Al Khutniya School
The Khutniya school was built during the reign of Salahuddin al Ayyubi in 587H/1191CE adjacent to the northern wall of the Qibli Masjid. It was named after Sheikh al Khutni, who taught Islamic sciences there. Over time the structure of the school saw several modifications. Today, only a few arches and windows remain of the school’s original building.
Al Fakhriya School
This hive of learning was established by the Judge Fakhr Ad Din Muhammad bin Fadlillah in 730H/1329-1330CE, during the Mamluk era. Initially used as an Islamic madrassah, it was subsequently utilised as a Sufi lodge. Israel has demolished parts of this school, leaving behind only three rooms and a small prayer area. The structure stands on 3 stone pillars and is topped with 3 beautiful domes that were added during the Ottoman era. The building also has a red-brick niche pointing towards the Qiblah
Al Duwaidaryah School
A product of the Mamluk era, this school was established by Prince Alam Ad Din Abu Musa Sanjar al Duwaidar near Masjid al Aqsa’s Gate of Darkness in 695H/1295CE. It was a centre of learning for the Shafi’Mathab, and also served as a hospice. It retained its function through the Ottoman era, and even into the time of the British mandate. At a certain stage, it was dedicated exclusively to teaching girls. Today, the school serves those with special needs, and is called Al Bakriyah. It is a two story building boasting a beautifully decorated entrance.
At Tankaziyah School
Also a motif of the Mamluk era, at Tankaziyah school is so named after its founder, and then governor of Shaam, Prince Saif ad Din Tankaz An Nasri, who built it in 729H/1328CE. It is situated between the Gate of the Chain and the al Buraq Wall at Masjid al Aqsa. It its initial years it served as school of Hadith and Sunnah. Later on, the Mamluks utilised it as a courthouse. The Ottomans adopted it as a Sharia Court, and in the early days of the British Mandate Al Haj Amin al Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, took it as his place of residence. The building thereafter resumed its function as a madrassah, but was subsequently occupied by Israel in 1388H/1969CE and transformed into a Border Police outpost used to eavesdrop on Masjid al Aqsa.
Al Farisiyah School
Named after the Mamluk Prince Faris Al Baki bin Al amir Qatlo bin Abdullah, who commissioned its building in 755H/1352CE. It is situated atop Masjid al Aqsa’s northern corridor and a staircase leads to its entrance. The school features a courtyard as well as another staircase that leads to the adjacent Aminyah School. Today, the school is inhabited by a few families from al Quds.
Al Ashrafiyah School
Half of this building is located inside the Masjid al Aqsa compound, while the other half is outside the Masjid borders. This school is considered the third architectural jewel of Masjid al Aqsa after the Qibli Masjid and Dome of the Rock. Prince Hassan bin Tatr Ath Thahiry built this school as a gift for King Thaher Khashqoum in 872H/1426CE during the Mamluk era. The King passed on before its construction was completed and it was subsequently dedicated to Sultan Ashraf Qaitbay who appointed for it scholars and teachers. When the Sultan visited it, he was not impressed by its construction and ordered its rebuilding in 885H/1470CE. The school consists of a two-story building. Its entrance is beautiful decorated with red and white bricks. It was historically frequented by followers of the Hanbali mathab. It also houses two graves. Today the school is home to the Al Aqsa Sharia School for girls as well as the Islamic Waqf’s Department of Manuscripts. Parts of it are also inhabited by certain Jerusalemite families. The building underwent a restoration in 1420H/2000CE.
Al Malakiyah School
Mamluk King Joukndar al Malaki An Nasiri built this school in 741H/1340CE during the reign of Sultan An Nasser Mohammed bin Qalawun. It is two story structure with a well decorated entrance. It’s largest room overlooks the courtyard of Masjid al Aqsa. It is currently used a housing.
Al Jawiliyah School
Built by Alm Ad Din Sanjr bin Abdullah al Jawli, Mamluk governor of Jerusalem during the reign of King Nasser bin Qalawun in 712-720H/1312-1320CE. It is a two storey structure, with an open courtyard surrounded by a number of rooms. In the Ottoman era it served as a city hall as well as governmental building. Today, it constitutes part of the Al Omariyah School.
