Mihrab Maryam Gate
Mihrab Maryam Gate (Triple gate).
One of the closed doors of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, located near the middle of the southern wall of Al-Aqsa, which unites with the wall of Jerusalem in this area, and traces of this door are still visible from the outside. It consists of three adjacent entrances overlooking the Principal House and the Umayyad palaces located south of Al-Aqsa, and leading to the western wall of the Marwani Chapel located inside the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.
It was probably built by the Umayyads, during the reign of Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, to reach this chapel, which is located under the southeastern courtyard of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, which was known in the past as the eastern settlement. The door remained open even at the time of the Crusaders, who used the settlement as a stable for horses, until Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi (may God be pleased with him) came and cleaned and restored it, and, according to one narration, closed the triple gate to protect the city and the mosque from invasion.
However, In the hadith of Ibn Al-Omari about the Al-Marwani chapel in the year 755 AD - 1354 AD, he mentioned open doors that lead to the Silwan area, and he meant the triple door in the year 746 AH - 1345 AD. The way to reach the Marwani chapel until the year 900 AH - 1495 AD was from outside the wall, i.e. through the triple or single gate, as indicated by Al-Hanbali. During excavations in the Umayyad region, an Ayyubid wall was discovered in front of the closed gates, and this indicates that the Ayyubids protected the gates by building a wall in front of them and not by closing them as it is believed.It is more likely that the triple and single gates were completely closed after the rebuilding of the wall at the time of Suleiman the Magnificent at the beginning of the Ottoman period.
There is another closed door that led from the Umayyad palaces to the Marwani prayer hall, also known as the Single Gate, and the Gate of Al-Walid, in reference to Al-Walid bin Abdul-Malik. It is believed that it was located to the east of the triple door, behind the mihrab of the Marwani chapel, as Islamic architects used to allocate a door in such a place for the entry of the imam. But its effects are not visible now.
After the Zionist occupation of Jerusalem in 1967 AD, and following the failure of the Jewish excavations that took place in the area of the Umayyad palaces south of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque to prove any right for the Jews, they claimed that the triple gate (as well as the double gate) were one of the gates of their alleged temple, and they called them "Khaldah Gate", and they claimed that they discovered the remains of a stairway leading to them from the era of the second temple, and took that as an excuse to build a stone staircase along part of the southern wall of Al-Aqsa, specifically in the area between the triple and double gates. The Muslims understood that the attempt aimed at seizing the Marwani Chapel and the old Al-Aqsa Chapel to turn them into a synagogue in order to create a foothold for the Jews inside the blessed Aqsa. Therefore, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for the Reconstruction of Islamic Holy Sites and the Jerusalem Islamic Heritage Committee rushed to restore the chapels, especially the Marwani Chapel, which is more spacious, and to reopen the gates. The giant northern part of this chapel, which is located inside Al-Aqsa, thus thwarting part of this scheme, thank God.
In the year 2001 CE, as a result of excavations, a part of the southern wall of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque dented between the triple gate and the single gate with an extension of about thirty meters. Al-Qibli itself is on its foundations, and the occupation forces prevented the Islamic Endowments Department from restoring the place, however, partial restoration operations took place despite this, and the danger was remedied to some extent.
Translated and edited from the following Arabic language sites: