The land of Quds (Jerusalem) plays an integral part in the history of Islam and is coupled with the Muslims’ belief.
As a reminder we should recall reports so as to the link our Muslim Ummah to the city of Quds. The Muslims originally turned themselves towards Quds to pray until Allah appointed Mecca as our Qibla. It was Quds that was the destination of Al Isra and Miraj.
سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
Glory to Allah Who did take His servant for a night journey from the Sacred Mosque ( Masjid al Haram) to the Farthest Mosque (Masjid al Aqsa), whose precincts we did bless.” (17:1)
It was reported that in Quds the Prophet (SAAW) led the prayers amidst all the previous Prophets and that the Prophet (SAAW) ascended to heaven from al Maqdis. It is even reported that the gate of heaven, which is called Mas’ad al Mala’ikah faces Bayit al Maqdis. There are many narrations about Quds and its closeness to the hearts of the Muslims.
The Prophet (SAAW) is reported to have said the following:
لاَ تُشَدُّ الرِّحَالُ إِلاَّ إِلَى ثَلاَثَةِ مَسَاجِدَ مَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَمَسْجِدِي هَذَا وَالْمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصَى
“Journey should not be made(to visit any masjid) except towards three masjids: The sacred masjid(of Makkah), this masjid of mine and Al Aqsa masjid(in Jerusalem).” Sunan Abi Dawud
Imam Ali (RA) is reported to have said:
“The most blessed of abodes is Quds, and he who lives therein is like the one who strives in the way of Allah. The time will surely come when it will be said. O that I were a piece of straw in one of the bricks of Quds.”
It was in 16 A.H. when the Muslim army, headed by Amr bin al ‘As subdued the Christians of Quds. The Christians completely lost heart and sued for peace. Triumphantly, Khalifah Umar bin al Khattab (RA) concluded a treaty with the Christians who asked that the Jews to be expelled from Quds. Then onwards began the glorious Islamic rule over al Quds.
The only event which unified the Medieval Christian nations was the “Crusade War.” It took place in approximately 480 A.H. It was Salah Deen who answered the call of Allah to expel the dominance of Kufars ( Frank) from Jerusalem. Salah Deen called upon the Muslims for Jihad; He is reported to have said ” When by Allah’s help not a Frank is left on this coast , I mean to divide my territories, and to charge (my successors) with my last commands. Then having taken leave of them, I will sail on this sea to its island in pursuit of them, until there remains not one unbeliever in Allah on this Earth or I will die in the attempt.”
Salah Deen choose the night of Isra wa Miraj, Friday 27 Rajab 583 AH to take possession of Quds and to conclude a crushing defeat upon the Christians. These are just some of the momentous events for the Muslim Ummah with regard to al Quds. We must keep them in our hearts as treasurers of the Islamic history. We must use them as reminders of the previous strength of our nation when we were unified under Islam.