The awqaf in Damascus at the end of the 12th century through the journeys of Ibn Gubayr
By Alejandro GARCÍA SANJUÀN – Université de Huelva (Espagne)
BULLETIN D’ÉTUDES ORIENTALES – TOME LVI – ANNÉES 2004 – 2005
By their wide distribution, their extension and their remarkable continuity, the awqaf (sing. Waqf) or ahbàs (sing. Hubs ), goods constitute one of the most significant socio-economic institutions in the classical Muslim world. Through the different functions, they played and the objectives they pursued, the awqaf historically represented a factor of stability and cohesion in Muslim societies, which, according to the Islamic principle of charity, helped to reduce social inequalities and contributed to the educational and cultural development, as well as to the material support, of the men of religion, that is to say, the fuqaha, the ulama, and the sufís, who were among the biggest beneficiaries of this type of goods .
Nevertheless, despite the historical and social importance of the institution during the classical period of Islam, especially in the medieval centuries, studies concerning its development are not abundant, even if, in recent times, there has been an increase considerable interest in this subject. The only general monographs published so far on the medieval period concern Egypt at the age of the Mamluks  and al-Andalus. To this must be added, many unfinished works referring to different regions and moments in the history of Islam. .
The documentary sources available to us for the study of this type of legacy are diverse and abundant throughout the Islamic world. They range from prophetic traditions since the origin of the institution is attributed to the Prophet Mohamed (prayers and blessings on him), to the notarial acts of foundation specific to legacies, called in the East waqfiyyàt, passing through the full diversity of works legal matters such as notarial acts, copies of fatwa-s, drafts of hisba, etc. We must also add traditional narrative sources such as chronicles, descriptions of geographers, or bio-bibliographic dictionaries.
I will focus the study of awqaf in Damascus on the information reported by a well known narrative source: the travel relation (rihla) of the Andalusian Ibn Gubayr (540-614 H / 1145-1217), several times published since the XIXth century  and translated into Italian, French, English and, most recently, Spanish. Ibn Gubayr left in writing the description of the places he visited during his journey in the East at the end of the 12th century, as much in Egypt and the Arabian peninsula as in the countries of Sham, Syria, and Palestine .
Throughout his story, Ibn Gubayr testifies to the importance of awqaf in the Masriq region and, above all, in Damascus, a city he visited at the time of Sultan Salàh al-Dln Abü-I-Muzaffar Yüsuf b. Ayyüb, called in the West Saladin. As is well known, Saladin primarily developed the activity of pious foundations, in direct connection with his political interests. He was the champion of Sunni orthodoxy in the face of the Fatimid dynasty, which he ousted from power in Cairo in 567 h / l 171. In his enterprise to eradicate Shiism, he used the lice awqaf to gain the popularity and, above all, to have the support of all the men of religion who were to be the social agents of this process of restoration of Islamic orthodoxy .
Ibn Gubayr’s work is one of the historical sources that best reflects the very abundant presence of pious legacies in Damascus, thanks, among other factors, to the strong impulse given to this institution by the founder of the dynasty Ayyubid as by his predecessor, the Zankide sultan Nür ai-Din (m. 569 H / l 174), which consecrated the unity of Syria by establishing its residence in 549 H / l 154 in its capital. The references dot the comments and descriptions that Ibn Gubayr wrote during his visits to the main cities of the Syrian region. However, most of the mentions of the awqaf relate to Damascus and its surroundings.
The first allusion to awqaf in Ibn Gubayr’s account refers to the first country visited, Egypt, more particularly to the city of Alexandria, where he mentions the donations made by Saladin for various purposes. Here he talks about the established madrasas and maharis where excellent and pious people who came from distant regions could have accommodation and had the opportunity to learn the art they wanted. Likewise, Saladin had established, for international students, baths, and a hospital (maristan) where they could be treated for various ailments. The same sultan had decreed the donation of pious foundations in favor of travelers of western origin (li-abna al-sabll min al-magàriba), that is to say as much the Maghrebians as the Andalusians, so that with his rents we provided for the allocation of two loaves per person per day, sometimes reaching two thousand rolls and even more.
