By: Mahdi Rouhani
Translator: Vahid Pourtajrishi
The history of Aqsa Mosque, its dignity in Quran and narrations, mischances, aims and grudges of enemies against it are discussed in the present article.
Considering Aqsa Mosque is very important as the first kiblah for Muslims. The epithets of Aqsa Mosque and monotheist religions, importance and characteristics of Palestine, the history of the building of Aqsa Mosque, dignity of this mosque in Quran and narrations, mischances of its enemies are discussed in this article and some solutions are given as conclusion at end.
Aqsa Mosque is the first kiblah of Muslims with a prominent dignity for Muslims in various aspects. Because studying the history of this holy place which has been proud to be host of the grand prophets and the place of ascension of the greatest chosen messenger of God, Muhammad (best regards to him) is significant. Furthermore, this holy place has become more important because of its political and social importance and aggressions of enemies. Considering the Aqsa Mosque issue is redesign of the first issue of Islam world and is transmit of the story of this suffered land. Witnessing these incidents creates responsibility for all of Muslims who have to settle their debt to this part of Islam’s body. Because treat of Zionism danger could be cause to irreparable damages to the next generations of Muslims. That’s why, we cannot neglect of the Palestine issue and its historical sufferings. Because one of the holiest places of Islam is in hands of the wildest and dirtiest enemies of Islam. Jews have had most disturbs and suffers for the grand prophet of Islam. The supreme says in holy Quran:
«لَتَجِدَنَّ اَشَدَّ النّاسِ عِداوَةً لِلَّذینَ امَنُوا الْیَهودَ ...»
This traditional and historical enemy has captured the heart of Islam and tries to sallow his claws in body of Muslims. So our responsibility is increased and we shouldn’t let them to continue their tenure of Quds.
Aqsa Mosque and the divine religions:
We can find three names among the existent text on Aqsa Mosque: Al-Quds in Arabic, עברית in Hebrew and Jerusalem in Latin. Jews call this city ירושלים also. But Aqsa Mosque name is available in Fath Al-Baari and three points also are commented under this name:
1) The distance between Aqsa Mosque and Kaaba
2) Because there is no place for worshiping after it
3) Because of its sanctity shun of pollution and seen: «قیلَ لَه الاَقْصی لِبُعْدِ الْمَسافَةِ بَیْنَه وَ بَیْنَ الْکَعْبَةِ وَ قیلَ ِلاَنَّه لَمْ یَکُنْ وَرائَه مَوضِعُ عِبادَةٍ وَ قیلَ لِبُعْدِه عَنِ الاَقْذارِ وَ الْخَبائِث وَ الْمُقَدَّسُ الْمُطَهرُ عَنْ ذلِکْ»
This city is encircled at least for twenty times during its ten thousand years history. It had been destructed fully for two times by aggressors and eighteen time is reconstructed and had been repaired for three times. The people of this city have been enforced to change their religion for six times and finally the dominant political regimes of this are have been changed for thirty seven times.
Sakhrah or cliff Mosque is located inside of the holy temple. The holly cliff is the place that grand Abraham took his son to sacrifice there and the place of grand prophet of Islam’s ascension took placed.
In Christians view, Quds is the place of crucifixion of Jesus and his ascension. The people of this city joined to Islam in 15 AH.
We can study the history of Quds in two eras:
1) Since 1917 till 1296 and establishment of the Israel Regime in 1948
2) After establishment of the Zionist Regime till now
Some of the done works by Zionist Regime had been:
- Change of political capital place from Tel Aviv to Quds
- Creation of radical groups
- Increase of settlement activities
Quds and Palestine:
Before considering the history of Quds, we have to discuss on some matters about Palestine. The last name of Palestine had been Canaan with 25000 km area in eastern coast of Mediterranean sea and neighborhood of Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. This area had been the appearance place of grand prophets such as Jesus, Moses and the residency place of grand Abraham. Quds city is located on the hills in the same place with the Yahouvah Temple on the heights of Mouria. This land has been never in peace since 1300 years BC and 480 years before construction of Aqsa Mosque that Isaiah Tribe entered there under Joshua bin Noon leadership.
