Temple Mount

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Panorama image of the Temple Mount with the Dome of the Rock

The Temple Mount (Hebrewהר הבית Har haBait; Arabic الحرم الشريف al-haram asch-scharif "the noble sanctuary") is located above the Kidron Valley in the southeast of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Cain and Abel offered their sacrifices here to Yahweh (Gen 4:1–16) and Abraham laid his son Isaac on the altar here on this hill in the land of Moriah (Hebrewמוֹרִיָּה‎‎, Modern: Mōrīyya) to sacrifice him (Gen 22:2). Jacob had his vision of the Ladder to Heaven at this very spot (Gen 28:10–22). Later, the ascension of Muhammad is said to have taken place here, which is reported in two different versions in the Quran. In Sura 17 (Arabic الإسراء al-isrāʾ 'the night journey'), the Prophet Muhammad's night journey to a "distant mosque" is described (Quran 17:11). According to the other version (al-Miʿrāj / المعراج / al-miʿrāǧ, from عرج / ʿaraǧa / "to ascend, to go up"), Muhammad is said to have ascended to the seventh heaven in Mecca from a place in the Holy Kaaba, guided by the archangel Gabriel via a ladder. The Prophet's vision is alluded to in (Quran 53:1-18) and (Quran 81:1-29).

Solomon's Temple was built on the artificially levelled rocky plateau of Mount Moriah by Hiram, the master builder appointed by Solomon (2 Chronicles), which is reported in great detail in the Temple Legend given by Christian Rosenkreutz. Later, the Herodian Temple stood here. Today, the Dome of the Rock, probably built between 687 and 691, is the oldest monumental sacred building in Islam, and on the southern side of the Temple Mount is the al-Aqṣā Mosque, its third most important mosque.