Thursday, January 24, 2013

10. Rebuilt Maqams and Modern replicas of Maqams

The first sign that an old Muslim shrine went through a thorough renovation or was rebuilt is the green color of its dome. The Palestinian Arabs started the tradition of painting the domes and the doors of a shrine green quite recently — ten years ago. In the old days all maqams had white domes. The travelers of the 19th and early 20th centuries note this (Geikie 1888, I 67; McCown 1922, 48); this can be seen in colour drawings of that time.

It can be assumed that green as the colour of the domes of Palestinian shrines arose under the influence of The Green Dome built above the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad in Medina, which was painted green in 1837. Masses of domes of the Palestinian mosques were repainted green at the beginning of this century. The dome of the Great Mosque of Jenin became green in 2005. The domes of the Sidna ‘Ali Mosque in Herzliya were painted green in 2007. The domes of the el-Zaytuna Mosque and the Jezzar Pasha Mosque in Acre turned green in 2009. The dome the Ras al-Amud Mosque in East Jerusalem is green since 2011. The central domes of the complex Neby Musa (Prophet Moses), located in the Judean Desert, were painted green in 2009.

Many domes of mosques and Islamic shrines were repainted green by “Al-Aqsa Foundation”, based in Umm al-Fahm.

Maqam sheikh ‘Abd ar-Rahman al-Mujarmi
مقام الشيخ عبد الرحمن الدجاني
קבר שייח' עבד רחמן א -מוג'רימי

Tantura was well known for European travelers a long time ago (even in the early 19th century), it was described many times, there left a lot of engraving plates and pictures of the seaside settlement. But we do not see the tomb of sheikh `Abd ar-Rahman al-Mujarmi on any of those pictures. E. Mülinen was the first who mentioned this shrine in 1907 (DPV XXX 189; 1908, 310). But there isn`t the tomb on the photos of Tantura published in his book. Though it would be interesting to compare how E. Mülinen saw this shrine and how we see it today.

After the Palestinians were exiled from Tantura, two Israeli settlements were established there: kibbutz Nahsholim and moshav Dor. According to M. Benvenisti, the Arabs of Fureidis (a neighbouring Palestinian village) told him that each time when an excavator started to demolish the maqam of sheikh ‘Abd ar-Rahman, its blade broke (2000, 198). Besides the maqam the seas-front house of the al-Yahya also survived. Some authors called this house “customs”.

A. Petersen explored the tomb of sheikh ‘Abd ar-Rahman al-Mujarmi in 1994 and describes it as follows, “This is located approximately 20 m east of the sea-front building. The mausoleum is entered through a doorway in the middle of the south side. Inside are three graves aligned east-west. One grave is said to be that of the builder of the sea-front building. The dome rests on an octagonal drum supported on spherical pendentives. The transition from drum to dome is marked by a torus molding” (2001, 293).

A. Petersen visited this place when a seashore hotel complex had been already founded in moshav Dor. The tomb of sheikh ‘Abd ar-Rahman is inside of it. According to the photo in Petersen's book, he studies the same structure as we see today. The same concrete blockwork as we see today. And now there are three tombstones inside the tomb covered with green cloths. It shows that the Muslims visit the tomb. There are also respective photoreports.

It's interesting that there is no mihrab in the maqam. Instead there is a little window in the south wall. A. Petersen did not tell anything about the mihrab either.

We can suppose that the original maqan of sheikh ‘Abd ar-Rahman al-Mudjarmi which E. Mülinen saw in 1907, was later completely rebuilt. It probably can be proceeded in time of the Israeli state, in 80s or early 90s in the 19th century; not a long tome before A. Petersen visited Tantura.

The Muslims (probably the people of Fureidis) rebuilt this shrine when the Palestinian commune was not subject to new influences , before the war of colors started, before domes of Muslim shrines started to be painted green. The dome of the tomb of sheikh ‘Abd ar-Rahman keeps a traditional white color.

