SET OUT ON A JOURNEY FOR THREE HOLY MOSQUES
Three Holy Mosques
Muslims around the world have many holy and historical places to stopover once in their lives. The places mentioned in the Quran have great importance and place in the hearts of Muslims. Islam has many holy places for believers to visit once. The main and most sacred of these places are three main holy mosques:
Great Mosque of Mecca.
The Mosque of Al-Aqsa.
These three are the most sacred and holy places of Islam and they all have a special importance and place in religion. There are several verses from the Koran and Islamic traditions that describe the meaning of the three places.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“Do not prepare yourself for a journey except to three Mosques i.e. The Great Mosque of Mecca, the Mosque of Aqsa and My Mosque.”(Bukhari 20:2)
GREAT MOSQUE OF MECCA:
The Great Mosque of Mecca is known as “Masjid Al-Haram” meaning “The Holy Mosque”, it is a great mosque in the city of Mecca in Islam. Millions of Muslims visit the house of Allah (SWT) each year to perform minor and major pilgrimages (Umrah and Hajj). Umrah is not a mandatory pilgrimage and Muslims can perform it at any time of the year. While Hajj is a mandatory pilgrimage that takes place at an appropriate time of year for Muslims who are in good physical and financial form. According to the teachings of Islam, this site was first established by the prophet Ibrahim to worship Allah (SWT). In the Koran there are several verses about the cube of meaning of the Holy Kaaba in Arabic, one of the verses is as follows:
”Remember We made the House a place of gathering for men and a place of safety; and take ye the station of Abraham as a place of prayer; and We covenanted with Abraham and Ismail, that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer).”(Surah Al-Baqara, 125)
The messenger of the Mosque of Allah, the prophet Muhammad (SAW) is in Medina, in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Al-Masjid an-Nabawi is the second holiest site in Islam. The building was originally the house of Muhammad (SAW) where it was established after his migration from Makkah to Medina. In Medina, the prophet Muhammad (SAW) received several revelations of Allah (SWT) through the Archangel Gabriel. Medina is the second place that the pilgrims visit next to Mecca and the mosque is known as the Mosque of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) because there is the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
MOSQUE OF AL-AQSA:
The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the noble sanctuary also known as the Temple Mount, located in the Old City of Jerusalem. Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site of Islam and is the only mosque mentioned in the Holy Quran along with the Holy Kaaba. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is designated as the first Qibla of Islam, which means that the first of the two Qiblas was Jerusalem. This mosque is also known as the farthest mosque and is not only the sacred place for Muslims, but also for Christians and Jews. The term Al-Aqsa was coined in the Holy Quran: