Al-Fakhriyah Minaret

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Al Fakhriyyah Minaret - North facing view

The Al-Fakhriyyah Minaret (Arabic: مئذنة الفخرية) was built around 690 AH (1278 AD) by Qadi Sharaf al-Din Abd al-Rahman. Although some sources claim that it was built by the order of Mamluk Sultan Lajin , according to its inscription the Sultan who gave the order was Sultan Nasir ed-Din Baraka Khan: “It was built under the supervision of Judge Şerafeddin Abdurrahman bin es-Sahib el-Vazir el-Fahr ed-Din al-Khalili in h.676-678 / m.1277-1280 during the reign of Sultan Nasir ed-Din Baraka Khan” . On the other hand, al-Jallad, referring to the fact that Fadlallah Al-Omari, who visited Jerusalem in 1345, mentioned only two minarets and did not mention the Al-Fakhariyya minaret, suggests that Al-Fakhariyya Minaret was not built by Judge Fakhr Al-Din, because it was built after 1345 .

It was built in the South Western corner of Masjid Al Aqsa into the outer wall where the Islamic Museum and Al Aqsa Library/Women's Masjid intersect and is the first of Masjid Al Aqsa's four existing minarets to be built.

Al Fakhriyyah Minaret - Northeastern view

Name

The minaret was named after Fakhr al-Din al-Khalili, the father of Sharif al-Din Abd al-Rahman, who supervised the minarets's construction. Another name of the minaret is “Fihri Minaret”.

Architecture

Al-Fakhriyyah Minaret was built in the traditional Syrian style, with a square-shaped base and shaft. It stands 23-meters high and is the shortest of Masjid Al Aqsa's minarets. The minaret has no foundations and is divided by moldings into three floors, above which two rows of muqarnas decorate the muezzin's balcony. The niche is surrounded by a square chamber that is topped by a lead-covered stone dome.

Access

It has a northern facing entrance which can be reached by a stone ladder located in the south-western corner of Masjid Al Aqsa, at the junction of the Islamic Museum and Women’s Masjid. The minaret is located above the Madrasah al-Fakhariyya. The Islamic Museum was being known "the Maghreb Mosque" before, probably for this reason, the minaret is also known as “the Bab Al Magharibah Minaret”.

It is possible to reach the top of the minaret by fifty steps starting from the Islamic Museum, however, Israeli forces prevent the staff of Al-Aqsa Mosque from climbing it without unaccompanied by Israeli police because the location of the minaret is suitable to directly supervise the Al-Buraq Wall.

History

Masjid Al Aqsa had 4 minarets before Crusader rule, including one that stood approximately where Al-Fakhriyyah Minaret stands today. The Mamluks built or renovated eight major minarets in Al Quds (English: Jerusalem, Literal Translation: The Holy), including Al-Fakhriyyah Minaret, after they defeated the Crusaders and conquered the city, in an effort to reclaim the Islamic identity of the city after many decades of European occupation. The minaret was rebuilt during the Ottoman period in 1339 AH (1920 AD).


1340 Earthquake

The top of the minaret was damaged in an earthquake that hit Al Quds in 1340 AH (1922 AD) and was repaired by the Islamic Supreme Council who also added a dome atop it. The dome was later covered with lead sheets by the Hashemite Fund for the Restoration of Masjid Al-Aqsa.




References

  • Patel, Ismail Adam (2006). Virtues of Jerusalem and Islamic perspective. United Kingdom: al-Aqsa Publisher. p. 100.
  • Passia (2013). "Mesjid Aksa Rehberi (Haram-i Serif)". TIKA: 3–66.
  • Zohar, Mohti (2015). "Why is the Minaret So Short? Evidence for Earthquake Damage on Mt Zion". Palestine Exploration Quarterly. 147 (3): 230–246.
  • Menashe, 2004, p.334.
  • Burgoyne, Michael H. "A Chronological Index to the Muslim Monuments of Jerusalem." In The Architecture of Islamic Jerusalem. Jerusalem: The British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem, 1976
  • Burgoyne, Michael Hamilton. Mamluk Jerusalem: An Architectural Study, 178. Jerusalem: British School of Archeology in Jerusalem, 1987.
  • Brooke, Steven. Views of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Rizzoli, 2003. ISBN 0-8478-2511-6
  • Al-Smadi, Dr. Taleb Abdallah, 2001. “Bait Al-Maqdis Within a Historical and Archaeological Until the End of Umayyad Period”, Department of Archaeology and Tourism, Faculty of Arts, Mu'tah University, Jordan.
  • Smith, Andrew C. (2013). "Mamluk Jerusalem: Architecturally Challenging Narratives". LUX: A Journal of Transdisciplinary Writing and Research from Claremont Graduate University. 3: 1–15.
  • I. Al-Jallad, “معالم المسجد الأقصى تحت المجهر (Al-Aqsa Mosque landmarks under the microscope)”. Baytul Maqdis Center for Literature, 2017.
  • Ghushah, Muhammad (2005) Guide to the Masjid al-Aqsa : an architectural and historical guide to the Islamic monuments in the Masjid al-Aqsa. Jerusalem: Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs
  • Aykaç, Fettah, Beytü’l-Makdis’in Önemli İslami Yapıları, in Huzur Bekleyen Şehir Kudüs, İlim Yayma Vakfı Yayınları, İstanbul, 2022, pp. 272-333.