After one year war between Iran and Rom Empires (603-604) and victory of Iran in the time of second Khosrou (Sassanian King), he could capture Palestine or Jerusalem in coordination with whose Jew allies. But this land again was recaptured by Christians after Khosrou Parviz (the last Sassanid King).
Aqsa Mosque was the first kiblah of Muslims till thirteen years post-appearance of the grand prophet of Islam (peace upon to him). But he changed the Kiblah into kaaba in Bani Salemah Mosque after immigration to Medina by God’s command.
Jewish Messianism discussion has been famous for them. But this matter was increased after their banishment by Rom Empire in 70 AC in which Rome Army destructed the Solomon Temple for second time in this year. Just a piece of wall of the mentioned temple is remained which is famous as Nodbeh Wall.
Messianists believe that the temple will be reconstructed after reappearance of Jesus and he will govern the world. This assumption was just an ideal till 19th century but Zionist rabbis believe that: ‘’ the process of political Zionism will be continued with a divine approach in the name of appearance of Jesus’’
According to the Zionist leaders, Jewish have to attend three cardinal missions:
1) Residency of many Jewish in holy land (Palestine)
2) Triumph of Jerusalem
3) Revival of the Temple
The process of doing first mission is going on since the beginning of the 20th century and the second mission was done successfully in 1967 and after six days war between Arabs and Israel in which the Aqsa Mosque was announced as the permanent capital of Israel in 1980.
But the third mission was the great ideal of the right wing leaders of Israel under leadership of Sharon, Begin and Shamir. They had to destruct Dome of the Rock and Aqsa Mosque. So, the architecture plan of the mentioned mosque was prepared and studied. Then, some explosives were stolen from a military base on the Golan Hills and supposed to be exploded in 278 points of the mosque. But this operation was stopped by the political lobbies of Israel for fear of it’s probably reaction in Islam world oppose to Zionism.
The government of Israel increased his excavation activities under the Aqsa Mosque one year after creation of Machteret Org in Israel to collapse of the mosque automatically.
The history of the building of the Aqsa Mosque
Aqsa Mosque has been repaired many times during the past years. But we can refer to the historical evidences and documents in which its construction date backs to 96 AH. This document is given in a text of Al-Maqdasi:
‘’ … about Aqsa Mosque… its pillars were put by Excellency David (best regards upon to him)… then, Abdul Malik commanded to construct the mosque on these pillars with small and beautiful stones’’
Most parts of the A0qsa Mosque was destructed in 130 AH because of earthquake. According to Al-Maqdasi, the roofed hall of the mosque was collapsed and destructed except some pieces of altar’’
He continues: ‘’ Caliph got angry when heard this report and said that we are not able to pay the expenditure of constructing such mosque and commanded to stop the project’’
The old parts of mosques are remained and are continued to the marble columns row. These columns are designed with plaster work and are made after the happened earthquake’’
Al-Maqdasi describes the Aqsa Mosque such:
‘’ the roofed hall includes 26 doors and the main door is cooper made. Seven doors in right and same number are observable in left side. Also eleven doors are located in east side of the mosque which are not designed’’
Most of the contemporary historians believe that the date of construction of mosque is 163 AH and is constructed by Al-Mahdi. But the thirty years gap in process of repairing such mosque is doubtful. But if we assume Al-Mansour instead of Al-Mahdi in the text of Al-Maqdasi and suppose the happened earthquake is the earthquake of 160 AH which was happened in the Al-Mahdi’s ruling time.
Eventually, the new mosque was highly damaged in the earthquake of 407 AH. Repair operations of the mosque were started in the time of Abbasid Caliph, Fatemi Al-Zaher in 426 AH. This date is carved on an inscription on top of the mosque.
