Armchair Travel: Exploring Masjid al-Aqsa Virtually

Before we start exploring this blessed and splendid Masjid, let me just quickly touch on what Armchair Travel is. Well, it’s basically staying put at home and letting a book, a film, a documentary or even a travel article take you on a journey instead. No need to take out your passport. No need to get your money exchanged. And definitely no need to wait in long queues to go through security at the airport.

The famed and celebrated city of Jerusalem and Masjid al-Aqsa holds a special place in all of our hearts in one way or another. Whether you’ve been there or not, reading about the city, seeing pictures and watching documentaries can transport you to the holy city where you’ll feel fully immersed.

Below we’ve sourced for you some beautiful pictures which presents the splendidness of the Masjid al-Aqsa complex which you can enjoy looking at from the comfort of your own home. A brief explanation is given alongside each picture.

Let’s begin with a magnificent view of the Old City which has four quarters; Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Armenian. This is a view of the Muslim Quarter from the balcony of Hashimi Hotel.

Now the picture below shows the entrance to the Masjid al-Aqsa complex which contains the Dome of The Rock and the Qibli Masjid which is the one with the greyish dome. By the way, the below photo was taken in July 2017 when Masjid al-Aqsa was on lockdown and metal detectors were put up outside each entrance.

As you make your way through the gates, you’ll almost immediately notice the vast space within the complex and the atmosphere completely changes to that of peace and tranquility.

Once you’ve climbed the steps above, you’ll be provided with a promising view.

Let’s just walk around and really soak up the beauty of this place.

Notice below the arabic calligraphy which makes it way around the top? Well, that is basically an inscription of all 83 verses of Surah Yaseen which is a chapter within the Qur’an also known as the heart of the Qur’an. Dome of The Rock is one of the oldest extant works of Islamic architecture.

Here’s the view of the Dome of The Rock from another angle.

Now let’s make our way inside the Dome of The Rock for a quick visit.

Unlike many people believe, the Dome of The Rock is simply a structure which is part of the larger area of the complex of Masjid al-Aqsa. Therefore, there is ample space within the Dome of The Rock to pray as it forms a part of the Aqsa complex.

Now take your view above and check out the dome!

We’re now going to exit the Dome of The Rock and move towards the Qibli Masjid which is also a structure which forms part of the Masjid al-Aqsa complex. So for now, say goodbye to the Dome of The Rock.

Here we have the Qibli Masjid! Unique, ancient and almost contrasting in design and architecture. The design of the Qibli Masjid transports you back to the 7th and 8th century!

As soon as you enter, you’ll be amazed by the symetry and the accuracy of the design! This view sure does give aesthetic pleasure!

Ahead of you is where the Imam stands when leading the prayers. I think at the time of taking this photo, there was a small gathering/lecture.

Now if you turn around and look behind you as you’re making your way out, you’ll get this amazing view!

Once you’re out and you turn around, you’ll be facing directly towards the entrance of the Qibli Masjid.

There we have it! A quick tour of the Masjid al-Aqsa complex.

But before you leave; on the right side of the Qibli Masjid above, there is the Western Wall also known as the Wailing Wall. According to Muslims, this is where the Prophet Muhammad PBUH tied the Buraq, the riding animal upon which he rode during the Night of Ascension. A small Masjid has been built there in commemoration called Masjid al-Buraq. Just behind that you have the Western Wall/Wailing Wall. That is on the outer part of the Masjid al-Aqsa complex

That concludes our quick virtual tour of Masjid al-Aqsa! Hope you learnt something and found it interesting!


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