The land of Palestine has always been important to Muslims. Several important events in the history of Islam are connected with this. Before the arrival of Islam, the followers of Asmani religion lived in Palestine.
The followers of the religion of Hazrat Ibrahim, Ishaq, Yaqub, Musa, Dawood, Sulaiman and Isa alaihumus salam lived in this land. Palestine was also the abode of many other prophets.
Baitul Muqaddas or Masjid al-Aqsa, located in the city of Jerusalem, Palestine, is an important mosque in the history of Islam. In the Holy Qur’an, Allah Ta’ala has mentioned Masjid al-Aqsa, from where the holy death of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, took place.
At the beginning of Islam, Muslims used to pray facing the Baitul Muqaddas. Therefore, this holy mosque is also known as the first Qibla of Muslims. During various Muslim regimes including Umayyad, Ayyubid, Fatimid, Mamluk, Ottoman, the Holy Baitul Muqaddas was under the responsibility of Muslims.
Baitul Muqaddas was captured by the Crusaders during the First Crusade in 1099 AD. The Crusaders entered the mosque and wreaked havoc there. On that day, the blood of Muslims was flooded inside and outside the Holy Al-Quds. It was made the headquarters of the Knights Templar in 1119 AD. At that time Al Aqsa Mosque was used as a royal palace as well as a horse stable.
The Muslim hero of the time, Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi, conquered Jerusalem and Baytul Muqaddas on Friday, October 2, 1187. Which is an important event in Islamic history.
Apart from this, different discussions about Baytul Muqaddas have been highlighted in different places of Quran and Hadith. Here it is highlighted:
Land of Isra and Miraj
From Baitul Muqaddas in Jerusalem, the important event in the history of Islam is the beginning of Isra or the night journey of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. This is called the Meraj phenomenon. On this night, the Messenger of God traveled the seven heavens with Jibreel Alaihis Salam, on this night he was shown Paradise and Hell, and he met God.
The journey starts from Baitul Muqaddas in Palestine. Here the Messenger of Allah leads the prayers of all the Prophets. Then he travels to the upper sky from here.
Allah Ta’ala says, ‘Glorified and Exalted is He Who made His servant travel by night from Al-Masjidul Haram to Masjidul Aqsa, the surroundings of which I made blessed, to show him My signs; He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seeer.’ (Surah Bani Israel, verse 1)
First Qibla of Muslims
Al-Aqsa Mosque in Palestine is the first Qibla of Muslims. Towards which the Messenger of Allah, may God bless him and grant him peace, and his companions prayed for 10 years.
Almighty Allah says, ‘Turn your face towards Masjid al-Haram wherever you go out, and wherever you are, turn towards it’ (Surah Baqarah, 150).
The second mosque in the world
The first mosque built in history is Majsidul Haram. Next is Masjid al-Aqsa, the third holiest mosque for Muslims in the magnificent Old City of Jerusalem.
On the authority of Abu Zar Giffari Radiyallahu Tayala Anhu, he said, ‘I said, O Messenger of Allah! Which mosque was built first in the world? He said, Masjidul Haram. I asked again, then which one? In reply he said, then there is Masjid al-Aqsa. Then I asked how many years the gap between the two? He said a gap of forty years. (Sahih Bukhari: 3115)
The special virtue of praying in Baitul Muqaddas
Praying in Baitul Muqaddas has special virtues. On the authority of Hazrat Abu Darda Radiyallahu Tayala Anhu, the Messenger of Allah, may God bless him and grant him peace, said, “One prayer in the Haram mosque is equal to one hundred thousand prayers, one prayer in my mosque (Masjid Nabawi) is equal to one thousand prayers, and one prayer in Bait al-Maqdas is equal to 500 prayers.” ‘ -(Majmouz Gawaid, 4/11)
In 5 places in the Holy Qur’an, Almighty Allah called Palestine a blessed, virtuous land.
One. In the first verse of Surah Bani Israel. ‘Around which I have sent down blessings.’ (Surah Bani Israel, verse 1)
Two. When narrating the incident of Sayyiduna Ibrahim alaihis salam, Allah Ta’ala said, ‘And I rescued him and Lut and took him to the land where I have left goodness for the people of the world’ (Surah Ambia, verse 71).
Third, in the narration of the incident of Musa alaihis salam, when Musa alaihis salam and Bani Israel were rescued from Pharaoh and Pharaoh and his army were drowned.
Allah Ta’ala says, ‘I made those who were considered weak inheritors of the East and West of My Beneficent Kingdom, and the good words of your Lord concerning the Children of Israel came true, because they persevered. (Surah A’raf, verse 137)
Four. In the case of Sulaiman Alaihis Salam. Almighty Allah gave him the kingdom and made everything subject to him.
Allah Ta’ala said, ‘And I subjugated the arrogant wind of Sulaiman; He flowed at his command to the land where I have placed welfare; I am fully aware of everything.’ (Surah Ambiya, verse 81)
Five. How Allah kept them in peace in Saba’s incident. Allah Ta’ala said, ‘We placed many visible towns between them and the towns on which I had favored them, and made proper arrangements for traveling to those towns, and said to them – ‘Travel safely to these towns by day and by night.’ (Surah Saba, verse 18)
Allama Mahmud Alusi mentions in Ruhul Maani in Tafseer, Sham is meant by this township. Abdullah Ibn Abbas said, this town is Baitul Muqaddas. (Ruhul Ma’ani: 22/129) The ancient Shamdesh (Levant) is — present Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and historical Palestine.
The third honorable city and virtuous land
In the light of the hadith it is proved that three cities are honored – Makkah, Madinah and Palestine or Baytul Muqaddas.
In Sahih Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudri Radiyallahu Tayala Anhu, the Messenger of Allah, may God bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘One cannot travel (for the purpose of worship) to any place other than the three mosques. Masjid al-Haram, this mosque of mine and Masjid al-Aqsa.’ (Muslim, Hadith, 827
On the authority of Abdullah Ibn Amr Radiyallahu Tayala Anhu, the Messenger of Allah, may God bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘When Sulayman Ibn Dawud completed the construction of Baitul Maqdis, he prayed to Allah for three things. A rulership like him and such a kingdom, which will not be given to anyone after him, and prays to wipe away the sins of those who come to the said mosque with a sincere mind to perform prayers and make him as pure as the day of his birth.’
The Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Allah granted him two on the basis of his request. I hope you will accept the third one as well.’ (Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith, 1479)
The stance of the Satyabhati party
On the authority of Abu Umama Radiyallahu Tayala Anhu, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘A group of my Ummah will be victorious over the truth. Mighty will be in the mind of the enemy. No opposition can do anything to them without famine. They will remain like this until the command of Allah and the doomsday. The Companions asked, O Messenger of Allah, where will they stay? The Messenger of Allah, may God bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘They will stay in Baitul Maqdis and its surroundings.’ (Musnad Ahmad: 21286)
Palestine is the battlefield
Narrated by Maimunah Radiyallahu Tayala Anha, I said to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Tell us about Baitul Maqdis!’
The Messenger of Allah, may God bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Bayt al-Maqdis is the field of hatred. A place of resurrection. Go there and pray. Because, one time prayer is offered in other mosques, one thousand prayers are available.’
He said, ‘What is your opinion about a person who cannot afford to go to Masjid al-Aqsa?’ He said, ‘Let him send fuel oil for him as a gift. Because whoever sends a gift for Bait al-Maqdis, he will gain a ride in it like a person who prays.’ (Musnad Ahmad, Hadith, 26343)