We only find the mention of awqaf on his arrival in Baghdad, where he tells us about the goods intended for madrasas, which he figures at more than thirty, all located in the eastern part of the city. These goods were used to maintain the fuqaha who devoted themselves to teaching as much as to the support of those who lived and studied in these institutions :
« There are about thirty madrasas, all of which are in the Charqiya, and there is none to which a magnificent palace gives way in beauty. The largest and most famous is the Nizamiya which was built by Nizam al-Mulk and restored in the year 504 (1110). These madrasas enjoy considerable foundations and buildings “dressed” for the maintenance of the fuqaha ‘who teach there; they also provide students with what they need. The madrasa and the hospitals have acquired great honor and lasting glory in this city. »
After these two punctual mentions during his visits to Alexandria and Baghdad, the rest of the information concerning pious donations in the story of Ibn Gubayr refers specifically to Damascus. The city where he lived for more than two months in the year 580 H / l 184, from Thursday 24 rabí ‘I (July 5) until Thursday 5 Joumada (September 13) , which allowed him to know in a personal, deep and direct way his places and his people. This manifests itself in its narration, since it is, perhaps, the part where its narrative is most meticulous and detailed in the precision of the information, with the emphasis, mainly, on the very extensive description of the mosque of Umayyads, to which he devotes a large place.
All the description of the city, especially of the big mosque and its surroundings filled with places of worship in connection with pre-Islamic biblical figures, is sprinkled with allusions to the abundance of awqaf intended to maintain the oratories as well as the various services religious and religious that took place there. On the other hand, indeed, Ibn Gubayr does not mention in his account all the institutions and charitable works which, at the same time, in Damascus, counted as pious donations and of which he must have been aware, and too abundant to be mentioned in detail, from what he asserts about one of these goods, established for the poor:
“It would be too long to point out the charitable institutions in view of the other world, with which God has provided foreigners from this country” ). Nevertheless, all the information it provides is sufficient to give us a general idea of these goods and the variety of purposes and services for which they satisfied. “
To systematize, Ibn Gubayr’s references to the awqaf of the Syrian capital, I established a threefold division according to their destination, separating those attached to the Umayyad mosque from those set in favor of the Sufis and, thirdly place, of those who belonged to the many areas of worship existing around the city.
Apart from these three areas, the only remaining case is that of legacies intended for orphans of a large school (mahdara kabira). Thanks to them, we provided for the maintenance of the master as well as that of the students and even their clothes.
THE AWQAF OF THE OMEYYAD MOSQUE
Ibn Gubayr devotes the beginning of his description to the Umayyad mosque in Damascus, one of the oldest in Islam, for which he repeatedly cites pious legacies. He underlined the richness of the mosque by saying that the amount of the treasure, kept in one of the three “domes pavilions” (qibdb) of the most significant court, located in the western part, amounted to eight thousand Syrian dinars, equivalent to fifteen thousand Almohad dinars.
This suggests that the Damascene mosque had a large and rich set of properties, both in the form of land and urban buildings, as is manifested in some of its claims. For example, when, without naming donations directly pious, he notes the existence at the mosque of income, which benefited the professors and the students who worked there .
In the mosque there are circles for teaching students. The teachers receive large salaries. The Malekites have a zawiya for education in the western part, and students from the West meet there. They have a fixed allowance. The advantages that this venerable mosque brings to foreigners are numerous and considerable. »
Without a doubt, its objective was never to exhaust the subject and to make an exhaustive survey of the awqaf of the mosque. He therefore only underlined, in his narration, those who drew his attention by a few particularities or who seemed worthy of being mentioned for a particular reason, for example, as we will see, the presence of men of religion Andalusians linked to pious foundations. Indeed, Ibn Gubayr repeatedly shows his concern to underline the importance of the Maghreb Muslims and, above all, of the fuqahà ‘malekites, in the cult organization of one of the landmarks of the Islamic world, the Umayyad Mosque of Damascus. Since the legal uniformity around the Maliki school constitutes the most remarkable specificity of Andalusian Islam ,
Ibn Gubayr’s insistence on the importance of the role of the Maghreb Maliki in Damascus can be interpreted as an expression of Andalusian identity in eastern intellectual circles.
