Today, the last Friday of Ramadan, marks International Quds Day, the Palestinian counterpart to Jerusalem Day - celebrated by Israel.
In the spirit of this day, we take a look at the history of the most significant and highly contested holy site in the Palestinian city of Jerusalem: Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Here are 8 facts you should know about Al-Aqsa Mosque:
1. It was the first Qibla for Muslims
Al-Aqsa is one of the holiest sites in Islam. While Muslims now pray in the direction of the Kaaba in Saudi Arabia, this has not always been the custom.
Before resorting to the Kaaba as a Qibla, the direction that should be faced during Islamic prayer, Muslims used to pray in the direction of the Noble Sanctuary in Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa now stands.
Prophet Muhammad was later instructed to take the Kaaba as a Qiblah through Surat Al-Baqara.
2. It's not just one mosque
While Al-Aqsa is often thought of as a single building, the site actually consists of several mosques, such as the Buraq Mosque and the Marwani Mosque. To avoid confusion, the wider compound in which Al-Aqsa is located is usually referred to as Al-Haram Ash-Sharif (The Noble Sanctuary).
3. The dome of the rock is said to be one of the first Islamic domes in history
The legendary golden dome is probably the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Al-Aqsa. The mosque's Dome of the Rock is said to be the first dome to ever be used in Islamic architecture, before becoming a staple of Islamic mosques.
Initially made of wood, the dome was later decorated with marble pieces and a distinctive gold layer by Ottoman Caliph Suleiman the Magnificent.
4. A prominent scholar once lived and wrote a masterpiece there
Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali, a prominent Persian theologian, jurist and philosopher is said to have lived in Al-Aqsa for some time. He is referred to by some historians as one of the most influential Muslims in history since Prophet Muhammad.
There, he wrote his book Ihyaa Ulum Al-Din (The Revival of the Religious Sciences), which is widely regarded as one of the greatest works in Islamic literature and among the most read books in the Muslim world.
5. The mosque has its very own library
The Al-Aqsa Library was established in 1923 by the Supreme Muslim Legislative Council. It includes a collection of valuable manuscripts and published works in Islamic and Arabic studies.
6. Muslims believe the site has witnessed a miracle
Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad was transported from the Sacred Mosque in Mecca to Al-Aqsa during the "Night Journey," known as Al-Israa Wal- Mi'raj, one of the most significant events in the Islamic calendar.
It is said that during the "The Night Journey," Prophet Muhammad traveled from Mecca to Jerusalem, and then up to Paradise, on a heavenly creature.
7. It bears witness to Palestinian resistance, having been destroyed several times, naturally and militarily
The mosque was destroyed and rebuilt several times, even before getting caught in the crossfire of the Israeli occupation.
In the 700s, the mosque was completely destroyed by a series of earthquakes that ravaged Jerusalem.
Since the Israeli army occupied Jerusalem in 1967, the site has witnessed several acts of violence.
In 1969, Australian Denis Michael Rohan set fire to the pulpit of the mosque. In 1982, Alan Goodman - a Jewish American Israeli soldier - opened fire at Muslim worshippers in the Dome of the Rock, killing two and wounding 11.
Israeli military forces have also carried several attacks on the site, launching random invasions on a daily basis.