Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allah subhanahu wa ta'Ala) Who took His slave (Muhammad Sallalahu alayhi wassalam) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) to the farthest mosque (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad Sallalahu alayhi wassalam) of Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He (Allah) is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (Quran, surah17:1).
Anas Ibn Malik (ra) relates that the Prophet (Sallalahu alayhi wassalam) said, " The prayer of a person in his house is a single prayer; his prayer in the Masjid of his people has the reward of 27 prayers; his prayer in the Masjid in which the Friday prayer is observed has the reward of 500; his prayer in Masjid Al-Aqsa (i.e. Al-Aqsa Sanctuary) has a reward of 5,000 prayers; his prayer in my Masjid (the Prophet's Masjid in Madinah) has a reward of 50,000 prayers, and the prayer in the Sacred Masjid (Ka'bah) has the reward of 100,000 prayers". (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)
Masjid Al-Aqsa is no ordinary Masjid; it forms the basis of our history and it is the cornerstone of mankind's foundation. The noble Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wassalam) dedicated a great deal of his life in nurturing the Companions to appreciate the excellent qualities of Masjid Al-Aqsa and prepared them to embark on an expedition to liberate Jerusalem which at the time was in the hands of the mighty Roman empire.
Some of the reasons why Masjid Al-Aqsa should form an important aspect of a believer's dedication, where many pious individuals have given their wealth and lives, include the fact that Masjid Al-Aqsa is:
- the first Qiblah of the Muslims
- the station of Al-Isra and Al-Miraj (the miraculous journey of Prophet Muhammad SAW)
- the second house of Allah built on earth
- a place where miracles were shown by Allah's Will
- a place which Allah Himself calls a 'blessed place'
- referred to directly and indirectly, 70 times in the Holy Quran
- the place where Angels have descended with Allah's Message
- the only place on earth where all the Messengers of Allah prayed at the same time led by the Prophet Muhammad SAW
- the only Masjid mentioned by name in the Holy Quran a part from the Ka'bah
It is for the above mentioned reasons and many more that we need to understand our responsibilities regarding safeguarding Masjid Al-Aqsa which is in great danger of being demolished by extremist Jews.