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On the identity of the Syrian abdāl

  • Rana Mikati (a1)

Scholarly discussion of the abdāl (substitutes) has been limited to their appearance as the members of a saintly hierarchy first alluded to by al-Ḥakīm al-Tirmidhī (d. 295/905–300/910) and systematized by Ibn ʿArabī (d. 638/1240). However, unlike the other members of this hierarchy, the abdāl are also known through the hadith, one of which is attributed to ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib. This article explores this hitherto unstudied hadith material arguing that the concept originated in hadith circles with a specific purported context, the showdown between the Syrians and Iraqis at the Battle of Ṣiffīn (37/657). A gradual loss of this context went hand-in-hand with the emergence of the mystical saintly abdāl. As monistic Sufism penetrated all elements of Mamluk society, the boundary between the abdāl of the traditionists and of the mystics became porous. This paper concludes with an examination of the ensuing debate on the authenticity of the concept.

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1 There are a number of editions of this treatise. I am using here the edition that appears in al-Suyūṭī’s collection of fatwas, al-Ḥāwī li-al-fatāwī (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 1983), 2: 241–55.

2 The abdāl phenomenon bears a striking resemblance to the Jewish saddiqim who are considered to be 36 in number in the later Hasidic tradition. See Fenton, Paul B., “La hiérarchie des saints dans la mystique juive et dans la mystique islamique”, in Hallamish, Moshe (ed.), ʿAlei Shefer: Studies in the Literature of Jewish Thought (Jerusalem: Bar Ilan University Press, 1990), 4973 ; Green, Arthur, “The Zaddik as Axis Mundi in later Judaism”, Journal of the American Academy of Religion 28, 1979, 327–47.

3 In the Western academic tradition, the concept of al-abdāl is generally discussed as part of the Sufi edifice, particularly as an integral part of the development of the concept of sainthood or walāya. Other than two encyclopaedia articles, there have been no studies of al-abdāl and certainly no analysis of the traditions surrounding them. Chabbi, Jacqueline, “Abdāl”, Encyclopaedia Iranica (London: Routledge, 1982), 1: 173–4; Chodkiewicz, Michel, Seal of the Saints: Prophethood and Sainthood in the Doctrine of Ibn ʿArabī (Cambridge: The Islamic Texts Society, 1993), 103–8; van Ess, Josef, Theologie und Gesellschaft im 2. und 3. Jahrhundert Hidschra: Eine Geschichte des Religiösen Denkens im frühen Islam Bd. 2 (Berlin: DeGruyter, 1992), 8990 ; La-Shay, Hussein, “Abdāl”, in Encyclopedia Islamica (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2007), 1: 303; Radtke, Bernd and O'Kane, John, The Concept of Sainthood in Early Islamic Mysticism: Two Works by al-Ḥakīm al-Tirmidhī (London: Routledge, 2013), 109–10; Radtke, Bernd (ed.), Drei Schriften des Theosophen von Tirmid: Das Buch vom Leben der Gottesfreunde: Ein Antwortschreiben nach Sarahs; Ein Antwortschreiben nach Rayy (Bibliotheca Islamica, Bd. 35/a) (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1991), ii: 68–9.

4 Christopher Melchert has argued that Ibn al-Mubārak's Kitāb al-Jihād is a compilation by one of his disciples. Melchert, Christopher, “Ibn al-Mubārak's Kitāb al-Jihād and early renunciant literature”, in Gleave, Robert and Kristó-Nagy, Istvàn T. (eds), Violence in Islamic Thought from the Qurʾān to the Mongols (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015), 4969 .

5 al-Mubārak, Ibn, Kitāb al-Jihād, ed. Ḥammād, Nazīh (Tunis: al-Dār al-Tūnisiyya, 1972), 1: 152. It is also reported in ʿAbd al-Razzāq al-Ṣanʿānī, al-Muṣannaf, ed. Ḥabīb al-Raḥmān al-Aʿẓamī (Beirut: al-Majlis al-ʿIlmī, 1982), 11: 249.

