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CHAPTER TWO

be well-prepared and able to understand the Qurån.79 Some parents, most likely of the scholarly class, supplemented the education their sons received at the maktab by taking them to sessions of ªadth recitation in private homes and in other locations. The very young age at which children, boys and girls, were exposed to ªadth must have reected the parent’s hope that some day, when the children grew old, they would remain the only ones to claim the teaching permit (ijåza) of certain important transmitters. Such a claim accorded honor, and in some cases, also material benets.80 Mosques provided an ideal space for individual study and contemplation, albeit a second-best venue of learning in medieval Muslim society, which strongly advocated the supervision of a teacher, and attributed great value to the personal relationship between shaykh and disciple.81 The silent reading of a book was thus certainly not the typical way of learning, 82 but mosque-libraries made it possible. People donated books to mosques, and the larger mosques seem to have had sizable libraries, which sometimes attracted copyists from great distances.83 The Damascene grammarian Ab¨ al-Yaman alKind (d. 613/1217), for example, donated more than 760 books to the alcove (maq‚¨ra) of the Óanafs in the Umayyad Mosque: 140 volumes of Qurånic studies, 19 collections of ªadth, 39 books of qh, 143 Arabic books, 122 anthologies of poetry, 175 treatises on grammar and syntax and 123 books on medicine and other sciences of the ‘ancients’ (ul¨m al-awåil).84 Al-Qå al-Ashraf ibn al-Fal, a devoted traditionist and collector of manuscripts, “made a waqf of some ne manuscripts for students of ªadth in the two maq‚¨ras

79 Buckley, The Book, 120. Ibn Jubayr observes that “in these eastern countries children are taught the Qurån solely by memorizing and repetition” (Ibn Jubayr, Riªla, 272), and his countryman Ab¨ Bakr Ibn Arab (d. 543/1148) deplores the fact that young children are made to memorize God’s book which they do not understand (quoted by Ibn Khald¨n, Muqaddima, 538; trans. in Ibn Khald¨n, The Muqaddima, 3: 303). See also Giladi, Children, 55–56. 80 See Ab¨ Shåma, Taråjim, 165–189; Giladi, “Gender Differences”; Roded, Women, 70–72. 81 Berkey, Transmission, 21, 24; Ephrat, Learned Society, 79–85. 82 Chamberlain, Knowledge, 138–141. 83 See Berkey, Transmission, 24–25. 84 Ab¨ Shåma, Taråjim, 98; Morray, Ayyubid Notable, 110; Ibn al-Adm, Bughya, 9:4002–4013. On the donation of books to the jåmi, see Ibn al-Adm, Bughya, 2:982; Ab¨ Shåma, Taråjim, 136. On mosque libraries in Syria, see Sibai, Mosque Libraries, 70–72; Eché, Bibliotheques arabes, 132, 202–208. See also al-Umar, Masålik, 1:196, on the library of the Umayyad Mosque in the early Maml¨k period.

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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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