The shrine of Nabi Saleh probably dates to the Mamluk or early
Ottoman period, though it has been extended and restored several times since then, most recently in 2003. The archaeological record suggests that it was built on top of a twelfth century Crusader church, which had itself replaced a Byzantine monastery. This is a pattern typical of Palestine’s sacred sites.
Centuries ago the shrine became the focus for an annual mawsim or pilgrimage that took place every May, and which included popular songs and dancing. The festival survived here until very recently, coming to an end only with the second intifada.
The name Nabi Saleh refers to a pre-Islamic Arab prophet “Saleh Ibn Abd Ibn Masseh Ibn Obaid Ibn Hajer Ibn Thamud Ibn Aber Ibn Aram Ibn Sam Ibn Noah”, 'peace be upon him’ from the Arabs of Hijaz of the Thamud tribe. Koran says that Saleh preached some version of monotheism to the Thamud, a pagan Arab tribe who refused to abandon idolatry and were destroyed by God. There are several shrines in Palestine that are linked to Nabi Saleh, however this is the most infamous.
The Shrine primarily consists of two rooms in the form of an Iwan - a square or rectangular shaped area closed from three sides whereas the fourth side is open with an arch. On the east side of the shrine, lies the burial chamber adorned by the tomb, which is similar to other Islamic sanctuaries. An opening in the roof of the shrine enables the visitors to enjoy a view from above.