6 Ibn al-Mubārak, for example, lists a hadith about the “Seven”, through whom Muslims are given victory and rain. Ibn al-Mubārak, al-Jihād, 1: 153. Similarly, in the slightly later work of Ibn Ḥanbal, the author narrates a hadith on the 30 abdāl who are similar to Abraham. Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, Musnad al-imām Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, ed. al-Arnaʾūṭ, Shuʿayb (Beirut: Muʾassasat al-Risāla, 2001), 37: 413.

7 For more on the First Fitna (34–40/655–61) as a historiographic theme, see Donner, Fred, Narratives of Islamic Origins: The Beginnings of Islamic Historical Writing (Princeton: Darwin Press, 1998), 184–90.

8 Naṣr b. Muzāḥim, Waqʿat Ṣiffīn, ed. ʿAbd al-Salām Muḥammad Hārūn (Beirut: Dār al-Jīl, 1990), 103. Al-Dīnawarī copies verbatim the anecdote from Naṣr b. Muzāḥim. Al-Dīnawarī, al-Akhbār al-ṭiwāl (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 2001), 234. For a discussion of Naṣr b. Muzāḥim's account, see Petersen, Erling L., ʿAlī and Muʿāwiya in Early Arabic Tradition: Studies on the Genesis and Growth of Islamic Historical Writing until the End of the Ninth Century (Copenhagen: Munksgaard, 1964), 100–8.

9 Na?r b. Muzāḥim, Waqʿat Ṣiffīn, 103.

10 Al-Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-rusul wa-al-mulūk, ed. de Goeje, M.J. and de Jong, P. (Leiden: Brill, 1898), 6: 3359–60 (s.a. ah 37).

11 Saʿd, Ibn, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā (Beirut: Dār Ṣādir, 1968), 3: 74, 6: 25.

12 ʿAbd al-Razzāq, al-Muṣannaf, 3: 107, 113; Al-Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, ed. Muḥammad Bāqir al-Maḥmūdī (Beirut: Muʾassasat al-Aʿlamī li-al-Maṭbūʿāt, 1974), 2: 352; Naṣr b. Muzāḥim, Waqʿat Ṣiffīn, 552; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh, 7: 110–15 (s.a. ah 51). For an overview of the jurisprudence of qunūt, see Haider, Najam, The Origins of the Shiʿa: Identity, Ritual, and Sacred Space in Eighth Century Kūfa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 95137 .

13 By adding curses to their prayer, the two leaders were emulating an interpretationally fraught precedent of the Prophet. Muḥammad is said to have cursed specific tribes and individuals during his qunūt invocation for the span of a month. However, according to the majority of Sunni exegetes, a Quranic injunction intimated to Muḥammad the abandonment of the practice.

14 Interestingly, the ʿAlī-abdāl report was never harnessed in discussions of the permissibility of cursing. In contrast, the report in which ʿAlī and Muʿāwiya engage in cursing the other during qunūt has been used in Sunni jurisprudential discussions of qunūt. See for example al-Sarakhsī, al-Mabsūṭ (Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, 1993), 1: 165; al-Shāfiʿī, Kitāb al-Umm, ed. Rifʿat Fawzī ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib (al-Manṣūra: Dār al-Wafāʾ, 2001), 8: 323.

15 This is alluded to in a very short report in Ibn ʿAsākir's Tārīkh madīnat Dimashq, ed. ʿAmr b. Gharāma al-ʿAmrawī (Damascus: Dār al-Fikr, 1995), 22: 462.

16 Dīnawarī, al-Akhbār al-ṭiwāl, 232; Ibn Muzāḥim, Waqʿat Ṣiffīn, 46–8.

17 Al-Dhahabī, Siyar aʿlām al-nubalāʾ, ed. al-Arnaʾūṭ, Shuʿayb (Beirut: Muʾassasat al-Risāla, 1985), 4: 814 ; Dīnawarī, al-Akhbār al-ṭiwāl, 236–8; Naṣr b. Muzāḥim, Waqʿat Ṣiffīn, 85–6.

18 Naṣr b. Muzāḥim described the same events featuring the Syrian companions Abū al-Dardāʾ (d. 32/652) and Abū Umāma al-Bāhilī (d. 86/705). In this case, the two companions decided to withdraw and did not witness any of the ensuing fighting (fa-lam yashhadā shayʾ min al-qitāl). The recasting of the same anecdote with different protagonists and the presence of some blatant inconsistencies, namely the fact that Abū al-Dardāʾ reportedly died before the unfolding of these events, casts doubt on these reports. It might be argued that their purpose was to exonerate these Syrian companions from any participation in these events. Naṣr b. Muzāḥim, Waqʿat Ṣiffīn, 190.

