By Josef Meri

This available examine is the 1st serious research of the cult of saints between Muslims and Jews in medieval Syria and the close to East. via case stories of saints and their devotees, dialogue of the structure of monuments, exam of devotional items, and research of principles of "holiness", Meri depicts the practices of residing faith and explores the typical background of those faiths.

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78 See al-Munajjid’s introduction to Ibn Asa¯kir, Tarı¯kh Madı¯nat Dimashq, vol. 1. , see K. A. C. Creswell, Early Muslim Architecture, vol. 1(1) (Oxford, 1969), 181–2. 80 See below, pp. 251–3. 79 Sacred Topography 33 In the Jewish context, Biblical and post-Biblical traditions, including historical accounts from the second century ce, firmly establish the existence of a significant Jewish presence in Syria and Damascus. The Talmud mentions over ten villages surrounding Damascus where Jews resided, including Jawbar, H .

B. A. al-Jabı¯ (Damascus, 1981), 7–13. 20 Ibn Asa¯kir, Tarı¯kh Madı¯nat Dimashq, ed. S.. al-Munajjid, vols. 1 and 2(1) (Damascus, 1951–4), 1. 139. Also see Ibn al- Adı¯m, Bughyat al-T . alab fı¯ Tarı¯kh H . alab, ed. S. al-Zakka¯r, 11 vols. (Beirut, 1988–9), 1. 41. ba¯r (d. 30/650), a storyteller and early Jewish convert to Islam said, A man came to the [Prophet . ] and said: ‘I wish to leave; I am striving for God’s bounty . ’. ’21 The Prophet also said, I saw the pillar of the Book (amu¯d al-kita¯b) forcibly extricated from beneath my pillow.

U¯lu¯n states: Shaykh Arsla¯n at first used to worship in a small mosque inside Ba¯b Tu¯ma¯, which at present is known as his station (maqa¯m) in the vicinity of his house and his carpenter’s shop. He dug the well that is there with his hand. The people of that neighbourhood drink from it and receive blessings from its water (yatabarraku¯na bi-ma¯ iha¯). [Whoever has a stomach-ache or any pain and drinks from it will be cured with God the Exalted’s permission. ]26 Baraka is the stuff of faith. 27 Baraka sanctified a location through the presence or the apparent presence of a saint and his personal effects, which became devotional or ritual objects.

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The Cult of Saints among Muslims and Jews in Medieval Syria by Josef Meri
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