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CHAPTER THREE

him as preacher of the congregational mosque of Mt. Qåsy¨n. He was also recognized as the head of his community, venerated and obeyed by the people (“kåna shaykh jamåatihi, mu†åan fhim”). He clearly regarded the solidarity of the Óanbal émigré community as one of his tasks, as indicated in his confession to Nå‚iª al-Dn ibn al-Óanbal (d. 634/1226), whom he intended to be his successor: “I was afraid that I might die before your return ˜from a voyage· and that weakness and disagreement might befall our friends (wa-yaqau wahn f-l-madhhab wa-khulf bayna a‚ªåbinå)”.52 Shaykh Abd Allåh b. Umar (d. 583/1187) of the village of Salamiyya—whose formal sermons drew men and women from surrounding villages on Fridays—did not conne his sermonizing and admonishing to the pulpit of his mosque. Under his inuence, sometimes exerted in an unconventional manner (as related in the hagiographical treatise al-Óikåyåt al-Muqtabasa f Karåmåt Mashåyikh al-Ar al-Muqaddasa), “no wine, nor music, nor anything forbidden appeared in that village.” The second item on this list, music, was eliminated from Salamiyya as a consequence of the shaykh’s attack on a party of musicians, who were on their way to a nearby village to makemerry at a wedding. Having heard the distressing sounds of a tambourine and the piping of a reed on a country-road leading to the wedding, the shaykh (according to an eye-witness quoted by ¤iyå al-Dn alMaqdis in his treatise about the wondrous doings of the shaykh of Mt. Nåblus) omitted a cry, causing stones to roll off the mountains into the wadis. The people of the village hurried out, frightened, and the musicians ed, never to return.53 To the best of my knowledge, only in Óanbal communities did kha†bs and imåms hold such inuential positions, and cultivate such strong bonds with the rank and le of their congregations.54 Moreover, the scope of their activities shows that they even maintained communications between the different Óanbal congregations (those of Nåblus, Jerusalem, Mt. Qåsy¨n and Damascus), and with ruling

52

Ibn Rajab, Dhayl, 2:58, 195. ¤iyå al-Dn al-Maqdis, al-Óikåyåt, 96b; trans. in Talmon-Heller, “Cited Tales,” 148–149). On the Óanbal aversion to music and their ingenious methods of ghting it, see Cook, Commanding Right, 90–91, 148–149. 54 For the same phenomenon in an earlier Óanbal community, see: Makdisi, “Autograph Diary.” 53

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

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