Coordinates: 32°36'33.1"N 34°55'01.7"E
Location of the object on Google Maps
References: Mülinen, 1907; DPV XXX 189; Mülinen, 1908, 310; Khalidi 1992, 195; Benvenisti 2000, 198; Petersen 2001, 293; The Archaeological Survey of Israel
Addition: Panorama 1Panorama 2

Maqam sheikh ‘Abd as-Salam
مقام الشيخ عبد السلام
קבר שייח' עבד אל-סלאם

The maqam of sheikh ‘Abd as-Salam was built in the district of Palestinian village ‘Anata in the early 20th century. It is still an active Muslim shrine and even is under renovation. The walls are whitewashed inside, the floor is tiled. A small site in front of the entrance is partly covered with the same tiles. In general the structure keeps the same size: 6.90 x 4.70 x 2.40 m. A renewed cenotaph is covered with a green cloth. It`s interesting that thereэs no mihrab in the maqam. It probably wasn't there originally.

View from the south-west

Photo of 1910s (from the book by McCown, 1922)
View from the north-east

View from the south-east

The maqam's interior

At the time T. Canaan commented, “In the neighborhood of as-sheikh ‘Abd as-Salam and outside the maqam is to be seen the tomb of his son Salman” (1927, 23). Now this tomb is not observable anywhere.

Route. The maqam is located on the crossroad of Highway 437 and a road going to Israeli settlement ‘Almon.

Visited: 14.08.15
Coordinates: 31°49'26.4"N 35°16'26.2"E
Location of the object on Google Maps
References: Canaan 1927, 4; 23, 24; The Archaeological Survey of Israel

Maqam sheikh Ahmad ad-Dajani
مقام الشيخ أحمد الدجاني
קבר שייח' אחמד אל-דג'אני

Not far from Turbat al-Kubakiya (see Section 1. Turbas in Jerusalem) near Jerusalem hotel “Leonardo Plaza” stands the tomb of sheikh ad-Dajani. Apparently, this maqam is a modern replica or a rebuilt construction, possibly of the size and configuration of the old maqam.

The maqam's interior

Sheikh Ahmad ad-Dajani (1459–1561) was the head of the Sufis in Jerusalem and recognized religious leader. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent appointed him the keeper of the David's tomb on the Mount Zion.

Picture 1940

On the picture of 1940 we can see that the tomb was surrounded with a small Muslim cemetery. Now there is no trace of it left.

Visited: 30.07.12
Coordinates: 31°46'38.1"N 35°13'03.6"E
Location of the object on Google Maps
Addition: Panorama

Maqam imam ‘Ali in Ramla
مقام الإمام علي - الرمله
קבר אימאם עלי

Another tomb of imam ‘Ali, or the tomb of another imam ‘Ali is situated in Ramla. E. Palmer says: “The name applies to the kubbeh or 'shrine' at Biaret Heiderah — the wells of the declivity” (1881, 214). The structure was located on the old road from Ramla to Lod. In aerial photographs of Ramla of the 1940s can be clearly seen the object surrounded by the gardens.

Now it is a newly built maqam with the dimensions 5.23 x 5.12 m, the north side of which is adjacent to a sort of a hall (5.12 x 4.38 m). In the beginning it might have been a closed type of annex, like a zawiya, with one big arch. The entrance to the maqam is on the north side. There are two windows – in the western and the eastern walls. In front of the mihrab there is a renovated cenotaph covered with green cloth.

View from the south-east

View from the west

View from the south

The maqam's interior

Recently Arab youth from the villages of ‘Ein Hod and Fureydis (near Carmel) cleaned the maqam removing the dirt and debris. Arabic website "Al-Shams" illustrates how actively Muslim shrines are reconstructed and built anew in Ramla.

In 2006 archaeological excavations were carried out close to the maqam. A Muslim children's cemetery of Mamluk period was discovered: the people buried here were not older than 15 (Hadashot Arkheologiyot).

Route. Maqam is situated on a dirt road near the Highway 434, which leads from Lod to Ramla, 400 meters short of the intersection with the Highway 44 (crossroads Ma'asiyahu or Ta'avorah). But it is not easy to get on this dirt road. First you need to turn from Highway 434 onto Lohamei Beitar, turn around on it and only then drive on that dirt road. The exact location see on my map.