19 Naṣr b. Muzāḥim, Waqʿat Ṣiffīn, 49.

20 Ibn ʿAsākir, Dimashq, 18: 305.

21 Naṣr b. Muzāḥim, Waqʿat Ṣiffīn, 222.

22 Ibn ʿAsākir, Dimashq, 67: 74–6; Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt, 5: 248. The biographical information on Ibn Sanna is extremely limited. Ibn Sanna was a Khuzāʿī, which may have played a role in his siding with ʿAlī as the Khuzāʿa were heavily represented on ʿAlī’s side, particularly one can single out the aforementioned ʿAmr b. al-Ḥamiq their contingent leader in the Battle of Ṣiffīn. He is merely listed among Syrian transmitters and as part of the hadith al-Jinn on the authority of Ibn Masʿūd. He is also a link in a “rare” report about ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib where he is said to have said during his evening prayer: God curse the boorish and rude so and so “allāhuma ilʿan fulānan al-jilf al-jāfī”. Qāsim b. Thābit b. Ḥazm al-Saraqusṭī, al-Dalāʾil fī gharīb al-ḥadīth, ed. Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh al-Qannāṣ (Riyadh: Maktabat al-ʿUbaykān, 2001), 2: 581.

23 Ibn ʿAsākir, Dimashq, 67: 75; Naṣr b. Muzāḥim, Waqʿat Ṣiffīn, 343.

24 Al-Fasawī, al-Maʿrifa wa-al-tārīkh, ed. Akram Ḍiyāʾ al-ʿUmarī (Beirut: Muʾassasat al-Risāla, 1981), 2: 305.

25 Nuʿaym b. Ḥammād, Kitāb al-Fitan, ed. Samīr Amīn al-Zuhayrī (Cairo: Maktabat al-Tawḥīd, 1991), 1: 347. Wilferd Madelung has shown that the historical context for al-ʿĀʾidh tradition was a reference to ʿAbd Allāh b. al-Zubayr (d. 73/692). He argued that the cluster of hadiths dealing with the topic, especially those mentioning the army marching to Mecca and Medina, were put into circulation during the time conflict between Ibn al-Zubayr and Yazīd b. Muʿāwiya. Wilferd Madelung, “ʿAbd Allāh b. al-Zubayr and the Mahdi”, Journal of Near Eastern Studies 40/4, 1981, 291–305.

26 Abū Dāwūd, Sunan, ed. Shuʿayb al-Arnaʾūṭ and Muḥammad Kāmil Qurra Ballī (Beirut: Dār al-Risāla, 2009), 6: 344 (Kitāb al-Mahdī, 4286).

27 In al-Ṭabarī’s account of the expedition Yazīd b. Muʿāwiya sent against Ibn al-Zubayr in Mecca, we are told that once the news of the death of Yazīd reached the Syrian army, via an oncoming group of leaders (ruʾūs) from ahl al-Irāq led by the Kufan Thābit b. Qays b. al-Munqaʿ, the Syrians gave their allegiance to Ibn al-Zubayr and invited him to Syria. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh, 6: 429–32 (s.a. ah 64). The parallels between the historical narrative and apocalyptic rendition confirm Madelung's identification, or at least the weaving of historic events into the apocalyptic tradition, that are then recycled ad infinitum ( Cook, David, Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic (Princeton: The Darwin Press, 2002), 154–6).

28 Marj ʿAdhrāʾ is a town outside Damascus where Ḥujr b. ʿAdī was executed and buried. Al-ʿAyyāshī, Tafsīr al-ʿAyyāshī, ed. Hāshim al-Rasūlī al-Maḥallātī (Beirut: Muʾassasat al-Aʿlamī, 1991), 1: 84; Al-Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār (Beirut: Muʾassasat al-Wafāʾ, 1983), 52: 224.

