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(s): Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 70, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1950), pp. 104108 Published by: American Oriental Society Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/595539 . Accessed: 10/12/2011 18:09
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pp. who was an outspoken partisan of the Shi'ites. vol. 311) extends this accusation to all the Umayyads. On the contrary. in the short period between the beginning of the erection of the Qubbat as-Sakhra (about 66 A. 6 For other sources about this event cf. vol. a thorough study of the sources and a careful weighing of the historical circumstances show that the erection of the Dome of the Rock could not have been intended to divert the lHajj from Mecca to Jerusalem.) and Ibn Zubair's death (73 A. pp. but both connect with this allegation other statements which by their obvious untruth invalidate it. for the year 68.). As is well known Ka'ba itself is a rectangular building. Even during the very siege of Mecca by al-Hajjaj. Abd al-Malik was nicknamed a second Jeroboam 2 and even the circular ground plan of the magnificent building was explained as intended for the ceremony of the Tawaf. was to be diverted from the Ka'ba to the new temple of Jerusalem. 6 Ansdb al-Ashrdf 5.18. using an older source. 8 Abel et Vincent. but its elaborate exposition was due to the master's methodical endeavor to make the contradictory sayings of the Hadith intelligible in the light of contemporary history.830.BRIEF COMMUNICATIONS The Historical Background of the Erection of the Dome of the Rock In a famous passage of his Muhammedan Studies. the numerous holy traditions supporting or opposing the religious importance of Jerusalem and its sanctuary were but weapons in the war between the two competitors for the Caliphate. H. Chronographia. 39) said that Abd al-Malik and al-Walid-who reigned long after Ibn Zubair was dead-forbade the pilgrimage to Mecca. Cf. never made the slightest allusion to Abd al-Malik's alleged intention of making Jerusalem instead of Mecca the center of Islam. including al-Maqdisi. Ibn Zubair. at-Tabari (part 2. Najda (the Kharidjite) and Ibn al-Htanafiyya (Shi'a) took part jointly in the Hajj. a procedure which was to be justified by sayings attributed to the Prophet or some of his Companions. or even mainly. It takes for granted the fact that men from Syria performed the Hajj at other times also during those crucial year. The Hajj. was a means of propaganda. 5. the Muslim pilgrimage.' J. in putting up the Qubbat as-Sakhra. 2 Kings 12: 26-33.6 It appears that only two older sources mention the allegation that Abd al-Malik. As we shall presently see.17-18) that Abd al-Malik asked people proceeding to Mecca to renew their oath of allegiance to him. In any case. a native of Jerusalem. annum 68 ? 20. 2.4 as well as all the earlier geographers.339. the Syrians were eager to make the Tawaf. who deal with the conflict between the Umayyads and Ibn Zubair in the utmost detail. 2. p. while al-Ya'qubi (vol.360. Ansab al-Ashrdf. Cheikho. I Muhammedanische 104 . to whom the exploitation of the holiness of Mecca. Goldziher expounds in great detail the theory that the Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik. H. 781-3) reports 5 that four camps-those of Abd al-Malik. his capital. by erecting the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. intended to divert the Hajj to Jerusalem: Al-Ya'quibi. Ta'rikh al-Khamis. 35-37. 2 third century. 2.3 However. Caetani. this theory about the motives for the erection of the Qubbat as-Sakhra has been generally accepted and invariably appears in historical textbooks dealing with the period. Goldziher'sthesis could rely on certain passages in Arabic sources. 255-378. also at-Tabari 2. According to this thesis. 933 b. states (vol. This report stresses only the strange fact that FOURdifferent parties joined together at one time in the performance of the rites of the pilgrimage. the wellknown Christian chronographer. ed. pp. 2. Jerusalem. vol. intended to outdo his rival Abdallah b. Cf. Eutychius (Ibn Batriq. the circumambulation of the sanctuary. while the contradictory traditions concerning the holiness of the latter could not have had their origin exclusively. a request which Ibn Zubair naturally had to refuse.6-7. Zubair. which is clearly in contradiction to trustworthy traditions about the pilgrimage to Mecca of these Caliphs. and Eutychius. 4 In particular at-Tabari (and the sources dependent on him) and al-Baladhuri. First of all: the great Muslim historians of the Studien. p.
