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Capitalizing Jerusalem

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Capitalizing Jerusalem addresses a major lacuna in the monumental history of Early Islamic Jerusalem during the period of Mu’awiyah—the first Sufyanid Umayyad caliph (660-680)—who was in the region since the conquest in 637. This period has largely been ignored due to a perceived lack of surviving significant historical and archaeological documentary evidence from the Umayyad period. As a result, the history of Jerusalem relied on Abbasid and later evidence projecting backward to the Marwanid Umayyad period of ‘Abd al-Malik. This version of history was tainted by political bias against the Umayyads and focused on eradicating the memory of Mu’awiya. This volume looks at new archaeological and textual evidence and interpretations to shed light on this period.

Mu’awiya’s political and monumental achievements in the regions of the Early Islamic Conquest testify to strong political agency in the region of Bilad al-Sham, economic success and the means and will to develop the region monumentally. His exercise of political control over and ownership and development of agricultural estates in his homeland region and supporting monument development in his ancestral land of Arabia, demonstrate the imperial power of the new Umayyad dynasty and set the stage for his development of Jerusalem as an imperial capital of the Sufyanids in the Early Ismaic Empire.

In Jerusalem, where he was invested as Amir al-Mu’minin or Commander of the Faithful or Believers in his mosque in 660/661, his monumental development included rebuilding the walls that supported the destroyed Herodian platform, establishing the limits of Islamic Bayt al-Maqdis on the footprint of the Temple Mount; construction and re-construction of the gates of entry to the sacred precinct; building his mosque in the southeast corner, planning and building the Dome of the Rock and the platform on which it sits; and at least initiating construction of the administrative district south of the precinct; and establishing new neighborhoods in that same area for Muslims and returning Jews from Tiberias to the city. His monumental construction in Jerusalem references the monumental language of the former Byzantine Palaestina Prima (capital at Caesarea) and Palaestina Secunda and its capital at Scythopolis, Persian Sasanian controlled areas of Iraq and Iran, and of and pre-Islamic central region of Mecca and Medina in Arabia and further south in Sabeo- Himyaritic Yemen. The result was a magnificent blending of cultural, political and religious traditions as can still be seen today in the Early Islamic monuments of Jerusalem.

Published: Nov 1, 2020

Series


Section Chapter Authors
Preface
Preface Beatrice St. Laurent, Isam Awwad
Chapter 1
Revising History: Establishing a Methodology for the 7th Century Beatrice St. Laurent, Isam Awwad
Chapter 2
Mu’awiya: Early History Prior to Bilad al-Sham Beatrice St. Laurent, Isam Awwad
Chapter 3
Setting the Stage: Sinnabra, Hamat Gader, Tiberias Beatrice St. Laurent, Isam Awwad
Chapter 4
Jerusalem, Continuity and Conquest: Qiblah, Iliya, Bayt al-Maqdis, Isra’ Beatrice St. Laurent, Isam Awwad
Chapter 5
The Umayyad Sacred Sanctuary and Gates: Haram in Pre-Islamic Arabia and De-Capitalizing the Byzantine Capital Beatrice St. Laurent, Isam Awwad
Chapter 6
'Stabilizing the Stables’: The Mosque of Mu’awiya Beatrice St. Laurent, Isam Awwad
Chapter 7
Who Built the Dome of the Rock: Why Mu’awiya and Not ‘Abd al-Malik? Beatrice St. Laurent, Isam Awwad
Chapter 8
Early Byzantine Forerunners Beatrice St. Laurent, Isam Awwad
Chapter 9
The Dome and Mihrab Palace: South Arabia Beatrice St. Laurent, Isam Awwad
Chapter 10
Judaic Connections and the Qur’an: Mihrab and Maharib Beatrice St. Laurent, Isam Awwad
Chapter 11
Christianity and Mary’s Legacy: Jerusalem and the Dome of the Rock Beatrice St. Laurent, Isam Awwad
Chapter 12
The Dome of the Rock as Mihrab: Memorializing the Legacy of Pre-Islamic Arab Kings Beatrice St. Laurent, Isam Awwad
Chapter 13
The Dome Representing the Unity of Traditions Beatrice St. Laurent, Isam Awwad
Chapter 14
Jerusalem as Capital: Mu’awiya’s State Administration Beatrice St. Laurent, Isam Awwad
Chapter 15
South Arabian Development in the Late Period of Mu’awiya’s Reign Beatrice St. Laurent, Isam Awwad
Chapter 16
Conclusion: A Globalized, Consistent, Uniform Vision in 7th Century Jerusalem and Bilad al-Sham Beatrice St. Laurent, Isam Awwad