Your Guide to Al-Aqsa

Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem stands as more than a testament to architectural grandeur; it represents a deep spiritual connection for Muslims. As the third holiest site in Islam, its importance is echoed in the Quran and Sunnah.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the Hadith highlighting the virtues of Al-Aqsa, share selected Duas for Palestine, and journey into the past, as well as spotlight causes you can champion. Join us in exploring and supporting this sacred cornerstone of our faith.

A close up of a flower with the al-Qibli Masjid in the background

Virtues of Al Aqsa From Quran & Sunnah

Al-Aqsa in the Quran

سُبْحَـٰنَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِۦ لَيْلًۭا مِّنَ ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْحَرَامِ إِلَى ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْأَقْصَا ٱلَّذِى بَـٰرَكْنَا حَوْلَهُۥ لِنُرِيَهُۥ مِنْ ءَايَـٰتِنَآ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْبَصِيرُ

“Glory be to the One Who took His servant Muḥammad [ﷺ] by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque whose surroundings We have blessed, so that We may show him some of Our signs. Indeed, He alone is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing.” (Quran 17:1)

Image of a Quran resting on a Quran stand

Al-Aqsa From the Sunnah

The blessed land of al-Aqsa was mentioned many times by our beloved Prophet, Muhammad, may Allah’s infinite peace and blessings be upon him.

The Second Masjid on Earth

عَنْ أَبِي ذَرٍّ، قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَىُّ مَسْجِدٍ وُضِعَ فِي الأَرْضِ أَوَّلُ قَالَ ‏”الْمَسْجِدُ الْحَرَامُ‏”‏ قُلْتُ ثُمَّ أَىٌّ قَالَ ‏”الْمَسْجِدُ الأَقْصَى”‏  قُلْتُ كَمْ بَيْنَهُمَا قَالَ ‏”أَرْبَعُونَ سَنَةً وَأَيْنَمَا أَدْرَكَتْكَ الصَّلاَةُ فَصَلِّ فَهُوَ مَسْجِدٌ”‏

Abu Dharr reported: I said: “O Messenger of Allah, which mosque was the first to be built on earth?”

He said: “The Sacred Mosque (al-Masjid al-Haram in Makkah).”

I said: “And then?”

He said: “And then the Furthest Mosque (Masjid al-Aqsa in al-Quds, Jerusalem).”

I said: “What was the duration between them?”

He said: “Forty (years), and whenever it’s time for prayer, pray wherever you are, for the earth is a place of prostration (Masjid) for you.”

The First Qiblah

صَلَّيْنَا مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم نَحْوَ بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ سِتَّةَ عَشَرَ شَهْرًا أَوْ سَبْعَةَ عَشَرَ شَهْرًا – ثُمَّ صُرِفْنَا نَحْوَ الكَعْبَةِ‏

We prayed toward Bait Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) for sixteen or seventeen months – Then we were made to turn our direction towards the Ka’bah.”


Image of the Holy Kabah in Masjid al-Haram and Masjid al-Qibli in al-Aqsa

Visiting Masjid al-Aqsa

‏ لاَ تُشَدُّ الرِّحَالُ إِلاَّ إِلَى ثَلاَثَةِ مَسَاجِدَ مَسْجِدِي هَذَا وَمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصَى ‏‏

Do not undertake a journey to visit any Mosque, but three: this Mosque of mine, the Mosque of al-Haram, and the Mosque of Aqsa (Bait al-Maqdis).


Praying in Masjid al-Aqsa

صَلَاةٌ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ بِمِائَةِ ألْفِ صَلَاةٍ وَ صَلَاةٌ فِي مَسْجِدِي ألْفُ صَلَاةٌ وَ صَلَاةٌ فِي الْبَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ خَمْسَمِائَةُ صَلَاةٍ

A prayer in Masjid a-Haram is equal to one hundred thousand prayers. A prayer in my Masjid is equal to one thousand prayers and a prayer in Bait al-Maqdis is equal to five hundred prayers.


A merged image that shows a close up of Masjid an-Nabawi, Masjid al-Haram and Masjid al-Aqsa

Donating to Masjid al-Aqsa

عَنْ مَيْمُونَةَ، أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَفْتِنَا فِي بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ فَقَالَ ‏”ائْتُوهُ فَصَلُّوا فِيهِ” – “فَإِنْ لَمْ تَأْتُوهُ وَتُصَلُّوا فِيهِ فَابْعَثُوا بِزَيْتٍ يُسْرَجُ فِي قَنَادِيلِهِ”‏

Maymunah bint Sa’d reported:

I said: Messenger of Allah, tell us the legal injunction about (visiting) Bayt al-Muqaddas (the dome of the Rock at Jerusalem).