280.207 . p. In order to compensate the faithful.14 tion of Jerusalem (p. as many of them had been accustomed to do in the early days of Islam. The discussion of this point lies outside the scope of the present paper. 12 Many historians. Raja' b. page 2128. p.465. But these yearly assemblies in Jerusalem at the time of the Hajj-although. Nasir-iKhosrau 10says that those who are unable to make the Hajj come to Jerusalem vebimoqif biistand 'and 105 purpose. ascribe-under mats of Kufa the custom of turning in prayer to Jerusalem instead of Mecca and to make the pilgrimage thither also. g. 20. 28.. Merwan followed this example during his administration of Egypt for his brother Abd al-Malik in Fustat. 58. a procedure called 'arraf (Ta'rif) after the Mount of 'Arafat near Mecca. Abdallah b. Ibn Taghribirdi. where Salah ad-Din is reported to have proceeded from Safad to Jerusalem especially for that purpose. Abd al-Aziz and a famous theologian. 29). 2. while Abdal-Aziz b. On the other hand. al-Maqrizi. . 1047. 18). e. The pulpit belonged to the insignia of the ruler. The account given by alYa'qfubi and Eutychius partly has its origin in anti-Umayyad tendencies8 and partly reflects a certain religious usage. described above. Wellhausen doubted whether Abd alMalik really had the intention of substituting Jerusalem for Mecca (Die Absicht.9 A passage from Nasir-i-Khosrau's Persian 'Book of Travel. instead of making the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. . to transfer the Minbar of the Prophet from al-Madina to Syria was quite a different matter.12 Our examination of the sources has shown so far that nothing in them justifies the assumption that the Dome of the Rock was originally conceived to replace the Ka'ba. 1. 1. 7. 14. part 3. . Cf. Abu-l-Fida. 1. they were not confined to that town-helped to give a semblance of truth to the calumnious reports of al-Ya'qubi and Eutychius. All this taken together compels us to discard the notion that the Umayyad Caliph intended to replace the chief sanctuary of Islam by another building. Ibn 'Asakir. relates that the Jews of Egypt used to visit the old synagogue of Fustat (the synagogue of al-Uzair. D. . Ibn Khaldfin.241 and other sources. to be discussed presently. p. 5-7. Mu'awiya's endeavor.' which has sometimes been quoted as a corroboration of Goldziher's above-mentionedthesis. where the original Wuqfif takes place. 12 toils much on refuting it. which. certain rites of the Hajj. By such a step he would have marked himself as a Kafir. as well as of Tripoli in Syria (p. Clearly the Persian traveler speaks of the custom of the Ta'rif. was by no means restricted to Jerusalem. 80. vol. p. is to be explained in the light of this custom. 3. at-Tabari. against whom the Jihad was obligatory. 13 Mujir ad-Din 1. and according to all we know. Jerusalem anstelle von Mekka zu setzen. Caetani.-similar substitutes are found in other religions. annum 66.). Abbas is supposed to have introduced that rite. Mujir ad-Din.13 was an intimate friend of 'Umar b. as performed at the Ka'ba. . Chronographia. when he occupied the position of an Amir at Basra. the year 278-to the Isma'ili Qar1. it appears again and again in later compilations. 8 Of the same genre is the allegation that Mu'awiya wanted to declare Saturday instead of Friday as the Muslim day of prayer. Thus he gives that number as the total of the popula- perform the Wuquf ' . ? 18. Ta'rikh al-Khamis 2. vol.20 alleges that the followers of the heretical doctrines of Ibn Karram in Jerusalem alone amounted to the same sum. Cf. Nasir-i-Khosrau visited Jerusalem in A. 10 ed. who could never have given his consent to such a pious fraud. was observed in the great provincial capitals. p. thus it was only natural that the Umayyad Caliphs tried to gain possession of the Prophet's own pulpit.000 is used by Nasir-i-Khosrau and other writers as a round sum.240-243. 