Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Fine Arts

Committee Chair

Lai, Delin

Author's Keywords

Islam; Dome of the Rock; Jerusalem; Art history; Architectural history; Abd al-Malik


Qubbat al-Sakhrah (Mosque : Jerusalem); Jerusalem--Buildings, structures, etc.; Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, Caliph, 642-705


This thesis provides a hypothesis as to why the Dome of the Rock was built. I examine various scholarly theories concerning the construction of the first notable work of Islamic architecture, which was built in Jerusalem during the last decade of the 7th century CE. I argue that historic events and individuals, beginning in pre-Islamic Arabia and running through the establishment of the Umayyad caliphate at Damascus, acted as catalysts for the building's creation. It is my thesis that the construction of the Dome of the Rock was a potent weapon in the war of propaganda between rival Islamic factions, all of whom recognized the unique architectural heritage of Jerusalem that included both Christian and Jewish structures, foremost among them the site of the destroyed Solomonic Temple where the Dome of the Rock would be built.