So every Muslim who came was in town or valley, and there
came with them a group of Jews. Then he ['Umar] ordered
them to sweep the holy place [the Temple site] and to
cleanse it. 'Umar himself oversaw them at all times, and
each time something was uncovered, he would ask the Jewish
elders about the Rock, which was the Foundation
Stone. Finally, one of their scholars indicated the
precise boundaries of the place, as a result of which,
it was uncovered. He commanded that walls be built around
the holy site and that a
dome be constructed over the Foundation Stone, and
that it should be gilded.
After this, the Jews sent word to all the rest of the
Jews in Palestine to inform them of the agreement that
'Umar had made with them. The letter was sent back to
them asking what would be the number of people who would
be allowed to move to Jerusalem. So they came into 'Umar's
presence and asked him, "How many people from the Jewish
community will the Commander of the Faithful order to
move to this city?" "What will your enemies [the Christians]
say?" "Speak to them, and after that, I shall have the
final word that will put an end to the dispute between
Then the Christian Patriarch and his entourage appeared,
and 'Umar said to them, "I have made an agreement with
the Jews concerning all. . . . Let there come here that
number which you yourselves indicate." The Patriarch responded,
"Let the number of those who come with their families
and their children be fifty households." The Jews replied
to this, "We shall not be less than two hundred households."
They kept haggling over this until 'Umar commanded that
there be seventy households -- to which they agreed.
Then 'Umar said, "Where would you wish to live in the
city?" "In the southern part," they replied. And that
it is now the Market of the Jews. The aim of their request
was to be near the Temple Mount and its gates, and likewise
to be near the water of Silwan for ritual bathing. The
Commander of the Faithful granted this to them.
Then seventy families moved from Tiberias and the area
around it with their wives and children. They filled up
the quarter with buildings the remains of which lasted
for many generations.