The building of Qubbat al-Arwah (The Dome of the Soul), situated in front of the North-West Qanatir (colonnade) on the Dome of the Rock terrace, commemorates the Day of Judgment, which according to Islamic tradition will take place in Jerusalem. The name al-Arwah (The spirits) marks the site of the building as the place where the souls of the believers would be summoned to after their resurrection.
The centrally planned freestanding building is placed on a single-piece slab of natural white rock of an irregular shape that approximates the area of the structure. The building, in the shape of an octagon, is surrounded by 8 open arches resting on eight slender columns. A single course of masonry above the arches supports a stepped cornice. Immediately above it rests the heavy hemispherical dome. Another course of masonry delineated the octagonal floor space, and breaks outward to the south to form a semicircular mihrab.
The exact date of construction and the identity of the founder of Qubbat al-Arwah are unknown. It might be a deliberate anonymous donation of a member of the ruling elite or a local initiative of the community. The first time the dome is mentioned in texts is in the year 1628 in the waqfiyya (endowment document) of Muhammad Agha. The donor specified funds to cover the costs of oil and to pay a man to maintain the lighting the oil-lamp inside the building.
Natsheh, Yusuf. 2000. "Architectural Survey". In Ottoman Jerusalem: The Living City 1517-1917. (Sylvia Auld and Robert Hillenbrand, eds.) London: Altajir World of Islam Trust II, 888-892
Burgoyne, Michael H. 1976. "A Chronological Index to the Muslim Monuments of Jerusalem." In The Architecture of Islamic Jerusalem. Jerusalem: The British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem.