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CHAPTER ONE

in their ability to maintain proper order, abide by Islamic norms and protect waqf endowments.75 The demographic growth of the Muslim community (the result of natural growth, emigration and conversion to Islam), urban sprawl,76 and the establishment of new settlements obviously called for more houses of worship. The widening of the social base of architectural patronage enabled it. Stephen Humphreys, attempting to interpret the invigorated architectural activity in Damascus during the rst half of the thirteenth century, rst attributed it to the renewed presence of the Ayy¨bid princely court in Damascus, assuming the very central role of the court in building activities. Later, Humphreys modied his explanation, including, as a major factor, the surprisingly large contribution of immigrants—emirs, ulamå and beaurocrats—to the architectural eorescence of Ayy¨bid Damascus. These newcomers, motivated to tie their fortunes with the city, apparently were a central catalyst in the building boom.77 It is possible, however, that the multiplicity of mosques and the widespread establishment of new religious institutions, characteristic of the period we are dealing with, had been instigated by socio-religious factors—such as Islamization and the deepening of religious commitment. Yet another possible explanation is the rise of conicting religious trends and the fragmentation of communities into congregations that wished to disconnect themselves and acquire a distinct identity. Syrian Muslims were indeed a heterogeneous lot in the twelfth–thirteenth centuries. The Sunns were divided into partisans of four schools of law, at least two opposing theological doctrines, with various shades of each, and some of them identied with ͨf groups and futuwwa fraternities (associations of chivalruos men). The Shs were split into diverse sects, incorporating—according to Ibn Jubayr—Rås, Imåms, Zayds, Ismåls, Ghurabs (who say that Al more resembled the Prophet than a raven does a raven), and other sects impossible to enumerate.78 Syria hosted, or absorbed, a large and mobile immigrant population, originating in the western and eastern ends of the Muslim world. If each of these groups preferred to pray separately,

75

An observation made by Hoexter in The Waqf, 134. On this phenomenon in Aleppo, see Tabbaa, Constructions of Power, 24. 77 See Humphreys Politics. 78 Ibn Jubayr, Riªla, 280; trans. in Broadhurst, Travels, 291. For the futuwwa fraternity known as al-Nabawiyya, see Eddé, Alep, 437. 76

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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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