Garo Nalbandian

The prophet Mohammed, according to Muslim tradition, ascended to heaven from es-Sakhra after making a night-journey from Mecca; the rock, unwilling to release him, was pulled up by the prophet’s foot.

The Crusaders associated the rock, and the quarried grotto beneath it, with sacred events. It was the pillow on which Jacob slept, for example, as he dreamed of a ladder extending from earth to heaven. The Crusaders built marble casing completely around the rock to serve as an altar—converting the Dome of the Rock into a Christian shrine, the Templum Domini.