Hadith 25: The Virtue of Bait-ul-Maqdis
It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“When Sulaiman bin Dawud finished building Bait-ul-Maqdis1, he asked Allah for three things: judgment that was in harmony with His judgment, a dominion that no one after him would have, and that no one should come to this mosque, intending only to pray there, but he would emerge free of sin as the day his mother bore him.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Two prayers were granted, and I hope that the third was also granted.”
(Sunan Ibn Majah)
1. Almighty Allah is The King of kings, to Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. Anyone needs Him, even kings, they need Allah for everything, and they beg Him:
“Say, "O Allah, Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honor whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is [all] good. Indeed, You are over all things competent.” (Qur’an: 3: 26)
2. Almighty Allah have chosen some of prophets above others and distinguished them with some qualities, Almighty Allah says:
“Those messengers - some of them We caused to exceed others.” (Qur’an: 2: 253)
3. This proves that Prophets did Ijtihad; Prophet Sulaiman asked Allah Almighty to have “judgment that was in harmony with His judgment.” This means Ijtihad.
Values Learnt from “a dominion that no one after him would have”
1. That means a dominion that no human would have after him, and his supplication was answered in the Qur’anic Verse:
“So We subjected to him the wind, blowing gently at his command to wherever he pleased. (36) And ˹We subjected to him˺ every builder and diver of the jinn, (37) and others bound together in chains. (38)” (Qur’an: 38: 36-38)
2. A dominion with greatness that is a miracle in itself, which would be a reason for belief and guidance. Because Prophet Sulaiman was a king, he wanted his miracle to be in harmony with his status.
3. The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told us that if it was not for Prophet Sulaiman’s supplication, he would have tied a demon from the jinn who tried to interrupt Prophet Muhammad’s prayer.
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "A strong demon from the Jinn came to me yesterday suddenly, so as to spoil my prayer, but Allah enabled me to overpower him, and so I caught him and intended to tie him to one of the pillars of the Mosque so that all of you might see him, but I remembered the invocation of my brother Solomon: “…and grant me an authority that will never be matched by anyone after me. You are indeed the Giver ˹of all bounties˺.” (Qur’an: 38.35) so I let him go cursed."
4. It is permissible to ask Allah for power and dominion in the worldly life, but this authority should be dedicated to fulfilling Almighty Allah’s rights and rulings of His Dominion, applying His prescribed punishments, honoring His rites, performing His acts of worship and being obedient to Him. Almighty Allah says:
"Indeed, I know that which you do not know." (Qur’an: 2: 30)
Of course Prophet Sulaiman did not ask Allah for the sake of the worldly life, as prophets are the most ascetic humans, he asked Allah for such authority and dominion for the sake of Allah, such as Prophet Noah asked for its destruction for the sake of Allah. This is why, their supplications were answered; Prophet Noah’s supplication was answered as Allah destroyed the disbelievers and He gave Sulaiman’s his wish for a dominion that no one after him would have.
Values regarding Bait-ul-Maqdis
1. Bait-ul-Maqdis refers to Al-Aqsa Mosque (translates as 'the farthest mosque' and is the third most holy place in Islam) as narrated by Al-Bukhari from the hadith by Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him), "When Quraish disbelieved me (concerning my night journey), I stood up in Al- Hijr (the unroofed portion of the Ka`ba) and Allah displayed Bait-ul-Maqdis before me, and I started to inform them (Quraish) about its signs while looking at it." Bait-ul-Maqdis also refers to Jerusalem as mentioned in the hadith by Allah’s Messenger: “Count six signs that indicate the approach of the Hour: “my death, the conquest of Bait-ul-Maqdis (Jerusalem)…” The intended meaning here is the first, i.e. al-Aqsa Mosque.
2. It is well-known in Arab tradition that having many names indicate greater honor and nobility of the named, Al-Aqsa Mosque has many names such as (Bait-ul-Maqdis, Ilyaa’ Mosque, The Holy House, al-Zarkashi mentioned 17 names), this indicates its honor, like the case of the two holy cities of Makkah and Medinah.
3. Bait-ul-Maqdis is the land of Divine Revelations, it is a pure and sacred spot to which many prophets and messengers were sent, and it was the first Qiblah to which Muslims prayed before converting the Qiblah to the Kaaba, it is the land of the gathering and the resurrection, and in it Prophet Jesus, the son of Mary, kills the Antichrist at the door of Ludd when Prophet Jesus descends at the end of time.
4. Prophet Sulaiman rebuilt al-Aqsa mosque and restored it, but he was not the first one to build it, as narrated in the two Sahih books. Narrated Abu Dhaar: I said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) ! Which mosque was built first?" He replied, "Al-Masjid-ul-Haram." I asked, "Which (was built) next?" He replied, "Al-Masjid-ul-Aqsa." I asked, "What was the period in between them?" He replied, "Forty (years)." He then added, "Wherever the time for the prayer comes upon you, perform the prayer, for all the earth is a place of worshipping for you."
5. Bait-ul-Maqdis, whether it means al-Masjid al-Aqsaa or Jerusalem, has been owned by Muslims for thousands of years, and Jews, who distorted the words of Allah, do not have any right in it. Almighty Allah says: “Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islām.” All the prophets and messengers came with the religion of Islam; Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: "…The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one," meaning their laws differ and their religion is one, which is the religion of Islam.
6. Verbs and particles of anticipation and hope such as (أرجو – لعل – عسى), when they are used by Almighty Allah or Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), they indicate certainty such as the Qur’anic verse: “And obey Allah and the Messenger that you may obtain mercy.” (Qur’an: 3: 132). “May” here indicates certainty. Also in the hadith “Who knows, perhaps Allah has looked at the warriors of Badr and said (to them), 'Do whatever you like, for I have forgiven you.' “Perhaps” in the hadith indicates also certainty.
The intended meaning in the hadith on Al-Aqsa Mosque is that such virtue will certainly be given to that who prays in it, and Allah knows best.
7. The reward for praying in Al-Aqsa Mosque is attained for those who prayed in any spot located within the walls of the mosque, and not only for those who prayed inside Al-Qibli prayer hall (with the grey dome), which was the first to be built by Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, after the conquest of Jerusalem, and it did not exist during the era of Prophet Solomon, peace be upon him. Al-Aqsa Mosque includes everything that is located within the walls of the mosque, including courtyards, corridors, gardens, the Marwani prayer hall, the Qibli prayer hall, and the Dome of the Rock, with an area of about 144,000 square meters.
8. Ibn Umar used to come to Al-Aqsa Mosque and pray in it and did not drink water in it, so that Prophet Solomon's supplication would include him, as Prophet Solomon said: “…intending only to pray there”:
1. It is permissible to supplicate to Allah and ask Him by virtue of one’s righteous deeds, so that Allah accepts supplications. Asking Allah by virtue of righteous deeds and acts of obedience is a mean of answering supplications.
2. “Judgment in harmony with His judgment”: He asked Almighty Allah to have a judgment confirming with Allah’s judgment, that means to be correct and rightful in Ijtihad and judging between people. That explains what Allah says in the Qur’an:
“We guided Solomon to a fairer settlement.” (Qur’an: 21: 79)
3. Whoever comes to Al-Aqsa Mosque should have a sincere intention to perform prayers, and this applies to all mosques.
Bait-ul-Maqdis: “Maqdis” in Arabic means the purified from all filth, and also the place where all sins are removed.
- (1) Bait-ul-Maqdis located in the Old City of Jerusalem is the third holiest site in Islam. Its name in Arabic is Al-Aqsa Mosque and it translates as 'the farthest mosque'.