29 For the abdāl in the Ismaili tradition, see Moosa, Matti, Extremist Shiites: The Ghulat Sects (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1988), 110–9. In the Imami tradition, the abdāl appear alongside the awtād, al-suyyāḥ, al-ʿubbād wa-al-mukhliṣīn wa-al-zuhhād in the supplication (duʿāʾ) of Umm Dāwūd reserved for 15 Rajab. Majlisī, Biḥār, 95: 401.

30 ʿAbd al-Razzāq, al-Muṣannaf, 11: 249.

31 Al-Ṭaḥāwī (d. 321/933) addressed the confusion in al-Zuhrī’s transmissions from ʿAbd Allāh b. Ṣafwān and Ṣafwān b. ʿAbd Allāh. He argued for the possibility that al-Zuhrī transmitted from the older ʿAbd Allāh who died during the siege of Mecca by al-Ḥajjāj. At the time, al-Zuhrī would have been fourteen years old. Al-Ṭaḥāwī, Sharḥ mushkil al-āthār, ed. al-Arnaʾūṭ, Shuʿayb (Beirut: Muʾassasat al-Risāla, 1994), 6:157158 .

32 ʿAbd al-Razzāq, al-Muṣannaf, 11: 250.

33 Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, Musnad, 2: 231.

34 Al-Ṭabarānī, al-Muʿjam al-kabīr, ed. Ḥamdī ʿAbd al-Majīd al-Salafī (Cairo: Maktabat Ibn Taymiyya, n.d.), 18: 65.

35 Ahmad b. Ḥanbal, Musnad, 1: 83.

36 Abū Dāwūd, Sunan, 4: 607 (kitāb al-kharāj wa-al-fayʾ wa-al-imāra, bāb bayān mawāḍiʿ qasm al-khumus, 2990).

37 Abū Bakr Ibn Abī al-Dunyā, Kitāb al-Awliyāʾ, ed. Muḥammad al-Saʿīd b. al-Basyūnī Zaghlūl (Beirut: Muʾassasat al-Kutub al-Thaqāfiyya, 1992), 27–8.

38 These two questions are followed by another three questions that seem to be related to the abdāl. For example, one question is about the reason behind the appointment of Salmān al-Fārisī after Bilāl, presumably as a leader of the abdāl, and about the identity of his successor. Al-Jāḥiẓ, Kitāb al-Tarbīʿ wa-al-tadwīr, ed. Pellat, Ch. (Damascus: Institut Français de Damas, 1955), 28.

39 One such hadith states “the abdāl are 40 men, of whom 22 are in Syria and 18 in Iraq […]”. ʿAdī, Ibn, al-Kāmil fī ḍuʿafāʾ al-rijāl, ed. ʿĀdil Aḥmad ʿAbd al-Mawjūd and ʿAlī Muḥammad ʿAwaḍ (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 1997), 6: 378; Ḥibbān, Ibn, al-Majrūḥīn min al-muḥaddithīn wa-al-ḍuʿafāʾ wa-al-majrūḥīn, ed. Maḥmūd Ibrāhīm Zāyid (Aleppo: Dār al-Waʿy, 1976), 2: 180; al-Jawzī, Ibn, al-Mawḍūʿāt, ed. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Muḥammad ʿUthmān (Medina: al-Maktaba al-Salafiyya, 1968), 3: 151.

40 Fasawī, al-Maʿrifa, 1: 434, 2: 186; Ibn Abī Ḥātim, Kitāb al-Jarḥ wa-al-taʿdīl (Hyderabad: Majlis Dāʾirat al-Maʿārif al-ʿUthmāniyya, 1952), 1: 208, 2: 260, 265, 3: 21.

41 In these works the expression “he was one of the substitutes” seems to have been used as a label for a hadith scholar to prove his probity. Juynboll has compiled a list of the men identified as of al-abdāl collected from al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī’s Tārīkh Baghdād and Ibn Ḥajar's Tahdhīb al-Tahdhīb. Juynboll, G.H.A., Encyclopedia of Canonical Ḥadīth (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 731–2.

42 Abū Saʿīd al-Kharrāz (d. c. 286/899) uses the term al-budalāʾ as a generic term for a mystic in his Kitāb al-Ṣidq, ed. ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm Maḥmūd (Cairo: Dār al-Maʿārif, 1988), 57, 83, 109.

43 He is also the first to articulate “an expanded doctrinal exposition of the concept of walāya”. Chodkiewicz, Seal of the Saints, 27–33.

