The Dome of the Rock

Declare your jihad on thirteen enemies you cannot see – egoism, arrogance, conceit, selfishness, greed, lust, intolerance, anger, lying, cheating, gossiping and slandering. If you can master and destroy them, then you will be ready to fight the enemy you can see.

 – Imam Al-Ghazali

The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem – I never thought I’d ever get to see it. But that day in December 2012, all fit in place – we were there at the right time, the right place… and we made it through. Too bad then that we, as “non believers”, were denied entry in to the actual building (though this is not unusual).

Why am I writing about this? Reading about the recent events in France, Lebanon and Turkey, I have often been reminded of this day when we visited the Dome. It was a dull, grey day and it was the only day when it rained. And for all its beautiful artwork, I only remember thinking of how deeply divisive this symbol is. Of centuries of conflict. Of how seemingly intractable some of these conflicts are… There are no victors here, are they now? I was feeling a bit depressed after this visit…and then it started raining…

As with all the mosques we have seen, the art adorning the walls of the Dome is beautiful and very ornate. (Dec. 2012)

As with all the mosques we have seen, the art adorning the walls of the Dome is beautiful and very ornate. (Dec. 2012)

 

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