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History of Dome of the Rock

Video from Hikma History

"Few monuments can boast of being so religiously important to three of the monotheistic Abrahamic religions. It has stood the test of time for more than a thousand years and has been viewed by many historical figures with awe. One of which, the 14th century travel write Ibn Battuta provides us with a fitting description: "The Dome of the Rock is a building of extraordinary beauty, solidity, elegance, and singularity of shape… Both outside and inside, the decoration is so magnificent and the workmanship so surpassing as to defy description. The greater part is covered with gold so that the eyes of one who gazes on its beauties are dazzled by its brilliance, now glowing like a mass of light, now flashing like lightning." from Video Introduction

As Christians we must at least be aware of the History and reach of the worlds religions. As students of God's word we know that Christ centered his earthly ministry while incarnate in Jerusalem and surrounding environs.

The Dome of the Rock, in Arabic Qubbat al-Ṣakhrah, shrine in Jerusalem was built by the Umayyad caliph ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwān in the late 7th century CE. It is the oldest existing Islamic monument. The rock over which the shrine was built is sacred to both Muslims and Jews. Although it is not a mosque, it is the first major Muslim monument for public worship. The Prophet Muhammad considered to be the founder of Islam, is believed to have ascended into heaven from the site. In Jewish tradition and history it is here that Abraham, the progenitor/ first patriarch of the Hebrew people, is believed to have prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. The Dome and Al-Aqṣā Mosque are located on the Temple Mount, the site of Solomon’s Temple and its successors, an area known to Muslims as al-Ḥaram al-Sharīf. The Dome’s structure and ornamentation are based on Byzantine architectural tradition. Its construction in the 7th century begins an early stage in the emergence of a distinct Islamic visual style.

The original function of the Dome of the Rock is unknown. The building is not a mosque and does not fit easily into other categories of Muslim religious structures. At the advent of the Abbasid dynasty in the 8th century, some Muslim historians began to state that ʿAbd al-Malik built the Dome of the Rock as a substitute for the Kaʿbah in an attempt to relocate the site of the Muslim hajj from Mecca, then under the control of rebels. Modern scholars have questioned this interpretation.


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