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Bukhara and the Muslims of Russia

Inner Asian Library
Michael R. Drompp
Devin DeWeese


The titles published in this series are listed at

Bukhara and the Muslims of Russia

Sufism, Education, and the Paradox of Islamic Prestige


Allen J. Frank

Cover illustration: A tombstone of the Ming Bashkirs with the mausoleum of Husayn-Bek Turkistani
in the background, near Chishmy, Bashkortostan, 1994. Photo by Allen J. Frank.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Frank, Allen J., 1964-

Bukhara and the Muslims of Russia : Sufism, education, and the paradox of islamic prestige /
By Allen J. Frank.
p. cm. (Brills inner Asian library ; v. 26)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-90-04-23288-4 (hardback : alk. paper) ISBN 978-90-04-23490-1 (e-book)
1. IslamRussia (Federation) 2. MuslimsRussia (Federation) 3. SufismRussia (Federation)
I. Title.

BP63.R8F73 2012

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contents v


Acknowledgements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .vii

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Islamic Manuscripts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

One. Sources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

The Tarikh-i Barangawi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
The Works Author. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
Contents and Structure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
The Sources of the Tarikh-i Barangawi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
Two. The Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan
Prestige. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Sufi Tradition and Holy Cities in Central Asia. . . . . . . . . . .29
Bukharan Communities in Imperial Russia: Official
Privilege and Exalted Status. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Bukharan Fashion among Muslims in Russia . . . . . . . . . . .64
Three. Bulghar Institutions in Bukhara. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77
Bulghar Saints and Legendary Scholars in Central
Asia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77
The Tatar and Bashkir Presence in Bukhara. . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Resident Bulghar Scholars and Sufis in Central Asia . . .86
Four. The Student Experience I. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95
The Journey There. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .98
Arrival and Lodging. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99
Instructors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102
Study Outside of Bukhara . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107
Students as Teachers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109
Sufi Shaykhs and Their Murids. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .110
Jalal ad-Din al-Khiyabani. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .113
Ishan-i Pir Abd al-Karim ash-Shahrisabzi al-Balkhi . . . . .117
Other Sufi Figures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119
Curriculum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120
Manuscripts and Literary Activity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125
vi contents

Five. The Student Experience II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131

Daily Life and Finances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131
Health. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137
Pilgrimage and Travel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .138
Language Issues and Relations with Bukharans. . . . . . . . .142
Bokharis in Russia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .147
Six. The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .151
The Economic and Political Eclipse of Central Asia . . . . .151
Reformist Critics: Qursawi, Fayzkhanov, and Marjani. . . 155
Jadid Critiques of Bukhara. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .160
Arab Critics of Bukhara and Tatar Reformists. . . . . . . . . . .170
Bukharan Decline in Question . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .174
From Islamic Reformism to Cultural Revolution . . . . . . . .180
Full Circle: Bukhara as a Rationalist Symbol in Soviet
and Post-Soviet Islam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185

Conclusion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .191

Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .195
Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .205
acknowledgements vii


It is my pleasure to be able to thank Dilyara Usmanova for her gracious

assistance while visiting Kazan in 2006, as well as Marsel Akhmetzianov,
who generously provided me access to the Tarikh-i Barangawi at that time.
Alfrid Bustanov brought to my attention and kindly made available a
number of important sources. I would also like to thank Devin DeWeese
for his interest in the manuscript. Finally, I am especially grateful to Joe
Randall and Rob Szpak for their insightful and supportive comments.
viii acknowledgements


Acknowledgements vii

Muslims in Russia and the Paradox of Bukhara 1
Islamic Manuscripts 8

Chapter one 11
Sources 11
The Tarikh-i Barangawi 15
The Works Author 16
Contents and Structure 20
The Sources of the Tarikh-i Barangawi 25

Chapter two 27
The Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 27
Sufi Tradition and Holy Cities in Central Asia 29
Bukharan Communities in Imperial Russia:
Official Privilege and Exalted Status 43
Bukharan Fashion among Muslims in Russia 64

Chapter three 77
Bulghar Institutions in Bukhara 77
Bulghar Saints and Legendary Scholars in Central Asia 77
The Tatar and Bashkir Presence in Bukhara 80
Resident Bulghar Scholars and Sufis in Central Asia 86

