For Muslims, The Nobel Sanctuary, which houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, is the home of the third holiest site. Moreover, it is believed this is where the Prophet Muhammad made the miraculous Night Journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and completed the Ascent into Heaven. The original Al-Aqsa Mosque was built as a small prayer building in 705 CE.
Over the centuries, the building was expanded and destroyed. The first expansion was by Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik and his son. Sadly, the mosque was utterly destroyed by earthquakes in 746 CE and 1033 CE; luckily, it was rebuilt repeatedly. Then, the ruling empires continued to expand the mosque, and now we have a beautiful silver-domed mosque that is beloved by all.
Tensions and Power Struggles Over the Al-Aqsa Mosque
Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO, the area is significant to all three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Due to this, the area has been highly contested for centuries and still suffers from power struggles. Israel currently holds control over Jerusalem; however, in 1967, Jordan and Israel agreed that the Jordanian and Palestinian Islamic Waqf would have internal control of the compound while Israel would control external security.
Besides, Jewish law states that Jews cannot enter the compound to pray, which both helps and hinders friendly relations at times. Over the past couple of decades, tensions have run at an all-time high, with numerous protests leading to Israelis and Palestinians’ deaths. For many, the Al-Aqsa Mosque symbolizes the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
If you are curious about visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque, you can take a private tour with me to the Nobel Sanctuary, known to many Israelis as the Temple Mount. When planning your itinerary, make sure to plan. Non-Muslim visitors can only enter the Temple Mount Sunday through Thursday at specific times.
In addition, during Muslim holidays, the Temple Mount will close. Strict rules and guidelines are enforced when visiting this site, so please be aware of them before heading out. Contact me for more in-depth information about planning a trip to Al-Aqsa Mosque. Lastly, I would love to take you on a journey that encapsulates many people’s historical and religious significance worldwide.