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Do not get confused between Al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock


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Author Topic: Do not get confused between Al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock  (Read 2933 times)
Ruhi_Rose
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« on: August 31, 2007, 05:11:46 am »

 BismEm


Many people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, are not clear about the difference between Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock (also known as Quba Al-Sakhra in Arabic).   Many think that Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock are the same.  Very often, when the Al-Aqsa Mosque is mentioned in the media, pictures of the Dome of the Rock appear instead.   Even in the homes and workplaces of many Muslims, photographs of the Dome of the Rock are often labelled as Al-Aqsa.  It's unfortunate that this confusion has become so widespread.  For clarification, study the pictures below.  You will observe that that the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock (Al-Sakhra) are at two very separate locations.  The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the second most important place of worship for Muslims after the Kaa'ba at Makkah. 






Dome of the Rock (Quba Al-Sakhra)


The Al-Aqsa Mosque


The name "Al-Aqsa Mosque" translates to "the farthest mosque" ( or "the remote mosque" according to some translations) and is associated with  Chapter 17:1 of the Glorious Quraan that mentions the Prophet Muhammad's journey across and above the seven heavens. 

"Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far distant place of worship the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Lo! He, only He, is the Hearer, the Seer." (17:1) Surah 'Al-Isra,' also known as 'Bani-Israel.'

The Al-Aqsa Mosque was constructed by the second Caliph, Omar bin Khattab in 638 AD when Jerusalem (or Al-Quds in Arabic) came under the control of the Muslims.  This spot was an abandoned place, ravaged by the Romans and the Church.  Umar wanted a place of prayer that did not infringe on nearby Christian and Jewish places of worship. That place, to the south of the rock, was developed into a mosque. Sometime between 687-691, the Ommayad Caliph Abd al-Malik built a shrine over the sacred rock, and it was named Qubba As-Sakhrah, which means "The Dome of the Rock." Some years later, in 709-715, Caliph al-Walid, son of Abd al-Malik, built, renovated, and expanded the mosque south of the Dome and called it Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa which means "the farthest mosque".

Since then the Al-Aqsa Mosque has been renovated several times after being damaged by a number of earthquakes.  The last renovation of the Mosque was after an earthquake in 1936.  However, the form of the present structure has remained essentially the same since 1033 AD.
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2007, 08:30:03 am »

Very important clarification.  I too learnt a lot from this just now.  Thanks a huge pile dear rose.  And also thanks for the lovely pics.  Where did u get them from?  These illustrations explain the geography of Al-Aqsa and Qubah Al-Sakhra so vividly.  I especially like the last image u posted of Al-Aqsa.  It has that typical medieavel touch about it and takes one back into the path of history.

Praise be to Allah.
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2007, 12:51:15 am »

True, very important clarification.  I hear most among us talking in a way that exposes their ignorance about the history of this great place.  To be honest, I too am not as well-versed with it as I should be.  This post was a big help.  Thanks sister.

A couple of queries, if anyone can answer them.  Did Omar bin al-Khattab make that land available for the construction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque or did he actually construct it?  Second, in most translations of the Quran, the translators mention about Al-Aqsa in brackets in Surah 17:1.  From the above information, obviously Al-Aqsa wasn't present then.  So why do the translators use the term 'Al-Aqsa' in brackets?

As-Salaam Alaikum to all!
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2007, 02:13:09 am »


A couple of queries, if anyone can answer them.  Did Omar bin al-Khattab make that land available for the construction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque or did he actually construct it?  Second, in most translations of the Quran, the translators mention about Al-Aqsa in brackets in Surah 17:1.  From the above information, obviously Al-Aqsa wasn't present then.  So why do the translators use the term 'Al-Aqsa' in brackets?

As-Salaam Alaikum to all!



Wa'Salaam brother PT.  According to history, Omar bin Khattab cleaned up this space thoroughly and removed all the debris that had been lying in and around for decades, if not centuries.  He then constructed a wooden mosque which I presume was smaller than the present Al-Aqsa Mosque, though it was the same Mosque and at the same spot.  Later, the Ommayad Caliph Abdel Malik bin Marwan renovated it extensively.  Some historians also give the impression that the Ommayad ruler brought down the wooden Mosque and constructed a new one on that spot.  As far as I know, this was the time when the Mosque was given the name "Al-Aqsa."

