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PREACHERS (KHAÛBS) AND PRAYER LEADERS (IMÅMS)

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The sermon was supposed to be brief, in accordance with the Prophet’s recommendation to pray much but preach little.5 It was always delivered in a standing position, and composed of several formal elements, presented in a strict order. It was divided into two parts by a short pause. The actual sermonizing (mawia), traditionally devoted to warnings of the Last Day and a call to exhibit piety every day, was always preceded by the ªamdallåh (words of praise for the Lord) and the ‚alåt (blessing) invoked upon the Prophet and his family. It was followed by a special supplication (duå) on behalf of the community of the faithful and the reigning sovereign. The sermon always concluded with a recitation of verses from the Qurån.6 Major events, such as the proclamation or deposition of a ruler, the nomination of an heir to the throne, the outbreak or termination of hostilities, a victory of Muslim forces—were effectively made known through the khu†ba.7 When Muslim forces were out in the battleelds, an invocation for their victory usually supplemented the sermon. A rare extant example of such an invocation is the following late eleventh-century text: “O God, raise the banner of Islam and its helpers and refute polytheism by wounding its back and cutting its ropes. Help those who ght the jihåd for your sake and who, in obedience to you, sacriced themselves and sold their souls to you.”8 The authority of the kha†b was symbolized by a short spear or sword he carried with him to the pulpit (minbar), by the minbar itself—which was associated with a royal throne in the early Islamic period,9 and by the black attire preachers usually wore.10 “He came

5

Mez, Renaissance, 319. In a similar vein, the following ‘prophecy’ predicts the downhill course of civilization: “there will be a time one day in which the fuqahå are few and the qurrå numerous, a time in which the literal text of the Qurån is learnt by heart and its ordinances are lost, a time in which there are many beggars but few who give, a time in which the khu†ba is prolonged but the ‚alåt is shortened . . .” (Juynboll, “Qurån Recitation,” 251). 6 Ibn Qudåma, al-Mughn, 3:173–181; Swartz, “Rules,” 227–228. 7 Lewis, “Propaganda,” 8–9. 8 Hillenbrand, The Crusades, 165. See also the duå of Ibn Nubåta (d. 374/984) for the victory of the Óamdånid Sayf al-Dawla (trans. in Mez, Renaissance, 320), and his ery exhortation on jihåd on the Byzantine frontier (ibid., 323–25). 9 Tabbaa, “Monuments,” 230–231. 10 Black was apparently the norm—Ibn Jubayr mentions black attire for the kha†bs of Cairo and Mecca (Ibn Jubayr, Riªla, 50, 96). Al-Ghazzål and Izz alDn al-Sulam were opposed to black and preferred white (al-Ghazzål, Iªyå, 1:240; al-Sulam, Fatåwå, 489). The Óanbal kha†b Ab¨ Umar, known for his asceticism, is said to have mounted the pulpit dressed “like a ͨf”—with a shabby mantle of

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Jsrc 007 talmon heller islamic piety in medieval syria mosques, cemeteries and sermons under the zan  

Jsrc 007 talmon heller islamic piety in medieval syria mosques, cemeteries and sermons under the zan  

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