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MOSQUES IN SOCIETY

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of new converts. N¨r al-Dn ordered that mosques be erected in the smaller towns of Daråyå, Maarrat al-Numån (also predominantly Christian), Qalat Jabar and al-Raqqa.30 In Aleppo, he initiated the restoration of the very rst mosque of the city, considered as having been erected by the Muslim conquerors on the spot where they had laid down their arms in 16/673.31 It had been partly burnt down by the Ismålis in 564/1168–9. N¨r al-Dn brought new pillars from other sites, and the damages were repaired, but he was dissatised with the results: the renewed mosque was asymmetrical. Realizing that the problem could be solved only by rebuilding the southern wall of the mosque at the expense of the space of the adjacent market (which happened to be part of the properties of the waqf that had sustained the congregational mosque) N¨r al-Dn piously sought the permission of the muft Alå al-Dn al-Ghaznaw to change the designation of the waqf.32 Once he received the armative fatwå, so the sources tell us, N¨r al-Dn completed the second phase of his reconstruction. The inscription he added onto the building mentions the Caliph Umar ibn al-Kha††åb, thus forming a link between himself and that great righteous caliph and conqueror, who had declared, as it were, that mosques must be erected in place of every Christian church.33 N¨r al-Dn built two other mosques in Aleppo, a congregational mosque and a neighborhood mosque in Óamåh, and endowed, expanded or renovated nine mosques inside the walls of Damascus and ve extramuros mosques.34 The extension of the great mosque at Óarrån was commissioned either by him, or by his son al-Malik al-Íåliª Ismål (r. 569–577/1174–1181). It was adorned by elaborately carved columns, probably taken from the demolished cathedral of Edessa.35

30 Elissée, Monuments, idem, N¨r al-Dn, 775–779; Ab¨ Shåma, al-Rawatayn, 1:383; Tabbaa, Monuments, 229,235–237. 31 For the interesting history of the mosque, see Ibn Shaddåd, Al-Alåq, 1:103–107. See also Tabbaa, Monuments, 227–229. 32 This impressive (exaggerated?) attentiveness to the letter of the law is attributed to N¨r al-Dn in another context as well. Refusing to appropriate endowments designated for men of religion to arm his forces, N¨r al-Dn supposedly said: These men have a legal share (na‚b) in the treasury, how could I give it to anyone else?! (Ibn Wå‚il, Mufarrij, 1:136). 33 Wheatly, The Places, 415 n. 140. According to Yåq¨t, Umar made that declaration in Bethlehem, but did not act upon it: he nally decided to spare the Nativity Church, and converted a local khån into a mosque (Yåq¨t, Mujam, 1:779). 34 Antrim, Ibn Asåkirs Representation, 122. 35 Raby, N¨r al-Dn, 303–304.

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