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THE ASSEMBLY OF EXHORTATION (MAJLIS AL-WA)

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which is known to us both from earlier literature, as well as from the reality of our own times. It must have been well-known to Sib† ibn al-Jawzs audience, yet Ab¨ Qudåmas story had an electrifying eect. A crowd of people, headed by the governor (wål) of the city of Damascus and other dignitaries, surrounded Sib† ibn al-Jawz when he descended from the pulpit, and escorted him to the larger space of the mu‚allå. From there, a sizable party of men continued in the direction of Frankish-held territory, and was joined on the way by three hundred armed men from the village of Zamlakå. They all stopped in Nåblus, where Sib† ibn al-Jawz gave a second sermon, this time in the presence of the Ayy¨bid governor of the principality of Damascus, al-Muaam Ûså. Sib† ibn al-Jawz dramatically awarded al-Muaam with the hair he had collected from penitents in Damascus, and a raid on adjacent Frankish settlements followed.70 Happily, Sib† ibn al-Jawz and his men, even though inspired by the example of martyrs of old, had suered no martyrdom themselves. They returned to Damascus victorious and heavy with plunder. Another dramatic tale from the lore of the Byzantine front told by Sib† ibn al-Jawz in his al-Jals (and most likely also in his assemblies) is that of a duel between a devout Muslim and his R¨m (Greek) foe. The two had agreed to respect each others prayers and halt ghting for the times of prayer. The Muslims turn to pray came rst. The Christian kept his promise and stepped aside, but when it was his turn to pray the Muslim had a strong urge to kill him. Then he heard a voice reminding him, with a quotation from the Qurån, that promises must be kept, and he abided by his word. After hearing from the Muslim of what had saved his life, the Christian blessed Allåh and converted to Islam.71 The main message here, I think, is not the merits of keeping promises, nor a call for religious tolerance, but rather, a call summoning men to appreciate the marvels of Gods conduct in the world—one of the most prominent implicit motives of Muslim authors of all genres. Jihåd was a recurrent explicit theme in Sib† ibn al-Jawzs exhortations.72 While the pioneering preacher of the counter-crusade, the

70 Sib† ibn al-Jawz, Miråt, 8:544–545; Ab¨ Shåma, Taråjim, 69; Ibn Kathr, al-Bidåya, 13:58; Dhahab, Tarkh, 61:62. 71 Sib† ibn al-Jawz, al-Jals, 90–91. 72 For more on propaganda for jihåd against the Franks see Sivan, LIslam, 142–150; Hillenbrand, 161–167; Christie and Gerish, Parallel Preaching. On earlier

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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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