Fortress of Mukawir

Acc to Jewish sources, Mukawir is the infamous setting of the beheading of Hz. Yahya عليه اسلام

Madaba, Jordan

Coordinates: 31.567586, 35.624268

Also knows by the name Machaerus (Arabic : Qal’atu Mukawir) is a fortified hilltop palace located in Jordan 25 km (16 mi) southeast of the mouth of the Jordan river on the eastern side of the Dead Sea.

According to some jewish sources, it is the location of the imprisonment and execution of Hz. Yahya عليه اسلام.

The site also provides the setting for four additional biblical characters: Herod (who ordered the massacre of innocents), his son Tetrarch Herod Antipas; his second wife, Princess Herodias, and her daughter, Princess Salome.

Story of his Death Narrated by Ibn kathir

Hz. Yahya عليه اسلام condemned Herod Antipas’s marriage to his brother’s wife, Herodias.

Hz. Yahya’s عليه اسلام pronouncement spread like wildfire in the rule of Herod.

Salome was angry, for it was her ambition to rule the kingdom with her uncle. She plotted to achieve her aim.

Dressing attractively, she sang and danced before her uncle.

This aroused Herod’s lust. Embracing her, herod offered to fulfill whatever she desired.

At once she told him: “I would love to have the head of Yahya, because he has defiled your honor and mine throughout the land. If you grant me this wish, I shall be very happy and will offer myself to you.”

Bewitched by her charm, he submitted to her monstrous request.

Hz. Yahya’s عليه اسلام was executed and his head was brought to Salome.

The cruel woman gloated with delight. But the death of Allah’s beloved prophet was avenged.

Not only she, but all the children of Israel were severely punished by invading armies which destroyed their kingdom.

Site of Mukawir

According to the jewish historian Josephus, Hz. Yahya’s عليه اسلام execution took place at Mukawir.

An early Muslim as well as Christian tradition says his body was buried at Sebastiya in Samaria, which Orthodox Christians believe was also the venue for the banquet where he was executed.

Know This

There is a nominal entrance fee with on-site toilets and a Bedouin style tent to step out of the wind and take some hot tea or cold beverage.

Drive across from the Dead Sea but would advise arriving from direction of Amman/Madaba instead for better driving conditions.

Don’t be fooled by the boy in the car park who tries to charge you entry as you do not have to pay admission.

Best to attend earlier or later in day outside of midday heat as climb to the top is steep.

Take water and hat/sunscreen as there is no shade!