When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received the command from God to lead the Muslim community in five daily prayers, their prayers were directed towards the holy city of Jerusalem.
For Muslims, the city of Jerusalem is an important site. As the home of numerous prophets of Islam such as Dawud (David), Sulayman (Solomon), and ‘Isa (Jesus), the city was a symbol of Islam’s past prophets.
When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) made the miraculous Night Journey from Makkah to Jerusalem and the ascent into Heaven that night (known as the Isra’ wal-Mi’raj), it acquired an added importance as the place where the Prophet led all the earlier prophets in prayer and then ascended to Heaven.
For Muslims, however, Jerusalem would remain a far-off symbol during the life of the Prophet (PBUH) and the years immediately after his death.
As Muslims came to control Iraq and then Syria in the 630s, however, Jerusalem would become a Muslim city, and the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem would become one of the most important pieces of land in the Muslim empire.
Millions of feet have walked the grounds of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which has long been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Now you can join them by watching the above video by Aljazeera.
Experience Islam’s third holiest site in more detail than ever before through this ultra-high- definition experience.
The article is from the archives.