The structure with a silver-gray dome in front of the Masjid al-Aqsa is known as Masjid al-Qibly because it is located closest to Qiblah, the direction of prayer. Front Masjid al-Aqsa is sent directly to the Kaaba in Mecca.
The event of a night trip to Jerusalem is mentioned in Sura al-Isra (also known as Sura Bani Israel) in the Qur’an: “Glory to Him who took His Slave on a night journey from the Sacred Mosque to the furthest Mosque.” The mosque whose precincts we have blessed. ” [Quran 17: 1]
When Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) entered the sanctuary of Al-Aqsa in 638 C E., He was shocked to find that it was covered with garbage, since the Romans used the area as a garbage can. The Caliph immediately knelt down and began clearing the site with his own hands. When the Muslims saw what he was doing, they followed his example, and soon the whole territory was cleared. Then they went further, closer to Dawud’s niche (peace be upon him), and offered two prayers of the rak’ah, in the first of which Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) recited Sura Saad ( Quran 38) and in the second of which he read Surat al-Israh (Quran 17) containing references to Isra and Miraj.
He then asked Kaab al-Akhbar (a former Jewish rabbi who converted to Islam): “Where can I build a mihrab (prayer niche)?”, “Behind a rock,” said the Kaab, “so that you offer it behind the two qiblahs” Musa Qibla and Qibla of Mohammed. Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said to the Kaab: “You speak like Jews. We will build a niche in front of the Rock. The whole site is part of a mosque. Therefore, our niche should be in the best part, which is in the front part. “
After that, Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) commissioned to build a wooden mosque (which could accommodate 3,000 believers) at the southern end of the complex, where the present Qibly mosque stands. He thereby restored the sanctuary to the purity of his past worship, which was abandoned by both Christianity and Judaism.
A few earthquakes over the centuries have severely damaged the mosque, which required complete reconstruction. The construction of the present building was carried out by the Umayyad caliphs Malik bin Marwan and his son Walid bin Abdul Malik. When the crusaders occupied Masjid al-Aqsa, they turned this building into their headquarters. He was repaired by Salahuddin Ayyubi after he conquered Jerusalem and returned to its former condition.
The great virtue of prayer in Masjid al-Aqsa:
Abu Darda (may Allah be pleased with him) says that the Prophet (SAW) said: “A prayer in Mecca worth 100,000 times, a prayer in my Masjid (Madina) worth 1,000 times, and a prayer in Al-Aqsa – it worth 500 times more than anywhere else. ” [Al-Tabarani, Al-Baihaqi and Al-Suyuti]
Video Inside Masjid Al Qibly – Al Masjid Al-Aqsa
Location In Map
Sources: Palestine: Beginner’s guide – Ismail Adam Patel, Forty Ahadith concerning Masjid al-Aqsa – Ismail Adam Patel, Al-Quds – Mohammed Abdul Hameed Al-Khateeb and Youtube.