Concerning some translators using the term "Al-Aqsa" in brackets, yes I know they do that and many readers have gotten puzzled over it like you.  In Free Minds they had quite a debate on this.  Pickthall's translations is one of the few that gives an excellent translation of Verse 17:1 which is mentioned in rose's original post above.  This translation is totally accurate.  In my humble opinion, the term 'Al-Aqsa' used in the original of Verse 17:1 refers to the compound or that site as the "Far distant place of worship" which according to all historical evidence was at that time barren and not properly maintained.  However, that compound or land was always of great historical importance, much of that history being greatly spiritual .. from the time of Prophets Abraham (pbuh) down to his family, to Moses, David and Solomon.  And finally of course the Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) journey of Meraj was also from this area of land.  The rock from where the ascension of Meraj began is situated within this sacred compound.  It is said to be the spot where the Dome of the Rock is constructed.  I would say, we cannot be sure of the exact spot because the Quraan does not identify that exact spot but it does say that the site of Meraj is this "neighbourhood."  So I would stick to that.  For this reason the Almighty Allah mentions in Verse 17:1  "the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed,"  which is a clear reference to the sacred nature of this entire site, the way it stood then.  The Prophet Muhammad first travelled from Makkah in Kaa'ba to Jerusalem, this journey being known as 'Isra.'  In Jerusalem, from this neighbourhood began the journey of Meraj.  Of course, the structure of the Kaa'ba was very much there at that time, but the structure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque wasn't.  Hence, it's very clear that Verse 17:1 refers to that land or the compound where the two Mosques, Al-Aqsa and Al-Sakhra were later built. 

And the Almighty Allah knows best ..

To check the basic hsitory of Al-Aqsa, click here.  Just ignore that hadith of M. bin Hajaj narrated by Thabit, the contents of which are unwarranted by the Glorious Quraan. 
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2007, 08:11:29 am »

Thank you so very much for this detailed explanation.  To me it seems very consistent with the Quranic elucidation of Mairaj, also ref. my post No Hardship in Religion / Description of Mairaj.  Makes matters much clearer.  And yeah, I'll check the history in that link too, InshAllah.
Walaikum Salaam
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2012, 09:00:06 am »

Salaams all.  I have been thru this interesting & important post several times before but somehow didn't get to comment.  Today I was watching a lecture of Sh. Imran Hossein, just parts of it, and at one point I heard him mention that Masjid Al-Aqsa was built by Prophet Suleman (Solomon).  Now, that set me thinking, how does he know that?  As for the Kaaba, we are sure that Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael built it because it's clearly elucidated in the Noble Quran.  But how can these folks be sure Al-Aqsa Masjid was built by Prophet Suleman?  Must be through some Hadith apparently.  Any feedback?
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2012, 09:27:31 am »

lol ,, sister Heba, you are right.  Where else can such info come from except the Hadith?  I've done some research on this.  Soon after studying this thread, we had a brief discussion on this topic in our monthly meetings at the community center.  Someone (a hadither) happened to mention the name of Prophet Solomon in connection with the building of Masjid Al-Aqsa.  I didn't ask him anything about it because I had guessed it must be from Hadith, there could be no other source.  After coming home that evening I looked it up and found that it was the Hadith that has constructed several unfounded stories about the building of Al-Aqsa Masjid .... this guesswork is from 2 different sources of Hadith.  One source is from Nasai and the other is from Ibn Hajar's "fath-e-bari."  The so-called scholars have passed it has "sahih" or "authentic" because they agree with the isnad.   This is shocking, but Ibn Hajar goes as far as contradicting the Noble Quran by claiming that Prophet Abraham and his son, Ishmael, were not the first ones to build the Kaaba but Adam first built it.  Ibn Hajar claims that Abraham and Ishmael renovated it.  This info totally clashes with the Quran.  The Noble Quran makes it very, very clear that Prophet Abraham and Ishmael built the Kaaba by laying its foundation.  They didn't just renovate it, they built it. 

