Salam O Rahmat, my dear betay Fawad!
This is a complex question.
First, you may run through this U-tube if you want:
The Importance of Jerusalem to Muslims - Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad
2:142 Those of little understanding among people say, “What has turned them from the Qiblah they (Jews) used to follow? Say, “Unto God belongs the East and the West. He guides to the straight path whoever wills (to be guided).” [Qiblah = Center of devotion = Symbol of uniform Ideology = Center for the unity of mankind = Deen = System of Life. The Children of Israel have considered Jerusalem as their Center of devotion but the Jews always believed in a tribal god and, hence, a tribal center. But God is the Lord of all humanity. He makes no distinction between Jews and Gentiles. And the Qur’an invites all mankind to become one community. His Final Message is not confined to a particular tribe, nation or group of people. Ka’bah, the first House of Monotheism, was erected by Abraham in Makkah. It has always been the Qiblah for all humanity. 2:213, 3:96, 4:170, 6:91-92, 7:158, 10:19, 12:104, 21:107, 22:49, 34:28, 38:87, 57:25, 114:1]
2:143 Thus We have made you a Middle Community, equidistant in justice to all nations, that you might be witnesses over all mankind and the Messenger be a witness over yourselves. We have appointed the Qiblah that you have always been used to (O Messenger) in order to distinguish him who follows the Messenger, from him who turns about on his heels. Indeed, it has been difficult except for those guided by God. God would never let your faith go vain. God is Compassionate and Merciful to mankind. [Ummah = Community = A Community based on Divine Ideology. ‘Middle Community’ = Equidistant in justice to all nations. ‘Turns about on his heels’ = Goes back to his old ways. 2:142, 4:88, 29:25]
2:144 We have seen your eagerness (O Messenger), therefore, We will certainly make you control and administer the Qiblah that is dear to you (for its Sublime Objective). Keep your purpose focused on the Masjid of Security. Wherever you believers are, keep your purpose focused on the objective (of unity of mankind). Those who have been given the Scripture before know that this (Revelation) is the Truth from their Lord. God is not unaware of what they do. [The verse is not commanding people to turn their faces. See 2:177. Wajh = Face = Countenance = Whole being = Purpose. Qiblah = Ka’bah = Direction = Center of devotion = Masjid of Security = Source of peace and security for all humanity = Symbol of a Uniform Ideology = Symbol of pure Monotheism = Center of the unity of mankind. Ka’bah has been the Center of devotion for all humanity ever since it was erected by Prophets Abraham and Ishmael. 2:142, 2:213, 3:96, 4:170, 6:91-92, 7:158, 10:19, 12:104, 21:107, 22:49, 34:28, 38:87, 57:25, 114:1]
2:145 Even if you were to place all evidence together before the People of the Book, they would not follow your Qiblah. Neither may you follow their Qiblah, nor will they follow each other’s Qiblah. If you followed their errant views after the knowledge has come to you, you will be among the misdirected. [Qiblah = Direction = Focal Point = It is the tangible but symbolic structure for unity of mankind. People honor the temples of their choice. They will recognize the Ka’bah as their own Qiblah when evolution of human civilization brings them to the right conclusion. 2:158, 3:97, 4:170, 6:84-91, 22:23-28. Zaalimeen = Oppressors = Those who hurt themselves or others = Who displace something from its rightful place = Who relegate the truth = Violators of human rights = Commonly translated as wrongdoers]
2:146 Those to whom We gave the Scripture before, recognize this (Revelation) as they recognize their own children but some of them (their scholars) conceal the truth, and they very well know it. [The advent of Prophet Muhammad from the Ishmaelite descendants of Abraham has been foretold in the Bible. Genesis 21:13-18. Gospel of John 14:16, 15:26, 16:7. See QXP 2:125. Historically, the Gospel of Saint Barnabas, which was accepted and widely read in churches, has the name ‘Muhammad’ in it. But Pope Gelasius found the Arabic name distasteful and banned that Gospel in 496 CE. The Italian translation of Barnabas was discovered in Vienna, Austria in the 16th century]
2:147 This (Qur’an) is the Truth from your Lord, so never be of those who waver.