Given his wealth at this precise moment, even if it cannot be measured with precision, Ibn Gubayr, as we have just said, will make mention of what he finds striking or arouses his curiosity. Thus, the first indication concerning the pious foundations of the mosque refers to what one could call “the waqf of the column,” which he finds curious (wa-agrab mà yuhaddatu bi-hi) wanting to underline, also, the presence, among its beneficiaries, of a compatriot, the faqih of Seville al-Muràdi. This waqf was intended for those who taught next to one of the columns located between the two maqsura-s, the old and the newThey benefited as well as their students.  :
The most extraordinary fact that is reported is that to one of the columns that stand between the two maqfoura, the old and the new, is attached a particular waqf which can be enjoyed by anyone who leans against it to remind the name of Allah and to teach. We found there a jurist from Seville called al-Moradi. When the morning assembly is closed for the recitation of a seventh of the Koran, each of those who took part leans against a column and before him sits a young boy to whom he teaches to chant the Koran. These young boys also receive a fixed subsidy for their recitation. Fathers who are comfortable make their sons renounce it, but all the others touch it. This is one of the glory titles of this country.»
Later, in another part of the story, Ibn Gubayr mentions the pious donations made by Nür al-Dín in favor of Western Muslims (li-l-magariba al-gurabà) who were involved in the zawiya  malekite from the great mosque. The author himself pointed out, beforehand, the existence of several outbuildings of this type, where students withdrew to copy books, study or isolate themselves from the crowd .
Alluding to this Maliki zawiya, dominated by his Maghreb and Andalusian compatriots, his story becomes more detailed and, thus, he specifies to us the said goods given in his favor, composed by urban and rural buildings: two mills, seven vegetable gardens (basatin), cultivated land (ard baydà ‘), a bath and two shops in the rue des parfumeurs. Again, there is the mention of a waqf associated with the presence of a compatriot. Indeed, he said that he had been informed on this subject by one of the Maghrebis who were responsible for supervising the management of the cited assets (ahbaranl ahadal-magàriba alladbi kànüyanzurüna fi-hi). According to its informant, Abü-l-Hasan ‘AIí b.Sardàl al-Gayyàni, whose nisba refers to the Andalusian town of Gayyàn (Jaén), the Maghreb waqf in question could manage to produce if adequately administered, 500 dinars per year. Likewise, Nür al-Dín, in person, installed houses for the so-called Maghrebians so that they could be inhabited by readers of the Koran (qurrà). II does not pass up the opportunity to underline the concern shown by Sultan Zankide towards the Maghreb Maliki (wa-kàna la-hu bi-gànibi-him fadl kablr).
The mention of these awqaf given in favor of Western Muslims is used by Ibn Gubayr to make a speech on the kindnesses and the benefits that foreigners find (jurabà ‘) who settled in this region. Besides, he makes a specific comparison with the situation in the Muslim West, and, implicitly and without making any direct allusions, to the case of his country of origin, al-Andalus. Indeed, our traveler makes a balanced apology for the favorable material conditions enjoyed by men of religion in Damascus, especially, he says, those who know the Koran by heart and those who devote themselves to study (hufjaz kitàb Allàh wa- l-muntamm li-l-talab). This is why Ibn Gubayr encourages Western Muslims to move to the East where, thanks to the abundance of awqaf, they can, without having to worry about their subsistence, devote themselves entirely to study and to spiritual life.. Although the paragraph is long, it deserves to be reproduced in full .
The advantages which foreigners enjoy in this city are innumerable, particularly those which are reserved for the faithful who know the Koran by heart or who aspire to learn it. The esteem they enjoy in this city is truly admirable; no doubt, all the countries of the Orient have the same attitude towards them, but the attention that we pay to them in this city is greater and we honor them more widely. Anyone from our Maghreb who seeks peace of the soul, that he emigrates to this country and that he devotes himself there to the search for knowledge, he will find there many favorable circumstances: first of all the end of all concern for his subsistence, which is the most great audience and most essential. If this essential thing is assured to him, he will find the path of inner effort. There will no longer be any excuse for those who delay, unless he professes powerlessness and procrastination. This one, our discourse does not address him; the one we are talking to is the man who is concerned with existence, for whom the need to earn a living puts a barrier in his country between him and his desire to acquire knowledge; for this one, the East with the door open: “Enter through it with salvation.” »
Besides these goods, Ibn Gubayr mentions the existence of other gifts to the great Damascene mosque and which are intended for reciters of the Koran. On this subject, he cites two groups of pious donations. The first was related to the ceremony known as kautariyya, which took its name from Surat al-Kawtar (Qur’an, CVIII) and which consisted of the recitation of the Sacred Book from this Sura and until the end of the Qur’an. It was done after the evening prayer. Its beneficiaries were those who did not know the Koran by heart and who, for this reason, were limited to reciting its final part where the verses, as we know, are shorter. When he first mentioned the kautariyya, he said that there were more than five hundred people who lived there thanks to these pious legacies .
There is a large assembly every day in this mosque, at the end of the morning prayer, for the reading of a seventh of the Koran; and, similarly, at the end of the prayer of the ‘asr for the recitation known as kautariyya, where one recites from Surat al-Kawthar until the end of the Koran. This kawtharian assembly is attended by people who do not know how to complete the Koran by heart. Those who take part, receive a daily salary, and more than five hundred people live from it. This is one of the magnificences of this venerable mosque. There is no shortage of reciters from the Koran, neither in the morning nor in the evening. “
A little further, Ibn Gubayr talks another time about kautariyya to explain its origin to us. He says that the foundation of this waqf was due to a rich man who asked in his will to be buried in the mosque and that the rents produced which were to reach the hundred and fifty dinars annual would benefit those who did not know the Koran by heart and who would recite it from the verse mentioned until the end. They would receive a pension of forty dinars every three months throughout the year .
The kautariyya is also a venerable mosque ceremony, and we have mentioned it; it consists of a daily recitation of the Koran after the ‘asr; it was instituted for those who do not know the whole Koran by heart. Here is the origin: a rich man died leaving, for the last wishes, to dig his grave in the mosque and to constitute a waqf of one hundred and sixty dinars annually, for the benefit of those who, not knowing all the Koran by heart, can recite the Suras from the kautariyya to the end; they are therefore distributed forty dinars every three months. »
Then, Ibn Gubayr alludes to another waqf intended for the reciters of the Koran whose origin is allotted to an old king who made it known in his will that he wanted to be buried in the qibla, in an invisible place. He evokes certain awqaf, which produced nearly four hundred dinars of annual rents to be shared between the reciters of a seventh of the Koran, after the morning prayer. These narrators were held in the eastern part of the maqsura of the Companions of the Prophet, place where, according to what was said, the founder of this Waqf was buried :
It is also said that it was one of the rulers of ancient times who died recommending that his tomb be placed in the qibla of the venerable mosque in a place where it would not be visible, and he constituted a considerable waqf, rising annually at least fourteen hundred dinars, in favor of those who would recite a seventh of the Koran every day, at the end of the morning prayer, in the eastern part of the Companions’ maqsoura; it is said that this is where the tomb in question is located. The recitation of this seventh should take place only in this place which touches the wall of the qibla and extends to the eastern wall. God will not allow the reward of benefactors to be lost. God grant advantage to those who instituted them! And pay tribute to the city where we are directed to these works that earn divine favor. “
As we know, throughout the classical Islamic world, mosques, apart from their usual religious functions, carried out acts of assistance and charity in favor of the poor and beggars who usually lived in the immediate vicinity to ask for alms or, even, took refuge in rooms and galleries. On this subject, Ibn Gubayr mentions, but without going into details, the existence of awqaf established in favor of the indigent (fuqarà ‘) who stood in the eastern part of the mosque and who had no roof where to live. refuge. 
In short, Ibn Gubayr mentions the existence of pious legacies at the Umayyad mosque intended for three concrete purposes: educational, including the waqf of the column and that of the zàwiya of the Malekites; religious, both designed for groups of Quranic reciters (kautariyya and seventh of the Koran), and charitable, that of the poor. They are, therefore, goods intended for different purposes, even if, in reality, these distinctions are artificial because all these elements mix in the Islamic conception.
THE AWQAF OF SUFFIS
The second group of references to the awqaf of Damascus in Ibn Gubayr’s account refers to the donations made to the Sufis, whom he repeatedly names. Beforehand, he begins by pointing out the abundance in Damascus of the establishments where these pious believers carry out their activities, places named with the term of Persian origin hawaniq (sing. Hanqah ) that a Western Arab like Ibn Gubayr equates to ribatat (sing. ribat ) existing in al-Andalus and the Maghreb. In the same paragraph, he notes the favorable situation of Sufis which he goes so far as to describe as “kings of this country” (al-mulük bi-hSdihi-l-biiad), emphasizing their complete consecration to spiritual life, this which, no doubt, was due to the material support generated by the rents of the awqaf established for their benefit. .
It was also due to the excellence of their religious rites and practices. This favorable situation obeyed the official support granted to the Sufi brotherhoods and cenobites on the part of the political power which wanted to gain popularity and to project an image of piety on the population .
Among the establishments in the Damascene capital, Ibn Gubayr first notices that known as the Palace (al-Qasr) founded by Nür ai-Din as waqf in favor of the Sufis  :
“What we have seen of most considerable belonging to them, is a place called the Palace: a vast edifice rising in the sky; at its upper part there are apartments such as no one saw higher. It is half a thousand from the city with a large garden adjoining it. It was a pleasure dwelling of one of the kings tures and I it is said that he was relaxing there one night when a group of Sufis passed; they poured nabid on them, which they drank in the palace. They lodged a complaint before Nour-ad-Din who kept on receiving the donation from the owner of the palace which he set up as a waqf in favor of the Sufis, on a perpetual basis. The admiration of kindness like his will be lasting, and it will remain one of the eternal marks of the generosity of Nour-ad-Din. “
Ibn Gubayr’s second reference on the awqaf in favor of the Sufis relates to the hanqah existing in the house located at the vestibule of the northern door of the great mosque, Bab al-Nafifiyyin, and known as the house of ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz . The foundation of this establishment is related to the figure of a rich foreigner to whom he alludes as “ragul min al-‘agam,” that is to say a non-Arab 
originally from the city of Samosate and, therefore, known as al-Sumaysatí. Ibn Gubayr covers the history of this very literary foundation, which I summarize as follows. Said individual bought the house, rebuilt it, and endowed it with abundant awqaf, stipulating that he wanted to be buried there and that, every Friday evening, recites the entire Qur’an on his tomb. In this way, those who attended this recitation would receive pious legacies a pound (rífl) of white bread, which Ibn Gubayr assimilated to three Maghrebian books. This resulted in the fact that every Friday, the place is filled with people who come to listen to the Koranic recitation. Most of the story is devoted to recounting the provenance of the founder’s fortune behind this pious foundation. In a particular circumstance, al-Sumaysàti met a sick and abandoned black man near the house mentioned. From that moment, he devoted himself to treating him. After a while, when the man felt that he was dying, he wanted to thank his benefactor for the lavish care.
He informed him that in the past, he had been a fityàn  of the caliph Abbasid al-Mu’tadid , bearing the name of Zimham al-Dhar. With this high position, he had accumulated a vast fortune. He revealed to his benefactor that he was keeping a treasure buried in his former home in Baghdad, asking him to take it and dedicate it to his benefit and charity works. This is what al-Sumaysàtí did, who bought the house with this treasure and set it up for the Sufis, providing it with land and urban buildings and stipulating that it be buried under the conditions described above. 
ORATORIES AND PLACES OF WORSHIP IN THE SURROUNDINGS OF DAMASCUS
Beside the mention of the awqaf linked to the great mosque and in favor of the Sufis, íbn Gubayr makes many allusions to this type of property during his description of the many oratories and places of worship existing in the city and around, which he calls masàhid (sing.mashad ). These masahid appear, almost always, linked to biblical figures, as much from the Old Testament as from the New Testament, places very frequented by Muslims and endowed with oratories and personnel responsible for its maintenance and always supported thanks to the pious legacies. Among these, it is worth noting those located at Mount Qàsyün, in the Damascene capital, very known for its sacred character and which Ibn Gubayr describes as “famous for its blessing” (mashür bi-l-barakà) . The first of them, in the own mosque, is the monument of the head of Saint John the Baptist, which, according to Islamic tradition, is buried in its southern nave, “in front of the right corner of the maqsoura of the Companions ».
There is also the birthplace of Abraham, on the slope of Mount Qasyün, in the village of Barza, located some distance north of Damascus. In the same mountain, on the west side, he mentions the presence of the “Blood Cave” (Magàrat al-dam), so called because above it, on the top of the mountain, the assassination took place d’Abel by his brother Cain. He signals the presence of another cave which owes its name to Adam and on which a building was erected. And above it, there is another cave, also accompanied by an oratory and called “hunger” (Magàrat al-gü *) because of the death, by hunger, of sixty- ten people. Similarly, without indicating his location, he mentions a cemetery outside the city known as the burial place of several prophets.