1. p. however. 23. the standing in the presence of God. In addition. and not of the Tawaf.Brief Communications It is true that a number of later authors 7 repeat Ya'qubi's account. Haywa. the offi- 20. Abd al-Malik himself was an orthodox and observant Muslim. The custom persisted in later centuries too. Ibn Athir 12. but everybodyversed in the technique of Arab historiography knows that once a story has been incorporated into the mass of historical traditions. as we have seen. 133. repeated by al-Walid (at-Tabari.000 persons 11 assembled in Jerusalem for that I E. This testimony of the sources may be corroboratedby some general historical considerations. Ta'rikh Dimashq. 336. Kaviani.207. Ibn Kathir 8. part 2. in particular the most holy Wuqfif. al-Uns al-Jalil bita'rikh al-Quds wal-Khalil 1. while a source quoted by Ibn Kathir 11. 9 Ibn Taghribirdi 1. cial in charge of the erection of the Qubbat asSakhra. Arabisches Reich. Ezra) on a certain feast. sometimes over . 11This must not be taken too literally. an-Nujam az-Zdhira 1. they were of course unable to attend the yearly pilgrimage. 92). wenn er sie je gehabt hat. Khitat 2. When the Muslims spread all over the Middle East. It seems obvious that Abd al-Malik could not endanger his position more by anything rather than by trying to divert the Hajj from the Holy Places most solemnly proclaimed as such in the Qur'an.339. 14 Already J. g.
With typically Umayyad patience. Abd al-Malik waited until the Zubairi provinces fell into his hands one after another without any serious fighting. while his mighty brother. Damascus.13. Lydda. if any. This alone shows that the cause of the controversy could not have been a political crisis of transient importance. The first generation of Muslims. Mus'ab. therefore. Muruj adh-Dhahab 5. 158. D. In a well-known passage of his Book of Geography (second edition. p. as described by the French traveler Arculf about 670 A. line 11..214. in addition to the general trends of the epoch discussed in the previous paragraph.' 18 This. the 'annoyance.225. accustomed to the simplicity of the Prophet's own mosque in al-Madina. which had already grown up in the newly conquered country and become imbued with aesthetic feelings and a more refined taste. which found its expression in many sayings and stories. which strongly deny Jesus' sonship to God. are quoted together with the remarkableprayer: allahumma salli (with ya. On the other hand. al-Walid defeated and dispersed the Byzantines. Maryam 'Pray for your Prophet and Servant (not Son. wasted his resources in many years of civil war with Shi'ites and Kharidjites. 20. we can only conjecture what were Abd al-Malik's personal intentions or those of his entourage concerning that building. was destined to rival the many Christian domes. was at work at the creation of the famous Dome. 600. of course) Jesus. But the gorgeous splendor of the Christian churches of Jerusalem. 634. the authentic old reports about the erection of the Dome of the Rock 15Cf. Mu'jam p.' constituted by the existence of the many fine buildings of worship of other religions. 176. suggested the reading of that name as Jannabatain. was content with that primitive wooden structure on the Haram ash-Sharif which served as a building of worship in Mu'awiya's times. which was accepted by Caetani. 4-11) al-Maqdisi tells us how his uncle excused Abd al-Malik and al-Walid for spending so much good Muslim money on buildings: They intended to remove the fitna. proves that the true reading can only be al-Ajnadain. given to the Qubbat as-Sakhra. we have to consider the fact rightly observed by Goldziher that the holiness of Jerusalem and the Dome of the Rock formed the object of a vivid controversy. Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum 2. As a matter of fact. by which deed he was able to prove that HE was the real protagonist of Islam and not Ibn Zubair. 