Mausoleum of Abu Huraira (Yibna)

By the Editors of the Madain Project

Maqam (Mausoleum) Abu Hurayra (مقام ابو هريرة), is a domed structure located in Yavne described as "one of the finest domed mausoleums in Israel/Palestine.

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It has been described as "one of the finest domed mausoleums in Palestine." In 1274, Mamluk Sultan Baybars ordered the construction of the riwaq featuring a tripartite portal and six tiny domes together with a dedicatory inscription with the site expanded further in 1292 by Mamluk Sultan al-Ashraf Khalil. The mausoleum is located on a burial ground, northwest of Tel Yavne, that has been used by Yavnehites for burial since at least the Roman period. A number of Arabic inscriptions (at least three) are known to exist around the structure.

circa 1274 CE

C. Clermont-Ganneau described this monument so: “At Yebna we pitched our tent near the wely of Abu Horeira. Inside this we noticed numerous fragments of marble, several stones with the medieval tool-marking, and two marble columns surmounted by their capitals. The outside of the building is rather a picturesque sight, with its lewain of three arches, its cupolas and its courtyard planted with fine trees. The consecration of the Sanctuary to the famous Abu Horeira, "the father of the little she cat," the companion of Mohammed, though it can be and has been disputed, and is certainly spurious, must date very far back” - ARP II 167–168


circa 1274 CE

It consists of two rooms: the front room and the burial chamber, where in front of the mihrab a cenotaph used to stand. Above this room towers the central dome resting on an octagonal drum. Entrance to the burial chamber is decorated with Arabic inscriptions preserved to the present day. One of the inscriptions says – in honor of the Mamluk sultan Baybars. V. Guérin in 1863 found a Muslim cemetery in the yard in front of the mausoleum (Judee II, 57). C. Conder in 1875 saw a minaret located in the north-west corner of the mausoleum (SWP II, 442): The illustrations in the book by C. Clermont-Ganneau and photographs of the early 19th century show that minaret is no longer there.

Islamic and Jewish Affiliations

circa 1274 CE

Though the tomb of Abu Huraira has been here since long ago, the existing mausoleum was built in 1293 in a purely Mamluk style and for centuries was the main religious building in Yavne. Marble columns with Corinthian capitals can still be seen today. After 1948 the mausoleum was privatized by Sephardic Jews, who rebuilt the Muslim shrine and turned it into a tomb of rabban Gamaliel II. The Muslim cemetery was liquidated and the wall around it was demolished. Instead of a cenotaph of Abu Huraira a gravestone in honor of Gamaliel was set; and a burial chamber was divided into two parts (one for men, another for women) by a partition.

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