Mosque of Omar (Jerusalem)

Mosque of Omar (Jerusalem)

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Mosque of Omar in Jerusalem is located opposite the southern courtyard of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians, is a church within the walled Old City of Jerusalem. It is a few steps away from the Muristan....

 in the Muristan
Muristan
The Muristan is a complex of streets and shops in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem...

. After the Siege of Jerusalem
Siege of Jerusalem (637)
The Siege of Jerusalem was a part of a military conflict which took place in the year 637 between the Byzantine Empire and the Rashidun Caliphate. It began when the Rashidun army, under the command of Abu Ubaidah, besieged Jerusalem in November 636. After six months, the Patriarch Sophronius...

 by the Rashidun army
Rashidun army
The Rashidun Caliphate Army or Rashidun army was the primary military body of the Rashidun Caliphate's armed forces during the Muslim conquests of the 7th century, serving alongside the Rashidun Navy...

 under the command of Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah
Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah
Amir ibn `Abdullah ibn al-Jarrah , more commonly known as Abu 'Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah, was one of the ten companions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad who were promised Paradise as mentioned in early Islamic historical accounts and records...

, Patriarch Sophronius refused to surrender except to the Caliph Omar
Umar
`Umar ibn al-Khattāb c. 2 November , was a leading companion and adviser to the Islamic prophet Muhammad who later became the second Muslim Caliph after Muhammad's death....

 himself. Omar traveled to Jerusalem and accepted the surrender. He then visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Sophronius invited him to pray inside the Church, but Omar declined so as not to set a precedent and thereby endanger the Church's status as a Christian site. Instead he prayed outside in the courtyard, in a place where David
David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

 had prayed.

According to Gallic bishop Arculf
Arculf
Arculf , was a Frankish Bishop who toured the Levant in around 680. Bede claimed he was a bishop , who, according to Bede's history of the Church in England , was shipwrecked on the shore of Iona, Scotland on his return from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and was hospitably received by Adamnan, the...

, who lived in Jerusalem from 679
679
Year 679 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 679 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Deaths :* Æthelthryth, wife of King Ecgfrith of...

 to 688
688
Year 688 was a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 688 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* Emperor Justinian II of the Byzantine...

, the first mosque was a rectangular wooden structure built over ruins that could accommodate 3,000 worshippers.

The Mosque of Omar was built in its current shape by the Ayyubid Sultan al-Afdal
Al-Afdal
Al-Afdal is an Arabic name which means "Most Superior". It may refer to:* Al-Afdal Shahanshah, ,* Al-Afdal ibn Salah ad-Din , an Arabic ruler and eldest son of Saladin who inherited Damascus...

 bin Saladin
Saladin
Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb , better known in the Western world as Saladin, was an Arabized Kurdish Muslim, who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and founded the Ayyubid dynasty. He led Muslim and Arab opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant...

 in 1193 CE in memory of this event. It has a 15-meter high minaret
Minaret
A minaret مناره , sometimes مئذنه) is a distinctive architectural feature of Islamic mosques, generally a tall spire with an onion-shaped or conical crown, usually either free standing or taller than any associated support structure. The basic form of a minaret includes a base, shaft, and gallery....

 that was built before 1465 CE and was renovated by Ottoman sultan Abdulmecid I
Abdülmecid I
Sultan Abdülmecid I, Abdul Mejid I, Abd-ul-Mejid I or Abd Al-Majid I Ghazi was the 31st Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and succeeded his father Mahmud II on July 2, 1839. His reign was notable for the rise of nationalist movements within the empire's territories...

(1839-1860).

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