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CHAPTER THREE

to God and the forgiveness of sins. Al-Nå‚ir rst implores God’s mercy on his own behalf, then begs him to accept his appeal for his brethren. Al-Nå‚ir calls for meditation and reection, regarding every natural phenomenon as a token, sign and proof (åya, ªujja, dalåla) of the presence of God and His work of creation (li-dalålat al-‚anati alå ‚åniihå wa-luz¨m ªud¨th al-maw¨åt li-qadam wåiihå). In everything there is a lesson for the mindful (ibra li-dhaw al-uq¨l), yet prophethood and the guidance of the early prophets, and that of Muªammad and the Qurån, through which God makes himself known, are indispensable in al-Nå‚ir’s scheme. He stresses God’s benevolence in sending them to humans.73 The festive sermons, that were delivered shortly after the conquest of Jerusalem by Saladin by specially chosen orators, could be no more representative of the sermons delivered on a regular Friday by a typical kha†b, than were the sermons of the very learned theologically inclined al-Malik al-Nå‚ir Dåw¨d. As admitted above, our sources contain very little data on the contents and style of routine khu†bas. It seems that Ibn Nubåta’s sermons (tenth century) were still popular, and probably often imitated—Yåq¨t tells in length and with obvious enjoyment about the ridiculuous grammarian and poet Shumaym al-Óill, who was presumptous enough to claim to have written sermons that make Ibn Nubåta’s superuous.74 Yet, there is some information we can glean in order to reconstruct the air of medieval sermonizing. In one of his fatwås, al-Sulam criticized fellow preachers and the ways of preaching in his times. He urges the kha†b to limit himself to subject-matter that bets the purpose of the sermon: praise of the Lord, supplications, and whatever incites fear and hope, encourages obedience, and teaches the people to refrain from sin.75 Wishing to limit recourse to mundane matters and current events during the sermon, he permits the kha†b to refer to such issues only on the condition that he incites the audience to perform a relevant religious duty: jihåd, prayer for rain (‚alåt al-istisqå), or

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al-Nå‚ir Dåw¨d, Al-Fawåid, 32–33, 85–93. And poetry to replace that of Ab¨ Nuwås and Ab¨ al-Alå al-Maarr (Ibn al-Imåd; Ibn Khallikån, Shadharåt, 7:9, Wafayåt 3:339). 75 “Al-thanå wa-l-duå wa-l-targhb wa-l-tarhb bi-dhikr al-wad wa-l-wad wa-kull må yaªuththu alå †åa aw yazjuru an ma‚iyya.” 74

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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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