The preacher's podium in the al-Aqsa Mosque will be restored and rebuilt with Jordanian funding. King Abdullah of Jordan has financed restoring the historic podium after it was destroyed in 1969 in a mad attack of an Australian tourist.
The new podium parts arrived at the mosque on Tuesday, and construction should be done in the next few weeks.
Head of the Wakf, Adnan Husseini, who is in charge of Temple Mount mosques, said that installing the new podium will take two weeks. According to him, "It is a beautiful work of art, the likes of which were not seen in the last 300 years."
The original podium was built by Zalah-A-Din about 1000 years ago, and was placed where, according to Muslim belief, the prophet Muhammad went up to the heavens. It was destroyed in a fire started by Michael Dennis Rohan, an Australian tourist who was deemed insane and deported after the act. Rohan, a Protestant, claimed his actions were meant to "hurry the arrival of the Messiah."
Reproduction of the podium required four years of work. Husseini says that the Jordanian employed ancient woodworking techniques, and connected the parts using pins instead of nails. According to him "replacing the podium proves that extremists will not have their way."
In last year's Ramadan month Abdullah announced a new project under his supervision: Building a fifth steeple to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Temple Mount, and supporting all the necessities of day-to-day maintenance of the mosque and the adjacent Dome of the Rock.
The Jordanian king also announced the starting of a new foundation for funding Muslim religious causes such as this, which will provide continuing support and maintenance for restoration and preservation of Muslim sacred locations, especially Temple Mount.
An announcement from King Abdullah's office stated that the capital invested in these restorations and in building the fifth steeple is assessed at five million dinars a year, about NIS 30 million.
It should be mentioned that Jordanians are involved in many different restoration projects on Temple Mount. King Hussein of Jordan funded the gold plating of the Dome of the Rock, and in recent years Jordanian engineers were involved in repairing the bumps created in the southern and eastern walls of Temple Mount.
Husseini says that the recreation of the podium is "another step towards freeing the mosque and Jerusalem from their occupation."