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Traditions on al-Masjid al-Aqsa

The reliable traditions were in the beginning concerned with the merit of al-Masjid al-Haram (Ka’bah) and Masjid al-Rasul (Mosque of the Messenger of Allah), but after building the Rock Dome (Qubbat al-Sakhrah) several traditions began to be reported on the excellence of al-Masjid al-Aqsa.

Abu Hurayrah reported (that the Prophet said): “No pilgrimage should be made but only to three mosques: My mosque, and al-Masjid al-Haram and al-Masjid al-Aqsa.” In another narration, he (S) said: Travel should be made only to three mosques: the Ka’bah, my mosque and Mosque of Ilya (al-Aqsa).
Malik reported in al-Muwatta’, and Muslim in his book (Sahih) reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said: One prayer (salat) in my mosque is verily better than a thousand prayers in other mosques other than al-Masjid al-Haram. In another narration: ... is like a thousand prayers in any other mosque except al-Masjid al-Haram.

Abu Umar reported that the Prophet said: A prayer in my mosque is better than a thousand prayers in any other mosque except al-Masjid al-Haram.

Ibn Abbas reported: A woman made a complaint saying: If Allah recovers me I commit myself to perform prayers in Bayt al-Maqdis. On regaining her health she got ready to go out, when Maymunah, the Prophet’s wife, came to greet her, the time in which she told her about her vow. Maymunah said to her: Sit down and eat what I prepared for you, and pray in the Mosque of the Messenger of Allah, as I heard him saying: One prayer performed in it (Masjid al-Rasul) is preferred to a thousand prayers in any other mosque except the Ka’bah Mosque. Had these traditions were truly reported on the excellence of al-Masjid al-Aqsa, Maymunah would have never prevented that woman from carrying out her vow.

Adapted from: "Lights on the Muhammadan Sunnah" by: "Mahmud Ali Riyyah"

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