The Aqsa Mosque
Prophet Adam was the first to build the Ka^bah. During his time, the Aqsa Mosque was built in Palestine. Praying at al-Aqsa Mosque in Palestine has great virtues in Islam.
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said in the hadith related by al-Bukhariyy what means: “There is no extra merit in packing luggage except to three masajid (mosques): al-Masjid-ul-Haram, al-Masjid-ul-‘Aqsa, and my Masjid (Masjid-ur-Rasul).
The meaning of the Hadith which the Salaf and Khalaf understood is: There is no extra merit in traveling to pray in a masjid except traveling to those three masajid, because the reward of Salah in them is multiplied up to 100,000 times in al-Masjid-ul-Haram, to 1000 times in Masjid-ur-Rasul, and to 500 times in al-Masjid-ul-‘Aqsa. What is meant by the Hadith is: The traveling to perform Salah. This is shown by what Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal related in his “Musnad” from the route of Shahr Ibn Hawshab, from the marfu^ Hadith of Abu Sa^id: Animals should not be ridden to a masjid in which Salah is sought, except to al-Masjid-ul-Haram, al-Masjid-ul-Aqsa, and my Masjid (al-Masjid-un-Nabawiyy).
Prophet Muhammad describes Aqsa Mosque
after the Miracles of Al-Isra’ and Mi^raj took place with the Prophet, he returned to the city of Makkah. Some scholars said the Prophet’s journey took about one-third of the night, i.e., his journey from Makkah to Jerusalem, then to the heavens and what is above them, and then back to Makkah, the next day the Prophet told the people what happened to him the previous night. The blasphemers belied the Prophet and mocked him, saying, “We need a month to get there and back, and you are claiming to have done all this in one night?” They said to Abu Bakr, “Look at what your companion is saying. He says he went to Jerusalem and came back in one night.” Abu Bakr told them, “If he said that, then he is truthful. I believe him concerning the news of the heavens–that an angel descends to him from the heavens. How could I not believe he went to Jerusalem and came back in a short period of time–when these are on earth?” At that, the Companion, Abu Bakr, was called “as-Siddiq”–because of how strongly he believed all what the Prophet said.
The blasphemous people questioned the Prophet: “If you are truthful, then describe to us Masjid al-Aqsa and its surroundings.” They asked this because they knew Prophet Muhammad had never been there before the previous night.
Allah enabled the Messenger to see Masjid al-Aqsa, and he described the masjid and its surroundings in exact detail. Moreover, the Prophet said, “On my way back, I saw some of your shepherds grazing their animals in a particular location. They were searching for a camel they had lost.” The Prophet continued by giving the description of the camel. When these shepherds came back, they told their people what happened to them–precisely as the Prophet had already told them.
These blasphemers admitted the Prophet’s description was exact. Despite that, they were still stubborn and rejected the faith. They did not accept Islam. Only those whom Allah willed to be guided, will be guided. The person whom Allah did not will to be guided, will not believe–regardless of how much explanation or how many proofs he is shown. The person whom Allah willed to be guided, surely he will be a believer.