The first of an ongoing series of wide international conferences on Islam organised in Moscow under the common aegis of the Marjani Foundation and of Russia’s State Humanitarian University (RGGU in Russian acronyms), the colloquium set up in 2007 has produced a particularly rich array of contributions. In the present volume of proceedings, they have been classified in five different chapters, on a historical and geographical basis: (1) the theory and methodology of studies on Islam; (2) some issues of the study of ‘classical’ Islam and of the history of the world of Islam; (3) Islam in Russia and in the Eurasian space; (4) Islam and politics in the world today; (5) Islam and the Muslims in present-day societies of Europe and America. Or particular relevance for the readership of the Central Eurasian Reader is a selection of articles dealing with the most varied aspects of the history, mediaeval and modern, and of Islamic or Islamised law in Central Eurasian lands.
Among the latter must be signalled a first set of short articles on the history of the pre-modern period, with particular interest in the initial Islamicisation of varied regions of this wide area. (As usually in Soviet historiography, initial conversion to Islam of a population or of a region is considered a definitive phenomenon, and very few attention if at all is given to further re-Islamicization processes, or reconversions to Islam by a variety of ‘new born’ Muslims at varied scales and in the course of history.) See: Shikhaliev Shamil’, “Istoriografiia islamizatsii srednevekovogo Dagestana [The Historiography of the Islamicization of Dagestan],” 40-5 (infra review No. 397); Atygaev Nurlan, “Svedeniia ‘Tarikh-i-Rashidi’ Mirza Mukhammad Khaidara ob islamizatsii Mogulov [The Data of the Ta’rikh-i Rashidi by Mirza Muhammad-Haydar on the Islamicization of Mughalistan],” 46-51 (infra review No. 420); Agzamova Gul’chekhra, “Goroda sredneaziatskikh khanstv: nekotorye voprosy islamskogo obrazovaniia [The Cities of the Middle Asian Khanates: Some Issues of Islamic Education],” 52-8 (infra review No. 398); Alekseev Anton, “Sunnito-shiitskie otnosheniia v Tsentral’noi Azii: istoricheskaia retrospektiva [The Sunni – Shiite Relations in Central Asia: A Historical Perspective],” 59-64 (supra review No. 328); Vasil’ev Aleksandr, “Poiski Osmanskoi imperiei soiuznikov v Afganistane [The Quest for Allies by the Ottoman Empire in Afghanistan],” 65-8 (supra review No. 285); Rakhimov Rakhmat, “Odinokii mazar u istokov Khingau (Mifologiia musul’manskogo sviatogo Burhka v aspekte doislamskikh istokov kul’ta) [A Lonely Holy Place at the Sources of the Khingaw (Mythology of the Muslim Saint Burkh from the Viewpoint of the Pre-Islamic Sources of Its Cult)],” 69-76 (infra review No. 414); Akhunov Azat, “Arabo-musul’manskie korni tatarskogo fol’klora [The Arabic and Muslim Roots of Tatar Folklore],” 77-85 (infra review No. 461); Petrosian Karen, Uzhulis Vladislav, “Islam v Kitae: vzaimodeistvie kul’tur na primere perevoda islamskikh terminov [Islam in China: The Interaction of Cultures through the Case of the Translation of Islamic Terms],” 85-9 (infra review No. 426).