To finish this report of the masahid, he pointed out the existence, for each of them, of pious legacies with definite purpose (awqàf mu’ayyanà) consisting of vegetable plots, cultivated land and buildings “so much so that the waqf are near absorb the whole country ”(hattà inna al-bilàd takàdu al-awqàftastagriq gami ‘màfi-hd), which is the most explicit allusion to the abundance of pious donations in this region. Subsequently, he insisted on the extraordinary proliferation of awqaf in the Damascus region, linked to other religious and educational institutions and funded by the country’s rulers. He says .
Any mosque whose construction is undertaken, any madrasa or any convent (khànaqah), receives from the prince waqf who ensure their maintenance, that of their inhabitants and the people who administer them. These are also eternal titles of honor. Among the princesses who possess large goods, there are some who build a mosque, a ribaf convent, a madrasa, who make considerable expenses there and who, of their goods, constitute there waqf. It is also among the princes who do the same. On this path, rich in blessings, all walk with a zeal that will find its reward in Almighty God. “
He returns to the abundant presence of awqaf on the so-called blessed hill (al-rabwa al-mubàrakd) located at the end of the Qasyún and which is alluded to in the Koran as a place of refuge for Jesus and his mother, specifically in a small cave located in the middle of said hill. Next to this cave was the oratory of al-Khidr, a prophet whose Koran speaks without naming it. Ibn Gubayr notices the crowd of people who come to pray in these two places and mentions the presence there of an oratory . A little further, and after having alluded to other places of baking situated in the same region, and among them the birthplace of Abraham, he affirms that the blessed hill had awqàf consisting of vegetable gardens, lands of crops and buildings. It then indicates, in detail, the use of the rents from these goods, intended both for visitors and for personnel employed in religious functions :
Numerous waqf, gardens, white earth and blocks of houses are attached to the blessed hill, the revenues of which are distributed among various services: this is allocated to the expense of food provided to visitors who spend the night there; such is reserved for the clothes which are covered during the night; such is specially assigned to food, which allows a distribution which extends to all subsistence, that of the amin conservative who is appointed there and who is at the same time imam, and that of the muezzin attached to the service of this place. All have a fixed salary per month; it is one of the most significant institutions. “
Just after the mention of the pious places intended for the blessed hill, Ibn Gubayr made a second development where he insisted, as before, on the benefits and the advantages which are offered to the Muslims coming from the lands of the West and decide to settle in Damascus. There is no lack of means to provide for their needs thanks to the abundance of awqaf and the possibility of occupying a religious function as imam of the mosque residing in a madrasa, reader of the Koran or guardian of an oratory. He reiterates the great esteem enjoyed by Maghreb Muslims in these lands, to whom, he claims, great confidence is placed in their probity and pious character, so that they always find some benefit from a waqf allowing them to devote themselves to prayer and to the spiritual life without needing to earn their daily bread by practicing manual labor and, therefore, “without pouring the sweat of shame on their face”. Here is the text :
Anyone among foreigners who, in any form, professes virtue and science, if isolated in these regions, is given means of subsistence: the imamate of a mosque, or else the accommodation in a madrasa where it will be provided for its maintenance; or else the free disposal of one of the cells of the main mosque (of Damascus), where it will be enough to provide for its needs; or participation in the recitation of a seventh of the Koran; or the post of guardian of one of the monuments rich in blessings, where he can live and receive on the waqf enough to insure his life; and other means of subsistence of this pious and blessed kind, which it would take too long to enumerate. Thus, every stranger in need, if he is in the way of good, is here protected, guaranteed, and does not have to make the sweat of shame run down his face. As for the other foreigners who do not have this quality, but who have the use of a trade and manual work, they are also provided with excellent means of serving, for example, a garden to be guardian, a bath assisting in the service or looking after customers’ clothes, a mill, or being in charge of supervising young boys to drive them to schools and to bring them home, and many other occupations. But, in none of them, do we confide as in the Maghreb foreigners because they enjoy, in this city, a high reputation of honorability; they are renowned for it, while people lack confidence in the city’s inhabitants. It is a mark of God’s goodness to strangers. Praise and thanks be to Him for what He bestows on His servants. “
After this presentation on the advantages of men of religion who settle in Damascus, Ibn Gubayr returns to the story about the places of baking. Among the most famous were the tombs of Set and Noah, located in the Bekaa valley (al-Biqà ‘), two days away from the city. The Andalusian traveler admits not having visited them personally, even if he reports the presence of many awqaf intended for his interview with an administrator (qayyim) responsible for keeping it in good condition. He also cites the one known as the mosque des pas (masgid al-aqdàm), two miles south of Damascus, so called because of the nine footprints of Moses printed in the stones of the path that leads there. .
