Tomb of Nabi Isma‘il
مقام النبي إسماعيل
קבר נבי ישמעאל
The tomb of Nabi Isma’il referes to Palestinian village Burin (to the south from Nablus) and was initially called the maqam of sheikh Abu Isma‘il or even Abu Isma‘in. The name kept on to ne mentioned in the early 19h century, and the Palestinian map of G. Shumaher.
During the British Mandate sheikh Abu Isma‘in turned into Nabi Isma‘il, probably there was an allusion to patriarch Ishmael from the Old Testament. The residents of Burin made such a change in order to attract pilgrims to the tomb, as they got extra revenue from that.
However, the nearest mountain is called Jebel Abu Isma‘il and in modern booklets the tomb is called Abu Isma‘il shrine (title Nabi avoided) (Burin Village Profile, p. 6). Thus, it is gradually ganging back to the initial mark of the shrine.
The structure is quite a prominent building, more than 4 m high, with a dome 1.5 m. The entrance is from the north. The inner plan resembles the tomb of Nabi Kifl (see Chapter 2): the same two interconnecting vaulted chambers, separated with an arch. A small mihrab without decorations stands at the S wall in the second chamber. No traces of cenotaph anywhere.
The shrine is surrounded with stone wall with a few entrances. The northern part of the wall forms a small yard in front of the entrance to the tomb. Nearby the tomb to the west there are a few building of different purposes. Some of them are probably hammams (bathhouses). The shrine is located on the edge of the steep slop of the mountain. It used to be observable from the road to Nablus, but now it is hidden in the shadow of trees.
After Israeli settlement was Har Brakha established (in 1983) and especially advanced outpost Giv'at Sne Ya'akov on Jebel Abu Isma‘il, the residents of Burin lost control over their shrine. The Jewish among the Israeli people perceived that tomb’s name as a reference to Ishmael from the Old Testament, who was the ancestor of Arabs and made a Hebrew inscription on the tomb’s wall: “Eretz Israel (The Land of Israel) is for nation Israel (Jewish), and not for Isma’il (Arabs)”.