Location and Founder
The Zawiyya is located on the Mount of Olives, next to the Ascension Mosque and Dome. It was established by Shaikh al-Islam, As’ad Afandi ibn Hassan al-Tabrizi, the Chief Judge of Istanbul, Military Judge and Mufti of the Ottoman Caliphate (1570 - 1625 AD / 978 - 1034 H). As’ad Afandi endowed the Zawiyya in favor of the famous Sufi, Shaikh Muhammad ibn Umar ibn Muhammad al-‘Alami, who died in 1628 AD (1038 H). He had left to Damascus, then returned to Jerusalem where he stayed until his death. Many charities and work of saints (karamat) were attributed to him, and he was buried in Jerusalem. He was a poet, and he complied many writings.
Components of Al-Zawiyya
Al-Zawiyya al-As’adiyya is an architectural compound which includes an Ottoman style mosque comprising inscriptions tracing the development of the site, and the reason and story behind building it, a mausoleum for Shaikh al-‘Alami and his offspring, service facilities, and a minaret. Al-Zawiyya had endowed plots of land and old copies of the Quran. It was a destination for travelers and visitors, and continues to be a venue for prayer five times a day. Among the conditions of the endowment are:
‘Each year, the supervisor shall receive fifteen piasters, the imam shall receive twenty four piasters exactly, and the mu’azzen (caller for prayer) shall receive twelve every year. Another twelve piasters shall be paid annually to a man who will serve as a gatekeeper and servant, who undertakes to open and close the gates and provide necessary services, including sweeping the mosque and its grounds and furniture. Twelve piasters shall be paid to a man who would collect the Waqf funds, and a similar amount shall be used to purchase mats for the mosque,and for oil to light the lanterns, in good practice.’