Reviews

McChesney certainly is right in including Northern Afghanistan (the Balkh and Mazar-i Sharif area) into Central Asia for the purposes of this article.  The article itself lists all the publicised (edited or described) waqf documents from Central Asia until ca. 1500 and some of the later ones.  At the same time, it draws attention to central developments in the history of the pious foundation, its purposes and structures.  For instance, in the comment on the 726/1326 Bakharzi endowment, McChesney estimates its size, and he also states that it was a long-lived institution like many other large establishments of the sort. The Juybari foundations in Bukhara and the awqaf supporting the shrine at Mazar-i Sharif can likewise be traced over centuries.  The article also explains why the bulk of the existing documents come from the late eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Besides the hazards of transmission and survival of documents, this is linked to the large-scale re-copying (or re-drafting) of documents under the Manghits, in particular under Shah Murad (1785-1800).  Besides religious motives for this campaign, economic reasons can also be surmised, since the reclaiming of vast tracts of fallow and abandoned lands (after the nadir of Central Asian agriculture in the middle of the eighteenth century) asked for a delimitation of waqf areas.  The end of the waqf as an institution in Central Asia is rightly identified as a question needing further research.  It is not known today how and when the waqf in Central Asia disappeared after having banned by the Soviets.  In all, the article gives an excellent outline of the extant documentation, the state of the art in research, and it also rises a couple of questions for further research.

Jürgen Paul, Martin Luther University, Halle
CER: I-3.4.A-257