Standing on one of holiest hilltops in the world, the Al-Aqsa Mosque holds the honor of being the third-holiest site in Islam, right after Mecca and Medina. The Mosque, which...
Tagged: Al-Aqsa Mosque
The Al-Aqsa Mosque is a significant Islamic holy site located in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is considered the third holiest site in Islam after the Kaaba in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina.
Below, World History Edu present some of the internet’s most asked questions about the Al-Aqsa Mosque:
Why is it significant in Islam?
Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad was transported from the Sacred Mosque in Mecca to Al-Aqsa during the Night Journey. From there, he ascended to heaven.
How old is the mosque?
The original mosque was built in the 7th century, though it has undergone numerous reconstructions after damages from earthquakes and conflicts.
What is the relationship between the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock?
Both are located on the Temple Mount (Haram esh-Sharif in Arabic). While they are distinct structures, they are often confused due to their proximity. The Dome of the Rock is a shrine, not a mosque, built over the rock from which Muslims believe Muhammad ascended to heaven.
Has the mosque been a point of contention?
Yes. Given its religious significance to both Muslims and Jews (as the Temple Mount), it has been a focal point of religious and political tensions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Who currently administers the Al-Aqsa Mosque?
The Jordanian Waqf, a religious endowment, administers the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the broader Temple Mount area.
Can non-Muslims visit the mosque?
Yes, non-Muslims can visit the Temple Mount, but they are generally not allowed inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque itself. There are specific visiting hours for non-Muslim tourists.
Has the mosque been renovated or restored?
Yes, the mosque has been renovated and restored multiple times due to damages from natural disasters and conflicts.
What architectural style is the Al-Aqsa Mosque?
The mosque exhibits various architectural styles as it has been rebuilt and renovated over the centuries. Its foundations are Umayyad, but it also has elements of Crusader, Mamluk, and Ottoman architecture.
Why is it named “Al-Aqsa”?
“Al-Aqsa” translates to “the Farthest” in Arabic, referencing the Quranic verse that describes the Prophet Muhammad’s Night Journey to the “farthest mosque.”