There are 15 gates leading to the Masjid al Aqsa compound of which 10 are open and five are closed. Most gates are located on the western boundary wall of the Masjid. The keys to all the gates, with the exception of the Moroccan gate are held by the Islamic Waqf. However, they can only open or close gates with the permission of the Occupying Israeli police, who control access to the site.
Bab al Asbat(The Tribe’s Gate)
Located on the northeast side of Masjid al Aqsa, it is 4m high and is the last gate on the northern wall of the masjid. Built in the Ayoubi era in 610H/1213CE. Renovated several times thereafter including by the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent.
Bab al Hittah(The Gate of Remission)
One of the oldest gates at Masjid al Aqsa situated in the Masjid’s northern corridor, and is used as the main entrance to Masjid al Aqsa for visitors entering from the northern side of the Old city of al Quds. Its exact date of construction is not known, but it was renovated during the Ayoubi and Ottoman eras. It is topped with stone hangers that used to carry fire lamps in the past. This gate leads into the As Sadiyah Quarter of the Al Quds Old City.
Bab al Atim(The Gate of Darkness)
This gate is known by a variety of other names including the Gate of Faisal(named as such in tribute to the Hashemite King Faisal’s visit to Masjid al Aqsa in 1348H/1930CE), the Gate of the Honour of Prophets and the Duwaidaryah Gate. It was renovated in 610H/1213CE by the Ayoubi King Moatham Sharf Ad Din Issa. It is the first entrance along the northern wall of Masjid al Aqsa.
Bab Ghawanimah(Gate of Banu Ghanim)
The Gate is situated in the north-western part of Masjid al Aqsa and was last renovated in 707H/1308CE during the Mamluk era. It is relatively small and is named after the Banu Ghanim quarter of the Old City of al Quds it leads into. It was previously called the al Khalil gate. It was burnt by an Israeli extremist in 1419H/1998CE.
Bab An Nadhir(The Inspector’s Gate)
Situated in the western corridor of Masjid al Aqsa. Renovated in 600H/1203CE by Mamluk King Moathem Sharaf Ad Din. It is a large gate with a 4.5m high entrance. It is named after the Inspector of Masjid al Aqsa and the Ibrahimi Masjid, who used to reside nearby during the Mamluk era. It’s other names in the past included Michael’s Gate, the Jail Gate(due to its proximity to an Ottoman jail), and the Council/Majlis Gate(after the Supreme Islamic Council
Bab al Hadid(The Iron Gate)
Located in the western corridor of Masjid al Aqsa between Bab An Nadhir and the Qattanin gate. It was last renovated in 755-758H/1354-1357CE. It was also known as Aragun’s Gate after its renovator, and the founder of the Araguniyah School, Prince Aragun Al Kamili.
Bab al Qattanin(Cotton Merchant’s Gate)
Built by the Mamluk sultan Muhammad bin Qaloun in 737H/1336CE in the Western boundary of Masjid al Aqsa, between Bab al Hadid and Bab al Matarah. The gate leads into the Cotton Market of the al Quds Old City, and hence its name. It is considered one of Masjid al Aqsa’s most beautiful gates.
Bab al Matarah(The Ablution Gate)
This gate is located in the Western Corridor of Masjid al Aqsa and leads to the Dome of the Rock. It is the only gate of the Masjid that does not lead to the Old City quarters, but instead to an ablution fountain built by Sultan Adel Abu Bakr Ayoub, during the Ayoubi era. The last renovated of the gate has been dated to 666H/1267CE.
Bab as Salaam(Tranquillity Gate)
Also known as Dawud’s Gate or the Wizard’s Gate. Built in the Ayoubi era and is relatively high. The gate has a double wooden door with a small opening that allows a single person to pass through when the double door is closed.
Bab al Silsilah(Chain Gate)
One of the main entrances to Masjid al Aqsa, built during the Ayoubi era. Also situated in the western boundary wall of the masjid. The Ayoubis renovated it in 600H/1200CE. It is relatively high, having a double wooden door with a small opening that allows a single person to pass through when the double door is closed.
Bab al Magharibah(The Moroccan Gate)
This gate led to the Moroccan quarters of the Al Quds Old City, that was demolished by Israeli Occupation forces in 1387H/1967CE in order to build the Wailing Wall plaza. It is situated in the Al Buraq Wall. It was last renovated in 713H/1313CE. Israeli authorities hold the keys to this gate, and Muslims are banned from entering Masjid al Aqsa from this location.
Bab Al Dhahabi(Golden Gate)
This is an ancient historical door carved into the Eastern Wall of Masjid al Aqsa. The Gate’s two vaulted halls lead to Bab ar Rahmah(the Gate of Mercy) and Bab at Tawbah(The Gate of Repentance). Bab ar Rahmah was named after the Rahmah Graveyard, located in front of it, that contains the graves of the Sahabah Sayyidina Ubadah ibn Samit RA and Sayyidina Shaddad ibn Aws RA. Historians trace it back to the Umayyad era. It is said that Imam al Ghazali wrote part of his famous book Ihya Uloom ad Din(Revival of the Islamic Sciences) sitting in a room above its gates. This door was shut by Salahuddin after liberating al Quds, reportedly to protect the city from future raids. Christians believe that Sayyidina Isa AS(Jesus) will enter Jerusalem on his second coming through this gate.
The Funeral’s Gate
This is one of Masjid al Aqsa’s ‘hidden’ gates, situated on its eastern wall. It was a gateway for funerals to the ar Rahmah graveyard from Masjid al Aqsa. Today the gate is permanently closed.
The Double Gate
This gate, on Masjid al Aqsa’s southern wall was used by the Umayyad Caliphs when they would visit the Masjid, as it connected their palaces – located outside the Masjid’s southern wall – to the Qibli Musallah. Today, the gate is permanently closed and its interior corridor has been made into a Masjid called “ancient Aqsa”
The Triple/Huldah Gate
The Fatimid Caliph Thaher L’lzaz Din Allah ordered its building in 452H/1034CE. Located in the middle of the southern wall of Masjid al Aqsa. Consists of three entrances that overlook the Umayyad palaces outside the southern wall of Masjid al Aqsa and lead to the western wall of Musallah al Marwani. On his liberation of al Quds, Salahuddin al Ayyubi closed these doors to protect the city from invaders.
The Single Gate
Rebuilt by the Fatimid Caliph Thaher L’lzaz Din Allah in 452H/1034CE. Located on the southern wall of Masjid al Aqsa, it is permanently closed.