Coordinates: 31°55'54.5"N 34°52'41.5"E
Location of the object on Google Maps
ReferencesPalmer 1881, 214 (Sheet XIII)Stewardson 1888, 130Hadashot Arkheologiyot

Maqam sheikh Bureik
مقام الشيخ بريك
קבר שייח' בוריך

Khirbet Malha has a lot of interesting monuments. There is a group of well saved old Jewish tombs, remains of underground structures, Armenian tombstones. Though sometimes there appear illegal waste sites on the hill, and really spoil a wonderful landscape.

On the western side of the hill among cactus bushes there is the tomb of sheikh Bureik protected with a small metal bar fence. The travelers of the 19th century knew this maqam well. The sheikh buried there was called differently: “Abrak, Ibrak, Bureik, Burayk”. In 1908 E. Mülinen described the maqam as a small building with a white dome topped with a metal spire and a crescent (1908, 274–275). A detailed description was provided by A. Petersen who visited the maqam in 1994. After that the building was demounted to the base and rebuilt. Now we see a modern replica of the former monument.

View from the Highway 2

 Khirbet Malha. Photo of 1990s

Photo of 1990s

The current structure should represent the configuration of the previous maqam. A. Petersen writes, “The interior of the tomb has two shallow arches running east to west. At either end are shallow transverse arches leaving a square central area” (2001, 215). These arches are also in the new building. A. Petersen noted, “On the west side there is a rectangular enclosure approximately the same size as the tomb”. This enclosure has survived by now. The only disappeared thing is an inverted basalt olive press which in 1994 lied on the top of the maqam.

The size of maqam (without a western enclosure) is 5.45 x 4.10 x 1.83 m. On the north side there is a very low doorway just 1.23 m high through which we get into the domed chamber. The floor is covered with modern tiles, the ornament of which A. Petersen did not describe. There is no signs of cenotaph. A low, 0.85 m high mihrab in the south wall is probably a replica of the former, if it actually was in such a low structure.

View from the north

View from the north-west

The mihrab

Western wall

The maqam is made of local sandstone which the Israeli call “kurkar” (a hardened dune). Almost all seaside buildings are made of sandstone. A conservation here is even called “Shmurat Kurkar”.

Route. The tomb of sheikh Bureik is visible from Highway 2, at the 85th km. But there is no turnoff. You can reach Khirbet Malha either through Atlit via a road leading to the cemetery located to the east from the hill; or from Highway 4, through kibbutz Ein Carmel.

Coordinates: 32°40'26.1"N 34°56'20.5"E
Location of the object on Google Maps
References: Palmer 1881, 218 (Sheet V); Stewardson 1888, 137; Mülinen, 1908, 274–275; Petersen 2001, 215–216

Maqam sheikh ‘Izz ad-Din
مقام الشيخ عز الدين
קבר שייח' עז א-דין

According to the tradition, sheikh ‘Izz ad-Din was an officer in the troops of Salah ad-Din. He bravely fought against Crusaders, took part in the siege of Acre (1189–1191) and was buried somewhere nearby.

In 1898 a French traveler L. Gautier described the shrine as follows, “When passing the north city wall (of Acre) and a big waste land, we notice a small white monument map on the seashore, overlooking the sea and reefs, a few meters high. The map indicates that it is the wely of sheikh called ‘Izz el-Din” (1898, 292).

The maqam was first marked in 1870 on the French map Galilea. Though on this map the maqam was marked as the tomb of nabi Saleh, which is actually located on the Muslim cemetery to the east from Old Acre.

On the PEF maps (Sheet III, Kf) to the north from Acre there marked the tomb of ‘Azz ed-Din without a sheikh title. Also Palmer mentioned this object (1881, 41). Name sheikh ‘Izz ad-Din appeared on the map of the British Mandate. The Archaeological Survey of Israel reads, “A square, domed building in which there is a gravestone. There are no signs of early phases nor are there any ancient sherds in the vicinity. Tombs dating to the Hellenistic period were exposed along the beach and a mausoleum was uncovered near the sheikh’s tomb”.

