Dome of the Rock

Dome of the Rock
Qubbat As-Sakhrah
قبّة الصخرة
Israel-2013(2)-Jerusalem-Temple Mount-Dome of the Rock (SE exposure).jpg
Dome of the Rock is located in Jerusalem
Dome of the Rock
Location within the Old City of Jerusalem
Basic information
LocationJerusalem
Geographic coordinates31°46′41″N 35°14′07″E / 31°46′41″N 35°14′07″E / 31.7780; 35.2354
AffiliationIslam
AdministrationMinistry of Awqaf (Jordan)
Architectural description
Architectural typeShrine
Architectural styleUmayyad, Abbasid, Ottoman
Date establishedbuilt 688–692,[1] expanded 820s, restored 1020s, 1545–1566, 1721/2, 1817, 1874/5, 1959–1962, 1993.
Specifications
Dome(s)1
Minaret(s)0

The Dome of the Rock (Arabic: قبة الصخرةQubbat al-Sakhrah, Hebrew: כיפת הסלעKippat ha-Sela) is an Islamic shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.

It was initially completed in 691 CE at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik during the Second Fitna, built on the site of the Roman temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, which had in turn been built 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.[2]

Its architecture and mosaics were patterned after nearby Byzantine churches and palaces,[3] 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.[3]

The site's great significance for Muslims derives from traditions connecting it to the creation of the world and to the belief that the Prophet Muhammad's Night Journey to heaven started from the rock at the center of the structure.[4][5]

In Jewish tradition the rock bears great significance as the Foundation Stone, the place from which the world expanded into its present form and where God gathered the dust used to create the first human, Adam;[6] as the site on Mount Moriah 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.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has been called "Jerusalem's most recognizable landmark,"[7] along with two nearby Old City structures, the Western Wall, and the "Resurrection Rotunda" in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.[8]

History

Pre-Islamic

Reconstruction of Herod's Temple as seen from the east (Holyland Model of Jerusalem, 1966)

The Dome of the Rock is situated in the center of the Temple Mount, the site of the Temple of Solomon and the Jewish Second Temple, which had been greatly expanded under Herod the Great in the 1st century BCE. Herod's Temple was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans, and after the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 CE, a Roman temple to Jupiter Capitolinus was built at the site.[9]

Jerusalem was ruled by the Christian Byzantine Empire throughout the 4th to 6th centuries. During this time, Christian pilgrimage to Jerusalem began to develop.[10] The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built under Constantine in the 320s, but the Temple Mount was left undeveloped after a failed project of restoration of the Jewish Temple under Julian the Apostate.[11]

Original construction

The Dome of the Rock is now mostly assumed to have been built by the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik and his son and successor Al-Walid I. According to Sibt ibn al-Jawzi, construction started in 687. Construction cost was reportedly seven times the yearly tax income of Egypt.[12]

A dedicatory inscription in Kufic script is preserved inside the dome. The date is recorded as AH 72 (691/2 CE), the year historians believe the construction of the original Dome was completed.[13] In this inscription, the name of al-Malik was deleted and replaced by the name of Abbasid caliph Al-Ma'mun. This alteration of the original inscription was first noted by Melchior de Vogüé in 1864.[14] Some scholars have suggested that the dome was added to an existing building, built either by Muawiyah I (r. 661–680),[15] or indeed a Byzantine building dating to before the Muslim conquest, built under Heraclius (r. 610–641).[16]

Its architecture and mosaics were patterned after nearby Byzantine churches and palaces.[3] The two engineers in charge of the project were Raja ibn Haywah, a Muslim theologian from Beit She'an and Yazid Ibn Salam, a non-Arab who was Muslim and a native of Jerusalem.[3][17]

Cross section of the Dome (print from 1887, after the first detailed drawings of the Dome, made by Frederick Catherwood in 1833).[18]

Shelomo Dov Goitein of the Hebrew University has argued that the Dome of the Rock was intended to compete with the many fine buildings of worship of other religions: "The very form of a rotunda, given to the Qubbat as-Sakhra, although it was foreign to Islam, was destined to rival the many Christian domes."[19] K.A.C. Creswell in his book The Origin of the Plan of the Dome of the Rock notes that those who built the shrine used the measurements of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The diameter of the dome of the shrine is 20.20 m (66.3 ft) and its height 20.48 m (67.2 ft), while the diameter of the dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is 20.90 m (68.6 ft) and its height 21.05 m (69.1 ft).

The structure was basically octagonal. It comprised a wooden dome, approximately 20 m (66 ft) in diameter, which was mounted on an elevated drum consisting of a circle of 16 piers and columns.[20] Surrounding this circle was an octagonal arcade of 24 piers and columns.

