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Aug 27, 2002
| ISBN 9780375700781
Dec 08, 2010
| ISBN 9780307772800
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Aug 27, 2002 | ISBN 9780375700781
Dec 08, 2010 | ISBN 9780307772800
The Rock of Jerusalem is one of the world’s most spiritually resonant and politically contentious sites: where Adam first stepped upon leaving Paradise, Abraham attempted to sacrifice Isaac, Jesus preached, and Muhammad began his night journey to heaven,. Sorting through the rubble of the three competing faiths, Kanan Makiya has woven a vivid tapestry from centuries of legend and belief to imagine the origins of Islam’s first monument, the Dome of the Rock. A narrative of mythic power, The Rock offers a grand tour of seventh-century Jerusalem and–by reminding us of how much Jews and Muslims once shared–serves as a bracing talisman for our times.
Whose rock is enshrined inside the golden Dome of Jerusalem? The rock of Moses or of Muhammad? Kanan Makiya gathers together the stories, legends, and beliefs that define the Rock—the place where Adam landed in his fall from Paradise and where Abraham attempted to sacrifice his first-born; where Solomon’s Temple stood and where Jesus preached; the rock from which Muhammad ascended to heaven—and transforms them into a narrative of novelistic depth and drama. This brilliantly imagined, historically based account of the building of the Dome of the Rock reconstructs the paths of the actual individuals whose spiritual journeys revolved around the seventh-century lore of the Rock. The chief protagonist is Ka’b al-Ahbar, a learned Jew who accepted the prophecy of Muhammad and who accompanied the caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab during his conquest of the Holy City. The story is narrated by Ka’b’s son, Ishaq, who years later is commissioned to design the first monument of Islam, the Dome of the Rock. As he imagines the construction of the Dome—and the complex reasons behind its creation—Makiya gives us a meditation on the common terrain of the world’s three great monotheistic religions and a remarkable investigation into what the Rock symbolizes—beyond its various stories and names, beyond even the three faiths at whose heart it sits.
KANAN MAKIYA was born in Baghdad. He is the author of several books, including the best-selling Republic of Fear, The Monument, The Rock, and the award-winning Cruelty and Silence. His latest, The Rope, will be published by Pantheon Books in… More about Kanan Makiya
“Masterly. . . . [Full of] pathos, lyricism and depth.” –The New York Times Book Review“Powerful. . . . Full of wonders. . . . Dares to examine exactly when, why and how the outcrop of stone that was believed to be the site of the ancient temple of Solomon–already sacred to both Judaism and Christianity–was first claimed as a holy place by Islam . . . thus establishing Jerusalem as ground zero in the bloody and enduring conflict among the three great monotheistic faiths. . . . Could not be more timely.” –Los Angeles Times“Important and imaginative. . . . Solid, interesting, accessible, and highly illuminating.” –The Washington Post Book World
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