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Go and pray there. If you cannot visit it and pray there, then send some oil to be used in the lamps.”


Interior of al-Qibli Mosque in Masjid al-Aqsa

Dua for Palestine

One of the most powerful ways to help our brothers and sisters in Palestine is through sincere Dua. 

“When My servants ask you ˹O Prophet˺ about Me: I am truly near. I respond to one’s prayer when they call upon Me.” [Al Baqarah – 186]

Below are four powerful supplications to repeat during these troubling times.

1. Allah is Sufficient

حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيل

Hasbuna Allahu wa ni’mal wakeel

“Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.”


2. All affairs are with Allah

وَأُفَوِّضُ أَمْرِي إِلَى اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ

Wa ufawwidu amree ila Allah inna Allaha baseerun bil ‘ibad

“I entrust my affairs to Allah. Surely Allah is All-Seeing of all [His] servants.”

[Ghafir 44]

3. Forgiveness and victory

رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَإِسْرَافَنَا فِي أَمْرِنَا وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

Rabbana igfirlana dhunoobana wa israafana fee amrina wa thabbit aqdaamana wansurna ‘ala alqaum al kaafireen

Our Lord, forgive us our sins and the excess [committed] in our affairs and plant firmly our feet and give us victory over the disbelieving people.

[Al-Imran: 147]

4. Perseverance

رَبَّنَا أَفْرِغْ عَلَيْنَا صَبْرًا وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

Rabbana afrig ‘alayna sabran wa thabbit aqdaamana wansurna ‘ala alqaum al kafireen

“Our Lord! Shower us with perseverance, make our steps firm, and give us victory over the disbelieving people.”

[Al-Baqarah: 250]

HCI relief workers travel in a vehicle amidst the rubble carrying blankets and aid

Guiding You Through Al-Aqsa

Below is an infographic showing key sites within Jerusalem’s old city.

Graphic on Al-Aqsa Mosque and surrounding areas

Palestine Before the Nakba

Old picture of men leaving Masjid al-Aqsa after Jummah prayers
Men leaving Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque. Almost all men in the photo are wearing the same headscarf, which was a symbol of Palestinian solidarity during the Arab Revolt of 1938.
Black and white image of Palestinian girl wearing traditional Palestinian dress and picking olives
A girl dressed in traditional Palestinian clothing as she is picking olives. Olive trees are a symbol of Palestinian identity and have been grown on these lands for centuries.
Black and white image of Palestinian mother cradling her child in the late 1920s, wearing traditional Palestinian clothing.
A Palestinian mother cradling her child in the late 1920s. She wears traditional Palestinian garments. The photo was taken by the famous Palestinian photographer Khalil Raad.
Black and white image of a Palestinian father and his children sat on an abundant harvest of watermelons
A Palestinian father and his children sit on an abundant harvest of watermelons. The boy in the middle holds out a cluster of grapes as if offering the viewer a taste.

Causes you can support

The recent conflict in Gaza has resulted in a devastating humanitarian crisis. As of October 24, the death toll stands at 5,791 Palestinians, including 2,360 children and 1,292 women, with more than 16,297 injured. In the Occupied West Bank, 96 have been killed and at least 1,828 injured. The infrastructure in Gaza has also suffered significant damage, with deadly attacks on hospitals and other facilities, leaving the population in dire need of aid and support.

In these trying times, your support can make a significant difference in the lives of those affected in Palestine and Gaza. Human Concern International is actively working with local partners to provide relief to those in need. By donating to our Palestine Appeal, you can help deliver essential aid and support to those who need it the most. Your contribution can bring hope and relief to those suffering in this crisis. Please consider making a donation today.

Relief workers wearing HCI vests organize and distribute aid

Humanitarian corridor

While the borders into Gaza remain closed, HCI is dedicated to maintaining a well-stocked supply of essential items. This ensures that, once the corridor opens, our partners can promptly distribute the much-needed aid to those in Gaza.

As the situation becomes more dire, your donations can save lives.

Provide food, medical aid, and shelter to families in need.

Please donate today.