18 Ansdb al-Ashraf 5. Unfortunately. the verses from sura Maryam 19. the Umayyad ruler had sufficient leisure for the construction of the magnificent Dome of the Rock. The very form of a rotunda. 227. 16 Mujir ad-Din 1. read salli without ya) 'ald rasilika wa'abdika 'Isa b. and other towns of Syria could not have failed to make a deep impression on the second generation. Finally. Miednikoff. p. While we possess.17 did not constitute a heavy burden for the Umayyads. once the attack on Palestine was repulsed in the second battle of Ajnadain.348. it is not difficult to understand the historical conditions which favored the erection of the Qubbat as-Sakhra. Ansab al-Ashrdf 5. . al-Mas'fidi. the Russian historian. excellent knowledge of the details of the conflict. routed Ibn Zubair's followers. his richest province 16-at a time when he waged war against Ibn Zubair. which is actually given in all Arabic sources. while stressing at the same time the Quranic doctrine that Jesus Christ was a true prophet. was unable to assume the initiative. who acted as viceroy of Iraq. is the only connection between the history of the Qubbat asSakhra and the Zubairi contest for the Caliphate. Becker and others. The examples adduced by Goldziher could easily be augmented by a great many other instances selected from writers of different periods. During these years of suspense. when Abd al-Malik. Mujir ad-Din 1. There remains the question why Abd al-Malik engaged in so vast an undertaking as the construction of the Qubbat as-Sakhra-which cost him seven years of revenue from Egypt. The earliest polemic against the Sakhra is contained in the often repeated story 19 according to which Ka'b al-Ahbar 17 The first battle of Ajnidain was fought in July. The formula la shar1ka lahu 'god has no companion' is repeated five times. Edessa (Urfa). 159.241. the war with Ibn Zubair.106 Brief Communications are as scanty as those about the war with Ibn Zubair are copious. 19 Ibn Asakir. at the beginning of his reign. who timidly 'stuck his tail in the Haram. But a verse composed by a Kalbi poet on the occasion of the second battle at that place. al-Bakri. The inscriptions decorating the interior 15 clearly display a spirit of polemic against Christianity. Ta'rikh Dimashq 1. when Khalid b. together with the spirit of Islamic mission to the Christians.' All this shows that rivalry with Christendom. p. For Ibn Zubair himself. who took refuge in the Haram of Mecca. 34-37. Repertoire d'epigraphie arabe 7-10. although it was foreign to Islam.
D. p. Mujir ad-Din 1. 27 K. 1. 29 quoted Christian. 259. which was handed down partly in special compilations or was incorporated in books of different types. 702 sq. described by himself in his Munqidh (edition 1329. But I have heard somebody say that this was one of the inventions 25 of the people of Syria and that Allah would resurrect the dead wherever it pleased him. Ibn Sa'd's Tabaqdt. H. Jewish and other sources copiously. 261). p. In Jerusalem he wrote a part of his classic. and compared them freely with Muslim beliefs. On the other hand. 2. vol. p. Nihdyat al-arab 1. p. 52. 21 p. 64. 1. Ibrihim b. the famous Faqih. 28 E. Ibn 'Asakir's Ta'rikh Dimashq. I. 28About Mutahhar b. but whose above-quoted book was widely read in the eastern countries of Islam. vol.22 There exists a vast mass of literature on the fada'il al-Quds. whose seclusion in the Sakhra in the year 1095. 55. 146. 230-1): ' The Muslims say that the dead will be quickened and assembled in Jerusalem and a tradition to this effect is attributed to the Prophet. while Bishr contented himself with lying down on his side under the heaven in the same place (ibid. the religious importance of Jerusalem. p. but towards the Ka'ba alone.. could not but realize that most of the traditions about Jerusalem and its sanctuary were local and largely of foreign origin and had no foundation in the old Muhammedan stock. at least the epitome of the Muslim creed. 