Israel Yesterday and Today: A pilgrimage in word and image | Contents | Galilee | Jerusalem | West Bank | Desert | Sinai |
The Dome of the Rock
After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I."  He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Mori'ah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." - Genesis 22:1-2
The Dome of the Rock, Qubbat al-Sakhra in Arabic, was built in Jerusalem between 688-691 by the Ommayad Kalif Abdul Malik ibn Marwan. It is the first major sanctuary built by Islam.  It is also the only one to have survived intact.  It is built over the rock on the Temple Mount where it was believed that Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac in obedience to the command of the Lord (Gen. 22). The Muslims also believe that this was the spot from which Mohammed began his Night Journey. The shrine's design is based on mathematical dimensions related to the center circle drawn around the rock inside. The interior of the dome is covered in gold-dominated mosaics designed by Syrian Christians. 
The Temple Mount, called Haram al-Sharif by Muslims, is revered in Islam as a holy place. On Fridays, thousands of local Muslims gather here to pray. Some 200,000 Muslims from around the world come to the shrine to pray during Ramadan.


See also | Muslims | Muslim Quarter of Old City Jerusalem |

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(c) 2001 Don Schwager