Reviews

The article describes a prophylactical muhr-i du‘a (“talisman seal” in the author’s translation) bearing an invocation of ‘Abd-Allah b. ‘Abbas (the Prophet’s cousin, and the founder of Islamic exegesis).  In a mood still nourrished by the postulates of Soviet ethnography, the author identifies it as an expression of “popular beliefs (Rus. narodnye verovaniia)” conveyed by the Islamic “small clergy (melkoe dukhovenstvo).”  He links its existence with the ritual activity of mystical orders in late eighteenth-century Bukhara—tracing parallels with the pir-i dastgir seals of the Qadiriyya path.  Unfortunately, nothing is said of the origin of this very seal, nor of the use of the muhr-i du‘a in Transoxiana from the nineteenth century till our days.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-1.1.C-23