Finally, Ibn Gubayr mentions the presence of awqaf intended for certain monuments and places of cooked specific to the Shiites, who, he says, in the country, are more numerous than the Sunnis :
Many monuments are dedicated to the family of the Prophet, to the people of the house, ‘ahí al-bayt, men and women, and the falls took great care to build buildings there which are provided with large awqaf. »
By his condition as a Sunni Muslim, he does not show the same closeness in the description of the awqaf ‘of the falls. Among these monuments, he mentions that of Ali b. Abi Talib, without indicating its location, where there was a huge stone which, according to the falls, would have been split into two exactly equal halves by ‘Alí with his saber. Although he does not mention awqaf in his description of this monument, he does so by speaking of the burial of Umm Kultoum, daughter of Ali b. Abi Tàlib, called Zaynab the small, place known as the tomb of the lady Umm Kultoum (qabr al-sitt Umm Kultüm ) and located at a parasange south of Damascus, in a village called Ràwiya .
Ibn Gubayr’s account is a privileged testimony to the development of the awqaf institution in Damascus at the end of the 12th century. His condition as a direct witness enabled him to see firsthand the abundance of these goods, especially those intended for the grand mosque, the Sufis, and the sepulchres and oratories attached to the many places of baking in the Syrian capital, such as those located on Mount Qàsyün.
The rents generated by these awqaf, consisting of both cultivated land and urban buildings and coming from as many donations made by private benefactors, wealthy men, as sovereigns Nür ai-Din and Saladin, were used to meet goals of character various, always according to the criteria of piety and charity properly Islamic.
Among these purposes, Ibn Gubayr mentioned, in his story, those of an educational, charitable, or purely religious nature, for example, for the reciters of the great mosque. The information provided by this author is also of additional interest given his Andalusian origin. The insistence on the abundance of pious legacies in Damascus and its surroundings seems to suggest that its author is impressed by this fact, to the point that, in specific passages, the account incites the Maghreb peasants to emigrate towards the Eastern lands with the certainty that ‘they will be able to find a place and have the satisfaction of their material needs, to devote themselves entirely to study and ritual practices. This, implicitly, could be seen as an expression of a specific difference from the reality with which he was familiar in the environment, which was his in al-Andalus. However, certainly, Ibn Gubayr does not, at any time in the narrative, make a comparison between the situation of the awqaf in al-Andalus and in Masreq, which prevents us from engaging in more concrete considerations.
 This second form, more usually used in Andalusian Arabic texts of all kinds, is originally a Spanish word habiz (pl. Habices), which appeared in the 15th century, after the fall of Granada in 1492, when the Christian conquerors divided the Islamic ahbas of the city. To achieve this division, registers or libros of skills were written.
 For a general vision of awqaf see EP, XI, p. 65-109 (several authors). The most recent study is that of A. Qadir, Wakf. Islamic Law of Charitable Trust, Delhi, Global Visión, 2004.
 M. Muhammad Amin, Al-Awqaf wa-l-hayat al-igtima’iyya fi Misr (647-293H/1250-I517), Le Caire, 1980. Le livre d’A. Sabra, Poverty and Charity in Medieval Islam. Mamluk Egypt, 1250-1517, Cambridge, 2000,’ inclut un chapitre sur le waqf, p. 69-100
 A. M. Cardalleira, Legados píos y fundaciones familiares en al-Andalus (siglos IV/X-VI/XII), Madrid, 2002. A. García Sanjuàn, Hasta que Dios herede la tierra. Los bienes habices en al-Andalus (siglosX-XV), Séville-Huelva1,2002
 Mise à jour des recherches dans M. Hoexter, « Waqf Studies in the Twentieth Century : the State of Art », Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 41/1 (1998), p. 474-495
 Nous avons utilisé l’édition classique : W. Wrioht, The Travels oflbn Jubayr, editedfrom a ms. in the University Library ofLeyde. Second edition revised by M. J. De Goeje, Leyde-Londres, 1907.
 C. Schiaparelli, Viaggio in Ispagna, Sicilia, Rome, 1906 ; M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, Ibn Jobair. Voyages, París, 1949-1965,4 vol., who used another manuscript, from the university of Fes ; R. J. C. Broadiíurdst, The travels oflbn Jubayr, Londres, 1952 ; F. Maíllo, A través del Oriente. El siglo XII ante los ojos (rihla), Barcelone, 1988.
