teradesa.com The Al Aqsa Mosque continues to be in the spotlight of the world because of the invasion by Israeli forces to the Muslim place of worship.
The invasion was condemned by the world because the Al Aqsa Mosque is a historic holy site for Muslims in the world. Moreover, there are many worshipers who worship there.
The Al Aqsa Mosque itself is located in the Haram Al Sharif or Temple Mount complex in the Old City of Jerusalem. This holy complex is one of the oldest in the world after the Grand Mosque.
History of Al Aqsa Mosque
Launching the Middle East Eye website, the al-Qibli Mosque (Qibla Mosque) or what would later be called the Al Aqsa Mosque was originally built by the second caliph of Islam, Umar bin Khattab, after the Muslim conquest of the Levant.
Historically, the Al Aqsa complex underwent a series of renovations and expansions throughout history, including by the Ummayad, Abbasid and later Ottoman dynasties.
The name of the area Al Aqsa has a double meaning in Arabic. The first is “farthest”, referring to its distance from Mecca, and also “highest”, referring to its status among Muslims.
It is considered holy to all three Abrahamic religions and one of the holiest sites in Islam along with the Kaaba in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina.
Al Aqsa Mosque is also one of the most important places for the journey of Islam. This is because the Prophet Muhammad made the Isra Mi’raj journey from the Grand Mosque to Al Aqsa Mosque in one night on 27 Rajab of the eleventh year.
Sacred Complex for the Jewish Religion
Not only the Al Aqsa Mosque, in this holy site complex there is also the Dome of the Rock. But this building is not a mosque.
The Dome of the Rock is the oldest work of Islamic architecture in the world. The original structure was built in the 7th century AD on the orders of Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, the fifth caliph of the Ummayad dynasty.
“The Dome of the Rock continues to define Jerusalem aesthetically,” Mustafa Abu Sway, a professor at Al-Quds University and member of the Islamic Waqf Council was quoted as saying by Middle East Eye.
Jews refer to the site as Temple Mount, where two ancient Jewish temples are believed to have once stood.
The first temple is believed to have been built by King Salomon and destroyed by the Babylonians, while the second temple was destroyed by the Romans.
On the southwest side of the mosque’s ancient walls is the Western Wall, which Jews believe is the only surviving remnant of the second temple after it was destroyed by the Romans.
Al Aqsa, Palestine and Israel
In 1948, Israel declared itself a state and captured 85 percent of Jerusalem, the eastern part, including the Old City.
After the 1967 Middle East war, referred to by Palestinians as the Naksa or “setback”, Israel annexed East Jerusalem and the area around the Al Aqsa mosque.
Jordan and Israel reached an agreement that Amman would continue to maintain the inside of the site, while Israel would control the outside.
Since then, Israeli settlers have steadily grown in their attacks on the mosque, often flanked by heavily armed Israeli troops.
After the 1967 occupation, Israel tightened its control over the Palestinian population, with Al Aqsa emerging as a symbol of Palestinian resistance.
To this day, Al Aqsa Mosque continues to be protected by Palestinians as a national duty, while Israel’s increased presence there is seen as an attempt to claim state and religious ownership of the site, while erasing Palestine’s own history and culture at the same time.