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4. The Architecture of Allegiance in Early Islamic Late Antiquity: The Accession of Muʿāwiya in Jerusalem, ca. 661 CE

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Chapter Summary

The public accession in Jerusalem of the fifth caliph, Muʻāwiya b. Abī Sufyān, is unique among early Islamic ceremonies of accession because of the existence of a near-eyewitness account of events. The sources for the accession of Muʻāwiya are presented, and the difficulties of their chronologies resolved as far as is possible. The evidence for the congregational mosque and its use as the location for the taking of the pledge of allegiance is set out, followed by a reconstruction of Mu'āwiya's pilgrimage itinerary. This chapter discusses the question of participation in the rituals, and the meaning of the symbolism deployed to the participants. It is very likely indeed that the specific location for Muʻāwiya's taking the pledge of allegiance at Jerusalem was the sole congregational mosque of the city. This mosque had originally been constructed on the Temple Mount by the second caliph, and conqueror of Jerusalem, ʻUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb.

Keywords: early Islamic ceremonies; Jerusalem; Muʻāwiya b. Abī Sufyān; pilgrimage itinerary; public accession; Temple Mount



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