This thick, nicely edited, volume is a philological masterpiece.  Since several decades, Masami Hamada has devoted his research activity to the history of Eastern Turkistan, and he can be considered today as the best expert on this region.  This book presents for the first time the edition of four prominent texts: the Tadhkira-yi Mawlana Arshiddin (the most significant of the four), the Tadhkirat al-irshad, the Tadhkira-yi Khwaja Muhammad Sharif, and the first chapter of the Tadhkira-yi Bughra Khani.  All are hagiographies written probably during the late seventeenth century, that is in a period of intense intellectual production in the Tarim Basin.  Beside the highly valuable editing work done by the author, one has to acknowledge the historical interest of these Turkic hagiographical sources.  In a series of qissas, the Tadhkira-yi Mawlana Arshiddin deals with numerous religious topics: the performance of karamat; the Islamicisation process and the ensuing relationship with “Infidels (Qalmaqs, Hindus, etc.)”; the spread of the Naqshbandiyya mystical path; the mausoleums and the worship rituals on shrines; etc. Aside from the Islamic aspect (though intimately linked to it) the political events that occurred throughout Mughulistan (from Turfan to Kashghar, from Aqsu to Khotan) in the pre-Modern period—notably related to the Ming Empire—find here some new clarification.  One can indeed follow the career or the activities of historical figures among the Kashgharian rulers (khans and sultans), the officials (hakims, biks, ishik aghas), and of course the religious authorities (saints, shaykhs, ‘ulama, qazis).  One can also draw from these texts some popular traditions about intriguing figures like Iskandar Dhu’ al-Qarnayn, Satuq Bughra Khan, Burhan al-Din Qilich, and so forth.  The quite substantial Tadhkirat al-irshad offers an interesting complement to the well-known Ta’rikh-i Rashidi of Mirza Haydar (often quoted in the hagiography).

Alexandre Papas, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-5.3.E-505