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Hirschler, Konrad (2006) 'Umstrittene heilige Orte im sunnitischen Islam: Syrien und Ägypten im späten Mittelalter (Disputed Holy Places in Sunni Islam: Syria and Egypt during the Late Medieval Ages).' In: Messner, A. and Hirschler, Konrad, (eds.), Heilige Orte in Asien und Afrika : Räume göttlicher Macht und menschlicher Verehrung. Schenefeld (Hamburg): EB-Verlag, pp. 113-137.

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The religious landscape of late-medieval Egypt and Syria was characterised by a high number of holy places. This article discusses particularly those places situated on cemeteries and the practices conducted during their visitation. The pilgrimage to these places engendered in the period’s scholarly circles numerous theological and social controversies. The theological debate is discussed with reference to the position of Ibn Taymiya (d. 728/1328), whose sharp opposition to the most current practices of pilgrimage remained however a minority stance. The bulk of the religious scholars defended theses pilgrimages as permissible. It was rather the social practices which aroused the scholars’ concern and which were criticised in explicit terms. Here, the fear of illicit contacts between men and women as well as between Muslims and non-Muslims constituted the dominating issues. On the basis of normative treatises, especially theological writings, pilgrim guides, chronicles, and biographical dictionaries it is finally shown that the pilgrimages to such ‘minor’ places encompassed large sections of the population and was not limited to a phenomenon of ‘popular’ culture.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of History
ISBN: 9783936912197
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2008 10:01

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