Khasaki Sultan Tekke .. 500 years of relief for the Jerusalemites

Near the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, a distance of no more than a hundred meters, and inside an ancient archeological building, formerly called the “Sitt Tanshaq Al-Mudhafari” Saraya Building, and now called the “School of the House of Islamic Orphans” “. , nine Jerusalemites spend most of their time cooking many meals and soups, to serve daily hot and fresh thousands of the inhabitants of the Old Town in the Holy City, which has an area of ​​900 hectares, as and its surroundings as well.

In 1551, the wife of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (Roxilana), of Russian descent, founded the “Teketa of Sultan Khasaki”, meaning in Arabic (the Sultan’s lover) in the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, to feed the poor people. and students, and since then, and for more than 500 years, this guesthouse has embodied the concepts of giving and facilitating to the needy and the poor.

rooted giving

A wanderer between Khan al-Zayt market and Al-Wad street within the walls and alleys of the old city within the Holy City, can reach the Saraya building (the school of the Islamic orphanage) and enter it through its northern gate, e located on the Mufti Obstacle (Rruga e Dhimbjes), between the narrow alleys of the city.

After the visitor enters the palace, he is greeted by a large open courtyard, to walk down the stone steps, which lead to the east side to another courtyard, embracing between his two sides the “Tekke of Sultan Khasaki”, whose construction overlaps with the parts. of the ancient archeological building, as it consists of a kitchen to prepare food menus, two stone ovens for preparing food in their finished form, together with a ritual ablution and a shrine room.

The two ovens are large in square shape on two opposite sides. On the south side is the kitchen which the chefs turn into an active beehive all year round without stopping and on the other side there is a large one. dining room and some rooms for storing food supplies.

Emirates Today met with the Director General of Al-Quds Endowments and Affairs of the Blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, who directly oversees the work of the archeological inn. Ibrahimi Mosque in the city of Hebron on the South West Coast.

He points out that the historic guesthouse was overseen by the Ottoman governor of Jerusalem, as one of the most important historical sites for food security in the city of Jerusalem, while today it depends on funding from the Department of Islamic Waqfs in Jerusalem, Ministry of Gifts in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. and on what philanthropists, merchants and businessmen donate.

Nine employees from the Department of Islamic Waqfs in Jerusalem work inside the Sultan Khasaki’s Tekke, providing hot meals for thousands throughout the year, which doubles during the fasting month as the number of visitors increases, in addition to increasing the number of people who come to pray and those in the courtyards.Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to Sheikh Al-Khatib.

Upon completion of the preparation of food for the families of Jerusalem, the guesthouse staff cooks fresh food for the staff, guards and guards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, as they do not leave the Temple Mount during the days of the blessed month.

Incubator for everyone

Tkiyet Khasaki Sultan offers daily meals of various kinds, including “flower mattafia”, beans, okra, potatoes, rice with chicken or meat and peas, to be distributed to all who settle and live within the walls of old town. of Jerusalem, which is currently inhabited by 28,000 Palestinians, including 22,000 Muslims, and 4,000 Christians, including 2,400 people from the Armenian sect. “We make no distinction between the Palestinian people who come to the guesthouse, the sons of one homeland, and the owners of the same cause, whether Muslim or Christian,” said Al-Quds Endowments and Al-Aqsa’s director general. emphasizes that Khasaki Sultan Hospital is currently the most important economic resource for the poor within the Holy City, especially those living near the Al-Aqsa Mosque, between the alleys of the Old City and within the cities and neighboring neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

Sheikh Al-Khatib says: “As a result of the deteriorating economic and living conditions and the high taxes imposed by the occupation on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, many Jerusalemites and those who come to the Temple Mount go to the inn (Khasaki Sultan). to get meals, and we also take on another task, which is to transport hot food to the homes of the poor and needy, in order to alleviate their suffering and increase their resilience in the face of resettlement schemes .

The Khasaki Sultan tekke, which was banned by the Ottoman sultan’s wife, is considered one of the most important historical inns in the Palestinian territories, along with the Abrahamic Tekke in the city of Hebron on the South West Bank.

• Nine employees from the Department of Islamic Waqfs in Jerusalem work inside the Sultan Khasaki’s Tekke, providing hot meals for thousands throughout the year, and this work doubles during the fasting month, as its number of visitors increases, in addition to the increase in the number of people coming to pray and those who are retiring in the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

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