By: Dr. Sharif Abu Shammalah
CEO of al-Quds Foundation Malaysia
Masjid Al-Aqsa is located in the south-east part of the walled city of al-Quds (which is called today the old town). Al-Aqsa is a name to everything surrounded by the wall of Al-Aqsa and comprises of all mosques musalla inside such as Al-Qibli mosque (located on the south side) and the Dome of the Rock (located in the Masjid’s center) in addition to about 200 other sites and buildings located within its borders (walls), such as mosques (musallas), buildings, domes, sabils (public water fountains), terraces (Mastabas), corridors, schools, niches, pulpits, minarets, gates, wells and libraries.
Al-Masjid was built on a high hill called Al-Aqsa Mount, and it’s called by Western sources (Moriah Mount). The mount shares its eastern and southern borders with the eastern and southern borders of the old city of al-Quds, and it occupies an area of approximately 144000 square meters and thus Masjid al-Aqsa constitutes about the sixth of the old city’s area. It is well known that the boundaries and the area of al-Masjid haven’t changed over the centuries, and its walls are forming the shape of an irregular semi-rectangle with the following lengths:
Southern side: 281 m
Northern side: 310 m
Eastern side: 462 m
Western side: 491 m