This study is nourished by the author’s personal meetings, in diverse regions of Dagestan and in Cyprus, with Sufi shaykhs active in the North Caucasus since the late 1990s. The bulk of the article consists of extremely evocations of the main shaykhs of the late 1990s and early 2000s, of their respective ethnic origins, of their gnostic affiliations, and of the typology of their dhikr. Most of the time, the author transcribes the discourse of the shaykhs whom he has been visiting, either autochthonous (Avar Sa‘id Efendi of Chirkey for the Naqshbandiyya, Shadhiliyya and Jazuliyya; Andi Taj al-Din of Khasaviurt for the same paths; Tabasaran Siraj al-Din and Kumyk Muhammad-Amin of Paraul for the Naqshbandiyya) of international (with particular interest in Muhammad-Nazim of Cyprus, whose Naqshbandi wird has early-twentieth-century Dagestani roots, and is represented in Dagestan since 1997). Notations are given on the monopoly currently exerted on the Spiritual Board of the Muslims of Dagestan by the Avar murids of Sa‘id Efendi of Chirkey, and on the development by reaction of an “alternative Sufism” in Dagestan, led notably by disciples of Muhammad-Nazim, which appears as a possible third element in the classical antagonism between the official tariqat close to the Spiritual Board and the anti-Sufi trends and movements. Unfortunately, the inquiries have been implemented without questionnaire and the author satisfies himself to transcribe the discourse of his interlocutors. No indication is given neither on each of these figureheads’ intellectual background or education, nor on their genealogy or on the intellectual and spiritual activity of their forbearers during the long twentieth century.
Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris