(Fada'il Bait Al-Maqdis Wa-sham Wama Waraday Fi Thalika min Al-Khasa'is Al-itham) The virtues of Jerusalem and Asham and what has been mentioned of the great characteristics in this domain AuthorIbrahim bin Yahya bin Abi Haffaz Al-Meknasi Died 666H/ 1267AD

Discussion Committee: 
Prof .Dr. Jamal Juda/supervisor
Dr.Othman Tall/external examiner
Dr. Adnan Melhem/internal examiner
Prof .Dr. Jamal Juda/supervisor
Nida' Mohammed Abd Al-Fattah Bani Namira
Abu Eshaq Ibrahim bin Yahya bin Abi Haffaz Al-Meknasi، was born in (600H-1203AD)، brought up and get his education in Meknes city in Morocco. He moved so much through Egypt، Asham، and Iraq until he settled up in Egypt up to his death in Al-Fayoum in (666H-1267AD). Biography books have ignored his biography so I found little information about him in the historical resources. Al-Meknasi was known as a humble، polite، devout، highly educated man in poetry and literature. He was brought up in an educated environment and was affected by Abi Al-Husayn Mohammad bin Mohammad bin Zarqoun. His style was a religious narrative style، moreover، he used the transmissive method in collecting the material of his book from those who preceded himin the domain. As he took from the book of ( The virtues of Jerusalem) for Abi Bakr Mohammad bin Ahmad Al-Wasiti (Died in the 5th century)، also he took from the book of (The virtues of Jerusalem) for Abi Al-Ma'aly Al-Musharraf bin Al-Murajja Al-Maqdisi (Died in 492H-1098) and from the book of (Virtues of Asham and Damascus) for Abi Al-Hasan Ali bin Mohammad bin Safi bin Shuja' who is known by Abi Al-Hool Al-Ruba'y (Died 444H-1052AD) and the book of (virtues of Asham) for Abi Sa'd Abd Al-Karim bin Mohammad Al-sam'ani (died in 562H-1166AD)، he also used the abbreviation method in his material. Although he deleted the Asaneeds in the prophetic Hadiths and in some of the news that he transmitted، some of his stories exceed many pages، also he was interested in myths (Israelites) that aimed to scare perpetrators of sins at the holey places. Al-Meknasi quoted 41quranic versus and 175prophetic hadiths، to indicate the high position of Jerusalem and Asham for Allah، to alert the religious emotion for muslims to protect the Islamic holey places، to visit them، and to increase good deeds in these places. The significance of this book stems from containing a huge religious material that appear in the quranic versus and prophetic hadiths that talk about Jerusalem and Asham and their merits، the worships that should be participated there. He also narrated the stories that aim to attract people to visit Jerusalem and Asham، and to show the importance of residing، staying، praying، fasting، paying the zakat، doing good deeds in these places، and to show God protection for them. The book is different from former books as it contains religious history was connected with historical background، since the construction of Jerusalem، till it was liberated by Omar bin Al-Khatab، and the construction and the conquest of Damascus. The book also contains a detailed description of Jerusalem and its position، he mentioned some of visitable places such as Qassyoun mountain and blood cave ….etc. It also contains information about prophets' tombs especially in the holey land. The tendency of historians to write and to compose about Jerusalem and Asham indicates their position and importance at human history، as they are form the oldest cities in the world، and they the focus of hearts for half the world and they are the land of the three divine messages so they are the holiest cities in the world. Al-Meknasi and other writers were motivated by prophetic hadiths to write about the importance of Jerusalem. The political trend also arose in this book، Al-Meknasi talked about the conflicts between Umayyad and the Shiites of Ali bin Abi Taleb which were narrated by Ka'b Al-Ahbar who narrates a lot about the virtues of Jerusalem and Asham it is of Jewish heritage، from those also we have Wahb bin Munbih who wrote about prophets and about Israelites. Al-Meknasi divided the book into two parts. In the first part he talked about the importance of Jerusalem، the etymology of the name of Jerusalem، the encouraging to reside Jerusalem، the favor of muezzins، and it seems that he gave a general image for Jerusalem as he combined between the historical and the religious importance. In the second part، he talked about the borders of Asham، why it is so called، motivates people to live there as it’s the land of gathering people for the doomsday، he also mentioned its religious status and the goodness of visiting this land. Through the above mentioned، we can see that Al-Meknasi drew peoples' attention to the importance of visiting Jerusalem and Asham as a kind of pilgrimage (hajj)، so he appointed the rituals of visit، and he described the holey places and their virtues، so he put a geographic guide for the visitors of Asham.
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