Neapolis, along with most of Palestine, was conquered by the Arabs under Khaled ibn al-Walid — a general of the Muslim Rashidun army of Umar ibn al-Khattab — in 636 after the Battle of Yarmouk. The city's name was retained in its Arabicized form, Nablus.
Nablus prevailed as an important trade center during the centuries of Islamic rule under the Umayyad, Abbasid and Fatimid dynasties. Under Muslim rule, Nablus contained a diverse population of Arabs, Persians, Muslims, Samaritans, Christians and Jews. In the 10th century, Arab geographer al-Muqaddasi, upon seeing a bustling Nablus, nicknamed the city "little Damascus."
The city was occupied by Crusaders without a battle in 1099 under the command of Prince Tancred and renamed Naples. The city became part of the royal domain of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The Muslim and Samaritan populations remained in the city, and were joined by some Crusaders who settled therein to take advantage of the city's abundant resources. In 1120, the Crusaders convened a general social-religious council in Nablus to discuss improper religious customs.
During the second half of Crusader reign in Nablus, Muslim forces began launching incursions in order to regain control of the city. In 1137, Arab and Turkish troops stationed in Damascus made an incursion into Nablus, killing many Christians and burning down the city's churches. However, they were unsuccessful in this bid to retake the city.
From 1150-1161, after she was granted control over the city in an effort to resolve a dispute with her son Almaric I, Queen Melisende of Jerusalem resided in Nablus. Crusaders began building Christian institutions in Nablus, including a church dedicated to the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus. In 1170 they also erected a hospice for pilgrims.
Crusader rule came to an end in 1187, when the Ayyubids under Saladin captured the city. According to a liturgical manuscript in Syriac, Latin Christians fled Nablus, but the original Eastern Orthodox Christian inhabitants remained. After its recapture by the Muslims, several Crusader churches were converted to mosques.
The city's cathedral was transformed into the Great Mosque of Nablus by the Ayyubids who also built a mausoleum in the old city. Yaqut al-Hamawi wrote of Nablus under Ayyubid rule as being a "celebrated city in Filastin (Palestine)... having wide lands and a fine district". He also mentions the large Samaritan population in the city.
The Mamluk dynasty gained control of Nablus in 1260 and during their brief reign, they built numerous mosques and schools in the city. They converted the Samaritan synagogue built in 362 CE by the high priest Akbon into al-Khadra Mosque. They did the same to two Crusader churches which became the an-Nasr Mosque and al-Masakim Mosque. Under Mamluk rule, Nablus possessed running water and many Turkish baths. Additionally, they exported olive oil and soap to Egypt, Syria, the Hejaz, several Mediterranean islands, and the Arabian Desert.
The city's olive oil was also used in the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. Ibn Battuta visited Nablus in 1355, and described it as a city "full of trees and streams, and full of olives."
He pointed out that it grew and exported carob jam to Cairo and Damascus as well.
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