Al Khatuniyah School
This school was proclaimed as a waqf by Lady Agl Khatun in the 7th century Hijri/13th century Gregorian coinciding with the Mamluk era. Some of its windows overlook the courtyards of Masjid al Aqsa. Initially Qur’aan and Fiqh were taught here. Several Islamic and Palestinian figures of historical significance are buried here. They include: Indian Prince Mohammad al Hindi, who defended the Palestinian cause; Musa Kathem al Husseini, Mayor of Jerusalem under the Ottomans; Sharif Abdul Hamid bin Awn, father in law of King Abdullah of Jordan, Ahmad Hilmi Abdul Baqi, first Palestinian Prime Minister in the 1948 All-Palestine government; Abdul Qader al Husseini, commander of local Arab forces in the 1948 War and leader of Palestinians in the famous Al Qastal battle. His son Faisal al Husseini who was the PLO representative in Jerusalem, and Abdul Hamid Shoman, founder of the Arab Bank, are also buried here.
Al Asa’rdiyah School
Majd Ad Din Abdul ghani bin Saif Ad Din Abu Bakr Yusuf al Asa’rdi ordered the building of this school in 760H/1385CE. It was officially declared a waqf 10 years later. It is located in Masjid al Aqsa’s northern corridor and consists of a two storey building and an open courtyard. It also possesses three beautiful domes and a musallah. Today, the building is used as a residence.
Al Araguniyah School
Construction of this school was initated by Mamluk Prince Aragun Al Kamili in 758H/1356CE and completed by Rukn Ad Din Baibars. It can be found between the Cotton Merchants and Iron Gates at the western end of Masjid al Aqsa. It is a two-storey building with a beautiful red and white brick façade. The entrance features and inscription bearing the founder’s name. It houses two graves – one of Prince Aragun and the other of the Hashemite King Hussein bin Ali. Today, the larger part of it is used as a residence.
Al Aminiyah School
Built by Amin Ad Din Abdullah in 730H/1330CE during the Mamluk era. A number of Muslim scholars are buried here. Today, part of the building overlaps with the Farsiyah School and part is used as a house.
Al Basitiyah School
Can be found in the north of Masjid al Aqsa next to the Al Duwaidaryah School. Made a waqf by Judge Zein Ad Din Abdul Basit Khalil al Dimashqi – who was the treasurer general and army commander during the time of Mamluk King al Mu’ayyad Saif Ad Din Sheikh al Mamluki – during the years 815-824H/1412-1421CE. It’s foundation is attributed to Sheikh al Islam Shams Ad Din Mohammad al Harawi. It was a place of learning for Shafi’ Fiqh, Hadith and Qur’aan for orphans and Sufis. Today it serves as housing quarters.
Al Manjakiyah School
Located on the Western Wall of Masjid al Aqsa, to the left of the Inspector’s Gate. Its construction is attributed to Saif Ad Din Manjak Al Yousifi An Nasiri, who also declared it a Waqf in the 8th Century Hijri/14th Century CE, during the Mamluk era. It is made up of two floors and comprises many rooms. Initiated as a school, it later served as a shelter for foreign visitors to Jerusalem. During the days of the British Mandate it returned to be used as a school. The Supreme Islamic Council then took it as headquarters, and it now serves as the base of the Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem.
The Ottoman School
Located at the Ablution Gate, alongside the al Ashrafiyah School. Named after Asfahan Shah Khatun Bint Mahmoud al Uthmaniayh, the Turkish lady who established it in 840H/1436CE. Her grave can be found to the left side of the school’s entrance. The structure’s entrance is characteristically Mamluk and the building has two floors. Consists of a number of rooms and a small open courtyard overlooking Masjid al Aqsa. The structure was restored by the Supreme Islamic Council, but was subsequently damaged by Israeli excavations. The musalla at the school was seized by the Israel, on the pretext of using it to create ventilation for a Zionist tunnel beneath Masjid al Aqsa.