towns, is said to have supported some 200 grammarians, jurists and other scholars.31 In return, he earned the support of the ulamå, cadres for the state administration, legitimacy, and a positive image of men truly committed towards the religious law, and respectful of the authority of qås ( judges) and mufts ( jurisconsults).32 So did other members of his dynasty. Ofcial Ayy¨bid epigraphy crowns its princes with three attributes: God-given military victory, royal justice, and religious learning.33 The titles most commonly used for designating commitment to religion include al-Ålim (the learned), N¨r al-Dn (the light of religion), Íalåª al-Dn (the restorer of religion), Rukn al-Islåm wa-l-Muslimn (the support of Islam and Muslims). Some titles evoke struggle against dissenters and enemies from within: qåmi (subjugator) al-khawårij, qåhir al-mulªidn, or al-mutamarridn (subjugator of heretics or rebels), qåtil al-kafara (ghter against indels).34 N¨r al-Dn is quoted designating himself as a guardian recruited for the protection of the shara (“naªnu shiªan lahå”).35 An unprecedented building boom marked Zangid and Ayy¨bid rule. Fourteen madrasas were established in Syria and the Jazra under N¨r al-Dn. In Damascus alone, 85 new madrasas were established during the ninety years of Ayy¨bid rule, more than under any other dynasty of the region.36 Two new institutions—dår al-ªadth (college for the study of Prophetic lore) and dår al-adl (the ‘palace of justice’, where the ruler redressed grievances submitted by his subjects)—were created.37 Stephen Humphreys has documented 241 acts of construction sponsored by 174 different patrons in Damascus,
31 Ab¨’l-Fidå, The Memoirs, 1. For rulers’ commissioning specic works from ulamå, see, for example, Sib† ibn al-Jawz, Miråt, 8:4; Ibn Khallikån, Wafayåt, 3:495; Ab¨ Shåma, Taråjim, 94; Elisséeff, “Un document,” 138. 32 See Gilbert, Ulamå, 70–76, 221–222; Humphreys, “Politics,” 166; Lapidus, Ayy¨bid Religious Policy, 281. Of al-Malik al-Nå‚ir Y¨suf II, one of the last Ayy¨bid rulers, Sib† ibn al-Jawz explicitly says: “qad ªakama al-bilåd bi-qawånn al-shara— he ruled the country in accordance with the religious law” (Miråt, 8:785). 33 Humphreys, “Ayy¨bids, Maml¨ks,” 9. 34 Eddé, Alep, 201; Pahlitzsch, “Transformation,” 62. 35 Ab¨ Shåma, al-Rawatayn, 1: 363, 372, 377. 36 On the establishment of madrasas during those decades, see Elisséeff, “Les monuments”; Chamberlain, Knowledge, 52; Gilbert, “Institutionalization”; Miura, “alÍåliªiyya,” 139; Humphreys, “Politics,” 151–169; Frenkel, “Political and Social.” 37 See Sezkin, “Dår al-Óadth”; Rabbat, “Ideological Signicance.” N¨r al-Dn founded the rst dår al-ªadth in Damascus (and appointed Ibn Abd Allåh b. Asåkir (d. 571/1175–6) as supervisor), and the rst dår al-adl in that city (ca. 1163).