Raja ibn Haywah

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Raja' ibn Haywah al-Kindi was a leading Islamic jurist and Arabic calligraphist from Baysan who is probably best known as the artist most likely responsible for the detailed inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, which was completed in 692.

Career Under the Ummayads[edit]

Between 687 and 691, the Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (r. 685-705) instructed two Arab architects, Ibn Haywah and Yazid ibn Sallam to construct a dome with the best materials available to them.[1] He was at the beginning of his career during the reign of Abd al-Malik. However, although Ibn Haywah may have functioned as a secretary under the caliphs Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik (r. 715-717) and Umar II (r. 717-720) there is no evidence that he was ever a copyist, adhering to a specific set of stylizations of the sort visible at the Dome of the Rock, or that a group of such copyists flourished in Palestine in the time of Abd al-Malik.[2]

Ibn Haywah was also said to be particularly loyal to the Umayyad caliphs; Sheikh Sa'id ibn Jubayr (d. 714) stated, "Raja ibn Haywah used to be regarded as the most knowledgeable jurist (faqih) in Syria, but if you provoke him, you will find him Syrian in his views quoting Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan saying such-and-such."[3]


  1. ^ Report by Ahmad al-Wasiti in Fada'il al-bayt al-muqaddas Jerusalem, 1979: 80-81
  2. ^ C. E. Bosworth, Raja' ibn Haywa al-Kindi and the Umayyad Caliphs, Islamic Quarterly 16 1972: 43 and n. 5, the sources vary
  3. ^ Tabaqat al-Fuqaha, in the biography of Sa`id ibn Jubayr