This constitutes the main prayer hall within the Masjid al Aqsa compound. It was in this location that Sayyidina Umar RA built a structure when he liberated al Quds in 15AH/638CE and found Masjid al Aqsa neglected and deserted. The original was a simple wooden building designed to accommodate 3000 worshippers.
The current form of the Qibli Masjid has its roots in the construction embarked upon by the Umayyad Caliphs Abdul Malik bin Marwan and his son, Walid bin Abdul Malik. Renovations occurred throughout the Islamic era, presided over by Umayyads, Abbasids and Fatimids.
When the Crusaders occupied Masjid al Aqsa, they used the Qibli Masjid as their headquarters. Salahuddin Ayyubi RA, on liberating al Aqsa from the Crusaders, ordered another renovation of the Qibli Masjid and returned it to its former state. He also installed a magnificent wooden pulpit that had been prepared exclusively for Masjid al Aqsa years earlier by Nur ad Din Zangi.
For their part, the Ottomans played a superb role in the upkeep of the Qibli Masjid, renovating it, as well as furnishing it with me carpets and lanterns. Refurbishment and maintanence efforts today continue under the auspices of the Jordanian monarchy which oversees the Masjid al Aqsa Waqf.