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Shrine of al-Khawass

In 1710 C.E. a traveler named Mustafa Bakri passed through these hills, leaving an account in which he says “we approached Deir Ghassan and spent the night; Sheikh Ibrahim Rabbi invited us for lunch, and we headed to visit al-Khawass Sidi Ibrahim.” The shrine is named for Ibrahim al-Khawass al-Samarrai, an Iraqi Sufi master born in Samarra’ and died at al-Ray in Iraq in 904 A.D. His grave is in Karkh district of Baghdad inside the mausoleum of Sheikh Junaid. Al-Khawass name is ascribed to the fact that the Sheikh used to work in the manufacturing of baskets and tools from wicker or palm fronds. The shrine lies on top of a hill rising 540 meters above sea level on an area of 21 dunums of land and is considered a Waqf (an endowment property) to al-Khawass.

The connection between al-Khawass and this remote village in the Palestinian hills is unknown, though it is not impossible that al-Khawass, like many of the early Sufis, came this way on pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

keyword: Maqams

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