A pulpit is a speaker’s stand in a mosque. Almost every mosque in the Islamic world has a pulpit inside which is used to give Friday’s and other sermons on special occasions such as Eid Al-Adha and Eid Al-Fitr. These sermons are considered part of Muslim prayer’s rituals.
1) Nour Ad-Din Zinki (Saladin’s) Pulpit
Nour Ad-Din Zinki built this pulpit in 564 AH/1168 AC to be placed inside Al-Aqsa Mosque after liberation from the Crusaders; however, he died beforehand. When Saladin conquered the Crusaders and liberated Jerusalem he shipped Nour Ad-Din Zinki’s Pulpit from Aleppo and placed it in Al-Qibly Mosque. The pulpit is made of cedar wood which is decorated with ivory and seashells. It has a gate that is topped with a magnificent crown believed to be the slogan of the Tankaziyah State, most probably added to its structure by Prince Tankz An-Nasiri in 731 AH/1330 AC. The pulpit also has a staircase that is topped with an arch and a wooden porch. In 1969, Dennis Michael Rohan, an Australian Christian Zionist, set Al-Qibly Mosque on fire; the historical pulpit was destroyed completely in the arson. It was temporarily replaced with a simpler one until an identical pulpit was built in Jordan using the same original materials, which was brought to Jerusalem in 2007 to be placed inside Al-Qibly Mosque.
2) Burhan Ad-Din Pulpit
This pulpit is located in the southern part of the Dome of the Rock’s courtyard to the west of the southern arched gate which leads to Al-Qibly Mosque. The Supreme Judge Burhan Ad-Din bin Jamaa’ ordered building the marble pulpit in 709 AH/1309 AC to replace a small portable one made of wood. The pulpit has a small entrance which is connected to a number of steps leading to a stone seat made for the speaker to sit on. It is topped with an attractive dome called the Dome of the Scale, because of its adjacent location to one of the arched gates that were known as scales in the past. There are two niches carved in the body of the pulpit: one can be seen under the speaker’s chair while the other is on its eastern side next to the arched gate pillar. Today, the pulpit is out of use, in spite of being the only exterior pulpit within Al-Aqsa’s compound.
Source: Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, Jerusalem