Mojir Al-Din described the mosque in this manner:
‘’ the jame mosque which is located at the end of the building and near to the kiblah, has a great building covered by a beautiful dome with colorful gems located under the dome and altar which according to the official documents, its size is exactly 465m* 335m’’
According to the above document, the building of mosque is remained unchanged since 15th century and just some operations are done to strength the building. These operations date are:
1) The operations of 1114 AH in the time of Muhammad’s Caliphate
2) The operations of 1233 AH in the time of the Second Muhammad Caliphate
Some points are concluded from the discussed matters:
1) Mosque construction by Omar with plank in an approximately signage place
2) Mosque construction by Valid Bin Abdul Malik in the present location of the mosque
3) Reconstruction and repairs in Al-Mahdi Abbasid era (163Ah)
4) Important idioms and changes during the crusade occupations
5) Repair and reconstruction by Ayubids
Aqsa Mosque in Quran and narrations:
Firstly, we have to address the first verse of Asraa Chapter of the holy Quran:
«سُبْحانَ الَّذی اَسْری بِعَبْدِه لَیْلاً مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرامِ اِلَی الْمَسْجِدِالاَقْصَی الَّذی بارَکْنا حَوْلَه لِنُریَه مِنْ ایاتِنا اِنَّه هوَ السَّمیعُ الْبَصیرُ»
According to this verse, the Aqsa Mosque has been subject for many discussions between commentators of Quran. Because one of the most important events of history was begun from this place. That’s why significance of Aqsa Mosque is not like any other place in world. But we would address some of these narrations in below:
1) The Grand Prophet of Islam states:
«صلی الله علیه و آله» فرمود: «...اِنَّ الصَّلاةَ فی مَسْجِدی هذا اَفْضَلُ مِن اَلْفِ صَلاةٍ فیما سِواه اِلاَّ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرام وَ الْمَسْجِدَالاَقْصی»
2) Ummeh Selmah quoted from the Grand Prophet of Islam:
« مَن اَهلَّ بِحَجَّةٍ اَوْ عُمْرَةٍ مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الاَقْصی اِلَی الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرام غُفِرَ لَه ما تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِه»
3) The Grand Prophet of Islam sates:
«لاتَشُّدُ الرَّحال اِلاّ اِلی ثَلاثَةِ مَساجِدٍ مَسْجِدِ الْحَرامِ وَ مَسْجِدِ الاَقْصی وَ مَسْجدِی هذا»
4) Imam Baqir sates:
«ثُمَّ المَساجِدُ مَعَ اِشْتِراکِها فی مُطْلَقِ الْفَضیلَةِ تَخْتَلِفُ بِحَسَبِ مِقْدارِها فَبَعْضُها اَفْضَلُ مِنْ بَعْضٍ فَمَسْجِدُالْحَرام اَفْضَلُ مِنْ غَیْرِه ... ثُمَّ مَسْجِدُالنَّبِی ثُمَّ مَسْجِدُالاَقْصی...»
5) Abul Ma’ali Moshref says:
« مَنْ حَجَّ وَ صَلّی فی مَسْجِدِ الْمَدینَةِ وَ مَسْجِدِ الاَقْصی فی عامٍ واحِد خَرَجَ مِن ذُنُوبِه کَیَومٍ وَلَدَتْه اُمُّه»
So, these narrations and verses demonstrate the significance and dignity of Aqsa Mosque. Even in some narrations its dignity is same to the Masjid AL haram. This holy place have been under attacks of the Zionists during past years. One of the terrible and wildest attacks backs to the 21 August 1969 event in which an extremist Zionist in the name of Denis Michael Rohan burned the mosque and the Zionist regime commanded to cease water and the aerial ladder trucks arrived to the mosque after conflagration. The Rocky Dome, stony roof and wooden dome of the altar beside of 48 windows were high damaged. Also the Salah Al Din Ayoubi Altar was burned in this event.
The next mishap belongs to the first war between Israel and Arabs and the six days war between Zionist Regime and the Islamic countries in which the Jerusalem City was bombarded by the fighters of Israel. The main gate of Aqsa Mosque, its ceiling and one of her minarets were damaged during these strikes.
Permitting foreign tourists to visit inside the mosque along their puppies was one of the other disrespects of Zionists to the Aqsa Mosque.
The ominous aims of enemies of God against the Aqsa Mosque
According to the mentioned subjects, destruction of Aqsa Mosque is one of the most strategic goals of the Zionist regime of Israel. We can consider the event of February 15 of 2004 in which the Bab Al-Mogharebah was elapsed cause of underground excavations of Zionists. Al-Aqsa Foundation has warned for high damages in the building of Al-Aqsa Mosque severally.