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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 94



AVise. Yerily, the true religion in the sight of God is Islam. • Say praise be to God, who taketh not unto Himself a son ; whose partner in the kingdom none can be ; whose patron no lowly creature can be. Magnify ye Him !"* 'Abd el Melik died on the 8th of September, 705 A.D., and was succeeded by his son Walid. During that prince's reign the eastern portion of the Masjid fell into ruins ; and as there were no funds in the treasury available for the purpose of restoring it, Walid ordered the requisite amount to be levied from his subjects. On the death of Walid, the caliphate passed into the hands of his brother Suleiman, who was at Jerusalem when the messengers came to him to announce his accession to the throne. He received them in the Masjid itself, sitting in one of the domes in the open court—probably in that now called Cubbet Suleiman, which is behind the Cubbet es Sakhrah, near the Bâb ed Duweidâriyèl. He died at Jerusalem, after a short reign of three years, and was succeeded (A.D. 717) by Omar ibn Abd el 'Aziz, surnamed El Mehdi. It is related that this prince dismissed the Jews who had been hitherto employed in lighting up the sanctuary, and put in their places some of the slaves before-mentioned as having been purchased by 'Abd el Melik, at the price of a fifth of the treasury (El Khums). * This inscription, which is composed chiefly of Coranic texts, is interesting both from a historical point of view, and as showing the spirit in which Christianity was regarded by the Muslims of these early times. It has never before been published in its entirety. Its preservation during the subsequent Christian occupation of the city may occasion some surprise, as the Latins (by whom the Cubbet es Sakhrah was turned into a church) could not but have been offended at quotations which so decidedly deny the Divinity of Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity. It is probable, however, that the Cufic character, in which it is written, was as unintelligible to the Christian natives of that time, as it is now, even to most of the learned Muslims of the present day.


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