The Arabic Islamic Inscriptions On The Dome Of The Rock In Jerusalem, 72 AH / 692 CE

The Arabic Islamic Inscriptions On The Dome Of The Rock In Jerusalem, 72 AH / 692 CE

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First Composed: 7th May 2005

Last Modified: 12th November 2005

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

The Arabic Islamic inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem are perhaps among the most well-known and well-studied inscriptions in the Western literature. In this short article, we will present the inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock and their translation.

TOP VIEW SHOWING THE FLOOR PLAN


INSCRIPTIONS ON THE INNER OCTAGONAL ARCADE


    1. S In the name of God, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One. He has
    2. no associate. Unto Him belongeth sovereignity and unto Him belongeth praise. He quickeneth and He giveth death; and He has
    3. Power over all things. Muḥammad is the servant of God and His Messenger.
    4. SE Lo! God and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet.
    5. O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation. The blessing of God be on him and peace be
    6. on him, and may God have mercy. O People of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion
    7. E nor utter aught concerning God save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of
    8. Mary, was only a Messenger of God, and His Word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit
    9. from Him. So believe in God and His messengers, and say not 'Three' - Cease! (it is)
    10. NE better for you! - God is only One God. Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is
    11. in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And God is
    12. sufficient as Defender. The Messiah will never scorn to be a
    13. N servant unto God, nor will the favoured angels. Whoso scorneth
    14. His service and is proud, all such will He assemble unto Him.
    15. Oh God, bless Your Messenger and Your servant Jesus
    16. NW son of Mary. Peace be on him the day he was born, and the day he dies,
    17. and the day he shall be raised alive! Such was Jesus, son of Mary, (this is) a statement of
    18. the truth concerning which they doubt. It befitteth not (the Majesty of) God that He should take unto Himself a son. Glory be to Him!
    19. W When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is.
    20. Lo! God is my Lord and your Lord. So serve Him. That is the right path. God (Himself) is witness that there is no God
    21. save Him. And the angels and the men of learning (too are witness). Maintaining His creation in justice, there is no God save Him,
    22. SW the Almighty, the Wise. Lo! religion with God (is) Islam. Those who (formerly) received the Book
    23. differed only after knowledge came unto them, through transgression among themselves. Whoso
    24. disbelieveth the revelations of God (will find that) Lo! God is swift at reckoning!

INSCRIPTIONS ON THE OUTER OCTAGONAL ARCADE


    1. S In the name of God, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One. He has no
    2. associate. Say: He is God, the One! God, the eternally Besought of all! He begetteth not nor was begotten. And there
    3. is none comparable unto Him. Muḥammad is the Messenger of God, the blessing of God be on him.
    4. SW In the name of God, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but God.
    5. He is One. He has no associate. Muḥammad is the Messenger of God.
    6. Lo! God and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet.
    7. W O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a
    8. worthy salutation. In the name of God, the Merciful
    9. the Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One. Praise be to
    10. NW God, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son, and Who hath
    11. no partner in the Sovereignty, nor hath He any protecting friend
    12. through dependence. And magnify Him with all magnificence. Muḥammad is the Messenger of
    13. N God, the blessing of God be on him and the angels and His prophets, and peace be
    14. on him, and may God have mercy. In the name of God, the Merciful
    15. the Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One. He has no associate.
    16. NE Unto Him belongeth sovereignty and unto Him belongeth praise. He quickeneth. And He giveth death; and He has
    17. Power over all things. Muḥammad is the Messenger of God, the blessing of God be
    18. on him. May He accept his intercession on the Day of Judgment on behalf of his people.
    19. E In the name of God, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One.
  • He has no associate. Muḥammad is the Messenger of God, the blessing of God be
  • on him. The dome was built by servant of God ʿAbd
  • SE [Allah the Imam al-Ma'mun, Commander] of the Faithful, in the year two and seventy. May God accept from him and be content
  • with him. Amen, Lord of the worlds, praise be to God.

  • Date

    72 AH / 692 CE.

    Script

    Monumental kufic.

    Comments

    The inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock can be rightly called as the "big-daddy" of all the first century Islamic inscriptions. These inscriptions are in the mosaics as shown in the figure below.

    These inscriptions have copious amount of Qur'anic verses.

    The Dome of the Rock was built by Umayyad caliph ʿAbd al-Malik but the later Caliph al-Ma'mun inserted his name as is evident from the inscription.

    Location

    Jerusalem, Palestine.

    Further Study

    The Copper Plaque Inscriptions At The Dome Of The Rock In Jerusalem, 72 AH / 692 CE.

    Forgotten Witness: Evidence For The Early Codification Of The Qur'an, Estelle Whelan, Journal Of The American Oriental Society, 1998, Volume 118, No. 1, pp. 1-14.

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    References

    [1] C. Kessler, "ʿAbd al-Malik's Inscription In The Dome Of The Rock: A Reconsideration", 1970, Journal Of The Royal Asiatic Society, pp. 2-14.

    [2] M. van Berchem, Matériaux Pour Un Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum, 1927, Tome 2 / 2, Mémoires publiés par les membres de l'Institut Français d'archéologie orientale du Caire, Imprimerie de l'Institut français d'archéologie orientale: Le Caire, No. 215, pp. 228-246.

    [3] K. A. C. Creswell, Early Muslim Architecture: Part 1 Umayyads, A.D. 622-750 With A Contribution On The Mosaics Of The Dome Of The Rock In Jerusalem And Of The Great Mosque In Damascus By Marguerite van Berchem, 1932, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Plates 6-9, 13-22.

    [4] S. Nuseibah & O. Grabar, The Dome Of The Rock, 1996, Thames and Hudson: London (UK).

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    The Islamic Inscriptions | The Dome Of The Rock