Important Sites: The Dome of the Rock

Jerusalem, a sacred city to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, houses Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock. Both Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock, known in Arabic as Masjid Qubbat as-Sakhrah, are built on the Temple Mount in the Old City in Jerusalem.

The entire area is referred to as Al-Haram Al-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary, and is sacred to Muslims because the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven from that area during the Night Journey. The Dome of the Rock is probably more widely recognized than Al-Aqsa because of its architecture. The focus of this post, the fourth in a series on important sites, is the Dome of the Rock. Continue reading

Important Sites: Al-Aqsa Mosque

Jerusalem, a sacred city in all the Abrahamic faiths, houses the third holiest site in Islam. Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Farthest Mosque, is believed by Muslims to be the second mosque on earth after the Kaba. This ancient structure and the surrounding area that now includes the Dome of the Rock is referred to by Muslims as Al-Haram Al-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary. The focus of this post, the third in a series on important sites of Islam, is Al-Aqsa Mosque. Continue reading

Important Figures: Abu Bakr

Abu Bakr in Arabic

One of the most well-known figures of Islam is Abu Bakr. Many Muslims up to the current day will name their children after this man, who was a very close companion of the Prophet Muhammad and after his death became the first caliph, according to Sunnis. Abu Bakr was also the father of Ayesha, one of the Prophet’s wives. My focus in this post, the first in a series on important figures in Islam, will be the life of this man who has influenced Islamic tradition immensely. Continue reading

Jerusalem: A Place of Connection

Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem

Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem

Jerusalem, al-Quds in Arabic, is one of the most contested places on earth. The city and its significance to the three Abrahamic faiths cannot be emphasized enough. Sometimes, however, in the midst of the political battles around the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, the importance of the sacred city within Islam is lost. Many people assume that only Mecca and Medina are sacred to Muslims, without realizing that they consider Jerusalem the third holiest of places. I decided to address this issue based on the news of Palestinian families being evicted in East Jerusalem. While the political element is extremely necessary to assessing the situation, I feel that there is always an assumption that Jerusalem is just a political symbol for Muslims, when in fact it is much more than that. Continue reading