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foundations and corner-stones of the house, and then the wall; all which fell down; and then God said, that they must be purchased of the owners : that one of these owners claimed a quantity of gold, filling a solid square, whose side was equal to its height; which was granted. When the matter fell into Solomon's hands, the man asked for an additional sum, requesting a bull-hide full--a talent of gold. Solomon said then unto him, Thou hast already effected a complete sale of this land. Then said the owner, That good thing is the mother of the other. Solomon said, But that was a good thing itself. He said, Yes; for it was the beginning of others. Then said Solomon, But didst thou not completely effect a sale ? He replied, Very true; but when we are bargaining for good things, it is a pity to separate them. (This, our author says, gave rise to that saying at merry meetings,
" Good things shall not be divided.") Also, the man said, I will ask no more. But so he went on demanding more, until he obtained seven talents of gold, or nine, as some say. Solomon then built the House, and encircled it with a wall, as described in Chapter II. Another commentator, among several other things, says, that David prevailed with all but one man to grant him the land ; also, that it was a divine precept, that when a thing was once dedicated to sacred uses, it never could return to secular uses.
Therefore David built the wall as a boundary. Also, that he built the Gate of Mercy within, and the Gate of Punishment without. A Muezzin of the Baitu-l-Mukaddas observes, from the Korán, that the Valley of Hinnom was also beyond the precincts. Several other commentators say that Abadat-Ibn-Al-Samat once stood leaning his breast upon the eastern wall of the Mosque, looking down into the Valley of Hinnom, and weeping. Being asked the reason, he said that the Prophet once told him that he saw Hell there, and an angel cutting the heart (of the condemned), by throwing stones, as thick as grapes fall at the vintage. Another of the Prophet's followers, being found weeping in the same spot, replied to those who questioned him, that he was thinking of what the Prophet had told him about the wall encircling the vicinity of the Baitu-l-Mukaddas; how that it was the wall that cut off and separated the House from that valley. Over this valley is the bridge of Sirát. The Prophet himself also says, Hell is an inclosed precinct in the world ; inclosed on all sides, and Paradise behind it. The bridge Al Sirát, over Gehenna, forms the path to Paradise..
Now with respect to the remarkable towers. The Tower of David. There is some dispute about this tower, whether it be the tower by the eastern wall, or the tower near the pulpit. One says that the Tower of David is in the citadel of the Baitu-lMukaddas upon its site, and that his residence was in the citadel, devoted to pious uses; and that to this the Korán alludes : the verses, “ Ascend
the tower!” Also that the tower where he prayed is in the citadel, in the place where he adored God; that the greater tower within the Mosque was the spot where he offered thanksgivings when he entered the Mosque; and that, when Omar-Ibn-Al-Khattáb came hither, he directed his steps first towards this place, and there prayed. It is called, therefore, the Tower of Omar; because Omar was the first who prayed there, on the day the city yielded. This Mosque abuts upon the place where Omar effected the sacred duty of warring against and vexing the infidels. Here it was, that, contrary to the advice of Kaab, who wished the Mosque to be placed behind, near the Rock, Omar described and delineated a Mosque upon that tower which marked the place where David prostrated himself upon entering the Mosque. For this opinion of Omar, and this place, whereon his care was exercised, both point out this spot as being that which David selected of old, and chose as his oratory.--The Tower of Zacharias is, by most, said to be the tower just by the entrance of the Mosque, in the cloister near the eastern gate.—The Tower of Maria (peace be with her!) marks the spot where she adored, and is now known by the name of the Tower of Jesus (peace be with him!). It is notorious that prayer, herein offered, is granted. It will be assuredly accomplished to whomsoever sball
pray in this oratory, and read the Súrat of Maria-so much of it as relates to her--and shall then prostrate himself, just as Omar did, in the Tower of David, who, whilst praying therein, read the Súrat Sád, wherein David is commemorated, and prostrated himself. In this Mosque it was that the prayer of Maria was followed by her justification. The best prayer, and the most meritorious to be here offered, is the prayer of Jesus, which he prayed when God raised him up unto himself from the Mount of Olives.
As to the Tower of Omar-Ibn-Al-Khattáb, men differ about it. Some say it is the great tower, just by the columns of the glorious pulpit, right in front of the great gate by which we enter the Mosque Al Aksá. Others say that it is the tower in the eastern portico, or cloister, close adjoining the wall of the Mosque Al Aksá. Those who incline to this latter opinion allege, in support of it, that this cloister, and all the area it incloses, is commonly called the Meeting-House of Omar, and that this was the place he chiefly distinguished, and to which he went with his comrades (with whom
may God be satisfied !) at the time when it was full of filth, which they swept away, and prayed therein; that for this cause it was named Omar's Meeting-House. The majority, however, apply this name to the Tower near the Pulpit, and to the space between its pillars. All this shall be described in that chapter of this prosperous book, which narrates the surrender of the Holy House, and the entrance of Omar on the day it surrendered, please God !
The Tower of Al Muáwwiyah is said to be that light and elegantly-carved tower which now is within the Preaching Chancel, between that and (partly) between the tower of the glorious Pulpit. It is thus within and without the Mosque Al Aksá, and is one of those greater towers which jut out beyond the wall. It was placed here to be a point of boundary between the different divisions and portions; a mark where one class of sacred observances ends, and another begins. Here, traditions say, the Prophet of prophets, and Chief of chiefs, prayed. The whole is an excellent place wherein to adore during pilgrimage. Here is the spot which marks the cleft made by Gabriel when be bound Al Burák outside the House, by the Gate of Muhammad. It is a place of great and