Introduction to Dome of rock Jerusalem and description.
The dome of octagonal shape is the holy shrine of remarkable importance in Muslim history. The dome was built by one of the Umayyad caliphs, Abdul-al-Malik. The dome was built at the start of the 690s. It took almost one year for its completion. The shrine is located on the hill in one of the oldest cities of Jerusalem.
The three important places Masjid Al Aqsa, the dome of the rock and Al harem Sharif all have the same location. These are not part of one another, rather three different places of spirituality in Islamic history. This is the reason Jerusalem is considered the holy place by Muslims, Jews, and Christians. It is the most sacred place for Muslims because of the beloved Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H). As he went up to Heaven on 27 Rajab from the sacred rock in the base of Dome. The Jews considered temple mount of holy importance, as this is the site where Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) sacrificed his son.
Jerusalem originally consisted of Muslims for almost 60 years. After some years of completion of Dome of Rock, Jerusalem was taken by Christians. Masjid al Aqsa is located on a widely open holy place i-e Al harem Sharif. Many other religious buildings and schools are too located on it.
The place has attained high spiritual importance, as Allah descended Hazrat Adam (A.S) from heaven to earth. The Dome of rock is the first religious shrine ever built on earth. The UN body of Heritage has recognized Jerusalem as the most astonishing land piece. The religious, cultural, ancient Islamic architectural style and high spiritual importance make the city most astounding.
Umayyads reign (Dome of rock Jerusalem)
The remarkable Umayyad caliph Abd-ul-Malik started the construction of the astonishing shrine. The basic octagonal structure of shrine and dome is in its original form, as it was constructed. Abd-ul-Malik appointed two Engineers for its construction. Raja ibn-e-Haywah was the native Arabian and political advisor of Abd-ul-Malik. Yazid ibn-e-Saleem was Muslim but native of Jerusalem. The cost of its construction was high, as it exceeds the annual taxes of whole Egypt. Jerusalem was ruled by Byzantines ruler at that time which has greatly attracted the non-native Christians. Christian from all over the world started to visit Jerusalem. Byzantine reign has widely influenced Christianity. Many churches were built in Jerusalem. The most prominent of which was Church of Holy Sepulcher. When the construction of Dome was initiated Muslims were fighting with Byzantines in Jerusalem and Ibne-al-Zuber. Ibne-al-Zubyr was controlling Mecca at that time. The main reason for the construction of Dome was to distinguish Muslims from Jews and Christians.
The earthquake of 808 and 846 had damaged the dominating shrine to a greater extent. Later in 1015, the earthquake of high magnitude hit the Dome of Rock and caused it to fall down. Although the main structure of the shrine was not affected. In 1022, one of the Abbasid rulers ordered to rebuilt the Dome.
Fatmid’s reign and Crusades
The Christians from different areas of the world have visited Jerusalem. At that time the Church of Holy Sepulcher was considered as the holiest place for Christians. One of the Fatmid’s caliph Abu Ali Mansur ordered the destruction of the Church. The Church was completely demolished. This then led towards the series of wars among Fatmids and crusades. The crusades won the battle in 1099. The crusades then started to rule at Jerusalem. The Dome of Rock was turned to Church by crusades.
Saladin the founder of the Ayyubids dynasty fought a war with Crusades. Saladin won the battle and took back Jerusalem in 1187. The Dome of Rock was changed to the religious shrine of Muslims under the orders of Saladin. Later Malik-al-Moazzam has done a lot of work, bring the Dome to its original form. Mali-al-Moazzam was the nephew of Saladin.
Mamluk’s period (1250-1510):
Dome of Rock was the center of attention by Mamluk sultans. Many restorations to the holy shrine were dome during the Mamluk dynasty.
The dome of Rock was covered by tiles during the Ottomans rule. The Ottoman’s ruler played a significant role in the major decoration of the shrine. Porcelain (the magnificent ceramic material) was added to the outer facade. Both the exterior and interior decoration takes seven years in its completion. Ottomans ruler has done a lot for the construction of other religious buildings in Jerusalem. In 1620, One of the rulers of the Ottoman empire built the Dome of Prophet.
