The Importance Of The Dome Of The Rock

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Jerusalem is mainly associated with Jewish customs and being known as the birthplace of Judaism, but the city is also enriched with other religions like Christianity and Islam and influenced by the cultures of Christians and Muslims. One religious site that is entwined with all three of these religions is the Dome of the Rock located on the Temple Mount. The Dome of the Rock which was finished under Caliph ‘Abd al-Malik around 692 was not a mosque but a shrine. This structure is significant not just because of how interrelated it is with the religions of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, but it is also important in that this space is connected with other historical spaces in the city of Jerusalem. The importance of the Dome of the Rock in how …show more content…
In addition, the Dome of the Rock was not entirely unique in its designs and architecture, as some historians believe that the Dome of the Rock had similar elements to the Ka’ba. The Ka’ba is the holiest site for the Muslims located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. They believed that the Ka’ba was originally built by Abraham and Ishmael and later rededicated to the prophet Muhammad. To get to this conclusion, one must look at the connection between the Dome of the Rock, the Ka’ba, and a mihrab, a semicircular niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the direction of the Ka’ba in Mecca and hence the direction that Muslims should face when praying. There are many mihrabs mentioned in the Qur’an, the Islamic sacred book, and they are presented as emphasizing “their height, their inaccessibility, and in the case of Solomon’s mihrabs, their grandeur and opulence” (Khoury 59). These features of the mihrab can be seen in Mary’s mihrab by Zakariayya in that “he designed the mihrab so that its entrance was in its center. The door could be reached only by climbing a stairway or ladder” (Khoury 58). Compare these designs with the Dome of the Rock’s features we can see how interrelated the Dome of the Rock and the mihrab are as the Dome of the …show more content…
In fact when Muhammad was initially teaching his first converts, he told them to “turn away from the Ka’bah to face Jerusalem” because the Ka’ba was contaminated by idols and the spiritual center of Jerusalem worshipped Allah alone, but later changed this notion and instead told then to “pray facing Mecca instead” (Armstrong 222). This “qihlah”, direction of prayer, is significant in their religion because it “marked their new orientation away from their tribe toward the primordial faith of the whole of humanity” which now makes Jerusalem a ‘differentiated’ space (Armstrong 222). Moreover, the “holiness of Jerusalem was, after all, inherited by Islam from Judaism and Christianity” (Rabbat

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