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HISTORY

OF

THE TEMPLE OF JERUSALEM:

INTRODUCTION.

In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate ; He it is who can aid us; Of Him is succour to be sought. Praise be to God! whose favours are supremely great; Mighty is the wise Ordainer. His Names are too high to be computed, to be defined, to be comprehended. His wisdom shines gloriously, and His compassion is pre-eminent. That is a blessed place which He hath chosen to be His own, Because that therein He hath communicated favours to all men. This hath he chosen as his peculiar mansion, wherein to manifest his majesty. Now this place is the Venerable and Peculiar Temple (this shares his favour), together with the Glorious Pilgrimage, the accomplishment of the divine precept of the sacred journey, and the performance of all those

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devout services thereon dependent, according to His injunction; This is the place wherein His Glorious might is displayed, the place sanctified by the prayers of the perpetually-succeeding adorers. This is the place set apart among the temples of Islám. For as to this place, I will magnify it by prayer and holy customs, says God Mighty and Glorious. Praise be to Him who by night brought His servant from Baitu-l-Haram to Masjidu-lAksá. Him will I praise, and to him will I return thanksgivings for that he hath granted the accomplishment of my proposed journey, the completion of my wish respecting my pilgrimage to the Venerable House of God, and the tomb of the prophet Muhammad, (on whom be God's supremest blessing and peace !) and the Consecrated Rock, and all those resting-places of Martyrs and Confessors which are within the precincts of these Temples. (These places, renowned as spots wherein prayers are favourably heard, and services liberally rewarded.) For, by God, this is what I had wished to effect before the attack of death. And do ye also hope from the generosity of the mighty and glorious God, to accomplish this excellent journey, thus to put a joyful seal to your life, and to die in the profession of Islám, please God !—Now I bear witness that there is no God but The God. He has no partner. His favours are communicated

and widely distributed to the far and the near; So also are his beneficent gifts liberally imparted, and he allows his blessings to fall both upon the obedient and the rebellious. Again, I testify also that our lord Muhammad is his servant and his apostle who is one of his most perfect creatures ; For God hath made him superexcellent. I witness also the Pilgrimage which his Night of Ascent to heaven hath rendered glorious, when he was transported by night from the Baitu-l-Haram to the Mosque Al Aksá, to the highest heaven, upon the back of Al Borák, on the early watch of the ' night of the journey,”

". when he alighted in front of all the prophets, and prayed among them on that night in the Chapel of Al Sakhrátu of the Consecrated House. I here witness also to Gabriel, God's Muezzin and servant, who was adorned with blazing beams of light, and who enjoined upon

him that which he revealed, and brought him back to his chamber in Mecca. And the dark clouds of that night removing and dispersing, he informed his wife in the morning of that which had been revealed unto him. Upon him may the peace and the blessing of God remain ! also upon his noble lineage, and upon those his comrades who believed in him and supported him, and aided him, and followed the light which he brought down from heaven, and engaged their hands to establish his great ordinances ; Who lifted up his standard on high, who manifested forth that Faith which he enjoined, Who fought for God the due warfare, Who, after his decease, ceased not from the faithful observation of his precept, until that the minarets of the meeting-houses of Islám were erected and frequented, and until that the stairs of the pulpits of the preaching of Islám, wherein the Unity is clearly asserted, were mounted (by the preachers). Blessings be also upon his wives, the mothers of the faithful, and upon his offspring, and upon the whole company of his household,--the good, the pure, the followers (of truth)! Also

* See Note.

all who follow them in holiness! Blessings be upon them until the day of judgment, and much peace !-Now, therefore, when the broad road (to Mecca) raised my admiration in description, and the shade of the clouds (of misfortune) had quickly become clear, my hitherto quiescent inclination was pressed by an urgent desire to visit the most noble of places; I said thus therefore, It is a matter of absolute necessity to hasten towards the performance of the indispensable precept of the Sacred Pilgrimage: On the whole, I resolved upon the sacred warfare, by all means; I mounted therefore the beast of burden (to carry me on my proposed journey)--the swift she-camel I desired : and I said when I firmly seated myself upon her, May God prosper her voyage, and bring her safely to anchor! Now the driver (i. e. the absolute Disposer) of all favours, who far exceeds description, drove me to the glorious Mecca. And I entered this place upon the second of the month Rabía, the beginning of the year 848. Having performed the sacrifice of the sacred Visit, I took up my abode in that venerable city,—an abode which the greatest kings of the earth might desire, if that by any means an habitation might therein be adjudged to them. I continued also (praised be God !) for the rest of this year in this glorious abode, in adoration, in sacred processions, in a happy condition. When, however, we had passed through the usual period assigned for pilgrimage, and had accomplished the sacred precepts, by performing all which is incumbent upon every pilgrim, both as regards whispered words and meditated meanings, (i. e. both inwardly and outwardly, esoterically and exoterically,) and when the whole number of days had been duly observed by us, there fell into the mind some backwardness respecting hastening to set off on our route back to the Egyptian land, whether we should set off in

upon

company. I made up my mind then to remain (in the performance of religious duties in the Temple of Mecca). I said, To remain within

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