Minbar of Nur al-Din

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Minbar of Nour Ad-Din Zenki / Nour Ad-Din Zenki’s Pulpit

Minbar of Nour al-Din. (Photo by islamiclandmarks.com/)

Nour Ad-Din Zenki prepared this pulpit in 1168 to be placed inside Al-Aqsa Mosque after liberation from the Crusaders (Duran, 2018). However, it was completed after his death. Then, when Salahaddin captured from the Crusaders and liberated Islamicjerusalem, he shipped this pulpit from Aleppo and placed it in Al-Jami al-Aqsa in 1187 (Oflaz, 2018).

This exceptionally beautiful minbar (Ghosheh, 2005) is made of cedar wood which is decorated with ivory and sea shells, and it was made from interlocking pine and inlaid with mother-of-pearl, ivory and pearls (Ju'beh, 2020). The minbar was made up of three sections: the entrance which faced muqarnas tiers, the staircase and the podium, and its door was composed of two leafs. Its door is topped with a magnificent crown believed to be the slogan of the Tankaziyah State, most probably added to its structure by Governor Tankz An-Nasiri in 1330 (Ghosheh, 2005), and its staircase that is topped with an arch and a wooden porch, and The minbar was made up of three sections: the entrance which faced muqarnas tiers, the staircase and the podium, and its door was composed of two leafs. The podium is where the khatib deliver the sermon. Also, there are collection of epigraphic inscriptions from Qur'anic verses and an endowment (waqf) inscription on it (Ju'beh, 2020). The main inscription of Nur al-Din read as follows:

In the name of Good, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Ordered its work the servant in need of the mercy of God, the one thankful for his grace, the fighter in the holy war for His cause, the fighter in the garrisons against the enemies of His religion, the just king Nur al-Din, the support of Islam and the Muslims, the one who treats with justice the oppressed against the oppressors, Abu al-Qasim Mahmud ibn Zinki ibn Aq-Sunqur, the helper of the Commander of the Faithful, may God glorify his victories and make his power last and raise high signs and raise up his banners and flags on the heights and glorify the leaders of his state and humble the unbelievers in his grace and open to him and by his hand and refresh his eyes with victory and bringing him near to Your mercy. O Lord of the two worlds. And that in the months of the year 4 and 60 and 500.

Other inscriptions included passages from the Qur'an (9:18, 16:92-95 and 24: 36-37) and the signatures of the artisans from Aleppo Salman ibn Ma'ali, Humayd ibn Tahir, Abu al-Hasan ibn Yahya (Ghosheh, 2005).

In 1969, Dennis Michael Rohan, an Australian Christian Zionist, set Al-Aqsa Mosque on fire; the historical pulpit was destroyed completely (Ghosheh, 2005). It was temporarily replaced with a simpler one until an identical pulpit was built in Jordan using the same original materials, which was brought to Islamicjerusalem in 2007 to be placed inside Al-Jami al-Aqsa (Ghosheh, 2005). On the other hand, this fire had a great impact in the Islamic world and caused the Islamic countries to gather and establish the Organization of the Islamic Conference all over the world (Oran, 2015). The original minbar's remains are display on in the Islamic Museum (Ghosheh, 2005).

The fire in 1969. (Photo by islamiclandmarks.com/)


Duran, Ö. (2018). Nureddin Mahmud B. Zengi'nin Liderlik Politiği. Gazi Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi , 5 (14) , 499-512 . Retrieved from http://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/gusbd/issue/39212/438196

Ghosheh, M., H., (2005), Guide to the Masjid al-Aqsa: an Architectural and Historical Guide to the Islamic Monuments in Masjid al-Aqsa. Access Address: https://fada.birzeit.edu/handle/20.500.11889/4857

Kanat, E., (2013), Kudüs’teki İslami Vakıf ve Eserlerle İlgili Şam Ahkam Defterlerinde Yer Alan Hükümler, Yüksek Lisans Tezi. Access Address: https://katalog.marmara.edu.tr/eyayin/tez/eTez024053.pdf.

Ju'beh, N., (2020). "Pieces from the Nur al-Din Zangi minbar" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers. Access Address: http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;pa;Mus01;16;en

Oflaz, A., (2018). Nureddin Zengi’nin, Salahaddin Eyyubi Eliyle Gerçekleşen Hayalleri. Journal of Islamicjerusalem Studies , 18 (3) , 19-34 . DOI: 10.31456/beytulmakdis.502624 Retrieved from: http://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/beytulmakdis/article/502624

Oran, B., (2015). Türk Dış Politikası, İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları.

For Further Information