a resident Í¨f shaykh. Itikåf in a mosque might have been more of an individual endeavor, which most likely entailed dependence on the hospitality and generosity of local communities. Some of the ascetics who chose to dedicate their time to seclusion and spiritual training in mosques may have been reluctant to enjoy the relative comforts of an established Í¨f home, as well as the endowments of rulers, and preferred a more frugal way of life.113 Shaykh Muªammad al-Bust, who resided for some time in a cell adjacent to the mosque of Óisn Kayfa, and subsisted, according to his neighbor, the famous Usåma ibn al-Munqidh of Shayzar, on an extremely frugal diet of fruit, refused to exchange his cell for one built especially for him by a notable from Óisn Kayfa, in the midst of his private garden.114 Retreat to a mosque was more frugal, perhaps, but not necessarily lonely. In some mosques, a Í¨f could nd a whole group of wayfarers like himself. The Persian traveler Nå‚ir-i Khusraw notes in the diary of his journey through Syria and Palestine (written in 439/1047), that along the northern wall of al-Óaram al-Sharf in Jerusalem there are two cloisters with “a ne prayer niche” that Í¨fs used for residence and daily prayers. On Fridays they attended the communal prayer inside the Óaram.115 Ab¨ Bakr ibn al-Arab al-Andalus, who stayed in the city from 486/1093 until 488/1095, met some of those Í¨fs. He mentions by name the Jerusalemite Ab¨ al-Fal A†å al-Maqdis, “the eldest shaykh from among scholars and Í¨fs (al-fuqahå wa-l-fuqarå) in al-Aq‚å mosque,” who was one of the most devout Í¨fs he met in Jerusalem.116 Another elderly ascetic who stood at the center of a group of Í¨fs that resided in a mosque was Aªmad b. Abd al-Waªd al-Mudarwwiz al-Ajam (or al-Zanbl). He and his “group of righteous Í¨fs ( jamåa min al-fuqarå al-‚åliªn)” made the mosque of al-Sayyida al-Alawiyya in Aleppo their home, and the location of their samå (ecstatic dance). The shaykh would beg for food for them all, and treat them to one meal a day, and—when in the right mood—to stories about the wondrous doing (karåmåt) of
113 Íadr al-Dn b. Óamawayhi (d. 617/1220) refused to eat or drink anything furnished by a waqf of a khånqåh, not even water from its cistern (Ibn al-Adm, Bughya, 10:4396; Morray, Ayyubid Notable, 119). 114 Ibn Munqidh, Kitåb al-Itibår; 186–187; trans. in Hitti, Arab-Syrian Gentleman, 204. 115 Nå‚ir-i Khusraw, in Le Strange, Palestine, 176–177 (I owe this reference to D. Ephrat). 116 Drory, Ibn al-Arab, 81–82.