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Mujīr al-Dīn al-ʿUlaymī's Vision of Jerusalem in the Ninth/Fifteenth Century

Donald P. Little
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 115, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1995), pp. 237-247
DOI: 10.2307/604667
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/604667
Page Count: 11
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Mujīr al-Dīn al-ʿUlaymī's Vision of Jerusalem in the Ninth/Fifteenth Century
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Abstract

Long acknowledged as an essential source for the history of medieval Jerusalem, al-Uns al-Jalīl bi-Tārīkh al-Quds wal-Khalīl, by Mujīr al-Dīn al-ʿUlaymī (d. 928/1522) is analyzed here for a Ḥanbalī ʿālim's conception of the significance of the city for Muslims at the end of the fifteenth century. Although Mujīr al-Dīn links Jerusalem with Hebron as the most sacred sites of the Holy Land, he focuses on Jerusalem, discussing its religious merits for Muslims as heirs of the monotheistic tradition, its shrines and topography, its history up to his own day, and biographies of its notables-primarily, but not exclusively, ʿulamāʾ. In this discursive work the author provides elements of unity by stressing the links of Jerusalem to other parts of the Islamic world-religious affinities with Mecca and Medina, for example, but also political and administrative ties with Egypt and Syria. In the chronicle of the reign of Qāʾit Bāy, Mujīr al-Dīn shows that even in a time of political and economic turmoil Muslim rulers took active measures to maintain and enhance the holy status of Jerusalem. Not surprisingly, the role of the ʿulamāʾ in this enterprise is stressed throughout the book.

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