Chapter four 95
The Student Experience I 95
The Journey There 98
Arrival and Lodging 99
Instructors 102
Study Outside of Bukhara 107
Students as Teachers 109
Sufi Shaykhs and Their Murids 110
Jalal ad-Din al-Khiyabani 113
Ishan-i Pir Abd al-Karim ash-Shahrisabzi al-Balkhi 117
Other Sufi Figures 119
Curriculum 120
Manuscripts and Literary Activity 125

Chapter five 131

The Student Experience II 131
Daily Life and Finances 131
Health 137
Pilgrimage and Travel 138
Language Issues and Relations with Bukharans 142
Bokharis in Russia 147

Chapter six 151

The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 151
The Economic and Political Eclipse of Central Asia 151
Reformist Critics: Qursawi, Fayzkhanov, and Marjani 155
Jadid Critiques of Bukhara 160
Arab Critics of Bukhara and Tatar Reformists 170
Bukharan Decline in Question 174
From Islamic Reformism to Cultural Revolution 180
Full Circle: Bukhara as a Rationalist Symbol in Soviet and
Post-Soviet Islam 185

Conclusion 191

Bibliography 195
Abbreviations 195
Manuscripts 195
Publications 195

index 205
Muslims in Russia and the Paradox of Bukhara 1

Muslims in Russia and the Paradox of Bukhara

Bokhara donne le ton tout le Turkestn.

Jean Potocki, Voyage dans les Steps dAstrakhan et du Caucase I,
(Paris, 1829)
The city of Bukhara, known in much of the Islamic world by its Persian
epithet Bukhara-yi sharif (Bukhara the Noble), is today an internationally
renowned urban historical monument. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site,
famed not least for its ancient architecture. In tourist guides it is identified
as a Silk Road city, and its past glory is commonly credited to the free
exchange of goods that the Silk Road supposedly symbolizes. This secular
ized and popular image partially stems from Enlightenment assumptions
about Central Asian history, in which the Silk Road has become a historical
precursor for modern commercial exchange. Similarly, in the modern
Islamic world, especially in religious contexts, Bukhara is known above all
as the home of the great hadith scholar Imam Ismail Bukhari. While not
exactly secularized, Bukharas image among modern Muslims bears the
strong imprint of the Islamic reformism and rationalism that came to so
thoroughly dominate Muslim religious thought over the course of the 20th
century, and that shares many features with Enlightenment thought, not
least a rationalist outlook. Imam Bukhari himself has come to symbolize,
among other things, this sort of rationalism.
Particularly for Muslims outside of Central Asia this modern reformist
image of the city has largely (but not completely) displaced Bukharas
older image as a sacred city of Islam, sanctified by its Sufis and their tombs.1
Beginning in the medieval era, and through the 20th century, Bukhara and
its environs were renowned among Muslims for its holy places, based on
the reputation as the abode of great Sufi shaykhs, and the site of innumer
able shrines and saints tombs. This sacred reputation extended far beyond
Central Asia proper, and was especially evident in Russia. As Muslim com
munities in the Volga-Ural region and Siberia embarked on their own in
digenous religious, economic, and political revival over the course of the

1For a discussion of the continuity of Bukharas sacred status among Muslims in inde
pendent Uzbekistan cf. Maria Elisabeth Louw, Everyday Islam in Post Soviet Central Asia,
(London & New York, 2007), especially chapters Three and Four.
2 Introduction

eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Bukhara became an

important symbol to be invoked and imitated.
Historically among Muslims in Eastern Russia (that is, Tatars and
Bashkirs in modern parlance) Bukharas religious significance derived
above all from the citys Sufi associations as an abode of saints and a source
of sanctity, rather than from the more restricted intellectual associations
that emerged later. Bukhara was not the only such holy city in Central Asia.
In Tatar and Bashkir sources we can also identify Urgench, Samarqand,
Sayram, Farab, and Turkistan as cities enjoying similar reputations. Central
Asians accorded the same sort of status to many more cities, particularly
in the Ferghana Valley, Kashgaria and Northern Afghanistan.2 Central
Asias strong association with Hanafi jurisprudence further contributed to
its reputation for sanctity among Muslims in Russia and elsewhere. How
ever, a number of related events occurring both within Bukhara and out
side of it resulted in the gradual amplification of Bukharas sacred status
in the Islamic world at large, and especially in Russia where its religious
prestige became closely associated with the growth of its economic sig
nificance. First of all, among these events we can point to the revival of the
Naqshbandiya Sufi order in India beginning in the seventeenth century.
The broad expansion of the Naqshbandiya-Mujaddidiya and Khalidiya
orders throughout the Islamic world, and especially in India, the Ottoman
Empire, Russia, and in Central Asia itself, amplified Bukharas interna
tional prestige as a holy city. The tomb of the orders founder, Baha ad-Din
Naqshband, is located near Bukhara, and became Bukharas premier pil
grimage site and in the nineteenth century a lightning rod for reformist
criticism. At the same time beginning in the seventeenth century, Bukhara
began a gradual economic expansion by means of trade with Muscovy and
the Oirat Khanate. This expansion continued after the annihilation of the
Oirat Khanate in the 1750s, and up to the Russian conquest of Central Asia
in the second half of the nineteenth century.3

2Several pilgrimage sites in Central Asia were known as Second Meccas and Kabas
equivalent, or partially equivalent, to Mecca; cf. Thierry Zarcone, Pilgrimage to the Second
Meccas and Kabas of Central Asia, Central Asian Pilgrims: Hajj Routes and Pious Visits
between Central Asia and the Hijaz, Alexandre Papas, Thomas Welsford, Thierry Zarcone,
eds. (Berlin, 2011), 251-271.
3Audrey Burton, The Bukharans: a Dynastic, diplomatic, and Commercial History, 1550-
1702, (Richmond, Surrey, 1997); G.N.Potanin, O karavannoi torgovle c dzhungarskoi
Bukhariei v XVIII stoletii, Chteniia istorii i drevnostei Rossiiskikh pri Moskovskom Universitete,
April-June 1868, Kniga vtoraia, 21-113; Kh. Z. Ziiaev, Ekonomicheskie sviazi Srednei Azii s
Sibiriu v XVI-XIX vv. (Tashkent, 1983), G.A.Mikhaleva, Torgovye i posolskie sviazi Rossii so
sredneaziatskimi khanstvami cherez Orenburg, (Tashkent, 1982).
Muslims in Russia and the Paradox of Bukhara 3

The question of Bukharas stagnation under Ashtarkhanid and

Manght rule has been a topic of some scholarly debate. Ron Sela, in de
scribing the social and political contexts in which the apocryphal Timur
nama genre was compiled, effectively defends the decline paradigm that
was articulated by Russian orientalists such as V.V.Bartold and others at
the beginning of the 20th century. He emphasizes that the era of Ashtar
khanid rule, particularly the first half of the 18th century, was a period of
profound political, military, social, and economic crisis for Bukhara, and
he convincingly dismisses much recent scholarship that would depict the
Ashtarkhanid era economically, politically, and culturally vibrant.4
For the historiography concerning the Manghts we can see a reverse
image of what Sela describes for the Ashtarkhanids. Many scholars, espe
cially Western scholars strongly influenced by Islamic modernist and re
formist assumptions such as Hlne Carrre-dEncausse and Adeeb Khalid
have tended to characterize Manght rule in Bukhara as generally stagnant
intellectually and economically, partly to establish a contrast with the jadid
program.5 However it is evident from a variety of sources, both Central
Asian and Russian, that under the Manghts Bukhara enjoyed considerable
economic and cultural growth, particularly during the reigns of Daniyal-
Bek (r. 1758-1785), Shah-Murad (r. 1875-1800), and Emir Haydar (r. 1800-
1825). Similarly, there is no doubt that trade, particularly with Russia, and
Islamic learning expanded significantly under the Manghts. Scholars chal
lenging the Manght decline paradigm have generally done so more
convincingly than those challenging it for the Ashtarkhanids.6

