There are 32 water sources inside Masjid al Aqsa. These include: 2 pools, 2 cisterns, 8 sabeels(public water sources meant to provide a free service to the public), and 27 water wells. These serve a variety of functions such as providing water for ablution, drinking and irrigation of plants and trees within the compound.
This iconic fountain situated at the entrance of the Qibli Masjid is used for wudhu, predominantly by males. It is a circular basin surrounded by an ornamented iron fence encircled by stone stools. It comprises a number of taps fed by a central fountain. It was built by the Ayoubi Sultan, Al Adel Abu Bakr bin ayoub in 589H/1193CE, and renovated by Sultan Qaitbay as well as Prince Taankz An Nasiri.
King Issa Al Moathem Cistern
Its construction was ordered by King Issa Al Moathem in 607H/1210CE. It is made up of three hallways and has three entrances as well. An inscription on one of its doors lists the founder’s name and year of construction. During the reign of the Mamluk sultan Al Mansur Qalawun, part of the cistern was used as a storage room for Masjid al Aqsa. Another part was used as a Hanbali school. Today, the cistern is utilised by the Gardening Department at Masjid al Aqsa.
This Sabeel was built by Sultan Saif Ad Din Ennal in the year 860H/1456CE during the Mamluk era. Sultan Qaitbay reconstructed it, adding a colourful brick and marble floored building, topped with an octagonal dome featuring Islamic artistic designs. The Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II, in his era, also renovated it.Today, one can find a well located on its lower floor , and a tank used for water storage on its upper level.
An Narenj Pool
The name Narenj translates to “bitter oranges”. This water source can be found in the Western Courtyard of Masjid al Aqsa. It was renovated by the Mamluk sultan Qaitbay in 887H/1483CE. At its centre, this square shaped pool has a marble floored fountain. Currently, An Narenj is used for wudhu and has 24 taps at its sides. Water for ablution is pumped in from the nearby Sabeel Qasem Pasha tank.
Sabeel Qasem Pasha
This tank can be found nearby Masjid al Aqsa’s Gate of the Chain. Qasem Pasha, who was the Prince of Jerusalem of Jerusalem, built it in 933H/1527CE during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent. It is octagonal in shape, has 16 taps and is topped with a wooden sunshade. Some have called it the ‘Sabeel Courthouse’.
This water source is located near Masjid al Aqsa’s Gate of Darkness. It was declared a waqf in 948H/1541CE. In 1417H/1997CE, the Islamic Waqf at Masjid al Aqsa enhanced it with an ablution fountain.
Fountain of Ibrahim ar Rumi
Built in 1435CE for the sole purpose of giving water to the needy and travellers. It was built during the reign of Sultan Malik al Ashraf, and is situated in front of Bab an Nadhir/Majlis (Council Gate) of Masjid al Aqsa.
Fountain of Sha’lan
Just to the right of the esplanade facing the Western Wall is an old brick structure, which was once used to supply water for visitors
There are 27 wells within the Masjid al Aqsa compound. Most of them are rich with water and supply the various water structures used for wudhu, drinking and irrigation.