Sacred Place and Sacred Time in the Medieval Islamic Middle East: A Historical Perspective
Paperback, 288 pages
Explores the construction of sanctity and its manifestations in the medieval Muslim Middle East
This book offers a fresh perspective on religious culture in the medieval Middle East. It investigates the ways Muslims thought about and practiced at sacred spaces and in sacred times through two detailed case studies: the shrines in honour of the head of al-Husayn (the martyred grandson of the Prophet), and the holy month of Rajab. The changing expressions of the veneration of the shrine and month are followed from the formative period of Islam until the late Mamluk period, paying attention to historical contexts and power relations. Readers will find interest in the attempt to integrate the two perspectives synchronically and diachronically, in a discussion of the relationship between the sanctification of space and time in individual and communal piety, and in the religious literature of the period.
Part 1: A Sacred Space: The Shrine of al-Husayn's Head
Part 2: The Sacred Time: The Month of Rajab