44 al-Tirmidhī, Al-Ḥakīm, “Jawāb kitāb min al-Rayy”, in Radtke, Bernd (ed.), Thalāt muṣannafāt li-al-Ḥakīm al-Tirmidhī (Beirut: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1992), 175.

45 al-Tirmidhī, Al-Ḥakīm, The Concept of Sainthood in Early Islamic Mysticism, trans. Radtke, Bernd and O'Kane, John (Surrey: Curzon, 1996), 68.

46 In a dream of al-Tirmidhī’s wife, he is identified as the highest ranking of the abdāl and is taken into the presence of God where his heart is purified in the same fashion as the prophet. Al-Ḥakīm al-Tirmidhī, The Concept of Sainthood, 32–4.

47 al-Tirmidhī, Al-Ḥakīm, Nawādir al-uṣūl fī aḥādīth al-rasūl, ed. Takla, Tawfīq Muḥammad (Damascus: Dār al-Nawādir, 2010), 2: 105–12.

48 Al-Ḥakīm al-Tirmidhī brings in the prophetic tradition that states: “the stars are a source of security for the people of heaven and the people of my house are a security for my community”. Al-Tirmidhī complements it with the tradition “my companions like the stars are a source of guidance”. After defining the companions as the men and women who accompanied him for a substantial amount of time, witnessed the revelation and were familiar with the rules of the religion and as such became caliphs and governors, he then equates between ahl al-bayt and al-ṣaḥāba.

49 Al-Tirmidhī, Nawādir, 5: 130–5, 139. On the first 40 converts, see Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-Qasṭillānī, al-Mawāhib al-laduniyya bi-al-minaḥ al-Muḥammadiyya, ed. al-Shāmī, Ṣāliḥ Aḥmad (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islāmī, 2004), 1: 242 . Al-Nabhānī also quotes al-Jīlānī about the fact that the companions reached 40 with the conversion of ʿUmar and that these first 40 Muslims are known as ahl Dār al-Khayzurān (the later name of Dār al-Arqam). Al-Nabhānī, Shawāhid al-ḥaqq fī al-istīghātha bi-sayyid al-khalq (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 2007), 355 . Similarly, al-Munāwī links the abdāl to the discussion of a hadith on “nujūm and ahl al-bayt” following in the footsteps of al-Ḥakīm al-Tirmidhī. Al-Munāwī, Fayḍ al-qadīr, 6: 297.

50 For a study of al-Tustarī’s life and thought, see Bowering, G., The Mystical Vision of Existence in Classical Islam: The Qurʾanic Hermeneutics of the Sufi Sahl At-Tustari (d. 283/896) (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1979), esp. 263.

51 al-Tustarī, Abū Sahl, Tafsīr al-Tustarī, ed. al-Sūd, Muḥammad Bāsil al-ʿUyūn (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 2002), 1: 77 .

52 The connection made by al-Tustarī between Quran 10: 62, Quran 58: 22 and al-abdāl becomes a feature of later Sufi exegetical tradition. For example, al-Baqlī (d. 606/1209), in his ʿArāʾis al-bayān fī ḥaqāʾiq al-Qurʾān, quotes al-Tustarī in his identification of Hizb Allāh with the abdāl. The grafting of the abdāl concept to a Quranic text, however, was not limited to the two aforementioned verses. Al-Qushayrī (d. 465/1072), for example, connects the abdāl with Quran 18: 47; 27: 61; and 31: 10. In this case, the emphasis is first and foremost on the geographical aspect. The abdāl are the anchors of the earth (al-rawāsī) (Quran 18: 47) that hold it together and drive away afflictions through their blessings. Al-Qushayrī, Laṭāʾif al-ishārāt, ed. Ibrāhīm al-Basyūnī (Cairo: al-Hayʾa al-Miṣriyya al-ʿĀmma li-al-Kitāb, 1968–71), 1: 99, 2: 399, 3: 44, 129. Al-Qurṭubī (d. 671/1273) notes that Muslim scholars have differed on the identification of the people through whom corruption is pushed away mentioned in Quran 2: 251, and identifies al-abdāl as one of the alternatives. Al-Qurṭubī, , al-Jāmiʿ li-aḥkām al-Qurʾān, ed. ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAbd al-Muḥsin al-Turkī (Beirut: Muʾassasat al-Risāla, 2006), 4: 250–1.

