Mosque of Omar (Jerusalem)
|Mosque of Omar|
|Territory||Christian Quarter of Old City of Jerusalem|
|Minaret height||15 metres|
The Ayyubid Mosque of Omar (Arabic: مسجد عمر بن الخطاب) is an Islamic place of worship inside the Old City of Jerusalem. It is located opposite the southern courtyard of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in the Muristan area of the Christian Quarter. The mosque is not open to tourists, and can be accessed only for praying.
According to local tradition, after the Siege of Jerusalem in 637 by the Rashidun army under the command of Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, Patriarch Sophronius refused to surrender except to the Caliph Omar (579-644) himself. Omar travelled to Jerusalem and accepted the surrender. He then approached the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Patriarch Sophronius invited the Caliph to pray inside the church, but Omar declined so as not to set a precedent and thereby endanger the church's status as a Christian site. Instead he prayed outside, on the steps east of the church. The Mosque of Omar was later built at that site, as evidenced by a stone plate with a Kufic inscription found in 1897 in the area of the eastern or outer atrium of the Constantinian (4th-century) Church of the Holy Sepulchre, defining this area as a mosque.
The current structure was built in its current shape by the Ayyubid Sultan Al-Afdal ibn Salah ad-Din in 1193 to commemorate the prayer of the caliph Omar. The entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre had by then moved from the east to the south of the church, as a result of repeated destructive events that affected the Holy Sepulchre and Muslim mosques during the 11th and 12th centuries.
The current building of the mosque has a 15 metres (49 ft) high minaret that was built sometime before 1465 during the Mamluk period, maybe after the 1458 earthquake, and was renovated by Ottoman sultan Abdulmecid I (r. 1839–1860).
In this 1915 map, the Mosque appears south of the Holy Sepulchre in Muristan, near the vertical middle of the map.
- "Mosque of Omar". iTravelJerusalem. Retrieved 2022-06-18.
- Krüger, Jürgen (2000). Die Grabeskirche zu Jerusalem: Geschichte, Gestalt, Bedeutung [The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem: History, Form, Importance] (in German). Regensburg: Schnell und Steiner. pp. 72–73. ISBN 3-7954-1273-0. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
- Murphy-O'Connor, Jerome (2008). Two Mosques. The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700. Oxford Archaeological Guides. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 62–63. ISBN 978-0-19-923666-4. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
- Adamec, Ludwig W. (2017). Historical Dictionary of Islam. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 294. ISBN 978-1442277236. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
- El Khanqah-Moschee in Jerusalem (German text and pictures at theologische-links.de)
- Busse, Heribert, Die 'Umar-Moschee im östlichen Atrium der Grabeskirche (lit. "The Mosque of 'Umar in the eastern atrium of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre"), Zeitschrift des deutschen Palästina-Vereins, 109 (1993), pp. 73–82.