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Sacred Place and Sacred Time in the Medieval Islamic Middle EastAn Historical Perspective$
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Daniella Talmon-Heller

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474460965

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474460965.001.0001

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Final Comments: Spacial and Temporal Sanctity

Final Comments: Spacial and Temporal Sanctity

(p.227) Final Comments: Spacial and Temporal Sanctity
Sacred Place and Sacred Time in the Medieval Islamic Middle East

Daniella Talmon-Heller

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter shifts from the 'microscopic' to the 'macroscopic' perspective, to make several observations on medieval Islamic constructions of the 'sacred'. It demonstrates similarities between the understanding of sacred place and time, points out the common vocabulary describing them, and lists the shared set of rites performed in them. Recurrent themes - such as references to the benevolent presence of angels, events of sacred history, the apparition of holy men, the remittance of sins, God's excessive mercy and baraka - are noted here. The chapter also summarizes the opinions of the Hanbali-Sunni Ibn Taymiyya and the Shiʿi Ibn Tawus on these beliefs and practices. Notwithstanding pious devotions, festivities associated with sacred times and places served also political ends, communal purposes, and the formation of identities.

Keywords:   holy places, sacred times, sacred history, the 'invention of tradition', remittance of sins, Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn Tawus, baraka, angels, wonders, festivities

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