 For a glimpse into the life of Ibn Gubayr and his travelogue, voir EP, III, p. 777- 778, version française (Ch. Pellat).
 Y. Frenkel, « Political and social aspects of Islamic religious endowments (awqàj): Saladin in Cairo (1169-73) and Jerusalem (1187-93) », Bulletin ofthe School of Oriental and Àfrica n Studies, 62/1 (1999), p. 1-20
 Ibn Óubayr, Rihla, 42 ; tracl. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, I, 42-43
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 229 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, II, 262
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 260 et 298 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 300 ct 348. So his stay in Damascus was longer than that he did, for example, in Misr / Cairo (less than a month) or in Baghdad (two weeks). See Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 44 and 57 (Misr / Cairo); 217 and 230 (Baghdad); trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, 1.46 and 63; II, 247 and 263. It was, therefore, the longest stay of his entire journey except, of course, Mecca, where he stayed eight months and made the pilgrimage
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 291 : trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 339
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 272-; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 314
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 267; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 308
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 272:; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 313-314
 Voir M. Fierro, « La política religiosa de 4Abd al-Rahman III (r. 300/912-350/961) », Al-Qantara, XXXV (2004), p. 137
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 265 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 305-306. L’auteur raconte qu’il y avait là trois maqfüra-s, celle des Compagnons étant la plus ancienne et la plus importante
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 272 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 314
 Terme plutót propre du monde islamique maghrébin. Voir EP, XI, p. 466-470, version anglaise (plusieurs auteurs)
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 239
 Idn Gubayr, Rihla, 285 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 332
 In addition to al-Muràdi and Abü-1-Hasan ‘A1I b. Sardàl al-Gayyàní, Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 266 and 267; trad. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 307 and 308, mentions two other Andalusians whom he found at the Damascene mosque. The faq’ih and ascetic Abü ‘Abd Allah b. Sa’íd, originally from Qal’at Yahsub (Alcalà la Real, Jaén), occupied one of the cells of the western minaret, precisely the one previously occupied by the famous al-Gazali. Thus, the faqih, ascetic and traditionist Abü Ga’far al-Fanaki al-Qurtubi, led the prayer in the oratory of al-íCallàsa, annex to the mosque on the northern side.
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 285-286 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 332
 Coran, XVII, 97
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 271-272 ; tracl. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 313
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 290-291 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 338
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 291 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 338-339
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 291 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 339
 Voir EP, IV, p. 1057-1058 (J. Chabbi).
 Voir EP, VIII, p. 510-523 (plusieurs auteurs)
 Ibn Gubayr, Jtiljla, 284 ; tracl. M. Gaudefroy -Demomoyniís III p 330-331
 Voir F. RodrIouez-Manas, « Encore sur la controverse entre soufis et juristes au Moyen âge critique des mecanismes de financement des confréries soufies », Aràbica, XLIII/3 (1996) p 406-421
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 284-285 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Domombynes, III, 331
 Neuvième calife de la dynastie omeyyade, qui régna entre 717 et 720
 the word agam is a collective term which designates non arabs and has a meaning equivalent to barbarian (see Ef1 212 (F Gabrielli)
 The fityàn (sing. Fata) are slaves, always of foreign origin, who held various positions in the administration of the palace of the government of the Islamic Caliph. Voir EP, II, p. 856
 Abü-1-‘ Abbàs Ahmad al-Mu’tadid bi-llah, nineteenth Abbasid caliph, reigned between 892 and 902, which confirms that at the time of Ibn Gubayr, the bànqah was already very old.
 Ibn Óubayr, Ritila, 289-290 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 336-338
 Ibn Óubayr, Rihla, 273 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 315
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 275 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 318
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 275-276 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 318.
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 277 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 320
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 278 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 321
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 281 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 326-327
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 281-282 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 327-328
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 279 ; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 323-324.
 This Zaynab, Umm Kulfüm, should not be confused with Zaynab b. Muhammad ni with Umm Kultüm, daughter of the Prophet and Khadíja
 Ibn Gubayr, Rihla, 279 et 280-281; trad. M. Gaudefroy-Demombynes, III, 324 et 325-326. La tombe de Zaynab, à 10 km au sud de Damas, constitue aujourd’hui l’un des sanctuaires chutes les plus renommés.