Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock
The Dome of the Rock (Arabic: قبة الصخرة Qubbat al-Sakhrah, Hebrew: כיפת הסלע Kippat ha-Sela) is an Islamic shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was initially completed in 691–92 CE at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik during the Second Fitna on the site of the Second Jewish Temple, destroyed during the Roman Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE. The original dome collapsed in 1015 and was rebuilt in 1022–23. The Dome of the Rock is in its core one of the oldest extant works of Islamic architecture.
Its architecture and mosaics were patterned after nearby Byzantine churches and palaces, although its outside appearance has been significantly changed in the Ottoman period and again in the modern period, notably with the addition of the gold-plated roof, in 1959–61 and again in 1993. The octagonal plan of the structure may have been influenced by the Byzantine Church of the Seat of Mary (also known as Kathisma in Greek and al-Qadismu in Arabic) built between 451 and 458 on the road between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
The Foundation Stone the temple was built over bears great significance in the Abrahamic religions as the place where God created the world and the first human, Adam. It is also believed to be the site where Abraham attempted to sacrifice his son, and as the place where God’s divine presence is manifested more than in any other place, towards which Jews turn during prayer. The site’s great significance for Muslims derives from traditions connecting it to the creation of the world and the belief that Muhammad’s Night Journey to heaven started from the rock at the center of the structure.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has been called “Jerusalem’s most recognizable landmark,” along with two nearby Old City structures, the Western Wall, and the “Resurrection Rotunda” in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.It is the earliest archaeologically-attested religious structure to be built by a Muslim ruler and the building’s inscriptions contain the earliest epigraphic proclamations of Islam and of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The inscriptions proved to be a milestone, as afterward they became a common feature in Islamic structures and almost always mention Muhammad. The Dome of the Rock remains a “unique monument of Islamic culture in almost all respects”, including as a “work of art and as a cultural and pious document”, according to historian Oleg Grabar.