chapter  9
34 Pages

The Umayyad Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem

WithOleg Grabar

Medieval writers and modern scholars and travelers have often described the religious topography of the Muslim holy places and the significance of the numerous structures erected on the sacred spots. In the case of Jerusalem, the problem presents itself differently. In Jerusalem, the monuments themselves are better known. The Dome of the Rock is essentially the Umayyad building. Eutychius and al-Muhallabi attribute to al-Walid, ‘Abd al-Malik’s successor, an attempt to divert the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, while al-Yaqubi adds that the practice of having the hajj in the Palestinian city continued throughout the Umayyad period. The main features of the chronology of the conquest of Jerusalem are fairly clear and have been fully stated by chroniclers and discussed by scholars. As far as one can gather, it is impossible to say that the sacrifice of Abraham was, in early Islamic times, definitely connected with any one specific place, whether around Mekkah or Jerusalem.