Turkey’s head of religious affairs Mehmet Gormez arrived in Jerusalem on May 14 to attend a ceremony to mark the Islamic event of Miraj, a day celebrated in the Muslim faith.
Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad made a journey from his house in Mecca to mosque of Jerusalem - Masjid al Aqsa - and then ascended to the heavens the same night, named “Miraj.”
Gormez accepted the invitation of Palestinian minister of religious affairs Yusuf al-Sheikh to come to Al Aqsa Mosque, led the evening salaah (Muslim prayer) and was moved the tears during the salaah.
“It’s a great honour to pray with our Palestinian brothers at Masjid al Aqsa during the Miraj day,” Gormez said.
According to Muslims, Prophet Mohammad performed a salaah at night at the Masjid al Aqsa during his journey of Miraj.
Stressing the importance of Jerusalem for Muslims, Gormez said “When we, Turkish Muslims, pray in Istanbul, we unite Mecca and Jerusalem. The place of Masjid al Aqsa is quite special in our hearts.”
Gormez is expected to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on May 15.