22 Muthir al-Ghardm p. . Tahir al-Maqdisi. who. 30 Cf. called ar-Risala al-Qudsiyac 'The Epistle from Jerusalem. are reported to have visited Jerusalem. 3. 8. p. later to be known as Sufis. 29 K. who is little known today. 280. Tahir.Hilyat al-awliyd'. Bishr alHafi.. 8.D. 149. 'Umar it was said that he prayed in the al-Aqsa mosque without even paying a visit to the Dome of the Rock. 25Mawdui'. Mir'dt alJanan vol. where it was 107 its source was purely religious. as inventions intended to attract visitors to the Holy City. which was to take place in Jerusalem. The example of the early mystics was followed by their greatest pupil. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlaendischen Gesellschaft. p. Journal asiatique 18. 81 Ibn al-Athir. especially those borrowed from non-Muslims. 926. Many Jews share the same belief. the Ihyd 'Ulutm ad-Din. 93. such as Sufyan ath-Thauri.23but at the same time the validity of the material included was often a matter of controversy. 1. Abu Nu'aim's .' Of Abdallah b. H. 24 Written 355 A. 28Died 774 A.al-Bad' wat-Ta'rikh. 4 of the edition of 1352 / 1933). Mutahhar b. 30) was reported by the chronicles as a remarkable historical event. Almost all of the great early mysticsalthough originating mostly in Iran and other Eastern countries. (A. About this saying of the Prophet cf. For this reason the great Faqihs had their own ideas about the matter. Revue des etudes Juives 44. Referring to the well-known popular belief that Jerusalem would be the scene of the Resurrection. namely strict adherence to authoritative Muhammedan tradition. vol. 95. relying on the saying of the Prophet. Tahir al-Maqdisi remarks in his Kitab al-Bad' wat-Ta'rikh 24 (vol. (A.' included in the first section of the book (cf. these were the ascetics and mystics.Brief Communications proposed to the Caliph 'Umar that the place of prayer in Jerusalem should be fixed north of the Sakhra. 966). 1373). but we were not told to pray towards the Sakhra. the endeavor to avoid any bid'a and to discard popular beliefs. 1.g. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlaendischen Gesellschaft 58. simply called Ta'rikh-i-Maqdisi. 54. al-Ghazzali.al-Jarrah. 3. there existed a large group of Muslims who were fervent champions of Jerusalem's particular sanctity. to which 'Umar replied ' you want to adapt yourself to Jewish usage. Ibn Kathir. and J. 24.' 21 The same was reported of Waki' b.20 Al-Awza'i. vol. Sari as-Saqati. Even a comparatively liberal man like Mutahhar b. al-Bidaya wan-Nihaya. Adham.27 It is evident from the character of this polemic as well as from that of the persons quoted 28 that 20 Shihab ad-Din al-Maqdisi. Goldziher. Huart. 12.30 The greatest pleasure in life according to Sufyan ath-Thauri was to eat bananas in the shadow of the Qubbat as-Sakhra (Mujir adDin. Muthir al-Gharam ild Ziydrat al-Quds wash-Sham (edited 1946 by Ahlmad Samih al-Khalidi) p. which is the technical term for a forged hadith. 10. haddithu 'an Bani Isrm'dlwala haraj 'Relate in the name of the Israelites without scruples.259). al-Qushairi's Risdla. Ibn Faqih's book of geography 93-97 or Nuwairi's encyclopedia. 325-339. Goldziher. as-Sarraj's Luma' etc. see Cl. 16-21 (1901). p. Al-Yaifi'i. p. 172.31 Kazariuni.' In the same way Ibn Kathir 26 characterizesthe stories about the Last Judgement. 13. so that the Muslims should turn during their prayers towards the Holy Rock and the Ka'ba at one and the same time. 251-258 and the relevant biographies in Attar's Tezkiret el-Evliya. Mujir ad-Din 1. prayed with his back towards the Sakhra walam ya'ti shai'an min almazdrat ' and did not go to any of the holy places usually visited. Bayazid BistAmi.
