Current Access To The Dome Of The Rock – Article Example
Current Access to the Dome of the Rock Introduction Jerusalem is home to the world’s greatest sects, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, for its famous structures including the Dome of the Rock. This paper embarks on discussing the current access to the Dome of the Rock, including its security measures. Initially, the paper will provide a short discussion of the significance of the site to various religious beliefs.
Dome of the Rock
“Qubbat al-Sakhra,” commonly known as the Dome of the Rock or “Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary)” by Muslims, is a shrine built in the city of Jerusalem, specifically on a platform at the top of the Holy House or Mount Moriah (Islam and Al-Hamad 109). Although built on top of the most sacred site of Judaism, it is considered as Islam’s third holiest place (Blair 7). Mount Moriah, according to Jewish belief, is the exact location of Abraham’s sacrificial offering of his son Isaac, but according to Islamic faith, it is where Mohammed ascended to heaven after journey from Mecca and Jerusalem (“About Dome of the Rock” 6-7).
Everyone is allowed to visit, but for non-Muslims, the site is open only from Sundays to Thursdays, from seven to eleven o’clock in the morning and from 1:30 to 2:30 in the afternoon (“Noble Sanctuary: The Dome of the Rock” 11). Notably, non-Muslims can access only the Temple Mount (ramp to the right of Western Wall), and they are prohibited in the Dome of the Rock. On the other hand, only Muslims are allowed to enter the Dome of the Rock. Jews and Christians are permitted to visit the site as tourists, through the Mugrabi Gate (located above to the left of Western Wall plaza), but they are prohibited from making religious displays, singing and praying, even in silence (Booth and Eglash 10). Security measures are taken in place on the site as freedom to access is enshrined as law. Visitors are required to wear modest dress and bring the passport. Backpack or any items brought to the site will undergo ocular inspection by policemen before anyone can enter the Mount.
The Dome of the Rock accounts as one of the holiest places on Earth. Only Muslims are granted full access to the site every day while non-Muslims, although allowed to visit as tourists from Sundays to Thursdays, are allowed only in the Temple Mount and banned in the Dome of the Rock. Security measures, such as passport and bag inspections by policemen, are put in place to secure the safety and reduce tension in the area.
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