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The Dome of the Rock Controversy

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Da DomeIslam claims that it is an Abrahamic faith like Judaism and Christianity and that they all worship the same deity Allah. The prophet Mohammed is claimed to have ascended to Heaven in his night journey from this rock, and so Caliph Umar decided to build a shrine to the prophet over the site of Solomon’s temple which was considered Holy ground.

However it can be shown that the Dome of the Rock was not built over the site of the original temple of Solomon, but was indeed built where the court of the Gentiles stood and where even unwashed Canaanite slaves could mingle. Also it can be shown that the Bible foretold the building of this shrine over 1200 years earlier, and labelled it as “an abomination that desolates” to the God of the Bible.

Clearly Allah is not the same as the God of the Bible, as muslims claim! 

The Dome of the Rock that now dominates the skyline on Mount Moriah was started in 685AD by clearing the site.Dome Construction started in 687AD and building completed in 691AD by the then Caliph Abd al-Malik.
It replaced the earlier wooden structure built by Umar in 640AD after capturing Jerusalem.

 In the foreground you can see the Dome of the Chain which supposedly was built as a model for the shrine. Written on the inside walls is the claim that Islam has replaced Christianity

There are three separate indicators to show that the Dome of the Rock was not built over the original site of Solomon’s temple.

1.examination of the rock surface inside the Dome of the Rock
2.archaeological findings of sacred cubit rock markings
3. the location of the Dome of the Spirits


1. Examination of the rock surface



Look closely at the exposed rock surface in the middle of the Dome of the Rock.

Now ask yourself “would you choose this place to thresh grain?”. The answer is NO.
Yet the Bible clearly tells us that David was told by an angel to purchase the threshing floor used by Ornan the Jebusite. David paid Ornan six hundred shekels of gold for the site and set up an altar for burnt offerings. To David’s son Solomon went the task of building the Temple.   [1 Chronicles 21:18,22:1-19]

2. Archaeological findings of sacred cubit rock markings


It is known that the construction of Solomon’s temple was based on a sacred cubit which was about 42.8 centimeters which was longer than the standard cubit. Herod’s temple used a measure of 43.7 centimeters in his temple. Archaeologists found such rock markings in an area directly west of the Golden Gate and about 100 yards north of the Dome of the Rock. These findings were published in Biblical Archaeological Review in March 1983. This basically proved the location of the original temple.

3.  Location of the Dome of the Spirits

SpiritsThe little Dome of the Spirits stands unobtrusively due west of the Golden Gate and about 100 yards north of the Dome of the Rock. It stands over the original site of the Holy of Holies in Solomon’s temple.

Projecting lines from the rock markings of the temple foundation, located the spot where the Holy of Holies would have been, and it coincides exactly to where the Dome of the Spirits or the Dome of the Tablets is today. The Dome of the Tablets was so named because the Ark of the Covenant was also kept in the Holy of Holies, and of course, contained the Ten Commandments and the Pentateuch.


So we must conclude from these observations that the Dome of the Rock was not built on Holy ground at all, but some 100 yards to the south.

And what does the Bible say.

“Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told ‘Come and measure the temple of God and the altar and all who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple, for it is given over to the nations’.”  [Revelation 11:1-2]

So the court area where the Dome of the Rock stands had no special significance to God.



 Location map showing Old City of Jerusalem


Bible prophecy about the Dome of the Rock
The prophet Daniel operated in the sixth century BC and received revelations from the angel Gabriel, the last of which was in 533BC.

Daniel was taken into captivity around 605BC when Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon put Jerusalem under siege. He became highly regarded when he correctly interpreted dreams of the king, but later received revelations about the future. In fact the book of Daniel along with Revelation has the broadest visions of our civilization. Biblical eschatology is certainly not an exact science, and Daniel is possibly one of the most misunderstood books of the Bible. At the end of Chapter 12, there is a couplet of prophesies.

From the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that desolates is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.  [Dan 12:11]


Happy are those who persevere and attain the one thousand three hundred and thirty five days.  [Dan 12:12]

Start date for prophesy

So when did the regular burnt offerings cease on the Holy Mountain?
This prophesy was given to Daniel in the third year of  King Cyrus (533BC) and refers to events in Daniel’s time. Jerusalem was put under servitude to Babylon in 605BC and Daniel was taken to serve the court in Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and the sanctuary in 586BC but it was in 583BC, the 23rd year of his reign, when the last group of 470 Jews were taken away to captivity. [Jeremiah 52:30].
His reign began in 606AD so his 23rd year would have been 583BC.

