Madrasa al-Khatuniyya

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Hatuniyyah Madrasah / Al-Khatuniyah School

Madrasahs that started from the Ayyubid era and developed even more during the Mamluk era were perhaps the most functional places in Islamicjerusalem (Burgoyne, 1987). There were many educational areas both in and around the Al-Jami al-Aqsa and Al-Aqsa Mosque. Many madrasahs were given education in various sciences (Ghosheh, 2005). All of them corresponded to a large university with many faculties today. While some of the buildings are still used, only the remains of some are visible.

Hatuniyyah Madrasah was endowed by by Lady Ughul Khatun al-Qazaniyya al-Baghdadiyya, the daughter of Shams al-Din ben Sayf al-Din, in the 7th Century during Mamluk era (Ghosheh, 2005). Originally it was dedicated to teaching Qur’an and Islamic jurisprudence. 30 years after its construction, in the years 1380-1381, the daughter of Amir Qazan Shah Lady İsfahanshah Khatun had the madrasah repaired and reendowed (Ghosheh, 2005).

Hatuniyyah Madrasah is one of the madrasahs in the western porticoes of Al-Aqsa Mosque. There are Muzhiriyya Madrasah and Arghuniyya Madrasah in its north, cotton market in its south, and many structures built in different time in its west. The windows on the south side of this madrasa overlook the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and this madrasah is accessed through a narrow passage between Muzhiriyya Madrasah and Arghuniyya Madrasah, and this narrow passage extends south from Bab al-Hadid of Al-Aqsa Mosque. This is the second madrasah from the left outside the Bab al-Hadid, or the Iron Gate (Ghosheh, 2005).

This madrasah is a two-storey building. The center of this madrasah has an open courtyard. There is a water well in the middle of this courtyard, and ten rooms of different sizes surround the courtyard. On the second storey of the madrasah, there are rooms added later. The remaining north, west and south tributaries of the rectangle contain clustered rooms of various sizes (Asali, 1997).

Today, several Islamic and national figures are buried inside this madrasa such as: Prince Mohammad Ali Al-Hindi, an Indian Prince who defended the Palestinian cause; Musa Kathem Al-Husseini, head of the Nationalist Executive Committee of the Palestine Arab Congress and Mayor of Jerusalem under the Ottomans; Sharif Abdul Hamid bin Awn, father-in-law of King Abdullah of Jordan; Ahmad Hilmi Abdel Baqi, first Palestinian Prime Minister under the 1948 All-Palestine Government; Abdul Qader Al-Husseini, grandson of Musa Kathem Al-Husseini, commander of local Arab forces during the 1948 War and leader of the famous Al-Qastal battle; his son Faisal Al-Husseini, a Palestinian politician and head of the Palestinian representation in Jerusalem (Orient House); and Abdul Hamid Shoman, founder of the Arab Bank (Ghosheh, 2005).

Today, the Al-Khatuniyah Madrasah is a residence for a family (Hadi, 2013).

Madrasa al-Khatuniyya


Asali, K. J., (ed. 1997). Jerusalem in History: 3000 B.C. to the Present Day. London & New York: Kegan Paul International; New York: Columbia University Press, 189-191.

Burgoyne, M. H., (1987). Mamluk Jerusalem: An Architectural Study, 178. Jerusalem: British School of Archeology in Jerusalem.

Ghosheh, M., H., (2005), Guide to the Masjid al-Aqsa: an Architectural and Historical Guide to the Islamic Monuments in Masjid al-Aqsa. Access Address:

Hadi, M. A., (2013). “Al-Aqsa Mosque Al-Haram Ash-Sharif.” Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, PASSIA. Supported by TİKA.