The Dome of the Prophet, located in close proximity to the Dome of the Rock, is one of three Ottoman free-standing qubbas (small domed structures) on the Dome of the Rock terrace. These qubbas are all single-unit buildings, their domes supported by six or eight open arches, their mihrab is embedded in the floor, and they are all undated. Each of these domes commemorates either an important person or an important event that is related to al-Haram al-Sharif ("The Noble Sacred Enclosure", the sacred area in Jerusalem that includes the Dome of the Rock, the mosque of al-Aqsa and many other subsidiary smaller structures of religious and public functions). Two additional freestanding Ottoman qubbas in the precinct of the Haram, though different in style from the three mentioned above, are Qubbat Yusuf and Qubbat Yusuf Agha.
The Dome of the Prophet is believed to be the spot where the prophet Muhammad stood when praying with the other God's messengers and the angels, before ascending to the sky. This event took place during his extraordinary journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, to the seven heavens and back in a single night (al-isra' wa al-mi`raj). Endowment documents from the Ottoman period indicate that a portion of the endowment of the mosque of al-Aqsa was dedicated to maintain the lighting of an oil-lamp in the Dome of the Prophet each night.
The structure is octagonal, its hemispherical dome supported on colorful pointed arches of red, black and white stones above columns of gray marble. The ancient mihrab is made of a white marble slab embedded in the floor and surrounded by red stones and subsequently delimited by a low wall, that opens in the north to allow entrance to the believers heading southward to Mecca in their prayers.
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, 701-708
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.