SOCIETY IN MOSQUES
became serious about their prayers thanks to the shaykh’s baraka.10 Implicitly, they had been less devout previously. In urban elite circles, men suspected of philosophical inclinations and heretical views are said to have forgone regular prayer, or abstained from prayer altogether, as part of their dishonorable attitude towards the shara. The students of the renowned Shå jurist, theologian and physician Sayf al-Din al-Åmid (d. 631/1233), at the Madrasa al-Azziyya in Damascus, suspected that he did not pray, most likely because of his works in logic, kalåm and philosophy,11 and claimed to have proven their assertion with the following trick. They marked one of his feet with ink while he was sleeping, and observed the place for two consecutive days. The persistence of the mark convinced them that al-Åmid did not perform the ritual ablutions.12 Al-Nawaw, questioned about the way one should treat an adult Muslim who repeatedly neglects his prayers out of laziness, differentiates between a man who has been continually negligent (and therefore is considered legally incompetent ˜sic· and should not take possession of zakåt money), and one who used to pray, and suddenly became negligent.13 Al-Nawaw answers laconically, and does not seize the opportunity to lecture on the evils of indolence, nor on the dangers of skipping prayers. Indeed, in the material I have found ulamå admonish people for their praying habits; but rather than criticize worshippers’ negligence, they nd fault with their enthusiasm for special prayers with dubious shar justication, “the worst cases being the imitation of the ‘standing’ (wuq¨f ) performed on Arafåt in mosques (al-tarf ), and the thousand rakas of Ni‚f Shabån (alalyya) and the prayer of al-raghåib.”14 Ni‚f Shabån drew only moderate scholarly antagonism.15 Ab¨ Shåma, who warns that over-crowded mosques incite immoral behavior and the transgression of sexual boundaries, admits that those evils
10 ¤iyå al-Dn al-Maqdis, al-Óikayåt, 120a; trans. in Talmon-Heller, “Cited Tales,” 153. 11 Daqåiq al-Óaqåiq, al-Mubn f Maån Alfå al-Óukamå wa-l-Mutakallimn, and Kashf al-Tamwªåt—a commentary upon Ibn Snå’s Book of directives and remarks. His al-Maåkhidh alå al-Imåm al-Råz combines kalåm and philosophy. 12 Ibn Khallikån, Wafayåt, 3:293–94; Subk, abaqåt, 8:306–307. See also Sourdel, “al-Åmid,” and Humphreys, From Saladin, 208–209. 13 Al-Nawaw, Fatåwå, 56; translation in Calder et al., Classical Islam, 197. 14 Ab¨ Shåma, al-Båith, 117. 15 See Fierro, “Treatises,” 224–225.