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too hard for them. Then he asked aid of the genii; but it was too hard for them. Then he sat down in grief, thinking that his Lord had forbidden him to open it: and when he was in this roood, there presented himself before him an old man, leaning upon a staff, and mumbling with his teeth. He was one of the counsellors of David, and he said, O prophet of God! I perceive that you are sad. So he said, I resolved to open this gate'; but it was too difficult for me. Then I summoned the assistance of men and of genii, but neither can open it. Then said the old man, Shall I then inform you of the words which thy father David used when he suffered despondency, when also God relieved him of his sorrow? He answered, Yes. Then said the old man, “Say, O God! in thy light will I go the right road; and in thy superabundance will I be contented (will I be satisfied). To thee in the morning, to thee in the evening, will I come. Mý sins are before thée. Of thee will I ask pardon; and will turn in repentance unto thee, O tenderly merciful! O bounteously gracious!” So, when he said these words, the gate opened. Also from Al Mashrah, who thinks it good that pilgrims should pray the same prayer when they enter the gate of the Sakhrá, as when they enter the gate of the Mosque. Also as follows, When the building of the Temple was completed, ten years had elapsed of the reign of Solomon (peace be with him!) and 546 years from the decease of Moses (peace be with him!), and from the descent of Adam (upon earth) to the period when Solomon began the building of the Consecrated Abode, 4470 years : nor did the Mosque Al Aksá cease to remain in the wonderful condition in which it was until Nebuchadnezzar destroyed it, with seventy thousand standards ;--for he entered the Holy Abode with his army, and utterly subdued Syria, and slew the children of Israël until he bad utterly destroyed them, and beat down the Holy Abode, carrying from thence ninety waggon-loads of gold and silver, and sent it to Greece, and commanded his army to fill the earth with every man who could bear a shield, and stone them in the Holy Abode.
Now this expedition took place after the murder of Isaiah, and in the time of Jeremiah. And after the death of Nebuchadnezzar, Azir returned to Syria; and the Law was restored to the sons of Israël, from memory, and taken by them (and committed to writing). Also, from the beginning of the building by David, unto the destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, and the overthrow of the dynasty of the sons of Israël, elapsed 454 years. Again, from Abu Abdallah Almubarek, the Temple remained in ruins until it was built by a Persian king, named Kúshak ; for Al Baghooee
says Kooshan-Ibn-Kúshak-Ibn-Achúndash, built it seventy years after its demolition by Nebuchadnezzar. Then certain weak kings conquered Syria; the kings of Rome giving them the government thereof. These kings caused Syria to embrace their Christianity, until God brought Islam. Among these kings was Jabil-Ibn-AlAyham. And God gave the Moslem an entrance into Syria, at the time of Omar-Ibn-Al-Khattab, (God rest content with him !). Then the Temple was surrendered to Omar by capitulation, and continued in the hands of the Moslem from the Omarian conquest until the Franks seized upon it, and wrested it from the hands of the Moslem, and ruled over it, under the dynasty of the Fathemites, until God again opened Syria to the hand of the Sultan of Islam and of believers, Saláh-ud-dín, (God show mercy to him!) according to the victories and the great events which will be accurately embodied (please God!) in a chapter of this book, which is to follow.
Upon the Virtues of the glorious Sakhrá, and the descriptioni
of its form in the age of Solomon, and the account of the splendid Chapel erected upon it at that time. Also the account of the river from Paradise ; and how the Rock on the day of judgment will change its form, and be white coral; and also the meaning of this.
Now, we are informed by Ibn-Mansoor that the Rock of the Baitu-l-Mukaddas, in the days of Solomon, was of the height of twelve thousand cubits; each cubit, at that time, being the full cubit, viz. one modern cubit, one span, and one hand-breadth. Upon it also was a Chapel, formed of aloës (or sandal) wood, in height twelve miles : also, above this was a net-work of gold, between two eyeletbeads of pearl and ruby, netted by the women of Balka in the night; which net was to serve for three days : also, the people of Emmaus were under the shadow of the chapel when the sun rose, and the people of Bait-Rahmat when it set; and even others of the valleys were under its shadow : also, upon it was a jacinth (or ruby) which shone in the night like the light of the sun; but when the light began to dawn, its brilliancy was obscured ; nor did all these cease until Nebuchadnezzar laid all waste, and seized whatever he found there, and carried it into Greece. Again, by a tradition we learn that the Sakhrá of Baitu-l-Mukaddas was raised aloft into the sky, to the height of twelve miles; and the space between it and heaven was no more than twelve miles. All this remained in the same state until Greece (or Rome) obtained the mastery over it, subsequent to its devastation by Nebuchadnezzar. But when the Greeks obtained possession of it, they said, Let us build thereupon a building far excelling that which was there before. Therefore they built upon it a building as broad at the base as it was high in the sky,and gilded it with gold, and silvered it with silver. Then, entering therein, they began to practise their associating Paganism; upon which it turned upside down over them, so that not one of them came out. Therefore, when the Grecian (king) saw this, he summoned the Patriarch and his ministers (deacons), and the chiefs of Greece, and said, What think ye? Who replied, We are of opinion that our idol-gods are not well pleased, and therefore will not receive us favourably. Hereupon he commanded a second Temple to be built; which they did, spending a great sum thereon : and having finished the second building,