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SOCIETY IN MOSQUES

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known by his and his father’s names in al-Kallåsa, in the congregational mosque of Damascus ˜i.e. at the northern side of the building·.”85 Earlier, N¨r al-Dn gave away a copy of Bayhaq’s Shuab al-Imån (Springs of Faith), produced especially for him by a hapless copyist, to yet another alcove of the same mosque.86 One could approach scholars who happened to be in the mosque, or who habitually sat in the mosque, such as Fakhr al-Dn Ab¨ Man‚¨r ibn Asåkir of Damascus,87 to ask questions and obtain fatwås. Sib† ibn al-Jawz was approached by many people who had jotted down notes with questions for him at the end of an assembly of exhortation he had conducted in the congregational mosque of Óarrån, in 613/1216. Reluctant to answer—perhaps he was tired, or in awe of all those Óanbals whose madhhab he had forsaken—he asked the people to wait for their own shaykh.88 Another vivid scene of istiftå in a mosque is captured by Ibn al-Adm in his Bughyat al-alab. A maml¨k (“rajul turk min atråk al-Madna”) came into the mosque of Medina and approached one of the ͨfs who were sitting there, to ask for a fatwå. The ͨf pointed to the Syrian Shaykh Rab al-Mardn (d. 601/1205) who was also present, saying: “huwa alå madhhabika,” i.e. a Óanaf. The man inquired whether he could marry a Zayd woman whose husband had abandoned her, or disappeared (“såfara anhå, aw ghåba”). Rab al-Mardn quoted the Mukhta‚ar of al-Qud¨r—an early eleventh-century compilation of Óanaf law— stating that a deserted wife must wait until 120 years elapse from the birth of her husband before she may remarry. The man resigned himself to this harsh ruling. After his departure, al-Mardn felt deep remorse, realizing that in truth he was neither a muft nor a qualied faqh, and should have kept silent.89

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Morray, Ayyubid Notable, 32, trans. of Ibn al-Adm, Bughya, 2:982. Ibn al-Adm, Bughya, 7:3099–3100. 87 Ab¨ Shåma, Taråjim, 37. 88 Ab¨ Shåma, Taråjim, 93. On Sib† ibn al-Jawz, see 4.3, below. 89 Ibn al-Adm, al-Bughya, 8:3595–96. For the medieval debate regarding the qualications of mufts and the relationship between the mustaft and muft, see Masud et al., “Mufts,” 17–52; Hallaq, A History, 145–146. Whether al-Mardn was conscious of all the learned reasoning on this matter is unclear; however, the allusion to his remorse ties in with the contemporaneous discourse of piety, which makes much of scrupoulousness in the issuing of fatwås. 86

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