Reviews

This short but innovative article introduces a still unknown (it is absent from catalogues) anonymous nineteenth-century Persian manuscript of a seventeenth-century text entitled Tadhkira al-natayij al-‘arifin [تذکره النتایج العارفین]: a hagiography that provides new data on a yet undocumented local branch of the Naqshbandiyya Ishaqiyya mystical path in Eastern Turkistan.  The author first examines the manuscript’s content, centred on the enumeration of the personal virtues of Shams al-‘Arifin Mawlana Qasim, a khalifa of the well-known sixteenth-century Naqshbandi shaykh Khwaja Ishaq—among these virtues one finds the former’s contribution to the valuation of uncultivated lands, a key aspect of sanctity in sedentary Central Asia, till our days.  Then, A.P. describes the text’s value for the religious history of this wide region—with its fresh insights on (1) an unknown Naqshbandi Ishaqi lineage; (2) places of Sufi activity outside the main urban centres Kashghar, Yarkand or Aqsu, or in parallel with them; (3) the everyday functioning of a khanaqa.  Another contribution of the manuscript regards our knowledge of the spiritual culture of Eastern Turkistan, with the tadhkira’s comment on the eleven “Holy Words (kalimat-i qudsiyya)” by Baha al-Din Naqshband, which offers us a representation of the utilisation that was made of the corpus of holy texts in Ishaqi circles.  In passing, A.P. also stresses some peculiarities of Central Asian hagiographic literature—“an open genre in which used to neighbour legends, arguments, historical accounts, mystical poetry, and doctrinal communication (p. 106).”  Last but by far not least, the author properly stresses the significance of Tajikistan’s manuscript heritage for Central Asian studies lato sensu, i.e. not only for the history of the leading intellectual centres of Transoxiana, but also for that of lesser known regions or places with a sometimes determining historical role (on this aspect, see also in this volume the chapters 5.2.A. & 6.2.C.).

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-5.3.E-510