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religious life

Jerusalem: Allah's Choice

"The choice of Allah of all his lands is Jerusalem . . . the dew which descends upon Jerusalem is a remedy from every sickness, because it is from the gardens of Paradise.”

This vast compound some thirty-four acres in area, known as the Haram aI-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), is situated in the Old City of Jerusalem, one of the three holiest cities of Islam (the other two being Mecca and Medina).

Jesus: Allah's Word


"The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary ... His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him ... "

The Star of Bethlehem, Church of the Nativity. Islam is deeply imbued with Judeo-Christian beliefs and traditions. The prophet Muhammad is seen by Muslims as the last and "seal" (khatim) of a long line of earlier prophets.

The Inauguration of a Hospital

Shaikh Badr, a western suburb of Jerusalem near the village of Deir Yassin (see 411).

The Kaiser in Jerusalem

Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany at the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock (see 1), Jerusalem, 1898. The Kaiser's visit was meant to signal to other European powers Germany's interest in the Arab East, and to strengthen German-Ottoman ties.

Mar Saba

The Christian monastery of Mar Saba, commemorating a Byzantine ascetic of this name who died in A.D. 531. The monastery is located in the wilderness southeast of Jerusalem. Mar is the Arabic word for "saint." Many Palestinian Muslim shrines honor Hebrew prophets and Christian saints.

The Mosque of Nabi Samu'il

The Mosque of Nabi Samu'il (the prophet Samuel), just northwest of Jerusalem. (Bonfils)

Tomb of Nabi Yusuf

The Muslim shrine at the traditional tomb of Nabi Yusuf (the prophet Joseph), east of Nablus.

Tabitha's Well

The Muslim shrine at the traditional site of Tabitha's Well, east of Jaffa. Tabitha is mentioned in Acts 9:36-41.

Gaza, "The City of Hashim"

Gaza, "the City of Hashim"; so called because Gaza is the burial place of Hashim, grandfather of the prophet Muhammad. (Bonfils)

Hebron (Al-Khalil)

Hebron (aI-Khalil in Arabic). The Arabic name means "friend" or "companion," the reference being to Abraham, the "friend" or "companion" of God, who is believed by Muslims as well as Jews to have been buried in Hebron.

The Old City of Jerusalem from the Church of the Saviour

The Old City of Jerusalem (looking east toward the Mount of Olives) as seen from the belfry of the Church of St. Saviour. Note the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock, top right. (Bonfils)

Peeking Over Jaffa Gate

Scenes at Jaffa Gate, the Old City of Jerusalem: (40) a Bonfils photograph taken just inside the walls looking out.

Outside Jaffa Gate

Scenes at Jaffa Gate, the Old City of Jerusalem: the view from outside the walls.

Al-Aqsa Mosque

The Mosque of al-Aqsa, Jerusalem (see 1), built by the caliph al-Walid ibn-Abd aI-Malik (A.D. 705-715).

Dome of the Rock from al-Aqsa

The Dome of the Rock as seen from the al-Aqsa Mosque. In the foreground is al-Kas (the Cup), a fountain for ritual ablutions. (Bonfils)

Russian Pilgrims at the Jordan River

Russian pilgrims at the Jordan River. Following the development of steamship navigation, the number of Christian pilgrims from Europe greatly increased.

Grotto, Church of the Nativity

Grotto of the Nativity, Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem (see 2). Note the Ottoman gendarme standing guard to prevent intersectarian Christian conflict.

Christmas Day

Pilgrims entering the town of Bethlehem on Christmas Day. (Bonfils)

Praying at the Wailing Wall

Jewish women praying at the Wailing Wall, Jerusalem. Throughout the centuries of Arab and Muslim rule in Palestine, Jews had free access to the Wailing Wall. Access became an issue only after the 1948 War and the resultant Palestinian diaspora.

The White Mosque

The minaret of the White Mosque at Ramleh; also known as the Tower of the Forty Martyrs. Rebuilt in A.D. 1318, it was situated at the midpoint of the mosque enclosure's north wall. The mosque is otherwise in ruins. (Bonfils)

St. Anne

The Crusader church of St. Anne in the Old City of Jerusalem, built in A.D. 1140. The Ottoman govemor gave the church to France in 1856, hence the tricolor French flag. (Bonfils)

Easter Procession

Christian Orthodox procession on Easter Day (note the lighted candles) from the Greek Patriarchate to the Holy Sepulcher in the Old City of Jerusalem, ca. 1910.