53 al-Makkī, Abū Ṭālib, Qūt al-qulūb fī muʿāmalat al-maḥbūb wa-waṣf ṭarīq al-murīd ilā maqām al-tawḥīd, ed. al-Kayyālī, ʿĀṣim Ibrāhīm (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 2005), 2: 128 .

54 Abū Ṭālib al-Makkī, Qūt, 1: 298, 2: 203. Al-Ghazālī (d. 505/1111) quotes extensively Abū Ṭālib al-Makkī in his Iḥyāʾ, thereby endorsing the same characteristics of the abdāl except for the parallelism between the saintly hierarchy and the Companions of the Prophet. For him, al-abdāl substitutes for the prophets. Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī, Iḥyāʾ ʿulūm al-dīn (Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, n.d.), 3: 357.

55 This also applies to the four pillars (awtād) who are assigned the East, West, North and South. ʿArabī, Ibn, al-Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya, ed. Yaḥyā, ʿUthmān (Cairo: al-Hayʾa al-Miṣriyya al-ʿĀmma li-al-Kitāb, 1972), 11: 277 .

56 Ibn ʿArabī, al-Futūḥāt, 11: 278–81. This passage is also summarized by Chodkiewicz, Seal of Saints, 103–4.

57 See Chittick, William, The Self-Disclosure of God: Principles of Ibn ʿArabi's Cosmology (New York: SUNY Press, 1988), 33–4.

58 Ibn ʿArabī, al-Futūḥāt, 11: 278–81.

59 al-Shaʿrānī, ʿAbd al-Wahhāb, al-Yawāqīt wa-al-jawāhir wa-bi-hāmishihi al-Kibrīt al-aḥmar (Cairo: ʿUlūm al-Dīn al-Ṣūfiyya, 1899), 2: 73–4.

60 Al-Munāwī, , Irghām awliyāʾ al-shayṭān bi-dhikr manāqib awliyāʾ al-raḥmān, ed. al-Jādir, Muḥammad Adīb (Beirut: Dār Ṣādir, 1999/2000), 32 .

61 Al-Nabhānī, , Jāmiʿ karāmāt al-awliyāʾ, ed. ʿAwaḍ, Ibrāhīm ʿAṭwa (Gujarat: Markaz-i Ahl-i Sunnat, 2001), 6970 .

62 Al-Rabaʿī, , Faḍāʾil al-Shām, ed. al-Munajjid, Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn (Damascus: Maṭbaʿat al-Taraqqī, 1950), 44 .

63 Ibn al-Murajjā b. Ibrāhīm al-Maqdisī, Faḍāʾil Bayt al-Maqdis wa-al-Khalīl wa-faḍāʾil al-Shām, ed. Livne-Kafri, Ofer (Shfaram: al-Machreq, 1995), 310 , 315, 323.

64 Al-Samʿānī, , Faḍāʾil al-Shām, ed. ʿUmar, ʿAmr ʿAlī (Beirut: Dār al-Thaqāfa al-ʿArabiyya, 1992), 4850 .

65 Ibn ʿAsākir, Dimashq, 1: 289–304, 334–41.

66 The works are: Ibn ʿAbd al-Ḥādī (d. 744/1343), Faḍāʾil al-Shām, ed. al-Sayyid, Majdī Fatḥī (Ṭanṭā: Dār al-Ṣaḥāba, 1988), 26–7; al-Ḥanbalī, Ibn Rajab (d. 795/1392), Kitāb Faḍāʾil al-Shām, ed. Sāmī b. Muḥammad b. al-Bashīr b. Jād Allāh (Riyad: Dār al-Waṭan, 1999), 79–90.

67 “Inna al-arḍ lā tuqaddis innamā yuqaddis al-rajul ʿamaluhu” is a statement made by Salmān al-Fārisī in reply to Abū al-Dardāʾ’s urging to join him in the Holy Land (al-arḍ al-muqaddasa). Anas, Mālik b., Muwaṭṭaʾ riwāyat Yaḥyā b. Yaḥyā al-Laythī al-Andalusī, ed. Maʿrūf, Bashshār ʿAwwād (Beirut: Dār al-Gharb al-Islāmī, 1997), 2: 318 .

