Ever since the time when the Muslims raided the city, it became obvious that Christians would lose their influence in the territory, even with the fact that the latter were given permission to keep most of their churches. During the years in which I stood witnessing the Christian population being assimilated into the more powerful Muslim population, I observed that people belonging to both religions came to the church to worship God. Regardless of their personal convictions, people were united through religion and through their dedication to believing in God.
The finances spent for building such an architectural colossus are surely mind-blowing, taking into account that the structures magnitude expresses magnificence. However, because the Muslim population thrived during the period, it is not surprising that they were willing to support such a spending, especially given that they too were aware of the consequences such a building would have on their culture, on the reputation of Islamic civilizations, and on their future in general.
The success Syrians experienced in foreign military campaigns and the Ummayad Mosque both meant that the people of Damascus were going through a flourishing period that was never seen (not before and not after) in the history of the city.
1. Flood, F.B. The Great Mosque of Damascus: Studies on the Makings of an Umayyad Visual Culture (Boston: Brill, 2001).
2. Smith, E.B. Egyptian Architecture as Cultural Expression (New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1938).
3. Thackara, W.T.S. “The Epic of Gilgamesh: A Spiritual Biography.” Retrieved October 2, 2010, from the Teosophy Northwest Website: http://www.theosophy-nw.org/theosnw/world/mideast/mi-wtst.htm.