Reviews

The author of a recent PhD dissertation on Sufism in contemporary Tajikistan, O.A. sketches a superficial and approximate overview of his subject:  It is inexact to say, for instance, that “the Tajiks do not have the habit of practicing spectacular Sufi chants and dances in public” (first page; suffice to mention, on this aspect, the extensively filmed and broadcasted loud dhikrs by the ubiquitous Qadiri shaykh Ishan ‘Abd al-Khalil-Jan Hisari in southern Tajikistan, and the more durable though less documented Qadiri tradition of the dhikr-i putk in the Mastchah area of the higher Zarafshan Valley).  To be deplored, still, is the author’s simplistic and conformist vision of a homogeneous and politically quietist Sufism:  Opposing Sufism to “Islamic extremists” (p. 347) does not take into account neither the inner diversity of the Tajikistani Sufi milieus, nor the presence of strong rigorist and/or anti-governmental trends amidst, e.g., prominent figures of the present-day Naqshbandiyya.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-5.3.D-459