Noble Sanctuary Online Guide
Glimpses of History
The Dome of the Rock
The Al-Aqsa Mosque
Other Structures in the Noble Sanctuary
Islam and the Noble Sanctuary
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Glimpses of History
The beauty and tranquility of the Noble
Sanctuary in Jerusalem attracts thousands of visitors of all
faiths every year. Many believe it was the site of the Temple
of Solomon, peace be upon him, destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in
586 BC, or the site of the Second Temple, completely destroyed
by the Romans in 70AD.
For Muslims the area has a special significance, as the site
of the Prophet Muhammad's Night Journey, peace and blessings
be upon him, and as the first qibla (direction of prayer) for
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,
In the ninth year of the Prophet's mission,
about 620 AD, Muhammad rose in the middle of the night to visit
the Sacred Mosque in Makkah. After a time of worship he fell
asleep near the Ka'aba. The angel Gabriel came to him and woke
him from his slumber. He led the Prophet, peace and blessings
be upon him, to the edge of the sacred Makkan mosque. Awaiting
them was al-Buraq, a white winged beast "whose each stride
stretched as far as the eye could see." Muhammad mounted
al-Buraq and sped northwards with Gabriel to Al-Aqsa Mosque in
Jerusalem, the Furthest Mosque.
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When they reached Jerusalem the Prophet dismounted and prayed
near the Rock. Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other prophets, peace
be upon them all, gathered together to pray behind him. Muhammad
was presented a vessel of wine and a vessel of milk. The Prophet
chose the milk and Gabriel said, 'You have chosen the true religion'.
The Prophet then embarked on the ascension (Miraj)
in which he, peace and blessings be upon him, received the command
to pray five times a day and the revelation encapsulating the
beliefs of Islam:
"The Messenger believes in what was sent down to him from
his Lord. And the believers; each one believes in Allah and His
angels and in His books and His messengers. We make no division
between any one of His messengers. And they say: We hear and
we obey. Oh Lord, grant us Thy forgiveness; unto Thee we return."
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