4Ron Sela, The Legendary Biographies of Tamerlane: Islam and Heroic Apocrypha in
Central Asia, (New York, 2011), 117-140.
5Influential in this regard are the writings of the Bukharan jadid Sadr ad-Din Ayni; cf.
his Bukhara I-II, (Dushanbe, 1980-1981) and his Bukhara inqilabining tarikhi, Shizuo Shi
mada and Sharifa Tosheva, eds. (Tokyo-Tashkent, 2010); for a typical Soviet summary of the
cultural decline of Bukhara under the Manghts, cf. Istoriia Uzbekskoi SSR II, (Tashkent,
1968), 91-108, 377-388; Adeeb Khalid emphasizes the isolation of Bukhara under the Manghts.
While he admits that there was a cultural florescence under that dynasty, he argues,
without elaboration, that its central preoccupation was with writing poetry on the models
of Timurid or earlier poets, and writing commentaries on existing works. He blames Cen
tral Asias supposed isolation on its exclusion from the globalization of the world economy,
but then argues that it was, in fact, not isolated; cf. Adeeb Khalid, The Politics of Muslim
Cultural Reform: Jadidism in Central Asia, (Berkeley, California, 1998), 40-44.
6Cf. Anke von Kgelgen, Die Legitimierung der mittelasiatischen Mangitendynastie in
den Werker ihrer Historiker, (Istanbul, 2002); Stphane Dudoignon, La question scolaire
Boukhara et au Turkestan russe du premier renouveau la sovitisation (fin du XVIIIe
sicle-1937), Cahiers du Monde Russe vol. XXXVI (1-2), 1996, 133-210; Baxtiyor Babadanov,
On the History of the Naqbandiya mujaddidiya in Central Mawaraannahr in the 18th and
Early 19th Centuries, Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia from the 18th to the Early
4 Introduction

This monograph is not a study of Bukhara as such. Rather, it addresses

the religious relationship of one group of Muslims with the city of Bukhara,
namely, the large Muslim communities inhabiting Siberia and the Volga-
Ural region of Russia. It is an inquiry into the foundations and evolution
of Bukharas prestige among Muslims in Russia during this still incom
pletely understood era of Bukharan and Central Asian history. During this
era Muslims from Russia traveled to Bukhara in large numbers for eco
nomic and religious reasons (the two being often indistinguishable). But
even those who would never travel there came to be strongly influenced
by Bukharan scholarship, Bukharan goods, and even Bukharan fashion.
Bukharas prestige in Russias Islamic communities in many respects even
overshadowed that of the more remote holy cities of Mecca, Medina, and
Jerusalem. The elevation of Bukharas prestige also created certain para
doxes. As Russias economy industrialized over the course of the nine
teenth century, Tatars and Bashkirs became increasingly aware of the
economic, social, and political contrasts that distinguished an industrial
izing Russia from a seemingly stagnant Emirate of Bukhara. With the
rapid expansion of the Russian economy in the second half of the nine
teenth century, and especially with the emergence of industrialization,
better-capitalized Tatar and Bashkir merchants were gradually displacing
Bukharan merchants from their positions of dominance in the Eurasian
Bukharas madrasas, and its scholarly environment as a whole, signifi
cantly affected the great Islamic revival that emerged in Russia beginning
in the middle of the eighteenth century, and that lasted down to the Soviet
era. The role of neutral and even benign imperial policies in fostering the
growth of Islamic institutions and Islamic education in Russia has been
widely acknowledged.7 Several recent studies have emphasized the

20th Centuries, Michael Kemper, Anke von Kgelgen, Dmitriy Yermakov eds., (Berlin, 1996),
385-413; Anke von Kgelgen, Die Entfaltung der Naqbandiya mujaddidiya in mittleren
Transoxanien vom 18. Bis zum Beginn des 19. Jahrhunderts: Ein Stck Detektivarbeit,
Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia from the 18th to the Early 20th Centuries vol. 2,
Anke von Kgelgen, Michael Kemper, Allen J. Frank eds. (Berlin, 1998), 101-151; Anke von
Kgelgen, Sufimeister und Herrscher in Zwiegespraech: Die Schreiben des Fadl Ahmad
aus Peschawar an Amir Haydar in Buchara, Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia from
the 18th to the Early 20th Centuries vol. 3, Anke von Kgelgen, Ashirbek Muminov, Michael
Kemper, eds. (Berlin, 2000), 219-351.
7A. Dobrosmyslov, Zaboty imperatritsy Ekateriny II o prosveshchenii kirgizov, Trudy
Orenburgskoi Uchenoi Arkhivnoi Kommissii IX (1902), 51-63; Alan W. Fisher, Enlightened
Despotism and Islam under Catherine II, Slavic Review, vol. 27 (4) (1968), 542-553; Robert
D. Crews, For Prophet and Tsar: Islam and Empire in Russia and Central Asia, (Cambridge,
Muslims in Russia and the Paradox of Bukhara 5

