Dome of the Rock

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Dome of the Rock in center of Temple Mount

The Dome of the Rock (Arabic: قبة الصخرة Qubbat As-Sakhrah) is a famous Islamic shrine in Jerusalem. It was built between 687 and 691 by the 9th Caliph, Abd al-Malik. It is sometimes called the Mosque of Umar (though it is not a mosque) after the location where the 2nd Caliph Umar prayed after the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem. Muslims believe it to be the site where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven from, known to Muslims as "The Miraj".

According to tradition, the Dome was built to honor the Lord. Located in what Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary — which Jews call the Temple Mount — it remains one of the best known landmarks of Jerusalem.

The rock in the center of the dome is believed by Muslims to be the spot from which Muhammad was brought by night and from which he ascended through the heavens to God (See Miraj). Accompanied by the angel Gabriel, he was consulted by Moses and given the obligatory Islamic prayers before returning to earth. It is a holy place to Muslims. The Jews believe this place to be the location where Abraham almost sacrificed his son Isaac at the command of the Lord, where Jacob saw the ladder to heaven, and within the boundaries of the innermost chamber of the Jewish Temple. Other Jewish traditions say it is the spot where the first stone was laid in the building of the world.

Interior view (1914)
Interior view (1914)
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Exterior View

Essentially unchanged for more than thirteen centuries, the Dome of the Rock remains one of the world's most beautiful and enduring architectural treasures. The gold covered dome stretches 20 metres across the Noble Rock, rising to an apex more than 35 metres above it. The Qur'anic verse 'Ya Sin' ( is inscribed across the top in the dazzling tile work commissioned in the 16th century by Suleiman the Magnificent. The sura al-Ikhlas (Purity) which denounces what Muslims regard as the principal Christian errors is also inscribed there. In 1993, the golden dome covering was replaced due to rust and wear.

Say: He is God, the One and Only;
God, the Eternal, Absolute;
He begetteth not, nor is He begotten;
And there is none like unto Him."
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Regnaud de Vichier
During the Crusades, Knights Templar had their spiritual headquarters in it. It was thought to be a remnant of the Temple of Jerusalem. As such, it appeared in some of the seals of the Grand Masters of the order (like Evrard de Barres and Regnaud de Vichier), and was a model for Templar churches across Europe.

According to Martin Gray, it is:

"a mashhad, a shrine for pilgrims. Adjacent to the Dome is the Al-Aqsa Mosque wherein Muslims make their prayers."

The Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael Faithful Movement wish to relocate the Dome to Mecca and replace it with a Third Temple. Since the Dome is built around the Rock where Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad rose to heaven, its purpose would be defeated if moved. To Muslims, such an act would be equivalent to razing the structure to the ground and they therefore oppose it.

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Dome of the Rock floor plan

See also

External link

fr:Dme du Rocher he:כיפת הסלע ja:岩のドーム pl:Kopuła na Skale sv:Klippdomen


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