans continued adding to its construction; repairing, decorating and beautifying it. (Aqsa Ke Ansu, P.: 26) Following the First Crusades, when the Christians occupied the Bayt al-Maqdis on 15th July 1099, they made a big change in al-Masjid al-Aqsa. When Salahuddin Ayyubi conquered it in 533 AH-1187 AC, he purified it from the rubbish of the Christians. With the exception of only 88 years, from the regime of Umar Farooq (RA) Bayt al-Maqdis and al-Masjid al-Aqsa had been under the administration of Muslims. Although currently for a few years, it has been under the extorter Zionist Israel government; but even now its arrangement and administration is under the Ministry of Awqaf, Islamic Affairs and Holy Places of Jordan. Mukhtar Safi

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.