View from the east

Maqam on the French map Galilea 1870

Photo of 1990s

Photo of 1995 (from the book by A. Petersen)

After Nakba Day (1948), the Muslims did not leave the shrine unattended. A. Petersen did not manage to get into the maqam and observed only its exterior, “This maqam is located on the beach approximately 1.5 km north of the old city of Acre. This is a square (4.5 m per side) domed building standing in an area of open scrub. The entrance to the tomb (locked at time of visit) is on the south side and is protected with an iron door. There is a window on the west side from which it is possible to see that the floor level inside is considerably (0.5m) lower than the outside ground level. The tomb of sheikh ‘Izz al-Din is aligned east-west towards the rear of the chamber” (2001, 84–85).

The maqam of sheikh ‘Izz ad-Din was significantly rebuilt in 2011. The Muslims painted the dome green, tiled the walls (the same way as in the maqam of sheikh Baraz ad-Din; see 5. Maqams. Coastal Plain). Thus the renewed maqam was still a shrine though it lost it historical significance.

View from the south-west

View from the north

Route. The maqam stands on the seashore in the northern part of modern Acre. You can reach it via streets Netiv Hativat Golani or ha-Hagana.

Visited: 19.08.15
Coordinates: 32°56'15.2"N 35°04'23.1"E
Location of the object on Google Maps
ReferencesPalmer 1881, 41 (Sheet III)Stewardson 1888, 82Gautier 1898, 292; Petersen 2001, 84–85; The Archaeological Survey of Israel

Maqam sheikh Jamal ad-Din
مقام الشيخ جمال الدين
קבר שייח' ג'מאל א-דין

This maqam is marked in the PEF maps of 1879 (Sheet XI) as one of ‘Amad ed-Din or ‘Amud ed-Din. E. Palmer noted, “‘Amad ed-Din, meaning "the support of the Faith"” (1881, 178). A new name sheikh Jamal ad-Din appeared during the British Mandate. The shrine belonged to Palestinian village Shuweika.

Now it is quite a modernized structure fully rebuilt. A Burial chamber turned into a pavilion with 4 arches, covered with concrete; a high dome is painted first in blue, then in golden (not green!). At the same time a few tombstones that used to border the maqam from the east, turned to be inside of the building. The floor is covered with different tiles, leather armchairs stand in the corners.

View from the south-east

View from the north-west

The maqam's interior

The only thing saved by the builders is a holly palm tree, which used to be near the north-eastern corner of the maqam, but now it is also inside of the structure. There is no roof above the palm tree to make it feel spacious.

Thus, the maqam remained a Muslim shrine, but historically seized its existence.

Route. From Zemer crossroad you follow abandoned Route 574 to Tulkarm. 700 m before the Separation border, you turn to the west, to the road leading to Khirbet Kafr Sibb, where now there is a farm. 300 m to the west from this farm there is the structure.

Visited: 09.08.18
Coordinates: 32°20'39.9"N 35°01'24.9"E
Location of the object on Google Maps
ReferencesPalmer 1881, 178 (Sheet XI); Stewardson 1888, 8; Ariel 1996, 105

Maqam sheikh al-Katanani
مقام الشيخ القطناني
קבר שייח' אל-קטנאני

Those who drive along Highway 44 can see a Muslim structure located at the entrance to the Holon. Its construction began in 2005 and continues to this day. This is a thorough rebuilding of the Maqam sheikh al-Katanani related to the former Palestinian Arab village Yazur (Palmer 1881, 218). Katanani's Family was very famous.

View from the north-east. Photo of 2012

View from the south-west. Photo of 2004 before reconstruction

A. Petersen after examining the maqam in 1991 described it this way: “It is built to a square plan with a shallow dome resting on an octagonal drum. On the north side of the building are some ruined concrete additions. The building is entered through a doorway in the middle of the north side. Inside there are windows on the west and east sides flanked by niches. In the middle of the south wall is a shallow niche decorated with inscriptions painted in henna. The dome rests on pendentives” (2001, 312).

