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The Dome of the Rock: Its 'Sacred Aura'

Part 1 Dissertation 2010
Farhat Hussain
Nottingham Trent University | UK
The Dome of the Rock is an edifice situated in the heart of two conflicting states. The history and development of the edifice highlights a continuous struggle as empires attempted to control the land where it is located. Even today, it is under constant threat due to the political issues.
The monotheistic religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, revere Jerusalem as a Holy City, where many religious events are believed to have occurred. Within the city there are many locations that are of great significance. However, importance given to the Temple Mount is unprecedented. The continuous changes that were once regular stopped when the Dome of the Rock was built.
It is an edifice that can be witnessed from miles within the city of Jerusalem. Its gold dome signifies many motifs, all of which return to the Islamic doctrine. The elements comprising the Dome of the Rock as well as the surroundings are identified and discussed with regards to the ‘sacred aura’ attached to it. This attachment is often implied when referring to the Dome of the Rock, but it is not thoroughly investigated.
Motifs of ontology, theology and eschatology are examined in order to fully comprehend the ‘sacred aura’ and how exactly the manifestation has continued and developed since its initiation. It could even be argued that the ‘sacred aura’ has strengthened over time due to the importance it has for the monotheistic religions.
The Ka’ba in Mecca is also discussed to gain an understanding of the ‘sacred aura’ attachment to it and thus reveal how and why it differs to the Dome of the Rock. The similarities and differences between the two are important to comprehend as it raises awareness of what makes the two edifices unique and distinct.
Ultimately the Dome of the Rock stands today as a reminder of a religious authority in which the Oneness of a Creator is at the core. The legacy of the edifice and the attachment of a ‘sacred aura’ continues timelessly, shining its way into the hearts and minds of many on a universal scale.

Farhat Hussain

This is an essay on the sacred nature of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem underpinned by the continued sanctity of the site from pre-historic times. The strength of the dissertation lies in the wide and diverse nature of sources consulted by the author and her ability to bring such diversity to bear upon a complex and culturally/ politically sensitive site. It aims to reveal the sacred aura of the site arguing that the uniqueness of the aura lies in the mythical and historical build up of the site

Soumyen Bandyopadhyay
Raymond Quek
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