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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 442



a great champion of the faith, and sent his agent, Sheikh Mohammed el Mushmer to Jerusalem for the purpose of destroying all the newly erected Christian buildings in the place, and of clearing out the monasteries and convents. Some new wooden balustrading which was found in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was carried off in triumph to the Mosque of El Aksa ; and the monastery, or Tomb of David, was cleared of its monkish occupants and appropriated by the Mohammedans, while even the bones in the adjoining cemetery were dug up and removed. The so-called Tomb of David was originally a convent of Franciscan monks, who believed it to be the site of the Cœnaculum, and their traditions mention nothing of an underground cavern such as is now said by the Mohammedans to exist. The tradition which makes it the tomb of David is purely Muslim in its origin, and does not date back earlier than the time of El Melik ed Dhâher Chakmak. Oral tradition in Jerusalem says that a beggar came one day to the door of the monastery asking for relief, and in revenge for being refused went about declaring that it was the tomb of David, in order to incite the Muslim fanatics to seize upon and confiscate the spot. His plan, as we have just seen, succeeded. El Ashraf also gave a great Coran to the Jarni' el Aksa, which was placed near the Mosque of Omar, by the window which overlooks Siloam. Sultan el Ashraf Catibâï, in the year 1472, widened and improved the steps leading up to the platform of the Sakhrah, and furnished them with arches like those on the other sides. He also re-covered the roof of El Aksa with lead. A notice of the events which happened in Jerusalem during the reign of this sovereign will be found in the account of Mejir-ed-din (p. 439). The names of a great number of learned men are mentioned in the Mohammedan histories of Jerusalem, either as pilgrims or as preachers, câdhis or principals


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