Photo of 1991 (from the book by A. Petersen)

The mihrab. Photo of 1991 (from the book by A. Petersen)

The mihrab. Photo of 2012

Plan of Yazur of 1948

In this figure, it is clear that near the maqam was a Muslim cemetery. It is completely destroyed.

Opposite the maqam, on the other side of Highway 44, stands a synagogue with seven domes, the former Muslim shrine — the Tomb of imam ‘Ali. Speaking about this shrine or Maqam sheikh al-Katanani, C. Conder mentions a “kubbeh, which is said to have been once a church” (SWP II 258).

Photo of 1887

Photo of 1921

Visited: 01.08.12
Coordinates: 32°01'17.0"N 34°48'17.8"E
Location of the object on Google Maps

References: SWP II 258; Palmer 1881, 218 (Sheet XIII); Stewardson 1888, 139; Benvenisti 2000, 292; Khalidi 1992, 262; Petersen 2001, 312
Addition: Panorama

Maqam sheikh Muhammad al-Qureishi
مقام الشيخ محمد القريشي
קבר שייח' אבו מחמד כוויכאני

The Druzes remade the abandoned maqam of sheikh Muhammad al-Qureishi into the tomb of their holy man 11th century called Abu Muhammad al-Kuweikani. The maqam referred to former Palestinian village Kuweikat, on the place of which there is Israeli kibbutz Beit ha-Emek. In 1987 W. Khalidi saw the renewed maqam and continued to call the sheikh “al-Qureishi”, “The shrine of Shaikh Abu Muhammad al-Qurayshi still stands but its stone pedestal is badly cracked” (1992, 22).

The Druzes strengthened the walls of the half destroyed maqam and made a so called platform, on which a new cenotaph and a stone bench for visitors were set.

View from the south-east

View from the south-west

The cenotaph

Route. The maqam is located at the entrance to kibbutz Beit ha-Emek. You may turn to it from Highway 70.

Visited: 20.08.15
Coordinates: 32°58'13.2"N 35°08'52.0"E
Location of the object on Google Maps

References: Khalidi 1992, 22; The Archaeological Survey of Israel

Maqam Mu‘az ibn Jabal (sheikh Mu‘alla)
مقام مُعاذ إبن جبل - الشيخ معلى
קבר אבן ג'בל - שייח' מעלא

Maqam was built in the Mamluk period. Now it is considered to be dedicated to the memory of Mu‘az ibn Jabal, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad, a Muslim commander who died of the infamous plague in the Emmaus in 639. However, earlier, in the 19th century, this place was known as the tomb of sheikh Mu'alla (Palmer 1881, 328; Clermont-Ganneau, ARP II 483).

Up until 2005 one could see the original monument, which was kept in relatively good condition. It was a popular tourist attraction. It is not known what prompted the modern Muslims to disassemble the maqam to the ground and rebuild it, preserving the existing proportions. The fact that it were Muslims, who did it, is proved by the presence of a green dome — a standard feature of all modern replicas of maqams. Also during reconstruction a number of architectural details of the old monument has been lost forever. Modern builders reproduced only the lintel above the entrance to the tomb: in the center of it there is a triangle enclosed in a circle; on the both sides of it are bowls or jugs.

View from the west

The lintel

The mihrab

M. Sharon examined the monument in the 1990s before its reconstruction and described it so: “The sanctuary of Shaykh Mu‘alla. An oblong building, 11x7 m., with a spherical dome, built over the highest hill in the area and overlooking the Valley of Ayalon to its east and west, the hills of Samaria to its north, and the two major roads leading from the coast to Jerusalem on the east. There is no sign that there has ever been a tomb in the structure, which makes it a commemorative sanctuary. It consists of a central, almost completely square hall, 4.10x4.80 m., flanked by two chambers, with no partitions but clearly divided by pointed arches springing from pilasters and reaching a height of about 3 metres from the present ground level. The entrance to the sanctuary is through a gate, 1.96 m. high and 1.23 m. wide. It had an iron door, which was probably renewed a few times, with hinges from periods later than the time of the building.

