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Old 05-18-2005, 09:45 AM
WeRSauron WeRSauron is offline
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Questions about Masjid al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock

If I remember correctly, Masjid al-Aqsa is separate from the Dome of the Rock (according to Wikipedia, called Qubbat as-Sakhrah). Because of this, I have some questions:

1. According to Muslim beliefs, when Muhammad ascended to heaven, did he ascend from Masjid al-Aqsa or from the Dome of the Rock? (I understand that some believe the journey was purely spiritual, but there are a good number of Muslims who insist it was physical, as in Muhammad physically ascended to Heaven from some point in Jerusalem, which point I would like to know.)

2. Which is more sacred/holy: Masjid al-Aqsa or the Dome of the Rock? In other words, which one of the two buildings is actually the Third Holiest Place of Islam (after al-Haraam ash-Sharif in Mekkah and Masid al-Nabi in Madinah).

3. Why do people speak of "al-Aqsa" when they mean "the Dome of the Rock"? The same extends to pictures: I have never seen a picture of Masjid al-Aqsa being displayed, it is always the Dome of the Rock, but the talk is always about al-Aqsa instead of specifically the Dome of the Rock.

4. Is the Dome of the Rock a mosque? If not, what is its purpose?

5. What building did Ariel Sharon enter: Masjid al-Aqsa or the Dome of the Rock?

Thanks!

WRS
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  #2  
Old 05-18-2005, 11:03 AM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is online now
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Muhammed supposedly ascended into heaven from the area that's now the Dome of the Rock. As far as I know, it's not used as a mosque or anything like that (even though it does get called "the Mosque of Umar"). It's just a mashaad, a shrine protecting the rock that Muhammed ascended to heaven from.

The Dome probably gets confused with the Al-Asqa Mosque a lot because they're right next to each other. Ariel Sharon didn't visit either, I don't think. He visited an archeological site on the Mount.
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Old 05-18-2005, 11:15 AM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeRSauron
If I remember correctly, Masjid al-Aqsa is separate from the Dome of the Rock (according to Wikipedia, called Qubbat as-Sakhrah).
Also Masjid al-Qubba or Masjid as-Sakhra. The Dome of the Rock was a mosque started by the Umayyad Caliph Marwan I in 685 and completed by his successor Abd al-Malik in 691. It was built supposedly to house the place ( stone ) from which Muhammad ascended ( physically ) to heaven.

Quote:
1. According to Muslim beliefs, when Muhammad ascended to heaven, did he ascend from Masjid al-Aqsa or from the Dome of the Rock? (I understand that some believe the journey was purely spiritual, but there are a good number of Muslims who insist it was physical, as in Muhammad physically ascended to Heaven from some point in Jerusalem, which point I would like to know.)
In essense, both. They are right next to each other and in the same compound, but the Dome of the Rock houses the actualy physical site.

Quote:
2. Which is more sacred/holy: Masjid al-Aqsa or the Dome of the Rock? In other words, which one of the two buildings is actually the Third Holiest Place of Islam (after al-Haraam ash-Sharif in Mekkah and Masid al-Nabi in Madinah).
Masjid al-Aqsa which supposedly represents a pre-Muslim Muslim site of worship ( if that makes sense ) that is mentioned in the Qur'an. It was the "farthest mosque." However the term generally refers to the whole compound ( referred to as the Haram al-Sharif - identical to the Temple Mount ), including both mosques.

[17:1] .Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, Whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He Is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things).

Quote:
3. Why do people speak of "al-Aqsa" when they mean "the Dome of the Rock"? The same extends to pictures: I have never seen a picture of Masjid al-Aqsa being displayed, it is always the Dome of the Rock, but the talk is always about al-Aqsa instead of specifically the Dome of the Rock.
Dunno. Masjid al-Aqsa:

http://moonsighting.com/images/aqsa/aqsa0.jpg

Masjid al-Qubba:

http://moonsighting.com/images/aqsa/dome_of_rock.jpg

Picture showing the compound and their proximity:

http://www.noblesanctuary.com/

Quote:
4. Is the Dome of the Rock a mosque? If not, what is its purpose?
To my understanding the words mosque and masjid are essentially interchangeable ( though I welcome correction on that ), but in this case seems to mean shrine more than mosque, with the neighboring Masjid al-Aqsa filling the mosque role.

Quote:
5. What building did Ariel Sharon enter: Masjid al-Aqsa or the Dome of the Rock?
Apparently neither - he entered the compound, the Haram al-Sharif ( Temple Mount ).

- Tamerlane
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Old 05-18-2005, 11:38 AM
WeRSauron WeRSauron is offline
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So the al-Aqsa Brigade (or whatever they call themselves) is so named after Haram ash-Sharif and not specifically Masjid al-Aqsa, yes?

(Thanks, by the way, Tamerlane, for your usually thorough and enlightening and captivating response. )

WRS
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Old 05-18-2005, 11:48 AM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeRSauron
So the al-Aqsa Brigade (or whatever they call themselves) is so named after Haram ash-Sharif and not specifically Masjid al-Aqsa, yes?
Eh. The whole area seems to be frequently referred to generically as al-Aqsa, hence the al-Aqsa intifida and al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade. The Masjid al-Aqsa is the actual mosque on the site, but the whole compound is holy. Semi-speculatively I'd say Haram al-Sharif refers to the physical compound structure, the Masjid al-Aqsa to the actual physical mosque, the Dome of the Rock to the shrine of the physical point of ascension, and al-Aqsa in the Qur'anic sense as the "farthest point of prostration" to the whole site inclusively.

- Tamerlane
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