Itikaaf in Aqsa


Itikaaf in Al Masjid Al Aqsa is unlike most masaajid. The Al Aqsa compound occupies roughly 1/5th of the area of the Old City of Al Quds (Jerusalem). You are free to roam the entire compound as it constitutes part of the masjid.

 

Whilst visiting Al Masjid Al Aqsa one must bear in mind that the very ground you are walking on is blessed. You must be conscious of your surroundings at all times and must try to afford Al Masjid Al Aqsa and its people the respect it deserves.

 

Your journey will begin a few days prior to Itikaaf at the Hashimi Hotel. This hotel is located in the heart of the Old City of Al Quds (Jerusalem) and is within easy walking distance of the Haram. The days prior to Itikaaf will be spent acclimatising yourself to your surroundings and the people and learning your way around the Haram. Tours will be undertaken to various places of significance in and around Al Aqsa as well as the West Bank.

 

Within the borders of Al Quds one will find many important sites in the history of Islam. One of these is the Masjid Umar Ibn Al Khattab. During the liberation of Al Quds in time of the Khilafat of Ameerul Mu’mineen Umar ibn Al Khattab (r.a) the peace treaty was signed in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (opposite Masjid Umar Ibn Al Khattab). According to some narrations the time of Asr was approaching and Umar (r.a) was offered to perform his salaah inside the church. He refused to perform his salaah there and instead threw a handful of pebbles outside the church. Where these pebbles landed was where he performed his salaah.¬†Masjid Umar ibn Al Khattab (r.a) was built on that spot. His reasoning was that he did not want muslims who came later to lay claim to a place of worship of the Christians of the time simply because he has read salaah in it.

 

Masjid Ibrahim in Khalil (Hebron) is generally regarded as the area in which Hazrath Ibrahim (a.s) lived. In the cave that is situated below this masjid there are a few graves said to be Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s) and some members of his family , Allah alone knows best.

 

Bethlehem is widely regarded as the birth place of Isa (a.s), Allah alone knows best.