Middle – East Tour – PALESTINE
Front View of Masjid-e-Aqsa
The name ‘Al-Aqsa mosque’ translates to ‘the farthest mosque’ and is the 3rd most holy place for muslims. It was here that in around 621 AD the prophet Muhammed (saw) came on the night journey from Mecca riding on the Buraq. Note that the whole land on which the mosque is located is regarded as sacred to muslims and known as Haram Sharief.
The Mihrab of Masjid-e-Aqsa
This marble structure is the mihrab of the present al-aqsa mosque. The mimbar on the right was given by the Jordanian government after the original (which was given by Salahuddin Ayyubi) was destroyed in a fire started by a fanatical jew in 1967.
The Original Qiblah, Masjid-e-Aqsa
The floor underneath the present mosque is regarded to be the real al- aqsa mosque. This area underground is believed to be the original qibla to where muslims initially prayed. It is in the opposite direction of the present qibla in Mecca.
Underneath the present Mosque, Al-Aqsa
The stone pillars on the right are believed to have been erected by jinn’at in the time of Hazrat Sulaiman (a.s.). The small mihrab is believed to be the place where Mariam (a.s.) used to receive out of season fruits when she was pregnant with Hazrat Isa (a.s.).
This praying area, which is underground and on the left side of the present al-aqsa mosque was the Marwan-e-masjid and has recently been restored. When the Crusaders had control of the mosque they used to use this area as stables for their horses and it became known as Solomon’s stables.
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
The Dome of the Rock (Qubbatus Saqqara) is often mistaken to be the Al-Aqsa mosque. This structure was built by Caliph Abd al-Malik from 688 to 691 and houses the sacred rock from which the prophet Muhammed (saw) ascended to heaven after the night journey to Jerusalem.
Interior of Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
This is the actual rock in the foreground and a cave exists underneath it. It is the opinion of some scholars that the angel Israfeel (a.s.) will blow the soor (trumpet) from this place to herald the Day of Judgement.
This small structure, on the right of the al-aqsa mosque is believed to be the place where the prophet Muhammed (s.a.w.) tied the buraq, the winged riding animal upon which he rode during the night of ascension. The western wall which is on the right is what the jews call the Wailing Wall.
Crusader Cross (on Haram Sharief)
This is the remains of the cross on which the Crusaders, upon conquering Jerusalem, slaughtered thousands of the resident muslims on. It was broken up when Salahuddin Ayyubi re-conquered the city.
Masjid-e-Kalil in Hebron is built over a small cemetery where lies the graves of four of the most illustrious prophets and their wives. The four prophets are Hazrat Ebrahim (a.s.), his son Isaaq (a.s.), his son Yaqub (a.s.) and his son Yusuf (a.s.). A view down to the cemetery can be seen from the small circular structure above.
Tomb of Hazrat Ebrahim (AS)
This is the tomb of Hazrat Ebrahim (a.s.) which is built directly above his actual grave which is below ground. On the far side are the windows from the jewish synagogue which is built right next to the mosque. This place is a source of great friction between muslims and jews.
Tomb of Hazrat Isaaq (AS), Hebron
These are the tombs of Hazrat Isaaq (a.s.) (right) and his wife Rifaqah (left) and are directly over their graves which are below ground. These tombs are on the muslim side along with Sarah (a.s.), one of the wives of Ebrahim (a.s.). The tombs of Hazrat Yaqub and Yusuf (a.s.) are on the jewish side. Jews and muslims are allowed to enter the others area for 10 days in a year.
Mosque of Hazrat Yunus (AS)
The grave of Hazrat Yunus (a.s.) is housed inside this mosque, not far from Jerusalem. Occasionally, Jews come to visit also.
Grave of Abdullah bin Masood (RA)
This small structure (close to the mosque of Yunus a.s.) contains the grave of Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood (r.a.); one of the most eminent companions of Rasulullah (s.a.w.). The olive tree on the left is believed to be more than 1400 years old.
Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem
It is believed by the Christians that Hazrat Isa (a.s.) was born in this place. A marble floor (inset) denotes the exact spot.
Tomb of Hazrat Lut (AS)
This building on the right houses a tomb which is believed to be of Hazrat Lut (a.s.) and is situated near the Dead Sea.