Wed 30 June 2021:
The recent Israeli attack on worshippers at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque attracted major international attention and condemnation. The resultant military offensive on the largely civilian population in the Gaza Strip killed 250 Palestinians, including women and children, and destroyed homes and infrastructure.
Such was the revulsion at the violence inflicted by Israel on civilians that we have witnessed a “tidal change in sentiment” which amplified calls for accountability for the occupation state. The offensive also stimulated a deeper sense of inquiry into the past, present and future of Palestine and a rediscovery of the centrality of Al-Aqṣā Mosque.
DECISION MAKERS ANYMORE,
TO FEED AFRICA FAIL?
ANCIENT ARTIFACTS LOOTED
AND SMUGGLED OUT OF
IRAQ AFTER INVASION
NOT SUPPORT ‘RESTORATION
OF ISLAMIC EMIRATE’
TO OVER 200,000 BY 2030
TO SECRET INDIAN NAVY BASE
ON MAURITIAN ISLAND
FOR INFORMATION ON
POLICE STATION ROBBERY
AFFORD A HOLIDAY
The publication of Masjid al-Aqṣā: A Journey Through Time, is thus very timely. The debut book by researcher and journalist Hafiz Ebrahim Moosa is a major contribution to the discourse on Palestine. To be launched on June 15, the book is a meticulously researched chronological history of the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqṣā.
In more than 200 pages, the full colour book has a bold, compact and highly accessible design. Readers are given a holistic picture of the rich history of Masjid al-Aqṣā across periods of decline and revival. The author describes the book as a labour of love.
“It is the outcome of a personal journey of inquiry into Masjid al-Aqṣā that has been deeply moving and fulfilling,” said Moosa. “Al-Aqṣā captivates everyone who is in contact with it, and I pray that this same sense of love is experienced by the readers.”
According to the non-executive director of PIN, the intention is to provide a fresh educational approach. “We hope that this comprehensive work will fulfil an important role in education on Masjid al- Aqṣā and the wider Palestine issue through its fresh approach,” said Mawlānā Aboo Baker Mahomed. “The detail it contains is an essential part of a knowledge-based foundation to maintain the momentum for solidarity with the people of occupied Palestine.”
In his appraisal of the book, the chair of British NGO Friends of Al-Aqsa noted the book’s review of the historical landscape of Masjid al-Aqṣā and the wider Palestinian struggle. “Hafez Ebrahim traces the history of Masjid al-Aqṣā through the lives of the prophets to the present time,” said Ismail Adam Patel. “The detail in the book and anti-colonial perspectives provide a valuable insight into the context of current events.”
Masjid al-Aqṣā: A Journey Through Time is published by the Palestine Information Network (PIN), a South African non-profit institution that provides structured education and information about Palestine. Hafiz Ebrahim Moosa and Mawlānā Aboo Baker Mahomed are available for interviews.
About the book
Masjid al-Aqṣā was the first Qiblah of the believers, the second mosque to be established on earth and the third holiest site in Islam. It is a site cherished and beloved to the hearts of Muslims the world over. Al-Quds (Jerusalem), the city within which it resides, likewise is steeped in layers of symbolism and history, and is held sacred by all the Abrahamic faiths.
Masjid al-Aqṣā is a hub of barakah (blessings), the abode of the Prophets and pious people, and a living repository of Islamic heritage; a place that has been embellished with rare beauty and specialities.
As the Masjid continues to dominate headlines and the global current affairs agenda for the ominous trends that surround it — as does the wider region wherein it is situated — these events have inadvertently kindled a keen interest in Al-Aqsa, sparking renewed enthusiasm about its rich history and heightening the longing to visit it.
It is vital that this thirst to rediscover the first Qiblah be quenched with an authentic elucidation of its history and that seekers be offered the option of accessing a Muslim-centric narrative of a site which in any case draws its holiness from none other than the Qurʾān and the Sunnah.
Masjid al-Aqṣā: A Journey Through Time is the culmination of numerous speaking engagements of the same title undertaken by the author in South Africa over the past decade. The key objective of these talks, and now, by extension, the book, is to dispel the misconception that Masjid al-Aqṣā in Islamic tradition only draws its significance from Prophet Muḥammad’s miraculous journey of Isrāʾ and Miʿrāj. To the contrary, this work sets out to illustrate how the Masjid has an illustrious history feted in Islam, almost from the onset of human existence, and how it will maintain its significance right until the End of Time. To this end, the book adopts a chronological approach, also intended to fill a gap in English language literature on Masjid al-Aqṣā for accessible works structured in this manner.
Some unique features of the work:
Telling the story of Masjid al-Aqsa from an Islamocentric paradigm.
Easy to follow chronological approach through various historical eras and the relation of the Masjid to each.
Expanding the appreciation of the Masjid from just one or two commonly related events to a broad vista that extends from the beginning to the end of time.
How the Muslim connection to Al-Aqsa is an intrinsic rather than occasional one.
Full colour, complemented with ample pictures and a bold, compact and appealing design.
‘Side note’ fact boxes that provide fascinating anecdotes to complement the core text.
A labour of love, and a call from the heart to fulfil our responsibilities towards Masjid al-Aqsa.
Author and organisation details
The Palestine Information Network (PIN) is a South African based non-profit institution providing structured education on Palestine. PIN aspires to be a global leader in leveraging and disseminating education in order to achieve meaningful action and make a positive difference in the lives of Palestinians. Key focus areas include research, training and curriculum development. PIN also administers the masjidalaqsa.net and @firstqiblah online platforms, dedicated to educating about the rich history and heritage, as well as current developments, at Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem.
Hafiz Ebrahim Moosa is co-ordinator of the Palestine Information Network. He is also a community journalist and broadcaster, having travelled widely, and served various roles including content and online manager at Cii Radio. He is currently a presenter at Radio Islam International based in Johannesburg. He also continues his formal study of the traditional Islamic Sciences.
This is a meticulously researched and chronicled narrative on al-Aqṣā. Jerusalem is where Allah and humanity connect – in the covenant that binds the Muslim Ummah to Allah. It’s where our Prophet (PBUH) descended with the gift of Salah from Allah.
Highly recommended read!
Rafique Gangat – Former South African ambassador to the Palestinian Territories, the UAE, and Consul General to Pakistan. Currently works as a professional Communication and Management Consultant in Occupied East Jerusalem.
Masjid al-Aqṣā: A Journey Through Time by Ebrahim Moosa is a welcome addition to the literature on the Palestinian issue. It provides with a historical landscape of Masjid Aqṣā and the wider Palestinian issue. It traces the history Masjid al-Aqṣā through the lives of the prophets to the present time. The detail in the book and decolonial perspectives should provide valuable contribution. It should be made part of the wider reading on Masjid al-Aqṣā.
Ismail Adam Patel – Chair of Friends of al-Aqsa (UK) and author of a number of books on Palestine.
Title: Masjid al-Aqsa – A Journey Through Time
Author: Ebrahim Moosa
Publisher: Palestine Information Network (PIN)
Genre: Non-Fiction/History/Islam/Palestine/Masjid al-Aqsa/Jerusalem
Publication Date: 2020
Number of pages: 209
Recommended selling price: R299
Available from: Leading community bookstores in South Africa and online palestineinfo.org
Palestine Information Network (PIN)
NPC No: 2016/0446300/08
Telephone: +27 76 6572 681
First National Bank (FNB)
NGO Business Account
Peoples Information Network
Account Number: 62712671181
Branch Code: 250655
Social media: @learnpalestine
Al-Aqsa website: masjidalaqsa.net
Organisation website: palestineinfo.org