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lah his own Kiblah, that he might keep you quiet ; pacifying you by patting you with the hand, like an infant. He will soon embrace your religion. Upon this, God sent down to each party a verse, to reconcile their objections. To the hypocrites came the verse, “Say, To God appertaineth the east and the west. He leadeth those whom he willeth to the broad and fixed and strait road of Islám.” To the believers, “ Know ye not that the Apostle followeth that which his ancestors did before him? Let it be said then, Surely we will try it; for truly the Kiblah that was sent down to you was the Kaaba.” To the believers again, who obeyed, came the verse, “God will not overthrow the covenants if ye be obedient in this matter.' Then said he to the Apostle, “We grant thee the Kiblah thou longest for and thinkest most acceptable to thyself; for long hast thou cast one eye upon the Kaaba.” To the Jews came the following verses :—"Truly deceit hath come upon you respecting those who come to the book, and search every verse. They follow not your Kiblah. You are deceived in every verse sent down by God, in the latter times, respecting the Kiblah. That Kiblah is the Kaaba. God hath sent down to the people of the Book that which he hath caused to come unto them; the Book which they know, as their fathers knew. Also, (God did so) that he
might make a division among them; that some might know the hidden mystery of the truth, and know that this is the truth from thy Lord, and not be of the number of those who turn aside and doubt.” Then came down to the Koraish the following verses :—“No sure evidence can be imparted to men, but they will act unjustly with regard to it.” Also, “Fear ye not their calumnies :" which means, “Fear ye not but that I shall confirm your faith (the Moslem faith), and fulfil my favour towards you, and exalt your faith above all faiths.” Another commentator says, The disputants were whirled about like chaff. Upon which came down three signs respecting turning the face to the Kaaba, because many rebelled against transferring the Kiblah from the Holy Abode to the Kaaba. These were of three kinds: the Jews, who wish no abrogation in the principal point of their method of worship; the doubters and hypocrites, who were the more vehement in their stiff rebellion, because this was the first abrogation that descended; and the infidel Koraish, who said Muhammad repents of altering our faith. These then began to bring forward arguments, saying, Muhammad pretends to invite us to the religion of Abraham and Ismaël, and now he transfers the Kiblah of Abraham to Ismaël, and substitutes another Kiblah. Upon this God said, Never shall a credible message be brought down and testified, but some men will act unjustly towards it. They will not return: they will not be led by the right way. Also, there is a heresy among them, to conceal the truth; for they know that they now conceal what they before alleged-that the Kaaba was the Kiblah of the prophets.
prophets. AbuDavid, the author, tells a story from Ibn-Shaháb, that Sulaimán-Abu-l-Malik did not make so much of Elía as the people of the House did. “I,” said Ibn-Shaháb, “went with him, when he was heir presumptive, the time that Khalid-Ibn-YazidIbn-Muáwwiyah was with him. Sulaimán then said, whilst sitting there, By God, I deny that here is the Kiblah, before which the faithful people of the Book may more acceptably pray. Khalid said then, By God, I find, when I read the Korán, that command respecting the Kiblah which thou knowest. And as to the Jews, they may not become restive, and resist that which their own books assert -how that the Ark of the Shechinah was placed upon the Rock ;-but that when God was wrath with the sons of Israël, it was removed ; and that they prayed towards the Rock, as the place where counsel may be sought. Abu-David also relates that the Jews quarrelled with Abu-l-Alíak about the Kiblah. Then said the latter, Moses prayed just by the Rock, but used the Baitu-l-Haram as his Kiblah : the Kaaba was his Kiblah, and the Rock before him. Then said a Jew, Between me and between thee, then, is the Mosque of the prophet Saleh. Upon this, said Abu-l-Alíak, I pray in the Mosque of Saleh, and turn towards the Kaaba as my Kiblah ; and I pray in the Mosque of the Two-Horned (Alexander the Great), and use the Kaaba as my Kiblah. Thus ends the matter.- But God knows.
Account of the Wall which encircles the Mosque Al Aksá, and all those haunts of Confessors and Martyrs therein to
Also, the Towers most chiefly frequented for the purpose of Pilgrimage and Prayer; such as the Tower of David, the Tower of Zacharias, the Tower of Maria (peace be with her!), the Tower of Omar-Ibn-Al-Khattáb, and the Tower of Muáwwiyah. Also, all that has been asserted publicly about the Gates, their number and their names. Account also of the Stones which are near the lower gate of the Mosque. Account also of its length and breadth in cubits. Account of the Traditions of the Leaves and the Valley of Hinnom, which is without the Wall on the eastern side. Also, the residence of Al Khidr and Elias, (peace be with them both!) which are both in this abiding-place and precinct.
Know that the origin of the foundation of the wall of the Mosque Al Aksá, which encircles it on all sides, has already been defined and laid down before, in the account of the commencement of the Temple. It is said, David first built the