The papers collected in this volume were presented at a meeting in Tel Aviv University in February 2001, with participants from Israel, Dagestan, Germany, Russia, and the Netherlands. The meeting derives from a project supported by the INTAS (International Association for the Promotion of Cooperation with Scientists from the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union) and devoted to sources located in Dagestan for the scholarly study of the Islam in the region. Although the Editors admit that this experimental project cannot do more than scratch the surface at its start, it is much welcomed for its focus on the significance of local sources. In their foreword, M. Gammer and D. J. Wasserstein stress what came to the fore in the discussions: the importance of Sufism for the spread of Islam; the diversity of Islamic experience with Dagestan experiencing a very early islamisation and Chechnya becoming islamised at a much later time; the richness of the manuscript resources of the area. Several articles point to the fact that the region was not only Islamic, but fully integrated into the cultural world of Islam, with links between Dagestan and Yemen or Baghdad. The topics presented in the volume include the relations of Dagestan with the Near East before the advent of Islam (by Haroun Ibrahimov). The contributors are among the major specialists of the field : Bobrovnikov Vladimir, “Abu Muslim in Islamic History and Mythology of the Northern Caucasus,” 23-44; Shikhsaidov Amri, “The Political History of Daghestan in the Tenth-Fifteenth Centuries,” 45-54; Gammer Moshe, “The Introduction of the Khalidiyya and the Qadiriyya into Daghestan in the Nineteenth Century,” 55-68; Abu-Manneh Butrus, “The Role of Shaykh Isma‘il al-Shirwani in the Khalidi Sub-Order,” 69-80; Chesnin Sonia, “Hasan al-Alqadari, the Last Representative of Traditional Learning in Daghestan,” 81-94; Kemper Michael, “Daghestani Shaykhs and Scholars in Russian Exile: Networks of Sufism, Fatwas and Poetry,” 95-108; van den Berg Helma, “A Darghi Codex of Customary Law and Its Contribution to Linguistics,” 109-25, tab ― reviewes infra in No. 483. By drawing the attention of scholars and of the public to the mediaeval and early modern past of Dagestan, before the Russian conquest and its impact on the area, this publication helps understanding some longue durée aspects of the present crisis situation in this republic of the modern-day Federation of Russia.

Claire Mouradian, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: II-3.3.A-204