68 Ibn al-Jawzī, al-Mawḍūʿāt, 3: 150–2.

69 al-Ṣalāḥ, Ibn, Fatāwā wa-masāʾil Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ, ed. Qalʿajī, ʿAbd al-Muʿṭī Amīn (Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, 1986), 2: 183–4.

70 In his book Ibn ʿArabī in the Later Islamic Tradition, Knysh uses a treatise on al-abdāl attributed to Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām and published in Aleppo in 1926. Upon examination of this edition, it became clear that this letter is in fact the one attributed to Ibn Taymiyya and published by Rashid Rida in Majmūʾat al-rasāʾil wa-al-masāʾil. Whereas, there is a possibility that the treatise Knysh uses is indeed Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām's, it is nonetheless difficult to ascertain at this point given the dearth of information on the manuscript tradition used in these editions. Based on the arguments made in the treatise and their similarity to the discussion of the abdāl in other works of Ibn Taymiyya, I have considered the treatise part of his oeuvre. Knysh, Alexander, Ibn ʿArabī in the Later Islamic Tradition: The Making of a Polemical Image in Medieval Islam (New York: SUNY Press, 1998).

71 Al-Murtaḍā al-Zabīdī, Tāj al-ʿArūs, s.v. “bdl”.

72 Al-ʿIzz Ibn ʿAbd al-Salām wrote a treatise of the Faḍāʾil al-Shām genre in which he did not include the traditions on the abdāl. al-Salām, Al-ʿIzz Ibn ʿAbd, Targhīb ahl al-Islām fī suknā al-Shām, ed. Yāsīn, Yāsir Muḥammad (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 2014).

73 Taymiyya, Ibn, “al-Dalīl ʿalā buṭlān al-qawl bi-al-abdāl wa-al-awtād”, in Riḍa, Rashīd (ed.), Majmūʿat al-rasāʾil wa-al-masāʾil I (Cairo: Lajnat al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1923), 4651 ; Riḍa, Rashīd, “Fatwā fī al-ghawth”, in Shams, Muḥammad ʿAzīz (ed.), Jāmiʿ al-masāʾil li-Ibn Taymiyya (Mecca: Dār ʿĀlam al-Fawāʾid, 1422), 2: 57115 .

74 Ibn Taymiyya, al-Furqān bayna awliyāʾ al-Raḥmān wa-awliyāʾ al-Shayṭān, ed. ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Arnaʾūṭ (Damascus: Maktabat Dār al-Bayān, 1985), 17–8.

75 Ibn Taymiyya, Fatwā fī al-ghawth, 2: 62.

76 Ibn Taymiyya, Fatwā fī al-ghawth, 2: 64.

77 Taymiyya, Ibn, al-Radd ʿalā al-Ikhnāʾī qāḍī al-Mālikiyya, ed. Al-Dānī b. Munīr Āl Zahawī (Beirut: al-Maktaba al-ʿAṣriyya, 2002), 1: 187.

78 Ibn Taymiyya, Fatwā fī al-ghawth, 2: 100–4.

79 The ʿulamāʾ as the true abdāl appears in Taymiyya's, Ibn al-ʿAqīda al-wāsiṭiyya, ed. Ashraf b. ʿAbd al-Maqṣūd (Riyadh: Aḍwāʾ al-Salaf, 1999), 1: 132.

80 al-Jawziyya, Ibn Qayyim, al-Manār al-munīf fī al-ṣaḥīḥ wa-al-ḍaʿīf, ed. ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ Abū Ghudda (Aleppo: Maktabat al-Maṭbūʿāt al-Islāmiyya, 1970), 1: 136.

81 al-Zarkashī, Badr al-Dīn, al-Laʾāliʾ al-manthūra fī al-aḥādīth al-mashhūra, ed. Muṣṭafā ʿAbd al-Qādir ʿAṭā (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 1986), 142–4.

82 ʿAlī b. Muḥammad b. ʿIrāq al-Kinānī, Tanzīh al-sharīʿa al-marfūʿa ʿan al-akhbār al-shanīʿa al-marfūʿa, ed. ʿAbd al-Wahhāb ʿAbd al-Laṭīf and ʿAbd Allāh al-Ṣiddīq (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 1981), 2: 307.

