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CHAPTER ONE

counted as full-edged separate mosques.12 Buildings intended primarily for a dierent function (such as palaces, caravansaries, citadels, ribå†s, and madrasas), are probably included as well.13 Smaller towns were also adorned by a number of mosques. On the eve of its total destruction by the Mongols, the middle-sized town of Bålis, estimated to have had 5000 inhabitants, many of them non-Muslims, boasted of a congregational mosque ( jåmi) and two smaller mosques. The congregational mosque had a newly added minaret, decorated with a typically Sh message, and one of the smaller mosques was embellished and almost doubled in size in the course of repairs that took place between 629/1230 and 649/1250.14 Even a provincial town like Nåblus had two mosques.15 Especially striking, in my mind, is the large number of rural mosques one stumbles upon in the course of sporadic search in the relevant literary, epigraphic and archeological sources. There were mosques in the villages of Palestine as early as the tenth century. Al-Muqaddas mentions those of Ludd (Lydda), a great mosque there wherein large numbers of people assemble from the capital, and from the villages around, Kafar Såbå (on the main road to Damascus), Aqr, a large village with a ne mosque . . . on the main road to Mecca, a beautiful mosque in Yubnå, and mosques in Amwås and in Kafar Sallåm (one of the villages of Caesarea). Altogether, al-Muqaddas mentions eighteen mosques in Palestine. His near contemporary, al-I‚†akhr, lists twenty.16 In the twelfth century there were at least seven mosques on Mt. Nåblus,17 two of which—the mosques of the villages of Jammål

12

See example in al-Umar, Masålik, 1:197. Eddé, Alep, 435; Makdisi, Rise of Colleges, 23. 14 Mulder, Contextualizing, 76–77. 15 Literary sources mention al-Masjid al-Maghrib and another mosque, built in the proximity of the town where the prophet Adam had prayed (¤iyå al-Dn alMaqdis, al-Óikåyåt, 94a; trans. in Talmon-Heller, Cited Tales, 138; Ibn Shaddåd, al-Alåq: Lubnån, 278.) 16 Muaqaddas, Aªsan, 176; trans. in Collins, The Best, 148; al-I‚†akhr, Masålik, 58. See list and map, in Levi-Rubin, The Conquest, 7–74. 17 Inscriptions attest to the construction of a mosque in the village of Aj¨l (south of Nåblus) in 592/1196, and to the existence of a mosque in the village of Ar¨rå. Anecdotes about the shaykhs of Mt. Nåblus inadvertently mention mosques. The textual evidence about an imåm (prayer-leader) in Sinjl, the large Frankish fortied village of Castellum Sancti Egidii, twenty km. south of Nåblus, in the rst half of the thirteenth century, combines nicely with the archaeological evidence of the conversion of its Frankish church into a mosque, to attest to the quick resettlement of the Frankish village by Muslims after its conquest by Saladin in 1187. That is, 13

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