chapter  4
ʿUmar in Jerusalem
Pages 24

Few historical facts are known about the Arab capture of Jerusalem. Actually, the capture of the city is no less than predicated on Umar's persona. This is why Umar image, not only upon entering Jerusalem, but also during his journey to it, becomes extremely crucial. Another version insists that Umar's own wish to rectify the treaty that makes him to travel the long distance to Jerusalem. Whatever the historical facts in this regard, and these appear inaccessible, an intensive religious activity, first under the late Umayyads, then under the early Abbasids produced an enormously rich literary fabric in the form of prophetic statements and Qur'an commentaries. Muslim tradition, then, mobilized not only the Jews but also the Christians in order to represent Umar's entry to Jerusalem as a messianic event or, put somewhat differently, the fulfillment of ancient prophecy.