83 Al-Suyūṭī, Taʿaqubbāt al-Suyūṭī ʿalā mawḍūʿāt Ibn al-Jawzī aw al-Nukat al-badīʿāt ʿalā al-mawḍūʿāt, ed. Shaʿbān, ʿAbd Allāh (Mecca: Dār Makka al-Mukarrama, 2004), 280–2. Al-Suyūṭī, however, does not include this hadith in his Qaṭf al-azhār al-mutanāthira fī al-akhbār al-mutawātira, ed. al-Mays, Khalīl (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islāmī, 1985).

84 Al-Sakhāwī references this treatise in a number of his other works. Al-Sakhāwī, al-Ḍawʾ al-lāmiʿli-ahl al-qarn al-tāsiʿ (Beirut: Dār Maktabat al-Ḥayāt, n.d.), 8: 19; idem, al-Maqāsid al-ḥasana fī bayān kathīr min al-aḥādīth al-mushtahara ʿalā al-alsina, ed. al-Khasht, Muḥammad ʿUthmān (Beirut: Dār al-Kitāb al-ʿArabī, 1985), 47.

85 Al-Sakhāwī, al-Maqāsid al-ḥasana, 43–7.

86 Al-Munāwī, Fayḍ al-qadīr sharḥ al-Jāmiʿ al-ṣaghīr (Cairo: al-Maktaba al-Tijāriya al-Kubrā, 1356), 3: 167–70.

87 Munāwī, Fayḍ al-qadīr, 3: 169.

88 It might also be reflective of the increased popularity of the Akbarian legacy under the Ottomans. See Geoffroy, Eric, Le Soufisme en Égypte et en Syrie sous les derniers Mamelouks et les premiers Ottomans: orientations spirituelles et enjeux culturels (Paris: L'Institut Français d'Études Arabes de Damas, 1995), 133–5.

89 Munāwī, Fayḍ al-qadīr, 3: 170.

90 Aḥmad b. ʿAlī al-Manīnī, al-Iʿlām bi-faḍāʾil al-Shām, ed. Aḥmad Sāmiḥ (Jerusalem: al-Maṭbaʿa al-ʿAṣriyya, n.d.), 1: 650.

91 al-Zabīdī, Al-Murtaḍā, Itḥāf al-sāda al-muṭṭaqīn (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 2012).

92 Ibn ʿĀbdīn, “Ijābat al-ghawth fi-bayān ḥāl al-nuqabāʾ wa-al-nujabāʾ wa-al-abdāl wa-al-awtād wa-al-ghawth”, in Rasāʾil Ibn ʿĀbdīn II (n.p., n.d), 264–81.

93 Al-Kattānī, al-Sirr al-ḥaqqī al-imtinānī al-wāṣil ilā dhākir al-rātib al-kattānī, ed. Aḥmad Fatḥī ʿAbd al-Raḥmān (Cairo: Maktabat al-Thaqāfa al-Dīnniyya, 2009), 56–7.

94 Al-Amīr al-Ṣanʿānī, al-Inṣāf fī ḥaqīqat al-awliyāʾ wa-mā lahum min al-karāmāt wa-al-alṭāf, ed. ʿAbd al-Razzāq al-Badr (al-Khubar: Dār Ibn ʿAffān, 1997), 61–7.

95 Rashīd Riḍā, “al-asʾila wa-al-ajwiba”, al-Manār 5 (April 1902), 51; ibid, “asʾila min al-Ḥijāz”, al-Manār 11 (March 1908), 50.

96 This anecdote occurs at the end of Ibn Ḥajar al-Haytamī’s answer to a question about the number and role of rijāl al-ghayb. In his reply, he did not argue for or try to authenticate traditions, he merely stated the views of previous authorities and asserted the authenticity of the system, numbers, stations and all of its corollaries. Moreover, he asserted that when Yazīd b. Hārūn and Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal state that al-abdāl are ahl al-ʿilm, they intend both the exoteric and esoteric (ʿilm al-ẓāhir wa-al-bāṭin). Ibn Ḥajar al-Haytamī, al-Fatāwā al-ḥadīthiyya (Damascus: Dār al-Fikr, n.d.), 1: 230–3.

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