SHRINES (MASHHADS AND MAQÅMÅT )
Lentils, according to the chronicler Ibn Shaddåd)87—had been celebrated there in the spring since the mid seventh/thirteenth century. The festival drew people from Aleppo, Óamåh, Óarrån, Bålis and their surroundings, to become (to the best of my knowledge) the rst Syrian mawsim recorded in our sources.88 It is difcult, and perhaps unnecessary, to explain the connection between the sanctuary of Quss b. Såida and the Thursday of the Rice, especially as the timing of the festival was not associated with his life, but with the seasons. Probably, like many other similar festivals, it was celebrated in the vicinity of graves, though only very loosely connected with them.89 The last case that I wish to discuss here is that of a sanctuary dedicated to the companion al-An‚ar, a sanctuary that was controlled by women of non-Arab origins. In this case, the information about the location of the forgotten grave was revealed to a wife of a Turkish emir in her sleep. A grave was indeed found in the place designated, and a mausoleum was constructed on the outskirts of the neighborhood of the Yår¨qiyya (the chronicler does not tell us by whom).90 It did not become a successful enterprise until another woman, the freed slave Azanayl¨far, renovated it. After 622/1225, the year of the death of her former master (whose daughter, incidentally, endowed the construction of the khån at Mashhad R¨ªn mentioned above), Azanayl¨far went to reside in the sanctuary, to take care of pilgrims and supply them with sweetmeats and rosewater. Her daughters and maidservants continued her life’s work there, until the destruction of the site by the Mongols.91 It would have been nice to know if this particular site drew mainly Turkish pilgrims, and of the nature of its ties with the nearby neighborhood of the Yår¨qiyya, but the sources are indifferent to our curiosity. Quite a few members of the ruling Zangid and Ayy¨bid houses invested in pilgrimage sites by nancing building and reconstruction
87 Mentioned also by al-Maqrz, in his list of Få†imid festivals (al-Maqrz, Mawåi, 1:495). 88 An earlier source, Aªsan al-Taqåsm, however, reports of a festival in honor of Íiddqa, the son of the prophet Íåliª, at his alleged tomb at Mt. Íiddqa, between Tyre and Banyas, on Ni‚f Shabån. Al-Muqaddas claims to have been there (and even preached there) together with a crowd of people from the cities of Tyre, Sidon, Banyas and Qadas, and a representative of the sultan (Muqaddas, Aªsan, 188; trans. in Collins, The Best Divisions, 159). 89 Von Grunebaum, Muhammadan Festivals, 81. See also Meri, The Cult, 123. 90 Turkmen from Northern Syria and Eastern Anatolia (Humphreys, From Saladin, 30). 91 Ibn Shaddåd, al-Alåq, 1:156–57; Ibn al-Adm, Bughya, 1:465; Meri, Lonely Traveler, 12–15.