David Haivri
The Israel Tour Guide

Confusion Over Temple Mount Visiting During Ramadan

The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount
The Dome of the Rock. Photo by David Ha'ivri

Visiting the Temple Mount or Haram aSharif is a significant experience for many people from all around the world. The Temple Mount is located in Jerusalem, and it is one of the most notable landmarks of the city. The area is known as the Noble Sanctuary and is home to the Golden Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque. It is also the site of the first and second Jewish Temples, which stood here for nearly a thousand years until it’s destruction by the Romans in the year 70, so it holds a great deal of historical and religious importance for Jews as well.

The Temple Mount is open to Muslim visitors 24/7 throughout the year, while non-Muslim visitors are allowed to enter during limited hours from Sunday to Thursday. During the summer months, non-Muslims can visit the site from 7:00 am to 11:00 am and 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm, while during the winter months, the visiting hours are from 7:00 am to 10:00 am and 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm.

In the lead up to the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, there has been some confusion regarding visiting arrangements for non-Muslims. The Israeli police recently announced that from March 26th until April 10th, the Temple Mount will only be open to non-Muslims during morning hours. From April 10th until the end of Ramadan, non-Muslims will not be allowed to enter the site at all.

To add to the confusion, Israel has begun daylight savings time on March 24th, while the Palestinian Authority has just decided to postpone daylight saving time until after Ramadan. This means that the visiting hours for non-Muslims will be different depending on whether they are following Israeli or Palestinian time, and no less what times the Israel police decide to allow the visits, which again is not clear with this recent development.

Despite the confusion and uncertainty surrounding visiting arrangements, the Temple Mount remains a must-visit destination for people who are interested in history and religion. The site has significant historical and religious importance for both Jews and Muslims, and it is a place where people from different backgrounds can come together to appreciate its beauty and significance.

When visiting the Temple Mount, it is important to dress modestly and respect the rules and regulations of the site. Non Muslim visitors should also be aware that there are strict security measures in place, and they need to go through a security check before entering the site and that Bibles, prayer books and alcohol are forbidden.

In conclusion, visiting the Temple Mount or Haram aSharif is a unique experience that offers a glimpse into the history and culture of Jerusalem. While there may be some confusion and uncertainty surrounding visiting arrangements, it is still possible to enjoy the beauty and significance of this iconic site. By respecting the rules and regulations of the site and approaching the visit with an open mind, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the importance of the Temple Mount to people of different religions and backgrounds.

Note to observant Jews, there are rabbinical opinions that forbid entering the site altogether or others that specify how and where it is permissible.

About the Author
David Ha'ivri is a professional tour guide based in Jerusalem, Israel. He has been guiding visitors to Israel for over 20 years, providing unique and informative tours of the country's beautiful nature trails, its historical and religious sites. David is known for his passionate and engaging tours, which provide visitors with a deeper understanding of Israel's rich history and complex political landscape.
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