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The College and the Mosque and The Friends of God. HIST 1007 11/1/13. Ibn al- Athir (1160-1233). Kurdish historian Worked under Salah al-Din “The Complete History” Tatars – Turkic people, fought in the Mongol army. Scenes from the movie “Mongol”. Islam after the Caliphate.

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ibn al athir 1160 1233
Ibn al-Athir (1160-1233)
  • Kurdish historian
  • Worked under Salah al-Din
  • “The Complete


  • Tatars – Turkic

people, fought

in the Mongol


islam after the caliphate
Islam after the Caliphate
  • End of the Caliphate = End of idea of unified umma
  • Foreign rule (Turks, Circassians, and Mongols) = break with connection to the Prophet and Quraysh
  • Inter-communal violence (Seljuq blood tanistry, Mamluk assassinations, Mongol violence) = constant fitna
the madrasa
The Madrasa
  • Islamic school, more like a college
  • Teaches Islamic sciences (`Ulum al-din)
    • Kalam – Theology
    • Fiqh – Jurisprudence
    • Philosophy
    • Sufism - Mysticism
    • Physical sciences
    • Medicine
    • History
    • Art and Literature
  • Knowledge and

personal behavior

Madrasa al-Halawiyya, Aleppo, Syria

Built by Nur al-Din

the madrasa1
The Madrasa
  • Mosque – where teaching takes place
  • Boarding house for students and teachers
  • Private libraries
  • Tombs of important


  • Public fountains
  • Financed by the


  • Waqf – charitable


Masjid-i Jami`-i, Isfahan, Iran

Originally a Seljuq construction

madrasa and madhhab
Madrasa and Madhhab
  • Study circles become Schools of Law
  • Madhhabs build madrasas to centralize learning
  • Establish a means for

certifying Islamic


  • Curriculum focused on

intensive study with an

individual teacher

  • Receipt of an ijaza


Jami` al-Qarawiyyin, Fez, Morocco

Opened in 859, oldest continually operating

university in the world.

politics of the madrasa
Politics of the Madrasa
  • Seljuqs – build madrasas in every major city to promote Sunnism
    • Nizam al-Mulk and the Nizamiyyah
  • Zengids – Nur al-Din funds new madrasas, especially in Damascus
  • Ayyubids – New madrasas in Egypt to promote Sunnism
  • Mamluks – build madrasas to enforce Islamic identity
politics of the madrasa1
Politics of the Madrasa
  • State hires and appoints

religious scholars, teachers, and


  • Mufti – jurisconsult
  • Fatawa – legal opinion from a


  • Support of all Sunni madhhabs
  • Dar al-hadith: State sponsored

schools of hadith scholarship

    • Not associated with single madhhab
    • Provides basics of religious study

UluCami, Diyarbakir, Turkey

Seljuq construction

politics of the madrasa2
Politics of the Madrasa
  • In Syria and Egypt, preservation of Arab status
  • Turks go to the army
  • Persians go to the


  • Arabs go to the madrasa
  • Control over admission

to preserve status

  • While state makes

appointments, madrasa

education is required

Madrasa al-nuriyya al-kubra, Damascus

Madrasa attached to tomb of Nur al-Din

educating the sultan
Educating the Sultan
  • “Command the good and forbid the evil”
  • Silsila – Chain of authority
    • Legacy of the transmitted teachings of the Prophet
  • Religious tradition + political pragmatism
  • al-Ghazali (d. 1111) – Inculcate in every Muslim true belief, true piety, and true practice
  • Authority of the caliphs exercised by the sultans power
mirrors for princes
Mirrors for Princes
  • Traditional Persian advice literature
  • Instruct through stories of past kings (good and bad)
  • Justice comes from a just ruler
  • Nizam al-Mulk,


  • al-Ghazali,


(Book of Council)

  • Niccolo Machiavelli,

The Prince (?)

philosopher kings
Philosopher Kings
  • Muslim commentaries on Plato and Aristotle
  • Ideal state and ideal ruler comes from rational contemplation of the divine reality.
  • al-Farabi (d. 950): The only person

qualified to rule is one who knows

truth and how to actualize it.

    • An actual philosopher-prophet-prince
    • State ruled in accordance with laws

set down by an original


  • Mystical or experiential Islam
  • Piercing the veil
  • Non-sectarian
  • suf – wool, simple wool cloaks of ascetics
  • tasawwuf– to purify
  • shaykh – master
  • tariqa – path
  • khanaqas – Sufi lodges

“Whirling Dervishes” of the Mevlana Sufi Order

near eastern mysticism and asceticism
Near Eastern Mysticism and Asceticism
  • Early Muslims attracted to Christian ascetics
  • Desert Fathers
  • St. Simeon Stylites (d. 459)
  • Merkabah – Jewish mysticism

focused on divine visions

  • Kabbalah – 12th century

Jewish mystical movement

  • Christian Monasticism
  • Sufi masters develop practices and doctrines
  • Dhikr – remembrance of God
  • Muraqaba– repetition of God’s names
  • Visitation and pilgrimage
  • 10th-13th centuries –

following coalesce around

Sufi masters

  • Development of Sufi


sufism and poetry
Sufism and Poetry
  • Intense love of God
  • Reflected in love poetry
  • Double meaning?
  • Jalal al-Din Rumi (d. 1273)
    • Persian poet
    • Mathnawi
    • Founder of Mawlana Sufi Order