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Dome of the Rock

The great Dome of the Rock (Arabic: Qubbat As-Sakhrah) was built between 687 and 691 by the 9th Caliph, Abd al-Malik. According to tradition, the Dome was built to honor the Lord, while some claim the caliph also wanted to build a shrine to rival Mecca. Located in what Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary -- which Jews call the Temple Mount -- it remains one 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 his Lord. It is a holy place to Muslims. The Jews also believe this place to be the spot of ground where Abraham almost sacrificed his son Isaac at the command of the Lord, and also the spot where Jacob saw the ladder to heaven. Other traditions say it is the spot where the first stone was laid in the building of the world.

Dome of the rock in center of Temple mount Larger_version

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 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.

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 one of the seals of the Knights and was a model for Templar churches accross 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 wishes 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 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.

External link

  • [1] (http://www.sacredsites.com/1st30/domeof)

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