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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

THE POSITION OF AL-AQSA MASJID IN ISLAM

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds Who says: وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ يَا قَوْمِ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ جَعَلَ فِيكُمْ أَنْبِيَاءَ وَجَعَلَكُمْ مُلُوكًا وَآتَاكُمْ مَا لَمْ يُؤْتِ أَحَدًا مِنَ الْعَالَمِينَ (20) يَا قَوْمِ ادْخُلُوا الْأَرْضَ الْمُقَدَّسَةَ الَّتِي كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلَا تَرْتَدُّوا عَلَى أَدْبَارِكُمْ فَتَنْقَلِبُوا خَاسِرِينَ (21)" O And [mention, O Muhammad], when Moses said to his people, "O my people, remember the favor of Allah upon you when He appointed among you prophets and made you possessors and gave you that which He had not given anyone among the worlds. O my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you and do not turn back [from fighting in Allah 's cause] and [thus] become losers." (5: 20- 21) We praise and thank Allah, the exalted. We seek help and guidance from Him, we believe in Him and trust Him. And we seek refuge in Him from the evil of our souls and deeds. He that Allah guides is the guided, and the one He misleads will have no one to be his guide. I testify there is no god except Allah, and that our master- Muhammad is His servant and messenger. O Allah send peace and blessing on Muhammmad (SAW), his household, companions and those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment. O servants of Allaah! I admonish you and myself to fear Allaah the exalted both in secret and public since it is (the means to) success, victory and salvation. Allaah says: " يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ (102 O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him]. (3:102) ” Brothers in faith, today’s sermon is on the POSITION OF AL-AQSA MASJID IN ISLAM owing to the close affinity of Al-Aqsa to the Miraculous Night Journey discussed last week. The following evidences set the tone for the status of today’s discussion: Allah says: "سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ (1) {الإسراء :17\1} . Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Q17:1). The Prophet said: “Do not set out to journey except for three masjids: the holy masjid (in makkah), this masjid of mine, and the Al-Aqsa masjid” (Bukhari/Muslim). The Prophet also said “Solat in the holy masjid (in makkah) has preference over other with a hundred thousand, and in my masjid with a thousand, and in the Al-Aqsa masjid with five hundred solats” (Ahmad) Abu Dhar Al-Ghifaariy said: “I said to the messenger of Allah: O messenger of Allah, which was the first masjid on earth? He said: “The holy masjid (in makkah), I said: then which? He said: “Al-Aqsa masjid” I said: “What (time) was between them? He said: “forty years” (Bukhari/Muslim) The Prophet said: “A group among my ummah will never cease to be manifest on the truth, victorious over their enemy. Whoever go against them will never harm them, until there comes the decree of Allah, remaining like that. They said: “Where are they?” He said: “At the sacred precinct (in Jerusalem)” (Ahmad) The sacred precinct in Quds- Jerusalem has a non-detachable position in the Islamic belief, unanimously agreed upon by all Muslims, regardless of their affiliations and that account for the collaboration in its defense and honouring of its holy sites. The following are some of the status Al-Quds occupies in Islam: Al-Quds as the first qiblah (direction in solat) Al-Quds- Jerusalem remained the first direction in prayer the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions Muslims faced from the beginning of making solat a religious obligation during the prophet’s night journey in the tenth year after being commissioned as a prophet. The situation remained till the sixteenth month after hijrah when a revelation to change towards the kaa’bah was revealed thus: " وَمِنْ حَيْثُ خَرَجْتَ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنْتُمْ فَوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ..." {الْبقرة :2\150} “And from wherever you go out [for prayer], turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] may be, turn your faces toward it” (2:150) In Madinah an historic landmark took place whereby Muslims faced both Quds- Jerusalem and Makkah in one prayer. This event enraged the Jews who questioned the change. However, the Qur’an responded to their claim that all directions belong to Allah and that their submission that all the prayers Muslims had facing Quds is fruitless: " سَيَقُولُ السُّفَهَاءُ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَا وَلَّاهُمْ عَنْ قِبْلَتِهِمُ الَّتِي كَانُوا عَلَيْهَا قُلْ لِلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ (142) وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الْقِبْلَةَ الَّتِي كُنْتَ عَلَيْهَا إِلَّا لِنَعْلَمَ مَنْ يَتَّبِعُ الرَّسُولَ مِمَّنْ يَنْقَلِبُ عَلَى عَقِبَيْهِ وَإِنْ كَانَتْ لَكَبِيرَةً إِلَّا عَلَى الَّذِينَ هَدَى اللَّهُ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَانَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ (143) " {البقرة :2\ 142-143} . The foolish among the people will say, "What has turned them away from their qiblah, which they used to face?" Say, "To Allah belongs the east and the west. He guides whom He wills to a straight path." And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you. And We did not make the qiblah which you used to face except that We might make evident who would follow the Messenger from who would turn back on his heels. And indeed, it is difficult except for those whom Allah has guided. And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith. Indeed Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful. (2: 142- 143) Quds as the land of Al-israi and Mi’raaj The making of Quds the end of the terrestrial part of the miraculous journey of the Prophet (pbuh) and the take-off point for the celestial part of the glorious journey was not a mere coincidence. Rather it was a divine plan and wisdom to gather all the prophets and messengers in a place where the seal of the Prophets was made an Imam- a leader, to demonstrate a new world order of change of leadership from the children of Israel to a new nation, a new messenger, … Allah says: " وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ (107)" {الأبياء :21\107} , " تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلَى عَبْدِهِ لِيَكُونَ لِلْعَالَمِينَ نَذِيرًا (1)" {الفرقان :25\1} . “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” (21: 107) “Blessed is He who sent down the Criterion upon His Servant that he may be to the worlds a warner” (25:1) Quds as the third of the sacred precincts: The first is Makkah, the second is Madinah and Quds- Jerusalem is the third honoured with the Al-Aqsa masjid. The Prophet said: “Do not set out to journey except to three masjids: the holy masjid (in makkah), this masjid of mine, and the Al-Aqsa masjid” (Bukhari/Muslim). It is not permissible for a Muslim to set out determined to travel to any masjid for solat there except these three mentioned. The prayer in Al-Aqsa is equivalent to five hundred in other masjids other than masjid-Al-haram and the prophet masjid. (hadith) Al-Quds as the land of Prophethood and blessings: Al-Quds is part of Palestine being its beginning. The Qur’an describes this land as land of blessings in five places thus: 1- (الَّذِي بارَكْناَ حَوْلَهُ) “whose surroundings We have blessed…” (17:1) 2- ("وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَلُوطًا إِلَى الْأَرْضِ الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا لِلْعَالَمِينَ (71)" {الأنبياء : 71}) (And We delivered him and Lot to the land which We had blessed for the worlds.) (21:71) 3- (" وَأَوْرَثْنَا الْقَوْمَ الَّذِينَ كَانُوا يُسْتَضْعَفُونَ مَشَارِقَ الْأَرْضِ وَمَغَارِبَهَا الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ الْحُسْنَى عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا ..." {الأعْرَافُ : 137}) “And We caused the people who had been oppressed to inherit the eastern regions of the land and the western ones, which We had blessed. And the good word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel because of what they had patiently endured.” (7:137) 4- ("وَلِسُلَيْمَانَ الرِّيحَ عَاصِفَةً تَجْرِي بِأَمْرِهِ إِلَى الْأَرْضِ الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا وَكُنَّا بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَالِمِينَ (81) {الأنْبياء :21\81}) “And to Solomon [We subjected] the wind, blowing forcefully, proceeding by his command toward the land which We had blessed. And We are ever, of all things, Knowing.” (21:81) 5- (" وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُمْ وَبَيْنَ الْقُرَى الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا قُرًى ظَاهِرَةً وَقَدَّرْنَا فِيهَا السَّيْرَ سِيرُوا فِيهَا لَيَالِيَ وَأَيَّامًا آمِنِينَ (18) {سبأ : 34\18}) “And We placed between them and the cities which We had blessed [many] visible cities. And We determined between them the [distances of] journey, [saying], "Travel between them by night or day in safety." (34: 18) Al-Quds as the land of bond and Jihad: Virtues of Al-aqsa mentioned are of the good news which portent that Islam will conquer and acquire the land, it shall also be the convergence point for Muslims for devotion and prayer. As stated in history, Umar bn Khattab conquered the land. Patriarch Sophronius gave a condition that he will not release the keys of the city to no one except the khalifa. (Patriarch is a title for heads of the Eastern Orthodox Churches in Istanbul and Alexandria and Moscow and Jerusalem) Umar entered the city on an exciting historical journey, he received the keys and made a historical agreement with the Christian inhabitants known in history as the Umar treaty. The treaty guaranteed for them (the christians) their worship, belief, religious symbols, lives and wealth. Great persons among the companions that witnessed the event of this treaty included: Khaalid bn Al-waleed, Abdur-Rahman bn ‘Awf, ‘Amr bn Al-‘Aas and Mu’awiyah bn Abi Sufyaan. (At-tabari) Allah made the prophet (pbuh) know that this holy land will be occupied by the enemies, with threats of invasion and occupation therefore he charged the Muslim Ummah to station continuous watch, struggle, jihad and defense at this precinct, even if it is still in the hands of enemies. He enjoins them as well to liberate the land whenever they are capable, as was reported in some narrations of a coming battle between Muslims and Jews including assurance of victory for Muslims in the end. The Prophet said: “A group among my ummah will never cease to be manifest on the truth, victorious over their enemy. Whoever confronts them will never be able to harm them, except what they will suffer of injury until there comes the decree of Allah, while they will remain like that. They said: “Where are they?” He said: “At the al-Maqdis (sacred precinct- Jerusalem) and the environs of Jerusalem” (Tabraani/ Abdullah bn Ahmad) SECOND KHUTBAH All praises are due to Allah who says: " قَالَتْ إِنَّ الْمُلُوكَ إِذَا دَخَلُوا قَرْيَةً أَفْسَدُوهَا وَجَعَلُوا أَعِزَّةَ أَهْلِهَا أَذِلَّةً وَكَذَلِكَ يَفْعَلُونَ (34) {النّمل :27\34} She said, "Indeed kings - when they enter a city, they ruin it and render the honored of its people humbled. And thus do they do. (27: 34) The verse above informs that when mighty powers, kings and monarchs enter a country by force, they ruin and damage homes and wealth, humiliate the noblest of its people through killing or captivity, they subdue with coercion in order to gain dominance … The world powers- America, Britain, France, Israel etc, have entered Nigeria, they are known for their destructive tendencies, because they have no good record in any country they visited or invaded. The fifteenth of May (15th May) annually is recognized as the International Family Day. The family in Islam is not restricted to the couple and their children alone rather it encompasses a wide range of relatives including- grandparents, brothers, uncles, aunts, etc join by birth, or marriage, or fostering, … Allah says: "فآت ذا القربي حقه والمسكين وابن السبيل ذلك خير للذين يريدون وجه الله وأولئك هم المفلحون" (الروم 30/38) So give the relative his right, as well as the needy and the traveler. That is best for those who desire the countenance of Allah, and it is they who will be the successful. (30:38) Oh Allah send peace; flowing with continuous tranquility and security upon Nigeria and all other Muslim nations.

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In a Few words, I am a Muslim, a preacher, a traveler, a data base admin (Dip.) SYSTEM MANAGER (TEC). & (UWNT).

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