Dome of the Rock

Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall. Photo by Ardon Bar Hama.

Epigraphy from the Inner Octagonal Arcade of the Dome of the Rock, the oldest known Islamic inscription on the oldest Islamic building; it is located on the Temple Mount, Jerusalem.

“…O People of the Book!

Don’t be excessive in the name of your faith!

Do not say things about God but the truth!

The Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, is indeed a messenger of God-

The Almighty extended a word to Mary,

and a spirit too.

So believe in God and all the messengers,

and stop talking about a Trinity.

Cease in your own best interests!

Verily God is the God of unity.

Lord Almighty! That God would beget a child?

Either in the Heavens or on the Earth?…”

Nuseibeh, Said, and Oleg Grabar, The Dome of the Rock, Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., New York, 1996.



Interior of Al-Aksa Mosque

According to Josias Leslie Porter, in his book Jerusalem, Bethany, and Bethlehem, 1887, p. 48-

The origin of the mosque, as given by Muslem authorities, is interesting. It is as follows. After taking the city, the Khalif Omar asked where the Jewish Temple stood. The Patriarch took him to this rock, then covered with ruins. Omar, with his own hands, helped to remove the rubbish, and gave orders for the erection of the mosque. It is further said that it was rebuilt in a style of greater splendour by Abd el-Melek, who covered it with plates of gold. During the temporary rule of the Crusaders it was converted into a church, and they called it “The Temple of the Lord.”



Dome of the Rock Inscription

When Jerusalem was captured by the Crusaders in 1099, they converted the Dome of the Rock into a church, calling it the Templum Domini. They added a cross on the dome and iron railings for the protection of the Rock. The al-Aksa Mosque became the residence of the first Latin kings of Jerusalem (Palatium Salomonis), with the addition of a front portico. Subsequently it passed to the Templar Knights who constructed their monastery to the west of the Mosque (today the Islamic Museum).


Interior of the Dome



Exterior of the Dome

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