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Masjid Al Aqsa has significant importance in Islam as it was the first Qiblah of Muslims. Still, many Muslims do not about a few facts about Al Aqsa mosque.
Masjid al Aqsa is not 1 mosque
A fact that many people do not know is that Masjid Al Aqsa is not only 1 mosque, but there are several mosques on the site which we now know as Al Aqsa mosque.
The mosque which we today refer to as Masjid Al Aqsa is the Qibla Mosque, which is supposed to be closest to the Qibla. The entire mount is known as Masjid Al Aqsa and is also sometimes referred to as Haram Al-Sharif.
The Buraq Masjid and Marwani Masjid are both also located on the premises of the Masjid Al Aqsa.
There might not be any record of any burials of the Prophets of Sahabas to be buried in the Masjid, however, there are several graves present there.
One of the graves is thought to belong to Prophet Sulaiman عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ since he died overseeing the construction of the Mosque.
It was a garbage dumping site
People also do not know the fact that Masjid Al Aqsa was used as a garbage dumping ground during the period when none of the Jews could live in the city and the majority of the population was Roman.
When Hazrat Umar رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ liberated the city, he cleaned the trash with his own hands. As for the Jews, their exile was also ended and around 70 families from a village nearby were invited inside the city for the first time in centuries. This is something which the Jews have seemingly forgotten today.
Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali book
One of the famous books of Islamic Literature by Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali, Ihyaa Ulum Al-Din was also written inside the Al Aqsa Mosque.
The great Islamic Scholar Ghazali had been revered by several schools of thought for his unique ability to dwell into the depths of the soul while being in line with teachings of the Quran and of the Prophets.
Al-Ghazali also resided inside the Al Aqsa mosque where a building also marks the site for his room.
70,000 Muslims were slaughtered here
We have also forgotten the fact that the first Crusaders slaughtered 70,000 Muslims in the courtyard of the Al Aqsa mosque.
Masjid al Aqsa was converted into a palace, while the Dome of the Rock served as a Chapel and the chambers under the mosque served as a stable.
Muslims who survived the initial massacre were later crucified on a large cross which was later broken down by Salahuddin Ayyubi.
Dome of the Rock
The Dome of the Rock is most probably the first dome ever built in Islamic History. However, the dome started out as a wooden dome which then changed to brass, lead, and then finally a ceramic cover, however during the reign of Suleiman the Ottoman Caliph, the gold layer was added to the dome.
Masjid al Aqsa was burnt down
Many Muslims do not know the fact that in 1967 when Israel illegally occupied Palestine the Mosque came under their unlawful control a large portion of the mosque was burnt by them.