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SHRINES (MASHHADS AND MAQÅMÅT )

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that is, in the very heart of Damascene sacred space. Al-Haraw’s guide lists shrines of the Imåms of the Ithnå Ashariyya and members of ahl al-bayt along with tombs of those ‚aªåba most resented by Shs, to suggest that he himself endorsed the ‘ecumenical’ attitude of his Baghdåd patron, Caliph al-Nå‚ir.97 The idea that Sunn rulers tried to promote peaceful co-existence with Shs is suggested by the medieval historian Ibn Ab ayyi. He quotes his father recalling that, at the beginning of his rule, N¨r alDn honored the Aleppans (no doubt meaning the Shs of Aleppo) by allowing the Sh call to prayer, and by paying a visit to Mashhad al-Diqqa, where the stillborn grandson of Al was allegedly buried.98 It did not take long for N¨r al-Dn to change his taste: some months later he banned the Sh call for prayer from the minarets of Aleppo, and after ten more years, in 552/1157, having barely recuperated from a severe illness, he repressed a revolt initiated by Shs who had high hopes of a change of government in their city.99 The prominent Sunn scholars Ab¨ Shåma and al-Nawaw appear very resentful towards Sh claims to sacred space—more specically, to the space of the narrow passage of Båb Jayr¨n (one of the gates of Damascus), which they considered to contain the tomb of one of the women of ahl al-bayt. The two Sunn authors dismiss the Sh claim as baseless, and call for the destruction of the shrine the Shs had erected there at the expense of passers-by, who wished to walk through the gate.100 Shs may have been just as resentful towards Sunns. Jean Sauvaget ascribes the initiative of local Shs to construct a sanctuary in honor of Óusayn and the other Imåms in Aleppo to their resentment of the ‘appropriation’ of Muªassin b. Óusayn by the Sunns. Work on the site began during the relatively short reign of al-Íåliª Ismål (569/1174–577/1181) as a truly collaborative effort, nanced and carried 97

Sourdel-Thomine, “Traditions,” 322–323. Khayat, “Çiite Rebellions,” 178; Tabbaa, Constructions, 109 (including a translation of Ibn Shaddåd’s passage regarding Sayf al-Dawla’s discovery of the place in 351/962). Caliph al-Nå‚ir, whose ‘ecumenical’ outlook is well known, seems to have contributed to the edice over the tomb of Óusayn in a similar vein, namely, in order to appease Shs (Meri, The Cult, 260). 99 Ibn al-Adm, Zubda, 3:308–310. N¨r al-Dn’s contemporary, al-Shayzar, also wished to minimize Sh presence in the public sphere, calling on the muªtasib to ban the recitation of Sh poetry in the markets, and its teaching in maktabs (Buckley, The Book, 131, 120). 100 See Meri, The Cult, 45–46. 98

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