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Chapter Summary

This chapter has combined a textually mediated, ethnographically, oriented study of Syrian mosques of the mid-twelfth to mid-thirteenth centuries, and of the popular assemblies that convened in urban public spaces, in cemeteries, at funerals and pilgrimages, with a more theologically oriented examination of some of the texts produced at that time and place. On the precincts of the mosque, one could also study Qurān in more specialized study-circles, attend popular hadīth classes, or lessons of jurisprudence, grammar, history, theology, logic and bellelettres suitable for advanced students. The mosque was sometimes, however, an arena of conflict between the public and the 'ulamā'. The result was an outlook successfully disseminated in all echelons of society thanks to its highly inclusive character, and to the efficient activity of its agents in the central arenas of the mosque, the cemetery, the shrine, and the public assembly of exhortation.

Keywords: cemeteries; funerals; hadīth; mosques; pilgrimages; Qurān; shrine; Syrian; ulamā



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