Hitta Gate

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One of the most renowned doors of Al-Aqsa Mosque is Bab al-Hitta. In terms of its literal meaning, it is the Gate of Pardon (Islam and Al-Hamad, 2007). As one of the northern gates (Rosen-Ayalon, 1990), it is opposite to Abwab Mihrab Mariam (Al-Ratrout, 2002) and between Madrasah al-Karimiyah and Turbah al-Awhadiyah (Ghosheh, 2005). It is located on the Northern Wall near the eastern corner (Oktay, 2018). According to the study of Al-Ratrout (2002), the gate's name has changed throughout history. It is believed that this change was due to restorations over the years and Le Strange named this door as the ancient Bab al-Asbat (as cited in Al-Ratrout, 2002). Today, Bab al-Hitta is one of the three gates that are open for morning, evening, and night prayers (TIKA, 2013).

Architecture

“Significantly, the surviving gateway has the single opening of a semicircular arch with distinctive 45 degree chamfer and segmental inner arch observed at many gates of the enclave, especially Bab al-Hashmi. Evidence that there is a vertical joint in the masonry of the wall at 1.20 metres west of this gate as well as the historical description of the gate by Khusru (Khusru, 1983, p59) suggests that Bab al-Asbat was built with at least two openings. But it has been partially blocked at the end of the 13th century AD and left as a single opening (Burgoyne, 1992, p112)” (Al-Ratrout, 2002, p.307).

Archeology

The construction date of the door is unknown, however, it was renovated during the Ayyubids and Ottomans’ reign (TİKA, 2013). According to the recordings found, the gate was repaired two times. It was done during the time of the Ayyubids in Rajab 617 A.H. and later in 989 A.H. (Ghosheh, 2005; Uğurluel, 2017).

Significance

Some scholars believe that the phrase "Hitta" in verses 58 and 161 of Surah al-Baqarah and al-A’raf respectively refers to the Bab al-Hitta (Taberi as cited in Yıldız-Bayrak, 2019; Ghosheh, 2005).

References

Al-Ratrout, H. (2002). The Architectural Development of Al-Aqsa Mosque In Islamic Jerusalem in the Early Islamic Period Sacred Architecture In the Shape Of "The Holy" [PhD thesis, University Of Strathclyde]. Department Of Architecture and Building Science University Of Strathclyde. 10.48730/h1k1-q778

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

Islam, M. A., & Al-Hamad, Z. F. (2007). The Dome of the Rock: Origin of its Octagonal Plan. Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 139(2), 109–128. https://doi.org/10.1179/003103207x194145

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

Rosen-Ayalon, M. (1990). Art and Architecture in Ayyubid Jerusalem. Israel Exploration Journal, 40(4), 305–314. https://www.jstor.org/stable/27926205

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

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

Yıldız-Bayrak, H. (2019). Kur’an’da Kudüs Ve Mescid-i Aksa [Master’s Thesis, Necmettin Erbakan Üniversitesi]. Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Temel İslam Bilimleri Tefsir Anabilim Dalı. https://acikerisim.erbakan.edu.tr/xmlui/bitstream/handle/20.500.12452/4150/10270302.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y