Do not be misled into believing that the Dome of the Rock is the Al Aqsa
Mosque, They are two separate buildings.
The Dome of the Rock
By Edwin Ali
The Dome of the Rock must not be confused with Al Aqsa Mosque. They are separate buildings even though some powerful sources are seeking to mislead the world about its true nature.
It is no secret that there are those with the financial means and control of the media, who have been setting about for years to cause confusion, even among Muslims, about the Dome of the Rock. For those with a short memory, I would like to remind them of the use of certain videos of Arabs celebrating a particular event and alleging that those in the video were celebrating the attack on the twin towers. Those responsible are to be described as the lowest of the low.
In addition there are those who repeat a lie so often that they eventually believe it to be a fact and true. For example Vice President
Dick Cheney kept repeating his claim that Iraq was tied with Al Queda even though all international power houses insisted there was no connection. But Cheney had his own agenda which was based on deceit and lies.
Suffice to say that they were indeed successful in misleading some individuals, especially those who have an inveterate hatred of Arabs and Muslims. Many of these individuals are absent of nimbleness of intellect and do not understand that not every Arab is a Muslim. Indeed they should take a look at Lebanon.
There is no doubt that there is a sinister campaign to cause confusion in the world by spreading the false propaganda that the
Dome of the Rock is the Al Aqsa Mosque, and have gone so far as to produce and market plaques and souvenirs depicting the Dome of the Rock as the Al Aqsa Mosque.
What is the real motive of such machinations? That the Dome of the Rock is an important site for Muslims the world over cannot be questioned even though the well funded and well thought out campaign is continuing. I always say you can fool some people some of the time, most people some of the time, but not all the time.
“WikiPedia Researcher Maryann Pinchuk has made it clear that the Dome of the Rock is not Al Aqsa Mosque and noted:
The Dome of the Rock is located at the visual center of a platform known by some as the Temple Mount. It was constructed on what some claim to be the site of the Second Jewish Temple, which was destroyed during the Roman Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE. In 637 CE, Jerusalem surrendered to the Rashidun Caliphate army during the Muslim conquest of Syria.
Panorama of the Temple Mount, including Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, from the Mount of Olives
The location of the Dome of the Rock was established as the site of the Islamic miracle of the Isra and Miraj by Caliph Omar ibn al Khattab, who was advised by his associate, Ka'ab al-Ahbar, a former Jewish rabbi who had converted to Islam, that Isra and Miraj took place at the site of the former Jewish Temples. The Dome of the Rock was erected between 689 and 691 CE. The names of the two engineers in charge of the project are given as Yazid Ibn Salam from Jerusalem and Raja Ibn Haywah from Baysan. Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan who initiated construction of the Dome, hoped that it would “house the Muslims from cold and heat and intended the building to serve as a shrine for pilgrims and not as a mosque for public worship.
The diameter of the dome of the shrine is 20.20m and its height 20.48m. The structure is basically octagonal. It comprises a wooden dome, approximately 20 m in diameter, which is mounted on an elevated drum consisting of a circle of 16 piers and columns. Surrounding this circle is an octagonal arcade of 24 piers and columns.
Every where about the Dome of the Rock, also called the Mosque of Omar are portions of pillars, curiously wrought altars, and fragments of elegantly carved marble , claimed to be precious remains of Solomon's Temple. These have been dug from all depths in the soil and rubbish of Mount Moriah, and the Muslims have always shown a disposition to preserve them with the utmost care.
The outer side walls are made of porcelain and mirror the octagonal design. They each measure approximately 60 feet (18 m) wide and 36 feet (11 m) high. Both the dome and the exterior walls contain many windows.
The Dome is in the shape of a Byzantine martyrium, a structure intended for the housing and veneration of saintly relics, and is an excellent example of middle Byzantine art. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent the exterior of the Dome of the Rock was covered with Iznik tiles. The work took seven years. Haj Amin Al-Husseini, appointed Grand Mufti by the British, along with Yacoub Al Ghussein implemented restoration of Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
In 1955, an extensive program of renovation was begun by the government of Jordan, with funds supplied by the Arab governments and Turkey. The work included replacement of large numbers of tiles dating back to the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, which had become dislodged by heavy rain. In 1965, as part of this restoration, the dome was covered with a durable aluminum and bronze alloy made in Italy, that replaced the lead exterior.] The restoration was completed in August 1964. In 1993, the golden dome covering was refurbished following a donation of $8.2 million by King Hussein of Jordan who sold one of his houses in London to fund the 80 kilograms of gold required.
Interior of the Dome of the Rock (1914)
The interior of the dome is lavishly decorated with mosaic, faience and marble, much of which was added several centuries after its completion. It also contains Qur'anic inscriptions. Sura Ya-Seen is inscribed across the top of the tile work and was commissioned in the 16th century by Suleiman the Magnificent. Al-Isra is inscribed above this.
