History Of Al Aqsa Mosque – Learn Islam

The al Aqsa Mosque, Al-Jami’al-Aqsa (‘ljamil’aqSW) was built through Abd ul-Malik Ibn Marwan in the year 695 CE. It was originally an modest house of prayer built by the Rashidun caliph Umar and later renovated and expanded by The Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik and was completed with the help of his grandson al Walid, in the year 705 CE. 

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The mosque is described in the Quran as follows ” Thank you to God who told His servant take a night walk to leave his home at the Sacred Mosque to the mosque at a distance which is blessed to us with precincts to show the signs we have given him. He certainly is God who’s listening and is seeking”.


  • A Short History
  • Rashidun Era
  • Umayyad Era
  • Abbasid Era
  • Fatimid Era
  • Ottoman Era
  • British Period
  • Jordanian Period
  • Israeli Period
  • Exterior
  • Facade
  • Dome
  • Interior
  • Porch
  • Main Prayer Hall
  • Musallah and Mihrab Zakariyya
  • Minarets
  • Masjid Omar Ibn al-Khattab
  • al-Aqsa Al Qadeem (Huldah Gate Tunnels)
  • 1969 Arsaon Attack
  • Gallery
  • Also
  • References
  • Websites that are preferred

View the subject Home page. Middle East > Israel/Palestine > Jerusalem > Temple Mount > al-Aqsa Mosque


The Masjid al-Aqsa is considered to be the third most holy spot in Islam in the Islamic world, following Mecca and as in Medina. al-Aqsa Mosque is also referred to as al-Qibli Mosque due to some of the smaller buildings inside it, which is known as”the al-Qibli Chapel (also known as the al-Jami The Al-Aqsaal-Qibli and also known as Masjid al-Jumahal-Mughata). 

The small studs to the left side of the building are remnants which make up those of the the corinthian columns. The mosque is topped with the lead-sheeted dome. The dome of the mosque can be seen in a tiny portion. The mosque was renovated, rebuilt and expanded out in the latter times through Ayyubids, Mamluks, Ottomans and Jordan and Jordan, the Supreme Muslim Council, and Jordan.

The church’s direction isn’t clear, and the location of the church is believed to be from the 13th century. The central axis of the principal al-Aqsa mosque has changed several times throughout the years.

Rashidun EraThe first mosque built in the region was a simple structure built of trusses made from wood. The mosque was built in the year 636/637 C.E., following the victory over Jerusalem in the hands of Muslim forces.

Umayyad Era
In the Umayyad period , the first structure was constructed on the site of the old Church of Umar. Ibn Marwan is the one to begin the construction of the mosque, which was built on the spot where was the Masjid Umar stood; constructed approximately 70 years earlier than. First Umayyad mosque built on the spot was constructed during the time that of Ibn Marwan‘s son al-Walid.

Abbasid Era
It is believed that the Mosque al-Aqsa was renovated extensively during the reign under the reign of Abbasid caliph Abu Jaafar al-Mansour for the first time. After that, the central hall was extensively renovated during the reign of Caliph Al-Ma’moun and then Al-Mahdi during their rule.

Fatimid Era
Another one was completed in the Fatimid period, which began during the 11th century.

Ottoman Era
The Ottomans also devoted effort and care for the Al-Qibly Mosque and, in particular, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent who performed a major overhaul of the structure. Sultan Mahmud II, Sultan Abdul Aziz and Sultan Abdul Hamid II who provided with carpets and rugs for the Mosque with carpets and also furnished it with modern-day lanterns.

British Period
Within the British Mandate Period Islamic Higher Council started a few restoration projects in the period 1922-1924 CE. The first restoration of 1920 was finished in the year 1922 during when it was the Supreme Muslim Council under Amin al-Husayni (the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem) was given the task by the Turkish architect Ahmet Kemalettin Bey to finish the reconstruction of al-Aqsa Mosque and the monuments in its vicinity. 

It was also named British architectural firm, Egyptian engineering experts and local officials to aid in the process of improvements and repairs which were carried out in 1924 and 1925 by Kemalettin.

Jordanian Period
Over the Jordanian period, many of restoration projects were finished, most particularly in the years 1952, 1959 , as in 1964 CE.

Israeli Time
In 1969, massive restoration efforts had to be undertaken due to the destruction that caused by arson attack. The intensive conservation plan began with the dome which was damaged, as well as the paintings. The aluminum cover was replaced by lead to be identical to the original. The 14th century’s decorative paintings inside the interior of the cathedral thought to be irreparably lost, were discovered and completely restored by using the trateggio method, which uses thin vertical lines to divide the regions from the original.

The mosque’s exterior includes 14 stone arches The majority of them are built in an Romanesque style. The arches on the outside , which were built through the Mamluks are inspired by the same design. The entry point into the mosque is through one of the archways in central. 

The mosque’s exterior was built in 1065 CE following the guidelines issued from the Fatimid caliph al-Mustansir Bharah. The facade was decorated with balustrades that were made of arcades and small columns. The Crusaders damaged the facade, however, it was restored and rebuilt in the control of the Ayyubids.

