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The Status and Significance of Bayt al-Maqdis in Islam

In this commentary, the status and significance of Bayt al-Maqdis in Islam is discussed from a religious perspective. The importance of Bayt al-Maqdis is emphasized in the Qur’an and in the traditions (hadith) of Prophet Muhammad. The paper explains the significance of Bayt al-Maqdis by addressing the close bonds, unalienable rights, and firm ties that link Muslims to Bayt al-Maqdis and the land of Palestine. The author claims that there are four significant bonds through which Muslims link to Bayt al-Maqdis, namely bonds of creed, bonds of worship, bonds of civilization and culture, and historical bonds.

The Status and Significance of Bayt al-Maqdis in Islam
Sheikh Ikrima Sa’eed Sabri, the President of the Islamic in al-Quds, entering the al-Aqsa Mosque despite Israeli ban, January 2020. MOSTAFA ALKHAROUF / AA Photo
 

Received Date: 12/23/2019  •  Accepted Date: 12/02/2020

 

Introduction

 

When the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque is mentioned, it also denotes the city of al-Quds or Bayt al-Maqdis, in particular, and Palestine, in general. Any references to any of these three rubrics necessarily include the other two rubrics, as there is a concomitance of faith, worship, and history among them. There is absolutely no room for separating these names. In the Qur’an, Allah (SWT) says: “Limitless in His glory is He who transported His servant by night from al-Haram Mosque [the Inviolable House of Worship at Makkah] to the Remote House of Worship [al-Aqsa Mosque at Bayt al-Maqdis] –the environs of which We had blessed– so that We might show him some of Our symbols: for, verily, He alone is all-hearing, all-seeing.”1 Surah al-Isra is the only one, in the Qur’an, that begins with the glorification, Subhan, so as to indicate that Allah (SWT), intends to alert us that an extraordinary matter had taken place, that is the miracle of the Night Journey to Bayt al-Maqdis (al-Isra) and the subsequent Ascension to Heaven (al-Mi‘raj).

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