Search
Close this search box.

Nabi Musa

Exploring Israel

Nabi Musa, meaning “The Prophet Moses,” is the name of a site in the Judaean Desert believed to be the tomb of Moses (according to Muslims). Also, it is the name of a seven-day-long religious festival celebrated annually by Palestinian Muslims, beginning on the Friday before Good Friday in the Orthodox calendar used by the Greek Orthodox Church. Considered in the political context of 1920 as “the most important Muslim pilgrimage in Palestine,” the festival centered on a collective pilgrimage from Jerusalem to what was understood to be the Tomb of Moses near Jericho. A great building with multiple domes marks the mausoleum of Moses.



Nabi Musa “Tomb of Moses” tradition

The biblical book of Deuteronomy records that Moses “was buried in a valley in the land of Moab; opposite Beth-Peor” (east of the Jordan River) and that “no one knows the place of his burial to this day” (Deut 34:6). In Islam however, in a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (603–681), when Moses chooses the time of his death, he asks Allah to:

“let him [Moses] die close to the Sacred land so much so that he would be at a distance of a stone’s throw from it.”

In Islam, Moses’ burial place is also considered to be unknown. However, local Muslim tradition places the “Tomb of Moses” at the maqam (Muslim shrine) of Nabi Musa (“Prophet Moses”). It is not known when this tradition first emerged. The Jerusalem -Jericho road was one of the primary routes used by Mediterranean Arabs to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. The shrine’s site since the 13th century is located at what would have marked the end of the first day’s march in that direction.





Originally, it was simply a point from which pilgrims could rest, look across the Jordan Valley, catch a glimpse of Mount Nebo where (as suggested by the Hebrew Bible) the tomb of Moses used to be, and worship it from this spot. Even the Arab geographer Muqaddasi from Jerusalem, writing in the 1490s, admits that the tradition has only a weak chance of authenticity. Nabi Musa is still the most popular among several sites with similar claims.


arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik, an Israeli native who dedicated his life to sharing my passion for the Holy Land with those interested in knowing more about this incredible piece of land. I’m the Chief Guide at ‘APT Private Tours in Israel’.

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Touring Where Jesus Was Tested by Satan

RELATED POSTS

Ein Keshatot

Ein Keshatot is a fascinating archaeological site located in the Golan Heights. The site is believed to be the remains of a Jewish village.

Al-Uthmaniyya Madrasa

The Al Uthmaniyya Madrasa is a historic educational institution in the heart of Jerusalem's Old City. Let's go and do some exploring!

Kidane Mehret Church

The Kidane Mehret Church holds a rich tapestry of stories, traditions, and devotion that dates back centuries.

Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art

The Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art in Haifa is a hidden gem that showcases the rich cultural heritage of Japan. Don't miss it!

Shrine of the Book

The Shrine of the Book is a wing of the Israel Museum that houses one of the most important archaeological finds ever found in Israel!

Garden Tomb

The Garden Tomb is believed by many Christians to be the place where Jesus Christ was crucified buried and resurrected.

Tel Lachish

Tel Lachish is the site of an ancient Near Eastern city, now an archaeological site and an Israeli national park in the Judean Hills.

Mount Gilboa

Mount Gilboa is a ridge overlooking the Jezreel Valley In the Galilee and one of Israel’s most beautiful spots. At Mount Gilboa you can find ...

Alexander Nevsky Church

Alexander Nevsky Church is located in Old City Jerusalem, has interesting archaeology and art pieces! Worth a visit when touring Israel!

Hasmonean Heritage Museum

In this post, we'll visit the Hasmonean Heritage Museum and its fascinating insights into this extraordinary period of Jewish history.

Need help?

Skip to content