Aqsa Week and the Sufi connection to Al-Aqsa Sanctuary: Abd Al-Ghani Nabulusi and Ibrahim ibn Adham

The occasion of Aqsa Week (24 February to 2 March) reminds me of how the Sufis celebrate the love of Masjid Al-Aqsa – the Al-Aqsa Sanctuary in Jerusalem.

Before discussing two great Sufis, Abd Al-Ghani Nabulusi and Ibrahim ibn Adham, it is essential to note that Sufis from across the globe are passionate about Masjid Al-Aqsa. In the 17th century, there were over 70 zawiyas (Sufi spiritual centres) in Jerusalem.

Both Masjid Al-Aqsa and the city of Jerusalem have been central in the imaginations and daily lives of Sufis. Many Sufis have invested their thoughts and some of their lives in extolling the virtues of Masjid Al-Aqsa. Many Sufis travelled over long distances from as far as Indonesia, Southern Africa and Bosnia to visit Al-Aqsa. Some made Jerusalem their home. Sufis have also been at the forefront of strengthening Muslim faith through the love of Al-Aqsa.

In the late 17th century, Al-Nabulusi of Damascus set out on a spiritual journey to Al-Aqsa. His memoirs of the road to Al-Aqsa reveal the honour bestowed on his group by those they passed. All along the route, people thronged to meet him, not only because of his scholarly credentials, but also because he was heading to Al-Aqsa and the holy city of Jerusalem. It was a reminder of tracing the footsteps of pious predecessors like the companion of the Prophet, Abu Dhar Gaffari. It was also to reignite the connection made by the Prophet on the night journey of Al-Isra when he travelled from Mecca to Jerusalem.

More: Aqsa Week and the Sufi connection to Al-Aqsa Sanctuary: Abd Al-Ghani Nabulusi and Ibrahim ibn Adham

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