MEANING THE DOME OF THE ROCK, QUBBAT AL-SHAKRAH, WHICH IS THE OLDEST ISLAMIC STRUCTURE THAT HAS SURVIVED UNTIL TODAY, IS LOCATED IN THE OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM.
When Saladin surrounds Jerusalem and becomes too close capturing it from the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem in the movie called Kingdom of Heaven, Balian of Ibelin asks Saladin, “What is Jerusalem worth?” Saladin answers “Nothing and everything…”
In the city that is home to many structures, which bear great significance for Muslims, Jews, and Christians, the Dome of the Rock, the golden covering that covers the Foundation Stone, is going to tell you that Jerusalem is everything.
The Dome of the Rock, located at Al-Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) in the Old City of Jerusalem, is a popular landmark for visitors. The significance of this structure comes from the Foundation Stone that is located inside. The stone is approximately 50 square meters. According to the religious sources, Adam lands on this stone from paradise, in other words, this stone is the first place the first human had stepped on the Earth. Abraham wanted to sacrifice Ishmael on this stone. David prayed the God for forgiveness on this stone. According to Christianity, Jesus was crucified on this stone. According to Islam, Mohammed ascended to Miraj from this stone.
The Dome of the Rock is located on a hill named Temple Mount where the most sacred buildings of Jerusalem are situated. Today’s Qubbat Al-Shakrah building was constructed by the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik bin Marvan between 687-691.
First known work with a dome
Qubbat al-Shakrah, which is the oldest Islamic structure that has survived until today, is among the first known works of the Islamic architecture with a dome. The structure has a dome in the middle, its exterior is a pentagon, and its interior is circular. The first thing that would catch the eyes of someone who is looking at the city from above would be the dome that reflects the sun with all its might.
Having been exposed to some damages, Qubbat al-Shakrah was transformed into its former identity along with the conquest of Jerusalem by Saladin. The Ottoman Sultans Yavuz Sultan Selim and Suleiman the Magnificent helped for its restoration. Architect Sinan repaired its damaged balconies. Ayet-el Kursi inscriptions that surround the tiles, sent by II. Abdulhamid from İstanbul, can be seen from outside today.
While touring the building, which is used also for worshipping by Muslims because of its mihrab, you are going to witness the history of religions that is thousands of years old.