Fall of Jerusalem
After the Battle of Yarmuk, Muslim forces spread in all directions in jordan and Palestine. They captured many towns, one after another that cleared the way to Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem, Sacred to the Jews and the Christian was strongly fortified. It was protected on every side by deep valleys.
The Muslim army advanced and laid siege to Jerusalem. It was the winter season and the severity of the winter added to the difficulties of the besieging Muslim force. The siege dragged on and the Byzantines offered very stiff resistance.
Amr bin Aas, the Muslim commander wrote to Abu Ubaidah for reinforcements. When the citizens of Jerusalem came to know that the besieging Muslim forces had been reinforced, they lost heart. They offered to surrender on the condition that the Khalifa should himself come to sign the treaty. Hazrat Umar, after consultation with some prominent companions responded to their request. Leaving Hazrat Ali as his deputy in Madinah, he proceeded to Jerusalem.
He was accompanied by one slave only. Between these two persons, they had one camel which they rode by turns. A deputation from Jerusalem waited on Hazrat Umar and a treaty was drawn up. According to the treaty, security of life and property were guaranteed to all citizens of Jerusalem. The safety of churches and other religious buildings was provided for. The citizens were required to pay Jizya. Those who refused to comply were asked to leave the city.
When the Patriarch of Jerusalem saw the simplicity of the Khalifa of Islam,
Verily, Islam has excelled all other religions.
The Patriarch of Jerusalem handed over the keys of the city of Jerusalem to Hazrat Umar. Then the Khalifa expressed his desire to be led to some place where he could offer thanksgiving prayer. He was led to a church. He refused to pray there on the ground that he would set an example for the Muslims of the following generations to forcibly convert churches into mosques. He was then led to a place where Prophet David used to pray.
Hazrat Umar stayed in Jerusalem for a few days. He reorganised the administration and founded a mosque which came to be known as Umar’ s mosque.