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SHRINES (MASHHADS AND MAQÅMÅT )

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In his guide for the pilgrim to holy sites in Syria, Kitåb al-Ishåråt f Marifat al-Ziyåråt, al-Haraw relates the discovery of long-forgotten graves, and the renewed interest in them. He writes: “In the cemetery of Damascus are many of the shaykhs and ascetics, about whom we have written briey, so as to avoid excessive length. It is said that among them are seventy of the ‚aªåba . . . And they say that the cemetery of Damascus was plowed under and sown over for a hundred years, and therefore those graves are unknown.”67 Al-Haraw also expresses sorrow for the loss of information about “many tombs of the righteous (‚åliª¨n) and the companions of the Prophet” in Wad Jahannam outside of Jerusalem, as a result of “the Franks’ taking control over the country.”68 Further indication of the rousing enthusiasm for “long-forgotten graves” may be found in Ibn al-Adm’s Bughya, where he tells of the recent construction of a mausoleum on ancient tombs of righteous men, “of which all signs had been obliterated (qub¨r al-‚åliªn qad intamasat).”69 Inscriptions show that the tombstone on the grave of the companion of the Prophet, Ab¨ al-Dardå, and that on the grave of Kab al-Aªbår of the generation of the ‘followers’ (both died in 32/652–3), were renovated in the 620’s/1220’s by residents of Damascus. The tombstone on the grave of the companion Bilål b. Rabåª, the rst muezzin, was remade in 625/1228,70 several months after the renewal of the “blessed place (al-makån al-mubårak)” of burial of the companion ¤irår b. al-Azwar. The inscription which adorns the adjoining mosque praises ¤irår for his contribution to the conquest of Syria.71 As noted earlier, Damascenes established shrines on the graves of their contemporaries as well, if they were deemed deserving. A painted edice was constructed on the grave of the shaykhs Y¨suf al-Kamn (d. 657/1259)72 and Ibråhm b. Sad Jåna (who were considered to have been muwallaª¨n—‘fools for God’), and a tombstone with writing (ªijåra manq¨sha bi-l-kitåba) was set up. The admirers of these

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Meri, Lonely Wayfarer, 30–31 (with slight variations in translation). Meri, “Aspects of Baraka,” 55. 69 Ibn al-Adm, Bughya, 7:3382. 70 RCEA, 10:249–50, 259. Ibn Asåkir mentions the earlier tombstone and inscription in his quotation of Hibat Allåh b. Akfån (d. 524/1129) describing the tombs of the ‚aªåba at the cemetery of Båb al-Íaghr (Ibn Asåkir, Tarkh, 2:419). 71 RCEA, 10:251. 72 See, p. 154, above. 68

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

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