Photo of 1979

Photo of 1990s. View from the north

The building is massive, with walls that are 0.90 m. thick, built with well cut and cemented stones and fully plastered on the inside. It is a typical Mamluk building, with the dome rising over a frieze and resting on four pointed arches with pendentives. The central hall is the main prayer area. A very beautiful mihrab, l m. deep and 1.36 m. wide, was built directly opposite the entrance door. Its lower part is constructed of three rows of well-hewn solid local limestone, over which rests the semi-spherical dome of the mihrab and from which its pointed arch springs. The mihrab in the southern wall protrudes on the outside more than 0.60 m. out from the wall line.

The lintel of the entrance gate is decorated with three figures engraved in relief: a triangle inside a circle flanked by two candlesticks in a representation of gates” (CIAP I 83–84).

Photo of 2002. View from the south-west

Photo of 2002. The lintel

Maqam is located on a hill and is visible from Highway 1 near Latrun Interchange. To get to it drive along a dirt road in the Ayalon Park (Canada Park).

Visited: 07.10.11
Coordinates: 31°50'08.8"N 34°59'30.1"E
Location of the object on Google Maps

References: Palmer 1881, 328 (Sheet XVII); Stewardson 1888, 139; Clermont-Ganneau, ARP II 483; Sharon, CIAP I 83–84; iNature: Canada Park
Addition: Panorama

Maqam (Qubbat) sheikh Murad
مقام الشيخ مراد
קבר שייח' מוראד

Nowadays it's hard to get on the territory of the old Muslim cemetery in the south of Tel Aviv, because it is fenced and closed to the public. Here stands an impressive structure with two domes, known since 19th century — the maqam, or qubbat, of sheikh Murad. Its construction is attributed to the Mamluk period. The first to report about this maqam was C. Clermont-Ganneau in connection with the discovery of a part of bás-relief with inscriptions in Latin and a stone with an inscription of the 14th century in Arabic (ARP II 152–154). Later the tomb of sheikh Murad appeared on British maps of Jaffa. According to A. Petersen, “The tomb consists of a square chamber containing a tall dome supported on squinches. Inside is the cenotaph of shaykh Murad. The entrance is on the south side” (2001, 169).

Photo of 2000. View from the south-east

Recently, the tomb went through a thorough reconstruction: the masonry was set up again, both domes plastered, a steel door installed, the bars set on windows. Note also that the entrance to the maqam has always been on the north side.

Route. Sheikh Murad Cemetery is located on neighborhood Shapira, between the streets Israel Misalant and Sderot Hachmei Lublin. In Tel Aviv “Sheikh Murad House” built in the 19th century and located 250 meters to the north of the cemetery is more well-known.

Roy Maoz's documentary about Sheikh Murad Cemetery (Trailer)

Visited: 11.08.12
Coordinates: 32°02'53.4"N 34°46'46.8"E
Location of the object on Google Maps

References: Palästina-Vereins II 161; Clermont-Ganneau, ARP II 152–154; Quarterly statement VI 270; Quarterly statement XXX 246; Petersen 2001, 169; Wikipedia: Sheikh Murad Cemetery
Roy Maoz's documentary about Sheikh Murad Cemetery (2013)
Addition: Panorama 1; Panorama 2

Maqam sheikh Musa and maqam sheikh Ibrahim ad-Desoki
مقام الشيخ موسى ومقام الشيخ ابراهيم الدسوقي

In 1994 in Arabic city Tayibe A. Petersen visited two Muslim shrines standing side by side and described them as follows: “On a hill to the north of the old village is a rapidly growing new suburb. On the western part of this new development are two shrines, Shaikh Musa and Shaikh Desoki (sp.). Also, a more ephemeral shrine consisting of piled stones near the village was noted in the 1920s (McCown 1923, 65, Pl.22).

Maqam Shaikh Musa. This shrine has recently been rebuilt in concrete. The shrine consists of a square building covered by a flat roof with a small pointed dome in the centre. The cenotaph of the sheikh is covered in a green cloth and lies next to another grave without a cloth. Although the present shrine is modern, it is likely that it replaced an earlier structure as a shrine of this name appears on Buckingham's map of Palestine (1821, map facing 1).

