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43 In 644/1246 al-Malik al-Xmli. Ayynb gave him the teaching position in the Aqmar Mosque in Cairo (al-Qmhira). In 655/1257 the Mamluk ruler al-Malik al-Manxnr b. 44 In 658/1260 20 SOCIAL CONTEXTS al-Malik al-Zmhir Baybars (d. , zmwiya) or indirectly ( Jerusalem where the ruler had appointed his father, who in turn appointed him as his substitute). ammad, who appointed him as chief judge of Hama. Taken together with the fact that he dedicated many of his works to rulers, Ibn Wmxil clearly appears as a dependent ‘court scholar’ par excellence.

Abn Shmma’s thoughts of suicide additionally show that he was not always part of the scholarly mainstream of his time. Stating that he was tempted, even in passing, by an act considered highly sinful is rather unorthodox. adlths leave no doubt that suicide was considered to be illicit, for one who takes his own life forfeits paradise and will be heavily punished in hell. Discussions among scholars turned mainly around the question of whether funeral prayers may be accorded to an individual who had killed himself.

He took over from al-Yurynshl the crucial differentiation of innovations between those known to be innovations and those which are thought to be religious duties. 144 Abn Shmma’s social position in Damascus can also be considered in the context of his scholarly contacts. The following analysis of the ijmzas and samm^s, which Abn Shmma either received or issued, is based exclusively on those preserved in manuscripts. References to students or teachers in biographical dictionaries or his own writings are excluded as they belong partly to the field of discursive self-representation.

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