The Landmarks in Al-Aqsa Mosque
There are no words that describe how beautiful the landmarks in Al-Aqsa Mosque are. Yet, we can say that they are a “miracle” of Allah and “beauty icons”. In Al-Aqsa Mosque, there are a lot of landmarks that force us to contemplate their moral and physical beauty.
The landmarks in Al-Aqsa Mosque
Wells and other water resources, gates, hallways, Bawa’ik, solitude places, corners, and domes. In Al-Aqsa mosque, there are also sundials, pulpits, prayer halls, schools, niches, terraces, and other landmarks.
In Al-Aqsa mosque, there are 20 wells, and they are sufficient to provide water for all the Old Town’s residents. These wells are beautiful, and some of them have the advantage of being big with high capacity. Some of the wells are: A-Waraqa Well, the Well of Sha’lan Prayer Hall, Al-Jannah Well, Al-Buhairah Well, in addition to Al-Aswad Well, Al-Khalili Well, and Al-Rummanah Well.
Other Water Resources:
Al-Mansourah Ablution Place, King Issa’s Tank, and Al-Narinj Pool
Al-Aqsa Mosque has 17 gates, some of them are open and the others are closed. Some were closed to protect the city from any possible attack, and others because they had been Rickety. Every gate has a special thing of its own.
The closed gates are 7, and some of them are: Al-Mufrad, Al-Muzdawaj, Al-Thulathi, and Al-Rahmah and AlTawbh gates.
The open gates are 10, and some of them are: Al-Silsilah, Al-Hadeed, Al-Asbat, Hittah, and Al-Magharibah gates.
A hallway is a long corridor with huge pillars connected by historic stone arches. The hallways in Al-Aqsa mosque are 3, and they are: the Eastern Hallway, the Western Hallway/ Al-Luwaween, and the Northern hallway.
In Al-Aqsa Mosque, there are 17 water springs; most of them are used for ablution. These springs are spread throughout Al-Aqsa’s yards, and they are beautiful. Some of these springs are: Al-Mutawada’ spring, Hasan Al-Dani Spring, the Spring of Bab Hitta, Qaitbay Spring, and Al-Sha’lan Spring.
Bawa’ik (Pl.) and Ba’ikah (S.)
A Ba’ikah consists of a set of marble pillars around the Dome of the Rock’s nave. It helps regulating the entrance and exit to and from Al-Aqsa Mosque, and they have an aesthetic apect as well.
In Al-Aqsa mosque, there are 8 Bawa’ik, and they are: the Eastern, Western, North-central, Northeastern, and Northwestern Bawa’ik, in addition to the South-central, Southeastern, and Southwestern Bawa’ik.
A solitude place is sort of a place that consists of sort of rooms. People used it to worship and go into seclusion. Some of the solitudes places are: Al-Mu’athineen, Arslan Basha, Ahmed Basha Ridwan/ Al-Sharqi Solitude places, in addition to Mustafa Agha, Mohammed Bey, and Islam Bey Solitude Places.
Corners were built as places for worshipping. Some of the corners in Al-Aqsa Mosque are:
- Al-Fakhriyyah Corner: southwest of the Dome of the Rock and Fakh Al-Din Mohammed had it built in the Mamluk era
- Al-Wafa’iyyah Corner: northwest of the Dome of the Rock. It was built by the Mamelukes, it was named Dar Al-Budairi, after the scholar Budair bin Habeesh
- Al-Bustamiyyah and Al-Samadiyyah Corner: north of Dome of the Rock. It was named after the Bustamiyyah Dervishes, who worshipped Allah in it
- Al-Khader Corner: northwest of the Dome of the Rock. It was built by the Umayyads, and was built after its location near Al-Khader Dome
- Al-Rifa’iyyah Corner: northwest of the Dome of the Rock. Ahmed bin Ali Al-Rifa’i had it built in the Ottoman era and it was named after him
- Al-Ghazaliyyah Corner
The squares in Al-Aqsa Mosque have beautiful domes spread in the Rock’s nave and around it. Some of these domes are: Yusuf, Musa, Suleiman, Annabi, Almi’raj, and Al-Silsilah domes.
In Al-Aqsa Mosque, there are 4 historic minarets, and they are:
- Bab Al-Ghawnmah Minaret: northwest of the Dome of the Rock. It has also been called Al-Sarayah Minaret and Qalawoun Minaret.
- Bab Al-Asbat Minaret: northeast of the Dome of the Rock. It has also been called AlSalahiyah Minaret
- Bab Al-Magharibah Minaret: southwest of the Dome of the Rock. It was built by the Mamelukes and has also been called Al-Fakhriyyah Minaret
- Bab Al-Silsilah Minaret: west of the Dome of the Rock, above the Western Hallway. It has also been called Al-Mahkamah Minaret
In Al-Aqsa Mosque, there are 2 sundials and they are used for the timing of the 5 prayers.
- The Second Sundial to time the Dhur Prayer: it is south of the Dome of the Rock; on the Southern Ba’ikah. It was built by the engineer Rushdi Al-Imam in 1927
- The First Sundial to time the A’sr Prayer: it is on the southwestern corner of Dome of the Rock itself. It was built by Mohammed Taher Abu Su’ood in 1809.
In Al-Aqsa Mosque, there are 2 pulpits; one inside its prayer halls and the other is outside, in its squares.
– Noor Al-Din Zink Pulpit: it’s inside Al-Qibli Mosque, south of the Dome of the Rock. It was named after Noor Al-Din Zinki
– Burhan Al-Din Pulpit: It’s south of the Dome of the Rock right next to the Southern Ba’ikah. It was built by Burhan Al-Din and has been called “Al-Saif Pulpit”
Al-Aqsa Mosque has 10 prayer halls; some of them are: the Dome of the Rock’s prayer hall, Al-Qibli Mosque, the Old Aqsa Prayer Hall, Al-Marwani Prayer Hall, and Al-Magharibah Prayer Hall that is also called the Islamic Museum.
In Al-Aqsa Mosque, there are 19 schools; some of them are still schools, most were turned into residences for the poor Jerusalemite families, and some are not used. Some of these schools are: Al-Khatouniyyah, Al-Khatniyyah, Al-Muhdathiyyah, Al-Tankaziyyah schools, in addition to Al-Othmaniyyah and Al-Farisiyyah schools.
- The Dome of the Rock
- Al-Aqsa Liberary
- Al-Buraq Wall (the Western Wall)
- The Grave of Al-Sharif Hussein bin Ali
- The Grave of Mohammed Ali Jawhar
Niches (Mahareeb (Pl.) and Mihrab (S.)):
Niches are the places that show people the direction of the Qibla. The niches take several shapes and colors; some of them are beautiful and the others are basic and simple. Some of them are: the niche of Al-Teen Terrace, Jirkis Niche, Salah Al-Din Niche, the niche of Al-Marwani Prayer Hall, Zakariyyah Niche, and Dawood Niche.
In Al-Aqsa Mosque, there are a lot of terraces. They are up to 41 terraces spread throughout the mosque. A terrace is a stone layer that is slightly above the ground. It’s used for several purposes; for classes, gatherings, seclusion, the remembrance of Allah, and other activities. Some of the terraces are:
- The terrace of the stairs next to Al-Marwani gates
- The terrace of Al-Buraq Prayer Hall
- The Eastern Zaytoon Terrace
- Al-Zuhoor Terrace
- Sabra and Shatila Terrace
- Al-Jana’iz Terrace
- Bab Al-Asbat Terrace
- Al-Karak Terrace