Maqam Shaikh Desoki. This shrine stands several metres to the north of Maqam Shaikh Musa. This is a rectangular domed structure (5.8 m by 6.4 m) built out of stone with a modern coating of concrete. The north side is an open arch beneath which is the tomb of Shaikh Desoki. There are windows in the centre of the other three sides, each of which has a corbelled arch made by rounded cuts to the ends of two long stones. On the south and west sides are small ledges presumably designed to carry candles/lamps. The apex of the dome is approximately 4.4m above floor level. There is a graveyard on the north and south sides of the maqam” (2001, 297–298).

Photo from the book by A. Petersen

This description corresponds to what we see today. The only thing to note is that the maqam of sheikh Ibrahim ad-Desoki is located a few meters not to the north, but to the west from the maqam of sheikh Musa.

The both shrines are rebuilt in the early 1990s, but as A. Petersen noted, these buildings replaced more aged ones. On the British map of Palestine there is a maqam of sheikh Musa marked in the village Fardisiya located to the north from Tayibe. This shrine was obviously built in the 1930s (as it is not marked on the PEF map).

We should add that now both maqams are painted white, and their domes are painted green. The time we visited the shrine, a shop was being built in the neighboring, and on the rooftop of the maqam of sheikh Musa some pallets were stored.

View from the south

View from the north

Interior of the maqam of sheikh Musa

Maqam of sheikh ad-Desoki

Entrance to the maqam of sheikh ad-Desoki

Interior of the maqam of sheikh ad-Desoki

Cemetery near the maqams

It's difficult to come into the maqams as there is a fence set to the north. We managed to squeeze through a narrow passage along the wall of the house.

Visited: 09.08.18
Coordinates: 32°16'38.4"N 35°00'46.9"E
Location of the object on Google Maps
References: McCown 1923, 65, Pl.22; Petersen 2001, 297–298

Maqam sheikh as-Sandahawi
مقام الشيخ الصنداهاوي
קבר שייח' אל-סנדחאוי

Over the tomb of sheikh as-Sandahawi in the Arab town of Kafr Qara a modern mosque with gilded dome and high white minaret was built. When we arrived, it was a time for prayer and local residents all came to the mosque, so we didn’t have a chance to have a good look at the tomb.

But we have a detailed description from A. Petersen at our disposal, who examined the maqam in 1994 before the rapid construction started at this place. “The tomb comprises two main parts, a domed chamber and a vaulted room to the east. The tomb chamber is built out of large square blocks of stone which have been recently repointed. The doorway is in the centre of the north side. Above the doorway is a small rectangular recess which probably contained an inscription (now removed). Large arches spring from four corner piers above which is a dome supported on pendentives (approximate interior height 5m). The mihrab is a deeply recessed niche (1.42m high) in the centre of the south wall. There are also small niches in the east wall and two on the south wall either side of the mihrab. The cenotaph of the shaykh is located in the south-west corner and is aligned east-west. The cenotaph has head and foot stones and a lid with a central ridge and sloping sides” (2001, 284).

Photo of 1994. View from the north (from the book by A. Petersen)

Photo of 1994. The mihrab (from the book by A. Petersen)

Plan of the maqam (from the book by A. Petersen)
Now the maqam is situated in the south-eastern corner of the prayer hall, the ceiling of which is combined with the roof of the maqam (no dome). Former entrance to the tomb on the north side is blocked. As the south wall of the maqam now coincides with the south wall of the mosque, the burial chamber is completely walled up. They could build a mosque next to the shrine, as in Salim, on the territory of Palestinian Authority; or provide enough space for the shrine inside the mosque, as in the Mosque Sidna ‘Ali in Herzliya, preserving, if possible, the appearance of the shrine and its architectural features; but instead, builders in Kafr Qara made the maqam entirely subordinated to the new building. In this case the structure of the shrine was radically changed. As a result the maqam as a monument is, in fact, lost.

Friday prayer in the as-Sandahawi Mosque. Right — the maqam

Route. From Highway 65 drive into Kafr Qara, reach the center of the city; then drive along the street marked on Google Maps as Tareq Ben Ziyad to the south-western part of the city till you reach the modern mosque. Note that the locals do not know the street with such name. So if you’re lost you'd better ask them where the as-Sandahawi Mosque is (مسجد الصندهاوي).

