Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad visits Al-Aqsa Mosque
Amman, April 18 (Petra) -- H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, Chief Advisor to H.M. King Abdullah II for Religious and Cultural Affairs and the King’s Personal Envoy and Grand Mufti of Egypt Sheikh Ali Goma visited the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque today in accordance with the Prophet Muhammad’s (p.b.u.h.) saying: "Do not set out for pilgrimage except to three mosques; Al-Masjid Al-Haram [in Mecca], Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa [in Jerusalem] and my Mosque [in Madinah]"; narrated on the authority of Al-Bukhari (no. 1996) and Muslim (no. 1397).

Moreover, two weeks ago, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Muslims everywhere to visit the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and revitalize it by filling it with worshipers and pilgrims.

Upon entering Al-Haram Al-Sharif, Prince Ghazi and the Grand Mufti prayed in the main building of Al-Aqsa Mosque (Mosque of Omar or al-Masjid al-Qibli), in the Dome of the Rock, in the Buraq Mosque, in the Marwani Mosque, in the underground Aqsa (also called the Old Aqsa) and in the outdoor compound, thereby emphasizing that the entire Al-Haram Al-Sharif is a single and indivisible unit encompassing all that is above and below the ground.

Prince Ghazi also chose the location where the King Abdullah II Waqf for the Integral Chair for the Study of Al-Imam Al-Ghazali’s Work - established in association with the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought (RABIIT) - will be set up: he selected the Golden Gate (Bab Sitna Maryam) as this is where Al-Ghazali performed his famed retreat, and wrote his magnum opus ‘Ihya Ulum al-Din’ almost 900 years ago.

This trip undertaken by Prince Ghazi and the Grand Mufti of Egypt Sheikh Ali Goma is seen as an effort to encourage Muslims who are able to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam’s three holiest sites, and Islam’s first Qiblah (direction of prayer).

The Prince and the Grand Mufti of Egypt were received by Head of the Jerusalem Awqaf Council Sheikh Abdul-Azim Salhab; the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine Sheikh Muhammad Hussein and Director of the Jerusalem Administration Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib.

Prince Ghazi also met with some members of the Jerusalem Awqaf Administration, (which is historically a part of the Jordanian Ministry of Awqaf) and heard a brief about their requirements and the achievements and challenges related to the Hashemite Restorations at Al-Haram Al-Sharif.

The Palestinian Authority's Religious Endowments Minister Mahmoud Al-Habbash said in a statement on February 28th that Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi should step back from a religious edict prohibiting non-Palestinians from visiting Jerusalem. Habash said that visiting Jerusalem is an Islamic duty and a political necessity.

Habash added that Muslims visiting Jerusalem under occupation are following the path of the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) who visited Mecca under occupation under the Treaty of Hudaybiyah. "No one said that it was normalization by the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) or [his] recognition of the pagans’ rule," Habbash said.

He also added that visits to Jerusalem by Muslims and Christians "represent a challenge to Israeli policies that aim at isolating the Holy City. They also mean moral and financial support for the otherwise isolated people of Jerusalem defending its Muslim and Christian Holy Sites." Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) came to Jerusalem whilst it was under foreign occupation during the Night Journey of the Isra.

Before visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, Prince Ghazi and Grand Mufti Ali Goma visited the Tomb of the Prophet Moses (p.b.u.h.) near Jericho. They also visited the Holy City of Jerusalem.

After visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, Prince Ghazi visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and met with His Beatitude Theophilos III, Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem, who accompanied the Prince and lunched with him, reaffirming Arab Muslim-Christian unity and the spirit of harmony between the two faiths.

It is worth noting that H.R.H. Prince Hashem bin Al-Hussein, King Abdullah’s youngest brother, visited the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and prayed in it two weeks prior on 4th April, 2012 accompanied by Muslim popular preacher Al-Habib Ali Al-Jifri.

//Petra// AA 
18/4/2012 - 07:18:23 PM
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