Reviews

The author, a professor of philology at the State University of Tajikistan in Dushanbe, and the recent editor of the works by the divine and mystic from Kulab, Mirza Sami‘ ‘Adina-zada “Khatlani” (1907[?]-95—cf. Daftari sabz [The Green Notebook], Dushanbe: Sino, 2004, and my review infra in 545)—deals in the present work with varied aspects of Islamic culture in twentieth-century Tajik literature and literary sociability.  With the same zeal that local penpushers of official historiography were still recently spending for proving the ‘socialist’ character of this literature and of this sociability, the author endeavours to demonstrate their essentially ‘Islamic’ character.  For this, a first and sizeable chapter (pp. 21-133) is devoted to the successive versions adopted in the course of the twentieth century for the Zaruriyyat-i diniyya, a largely diffused textbook for faith and ethics, departing from the version by the reformist (‘Jadid’) polygraph from Bukhara ‘Ayni (1915) and ending with that by A. Dhakiri (2000), via the one signed by Mulla ‘Abd-Allah “Khurdi” (1958-92), a leading figure of the underground ‘Islamic Revival (Nahzat-i islami) Movement’ in the Qurghan-Teppa area during the last decade of the Soviet period.  (One should notice, however, what the author does not do, that this version by Mulla ‘Abd-Allah Khurdi has had two successive, sensitively different versions, one of them co-signed by Mulla Radhiq, another significant figure of the Nahzat in south-western Tajikistan.)  To be signalled also: an important subchapter (pp. 160 ff.) on the Mawlud-i sharif yakhud Mir’at-i khayr al-bashar (1331/1912) by another Jadid polygraph and political activist from Bukhara, ‘Abd al-Ra’uf Fitrat (1884-1938):  The author deals at length with this work’s political context, formal specificities, and theological background.  Beyond the screen of his prose as verbose as that of the Soviet official discourse that he tries to contradict, the author provides a number of invaluable historical data, though still very incomplete and poorly documented, as well as important testimonies of the overall climate in the Islamic underground of south of the Tajik SSR in the 1960s to 1980s—e.g. the paragraphs on the consequences of the participation of vernacular apparatchiks of the Kulab area in the imposing funerals of the Naqshbandi shaykh Pir-Muhammad “Sang-i Kulula” (1882-1968).  It is nevertheless to be regretted that the author’s lack of familiarity with the underground of the Soviet period limits his contribution to the umpteenth rehabilitation of Islamic reform movements in the Emirate of Bukhara at the end of the Protectorate period.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-5.3.D-479