Mosque of Omar

from Jodey Bateman


         The Mosque of Omar was built in the late 600ís, about 600 years after the Romans destroyed the temple.

         Omar was the caliph-successor of Muhammad who captured Jerusalem from the Eastern Roman Empire. (the last emperor of the western part of the Roman Empire was deposed in 476 AD. The eastern Roman Empire continued until 1453 - the year Columbus was born.

         By 1453 the eastern Roman Empire had long since lost most of its territory to the Muslims. In 1453 the Turks captured Constaninople (today Istanbul, Turkey), the capital city of the eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire).

         The Mosque of Omar is called the Dome of the Rock. Its dome stands over the rock where the sacrificial altar of the temple stood. The rock contains four deep holes where the blood from the sacrifices once flowed. In Muslim legends these are the hoof prints of Al Boraq (meaning "the lightning") the horse that carries Muhammad to heaven in a vision. (In actual life Muhammad never visited Jerusalem. He was only there in a vision.)
 

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