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Rural Sufism As Channels Of Charity In Nineteenth-Century Jordan

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the contribution of one family of Sufi sheikhs in public service in northern Jordan during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, highlighting their role in the education of boys from rural areas. It considers traditional forms of education and health care as forms of charity because of their service to the poor, independence of state control, and low cost. Because such services were imbedded in multi-layered social networks, the study relies on a variety of documentary sources, including Ottoman and Mandate-period land registers, written records of interviews, the personal memoirs of former students, and secondary studies based on the records of government educational agencies, Ottoman yearbooks, and early textbooks. It concludes with an assessment of the role Sufi teachers played in creating a public education system and their singular impact on the lives of young boys living in rural Jordan.

Keywords:Jordan; ottoman administration; rural areas; Sufi sheikhs



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