Dome of the Chain
Located to the east of the Dome of the Rock, Umayyad Caliph Abdul Malik bin Marwan ordered its construction in 72H/691CE. Some suggest it may have been a prototype for the Dome of the Rock. It marks the exact centre of the Masjid al Aqsa compound. It is an open building that has eleven sides which are based on eleven marble columns. The dome sits on a hexagonal drum. The glazed ceramic ware that decorates this dome was brought to Masjid al Aqsa upon the orders of the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent in 969H/1561CE. In 2012, the Islamic Waqf commenced a comprehensive renovation of the dome, which included the replacement of the ceramic ware decorating the drum with newer material imported from Iznik, Turkey.
Dome of Ascension
This structure was constructed to commemorate the Mi’raj. It is a small octagonal dome based on 30 marble columns. The open space between the columns is sealed using marble slabs. The dome has a niche pointing towards the Qiblah. The large dome of this structure is topped by a smaller one, that almost appears like a crown. Though its date of construction is not known, records of its renovation by Prince Ezz Ad Din Ottoman bin Ali az Zanjabily, the Governor of al Quds, during the Ayoubi King al Adel’s reign in 597H/1200CE, have been established.
The Dome of an Nabi(The Prophet’s Dome)
This is an octagonal structure located to the northwest of the Dome of the Rock. It was built in 945H/1538-9CE by Mohammed Bek, the governor of Gaza and Jerusalem during the reign of Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, in commemoration of the status of Muhammad SAW as Imamul Ambiyaa(Leader of the Prophets), which was manifested at Masjid al Aqsa on the occasion of the Mi’raj. The Ottoman Sultan Abdul Majid ordered the building of an octagonal dome that is based on eight marble columns over the niche. It was restored in 1620, by Farouk Bey, governor of al Quds.
Dome of Sulayman
You will encounter this structure as you enter Masjid al Aqsa via Bab al Atim(the gate of darkness). Some say it was named in honour of the Prophet Sulaymaan AS whilst others believe it to be in tribute to the Umayyad Caliph Suleiman bin Abdul Malek. It was first built in the Umayyad era and was renovated in the Ayoubi era. The dome is octagonal and based on 24 marble columns. Within it, a small rock is displayed which is claimed to be a piece of the rock beneath the Dome of the Rock. The dome has a niche directed towards the qiblah. Today, it is used as headquarters for female preachers of the Jerusalem Waqf.
Dome of Musa
This dome lies on the platform of Musa, in the Western courtyard of Masjid al Aqsa. It was built by the Ayoubi King Najm Ad Din bin Malik al Kamel in 647H/1249-50CE as a place for worship and refuge for Ulama. Some historians associate its name with the Prophet Musa AS, whilst others say it was named after a sheikh who would lead Salaah within it. The dome is also known as the “Dome of the Tree” due to its proximity to a huge palm tree in the past.
Dome of al Khidr
This dome is situated on the far north-west corner of the platform that is also home to the Dome of the Rock. Some claim it to be a spot where Khidr AS, whose interactions with Musa AS are mentioned in the Qur’aan, prayed. It was built in the 10th century after Hijrah. The dome is based on 6 marble columns and includes a niche built from red stone.
Yusuf Agha’s Dome
This structure can be found halfway between the Buraq wall and the Qibli Masjid. It was built by Yusuf Agha, a governor of al Quds during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet IV, in 1092H/1681CE. It is a square-shaped building topped with a dome, that today is used as an information office for Masjid al Aqsa.
Dome of Yusuf
Built by Salahuddin al Ayyubi, who was also known as Yusuf bin Ayoub, in 587H/1191CE. It was renovated in 1092H/1681CE during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet IV. Its name can be traced back to its founder, but later it also began to be associated with Ali bin Yusuf Agha, the Ottoman governor who renovated it. The dome is open on 3 sides, the fourth is sealed with a wall that contains inscriptions
Dome of the Ruh(spirit)
This is an octagonal dome located on the level of the Dome of the Rock. It is based on 8 marble columns attached to 8 arches carrying the dome. It is assumed to have been established in the 10th century Hijri. Its name is speculated to have arisen due to its close location to a cave with the same name. It is frequented by Sufis for dhikr.
Dome of Muhammad/ al Khalili
Muhammad Bek Hafiz, an Ottoman Governor of Jerusalem, ordered the construction of this Dome is 1112H/1700CE. It is located to the northwest of the Dome of the Rock and consists of a room at the ground level, and another at its basement. The Dome is also called al Khalili after a saintly Sheikh who was stationed there. Today, the structure is used as an office to oversee the restoration of the Qibli Masjid and Dome of the Rock.
Dome of the Lovers of the Prophets
Also known as the Dome of Sultan Mahmud II, who built it in 1223H/1808CE, next to Bab al ‘Atim(the Gate of Darkness). It is a square building, topped with a dome, and open from all sides. It was a location frequented by Sufi Sheikhs for reflection and remembrance of Allah SWT.
Nahwiyyah (Grammarians) Dome
Orders for the construction of this structure were received from the Ayoubi King Issa al Moatham in 604H/1207CE, as a nucleus for teaching the Arabic language and grammar. 4 years later, the structure was enhanced when a dome was affixed to it. The building consists of two rooms and a connecting hallway that is topped with two domes – a huge silver dome lies atop the western room, whilst a smaller one sits on top of the eastern room. The building served as a school of the Arabic language and grammar right until the 12th century Hijri/17th century Gregorian, and played a vibrant tole in Jerusalem’s cultural and intellectual scene. During the past century, the dome was used as a library as well as an architectural office for the restoration and reconstruction of the Dome of the Rock. Today, it serves as an office for the acting Supreme Judge of al Quds, accommodates the chairman of the Islamic Waqf at al Aqsa, and is the headquarters of the Shariah Appeal Court in al Quds.