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MOSQUES IN SOCIETY

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ent context)—the mosque was unreservedly open to all (wa-l-masjid mu†laq li-jam al-nås.)8 The great mosques of Damascus and Jerusalem, the Umayyad Mosque and al-Masjid al-Aq‚å, loom large in this chapter. Admittedly, the reason is primarily practical, as those mosques are mentioned in the sources much more often than other mosques. And even though their frequent mention in the sources is due, to some extent, to their special character as the fth and third holiest mosques in Islam (a point which will be dealt with in the last section of this chapter)—I have worked under the assumption that, with certain reservations, they may be treated as representative of other, less prestigious congregational mosques. Mosques of that latter category, and neighborhood and village mosques will be presented here as well. 1.1. The Spread of Mosques A thick network of mosques was spread throughout Syria in Ayy¨bid times. Ibn Asåkir, who completed his great History of Damascus on the eve of Saladins ascent to power in Egypt and Syria, lists by name almost 430 mosques in Damascus and its suburbs, 109 imåms and 64 muezzins.9 Ibn Shaddåd, who composed his historical-geographical survey of Syria some one hundred years later, lists 660 Damascene mosques, 499 of them intra-muros. In the great mosque of Damascus alone, there were, in his days, nine imåms representing all four schools of law.10 In Zangid intra-muros Aleppo there were 190 mosques; under Ayy¨bid rule their number reached 204 or 208. Ibn Shaddåd lists hundreds of mosques in greater Aleppo.11 Those gures remain impressive (and even plausible) if we take into account that many of those mosques must have been tiny oratories located, perhaps, in private homes, or else prayer niches in large mosques,

8

Al-Ghazzål, Iªyå, 1:183. Ibn Asåkir, Tarkh, 2:288–321. Smaller mosques did not employ permanent imåms and muezzins. Not all mosques were supported by pious endowments, and some lost them with the passage of time (see Lev, Charity, 74–75). 10 Ibn Shaddåd, al-Alåq—Dimashq, 92–166. For an inventory of mosques built or renovated in Damascus during the Ayy¨bid period, see Korn, Ayy¨bidische Architektur, 99–169. 11 Ibn Shaddåd, al-Alåq, 1:181–228; Elissée, N¨r al-Dn, 852. For an inventory of mosques built or renovated in Aleppo in the Ayy¨bid period, see Korn, Ayy¨bidische Architektur, 215–258. 9

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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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