Inscription In A Mosque In Damascus, Built By Caliph Walīd, 86-87 AH / 705-706 CE

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First Composed: 19th March 2007

Last Modified: 19th March 2007

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:



Figure: Content of the (a) shorter and (b) the longer version of the inscription.


86-87 AH / 705-706 CE.

Size & Script

Not known.


(A) Shorter version: Our Lord is God, we worship only God. There has ordered the building of this mosque and the demolition of the church that was there the servant of God Walīd, the commander of the faithful, Dhūl-Ḥijjah of the year eighty-seven.

(B) Longer version: In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. There is no compulsion in religion, the right way has become distinguished from error, and he who rejects false deities and believes in God has grasped a firm handhold that will never break, God is all-hearing and all-knowing. There is no god but God alone, He has no associate, we worship none but Him.Our Lord is God alone, and our religion is Islam and our prophet is Muḥammad, may God incline unto him and give him greeting. There has ordered the building of this mosque and the demolition of the church that was there the servant of God and commander of the faithful Walīd in Dhūl-Qaʿdah of the year eighty-six.


This inscription is no longer extant and it is reported to us in two versions: a shorter one by Mas‘ūdī and a longer one by Muhammad ibn Shākir al-Kutubī (d. 1363 CE). The longer version has the verse from Qur'an 2:256.


Damascus, Syria.

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[1] Ét. Combe, J. Sauvaget and G. Wiet, Répertoire Chronologique D'Épigraphie Arabe, 1931, Volume I, Imprimerie De L'Institut Français D'Archéologie Orientale: Le Caire, pp. 16-17, No. 18.

[2] R. Hoyland, Seeing Islam As Others Saw It: A Survey And Evaluation Of Christian, Jewish And Zoroastrian Writings On Early Islam, 1997, Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam - 13, The Darwin Press, Inc.: Princeton (NJ), pp. 701-702.

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