THE DOME OF THE ROCK

On the Temple Mount in Jerusalem are two Muslim holy places, Masjid Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock.

The Dome of the Rock holds a high interest because of its inscriptions which stem from very early times of Islam.

INSCRIPTIONS

South Side

"In the name of God, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One. He has no associates" [beginning of the shahada]. "Unto Him belongeth sovereignty and unto Him belongeth praise. He quickeneth and He giveth death; and He is Able to do all things" [a conflation of 64:1 and 57.2]. "Muhammad is the servant of God and His messenger" [variant completion of the shahada], "L//o! God and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! Ask blessing on him and salute him with a worthy salutation" [33:56 complete]. "The blessing of God be upon him and peace be on him, and may God have mercy" [blessing, not in the Qur'anic text]. "O people of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your // religion (dini//kum) nor utter aught concerning God save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of God, and His Word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His messengers, and say not "Three" - Ce//ase! (it is) better for you! - God is only One God. Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And God is sufficient as Defender. The Messiah well never scorn b//e a servant unto God, nor will the favored angels. Whoso scorneth His service and is proud, all such will he assemble unto Him" [4:171-72 complete]. "Oh God, bless Your messenger and Your servant Je//sus son of Mary" (interjection introducing the following passage). "Peace be upon him the day he was born, and the day he dies, and the day he shall be raised alive!"[19:33 complete, with change from first to third person]. "Such was Jesus, son of Mary, (this is) a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt. It befitteth not (the Majesty of) God that He should take unto Himself a son. Glory be to Him! Wh//en He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only; Be! And it is" [19:34-35 complete]. "Lo! God is my Lord and your Lord. So serve Him. That is the right path" [19:36 complete, complete, except for the initial "and"]. "God (Himself) is witness that there is no God save H//im. And the angels and the men of learning (too are witness). Maintaining His creation in justice, there is no God save Him, the Almighty, the Wise. Lo! Religion with God (is) The Surrender (to His will and guidance). Those who (formerly) received the Book differed only after knowledge came unto them, through transgression among themselves. Whoso disbelieveth the revelations of God (will find that) lo! God is swift at reckoning" [3:18-19 complete].

South Side (outer)

"In the name of God, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One. He has no associate." [beginning of the shahada]. "Say: He is God, the One! God, the eternally Besought of all! He beggeth not nor was begotten. And there is none comparable unto Him" [112 complete except for the introductory basmalah]. "Muhammad is the Messenger of God" [completion of the shahadah], "the blessing of God be on him" [blessing].//

"In the name of God, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One. He has no associate." "Muhammad is the Messenger of God" [shahadah complete]. "Lo! God and His angels shower blessing on the Pro//phet. O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation" [33:56 complete].

"In the name of God, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One" [beginning of the shahadah]. "Pra//ise be to God, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son, and Who hath no partner in the Sovereignty, nor hath He any protecting friend through dependence. And magnify Him with all magnificance" [17:111 complete except for the initial "And say"]. "Muhammad is the Messenger of G//od" [completion of the shahadah], "the blessing of God be on him and the angels and His prophets, and peace be on him, and may God have mercy" [blessing].

"In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One. He has no associate" [beginning of the shahadah]. "Unto // Him belongeth sovereignty and unto Him belongeth praise. He quickeneth and He giveth death; and He is Able to do all things" [conflation of 64:1 and 57:2]. "Muhammad is the Messenger of God" [completion of the shahadah]., "the blessing of God be on him. May He accept his intercession on the Day of Judgement on behalf of his people" [blessing and prayer].//

"In the name of God, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One. He has no associate." "Muhammad is the Messenger of God" [shahadah complete]. "the blessing of God be on him" [blessing].

"The servant of God, 'A//bd [Allah the Imam al-Ma'mun, Commander] of the Faithful, built this dome in the year two and seventy. May God accept from him and be content with him. Amen, Lord of the worlds, praise be to God" [foundation notice].

Eastern entrance

"In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate" (basmalah), "praise be to God than Whom there is no god but He." (tahmid), "the Living, the Eternal, the Originator of the heavens and the earth and the Light of the heavens and the earth and the Pillar of the heavens and the earth, the One, the eternally Besought of all" [a series of epithets] - "He begotteth not nor was begotten and there is none comparable unto Him" (112:3-4). "Owner of Sovereignty! Thou givest sovereignty unto whom Thou will, and Thou withdrawest sovereignty from whom Thou wilt" (3:26); "all sovereignty belongs to You and is from You, and it fate is (determined) by You, Lord of glory the Merciful, the Compassionate" [words of praise]. "He hath prescribed for Himself mercy" (6:12) "and His mercy embraceth all things"[7:156, with shift from first to third person], "may He be glorified and exalted" [words of praise]. "As for what the polytheist associate (with You), we ask You, oh God by Your mercy and by Your beautiful names and by Your perfect word, on which are based the heavens and the earth and through which we are preserved by Your mercy from Satan and are saved from Your punishment (on) the Day of Judgement and by Your abundant favor and by Your great grace and forbearance and omnipotence and forgiveness and liberality, that You bless Muhammad Your servant, Your prophet, and the You accept his intercession for his people, the blessing of God be upon him and peace be upon him and the mercy of God and" [prayer] ...

Northern Portal

"In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate" [basmalah], "praise be to God than Whom there is no god but He" [tahmid], "the Living, the Eternal." "He has no associate, the One, the eternally Besought of all" [epithets] - "He beggeteth not nor was begotten, and there is none comparable to Him" [112:3-4, as in the eastern portal inscription] - "Muhammad is the servant of God" [introductory statement] " and His messenger, whom He sent guidance and the religion of truth, that He may make it conqueror of all religion." "However much the idolators may be averse" [16:9, with an adjustment at the beginning to introduce Muhammad], "we believe in God and that which was revealed unto Muhammad and that which the Prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between and of them, and unto Him we have surrendered" [12:136 or 3:84, with change of person and omission of the central section, where Ibrahim, Ismail, Ishaq, Ya'qub, the "tribes", Musa, and 'Isa are mentioned individually], "the blessing of God be upon Muhammad, His servant and His prophet, and peace upon him and mercy of God and His blessing and His forgiveness and His acceptance ..." [blessing].

Source: Forgotten Witness: Evidence for the Early Codification of the Qur'an, Estelle Whelan, Journal of the American Oriental Society 118. I (1998), pp. 4-8.

Further reading:

  • The Dome of the Rock (Inscriptions discussion, see second part of the article)
  • JERUSALEM
  • Muhammad's Alleged Night Journey to the Jerusalem Temple
  • Muhammad's Night Journey To Al-Masjid Al-Aqs - The Farthest Mosque

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