11 - Architecture of the Ayyubids and Mamluks


The Ayyubids: A family of Kurdish amirs who ruled Syria and Egypt (1176-1250). Their founder was Salah al-Din (Saladin), the exemplary knight and hero of the Counter-Crusade.

The Mamluks: A curious phenomenon that is not encountered outside the Islamic world, Mamluks were imported slaves, mostly of Turkish or Caucasian stock, who were destined for a military career. The Mamluks ruled Egypt and Syria from 1250 to 1517.

Waqf: Endowment deed. In the medieval period, amirs and dignitaries endowed charitable structures both for pious and social reasons and as a means to preserve some of the wealth generated by their iqta', or revenues form land holdings granted by the state only while they are actively in the service.

Khanqah: Institution for sufis which usually contains a mosque, quarters for a number of sufis, and a meeting hall where the hudur is performed. Its introduction into the urban environmrnt in major cities marked the recognition of popular religious practices by both the ruling and the clerical classes.

Hudur: Sufi acts of devotion which took the form of dancing, singing, and whirling among other ways. Each Sufi order had its distinctive hudur.

Madrasa of Sultan al-Salih Najm al-Din Ayyub


The Mosque of Sultan al-Zahir Baybars

The Complex of Sultan Qalawun
The Khanqah of Sultan Baybars al-Jashankir

The Mosque of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad




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