Armenian yvard. and late Egyptian wrt. The Name of the Jujube Tree in Babylonia The plant named ahart/t/dinnu. 14 about a Christian Alexandria who came to clergyman-shammds-from pray in the Church (of the Holy Sepulchre) in Jerusalem and to rove over the hills of Judea for a month. Mujir adDin 1. XVIII. p. Unlike the latter. D.' But as a matter of fact. Abi l-Khair. 1946. because only there.34 The same attitude towards Jerusalem is to be observed in the writings of the 35 greatest of the later mystics. p. Adham's description of his own solitary life on the mountains of Palestine (Ibn 'Asakir vol. or even in the spirit of an Islamic mission to the Christians. 66. difficulties both 'lautlich' and 'sachlich' are encountered in this comparison. by the doubling of the letter n before the nominal ending u. Lawaqih al-Anwdr al-Qudsiya. J. uurdinu which induced Meissner to adopt this reading. 2. 2630. 1. 1. or amurtinnu. 2. Meissner's comparison is sufficiently attractive to bring the Babylonian word. which force its relinquishment. Coptic wert. These Muslim ascetics and saints certainly were no partisans of the Umayyads. their unbound reverence for Jerusalem was as exclusively religious as the aloofness of the Faqihs described above. vardeni with murdinu. 1. p. 33 R. Arberry. and wert. murdinnu. and amurriakdnu. . shows a clear indication of borrowing. 1 Bruno Meissner. 1. Jerusalem was a predominantly Christian town and the rich monastic life in its environment served as a monk in Jerusalem' or 'I learned from a monk at the Gate of J. set out on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1163. 1 and 6. his books Lata'if al-Minan vol. 256.32 Even Abu Sa'id b. 1. the most freethinking of the mystics. the first of a long series of famous mystics of this name. 34 A. wert. like Arabic wardun. An Introduction to the History of Sufism. model to the Muslim abddl (saints). with its variant spellings of amurdinu. into phonetic relationship with such Near Eastern words as Aramaic wardo.Misr p. aber doch nicht unwahrscheinlich. however observing a certain reservation in so far as he added the statement: ' ob auch sachlich' there might exist a correspondence 'ist noch nicht sicher. 293. food was haldl. has since then received the generally accepted reading of amurdinnu.37 As we have seen.as. 35 Cf. murrikdnu. knows how to tell a story of the appearance of Khidr-Elija in Jerusalem. 158. Tezkire. they-or at least their early masters-readily accepted foreign doctrines and usages. Arabic wardun. p. Nicholson. First of all a comparison of vardeni logical factor in so far as vard and not vardeni is the older form and that present-day Armenian It was mainly the comparison of Armenian with murdinu or uurdinu overlooks the chronovardeni. 2. p. vol. Durar al-Ghawwds fi Fatawi Ali 'al-Khawti. ate only bread made of corn grown from seeds coming from Jerusalem. as read by Jensen. 109.1 who compared the spellings of amurdinu and murdinu with amursdnu. Studies in Islamic Mysticism. is restricted to Rosa centifolia L. p. Responsible for this reading is Bruno Meissner. 2. JERUSALEM the Persian saint (died A. as indicating ursdnu. 173) with the report of Ibn Abd al-Hakam. 68. Khitat 1. From this the conjecture is made that the Assyrian pronunciation must have been ?urdinu. MVG. 1034). werdd.. in its turn opened the door to the influx of Christian ideas-a case of reciprocity not seldom found in the history of human contacts. while amurdinnu. at least in its assumed Assyrian pronunciation. 37Muthir al-GharOm. the erection of the Qubbat as-Sakhra was largely an act of propaganda and rivalry. 23. also al-Maqrizi. p. 54. But the accentuation of the holiness of Jerusalem. A. vardeni. manifested in that building. Cf.108 Brief Communications to have been more substantial than Jewish. Christian influence seems 32Attar. he believed. 1277. 57 and 58. as formerly read. Assyriologische Studien. 32. and murdinu. p. the attempt to express a wdw as first radical. both of which are treated as Babylonian words. Futauh.' was a formula not seldom found in the writings of these people.36 'I asked a 36 It is worth comparing Ibrahim b. Nor can I pass silently over Meissner's drawing upon comparisons with amursdnu and amurrikanu. vol. ash-Shatrani (died 973 / 1565). free from religious taint. SHELOMO Dov GOITEIN HEBREW UNIVERSITY. p. 289. 1913. In these circles.33 Abu n-Najib as-Suhrawardi. 76.
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