The following are the Hadith stories only for your information so that you can know the sources of the lie about Prophet Sulaiman constructing Masjid Al-Aqsa. 
Nothing of the following should be taken as the truth.  Only Allah knows the truth.  Most likely Masjid Al-Aqsa was constructed much later as sister Zeynab's response stated by the 2nd righteous Caliph, Umer bin Khattab, and Dome of Rock was constructed by one of the Ommayad rulers.  All other details must be left upon Allah.  Only He knows. 

QUOTING THE AHADITH:
Sunan an-Nasa’i and classed as authentic by al-Albani .... also presumed that it existed before Sulayman (peace be upon him) and that Sulayman rebuilt it; this is based on the hadith reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Abu Dharr who said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, which mosque was built on earth first?’ He said, ‘Al-Masjid Al-Haram [in Makkah].’ I said, ‘Then which?’ He said, ‘Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa.’ I said, ‘How much time was there between them?’ He said, ‘Forty years. So wherever you are when the time for prayer comes, pray, for that is the best thing to do.’”


Ibn Hajar says about this hadith in Fath al-Bari:
   
Ibn al-Jawzi said: It raises a problem since Abraham built the Ka`bah and Solomon built Bayt al-Maqdis [another name of al-Masjid al-Aqsa cf. Hebrew Bet ha-Miqdash] and there are 1,000 years between them. His evidence for saying that it is Solomon - peace be upon him - who built the Farthest Mosque is the narration of al-Nasa'i from the hadith of `Abd Allah Ibn `Amr Ibn al-`As attributed to the Prophet with an authentic isnad that "When Solomon built Bayt al-Maqdis he asked God the Most High for three things etc." and in al-Tabarani from the hadith of Rafi` Ibn `Umayrah that "David - peace be upon him - started building Bayt al-Maqdis but God inspired him: I shall accomplish its building with Solomon" and the hadith has a story. He [Ibn al-Jawzi] said: "The answer to that is that the mention concerns the first construction and the foundation of the mosque and it is not Abraham who built the Ka`bah for the first time nor is it Solomon who built Bayt al-Maqdis for the first time. Indeed, we have narrated that the first one who built the Ka`bah is Adam. Then his progeny spread out on earth. Therefore, it is possible that one of them built Bayt al-Maqdis. Later, Abraham (re)built the Ka`bah according to the Qur'an." Likewise, al-Qurtubi said: The hadith does not indicate that Abraham and Solomon were the first ones to build the two mosques. It was only a renovation of what had been founded by others.

After quoting other opinions, Ibn Hajar insists :

But the possibility mentioned by Ibn al-Jawzi is more pertinent. And I found evidence supporting those who say that it is Adam who founded both mosques. For instance, Ibn Hisham mentioned in "Kitab al-Tijan" that when Adam built the Ka`bah, God ordered him to walk to Bayt al-Maqdis and build it and so he did and offered worship in it. And the construction of the House [Arabic: al-Bayt, i.e., the Ka`bah] is famous and we have mentioned earlier the hadith of `Abd Allah Ibn `Amr that the House was elevated in the time of the flood until God showed Abraham its location. Ibn Abi Hatim narrated from the way of Ma`mar from Qatadah: God founded the House with Adam when he descended. But Adam missed the voices of the Angels and their prayers. Therefore, God told him: I sent down a House around which [people] will revolve like it is revolved around my Throne, so set out to it. Adam set out to Makkah - He had descended in India, and his steps were enlarged until he reached the House and revolved around it. It was also said that when he had prayed at the Ka`bah, he was ordered to set out to Jerusalem where he built a masjid [mosque] and prayed therein so that it became a qiblah to a part of his progeny.
UNQUOTE:
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2012, 10:28:27 am »

OMG!  I was right.  It is from the Hadith .... and what a big myth which also contradicts the Noble Quran.  Thanks br. PT.  These Hadiths are making me angry.  Shiek Imran Hossein is supposed to be an educated man, yet he takes his info from such gossips with confidence.  Tells me once again that we cannot trust anyone.  Thanks to Allah for making us well acquainted with Quranic information so whenever someone says something un-Quranic we catch them immediately and realize the importance ignoring their talk.
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