pilgrim (muªrim) like everyone else, people disregarded his corrections of their practice. He was heeded only once he donned the typical attire of scholars.7 The descriptions of crowds at funerals of scholars—their size and their extravagant expressions of sorrow—display the same tendency, and show how important it was for scholars to be venerated and appreciated by the masses. Rulers showed similar concern for popularity with the lower classes through the venue of devotion to Islam: aside from their patronage of the institutions and persons of the religious elite, they also established institutions serving the society at large. Mosques, Qurånic schools (kuttåb), shrines and public assemblies of exhortation and recitation were some of the causes they endowed. In conclusion, I nd that, contrary to Michael Chamberlain, unlike many military elites, the Ayy¨bid rulers, and N¨r al-Dn Zang who preceded them, were deeply engaged and even inuential in the sphere of religious life. Along with their contribution to the strengthening of the Sunna in Syria and the Jazra, and through their patronage of Sunn scholars and institutions, they took an active part in what scholars labeled as “the termination of unwarranted innovations (imåtat al-bida)”. They cooperated with ulamå in the marginalization, delegitimization and punishment of dissenters of sorts—those who did not accept the hegemony of mainstream ulamå and the total authority of the shara as interpreted by them. Radical ascetics and Í¨fs, accused of any of the following charges—derision of basic religious obligations, the consumption of wine, improper clothing, immodest sexual conduct, immoral behavior, or the employment of supernatural powers attributed to Satan or the jinn—were included in this category. So were ulamå who held extreme Óanbal or Mutazil doctrines regarding the theological issue of the attributes of God. Impiety and religious dissent of the worst kind were attributed to men who claimed prophecy (on the lower end of social hierarchies) and to scholars who studied and taught philosophy and the ‘sciences of the ancients’ (on the upper end). Practitioners of occult sciences were incorporated into this group as well. Marginalized and defamed in the discourse of their mainstream peers, they were, in some cases, also persecuted and repressed by rulers. The men of religion who enjoyed the greatest moral authority over the ordinary townsfolk, and were most inuential in shaping popular models of piety, must have been ulamå and shaykhs of relatively
Al-Sulam, Fatåwå, 408–409. See also ibid., 196–197, 223–225.