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circa 700 CE

The Dome of Masjid al-Aqsa is located in the southern part of the nave and is located in the middle of the main prayer space. The current dome was created in the style of Az-Zahir and is constructed of wooden panels , which are coated with lead and the ename. In 1969, the dome was rebuilt using concrete and then coated with anodized aluminum in lieu of the original lead enamel the sheeting was ribbed.

circa 700 CE

The mosque is located on the south wall of Haram al-Sharif, with lead-sheeted Dome of Masjid al-Aqsa at the top and an al-Fakhariyya Minaret to left is as well clearly visible. The ruins that are visible in the background are those of the 7th the seventh century Umayyad Palace. The right (western) part is an archway that Robinson can be seen within Herodion Street.


circa 700 CE

The porch of al-Aqsa is located on its top façade. The central bays were built in 1217 by the Knights Templar during the First Crusade, but Saladin‘s nephew al-Mu’azzam IIsa ordered to construct this porch by 1217. The main entrance to Hall of Prayer is situated at the third left. Seven entrances lead to the principal hall for prayer via this porch.

circa 700 CE

Main Prayer Hall
The inside of the prayer room , with minbar and moreab on the background, facing towards the Qiblah wall (southern wall). There is a belief that al-Aqsa Mosque has seven aisles of hypostyle naves along with smaller halls to the east and west of the southern part in the construction. The mosque’s interior is secured by 45 columns. Contrary to Dome of Rock, Dome of Rock the style of the al-Aqsa or al-Qibli masjid is representative of the early Islamic Architecture.

The building’s dimensions are 80 meters long to the south as well as 55 meters in width to the west. The columns constructed from stone are both historical and antiquated , as are marble ones. the stone columns were incorporated within the mosque during the mosque was renovated at the at the beginning of the 20th century. The columns have been joined with huge arches that connect to the mosque’s ceiling.

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circa 700 CE

Musallah and Mihrab Zakariyya
The belief is that Musallah and Mihrab Zakariyya is a tiny private area of prayer, which is located at the eastern side of the hall to be used for prayers. The niche is named in memory of prophet Zechariah as well as being believed to have been the place where Mary was buried, and also frequented by Zechariah according to Islamic tradition (Qur’an 3:37) but it’s really just an urban legend.


circa 1278-1400 CE

Haram as-Sharif Complex Haram as-Sharif Complex comprises four minarets located on the western wall and one is located in the northern part of the eastern wall. Minarets were added over the middle of the century by various Ameers and Sultans. They are used to recite Adhan (call for prayers) daily, five times.

It is the Al-Fakhariyya Minaret, constructed around 1278 CE and is the oldest of four al-Aqsa minarets. It is located in the south-western part of the city. The second minaret that was added to the Masjid al-Aqsa complex was al-Gravamina Minaret which was built in 1297 CE.

 It is located on the northern-western part of the mosque. Another minaret was added to the mosque’s structure. named in honor of the founder Bab as-Silsilah, it was built in the middle of the Western Wall, over the Chain gate. The al-Asbat minaret was one of the last addition on top of Masjid al-Aqsa, constructed in 1367. It is located close to the northern-eastern border.

Masjid Omar Ibn alKhattab

circa 700 CE

First Masjid from Omar bin al-Khattab was a small prayer house constructed during the reign of Umar who was his caliph’s second of the Rashidun Caliphate following the fall of the Muslim victory over Jerusalem. Jerusalem was established at the start of the 7th century CE (around 636 CE). It’s an oval structure with two entrances, one of which is located within al-Qibly Mosque, the other that faces the courtyards of the east of al-Aqsa. The mosque of today is used as a medical emergency facility.

The Masjid’s exterior Omer is situated in the southern-eastern region of the al-Aqsa although believed to be in the area which is ruled by the second caliph but it might not be precisely where it is.

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al-Aqsa al-Qadeem (Huldah Gate Tunnels)

circa 1278-1400 CE

Nowadays, they are called as al-Aqsa Al Qadeem. The tunnels initially utilized as tunnels for gaining access to the upper platform of the Haram as-Sharif. Tunnels are a long structure which extends between the north and south. 18 steps drop down to the lower section of the Haram as-Sharif. 

The two-corridor structure includes a ceiling that is vaulted into barrels, and is connected to a gate with two ports in that wall in the southern part of the building. It is known under the name ” Bab an-Nabi” literally that means”the gate of the prophet. In the past , the tunnels could have been used as a gate for private access to the adjacent Umayyad Palace.

The area was initially an access tunnel underground that connected east to west Hulda Gates within the southern wall and further up to Temple Mount Platform. Temple Mount Platform. Each archway was a way that led to an aisle, or path that took you to the gate which was then opened into the Mount and then on to the steps leading to the Mount’s top.

when it was time to build the al-Aqsa Mosque was built, the steps were blocked were removed and the eastern aisle was extended to the point where the steps that were added at the northern edge would be able to leave (pictured here) to the north of the Mosque.

1969 Arsaon Attack

circa 1969 CE

On the 21st day of August 1969 an incident of fire in a home was started by a visitor who was from Australia known as Denis Michael Rohan. Rohan was a part of an evangelical Christian sect known as The Worldwide Church of God. He believed that by burning the down al-Aqsa Mosque he would hasten the Second coming of Jesus in order to facilitate the restoration of the Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount. Rohan eventually was admitted to a hospital for mental illness.

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