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Islam means "submission to God in peace". Islam teaches there is only One God, whose primary name is "Allah" in the Arabic language. Islam is the same essential message given to all the prophets, from Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and finally to the Last Prophet, Muhammad, (peace be upon them all). They all proclaimed the same basic Divine message: worship only God, stop worshipping human beings and other created things There's a different between Islam and Muslims!! What's the purpose of life? What Do You Know About Islam? Not what you have heard about Islam, not what you have seen in the actions of some Muslims, but what do you really know about Islam?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Arab Caliphate era

Damascus was captured and besieged by Muslim Arab forces led by Khaled ibn al-Walid in 634. Decades later, the Islamic Caliphate came under the rule of the Umayyad dynasty which chose Damascus to be the administrative capital of the Muslim world. The sixth Umayyad caliph, al-Walid I, then commisioned the construction of a mosque on the site of the Byzantine cathedral in 706.Prior to this, the cathedral was still in use by the local Christians, but a prayer room (musalla) for Muslims had been constructed on the southeastern part of the building. Al-Walid, who personally supervised the project, had most of the cathedral including the musalla demolished. The construction of the mosque completely altered the layout of the building. The new house of worhsip was meant to serve as a large congregational mosque for the citizens of Damascus and as a tribute to the city. Because of Christian protest at the move, al-Walid ordered the return of all other confiscated churches in the city to be returned to the Christians as compensation. The mosque was completed in 715 by the caliph, Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik, shortly after the death of al-Walid that same year.

According to 10th-century Persian historian Ibn al-Faqih, somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 dinars were spent on the project. Coptic craftsmen as well as Persian, Indian, Greek and Moroccan laborers provided the bulk of the work force.Ibn al-Faqih also relays the story that during the construction of the mosque, worker found a cave-chapel which had a box containing the head of St. John the Baptist, or Yaḥyā ibn Zakarīyā in Islam. Upon learning of that and examining it, al-Walid I ordered it buried under a specific pillar in the mosque that was later inlaid with marble

Following the uprising that ended Umayyad rule in 750, the Abbasid dynasty came into power and moved the capital of the Caliphate to Baghdad. Apart from the attention given for strategic and commercial purposes, the Abbasids had no interest in Damascus. As such, the Umayyad Mosque reportedly suffered under their rule, with little recorded building activity between the 8th and 10th centuriesHowever, the Abbasids considered the mosque to be a major symbol of Islam's triumph and thus was spared the systematic eradication of the Ummayyad legacy in the city.

The Abbasid governor of Damascus, al-Fadl ibn Salih ibn Ali, built the Dome of the Clock in the eastern section of the mosque in 780.Nine years later, he initiated the construction of the Dome of the Treasury (Bayt al-Mal) with the purpose of housing the mosque's funds.The 9th-century Arab geographer, al-Muqaddasi, credited the Abbasids for building the northern minaret (Al-'Arous Minaret; Minaret of the Bride) of the mosque in 831 during the reign of the caliph al-Ma'mun.This was accompanied by al-Ma'mun's removal and replacement of Umayyad inscriptions in the mosque

By the early 10th century, a monumental clock had been installed by the entrance in the western part of the southern wall of the mosque (Bāb al-Ziyāda.) This clock seems to have stopped functioning by the middle of the 12th century.Abbasid rule over Syria began crumbling during the mid-10th-century, and for the decades that followed it subsequently came under the control of autonomous kingdoms who were only nominally under Abbasid authority. The Fatimids of Egypt, who adhered to Shia Islam, conquered Damascus in 970, but few recorded improvements of the mosque were undertaken by the new rulers. Because of the Umayyad Mosque's prestige, the residents of Damascus established the city as center for Sunni intellectualism and were able to maintain relative independence from Fatimid authority.In 1069, large sections of the mosque, particularly the northern wall, were destroyed in a fire as a result of an uprising by the city's residents against the Fatimid's Berber army which had been garrisoned there.

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