The major restorations to Al Aqsa mosque and Dome of Rock were done by Mohammad Amin-al-Hassan in 1917. He appointed one landowner from Romania and Grand mufti from the British to accomplish the restoration. The earthquake of 1927 has greatly damaged the major infrastructure of the holy shrine.
In 1955, the government of Jordan has ordered the restoration of the dome, with the assistance of the Arab and Turkey governments. The tiles of the religious shrine were replaced, as marble is affected by the acid rain. The outer Dome was covered by an alloy of copper and Bronze. later this was replaced by the Gold.
The Israel rule was started in Jerusalem in 1948. In 1967, they made a committee to look after the Dome of Rock, Masjid al Aqsa. The basic purpose of this committee was to make Jerusalem a peaceful place.
With the assistance of funds from the US, the dome of gold was replaced by new. The dome of the rock is made of 80 Kg of gold.
Structure of Dome of Rock:
The exterior of the Mosque (Dome of rock Jerusalem)
The religious shrine is characterized by the large dome having the octagonal structure. The large wooden dome with an outer covering of gold has 20 m diameter. The dome is at height of 30 m from the ground. The dome seems like rising to heaven. It also served as the whole essence of Muslim beliefs and spirituality. The shrine has a large courtyard on all sides. The octagonal structure below the dome is made of marble. Octagonal has a total of eight sides. There are total four doors of shrine. These doors are present after the gap of one side in sequence. Every side of door has total of seven windows. It is also regarded as wonder of mathematics. Because of its geometrical shape the construction of one particular shape.
The color scheme of Dome of Rock is also very specific in terms of religious spirituality. Three main colors were used in the shrine. White is a symbol of peace among the Muslims, which is used on half of the walls. Sky blue which is symbol of faith and depth, it is used on the upper side of the walls. The golden color symbolizes illumination and passion. All the colors of religious and divine shrine gave the message of Islam to all the Muslims of the world.
The walls of the shrine have a height of about 67 feet. The doors are made of plain wood with two rectangular cuttings on the upper side. In the rectangular cuttings, plane glass mirrors are fitted. The windows are made of marble with circular cuttings. All four doors are surrounded by six small pillars. Uppermost part of the walls is ornamented with different verses from the holy Quran.
The Interior of the Mosque (Dome of rock Jerusalem)
The interior hall of the shrine is divided into different symmetrical segments, supported by the pillar. The floor of the shrine is covered by mosaic, instead of marble. Large size pillars are present all over the hall. The exact place from where Muhammad (P.B.U.H) ascended to heaven is not covered by tiles. But this is protected by the boundary on its outer sides.
fig: Natural cave under the hall
The sacred stone is also in its original position as left by Prophet (P.B.U.H). There are wooden rocks on all the sides of the pillars. Holy book Quran, Hades and other religious books are present over there. The ceiling of Hall is blended with the oldest Islamic architectural styles. Wood and mosaic are used in the ceiling of the shrine. The interior walls are covered by mosaic. The architecture style of the hall is stunning. In-ceiling of shrine painted timber, mosaic and carved stones are used. The stones used in the ceiling have multi-complex shapes and cuttings. The natural cave is present under the hall. Stairs are made to move into a cave.
Control of Dome:
The ministry of Awqaf was made by the government of Jordan to maintain Dome of Rock. Till 1967, non-Muslims were completely banned over this place. But the demand for tourists from all over the world caused the ministry to change its rule. The non-Muslims can only visit the shrine from the outside. They are not allowed to go inside the dome.
Religious importance for Muslims:
The foundational stone is of religious significance, as this was the place where the Prophet (P.B.U.H) moved up to heaven. The incident of Miraj Sharif is also mention in the Holy Quran. It was also the first Qibla of Muslims, later it was changed by Muhammad (P.B.U.H) after revelation.
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