Mention of the land of Palestine in the Ahadeeth are numerous. Some detail the merits of Masjid al Aqsa specifically, whilst others detail the Isra and Mir’raj, others speak of the significance of the Land of Shaam, and many mention the Holy Land with reference to events to take place at the end of time.
Below follows a selection of Ahadeeth on the merits and rulings related to Masjid al Aqsa and the wider land of Shaam.
For a wider listing, check Ismail Adam Patel’s Forty Ahadith Concerning Masjid al Aqsa.
Destination of the Isra:
Sayyidina Anas RA relates: The Messenger of Allah SAW said, “I was brought the Buraq. I took it up to Jerusalem. There, I fastened it to the ring to which Prophets fasten animals. Later, I entered the Masjid and performed prayers..Then I was taken to the heavens” (Sahih Muslim)
Sayyidina Bara ibn Azib RA relates: “I prayed with the Messenger of Allah SAW in the direction of Jerusalem for sixteen or seventeen months, then Allah SWT turned us towards the [new] Qiblah (i.e. the Ka’bah)”. (Bukhari)
Second House of Prayer on Earth:
Sayyidina Abu Dharr al Ghifari RA narrates: “I asked the Messenger of Allah SAW which Masjid was first established on earth. He said, ‘al Masjid al Haram [in Makkah].’ Then which, I asked. He said, ‘al Masjid al Aqsa[in Jerusalem]’. How long was there in between them, I asked. ‘Forty years,’ he replied. Then he said, ‘Wherever you find [yourself at the time of prayer, pray; for that is a masjid for you’” (Muslim)
The Third Holiest Masjid in Islam:
Sayyidina Abu Hurairah RA narrates: “The Messenger of Allah SAW said: ‘Do not deliberately set out on a journey[for the purpose of worship] but to three mosques: the Masjid al Haram[in Makkah], al Masjid al Aqsa[in Jerusalem], and my Masjid[in Madinah]’”(Bukhari)
Virtues of praying in Masjid al Aqsa:
Sayyidina Abdullah ibn Amr RA narrates that the Prophet SAW said: “Sulaymaan, son of Dawood [AS] prayed for three things from Allah, the Mighty and Glorious, when constructing Masjid al Aqsa: (i) the ability to decide cases in accordance to the Will of Allah, which was granted to him; (ii) a kingdom the like of which would be given to no one after him, which was also granted; and (iii), after finishing the construction of the masjid he prayed, ‘May anyone who comes to this mosque solely for the purpose of praying in it be delivered from all his sins as on the day his mother gave birth to him’” (Nasa’i)
Another version of this hadith includes this following: “The Prophet SAW said, “The[first] two prayers were granted, and I hope the third was granted as well’” (Ibn Majah)
Value of prayers performed at Masjid al Aqsa:
Sayyidina Abu Dharr al Ghifari RA narrates that the Prophet SAW said: “[The reward of] a prayer offered in my Mosque is four times that of a prayer in Jerusalem; and Jerusalem is an excellent place to pray”(Mustadrak Hakim)
Sayyidina Abu Darda RA related that the Prophet SAW said, “A prayer in Makkah is worth 100 000 times, a prayer in my Masjid[Madinah] is worth 1000 times, and a prayer in the Masjid of Bayt al Maqdis is worth 500 times more than anywhere else” (Tabarani, Bayhaqi)
Sayyidina Anas ibn Malik RA relates that the Prophet SAW said: “The prayer of a person in his house has the reward of a single prayer; his prayer in the Masjid of his tribe has the reward of 25 prayers; his prayer in the Masjid in which the Friday prayer is observed has the reward of 500; his prayer in Masjid al Aqsa has a reward of 5000; his prayer in my Masjid[in Madinah] has a reward of 50 000 prayers; and the prayer at Masjid al Haram[in Makkah] has a reward of 100 000 prayers”(Tirmidhi)
Scholars of Ahadeeth resolve the differences in the value of Salaah specified by grading the relative soundness of the narrations or by holding that one of them abrogates the others.
Virtue of performing Hajj/Umrah from Masjid al Aqsa:
Sayyidah Umm Salama RA relates that she heard the Prophet SAW say: “If anyone dons Ihram for Hajj or Umrah from Masjid al Aqsa and then proceeds to Masjid al Haram, his previous sins will be forgiven” (Ahmad)
Land of Jihad:
Sayyidinah Abu Umamah RA narrates that the Prophet SAW said: “A group from my Ummah will continue to help each other in [matters] of religion; they will prevail over all their enemies except for hunger and [other such] difficulties, until the Day of Resurrection”. The Companions asked: “Where will they be, O Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet SAW said: “In Jerusalem and around it” (Ahmad)
In another narration, the Prophet SAW said: “A group from my Ummah will continue to wage jihad from the gates of Damascus and its environs, and from the gates of Jerusalem and its environs. No deserters will harm them; they will continue to aid one another in the way of truth until the Day of Resurrection” (Tabarani)
The Fatwa on Bayt al Maqdis:
Sayyidatina Maymuna RA – the wife of the Prophet SAW – reported: I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah[SAW], tell us about Jerusalem’. He said: ‘It is the place of Judgement Day where everyone will be called. Come and pray in it, for one prayer in it is like one thousand prayers elsewhere’. ‘What is one cannot go there?’I asked. He replied, ‘Send oil for its lamps; for whoever does so, it is as if they went there’” (Ibn Majah)
Blessings of Shaam:
Sayyidina Zayd ibn Thabit RA reports that the Prophet SAW said, “How blessed is Shaam!” The companions around them asked: “Why is that?” The Messenger SAW replied, “I see the angels of the Most Merciful spreading their wings over it” (Tirmidhi and Imam Ahmad)
Sayyidina Zuhair ibn Muhammad RA said: The Prophet SAW is reported to have said, “Allah SWT has blessed what lies between al-‘Arish(in Egypt) and the Euphrates, and has made Palestine particularly holy” (Kanz al ‘Umaal)