Why updating its inscriptions from 694 (al-Malik) to 830-33 (al-Ma'mun) is an historical imperative!
The inscriptions on the Dome are dated 694 and everyone assume this to be absolutely reliable. Well it wasn't always the case!
As it is, this dating stands contrary to all other written testimonies we have on a historical Muhammad, oddly a bit too early.
The dating of any Koranic verses in 694 is way too soon as even a document called Fiqh Akbar I, which was drafted to show the
orthodox Muslim views, is reported to have no reference to Koran! Abu Hanife (d.767AD), the supreme Imam of all, had written
this text yet it has no reference to any Koran, while we're about 750AD! It's clear that updating the Dome of the Rock inscriptions
to 830-832 (caliph al Ma'mun), instead of 694 (al-Malik) , would put them in full synchronism with whatever else we have....
Let's have a look at the ending sentences of the outer inscriptions...
--In the name of God, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One.
--He has no associate. Muhammad is the Messenger of God, the blessing of God be on him.
--The dome was built by servant of God ‘Abd Allah the Imam al-Ma'mun, Commander of the Faithful, in the year two and seventy.
--May God accept from him and be content with him. Amen, Lord of the worlds, praise be to God.
What we read here is that the Dome was built by caliph al-Ma'mun (reigned 813-833), in the year ''two and seventy'' (72).
Nowadays it is rather attributed to Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (646-705) based on the fact that 72 should refers to 72AH.
From what I gathered so far the termination AH (referring to the prophet's hegira in 622) isn't there. Here's the story:
http://www.templemount.org/allah.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Such an error or slip-up is most unlikely under the patronage of a caliph. This forger would have been beheaded for lest!For centuries people credited the caliph al-Mamun with the erection of this remarkable shrine until it was noted that there was a time discrepancy since the caliph ruled from 813 to 833, restoring the Dome in 831. This is about a century and a half after al-Malik and the date of the inscription (691). It was simply a case of forgery in which a name has been substituted to another. Today people smile at the forger slip-up...
As we've seen the year 'two and seventy' is not followed by the AH which would refers to 622s' Hegira. Is this that strange?
Not at all when we consider that rulers were in the entrenched habit of dating things from their own reign or dynasty!
So we have Jesus being born in the 'fifteen year of Tiberius', etc. I maintain that this year 'two and seventy' doesn't go
back to the Hegira but to something important belonging to the rise of the Abbasid dynasty. And we know how they
disparaged anything from the previous Umayyad dynasty, whom they judged corrupted and unworthy of true leadership.
Now if we subtract 72 from 830 we get 758... That's the dating of the beginning of the Abbasid dynasty (758-1258)!
The one year difference could be attributed to many factors, like their own understanding of their coming to power,
and the solar/lunar differences. 758 is when Abbasids' Hegira... moving from Harran to Baghdad has been recorded.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baghdad" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
This must have been an exciting moment for them, justifying al-Ma'mun year 72, which then has been wrongly linkedFour years before Baghdad's foundation, in 758, Mansur assembled engineers, surveyors, and art constructionists from around
the world to come together and draw up plans for the city. Over 100,000 construction workers came to survey the plans; many were
distributed salaries to start the building of the grand city.
to Abd al-Malik and to 691/94. Rectifying this datation, all of a sudden the inscriptions find themselves back into line...
I don't mean to say that al-Malik had nothing to do with the Dome, only that the final shape was that of al-Ma'mun.
It is clearly a Persian overall with absolutely nothing Arabic to it, like we find in the Damascus or al-Asqa mosques.
Looking over the Bath of Gadara inscription (beginning with the sign of the cross, Hamat-Gader, 662/3):
1. In the days of the servant of God Mu‘āwiya (Aramaic: Abdalla Maavia), the commander
2. of the faithful (amēra almoumenēn) the hot baths of the
3. people there were saved and rebuilt
4. by ‘Abd Allāh son of Abū Hāshim (Abouasemou), the
5. governor, on the fifth of the month of December,
6. on the second day (of the week), in the 6th year of the indiction,
7. in the year 726 of the colony, according to the Arabs (kata Arabas) the 42nd year,
8-9. for the healing of the sick, under the care of Ioannes, the official of Gadara.
We can see how a full datation was written and that Maavia (Aramaic for Muawiya) was an 'Amir' (governor) not yet a caliph!
It opens with the sign of cross engraved in the beginning of the inscription. It is perhaps the earliest purely Greek inscription
with a hijra date. But this Hijra wasn't related to Muhammed moving from Makka (?) to Medina (Yath'rub), but rather refers to
the time when the Constitution of Medina was ratified, forming an Arab/Jewish/Christian alliance. We can see that in the treaties
signed in Najran (631) and Tabouk (630), guarantying people total freedom of worship, so contrary to later commitments!
Dating the Hegira....
I do think that the official Hegira dating (622) has everything to do with the ratifying of the Medina Constitution, which established
the first conceptual 'ummah', out of an alliance between different factions of Arabs (not yet called Muslims, but Saracens, Hagarenes,
etc) and some factions of Christians (Ansars, Nasari, Nestorians) and messianic Jews. I believe that the Muhammad appearing on this
is either Muhammad ibn Maslamah and/or Salman the Persian (both non-Arabs), much more historical than the fabricated legend
going along with other inventions (from the beginning of the Abbasids) like we've seen about Mecca, the Hegira, the Ka'ab and Hajj.
The Abbasids broke away with this former confederacy to established their own ummah, so this 622 dating wasn't of much importance
to them, quite the contrary. They are the one who started to work out the legendary Prophet first giving him the wrong birthdate from
a fictituous 'Year of the Elephant', just to build-up a 'credible' ancestry from the hagiograpic lies about a Muttalib parenthood...
Caliph Ma'mun (813-833) is the one who triggered the first sira of the prophet (Ibn Hisham -d.833 upon the nebulous Ibn Ishaq) and the
first hadiths of Bukhari coming right after, that we know of. It's also under his ruling that laws going back to the example set forth by
Muhammad (Shafii, Sharia) became into effect. Soon after came the 1st Arabic historian, al-Tabari basing his work on hearsays with an
hagiographic perspective. His 'Annals' invented much uncorroborated details from unfounded sources. His second work was the first
commentaries on the Koran (tafsirs) which underlines a recent parution of the Koran. Islam, as we know it, only started back then...
Now this 830-33 as the founding date of the Dome would completely replace the chronological setting of the inscriptions in order.
Even if we concede the former erection of the (wooden) Dome to al-Malik, it surely doesn't mean that the inscriptions were his...
or that they are the same as those who came down to us. By all historical recordings available, it couldn't be so... But al-Ma'mun's!
This will end my expose, except for a conclusion.