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Prayer in the Cave

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Prayer in the Cave
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Photo Comments

View looking south at the prayer niche, (mihrab) that is dedicated to Solomon.  It is located to the east of the staircase (partially visible on the right) that leads down into the cavern.  This focuses the faithful as they pray in the direction of Mecca.

The cave chamber itself is about 20 feet square, and the height of the ceiling varies between 5 to 8 feet.  There is a shaft about 1.5 ft. in diameter that penetrates the 5 ft. 7 in. thickness of the rock above.  The prayer "niches" in the chamber are dedicated to Dawud (David), Suleiman (Solomon), Ibrahim (Abraham), and Khidr-Elijah.

For additional information on the cave, see conveniently — Well of Souls. (2023, November 8). In Wikipedia.

The stone has many events associated with it in Jewish, Muslim, and Christian traditions:  The binding of Isaac, the place of the Holy of Holies in the Solomonic and Herodian Temples; maybe a Roman Temple, the place from which Mohamed made his night journey to the "Distant Place," a Church Altar, etc.

The Dome of the Rock was completed about A.D. 691 by the Moslem Umayyad Dynasty which was headquartered in Damascus.  The Dome structure was intended to portray the glories of Islam and to divert pilgrim traffic to Jerusalem - from Mecca and Medina.

The photo is courtesy of David Padfield (www.Padfield.com) while the commentary is that of Carl Rasmussen.