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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 429



cry out, " "Welcome thou Pilgrim to whom Pilgrimages are made." No one dies until he has heard the sound of the Muezzin in Jerusalem calling to prayer. The pilgrims to the Haram es Sherif differ but little from those of the Holy Sepulchre. Both endure great hardships, exhibit intense devotion and ostentatious humility ; and both believe that by scrupulous practice of the appointed rites and observances they are advancing a claim upon the favour of heaven which cannot be repudiated. Both delight in assuring themselves and others that it is love for the stones on which the saints have trodden which brings them there, but if their satisfaction could be analysed it would be found to consist in a sense of religious security, which a learned Muslim doctor has quaintly expressed : " The dwellers in Jerusalem are the neighbours of God ; and God has no right to torment his neighbours." As with us in Europe, the only notices of Jerusalem during the Middle Ages are derived from the Crusaders and early pilgrims, so the various accounts of the Holy City, with the quaint stories and traditions attaching to it, with which Mohammed's writings teem, are all due to the early warriors and pilgrims of Islam. Of these, and their name is legion, I will select a few of the most eminent in order that the reader may form some idea of the sources from which the Arab historians have drawn their information. The Mohammedan pilgrims to Jerusalem range themselves naturally into two great classes or periods, namely, those who " came over with the conqueror " Omar, or who visited the city between the date of his conquest and the second Christian kingdom, and those who were posterior to Saladin. Of all the Mohammedan pilgrims to Jerusalem the first and most distinguished was Abu Obeidah ibn el Jerrah, to whom, as has already been shown, the conquest of Jerusalem was due.


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