Proof that God can cover the whole world with love, the Dome of the Rock (Qubbat as Sakrah) is a Muslim masterpiece.
Built in the heart of Jerusalem, the Byzantine shrine was completed in 691 A.D. and is believed to be where the Prophet Muhammad (570-632) began his journey to heaven...transported from Mecca at midnight on a winged horse.
"A symbol of sovereignty in the region... the golden dome remains today the symbol of Jerusalem," observed writer Beatrice St. Laurent.
One of the world's oldest and most beautiful buildings, the octagonal shrine features white marble walls, 52 stained glass windows, bands of Koran inscriptions, and brilliantly-colored mosaics tile.
The unique holy place is considered the third most holy shrine in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. It is also believed to be the site of Mount Moriah where the Hebrew Bible said Abraham was to have sacrificed his son Isaac.
"All followers of the three great monotheistic religions--Muslims, Jews and Christians--should enjoy worshiping side by side, as God meant it to be," observed King Hussein (1935-1999) of Jordan who in 1994 gave 80 kilos (176 pounds) of 24-karat gold as a gift to restore and gild the Dome.
An advocate for Arab unity and peace, Hussein once eloquently asked, "Is it so utterly absurd to believe that Jews, Muslims, and Christians could pray to the one God of Abraham at this holy place? In this way, the Dome of the Rock would be a Dome of Reconciliation."
God is everywhere, for everyone.