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Upon this, Al Walíd ordered all the lead of the country to be collected together, in order to construct therewith an exterior outward covering, answering to the interior, which should be light upon the roof, and on the side-posts that supported the roof. So they collected lead throughout all Syria and many other countries; and whilst they were returning, they met with a certain woman who possessed a weight of lead—a weight of many talents. They began to chaffer with the woman for it; but she refused to sell it, except for its weight in silver. So they wrote to the Commander of the Faithful, informing him of this; who replied, Buy it from her, even for its weight in silver. When, then, they offered this sum unto her, she said, Now that you have agreed to my proposal, and are satisfied to give the weight in silver, I give the weight as an offering unto God, to serve for the roof of the mosque. Hereupon they marked one corner of the weight with the impression of a seal—“This is God's.” Some say the woman was an Israëlite; some say that they sought for lead in open ditches or holes, and came to a stone sepulchre, within which was a leaden sepulchre; whence they brought forth a dead body, and laid it on the ground. Whilst dragging it out, the head fell to the ground, and the neck being broken, much blood flowed forth

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from the mouth; which terrified them so much, that they rapidly fled away. This is said to have been the burial-place of King Saul. Also, the guardian of the mosque came unto Al Walíd, and said, O Commander of Believers ! men say that Al Walíd hath expended the money of the treasury unjustly. Hereupon, Al Walíd desired that all the people should be summoned to prayer. When all were assembled, Al Walíd mounted the pulpit, and said, Such and such reports have reached me. Then he said, 0 Omar-Ibn-Al-Muhajir! stand

up, and produce the money of the treasury. Now it was carried upon mules. Therefore, pieces of hide being placed in the midst, beneath the chapel, he poured out all the gold and silver, to such a height, that those who stood on either side could not see one another. Scales being then brought out, the whole was weighed; when it was found that the amount would suffice for the public use for three years to come, even if nothing were added to the amount. Then all the people rejoiced, praising and glorifying God for this. Then said the Khalíf, 0 people of Damascus ! you boast among men of four things ;-of your air, of your water, of

your cheerfulness, and your gracefulness. Would that you would add to these a fifth, and become of the number of those who praise God and are liberal in his service! Would that, thus

changing, you would become thankful suppliants ! In the Kiblah of this mosque were three golden scimitars, enamelled in lapis lazuli. Upon each scimitar was engraved the following sentence :“ In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate! There is no God but God. He is the ever-living, the self-subsisting Being, who never slumbers nor sleeps. There is no God but one God. He has no partner. We will never adore any but our Lord, the One God. Our faith is Islám, and our Prophet is Muhammad. This mosque was built, and the churches which stood on the site of the chapel were demolished, by order of the servant of God, the Commander of the Faithful, Al-Walid - Ibn - Abdul - Málik - Ibn-Marwán, in the month Dhúl-Kaáda, A.h. 86." Upon another tablet was inscribed the whole of the first chapter of the Korán. Here also were depicted the stars; then the morning twilight; then the spiral course of the sun; then the way of living which obtained after the arrival of the Faithful at Damascus. Also it is said, that all the floor of this mosque was divided into small slabs, and that the stone (carving) of the walls extended to the utmost pinnacle. Above was a great golden vine; and above this were splendid enamelled knobs of green, red, blue, and white, whereby were figured and expressed all countries and

regions, especially the Kaaba, above the tower ; also all the countries to the right and left (of Mecca), and all the most beautiful shrubs and trees of every region, famous either for their fruits or flowers. The roof had cornices of gold. Here was suspended a chain of gold and silver, which branched off into seven separate lights. In the tower of the Companions were two stones---beryls —(some say they were the jewels called pearls); they were called “The Little Ones.” When the candles were put out, they inflamed the eyes by their brilliant light. In the time of Al-Amin-IbnAl-Rashid, Sulaiman, captain of the guard, was sent by that Khalíf to Damascus, to steal these stones, and bring them to him ; which he did. When Al Mámún discovered this, he sent them to Damascus, as a proof of his brother's misconduct. They afterwards again vanished, and in their place is a glass vessel. In this mosque all the gates, from the dome (gallery) unto the entrance, are open, and have no bars or locks. Over each is a loose curtain. In like manner there is a curtain upon all the walls, as far as the bases of the golden vine, above which are the enamelled knobs. The capitals of the pillars were thickly covered with dead gilding. Here were also small galleries, to look down from, enclosed on the four sides of the skirting wall. Al Walid also built the northern

minaret, now called “the Bridegroom's Tower.” As to the western gallery, that existed many ages before ;- in each corner of this was a cell, raised upon very lofty walls, and used by the Greeks as an observatory. The two northern of these fell, and the two opposite remained. In the year 740, part of the eastern had been burnt. It then fell down; but was built up anew out of the Christians' money, because they had meditated the destruction (of it) by fire. It then was restored after a most beautiful plan. This is the tower (but God knows) upon which Jesus son of Maria will alight; for Muhammad is reported to have said, I saw Jesus son of Maria come forth from near the white minaret, east of the mosque, placing his hands upon the wings of two angels, firmly bound to him. Upon him was the Divine glory (the Shechínah). He was marked by the red tinge of baptism. This is the mark of original sin.*

Jesus (it is also said) shall come forth from the White Tower by the eastern gate, and shall enter the mosque. Then shall the word come forth for Jesus to fight with Antichrist at the corner of the city, as long as it shall please God. Now when this mosque (the slaves' mosque) was completed, there was not to be found upon the face of

* See note.

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