So the start date is 583BC.

Scope of prophesy
The prophesy tells us that the abomination will be set up after 1,290 days.

What kind of days are these?

Daniel knew that after 1290 normal days after 583BC, nothing had happened, as this prophesy was given some 50 years later in 533BC.

So they were not normal days.

Daniel was also a contemporary of the prophet Ezekiel and he would have known that the Lord told Ezekiel that:

“I give you one day for a year”. [Ezekiel 4:6]  

So now we know it is 1290 years from 583BC.

But what kind of years are they?

In OT prophesy, a prophetic year was considered to be 360 days, or 12 months of 30 days. Indeed when Daniel was in Babylon, their calendar was one of 360 days per year.
So what is 1290 years of 360 days?

The astronomical solar calendar uses a year of 365.242 days, so the number of years is given by     1290 x 360 / 365.242 = 1271.5 years.

End date of prophesy

1271.5 – 583 = 688.5 or in the year 688AD.

Prophesy fulfilled
Consider first where the abomination is to be set up.
The Bible tells us that there is only one place where burnt offerings can be made that are acceptable to God, and that is in the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah where the temple of David and Solomon was built. King David was commanded by an angel to build on the site of the threshing floor, so David bought this from Ornan the Jebusite.

What does history tell us?

In 637AD when the Muslim army under Caliph Umar captured Jerusalem, the Bishop of Jerusalem, Sophronius, showed Umar the Holy Mountain, and Umar immediately declared he would build a monument to Mohammed where the temple of God had stood.
Sophronius replied in anguish:-

“surely this is the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel”!

The only thing under construction around 688AD on the Holy Mountain was the Dome of the Rock, so the Dome of the Rock is the Abomination that Desolates.  Bishop Sophronius got it right in 637AD!

Note that if the building started in 685 and was completed some 7 years later in 691AD, then 688AD represents the mid point in the building process.

And applying the same maths for the second prophecy in Dan 12:12, we get:-
1335 x 360 / 365.242 = 1315.8 solar years.

End date of prophesy
1315.8 – 583 = 732.8AD, or 732AD

Prophesy fulfilled
After Mohammed died in 632AD, his followers started the conquest of neighbouring lands. First into Palestine and the capture of Jerusalem, but they also moved west through north Africa, and entered Spain in 711AD.

The caliph of the Umayyad dynasty set up his base in Cordoba and eventually captured all of Spain. From here they moved north to France and set up base at Narbonne. From here they raided and conquered Acquitane and Bordeaux.

However in October 732AD, their army led by Abdul Rahman confronted a Frankish army led by Charles Martel between Tours and Poitiers near Paris and was defeated. Abdul Rahman was killed in this battle.

This defeat halted the spread of Islam in France, and of course possibly Germany, England and the rest of Europe.
Charles Martel and his son actually cleared France of Muslims on subsequent campaigns.

The Al Aqsa mosque


Al Aqsa

The Al Aqsa mosque seen from the Dome of the Rock looking south is the third most Holy site in Islam, and was built just after the Dome of the Rock.

And if anyone is still in doubt!

The Bible says that the Jews are God’s chosen people – forever!


 “I am God and there is no other; Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not done, I will put salvation in Zion, for Israel my glory”.  [Isaiah 46:9-13]

And from the Hadith:

"The prophet said…the last hour would not come unless the muslims will fight against the Jews and the muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree, and a stone or a tree would say: muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.”  [Sahih muslim book 41 number 6985]

So the God of the Bible calls the Jews his own people whom he will save, but Allah in the Quran demands the killing of all Jews!


Principal Reference List:
1. Biblical Archaeological Review, March 1983
2  Landay J., Dome of the Rock, Newsweek Books NY
3.  McRay J., Archaeology & the New Testament, Baker Book House
4.  Richardson J., AntiChrist – Islam’s Awaited Messiah, Pleasant World
Last Updated on Monday, 25 August 2008 03:01  

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