Qubbat al-Sakhra (Dome of the Rock)

The Dome of the Rock is located in the middle of al-Aqsa Mosque compound, centered in an open space that rises from the ground level currently known to the people of Jerusalem as the Rock Level. The Rock Level is nearly rectangular and is accessed by eight colonnades.

The Umayyad Caliph ‘Abed al-Malik ibn Marwan (65-86 H / 685-705AD) was the one who ordered the construction of the Dome of the Rock. ‘Abed al-Malik used Egypt’s revenues for seven years to build the Dome of the Rock. He appointed Raja’ ibn Haywah and Yazid Ibn Salam to undertake all that was necessary to complete the construction. The Dome of the Rock was built for many reasons, most importantly was to commemorate the miracle of the Isra and Mi’raj, and Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace be upon Him) prayer as an Imam for many prophets and messengers during that miracle.

The scheme of the Dome of the Rock is composed of a hemispherical dome supported by a circle of columns and supporters, as well as two octagonal structures, one interior and the other exterior, which support the drum of the dome.

It is worth mentioning that the Franks (Crusaders) turned the Dome of the Rock into a church, calling it Templum Domini and added icons, crosses, and an iron fence that surrounded the Rock. However, when Jerusalem was freed, Saladin (Salah al-Din) returned it to its original Islamic theme. The Dome of the Rock is the most beautiful, the most magnificent and the oldest domes of Jerusalem. It is the oldest Islamic standing construction, and it is an icon of Palestine and Jerusalem. It has many spiritual, architectural, religious, historical, social and political values. The Dome of the Rock is distinguished by its decorations that display a variety of floral and geometrical designs and inscriptions, and by the coordination of colors, especially the colors gold, blue, and green.