The Dome Of The Church And The Dome Of The Church

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exterior outline of the octagonal building,” while the Dome of the Rock restored the octagonal outline of the building, which Muslims believed was more perfect and thus could overshadow the past construction in Christendom (Avner 2010: 39). In addition to its octagonal shape, the Muslim shrine’s dome was also designed in a way to compete with the domes of Christian churches. According to Armstrong, al-Malik wanted their own dome to challenge the round dome of the Holy Sepulcher on the western hill and the dome of the Church of the Ascension, which “shone so brightly that it was one of the great sights of Jerusalem” when illuminated at night (Armstrong 2005: 237). To ensure that their Muslim building would eventually overshadow those Byzantine…show more content…
In 1099 AD, the army of Crusades broke into Jerusalem, “falling on the Muslim and Jewish defenders of the city like the avenging angels of the Apocalypse” (Armstrong 2003: 274). The caliphate were incapable of resisting the invasion, and therefore all Muslims were slaughtered and “cleared out of the Holy City like vermin” (Armstrong 2005: 274). Believing that the Crusaders were the new Chosen people and they should inherit the Jewish holy space, Godfrey, the new Christian ruler of Jerusalem, ordered reforms in the Haram. He converted the Dome of the Rock into a church called the “Templum Domini”, Latin for “Temple of the Lord” where Jesus was believed to praying at all his life (Armstrong 2005: 277). In 1115 AD, several other important alterations were made to the Dome: “a cross was put atop at the dome, the Rock was covered with a marble facing to make an altar and choir, and the inscriptions were covered with Latin texts.” These alterations evidence that the presence of Islam was once entirely wiped out from the Temple Mount, revealing the period of decline in Islam’s history (Armstrong 2005:…show more content…
Saladin, a devout and acknowledged sultan of the Muslim Ayyubid dynasty, strengthened the power of his empire with a dedication to destruct the Crusaders’ kingdom in revenge (Armstrong 2005: 292). Finally, he defeated the Crusaders in 1187 AD and took over Jerusalem. Since Muslim hopes were high at that time, Saladin undertook a jihād to bring the religion of Islam back into Jerusalem (Armstrong 2005:296). His first task to purify the Temple Mount included a restoration of the Dome of the Rock. The cross that Crusaders put on top of the Dome was replaced by a golden crescent, pictures and statues in the building were removed, the Qur’anic inscriptions were revealed and the marble covering the Rock was taken away (Armstrong 2005: 297). Saladin’s jihād not only restored the Muslim identity of the Dome, but also transformed the city of Jerusalem from “a predominantly Christian city with an important Muslim shrine” to “an obviously Muslim city” (Armstrong 2005: 297). The religion of Islam was therefore brought back and prospered since

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