Christian Orthodox Girls' School

Staff and students of the Christian Orthodox Girls' School in Beit Jala (near Bethlehem), 1906. Note that the students are wearing their traditional costumes.

Shaikh As'ad al-Shukairi

Shaikh As'ad al-Shukairi, elected to the Ottoman Parliament from Acre in 1908 and 1912. He was trained in Islamic religious law, having graduated from Azhar University, Cairo.

Nicola Abdo

Nicola Abdo, an administrator in the Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem.

Saba Ya'qub Sa'id

Saba Ya'qub Sa'id, a Christian Orthodox lawyer, and legal counselor to the Orthodox Patriarchate in Palestine.

Funeral of Muhammad Ali

The funeral procession of Muhammad Ali, one of the foremost Indian Muslim religious leaders and scholars, escorted by Boy Scouts, Jerusalem, 23 January 1931.

Funeral of King Hussein of Hijaz

The funeral of King Hussein of Hijaz, Jerusalem, 4 June 1931.

Pan-Islamic Conference, 1931

The Pan-Islamic Conference, Jerusalem, December 1931.

Tunisian and Turkish delegates

Tunisian and Turkish delegates to the Pan-Islamic Conference with Musa Kazim Pasha al-Husseini (see 78). First left is the Tunisian scholar Abd al-Aziz al-Tha'alibi; the figure in the center is the Turkish philosopher Rida Tawfiq.

King Faisal I of Iraq Funeral

The funeral cortege of King Faisal I of Iraq passing through Haifa, 1933. The king had died on a visit to Europe, and his body was en route to Iraq.

Musa Kazim Pasha al-Husseini's Funeral

The funeral of Musa Kazim Pasha al-Husseini, Damascus Gate, Jerusalem, 27 March 1934. Al-Husseini died at the age of eighty-one. The trauma he had suffered at the hands of the British five months earlier in Jaffa (see 111) hastened his death.

St. George Monastery

The Orthodox monastery of St. George on the Mount of Temptation in the wildemess near Jericho.

Church of the Nativity

Bethlehem; the second tower from the left is that of the Church of the Nativity.

Tiberias (1)

Tiberias, looking south, ca. 1935. The mosque in the foreground, known as the Upper Mosque, was built at the beginning of the eighteenth century.

Bab al-Silsilah

The fountain at Bab al-Silsilah (Gate of the Chain), built during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-66), the Old City of Jerusalem.

Jazzar Mosque

The inner courtyard of the Jazzar Mosque at Acre, built in 1781 by Ahmad al-Jazzar, who in 1799 checked the advance of Napoleon through Palestine with the help of a British naval squadron commanded by Sir Sydney Smith.

Leah's Tomb

The tomb of Leah with embroidered drapery, in the Mosque of Abraham, Hebron.

Beersheba's Mosque

The mosque at Beersheba; its architecture is late Ottoman.

Gaza's Grand Mosque

The Grand Mosque in Gaza, originally a twelfth-century A.D. structure.

David's Tomb

The Muslim shrine and mosque at the site of the tomb of Nabi Daoud (the prophet David), outside the Old City walls, Jerusalem. (See 28 et al.)

The Via Dolorosa

The Via Dolorosa, Fifth Station of the Cross, in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, Jerusalem.

Wedding in Haifa

A Christian wedding, Haifa, 1930. The bridegroom is Hanna Asfour, a Catholic Palestinian lawyer (see 250, 270); the bride, Emily Abu Fadil.

Wedding in Wadi Hunayn

A Muslim wedding, Wadi Hunayn, near Ramleh, 1935. The bridegroom is Nazif al-Khairi, a district officer; the bride, Samiyah Taji.

The Holy Sepulcher

The Holy Sepulcher, Maundy Thursday, 5 April 1934. Presiding is the Christian Orthodox patriarch. Precariously seated on the scaffolding is Wasif Jawhariyyah (wearing a fez) .

