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


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 83

THE MOSQUE OF 'OMAR. 77 Sakhrah, so that the two Kiblahs,* namely, that of Moses and that of Mohammed, may he made identical." " Ah," said 'Omar, " thou leanest still to Jewish notions, I see ; the best place for the mosque is in front of it," and he built it in front accordingly. Another version of this conversation is, that when Ka'ab proposed to set the praying-place behind the Sakhrah, 'Omar reproved him, as has just been stated, for his Jewish proclivities, and added, " Nay, but we will place it in the sudr (' breast or forepart '), for the prophet ordained that the Kiblah of our mosques should be in the forepart. -I am not ordered," said he, " to turn to the Sakhrah, but to the Ka'abah." Afterwards, when Omar had completed the conquest of Jerusalem, and cleared away the dirt from the Sakhrah, and the Christians had entered into their engagements to pay tribute, the Muslims changed the name of the great Christian church from Gaiyamah (Anastasis), to Gamamah (dung), to remind them of their indecent treatment of the holy place, and to further glorify the Sakhrah itself. The mosque erected by 'Omar is described by an early pilgrim who saw it as a simple square building of timber, capable of holding three thousand people, and constructed over the ruins of some more ancient edifice. The annals of the Mohammedan Empire during the next forty-eight years, although fraught with stirring events, bear but little on the history of Jerusalem itself; and although the visit of 'Omar had impressed the followers of the Cor'ân with the idea that they possessed an equal interest in the Holy City with the adherents of the Law and of the Gospel, still their devotion to the Temple of Mecca and their prophet's tomb at Medina was too deeply rooted to leave them much reverence for. the Masjid * The Kiblah is a " point of adoration," that is, the direction in which Mecca lies. In the Mohammedan mosques it is indicated by a small niche called a mihrab.

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