Abbasids and Fatimids

The building was severely damaged by earthquakes in 808 and again in 846.[21] The dome collapsed in an earthquake in 1015 and was rebuilt in 1022–23. The mosaics on the drum were repaired in 1027–28.[22]

Crusaders

Depiction of the Templum Domini on the reverse side of the seal of the Knights Templar

For centuries Christian pilgrims were able to come and experience the Temple Mount, but escalating violence against pilgrims to Jerusalem (Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, who ordered the destruction of the Holy Sepulchre, was an example) instigated the Crusades.[23] The Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099 and the Dome of the Rock was given to the Augustinians, who turned it into a church, while the Al-Aqsa Mosque became a royal palace. The Knights Templar, active from c. 1119, identified the Dome of the Rock as the site of the Temple of Solomon and set up their headquarters in the Al-Aqsa Mosque adjacent to the Dome for much of the 12th century. The Templum Domini, as they called the Dome of the Rock, featured on the official seals of the Order's Grand Masters (such as Everard des Barres and Renaud de Vichiers), and soon became the architectural model for round Templar churches across Europe.

Ayyubids and Mamluks

Jerusalem was recaptured by Saladin on 2 October 1187, and the Dome of the Rock was reconsecrated as a Muslim shrine. The cross on top of the dome was replaced by a crescent,[citation needed] and a wooden screen was placed around the rock below.[citation needed] Saladin's nephew al-Malik al-Mu'azzam Isa carried out other restorations within the building, and added the porch to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.[citation needed]

The Dome of the Rock was the focus of extensive royal patronage by the sultans during the Mamluk period, which lasted from 1250 until 1510.[citation needed]

Ottoman Empire (1517–1917)

During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566) the exterior of the Dome of the Rock was covered with tiles. This work took seven years.[citation needed]

The interior of the dome is lavishly decorated with mosaic, faience and marble, much of which was added several centuries after its completion. It also contains Qur'anic inscriptions. Surah Ya Sin (the "Heart of the Quran") is inscribed across the top of the tile work and was commissioned in the 16th century by Suleiman the Magnificent. Al-Isra, the Surah 17 which tells the story of the Isra or Night Journey, is inscribed above this.

Adjacent to the Dome of the Rock, the Ottomans built the free-standing Dome of the Prophet in 1620. Large-scale renovation was undertaken during the reign of Mahmud II in 1817.

In a major restoration project undertaken in 1874–75 during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Abdülaziz, all the tiles on the west and southwest walls of the octagonal part of the building were removed and replaced by copies that had been made in Turkey.[24][25]

Modern history

1920s photograph

Haj Amin al-Husseini, appointed Grand Mufti by the British during the 1917 mandate of Palestine, along with Yaqub al-Ghusayn, implemented the restoration of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

The Dome of the Rock was badly shaken during the 11 July 1927 Jericho earthquake, damaging many of the repairs that had taken place over previous years.

In 1955, an extensive program of renovation was begun by the government of Jordan, with funds supplied by Arab governments and Turkey. The work included replacement of large numbers of tiles dating back to the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, which had become dislodged by heavy rain. In 1965, as part of this restoration, the dome was covered with a durable aluminium bronze alloy made in Italy that replaced the lead exterior. Before 1959, the dome was covered in blackened lead. In the course of substantial restoration carried out from 1959 to 1962, the lead was replaced by aluminum-bronze plates covered with gold leaf.

A few hours after the Israeli flag was hoisted over the Dome of the Rock in 1967 during the Six-Day War, Israelis lowered it on the orders of Moshe Dayan and invested the Muslim waqf (religious trust) with the authority to manage the Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif, in order to "keep the peace".[26]

The reverse of a 1,000-rial banknote from 1982.

In 1993, the golden dome covering was refurbished following a donation of USD 8.2 million by King Hussein of Jordan who sold one of his houses in London to fund the 80 kilograms of gold required.[citation needed]

The Dome of the Rock is depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 1,000-rial banknote.[27]

Other Languages
العربية: قبة الصخرة
azərbaycanca: Qübbətüs-Səhra
български: Купол на Скалата
čeština: Skalní dóm
Deutsch: Felsendom
فارسی: قبةالصخره
français: Dôme du Rocher
한국어: 바위의 돔
Bahasa Indonesia: Kubah Shakhrah
עברית: כיפת הסלע
Basa Jawa: Kubah Shakhrah
Latina: Tholus Saxi
latviešu: Klints kupols
magyar: Sziklamecset
македонски: Златна купола
Bahasa Melayu: Qubbat As-Sakhrah
Nederlands: Rotskoepel
日本語: 岩のドーム
norsk nynorsk: Klippedomen
português: Cúpula da Rocha
română: Cupola Stâncii
русский: Купол Скалы
Simple English: Dome of the Rock
slovenčina: Skalný dóm
slovenščina: Kupola na skali
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kupola na stijeni
Basa Sunda: Masjid Umar
svenska: Klippdomen
татарча/tatarça: Кыя гөмбәзе мәчете
українська: Купол Скелі
吴语: 圆顶回庙