|Muhammad and the Qur'an|
|Islam (Study Guide)|
|Jerusalem and Islam (ppp)|
|Spread of Islam (interactive map)|
|The "Pact of Umar" (9th century)|
|Religion & Culture|
|Al Adhan (call to prayer) from al masjid al-aqsa|
|Recitation of the Qur'an (Audio files)|
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|Islam in History|
|Islamic Conquest: The Rightly Guided Caliphs (635-660)|
|Main Jerusalem Timeline > Bayt al-maqdis > Conquest|
The Islamic history of Jerusalem begins with the conquest of the city by Caliph Umar in 635 (or 638). Umar had been one of the prophet Muhammad's closest companions and served as his second successor (khalifa) after Abu Bakr.
Umar's conquest of the city, which even the Arabs continued to refer to by its Roman name 'Iliya (i.e., Aelia), is remembered as a relatively peaceful one. The city is not actually conquered but surrenders after negotiations, following a prolonged siege. Muslim rule over the city left the Orthodox Christian community and their buildings intact. Jews and heterodox Christians are subsequently readmitted to the city.
There is no evidence that, at this early point in Muslim history, the city was already identified as the "distant sanctuary" (al masjid al-aqsa) referred to in the story of the Prophet Muhammad's ascent (al miraj).