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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 81



THE MOSQUE OF DAVID. as the Mosque of David, and again 'Omar gave him the lie. After this they proceeded to the Masjid of Jerusalem, and halted at the gate called Bab Mohammed. Now the dung in the mosque had settled on the steps of the door in such quantities that it came out into the street in which the door is situated, and nearly clung to the roofed archway of the street.* Hereupon the patriarch said, " We shall never be able to enter unless we crawl upon our hand's and knees." " Well," replied the caliph, " on our hands and knees be it." So the patriarch led the way, followed by 'Omar and the rest of the party, and they crawled along until they came out upon the courtyard of the Temple, where they could stand upright. Then Omar, having surveyed the place attentively for some time, suddenly exclaimed : " By Him in whose hands my * This important passage has been but imperfectly understood ; Reynolds, in his translation of " Jelâl ed din," makes absolute nonsense of it, rendering the words :— " So he went with him to the Mosques of the Holy City, until he came at last near unto a gate, called the gate of Mohammed ; and he drew doum all the filth that was on the declivity of the steps of the gate, until he came to a narrow passage, and he went down a number of steps until he almost hung,upon tlie top of the interior or upper surface. .. . So Omar went upon his hands, and we went upon our hands and knees after him until we came to the central sewer. And we stood here upright." The word here rendered mosques is in the singular, not in the plural, and plainly refers to a spot well known as " the Temple (Masjid) of Jerusalem." The word rendered " he drew down " is passive, and implies that the dirt had collected in such quantities upon the raised platform as to run down the steps into the street, where it had made a heap high enough to reach the arched roof of the public way. Not to mention the, difficulty of four thousand men standing upright in a sewer, I may remark that the word rendered "central sewer" is sahn, "an open court," the name applied at the present day to the platform upon which the Cubbet es Sakhrah stands. Keynolds's translation would imply that the site of the Sakhrah was in a sewer below the level of the rest of the city as it then stood !


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