Zionist claims to Jerusalem at the beginning of the 20th century proved a threat to the city, which is sacred to all members of the three great monotheistic religions. Al Haram Al Sharif, the primary symbol of the Arab presence in and right to Jerusalem, became a rallying point of Arab unity. In 1922, a nongovernmental organization, the Islamic Higher Council (IHC), was established to preserve Islamic ideals and sanctuaries, alike. The IHC took responsibility for raising funds to restore the Dome of the Rock. A delegation visited Sharif Hussein in Mecca in 1924, and explained to him the mosque’s condition. Sharif Hussein contributed fifty thousand golden lire. This generous sum went towards the restoration of buildings in the Haram Al Sharif compound and a number of other mosques in Palestine. When Sharif Hussein died on 4 June 1931, the elite Jerusalemites insisted on his burial in Jerusalem. His tomb is located in the southern corridors of Al Aqsa Mosque.
Sharif Hussein's son Abdullah, the first ruler and king of Transjordan, took up the responsibilities of his father. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Al Haram Al Sharif suffered considerable damage. King Abdullah I sounded the call for the restoration of Zakaria's mihrab, as well as the reconstruction of surrounding buildings which had suffered structural damage.
In 1949, King Abdullah I personally helped to extinguish a fire which almost destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, located next to Al Haram Al Sharif. He held the role of guardian of the holy sites in Jerusalem throughout his reign, maintaining and repairing them from the 1920s until his assassination at Al Aqsa Mosque during Friday prayers on 20 June 1951.