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From Artisan To Courtier: Sufism And Social Mobility In Fifteenth-Century Egypt

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Chapter Summary

Social historians of the Medieval Middle East are always searching for new sources. Increasingly, they are making use of chronicles, documents, and archeology to write the social history of the region at a time when archival collections are largely lacking. This chapter attempts to draw attention to another genre of writing that can be of considerable value to social historians-hagiography. For some time now, historians of medieval Europe have been utilizing the lives of saints to learn about various aspects of medieval society that do not appear in other sources. Muḥammad al-Ḥanafī illustrates several important aspects of Egyptian Sufism and its relationship with Egyptian Mamluk society as a whole.

Keywords: Artisan; Egypt; Egyptian sufism; Fifteenth century; social mobility



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