Islamic Museum (al-Mutahaf ul-Athar ul-Islamia)

By the Editors of the Madain Project

The Islamic Museum (متحف الآثار الإسلامية), is a museum on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. On display are exhibits from ten periods of Islamic history encompassing several Muslim regions. The museum is located adjacent to al-Aqsa Mosque on the western side. The museum was officially inaugurated in 1341 Hj. / 1922 CE. In 1348 Hj. / 1929 CE, it was transferred to its present site in the southwestern corner of the Haram al-Sharif. The museum is administered through the Department of Islamic Awqaf in Jerusalem, under the auspices of the Ministry of Jordanian Awqaf, Islamic Affairs and Holy Places.


The facade of the Islamic Museum's building and the remains of Corinthian columns and capitals in the courtyard. The building was originally constructed by the Knights Templar, who used it as an annex to their headquarters established at the former Al-Aqsa Mosque. Following the Muslim reconquest of Jerusalem, the mosque was restored in 1194 CE.

Brief History

circa 1100 CE

The annex building served an assembly hall for the Fakhr al-Din Mohammad School, a madrasa built by al-Mansur Qalawun in 1282 CE, during the Mamluk era. The museum was established by the Supreme Muslim Council in 1923. Shadia Yousef Touqan was the head planner of the site. Khader Salameh is the head curator of the museum.

Architecture and Exhibitions

circa 1100 CE

The museum comprises three buildings with an exhibition space of over 1,000 square m. The oldest hall is from the 6th Hj. / 12th century CE and is a rare Crusader monument in the holy city. The second hall was an Ayyubid mosque (7th Hj. / 13th century CE) historically known as al-Malikiya mosque or the Jami’a al-Mughariba. The third hall is known as the al-Fakhriya corner and its history goes back to the Mamluk period (8th Hj. / 14th century CE).


circa 1100 CE

The collection consists of artefacts and remains from the Islamic and non-Islamic epochs, representing various facets of Islamic civilisation ranging in geography, theme and period. Most of the artefacts represent the heritage of al-Haram al-Sharif, Jerusalem and Palestine at large including cities such as Hebron and Nablus.

circa 1100 CE

The museum contains woodwork from different Islamic eras, the oldest dating to the Umayyad period. Metalwork in iron, copper and silver includes the iron enclosure from the Dome of the Rock, candlesticks, swords, daggers, daises, incense burners, coins, rings and memorial pieces. The collection includes marble and glazed tiles that panelled the the Dome of the Rock in the period of Sultan Sülayman the Magnificent (r. 926–74 Hj. / 1520–66 CE) and his successors.

circa 1100 CE

There is a collection of earthenware, inscriptions on stone from different Islamic periods and its precursors, and columns and capitals from the Roman and Byzantine periods. There is a valuable collection of Qur’ans, the oldest from the 9th Hj. / 15th century CE, and many Mamluk manuscripts whose themes deal with social and economic life in the holy city. The museum displays part of its textile collection, with costumes, grave coverings, pieces from the kiswa (covering) of the Ka’ba and pieces of carpet.


Gallery: Manuscripts

Gallery: Other Exhibits

See Also


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