Dome of The Rock, Jerusalem
The Dome of the Rock is a shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was initially completed in 691 CE at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik during the Second Fitna. The Dome of the Rock is now one of the oldest works of Islamic architecture. It has been called "Jerusalem's most recognisable landmark". Its architecture and mosaics were patterned after nearby Byzantine churches and palaces.The octagonal plan of the structure may also have been influenced by the Byzantine Chapel of St Mary (also known as Kathisma and al-Qadismu) built between 451 and 458 on the road between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
The site's significance stems from religious traditions regarding the rock, known as the Foundation Stone, at its heart, which bears great significance for Jews and Muslims.
It was constructed on the site of the Second Jewish Temple, which was destroyed during the Roman Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE.
Muslims believe the location of the Dome of the Rock to be the site of the Islamic miracle of the Isra and Mi'raj. Caliph Omar ibn al Khattab (579–644) was advised by his associate, Ka'ab al-Ahbar, a Jewish rabbi who converted to Islam, that The Night Journey (Isra and Mi'raj), which is mentioned in the Qur'an and specified by the hadiths of being located in Jerusalem, took place at the site of the former Jewish Temples.
According to some Islamic scholars, the rock is the spot from which the Islamic prophet Muhammad ascended to Heaven accompanied by the angel Gabriel. Further, Muhammad was taken here by Gabriel to pray with Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.[Other Islamic scholars believe that the Prophet ascended to Heaven from the Al-Aqsa Mosque].
The Foundation Stone and its surroundings is the holiest site in Judaism. Though Muslims now pray towards the Kaaba at Mecca, they once faced the Temple Mount as the Jews do. Muhammad changed the direction of prayer for Muslims after a revelation from Allah. Jews traditionally regarded the location of the stone as the holiest spot on Earth, the site of the Holy of Holies during the Temple Period.
According to Jewish tradition, the stone is the site where Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. In the story of the near-sacrifice in the Quran, the son is not named, but the majority opinion among Muslims is that the son was Ishmael rather than Isaac.
Scanned from a kodachrome transparency