l-Masjid Al-Aqsa is often confused with Masjid Al-Qubba (As-Sakhra) but they are two totally different Masjids. Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa is the one that Allah (SWT) refers to in the first verses of Surat Al-Israa (Sura 17):
1. Glory to ((Allah)) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things).
2. We gave Moses the Book, and made it a Guide to the Children of Israel, (commanding): “Take not other than Me as Disposer of (your) affairs.”
3. O ye that are sprung from those whom We carried (in the Ark) with Noah! Verily he was a devotee most grateful.
Web Source: Islamic City
Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa is the second Masjid ever to be built for the sole worship of Allah (SWT). Throughout the ages it suffered many transformations and destruction. When Omar Ibn Al- Khattab (RA) entered Bayt Al-Maqdis in 15 AH (636 AD) he ordered that the area, where he believed the Masjid location has been, to be cleared to start the building of the initial structure of the Masjid. The actual building started in 18 AH (639 AD) and the Masjid was made out of timber. Abd Al-Malik Ibn Marwan (RahA) began the construction of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa in its new shape and structure but it was his son Al-Walid (RahA) who completed it in 90 AH (708 AD). The present structure has remained essentially intact since it was last reconstructed in 424 AH (1033 AD) by Al-Khalifa Ath-Thaahir who did not alter it from its previous architecture; he only narrowed it on each of its east and west sides.
Following are two overviews of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa as it has been since the time of Al-Khalifa Ath-Thaahir (RahA), click on each picture to see more aspects of this Great Masjid in greater detail.
A general southwest view of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa
A view of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa through one of the arches of Masjid Al-Qubba (As-Sakhra). Click on the picture to enjoy an aerial view of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa along with Masjid Al-Qubba (As-Sakhra)!
The above picture shows Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa from within. Click on it to see a classical black and white picture of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa from without.
Special thanks to Br. Fadi for providing all the new pictures of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa. May Allah (SWT) reward him and his family and bestow upon them His blessings.
Author: Taoufik Nadji