Umar was eager to discover the site where Solomon’s temple had stood and he knew it must have been located where David had erected his altar and temporary tent. After some mis-direction, the Caliph finally prevailed upon Sophronius to be completely honest with him, whereupon Sophronius said words to the effect, “then we must go to Zion.”
Taking Umar by the hand he led him down the hill to the site on Zion, in what once was the City of David, near the Gihon Spring—and which was now the refuse heap of the city. It was completely covered in refuse and rubbish, which was why Christian pilgrims and visitors to Jerusalem had gone further up the hill to uncluttered ground to build shrines and to worship.
But the Caliph insisted on praying where David had prayed and where Solomon had erected the temple, and he did so.