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CHAPTER SIX

out by members of the community, and was completed early in the thirteenth century.101 The edice carried the marks of both Sunn and Sh Islam: a list of all twelve Imåms with their laudatory titles, and a perfectly Sunn invocation of God’s blessing for all the rst four righteous caliphs (al-Rashd¨n) and the companions of the Prophet. The Sunn rulers who invested in this mashhad—Saladin, his son al-Malik al-åhir, and his grandson al-Azz had their own names inscribed on it, announcing their patronage and stressing their authority. According to Yasser Tabbaa’s interpretation, from the ambivalent point of view of the Sunns, the extraordinary beauty of Mashhad Óusayn had to be ‘curtailed’ by further means, hence the choice to surround the Sh shrine with large and elaborate Sunn madrasas.102 The last phase in the development of the mashhad under the Ayy¨bids was initiated by the Sh qå Ibn al-Khashshåb for the benet of those who wished to retire from society and spend some time in the vicinity of the sacred place. The construction of the residential units (buy¨t) he had planned there was halted by the Mongol conquest of 658/1260.103 S.H. Winter, dealing with the fourteenth century, plays down SunnSh enmity. In his view, a few spectacular cases of persecution made it into the local chronicles, while the ordinary lives of quietist Shs did not, and the resulting picture is therefore somewhat distorted. Moreover, he claims that “Shiism, whether a personal expression of religious devotion to the Prophet’s family, or as the creed of large communities in northern and western Syria that were remnants of the ‘Sh centuries’ (tenth–eleventh centuries), was not considered as something alien, the historiography of the piety-minded ulamå notwithstanding. Only in the sixteenth century did Sunnism and Shiism become incompatible.”104 I will conclude by saying that further research on Sunn-Sh relations in general, and on the grounds of holy shrines in particular, is denitely in order.

101 Sauvaget, Alep, 124; Tabbaa, Constructions, 111. For the inscriptions on the sanctuary, see RCEA, 9:200–202; Grabar, “The Earliest,” 39. The names of the twelve Imåms were engraved also in the sanctuary of al-Jurn al-A‚far, constructed in Aleppo in the twelfth century (Eddé, Alep, 446). 102 Tabbaa, Constructions, 121. 103 Tabbaa, Constructions, 112–113. 104 Winter, “Shams al-Dn Muªammad,” 171, 181.

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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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