2:148 (Mere rituals carry no importance.) Each one has a goal toward which he turns. Then strive together toward all that is good. Wherever you may be and whatever stand you take, God will bring you all together. Indeed, God is Able to do all things. [Innallaha ‘ala kulli shayin Qadeer = God is Able to do all things = He is the All Powerful Appointer of His Laws = He has assigned due proportion for all things and events. 2:177, 57:20, 83:19-28, 102:1-2. Shayi = Thing = Derived meaning, event. The real objective for people is to compete with one another in human welfare and develop their innate capacities. God will bring all people together under the banner of One Ideology, and ultimately gather them on the Day of Resurrection]
2:149 From wherever you start forth (whichever way you proceed, and whatever you are preoccupied with), keep yourself focused on the Masjid-il-Haraam (the Sacred Masjid, the Ultimate Center for the unity of all mankind.) This proclamation is the Truth from your Lord. God is not unaware of what you do (with your life).
2:150 Again, regardless of wherever you are and whichever way you are proceeding, you must keep yourself focused on the Masjid-il-Haraam (the Center for all humanity). If you abide by (this command) it will leave no grounds for people to dispute with you except the unjust fault-finders among them. Do not be intimidated by them, but stand in awe of Me so that I may perfect My grace upon you, and that you may be rightly guided. [2:6, 5:2-3. The blessed results of unity in diversity will become a living witness to their objections]
2:151 (Grace it is) that We have sent a Messenger from among yourselves, conveying Our Revelations to you in order to help you grow in goodness, and empower you with the knowledge of the Law and the wisdom behind it. Thus, he teaches you what you knew not.
2:152 Therefore, raise My Name and I will raise your name giving you eminence! Be grateful to Me, and deny Me not! [2:177, 2:186, 2:220, 15:49, 21:10, 21:23-24, 23:70, 38:24, 43:44. Azkurni = Remember Me = Raise My Name. Azkurkum = I will remember you = I will give you eminence. Shukr = Being grateful in word and action = Sharing Divine bounties with others = Opposite of Kufr whenever Kufr denotes concealing = Returning more than receiving = Holding a benefactor in high esteem. Note that lack of Shukr or gratitude in the Qur’anic sense is Kufr, denying the Giver! Tazkiah = Growth of the ‘self’ = Self-actualization]
It is very unlikely that the exalted prophet faced the tribal Jerusalem ever in the presence of Mecca, the Qiblah appointed by Allah, for all mankind since Ibrahim a.s.
On the other hand, you have seen in my lap in 1978 a Masjid in Madina called as ZU-QIBLATAIN [Mosque of the two Qiblahs].
Historians write that the exalted prophet and his followers faced Jerusalem during Namaz to attract Jews to Islam. Would he stoop low to please others?
Muslims might have built the tiny Zu-Qiblatain to fulfill the circulating reports just as the Umayyad Sultan Abdul Malik had built Masjid AQSA to fulfill Surah ISRA:
Surah 17. Al-Isra – The Night Journey
[Author’s Note] This is the 17th Surah of the Qur’an. Some exponents refer to it as Surah Bani Israel. It has 111 verses. Isra (Night Journey) is often confused with Me’raaj (Ascension). Since God is Omnipresent, the notion of anyone going to meet with Him at a place over the skies does not stand up to reason (57:4).
Isra signifies night journey and it refers to the beginning of the exalted Messenger's emigration from Makkah to Madinah by night. Verses 20:77 and 26:52 use the same term for migration of Prophet Moses along with his followers across the sea. Also consider 17:2.
Masjid Al-Aqsa means the Remote Mosque and refers to the ‘Remote Mosque’ in Madinah, the place where Muslims used to congregate before the Prophet's arrival to the city. Masjid here points to Masjid al-Qabaa in Madinah where it had been established by Muslims of the town.
The famous Masjid Al-Aqsa, the so-called 'Qiblah Awwal', the supposed First Holy Sanctuary, is widely known as Haram ash-Shareef in Jerusalem. But in fact, it was built in 72 AH (691 CE) by the Umayyad Ruler, Abdul Malik bin Marwan, about 60 years after the exalted Messenger passed on. The First Sanctuary was nothing but Ka’bah in Makkah. (See 3:96).
