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The Dome of the Rock (BU)
Why was the Dome of the Rock built?
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Islam in History
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Under the Umayyads (661-750)
Main Jerusalem Timeline > Bayt al-maqdis > Umayyad period

The first Muslim dynasty, the Umayyads ruling from Damascus, commission palaces near and religious buildings on the erstwhile Temple Mount, which is now called the "Noble Sanctuary" (al haram ash-sharif).

The most notable building, still standing today, is the Dome of the Rock (completed in 691), commissioned by Caliph Abd al Malik. Inscriptions indicate the purpose of this first monumental structure in a distinguished history of Muslim architecture. Abd al Malik had understood that, to compete with Byzantine Christendom, one had to speak its language:: the language of the triumphant (though "rightly guided") eschatological ruler who, by the will of God, presided over the last empire that was to end all empires. To be sure, Islam's attitude toward the People of the Book (ahl al-kitab) remained one of rebuke rather than displacement.

(Image source:,2,6,19,313,318&img=IJNTHRDR06)