Door from the Dome of the Rock
Islamic Museum, al-Aqsa Mosque / al-Haram al-Sharif
Hegira 872–901 / AD 1468–96
Copper-plated with carvings and lattice work.
Height 445 cm, width 274 cm, depth 15 cm
A door made up of two halves identical in width and height. The door is constructed in wood with the outer panels plated with copper, and the inside left unplated. Each of the doors is surrounded by a copper frame that forms a surround of simple copper decoration consisting of small panels. Polygons fixed at the four corners by copper nails and with a fifth nail at the centre, cover the two surfaces of the doors completely. At the bottom, top and outer sides of each door, and in the transitional area of the decoration with the borders, there is ornamentation consisting of half polygons and triangles. On the inner, middle sides of the doors there are inscriptions written in Mamluk thuluth script in an elongated style and repeated twice, these read: “Sultan of Islam and Muslims, Destroyer of Polytheists, Reviver of Justice in the World, al-Malik al-Ashraf Abu al-Nasr Qaytbay, May God strengthen his triumph”.At the top of the door a later inscription commemorates restoration work that took place in AH 946 / AD 1540 under the aegis of Sultan Sulayman, the Magnificent (r. AH 926–74 / AD 1520–66).
It is worth mentioning that this is one of three similar doors acquired by the Islamic Museum. All three are in excellent condition perhaps on account of the restorations Sultan Sulayman presided over. The doors were transferred from the Dome of the Rock during restoration work in the 1960s, when the doors were replaced by new custom-made wooden doors that were crafted in Jerusalem. The fourth Mamluk door is still in situ at the Dome of the Rock.
A door of two halves identical in width and height and made of wood with the outer panels completely plated with copper. The name of Sultan al-Ashraf Qaytbay appears on the door as well as the name of Sultan Sulayman the Magnificent who ordered the restoration of the door.
Al-Malik al-Ashraf Abu al-Nasr Qaytbay (r. 872–901 / AD 1468–96)
The door was dated based on the inscription on it which alludes to Sultan al-Ashraf Abu al-Nasr Qaytbay.
The piece was transferred from the Dome of the Rock to the Islamic Museum in around 1960.
Jerusalem was narrowed down as the place of manufacture because a door such as this would have had to been made in a workshop on site.
Al-'Arif, A., Tarikh Qubbat al-Sakhra wa al-Masjid al-Aqsa [The History of the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque], Jerusalem, 1955.
Al-Hanbali, Mujir al-Din, (d. 927 / 1520), Al-Uns al-Jalil bi Tarikh al-Quds wa al-Khalil [The Significant Ambiance in the History of Jerusalem and Hebron], Amman, 1973.
Nazmi Al-Ju'beh "Door from the Dome of the Rock" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;pa;Mus01;23;en
Prepared by: Nazmi Al-Ju'behNazmi Al-Ju'beh
Nazmi Al-Ju'beh is an archaeologist and historian and Co-Director of RIWAQ, Centre for Architectural Conservation in Ramallah, Palestine. He studied at Birzeit University in Palestine and at Tübingen University in Germany. He taught at Birzeit University and at al-Quds University. He was Director of the Islamic Museum, al-Haram al-Sharif, Jerusalem, and directed various cultural heritage projects in Palestine, including surveys of archaeological and architectural sites. He was a major contributor to Pilgrimage, Sciences and Sufism: Islamic Art in the West Bank and Gaza (Vienna: MWNF, 2004) and is the author of numerous publications on the history, archaeology and cultural heritage of Palestine.
Copyedited by: Majd Musa
Translation by: Amal Sachedina (from the Arabic).
Translation copyedited by: Mandi GomezMandi Gomez
Amanda Gomez is a freelance copy-editor and proofreader working in London. She studied Art History and Literature at Essex University (1986–89) and received her MA (Area Studies Africa: Art, Literature, African Thought) from SOAS in 1990. She worked as an editorial assistant for the independent publisher Bellew Publishing (1991–94) and studied at Bookhouse and the London College of Printing on day release. She was publications officer at the Museum of London until 2000 and then took a role at Art Books International, where she worked on projects for independent publishers and arts institutions that included MWNF’s English-language editions of the books series Islamic Art in the Mediterranean. She was part of the editorial team for further MWNF iterations: Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean Virtual Museum and the illustrated volume Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean.
True to its ethos of connecting people through the arts, MWNF has provided Amanda with valuable opportunities for discovery and learning, increased her editorial experience, and connected her with publishers and institutions all over the world. More recently, the projects she has worked on include MWNF’s Sharing History Virtual Museum and Exhibition series, Vitra Design Museum’s Victor Papanek and Objects of Desire, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s online publication 2 or 3 Tigers and its volume Race, Nation, Class.
MWNF Working Number: PA 23
Islamic Dynasties / Period
On display in
Discover Islamic Art Exhibition(s)The Mamluks | Cairo, Damascus and Jerusalem: Centres of Mamluk Intellectual Life
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