The Weight of the World


ROCK OF CONTENTION: Muslims worship on the Mount

The 14-hectare platform atop the Temple Mount is so freighted with history and legend, it's a wonder the walls can bear the weight. Jews believe that at its center is the rock on which Abraham bound Isaac. Christians believe that at its southern end, Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers. And Muslims, who call it Haram al-Sharif (noble sanctuary), believe it is the site of Muhammad's Night Journey, recounted in the Koran, in which the Prophet ascended to heaven. But today this sacred place is battling simple gravity. A section of the Mount's eastern retaining wall — 40 sq...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!