SHRINES (MASHHADS AND MAQÅMÅT )
6.5. Relics of the Prophet There is no tradition claiming that the Prophet dwelled in Syria, or was buried in its ground, but there are traditions about his visit to a number of localities during the isrå—his miraculous night journey. Many eschatological traditions, locating battles of Dajjål (Antichrist) and the occurrences expected on the Day of Judgment in Jerusalem, Damascus, and other Syrian sites were in circulation. The Prophet’s cult in Syria was upheld both through the devotional reading of ªadth, in the private and public spheres,128 and through the veneration of relics associated with him. A wooden spear that belonged to the Prophet was to be found, according to tradition, in the village of al-Målikiyya in Óawrån.129 Al-Muqaddas mentions, with no further detail, that a mantle of the Prophet (one he had received in Tab¨k on the ninth year of the hijra), and a treaty dictated by him and written on parchment, were kept in Adhr¨ª.130 A footprint of the Prophet, stamped in a piece of Basalt from Óawrån and transported to Damascus in the middle of the twelfth century, was rst kept in al-Madrasa al-Mujåhidiyya, and later in the sanctuary of Sayyida Ruqayya, the daughter of the Prophet and his rst wife Khadja. Both relics were transferred to Damascus on the explicit orders of rulers, no doubt to the dismay of the people in their former abode.131 Al-Haraw was introduced to another footprint of the Prophet during his visit to Ba‚ra. Even though he was uncertain of its authenticity (‚iªªatihi), he begged the man who owned it to sell it to him. Finally, he purchased the relic for the sum of twenty-four dnårs. Veneration of the Prophet and belief in the baraka of relics, so prevalent in his time, made it worthwhile.132 The Ayy¨bid sultan al-Malik al-Ashraf especially constructed a college for the study of prophetic tradition (dår al-ªadth) to house
128 For Ayy¨bid investments in the public recitation of ªadth and in institutions for its study, see Pouzet, Damas, 182–199; Dickinson, “Ibn al-Íalåª,” 481, 483. 129 Yåq¨t, Mujam, 2:22; Meri, Lonely Wayfarer, 36. 130 Muqaddas, Aªsan, 178; trans. in Collins, The Best, 49; Wheatley, The Places, 417. 131 Mouton, “Reliques,” 246–48. 132 Sib† ibn al-Jawz, Miråt, 8:713, 716; al-Y¨nn, Dhayl, 2:45–46, and see also Humphreys, From Saladin, 210–13; Mouton, “Reliques,” 246–247.