Dome of the Prophet

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The Dome of the Prophet (Arabic: قبة النبي‎, Qubbat an-Nabi) is also known as the Dome of the Messenger, the Dome of Muhammed (Kaplony 2002, 84) and the Dome of the Mihrab of the Prophet (Arabic: قبة محراب النبي). It is a free-standing dome on the side of the Dome of the Rock (https://0fs.me/5910689). It is a part of the terrace of the Dome of the Rock and located northwest of it in al-Aqsa Mosque (https://en.qudsinfo.com/pics/dome-prophet-al-nabi/).

The Dome of the Prophet, in Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa in Bayt al-Maqdis (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

History

Originally, the Dome of the Prophet was constructed during the Umayyad period. However, after the destruction of the original dome during the Crusader period, Muhammad Bek, Ottoman Governor of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, rebuilt the dome in 1539 during the time of Suleiman the Magnificent (Aslan 2015, 94) over the original Umayyad mihrab. Its last renovation was made during the reign of Sultan Abdul Majid II (https://en.qudsinfo.com/pics/dome-prophet-al-nabi/).

Several Muslim writers, most notably al-Suyuti and al-Wasiti claimed that the site of the dome is where the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) led the former prophets and angels in prayer on the night of Isra and Mir'aj, while facing the rock, before ascending to Heaven (Armstrong, Guy, and Çalı 2018, p.249).

According to another narration mentioned in Musnad Ahmed, Umar bin Khattab prayed in the southern area of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa (present-day basement level under Al-Jami Al-Aqsa) claiming it to be the site where the prophet Muhammad prayed during the night journey.

Both opinions regarding the location of where the prophet led the prayer during the night journey are weak in their isnad. However, these are the only two opinions that exist.

Endowment documents from the Ottoman period indicate that a portion of the endowment of the al-Aqsa Mosque and Khassaki Sultan Imaret was dedicated to maintaining the lighting of an oil lamp in the Dome of the Prophet each night (Uğurluel 2017, 289).

Architecture

The Dome of the Prophet's octagonal structure is built atop eight gray marble columns. The dome, which is covered with sheet lead and without walls (Guy 1890, 155), is hemispherical and is supported by pointed arches decorated with red, black, and white stones. The ancient mihrab is made of a white marble slab embedded in the floor and surrounded by red-coloured stones and subsequently delimited by a low wall, that opens in the north to allow entrance to the believers heading southward to Mecca in Muslim prayers (http://www.archnet.org/sites/3068).

Significance

The dome was built to mark the place where it is believed that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) led the prayer of all the prior prophets and all the angels as an imam on the Night of Miraj before his Ascension (TİKA, 2013; Kaplony, 2002; Necipoğlu, 2008). To emphasize this event, Ottomans burnt an oil lamp during the night and day in the Dome of the Prophet (Coşkun, 2002, as cited in Oktay, 2008).


References

1.Kaplony, Andreas (2002). The Ḥaram of Jerusalem (324-1099): Temple, Friday Mosque, Area of Spiritual Power. Zurich: Franz Steiner Verlag. p. 84. ISBN 978-3515079013.

2.Elad, Amikam (1999). Medieval Jerusalem and Islamic Worship: Holy Places, Ceremonies, Pilgrimage. Netherlands: Brill. pp. 307, 308. ISBN 9004100105.

3.Aslan, Halide. "Osmanlı Döneminde Kudüs'teki İlmî Hayat". Journal of Islamic Research. 2015;26(3):93-9: 94.

4.Uğurluel, Talha (2017). Arzın Kapısı Kudüs. Istanbul: Timaş. p. 289. ISBN 978-605-08-2425-4.

5.Le Strange, Guy (1890). Palestine Under The Moslems. pp. 123, 154, 155. https://archive.org/details/palestineundermo00lest/page/122/mode/2up/search/dome+of+the+prophet

6.Armstrong, Karen. "Sacred Space: The Holiness of IslamicJerusalem". Journal of IslamicJerusalem Studies. 1(1): 5–20.

7.Çalı, Erol (2018). Hüznün Başkenti Kudüs. İstanbul: Destek Yayınları. p. 249. ISBN 9786053113508.

8.http://www.archnet.org/sites/3068

9.https://en.qudsinfo.com/pics/dome-prophet-al-nabi/

10.TİKA. (2013). Mescid-i Aksa Rehberi (Harem-i Şerif). http://www.passia.org/media/filer_public/67/73/67730ca8-a5ec-4c08-a9e5-a574688852b6/aqsa-tr-compressed.pdf

11.Necipoğlu, G. (2008). “The Dome of the Rock as Palimpsest: ʻAbd Al-Malik's Grand Narratives and Sultan Sülayman’s Glosses”, in Muqarnas (pp. 17–105). Brill. https://www.jstor.org/stable/27811114

12.Oktay, A. (2018). Kudüs Tasvirleri: Kitâbu Evsâfı Mesâcidi’ş-Şerîfe ve Tuhfetü’l-Harameyn Örnekleri. Mukaddime, 9(1), 111–132. 10.19059/mukaddime.404906