The most substantial part, from the viewpoint of the history and social sciences of Islam in Russia and Central Eurasia is the third one, with its large range of contributions, by authors with varied geographical and disciplinary backgrounds ― with an ensemble of articles on Islamic and Islamised pilgrimage practice in former Soviet Central Asia, that has been reviewed separately, notably infra in No. 416. List of contributions: Musaev Makhach, “Politika Roosiiskoi imperii v otnoshenii musul’manskogo ‘dukhovenstva’, shariata i adata v Dagestane posle padeniia imamate [The Policy of the Russian Empire towards the Muslim ‘Clergy’, the Sharia, and Adat in Dagestan after the Fall of the Imamate],” 101-5 (infra review No. 393); Shadmanova Sanobar, Shadmanov Turdibai, “Iz istorii palomnichestva sredneaziatskikh musul’man (konets xix – nachalo xx v.),” 106-13 (infra review No. 416); Larina Elena, Naumova Ol’ga, “Palomnichestvo v Iuzhnyi Kazakhstan kak ‘malyi khadzh’ u rossiiskikh kazakhov [The Pilgrimage to Southern Kazakhstan as a ‘Minor Hajj’ among Russia’s Kazakhs],” 114-8 (infra review No. 416 under Shadmanova); Abdulakhatov Nodirdzhon, “Kul’t mazarov i ikh rol’ v obshchestve (po materialam sviatykh mest Ferganskoi doliny) [The Cult of Mazars and Its Role in Society (through the Case of the Holy Places of the Fergana Valley)],” 119-25 (infra review No. 416); Karlybaev Makset, “Rol’ ziiarat v povsednevnoi zhizni Karakalpakov [The Role of Ziyarat in the Everyday Life of the Karakalpaks],” 126-32 (infra review No. 416); Solov’eva Liubov’, “Prazdnichnaia kul’tura narodov v sovremennykh obshchestvakh Severnogo Kavkaza v kontekste vzaimodeistviia islama i narodnykh traditsii (na primere Kabardino-Balkarii i Adygei) [The Festive Culture of the Peoples in Present-Day Societies of the Northern Caucasus, in the Context of the Interaction of Islam and Popular Cultures (through the Case of Kabardo-Balkaria and of the Adyghe)],” 133-40 (infra review No. 502); Kotiukova Tat’iana, “Ostroumov i Munavarkary: zaochnaia duel’ (osveshchenie problemy novometodnykh maktabov v dokumentakh Turkestanskogo raionnogo okhrannogo otdeleniia) [Ostroumov and Munawwar Qari: A Duel from afar (The Issue of New Method Schools in the Documents of the District Okhrana Section for Turkistan)],” 141-6 (supra review No. 278); Shigabdinov Rinat, “‘Sovetskie rivoiaty’ v Srednei Azii: reaktsiia ulemov na sotsialisticheskie reformy 1920-kh godov [Soviet Riwayat in Middle Asia: The Reaction of the ‘Ulama to the Socialist Reforms of the 1920s],” 147-52 (supra review No. 310); Osmaev Abbas, Meskhidze Dzhulietta, “Islamskoe gusudarstvo v Chechne: istoricheskie parallely (1917-1920 i 1990-e gody) [An Islamic State in Chechnya: Historical Parallels (1917-20 and the 1990s)],” 153-73 (supra review No. 229); Malysheva Dina, “Islam i islamizm v sovremennoi politicheskoi zhizni Tsentral’noi Azii [Islam and Islamism in the Present-Day Political Life of Central Asia],” 174-7 (infra review No. 627); Muratova El’mira, “Tsentralizirovannye musul’manskie struktury Ukrainy [The Centralised Muslim Structures of Ukraine],” 178-88; Izatullaeva Raikhan, Suleimenova Zhanara, “Vozrozhdenie islama v Kazakhstane [The Rebirth of Islam in Kazakhstan],” 193-5 (infra review No. 402); Madaeva Shakhnoza, “Zhenskaia religioznost’ i vospriiatie islama v traditsionnykh makhalliakh Uzbekistana (po materialam sotsiologicheskikh oprosov 1999-2007 gg.) [Women’s Religiosity and Perception of Islam in the Traditional Mahallas of Uzbekistan (through Sociological Inquiries of 1999-2007)],” 196-9 (infra review No. 544); Cherepanov Maksim, “Otrazhenie sotsial’nogo instituta svobody sovesti v soznanii musul’manskikh aktivistov Tiumenskoi oblasti [The Reflection of the Social Institute of Freedom of Conscience among the Muslim Activists of the Tiumen Region],” 200-5 (infra review No. 579); Sattarov Rufat, “Antivakhkhabitskii diskurs kak reaktsiia na sunnitskoe vozrozhdenie v postsovetskom Azerbaidzhane: k postanovlenie voprosa [The Anti-Wahhabi Discourse as a Reaction against the Sunni Rebirth in Post-Soviet Azerbaijan: Contribution to the Formulation of the Issue],” 206-16 (infra review No. 347); Tukhvatulina Leila, “Problema religioznogo obnovleniia v tatarskoi filosofskoi mysli nachala xx veka i vozrozhdenie intellektual’nogo islama v sovremennom Tatarstane [The Issue of Religious Renewal in the Tatar Public Thought of the early Twentieth Century and the Rebirth of Intellectual Islam in Present-Day Tatarstan],” 225-9 (infra review No. 380).
In spite of the shortness and self-limitations of many of the articles that constitute this volume (most of which continue to be based on a strictly Russian bibliography despite the rapid development of international research during the last two decades), the Editors of these proceedings must be congratulated for having gathered an exceptionally rich collection of contributions on the most varied aspects of the history of Islam in Central Eurasia, and more generally on the current research on Islam in general in the former USSR.