Jerusalem, until the Muslim conquest under the second Caliph of Islam in 637 CE, had been under the control of a few Byzantine Christians for centuries, and there was no person worshiping in a Masjid anywhere in the world but Madinah. So, the question of the presence of a Masjid in Jerusalem during the lifetime of the exalted Prophet should not arise.
Solomon’s Temple had been ravaged and completely destroyed by the Romans (General Titus) in 70 CE. Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 637 CE during the Rule of the second Caliph of Islam, Hazrat Umar Farooq. When he visited the place, he, along with his companions, continued to hold congregations in open grounds although Pope Severinus had given him the key to the City and invited him hold congregations in the Church of Holy Sepulture. Hazrat Umar feared that Muslims might start converting Churches into Masjids, so he politely declined. If a Masjid were present, he would have held congregations there.
The word Me'raaj (physical Ascension) nowhere occurs in the Qur’an. Yet, under erroneous history, it is a popular, though non-Qur’anic, belief among many Muslims that the exalted Messenger was taken up physically to the Skies to meet with God! The Qur’an sets the records straight by asserting that the First ever blessed Sanctuary on earth, the unifying point for all humanity, was the Ka’bah built by Prophets Abraham and Ishmael in Makkah about 2,500 years before Muhammad (S). And since Divine Laws remain unchanged under all circumstances, no human would physically ascend to the heavens. Bodily Ascension is a Biblical and not a Qur’anic theme at all.
Qubbah-tas-Sakhra (Dome of the Rock) in Jerusalem, near Al-Aqsa, was also constructed in 72 AH/691 CE by the same Abdul Malik bin Marwan. Jews wrongly contend that the Dome of the Rock was constructed over the site of the Second Jewish Temple. As mentioned above, it had been ravaged and completely destroyed by the Roman General Titus in 70 CE.
The exalted Messenger never ascended to the heavens. God is everywhere (57:4). The "brilliant" Muslim Muhaddithin and historians produce a lot of irrational and contradictory material on this subject:
01. Me’raaj happened in Madinah.
02. No sorry! It happened in Makkah.
03. It happened just before Hijrah.
04. Sorry! It happened 9 years before Hijrah.
05. The Prophet was sleeping at Umm Hani’s house - what?
06. Oh’ No! (That would be a big slander). He was sleeping in the Ka’bah. Gabriel held his hand and took him to Allah up there in the heavens.
07. Gabriel opened his chest and poured faith and wisdom from a platter of gold before taking him up there. (So, the Prophet had no faith and wisdom until then.)
08. Sorry! That surgery was performed in the desert when he was 3 years old with Haleema, the foster mother.
09. Gabriel took him straight to the heavens. Sorry again! The angel first took him to Jerusalem where he led 124,000 prophets in prayers.
10. No, it was not Gabriel. Burraaq (The Centaur with the head and face of a beautiful woman and the body of a horse) carried him to the heavens at lightning speed.
These are only a few of the numerous insults. The real ascension of the exalted Messenger was his character, and not some kind of Greek mythology.
The Prophet (S) riding a winged creature (Burraq) with the body of a horse and the face of a most beautiful woman, guided by Gabriel, meeting with God, receiving the "gift" of 50 prayers (Namaz) a day, Prophet Moses intervening to reduce the number to 5 (from 50), Muhammad a.s. leading 124,000 prophets in prayers in the Temple, is another funny but long story. Moses knew better than God and Prophet Muhammad. Let us leave it for another time.
With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness
17:1 Glorious is He Who initiated the migration of His servant by night, from the Sacred Masjid to the Remote Masjid whose environment We did bless that We may show him some of Our signs. He is the Hearer, the Seer. [20:23. Signs that the Divine System will begin to prevail from there]
17:2 (Recall that Moses had to migrate from Pharaoh's kingdom to the Sinai Peninsula.) We gave Moses the Scripture and We appointed it a Guide to the Children of Israel, saying, “Choose no guardian besides Me.”
17:3 They were the descendants of those whom We carried on the ship along with Noah. Surely, he was a most grateful servant of Ours.