The Qur'anic doctrine that Jesus was a true prophet is also inscribed. The formula la sharika lahu 'God has no companion' is repeated five times, the verses from Sura Maryam 19:35–37, which strongly reaffirm Jesus' Prophethood to God, are quoted together with the prayer: Allahumma salli ala rasulika wa'abdika 'Isa bin Maryam – "In the name of the One God (Allah) Pray for your Prophet and Servant Jesus son of Mary".
During the Crusades the Dome of the Rock was given to the Augustinians, who turned it into a church while the Al-Aqsa Mosque became a stable.
Jerusalem was recaptured by Saladin on 2 October 1187, and the Haram was reconsecrated as a Muslim sanctuary. The cross on top of the Dome of the Rock was replaced by a golden crescent, and a wooden screen was placed around the rock below. Saladin's nephew al-Malik al-Mu'azzam Isa carried out other restorations within the Haram and added the porch to the Aqsa mosque.
The Dome of the Rock was badly shaken during an earthquake in Palestine on 11 July 1927, rendering useless many of the repairs that had taken place over previous years.
Israel took control of the Dome of the Rock during its victory in the Six-Day War in 1967. Shlomo Goren also entered the Dome of the Rock with a Torah book and a shofar. A few hours after the Israeli flag was hoisted over the Dome of the Rock in 1967 during the Six-Day War, Israelis lowered it on the orders of Moshe Dayan and invested the Muslim waqf (religious trust) with the authority to manage the Dome of the Rock
Groups such as the Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael Faithful Movement wish to relocate the Dome to Mecca and replace it with a Third Temple. Since Muslim religious foundations own the Dome and consider it particularly sacred such actions would inevitably lead to violence. Many Israelis are ambivalent about the movement's wishes. Some religious Jews, following a rabbinic dictum, feel that the Temple should only be rebuilt in the messianic era, and that it would be presumptuous of people to force God's hand. However, some Evangelical Christians consider this a prerequisite to Armageddon and the Second Coming. This view is steeped in the belief that there will be a prophetic rebuilding of the Temple in place of the Dome of the Rock
which is maintained by the Ministry of Awqaf in Amman, Jordan.
Until the mid-nineteenth century, non-Muslims were not permitted in the area. Since 1967, non-Muslims have been permitted limited access, however non-Muslims are not permitted to pray on the Temple Mount, or carry any form of religious artifact or anything with Hebrew letters. The Israeli police help enforce this.
In 2006, the Temple Mount was reopened to non-Muslim visitors between the hours of 7:30–11:30 am and 1:30–2:30 pm during summer and 7:30–10:30 am and 1:30–2:30 pm during winter. Non-Muslims are prohibited from entering after 2:30 pm and may not enter on Fridays, Saturdays, or Muslim holidays. Entry is through a wooden walkway next to the entrance to the Western Wall. Non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the mosques and accessing the Temple Mount through the Cotton Market. Visitors are subject to strict security screening, and items such as Jewish prayer books are prohibited. Visits to the Dome of the Rock, however, are currently prohibited to non-Muslims who will be stopped by the guards as they approach the building.
(Bait-ul-Muqaddas) The Dome of the Rock
According to Islamic tradition, the rock is the spot from which Muhammad ascended to Heaven accompanied by the angel Gabriel. Further, Muhammad was taken here by Gabriel to pray with Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. After Muhammad's return, he called all who would believe him to join with him and be Muslim.
The Foundation Stone and its surroundings is the holiest site in Judaism. Just as Muslims pray towards the Kaaba at Mecca, the holiest site in Islam, Jews pray towards the raised platform on which the Dome of the Rock stands. Jews have traditionally regarded the location of the stone as the holiest spot on Earth, the site of the Holy of Holies during the Temple Period. The Jewish tradition does not have information regarding the exact location of the Holy of Holies, but the majority of scholars and rabbis believe it is somewhere in the area of the raised platform.
The most propitious site for Jewish prayer is the spot that is nearest the Foundation Stone. Because Muslim authorities refused to permit Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, the custom developed of praying near the Western Wall, since it was the site nearest to the Foundation Stone, or on the Mount of Olives facing the site of the Temple. Between 1948 and 1967, when Jordanian authorities refused permission to Jews to enter the Old City of Jerusalem, Jews made pilgrimages to rooftops on Mount Zion and prayed towards the site of the ancient Holy of Holies.
On the walls of the Dome of the Rock is an inscription in a mosaic frieze that includes the following words from Quran (19:33. "So peace is upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!" 34. Such is Jesus, son of Mary. It is a statement of truth, about which they doubt. 35. It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, "Be", and it is.
Hopefully this article will remove, once and for all, the myth that Alaqsa Mosque is the Dome of the Rock. Muslims who have such photos and or souvenirs promoting this lie ought to get rid of them and get
a true photo or souvenir of the Dome of the Rock.