The Tower of Onias and the Minaret

By Ben Abrahamson

The Temple of Solomon, with its large “Heichal” on the right overlooking the altar where sacrifices where burnt in the middle of the picture.

The Tower of Onias in Heliopolis (Tel Yehud) based on reconstructions of W. M. Flinders Petrie (1906) and descriptions by Josephus.

According to Josephus, the altar was the same size as that in Jerusalem but the “Heichal” (Tower of Abraham) was of smaller proportions. Whereas the Jerusalem Heichal had the seven branched Menorah, the Tower of Onias had only one lamp (manāra).

The Stelae in Axum, Ethiopia which imitated the architecture of the Tower of Onais, complete with stone versions of doors, windows and pillars.

The minaret in the Al Muhdhar Mosque in Tarim, Yemen

The minaret at Anah in Basra, Iraq

The minaret in the Blue Mosque, Instanbul

See how the Minaret follows the pattern of the ancient Tower of Onias, which follows the pattern of the Heichal of Solomons’ Temple. There are more examples, but this is one example how the mosque today reminds us of the Temple of Solomon.

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