[quote="Sister_Amy, post:3, topic:231253"]
Muhammad was miraculously taken there about 10 years into his prophethood:
Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. 17:1
Masjid al-Aqsa is the "mosque" in Jerusalem. But "mosque" implies a different meaning than we find in the Qur'an. The word masjid, which is usually translated as "mosque" comes from the root س ج د which refers to prostrating. The word is an اسم ظرف or noun of location, and it literally means the place where one prostrates.
It does not mean a building. In fact, according to an authentic hadith, the entire earth is a masjid. "I have been granted five things which were not granted to any other prophet before me: (one of them)** The whole earth has been made a Masjid**, and pure for me, so whenever the time of prayer comes for anyone of you, he should pray wherever he is."
There's also a hadith, which is authentic, indicating that prayers in certain mosques are better/more rewarded than others. First among them is the Masjid al-Haram, in Makkah. Second is the Masjid an-Nabawi, in Madinah. And third is praying at Bayt al-Maqdis--Jerusalem.
Eventually the Muslims did take Jersualem and build a mosque there, but it was holy before that because it was a place of worship to the one true God before that.
So when the Qur'an mentions Masjid Al-Aqsa it's not actually referring to a "mosque" or a building at all. It was referring in the general sense to a "place of prostration." Why was it called that? Because the previous "Muslims" used to "prostrate" there, which in particular refers to the Children of Israel.
That is very interesting.
** The whole earth has been made a Masjid**
It sounds like the Catholic Christian doctrine of all things being created "Good" by God. "The heavens proclaim the glory of God" so to speak.
Because the previous "Muslims" used to "prostrate" there, which in particular refers to the Children of Israel.
Can you clarify your statement about the "Children of Israel" and the Previous Muslims" or provide further information?