The Dome of the Rock or Qubbat as Sakhra was commissioned to be built by the Umayyad Khalif Abdul Malik bin Marwaan on the highest plateau of Masjid al Aqsa, during the period 71-72AH/691-692CE. It is built atop the rock, which some believe to be the point from which the Prophet Muhammad SAW commenced his ascent to the Heavens. The Rock does not draw any special virtue because of this. Instead, it is significant due to it being a constituent of the blessed land of wider Masjid al Aqsa compound.
The Dome of the Rock consists of:
- The Golden Dome
- Four Doors
- Sixteen windows made of coloured glass ornamented with Islamic motifs and calligraphy
- The Rock: this is a natural irregular shaped rock that has a small cave beneath it, in which two niches have been carved – one flat and the other deep. Contrary to a common misconception – the Rock is not suspended in the air
The Dome of the Rock is one of the earliest existing models of Islamic architecture. The building’s dimensions are 20.59 metres in length and 9.5 metres in height. The dome has a 2,5-3 degree indentation in the structure of its circular pillars that grants an onlooker full vision of its interior including the stone columns and pillars if standing at any of its four entrances.