Jerusalem – Part II
Caliph Umar and Jerusalem
During the period of the Second Caliph Umar Ibn al-Khattab, the Muslim forces, under the command of Abu Ubaydah, laid siege to Jerusalem after capturing Damascus in the Battle of Yarmuk. Six months into the siege, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Sophronius, stated that he would negotiate only with Caliph Umar and that no Muslims could enter Jerusalem before Caliph Umar. On hearing this Caliph Umar informed his general Abu Ubaydah that he was on his way.
Accompanied by a servant, Caliph Umar rode on camelback to Jerusalem from Medina. The two travelled alone, although they could have been accompanied by an entourage that could have made the ground tremble under the hooves of their horses. The servant and the Caliph took turns, one riding, while the other walked alongside. Umar’s intent was to show simplicity and emphasize that Allah alone deserves all the glory.
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