Dome of the Ascension

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Dome of the Ascension of Muhammad

The Dome of the Ascension (Arabic: قبة المعراج Qubbat al-Miʿrāj) is a small Islamic free-standing domed structure built by the Umayyads that stands just north the Dome of the Rock on the al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem.

It commemorates the Islamic prophet Muhammad's ascension (al-Miʿrāj) to heaven, according to Islamic tradition.[1] It is said that the Buraq (his steed) was tied here before the journey.[2]

History[edit]

The original edifice was probably built by either the Umayyads or the Abbasids (sometime between 7th-10th centuries).[1] The dome’s exact year of construction and its founder’s name remain unknown.

The current edifice was built by the Ayyubid governor of Jerusalem, Izz ad-Din az-Zanjili (Amir ʿIzz ad-Din ʿUthman bin ʿAli Abdullah az-Zanjili)[2] in 1200 or 1201 (during Sultan Al-Adil I’s reign), using Crusader construction materials.[1][3] An Arabic inscription dated to 1200 or 1201 (597 AH) describes it as renovated[4] and rededicated as a waqf.[5][6]

The structure, notably its column capitals, are of Frankish style and construction, but some repair or renovation was done in or after the Ayyubid dynasty period.[6]

Architecture[edit]

The Dome of the Ascension is a small octagonal dome based on 30 marble columns (in clusters of three or four). The open space between the columns was later sealed using marble slabs.[3] The dome was covered with lead sheets, but they were recently replaced by white stone plates.[3] Today, the dome is covered with marble slabs between the marble columns that keep it standing, and there is an entrance door on the north side of the structure.[4] In the southern part of the dome, it has a mihrab (a niche pointing towards the qibla).[3]

What makes this dome stand out is the smaller dome (a mini-monopteros) on top of it that looks like a crown.[3]

Its architectural style can be defined as Umayyad or Abbasid, although its current edifice is Ayyubid and construction materials are from the Crusaders.[1]

Religious significance[edit]

The Dome of the Ascension is part of the Muslim prayer-route.[7][8][9] Although called "Dome of the Ascension" in Arabic, and said by Arabic tradition to mark the spot from which Muhammad ascended to Heaven during his "Night Journey," it is understood by some scholars as having been built as part of the Christian Templum Domini, probably as a baptistry.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Temple Mount, Dome of Ascension / The Qubbat al-Miraj". JSTOR.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b "Qubbat al-Miʿraj". Institute for International Urban Development (I2UD).
  3. ^ a b c d e "Al-Aqsa Mosque al-Haram ash-Sharif" (PDF). TİKA. 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-06-12.
  4. ^ a b "Dome of the Ascension". Madain Project. n.d. Archived from the original on 2021-04-14.
  5. ^ Pawer, Jonathan (1996). The History of Jerusalem: The Early Muslim Period (638-1099). New York University Press. p. 86. ISBN 0814766390.
  6. ^ a b Simon Sebag Montefiore, Jerusalem: The Biography, p. 276.
  7. ^ "Dome of the Ascension". IslamicLandmarks.com. 21 September 2014.
  8. ^ A guide to al-Aqsa mosque – Passia. {{cite book}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Kaplony, Andreas. The Haram of Jerusalem.

Coordinates: 31°46′41.58″N 35°14′05.96″E / 31.7782167°N 35.2349889°E / 31.7782167; 35.2349889

External links[edit]