Issue 39 / July - September 2002
Al- Aqsa Mosque
M. A. Sahin
Once upon a time, al-Aqsa Mosque was the place of miracles in which the inner meanings of religion and religious memories were felt. Now we grieve for it from a great distance, for now its appearance is stagnant and disgruntled. This is far from what is expected of her.
Al-Aqsa was fortunate to exist in the same time period as the Kabah. And, just like the Kabah, it emerged from the ground as if bursting forth to comply with orders coming from above. Sometimes it was exalted to the rank of being the niche for devout people, and at other times it served as the pulpit of holy individuals. For centuries, this sacred and blessed place opened its wings to its inhabitants, even at the most pitiless times of disbelief. It let believers breathe security while becoming the paradise of this life.
This sublime temple now looks at our faces with sorrow and exhaustion. Her face has been darkened by suffering, for she is far from what she once was: the source of thousands of holy experiences. When we contemplate al-Aqsa Mosque in this pitiful state, it feels like we are bleeding internally and can no longer breathe. This auspicious niche, this honored pulpit that once had celestial whispers coming to our hearts, now looks like a candle that has been put out, a skeleton about to collapse.
Al-Aqsa Mosque is a victim of injustice and cruelty. Her existence is squeezed in between her friends infidelity and her enemies torture. Once she had her lips at our hearts whispering tranquility, not knowing that in the future she would become a stammering tongue singing a song of sadness.
When I first saw her current appearance, I was deeply saddened. From now on, faithful hearts will not be able to meet and hug each other with love, or to roar Allah's name among the walls of this place in which Prophet Adam's voice still echoes, Prophet Abraham's breaths are still felt, Prophets David's and Solomon's cries are still heard, and Prophet Muhammad's journey to infinity to unite with his Beloved is still known. Alas, these doors will not be able to open wide to believers â neither slowly nor quickly and without happiness and enthusiasm.
It looks like all of her dreams and fancies are now over, her surrounding lights turned off, the prayers to God heard no longer. It is said that even the rocks and trees have ears. Would that they had tongues too! Yes, for then they could express what they have been through. Perhaps then the people who did this would be afraid and abstain from their evil. Maybe then her faithless companions would come to their senses and rescue her from this tragic slavery.