Noble Sanctuary Online Guide

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Muslim Jerusalem

The Dome of the Rock

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Islam and the Noble Sanctuary


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Islam and the Noble Sanctuary

Glory be to He
Who carried His servant by night,
from the Holy Mosque
to the Furthest Mosque,
the precincts of which
We have blessed.
so that We might show him
some of Our signs.
Surely He is the All-Hearing,
the All-Seeing.
------------------Sura al-Isra'
------------------Qur'an 17:1

The word islam means surrender. It is derived from the Arabic word aslama which is from the same root as salam, the word for peace. In the religious context, Islam means complete surrender to the will of God. In this sense Islam is the true religion of all mankind, whose message has been renewed from the time of the Prophet Adam, peace be upon him, through an illustrious line of prophets sent by God to inform humanity of the paths that lead to Him, and thus to inward and outward peace. The core teaching of each of these prophets was the same. Their maxim, that there is no deity, no object worthy of worship, except God alone, was articulated in the final form of Islam revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, as la ilaha illa lllah, there is no god but God.

By its widest definition, the one who accepted the pure teachings of these prophets in their time and in their original form was a Muslim, one who surrendered himself to the will of God. Thus in Islam, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Elias, Jonah, John, and Jesus, are accepted, amongst many others, peace be upon them all, as legitimate prophets of God and as Muslims. In this context the entire area of the Noble Sanctuary, Al- Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem, has been dedicated for use as a masjid (lit. a place of prostration) for Muslim worship, not only since it was cleared of debris and refuse by 'Umar ibn al-Khattab and the Companions of the Prophet nearly 1400 years ago, but since the dawn of mankind.

Perhaps in recognition of this tremendous prophetic heritage, the first qibla, or direction of prayer, revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was towards Jerusalem. Significantly, it was Al-Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem that was the destination of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, on the famous Night Journey referred to in the Qur'an and hadith. It was here that Muhammad led the prophets in prayer and it was from here that he ascended through the heavens visiting the prophets again on his way to the sidrat al-muntaha, the Lote Tree of the Furthest Limit, and his encounter with his Lord.

excerpt from The Noble Sanctuary: Al-Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem


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