It has dominated the Jerusalem skyline because that 1,300 years, but there is no single accepted explanation because that why it was built


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The Dome the the rock has dominated the Jerusalem skyline for 1,300 years and also sparked debate among scholars of early Islam as to why such a lofty framework was really built.

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For year there has been two welcomed answers come the question of why the shrine was set up 691 years back on the holy place Mount. A freshly published write-up by an Israeli researcher now provides a 3rd explanation, which has actually stirred up debate anew.


Several researches say the the Umayyad caliph, Abdel Malek Ben Marwan, decided to construct the dome out of a need for a spiritual focal point outside of Mecca. Throughout the duration of his reign, Mecca to be ruled through his rival, Abd Allah Ibn al-Zubayr, who had revolted against the Umayyads and conquered that divine city. Various other researchers speak Abel Malek needed a framework to complete with the palatial churches the christians had constructed in Jerusalem, in order come reinforce Muslim rule in the city.


A recent article by Dr. Milka Levy-Rubin in the Cathedra journal released by Yad Ben-Zvi, says the Dome that the absent was constructed in stimulate to regain Jerusalem’s place on the local map of holy sites, not vis a passport Mecca, yet rather together a competitor to Constantinople, the oriental capital. This is why the Muslims depended upon the Jewish legacies at the site.


Levy-Rubin states the builders of the gold dome observed themselves as followers of David and also Solomon, and saw the structure as nothing less than a change of the Jewish holy temple. The Dome of the Rock, Levy—Rubin suggests, must be checked out not only in terms of the Kaaba in Mecca and the Church of the holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, however also versus the background of the rivalry between the Umayyads and Constantinople in the love of which stood the incredible church the Hagia Sofia.


The Dome the the absent was constructed in stimulate to gain back Jerusalem’s place on the regional map of divine sites, not vis a passport Mecca, however rather together a rival to Constantinople


Between the fourth and seventh centuries Jerusalem was crucial Christian focal suggest for the oriental Empire. Large churches were placed up and filled through pilgrims. But the city had actually to complete with the resources of the empire in Constantinople, which began to situate itself together "the brand-new Jerusalem.” one expression the this competition deserve to be seen in the legend around the neighborhood governor who tried come send a holy rock where Mary had actually rested Jesus, to Constantinople, yet the rock would not leave Jerusalem and he had actually to location it within the Church that the holy Sepulcher.


The competition got to its top in the sixth century when Emperor Justinian completed construction of the largest and most palatial building of that duration – the Hagia Sofia Church. Resources from the duration related come the palatial church as the newest replacement for the Jewish holy place in Jerusalem and also according come a later on source, once building was over Justinian said: “We beat you, Solomon!” He even ordered that a statue of Solomon be erected at the church to mark the Christian victory. 


The church was explain as a “divine throne,” and remains that the holy cross in Jerusalem were carried there. In 638 the competition finished when the city was captured by Muslims and also Constantinople ended up being a emphasis of Christianity.


Many researcher looked right into the links in between the brand-new Muslim rulers that Jerusalem and also Jewish tradition, specifically the temple Mount. Conqueror of Jerusalem Amar Ben Al Khatib, saw the temple Mount led by one embittered Jew wherein he to be astounded to see exactly how the Christians had turned the place into a garbage heap. An ext than one tradition says the Christian desire come humiliate the holy place Mount to be so bad that “women would certainly dispose of your menstrual pads from byzantium to it is in discarded there,” together it says in “Praise Jerusalem,” a Muslim source from the eighth century. The desecration the the divine site and chutzpah the the believer to explain Constantinople together the “new Jerusalem” was a motive behind the good building task of the Dome of the Rock, Levy-Rubin says.


This was a duration when rivalry in between the Byzantines and also the Muslims to be at its elevation “and Muslims quiet aspired to overcome Constantinople,” Levy-Rubin says. “The political aspiration was supported by theological claims that Constantinople was arrogant in declaring itself together having asserted Jerusalem’s spot and a divine throne, and that the Christians had deliberately contaminated the holy place Mount.”


FILE Photo: Pilgrims one the Kaaba in ~ the an excellent mosque, Islam's holiest shrine, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.Credit: AP
Evidence of this also exists in the writings of 10th century chronicler Muhammad al-Tabari. “God sent out a prophet to the city hidden in trash and also said Jerusalem would be cleansed. One more prophet was sent out to Constantinople wherein he was standing on a hilltop and also said: 'Oh Constantinople, what walk your human being do to my home? They destroyed it.'" Al-Tabari likewise tells that a prophecy of damage of Christian Constantinople because of its sinful treatment of Jerusalem.


The building itself is almost unique. It is no a mosque but a memorial in the Roman-Byzantine style, similar to the Pantheon in Rome. In ~ first. The building was used in different ways than a regular mosque. In the past, plenty of researchers noted the Jewish heritages that can be uncovered in the beforehand structure. Most of these traditions appear in “Praise Jerusalem.” follow to a variety of the traditions, ceremonies to commemorate the temple were conducted there, including the use of incense, routine purity, services lugged out through priests and even unique ceremonies conducted on Mondays and also Thursdays – comparable to the Jewish heritage of reading publicly native the Torah top top the very same days.


The Jewish legacy has likewise entered the language and also Jerusalem has actually received the surname of Beit al-Makdes and Heikal, both the which suggest the place was the website of the Jewish Temple. “There to be both Jews and also Christians connected in this ritual, what was standing behind that is the desire to regain the sanctity come this location that was deliberately desecrated by the Byzantines,” says Levy-Rubin.


Levy-Rubin notes the the hybrid character of the Dome that the Rock began to disappear by the end of the 7th century, when it received a clean Muslim nature – that which has lasted until today. The traditions worrying the link between Mecca and also Jerusalem strengthened at the time, and the id that this to be the location where Mohammed increased to the heavens ~ above his nighttime journey additionally took host at the time. The mosque built nearby was identified as the “farthest mosque,” the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Later the surname al-Aqsa was prolonged to incorporate the entire Temple Mount, and today the Palestinians act the entire complex – all 144 dunams (36 aces) – as a mosque. It appears the circumstances bordering the facts will proceed to store researchers liven for a very long time.

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