AL-aqsa Mosque

Al-Aqsa Mosque

Masjid Al-Qibli, also referred to as Al-Aqsa Mosque, was initially built by Umar bin Khattab, the second caliph in 639 AD and was improved, destroyed by earthquakes. and rebuilt several times. The crusaders named it Solomon’s Temple and used it as a palace, a stable for horses, and the headquarter for Knights Templar. The Mosque was restored and renovated after the reconquest of Jerusalem by Salahdin.

King Abdullah I of Transjordan was killed while entering the site in 1951. In 1969, an Australian evangelical started a fire, hoping to burn down the mosque and thus hasten the second coming of Christ; Salahdin’s Minbar was burnt in this fire. In the1980s, the Jewish terrorist organization Gush Emunim plotted to blow up al-Aqsa and the Dome of the rock, hoping for a Jewish spiritual revival and construction of the Third temple in its place. In 1990, 22 Palestinians were killed and over 100 injured by Israel during protests. In 2014, 300 Israeli soldiers entered the mosque for the first time since 1967. In March 2019, 200 Israelis along with the army stormed al-Aqsa and closed the compound for several days.

The Minbar

The minbar (pulpit) of the mosque was commissioned by Sultan Nur ud-Din, who hoped to capture Jerusalem but failed to do so in his lifetime. It was installed after Salahdin captured the city in 1187. In 1969, an Australian evangelical christian inspired by a US based evangelical church started a fire hoping to destroy the mosque which would hasten the construction of the Third Temple leading to the second coming of Jesus. The fire destroyed the minbar. A replica of this minbar was built over a period of 14 years and installed in 2007.