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There is a religious reason behind the importance of the Al Aqsa Mosque among Muslims. Al Aqsa served as the first Qibla before Masjid Al Haram and it is one of the three of the holiest sites in Islam. Qibla refers to the direction towards which Muslims turn to prayer and currently Masjid Al Haram or Kaaba(Mecca) is the main Qibla of Islam.
Another reason why Al Aqsa holds so much importance to Muslims is that the last Islamic Prophet “Mohammad(Peace Be Upon Him)” where he prayed and led earlier Islamic prophets. It is the same place from where Prophet Mohammad went for the journey of Meraj on Islamic date of 27th Rajab in the year 621 AD.
Who Built Al Aqsa Mosque
The Mosque was first built around 20 BCE by one of the earlier Islamic Prophet “Ibrahim Alaihissalam” and later rebuilt by Prophet Sulaiman(King Solomon) the son of Prophet Dawud. The current structure that you are seeing dates back to the earlier region of the Umayyad Caliphate during his visit to Al Aqsa between 679 to 682.
Al Aqsa mosque And Dome Of The Rock Are Different
Many people have confusion between the actual Masjid Al Aqsa and the Dome of The Rock. The Golden Done we usually see in pictures, especially on social media and in several news articles is known as the Dome of the Rock meanwhile the original Masjid Al Aqsa or Majid Al Qiblaten contains a lead-colored dome.
Importance of Al Aqsa To Other Abrahamic Religions
The Holy site of Al Aqsa is not only important for Muslims but also has religious significance to earlier Abrahamic religions i.e Jews and Christians. The reason why it is important for Jews community is because of the Wailing Wall, which is believed to be one of the remains that belong to the temple built by King Solomon.
As per Christians, Al Aqsa is equally important because it contains a Church of the Holy Sepulcher which holds religious significance to the Christians all over the globe. The Christians believed that Jesus Christ or Isa Alaihissalam(Islam) was crucified here and his tomb is located just inside the church.
Recent Events And Attack On Al Aqsa Mosque By Israelis
Over the last 75 years, the attacks on Al Aqsa have been increasing after Isreal illegally occupied the territory of Palestinians during World War II in 1948. The land was illegally occupied by Israel after being accepted as refugees by Palestinians between the late 19th century and early 20th century.
In the year 1947, the United Nation passed a law to divide Palestine into two countries, out of which 55% of the land was granted to Jews and 455 was granted to Palestinians. Although Jerusalem belongs to the International community, the Israeli troops have now captured 78% of Palestinian land including West Jerusalem. By doing so Israel violates the principles of International Law.