Haj Amin al-Husseini

Haj Amin al-Husseini (see 82), mufti of Jerusalem, flanked by Christian religious dignitaries, ca. 1930.

Visiting the Wailing Wall

Orthodox Jews and others in European dress returning from a visit to the Wailing Wall, mid-1930s (see 55, 90).

Celebrating Passover

Samaritan Jews (in the foreground) celebrating their Passover, Nablus, early 1930s. The Samaritans were a tiny Jewish sect numbering less than two hundred, most of whom lived in Nablus. They used Arabic for everyday speech, but a dialect of Aramaic in their liturgy.

Palestinian Christian Orthodox Conference

A conference of Palestinian Christian Orthodox priests, Ramallah, September 1932.

Ahmad aI-Sharif al-Senussi

Ahmad aI-Sharif al-Senussi (holding a staff) visits the Haram aI-Sharif (see 1) in Jerusalem, ca. 1923. He was a leader of the Libyan Senussi tariqah, a religious brotherhood.

Celebrating Moses (1)

Al-Nabi Musa ("the Prophet Moses") was the name given to one of the most important annual religious festivals celebrated by Palestinian Muslims; it entailed a procession on foot or on horseback from Jerusalem to the traditional burial site of Moses, near Jericho (see

Celebrating Moses (2)

Al-Nabi Musa ("the Prophet Moses") was the name given to one of the most important annual religious festivals celebrated by Palestinian Muslims; it entailed a procession on foot or on horseback from Jerusalem to the traditional burial site of Moses, near Jericho (see

"The Least Worthy of You are the Least Learned" (2)

The Jerusalem Girls' College, ca. 1920; founded by a British Anglican mission. The staff are in the last two rows. The majority of the student body was Palestinian, both Christian and Muslim.

Wolf Cubs and Boy Scouts

Wolf Cubs and Boy Scouts with camping gear (transport included!), Government Secondary Boys' School, Jaffa, 1924. The boy third left, first row, is carrying a bag with the Arabic word for "first aid" on it.

The All-Palestine Boy Scout Jamboree

Bir Salim, near Ramleh, 1926. Seated center, third row, is Humphrey Bowman, British director of the Department of Education.

Young Men's Muslim Association

The founding members of the YMMA - the Young Men's Muslim Association - modeled on the YMCA; Acre, 1928.

Graduates of British Universities

Palestinian students at British universities celebrating the wedding of one of their members, Izz aI-Din al-Shawwa, London, 1928.

College des Freres

The staff and graduating class of the College des Freres in Jerusalem, 1934. This secondary school was founded by the Franciscan Order in 1875.

Terra Sancta

Terra Sancta College for Boys in Jerusalem, 1932; also founded by the Franciscan Order (see 230).

Bedouin Love: Law and Legend

241a-241p: A melange of sixteen books by Palestinians, published before 1946.

Search of a Muslim Dignitary

Jerusalem, April 1920. Indian troopers in the British army evenhandedly search a Muslim dignitary.

Search of a Christian Priest

Jerusalem, April 1920. Indian troopers in the British army evenhandedly search a Christian priest.

Interior of al-Aqsa Mosque

Colonnaded interior of the al-Aqsa Mosque. Note the stained-glass windows.

The Mihrab

The mihrab ("niche pointing in the direction of Mecca") and minbar ("pulpit") of the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Leaders of the Arab Protestant Community of Palestine

Leaders of the Arab Protestant community of Palestine, 1946. Reverend Butrus Nasir from Bir Zeit is seated third from left.

Mayor Shaikh Muhammad Ali al-Ja'bari

Muslim dignitaries conferring in the courtyard of the Ibrahimi (Abraham) Mosque, Hebron, 1947 (see 180). The mayor of Hebron, Shaikh Muhammad Ali al-Ja'bari, is on the right.

George Shibr

The board of directors and some members of the Arab Architects' and Engineers' Association of Jerusalem at the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, 1947.

Beit Jala Wedding

Wedding portrait of Dr. Jabra al-A'raj and his bride, Lydia, Beit Jala, ca. 1947.