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A Late Medieval Syrian Pilgrimage Guide: Ibn Al-Awrānī's Al-Ishārāt Ilā Amākin Al-Ziyārāt (Guide To Pilgrimage Places)1

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Pilgrimage to the tombs of holy persons, known as ziyāra (lit. a visit, visiting) was a fundamental aspect of devotional life throughout the medieval Near East. Medieval Muslims composed pilgrimage guides reflecting their pilgrimage experiences and those of others. Such guides, known collectively as "kutub al-ziyārāt" (pilgrimage guides), meant to be employed at tombs and shrines, mention places efficacious for prayer, obtaining baraka (blessings), achieving cures, and fulfilling supplication for worldly and spiritual needs. This study looks at the first known Syrian pilgrimage guide which was composed during the sixteenth-century Ibn al-awrānīs-Ishārāt ilā Amākin al-Ziyārāt (Guide to Pilgrimage Places). It also explores the genesis of the ziyāra genre in Syria and offers a number of suggestions as to its late emergence there. This is followed by an annotated translation of the guide.

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Affiliations: 1: University of California, Berkeley


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