Fountain of Qasim Pasha

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General Information

The Fountain of Qasim Pasha has two other names which are the Fountain of Bab al-Mahkama (Fountain of the Court House), and the Fountain of the Bitter Orange (Madain project, n.d.). As its name suggests, it was built by Qasim Pasha, the governor of Quds, during the time of Suleiman the Magnificent (TVNET, 2016; Ghosheh, 2005). The fountain is the first monument built by Ottomans in Jerusalem. In addition, it is believed that the fact that the first monument built was an ablution house may be related to the fact that the Ottoman state, mostly Hanafis, perform wudu in running water rather than still water (Uğurluel, 2017). The fountain is located in the southwest of the Al-Aqsa Compound, near Bab al-Silsila and opposite the Al-Ashrafiyya Madrasa (TVNET, 2016; Ghosheh, 2005).


Architecture

Qasim Pasha fountain has an architecture unlike previous works, therefore, it is different from other fountains in Quds and Masjid al-Aqsa compound. Another important feature is that it is the first monument built in the Masjid al-Aqsa compound during the Ottoman period (Madain project, n.d.). Its construction started in 1526 and was completed in a year (TVNET, 2016).

The top of the octagonal dispenser is covered with a circular wooden roof. Thanks to this feature, those who perform ablution are protected from the sun in the summer and from the rain in the winter. Today, The Fountain of Qasim Pasha is used as an ablution facility (TVNET, 2016). The area where the taps are located is reached by a small descending ladder and there are 16 taps in the fountain (TİKA, 2013).


Significance

There is an inscription in Arabic dedicated to Sultan Süleyman on the fountain:

"This blessed sabil has been constructed for the benefit and countenance of extolled Allah, in the days of our master, the greatest sultan, the second Solomon, the ruler of the World, son of Sultan Selim Khan, sultan of Arab and Persian (non-Arab) lands; by our master, Kasım Pasha, may Allah facilitate what he has intended; by the hands of the slave who is in need of Allah, Abda Rabbihi Mustafa, in the year of 933 at the end of the month of Shaʿban." (Tutuncu, 2006; Uğurluel, 2017).

As it is written on the monument, Suleiman the Magnificent was likened to the Prophet Suleiman and was called the Second Suleiman (Tutuncu, 2006; Ghosheh, 2005).


References

Ghosheh, M.H. (2005). Guide to the Masjid al-Aqsa (R. Schick, Trans.). Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs. (2005).

Madain Project. (n.d.). Fountain of Qasim Pasha. https://madainproject.com/fountain_of_qasim_pasha

Tutuncu, M. (2006). Turkish Jerusalem (1516-1917): Ottoman Inscriptions from Jerusalem and Other Palestinian Cities. SOTA.

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

[TVNET]. (2016, June 13). Kudüs'ün Taşları- Kasımpaşa Sebili [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYRpNpBoXkk&t=7s

Uğurluel, T. (2017). Arzın Kapısı Kudüs Mescid-i Aksa. Timaş.