Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

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If you visiting Jerusalem, the Temple Mount is probably a place you should pay a visit.

This famous place, located in the Old City of Jerusalem, has been a Holy Site for thousands of years for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Naturally, the Temple mount attracts many pilgrims(Mainly Muslims, but also Christians and Jewish) for that reason.

But why? Why is it so important to Muslims, Christians, and Jews?

Well, in order to answer that, we should look at each religion from a different perspective since it involves different time periods.

Jewish Ties to the Temple Mount

For Jews, the Temple Mount is probably the most sacred site(even more than the Wailing Wall).
Jews identify the site as the biblical Mount Moriah, where the first Temple of King Solomon once stood, and after its destruction, was later rebuilt after the Khorasan Declaration as the Second temple, known from the Old and New Testament.

For the sacredness of the place, the Halakha(the Jewish-Orthodox laws, derived from the Written and Oral Torah) prohibits entrance for Jews to the Mount.
As a result, the wailing wall serves as their current place of worship. (Since only the Biblical Priests known as Kohens could enter the Temple)

As a result, the Wailing Wall, which is the last remanent of the Outer wall which enveloped the Second Temple, is the main place of worship for Jews

Christians Ties to the Temple Mount

For Christian, the Temple Mount is also sacred for being a site of several events in the life of Our Lord Jesus.
Although the site lost its importance for most Christians after the destruction of the second Temple in 70CE(as it was a fulfillment of Christs Prophecy), still many Christians willing to visit it, to experience the place where Jesus walked.

Allah and The Temple Mount

Muslim Ties to the Temple Mount runs all the way back to the Quran, during the days of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.

The Temple Mount is known to Muslims as Haram esh-Sharif(“The Noble Sanctuary of Jerusalem”), and they believe the place to be the last station of Muhammad’s Journey to Jerusalem and where his ascension to heaven occurred.

Muslims identifies the site as being one of the earliest and most noteworthy places of worship of God, and Al-Aqsa Mosque which is located inside the compound is one of the holiest places to Islam.

A quick overview of the Present Day Temple Mount

The present-day Plaza is flat and surrounded by retaining walls built by Herod the Great as an expansion to the original second temple.
One of those retaining walls is the famous Western Wall(The Jewish main place of worship).

At the Plaza, you will find three dominant Muslim Monuments from the times of the Muslim of the early Umayyad period:

The al-Aqsa Mosque,(Means the Farest Mosque in Arabic) – The third most important Place to Islam
The Dome of the Rock – an Islamic shrine located on the Same site where the second Temple had stood. Known for its iconic Golden Cupola which serves as one of the cities best-known symbols.
Dome of the Chain – a prayer House and one of the oldest structures in the compound. It was built by the early Islamic Caliphs, converted to a Chapel under the Crusaders and later restored as an Islamic prayer House by the later Muslim rulers.

You will also find as four minarets at the compound, located on the Southern, northern and Western Sides.

What should you know before you enter the Temple Mount?

  • Make sure to bring modest dressing – this is an active holy place of Worship
  • Any behavior of worship of non-muslim religion is prohibited.
  • The entrance hours are strict, and under heavy surveillance of the security forces – so make sure you listen to the rules.
  • Respect the people around you and remember to bring modest dressing – this is an active Muslim place of Worship(and one of their most important).
  • It is always recommended to take a guided tour when entering the mount in order to properly coordinate the visitation. Contact us for more information.
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