Sa’id bin Al-Musayyib reported from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “You should not undertake a special journey to visit any place other than the three Mosques: the Sacred Mosque of Makkah, this mosque of mine, and Al-Aqsa Mosque (of Jerusalem).” This is reported by Bukhari, Muslim, and Abu Daw’ud. In another narration, the words are “For three mosques a special journey may be undertaken: The Sacred Mosque (Ka’bah), my mosque, and the mosque of Al-Quds (Jerusalem).”
Abu Zharr reported that he asked the Prophet (peace be upon him), “O Prophet of Allah, which mosque was built first on earth?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “The Sacred Mosque of Makkah.” Abu Zharr again asked, “Which was next?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The Al-Aqsa Mosque.” “How long was the period between them?” Abu Zharr asked. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Forty years. Apart from these, offer your prayers anywhere when it is time to pray, although excellence is in praying in these mosques.”
Travelling to these three mosques is prescribed because of their special position in Islam. Jabir reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “One prayer in this mosque of mine is better than 1,000 prayers offered anywhere else except the Sacred Mosque, and one prayer in the Sacred Mosque is better than a hundred thousand prayers in any other mosque.” This was reported by Ahmad with a sound chain of authorities.
Anas bin Malik reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever prays forty prayers consecutively in my mosque without missing any of the obligatory prayer, he will be removed from Hell, from punishment, and from hypocrisy.” This was reported by Ahmad and At-Tabarani with a sound chain. We read in various ahadith that a prayer offered in the AlAqsa mosque is five hundred times superior (in reward) to one offered in any other mosque, except the Sacred Mosque and the Mosque of the Prophet (in Madinah).