Tomb of Ezekiel in Iraq

The prophet Ezekiel prophesied to the Jewish exiles in Babylon (modern day Iraq) from 593-586 BC. Situated between the towns of Hillah and Najaf, 130 kms south of Baghdad, there is a tomb called the tomb of Dhu'l-Kifl which is considered to be the tomb of Ezekiel. Dhu'l-Kifl is considered by many to be a Quranic rendering of the name of Ezekiel.

Jews at the Tomb, 1932

Earlier, a large group of Jews used to visit this tomb during the Passover. According to ArchNet,
The site was originally a place of Jewish pilgrimage as it housed the tomb of the prophet Ezekiel. The Iraqi authorities assert that in 1316 the Ilkhanid Sultan Uljaitu acquired the rights of guardianship over the tomb from the Jewish community. Consequently, the shrine was re-named according to the Islamic nomenclature for the same prophet. Sultan Uljaitu added to the structure by building a mosque and a minaret. As well he restored the shrine implementing some alterations made clear by comparing its present state with pre-Ilkhanid travelers' descriptions. The site remained a Muslim pilgrimage place until the beginning of the nineteenth century when Menahim Ibn Danyal, a wealthy Jew, successfully converted it back to a Jewish site and restored it. The minaret remained as the only witness to its tenure as an Islamic site.

The Muslims regard Dhu'l-Kifl as a prophet. The Quran mentions:
And (remember) Ismail and Idris and Dhul-Kifl, all were from among those who observe patience.[Qur'an 21:85–86]
And remember Ismail and Al-Yasa and Dhul-Kifl, and they were all from the best.[Qur'an 38:48]

In 2009, there were reports that the Iraqi government had launched a project to renovate the Shrine (See Jerusalem Post of 1 May, 2009). However, it was later reported that there were no intentions to convert the tomb into a mosque (See Jerusalem Post of 14 May, 2009).


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