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Edited by Josef Meri

This volume assembles multidisciplinary research on the Judaeo-Islamic tradition in medieval and modern contexts. The introduction discusses the nature of this tradition and proposes the more fluid and inclusive designation of “Jewish-Muslim Relations.” Contributions highlight diverse aspects of Jewish-Muslim relations in medieval and modern contexts, including the academic study of Jewish history, the Qur’anic notion of the “upright community” referring to the “People of the Book,” Jews in medieval fatwas, use of Arabic and Hebrew script, Jewish prayer in Christian Europe and the Islamic world, the permissibility of Arabic music in modern Jewish thought, Jewish and Muslim feminist exegesis, modern Sephardic and Morisco identity, popular Tunisian song, Jewish-Muslim relations in cinema and A.S. Yehuda’s study of an 11th-century Jewish mystic.

Meri, Josef W.

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Josef W. Meri

Abstract

This study suggests a number of ways in which Jews and Muslims venerated the Prophet Elijah and his Islamic counterpart al-Khadir in the Near Eastern context from the twelfth through seventeenth centuries. In invoking the Prophet, devotees sought to reclaim and rediscover the sacred in tradition and physically and ritually represent it. The discussion first focuses on the depiction of the shrines of Elijah in Jewish travel itineraries. The profound experience of the fourteenth-century Karaite scribe and poet Moses b. Samuel at a shrine of the Prophet is testament to his widespread veneration among Damascene Jews. This is followed by a discussion of a number of Muslim shrines of al-Khadir and two unique thirteenth-century biographical accounts. The first is of the Sufi saint Abu Bakr b. Fityan al-Arawdakis (d. 672/ 1273 C.E.) grandfather Ma'bad who sometime during the twelfth century encounters the Prophet in his sleep. The second is of Khumartash 'Abd Allah al-Bajanī al-Turkī, an Aleppan soldier who renounces his evil ways after seeing al-Khadir in a series of dream encounters. Both these men's visions result in the construction of shrines dedicated to the Prophet in Syria.

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Josef W. Meri

Abstract

Baraka (lit. blessing) lay at the foundation of Muslim and Jewish conceptions and perceptions of the sacred. Medieval devotees sought the baraka of prophets, saints and devotional objects. This study considers the physical and devotional setting for the transmission of baraka and the ritual acts devotees performed in order to acquire it.

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Josef W. Meri

Abstract

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.