Reviews

One of the innovations of the last decade in the historiography of early-twentieth-century Muslim communities of the Russian Empire consists of the publication of indexes of the dynamic press of the years 1906 to 1918. The present index offers an erudite and precise introduction to the sometimes monthly, sometimes bimonthly journal al-Din wa’l-Adab published in Kazan from March 1906 to May 1908, and again from February 1913 to December 1917 by the reformist theologian ‘Alimjan Barudi (1857-1921), a key figure of the Ittifaq al-Muslimin political party and of the first Muslim Congresses of Russia, before his election as the first Mufti of the Soviet period. The main sections of the index take up again the journal’s own rubrics ― with an over-representation of religious studies (through questions of dogma, ritual, and history of Islam), of educational problems (with special interest in the Muhammadiyya Madrasa created by Barudi himself, and for the islahi students’ movement), and of social issues (notably Christian missionary activity, and the response to be given to it by Muslim congregations). The compiler has added sections on the press and publishing activity of the time (notably through the mention of books reviewed in the journal), notations on culture and arts, references to great figures of the past or present of the Muslims of Russia (with an interesting, though not unexpected dominance of Arabic and Persian classics like Abu’l-‘Ala al-Ma‘arri and Firdawsi, and of modern opinion leaders like Shaykh Zayn-allah Rasuliyeff of Troitsk ― Barudi’s personal master in the Naqshbandiyya mystical path —, the better known Jamal al-Din ‘al-Afghani’ and Ismail Gasprinskii, or still the Bukharan reformist mufti Damulla Ikram). Rich appendixes provide a glossary of Tatar terms of Arabic and Persian origins usual in the early-twentieth-century Muslim reformist press of the Russian Empire, as well as a chronological table mentioning the Hijri and Gregorian dates of the publication of each issue of the journal, from the its creation to its editor’s arrest by the Bolsheviks. In all, this very well-done and attractively published index will no doubt facilitate the work of researchers on the Muslim-background communities of the Russian Empire during one of the most eventful and optimistic periods of their modern history.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: II-1.1.A-8