Maqam Nabi Dhul Kifl (Tirat Yehuda)

By the Editors of the Madain Project

The Maqam Nabi Dhul Kifl (مقام نبي ذو الكفل) is revered by the locals as the burial place of prophet Dhul Kifl. Prophet Dhu'l Kifl is mentioned in the Quran (21:85). According to most researchers he is the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel. And according to T. Canaan the shrine of nabi Kifl was known as an important shrine and traditionally had a festival on the 14th day of the Islamic month of Sha‘ban. Another tomb in al-Kifl, in Iraq, is also believed to be the burial of prophet Ezekiel.

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The low rectangular door, partially visible here through the tall grass, allows entry into the structure (8.85 x 10.05 x 3.15 m) with two domes. The building itself is divided into two adjacent vaulted chambers, or iwans, separated by two arches and each chamber is crowned by a dome. Impressive structure is called the tomb of Prophet Kifl. The north side of the building is adjacent to the large courtyard with a wall and ruins of some other structures. A stone staircase attached laterally leads to the roof of the building.



To enter the sanctuary one has to walk through a low rectangular door on the north side. As A. Petersen noted, it seems, however, that the doorway is a later insertion and that originally there was a wide-open arch (2001, 228). In 1994, A. Petersen saw in the chamber on the left-hand side (east) the broken remains of a cenotaph. Not a trace of them remained.Interior, the mehrab looking towards the southern wall.


In the south wall of the second room there is a mihrab, which, according to the same researchers, is entirely covered with symbolic paintings in red henna. The motifs used include crescent moons, stars, suns, triangular latticework, and forms resembling the finials used on domes or banners (Ar. ‘alani) (Petersen 2001, 228). Now most of those drawings are erased, and the mihrab current Arab pilgrim have left their own inscriptions.


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