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Muslims` Duty Towards Baitil-Maqdis

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
In light of the recent conspiracies and aggressions against Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, what is the duty of the Muslims towards it?

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa has an important position in the Islamic thought: "Israa" is an Arabic word referring to Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) miraculous night journey from Makka to Jerusalem – specifically, to the site of al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem – as referred to in Surah Al-Israa in the Quran. Allah, The Almighty, said, "Glory to (God) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless,"{Al-Israa`, 1}. Imam al-Biqa`ie interpreted this verse as follows: "Allah`s description of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa requires Muslims to glorify it, so He said, "We did bless". This blessing is reflected in its water, its trees, being a gathering place for the Prophets (PBUT), a settling place for the angels, a place for worship, a place of fruits and provisions. "Whose precincts" i.e. since its precincts are blessed, so it(Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa) is more blessed."{Nathem Adurar Fi Tanasob Al-Ayat Wa Su`war, 11/290}.

Islam has favored Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa with a great position: Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) reported it directly from Allah's Apostle (PBUH) that he said: "Do not undertake a journey to visit any Mosque, but three: this Mosque of mine, the Mosque of al-Haram and the Mosque of Aqsa (Bait al-Maqdis)."{Related by Bukhari & Muslim}. Moreover, It was narrated that Maimunah the freed (female) slave of the Prophet (PBUH) said: I said: “O Messenger of Allah, tell us about Baitil-Maqdis.” He said: “It is the land of the Resurrection and the Gathering. Go and pray there, for one prayer there is like one thousand prayers elsewhere.” I said: “What if I cannot travel and go there?” He said: “Then send a gift of oil to light its lamps, for whoever does that is like one who goes there.”{Ibn Majah}. This great Prophetic reference made Muslims care for Jerusalem(Al-Qudus) and Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa starting from the caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab to the liberation by Saladin Al-Ayoubi. Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa contains ruins that reflect the care of the Umayyads, Abbasids, Ayoubies and Ottomans.

Nowadays, Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa is persecuted and its sanctity is violated by the Israeli occupation forces: it`s been burnt, closed in the face of the worshippers and stormed by Jewish settlers. This is in addition to digging tunnels under it, persecuting the Palestinian inhabitants of Jerusalem and the ongoing Zionist plans to build the so called Temple Mount.

First and foremost, Muslims must set right the relationship between them and Allah, The Almighty, since He has promised His believing salves to establish them in the land and to grant them in the land, (inheritance of power), as he granted it to those before them. He, The Exalted, said," God has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion – the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace: ’They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me. ’If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked."{An-Noor, 55}. He, The Almighty, also said, " (They are) those who, if We establish them in the land, establish regular prayer and give regular charity, enjoin the right and forbid wrong: with God rests the end (and decision) of (all) affairs."{Al-Hajj, 41}. The best example of this is Al-Ghazali`s Ehya' 'Ulum-ad-deen (Revival of Religious Sciences) which produced great Muslim figures; namely Noor Al-Din Zanki and Saladin al-Ayoubi.

Setting right the relationship between the Muslim Ummah and Allah requires the revival of the educational propagational movement, enhancing the role of educational and academic meetings, concentrating on school and university curricula, guiding households to perform their role efficiently, developing means of communication with the younger generations in light of the scientific and technological revolution as well as enhancing economic, military and technological powers of the Arab and Muslim states.

At present, Muslims can perform their duty towards Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa through the following:

First: Teaching future generations of Muslims the virtues of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, the heroic acts of the Muslim Ummah on its land and the various forms of persecution it is being subjected to by the Israeli occupation.

Second: Reminding all Muslims worldwide of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa and the injustices inflicted upon it through conferences, symposiums, satellite channels, radios and social media.

Third: Acquainting the whole world with Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, the troubles facing it and the violations it is being subjected to by the Israeli occupation.

Fourth: Raising funds for Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian inhabitants of Al-Qudus in order to support their steadfastness.

Fifth: Taking part in the establishment of scientific, educational and charitable projects in favor of the Palestinian inhabitants of Al-Qudus.

Sixth: Asking Allah to break up the chains of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa and support the steadfastness of the Palestinian inhabitants of Al-Qudus.
Seventh: Supporting the efforts of His Majesty King Abdullah the second in preserving and defending Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa.
Eighth: Uniting all Muslims worldwide in fulfillment of Allah`s injunction: "And hold fast, all together, by the rope which God (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude God’s favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; "{Al-Imran, 103}.

We ask Allah(Subhanahu wa ta`ala) to make Muslims return to their true faith, raise high the banner of Islam and give victory to our brothers and sisters in the holy land. And Allah knows best.

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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