Madrasa al-Muqaddamiyya
Aleppo, Syria
The Muqaddamiyya Madarasa is located in the Jallum district in the alley of Khan al-Tutun on the site of a former church, probably one of the four Christian churches confiscated in 1124/518 AH by order of the qadi Abu al-Hasan ibn al-Khashshab. Arabic sources date the conversion of the building from church to madrasa to circa 1150/545 AH, although the inscription panel above the door in the main portal names Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Malik ibn Muhammad al-Muqaddam who provided an endowment for the madrasa and is dated to the year 1168-1169/564 AH.

The madrasa is distinguished by its sparse but well-constructed entrance portal, which takes the form of a recessed iwan entered through a tri-lobed arch. The vault of this iwan is a groin vault with a star-shaped keystone. There is very little ornamentation within the iwan aside from three teardrop-shaped medallions filled with vegetal motifs based on palmette forms. These are located toward the cusp of the vault, one on each side wall and the back wall of the iwan. The inscription above the portal is the oldest known Naskhi inscription in Aleppo. 

The madrasa is organized around a courtyard with a three-bayed prayer hall on the south side and service rooms on the west. The east and north sides do not remain but Herzfeld suggested a symmetrical plan, with a large iwan on the north side and service rooms on the east mirroring the west.


Allen, Terry. A Classical Revival in Islamic Architecture, 12-13. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert, 1986.

Allen, Terry. "Madrasah al-Muqaddamiyah." In Ayyubid Architecture. Occidental, CA: Solipsist Press, 2003. [Accessed August 2, 2005].

Herzfeld, Ernst. Matériaux pour un Corpus inscriptionum arabicarum. Part 2: Syrie du nordInscriptions et monuments d’Alep, vol. 1, pt. 1, pp. 233-236. 2 vols. in 3 parts. Cairo: Institut Francais d'archéologie orientale, 1954-1956. 

Rihawi, Abdul Qader. Arabic Islamic Architecture in Syria, 105. Damascus: Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, 1979.

Aleppo, Syria
Images & Videos
Associated Names
1150-1169/545-564 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Madrasa al-Muqaddamiya
Madrasah al-Muqaddamiyyah
Building Usages