Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam. Its site used to be the direction of prayer for Muslims for twenty-four years, before the qibla was changed to Mecca. It is one of the few mosques mentioned in the Qur'an in surah 17, verse one which states; Glory to (Allah) Who did take His Servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Aqsa Mosque, whose precincts We did bless, in order that We might show him some of Our Signs, for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things). The nearby Dome of the Rock is the location from where Muhammad ascended to heaven according to Muslims. The Al-Aqsa Mosque garners considerable controversy in the Orthodox Jewish community due to it, and the Dome of the Rock, occupying the former location of the Temple of Jerusalem - Judaism's holiest site.
- Frontiers of Islamic Art and Architecture, Page 17, Gülru Neci̇poğlu, Julia Bailey - 2008