Visited: 14.08.12
Coordinates: 32°29'51.0"N 35°02'19.2"E
Location of the object on Google Maps

References: Quarterly statement IX 98; Palmer 1881, 153 (Sheet VIII); Stewardson 1888, 140; Petersen 2001, 284

Maqam sheikh Tamim (ad-Dari)
مقام الشيخ تميم الداري
קבר שייח' תמימ אל-דארי

In works of C. Conder and on the map of Palestine Exploration Fund (Sheet XX) this maqam is identified as sheikh at-Teim (Conder 1879, I 228; Palmer 1881, 379). On the British map of Palestine of 1941 it’s called Sh. Tamim. Probably they meant Tamim ad-Dari, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad, the Muslim commander who governed Hebron, Beit ‘Einun and their surroundings. He died in 661, and according to tradition was buried near Beit Jibrin.

However, M. Sharon notes that “In the case of Bayt Jubrin, the village possessed these three types of sanctuaries, connected with Nabi Jibrin (Jubril), the sahabi Tamim ad-Dari, and two saints, Barraq and al-A'jam. To which all of the three (or more) of these three saints around Bayt Jubrin the inscription belongs it is very difficult to determine, in spite of the information that it originally belonged to the sanctuary of "Shaykh Tamim"”. (CIAP II 142)

View from the north-west

View from the south-west

The maqam's interior

This tomb has also been undergoing a complete reconstruction because it is situated on Shvil Israel and is a popular tourist attraction. However, now the tomb is closed to the public, probably till the end of the restoration work. It is located at the Route leading from Beit Guvrin to Beit Nir, a mile from Guvrin road junction. Nowadays there is no sign of the presence of Muslims at this place.

Photo of 1994 (from the book by A. Petersen)

Plan of the maqam (from the book by A. Petersen)
A. Petersen in 1994 saw already refurbished monument and here is his description: “In the south-west corner of the enclosure is a large structure comprising three main elements: a portico, a tomb chamber, and a prayer room. The portico consists of a deep iwan covered with a cross-vault. There are three niches in the east wall, and a doorway at the back (south) leads into the tomb chamber.

The doorway at the back of the portico leads into an area roofed with a wide arch which in turn opens into the main part of the chamber. This part is roofed with a dome. The hemispherical dome rests directly on a four spherical pendentives which have traces of muqarnas mouldings. There is a mihrab in the middle of the south wall flanked by two rectangular niches (one either side). There are also niches in the east wall as well as two more niches in the west wall. The west wall also contains a window. In the centre of the room is a large rectangular cenotaph aligned east-west with a headstone at the west end. The sides of the cenotaph are clad with marble panels and the headstone is a fragment of a marble column” (2001, 122).

Photo of 1987 (from the book by W. Khalidi)
In the photo of 1987 in the book by W. Khalidi we can see the remains of the shrine in the former Beit Jibrin, near the Israeli prefabricated houses; but this is apparently not the maqam of sheikh Tamim, but the tomb of one of the other above-mentioned saints. On the British map of 1941 to the north-east of the maqam of sheikh Tamim stands the tomb of sheikh Mahmud. It mentions Victor Guérin (Judee, II 316). We were looking for this place to the north of the present kibbutz Beit Guvrin, but in vain.

Visited: 31.07.12
Coordinates: 31°36'47.3"N 34°53'16.1"E
Location of the object on Google Maps

References: Guérin, Judee II 316; Conder 1879, I 228; Palmer 1881, 379 (Sheet XX); Stewardson 1888, 140; Clermont-Ganneau, ARP II, 463; Khalidi 1992, 210; Sharon, CIAP II 142; Petersen 2001, 122; Wikipedia: Tamim al-Dari; Bayt Jibrin


  1. The post is very much long. But, I am really loving the pictures of beautiful shrines and maqaams which are very precious to muslims. Its sad to see that Israeli's dont respect our religion.

  2. i want to know more about tamim ad dari