This short article sketches an intellectual biography of Mulla Lachin b. Mulla ‘Abd al-Karim “Qalmaq” (d. 1937), a madrasa teacher and poet from Afghan Shughnan, with pupils from Badakhshan and Hunza.  The reader is given an evocation of Mulla Lachin’s poetical and religious writings in both Persian and Shughnani languages (in Arabic script), through the recent publication by Khushnazar Pamirzad of a collection of them under the title Munajat wa digar guftarha (Karachi, 2003).  The author of the paper stresses, in particular, the ethical and religious inspiration of Mulla Lachin’s qasidas and mathnawis—notably of his nat‘s to the Prophet Muhammad and of his madhs to the Holy Family of Islam, or to Agha Khan iii—and of his tarji‘-bands—among which a “Tale on How the Caesar of Rum Became a Muslim out of Love for the Religion of the Joy of Beings.”  Still to be documented by historical research among written sources and oral witnesses in southern Badakhshan, this study brings interesting elements to the history of maddahi in modern Central Asia, and to the history of vernacular experiments in the elaboration of writing systems for modern Pamirian languages.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-6.2.C-556