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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.27) Introduction
Source:
Sacred Place and Sacred Time in the Medieval Islamic Middle East
Author(s):

Daniella Talmon-Heller

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474460965.003.0024

Then in the distance they could see part of the exterior of the mosque of al-Husayn. In the center was an expansive window decorated with arabesques … With joy singing in her breast, she asked: ‘Our master al-Husayn?’ He confirmed her guess. Her pace quickened for the first time since she left the house. She began to compare what she saw with the picture created by her imagination and based on what she had seen from her home of mosques like Qalawun and Barquq. She found the reality to be less grand than she had imagined. In her imagination she had made its size correspond to the veneration in which she held its holy occupant. This difference between imagination and reality, however, in no way affected the pervasive intoxication of her joy at being there … They entered … She felt that her body was dissolving into tenderness, affection and love and that she was being transformed into a spirit fluttering in the sky, radiant with the glow of prophetic inspiration. Her eyes swam with tears that helped relieve the agitation of her breast, the warmth of her love and belief, and the flood of her benevolent joy. She proceeded to devour the place with greedy, curious eyes: the walls, ceiling, pillars, carpets, chandeliers, pulpit, and the mihrab niches indicating the direction of Mecca … How often had she wished to visit this site … Here she was standing within the shrine. Indeed, here she was touching the walls of the tomb itself … She stroked the walls and kissed them....

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