indigenous engines of the Islamic revival, depicting it as self-conscious and

self-financed, with Tatars and Bashkirs engaging in debates relevant to the
religious, social, and political circumstances peculiar to Russia. They cre
ated a wide range of original works in virtually all the disciplines of Islamic
learning, including dogmatic theology, Quranic exegesis, hadith, Sufism,
ethics, and historiography, to name the most prominent fields.8 While
these studies of Islamic intellectual life have acknowledged the role of
Bukhara, and Bukharan Sufism in particular, in stimulating this revival,
these authors have focused on the internal aspects of the revival, rather
than the bonds with Central Asia.
If the Islamic revival in Russia was noteworthy for its internal stimuli
and its dynamism, Bukhara contributed to this revival, too. Bukharas
madrasas were the foremost foreign destination for Tatar and Bashkir
students. To be sure, many students traveled to cities in the Ottoman
Empire, Dagestan, Afghanistan, the Hijaz, Egypt, and India, but no single
destination approached Bukhara either in numbers of students, or, more
significantly, in the prestige accorded to its graduates. 9 Bukharan educa
tion was highly regarded and respected among Muslims in Russia, and the
foremost and most influential reformists, most notably Shihab ad-Din
Marjani (1818-1889) and Galimjan Barudi (1857-1921) were trained, taught,
and formulated their arguments there. Tatar sources demonstrate that
despite allegations of intellectual stagnation, Bukhara under the Manght
dynasty was in fact a center of intellectual ferment and debate. Precisely
for these reasons Bukhara presented somewhat of a paradox, not least for

Massachusetts, 2006), 31-91; Aidar Nogmanov, Samoderzhavie i tatary, (Kazan, 2005), 94-131;
D.D.Azamatov, Orenburgskoe magometanskoe dukhovnoe sobranie v kontse XVIII-XIX vv.
(Ufa, 1999), 12-39.
8Michael Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte in Tatarien und Baschkirien, 1789-1889: Der isla-
mische Diskurs unter russischer Herrschaft, (Berlin, 1998); Allen J. Frank, Muslim Religious
Institutions in Imperial Russia: the Islamic World of Novouzensk District and the Kazakh Inner
Horde, 1780-1910, (Leiden-Boston, 2001).
9A number of authors have addressed the presence of Tatar and Bashkir students in
other cities of the Islamic world, primarily for the period before the First World War. these
include Stphane Dudoignon, Echoes to al-Manar among Muslims of the Russian Empire:
a preliminary research note on Riza al-Din b. Fakhr al-Din and the Shura (1908-1918), Intel-
lectuals in the Modern Islamic World: Transmission, transformation, communication, St
phane Dudoignon, Komatsu Hisao, Kosugi Yasushi eds. (London & New York, 2006), 85-116;
Volker Adam, Rulandmuslime in Istanbul am Vorabend des Ersten Weltkrieges: die Berich-
terstattung osmanischer Periodika ber Ruland und Zentralasien, Heidelberger Studien zur
Geschichte und Kultur des modernen Vorderen Orients, (Frankfurt am Main, 2002); for a
broader discussion of Muslim immigration from Russia to Turkey cf. James H. Meyer, Im
migration, Return, and the Politics of Citizenship: Russian Muslims in the Ottoman Empire,
1860-1914, International Journal of Middle East Studies 39 (2007), 15-32.
6 Introduction

Tatar and Bashkir scholars in Russia. Many of the most prominent and
influential scholars in the revival who were trained in Bukharas madrasas
had obtained elevated status and authority precisely for their mastery of
Islamic disciplines in Bukhara. At the same time, another of the outcomes
of the Islamic revival in Russia was an increased awareness of a separate
regional identity linked politically to Russia and the Russian monarchy,
and communally to the emergence of regional identities, such as Bulghar
identity, and later Tatar and Bashkir ethnic nationalism. The econom
ic and political marginalization of the emirate of Bukhara following the
Russian conquest only accentuated this tension, with the result that
Muslim modernists and reformers in Russia, the so-called jadids, made the
critique of Bukhara, and by extension, Bukharas prestige and its reputation
for sanctity, as a centerpiece of their arguments for social and religious
reform. In so doing, they commonly described Bukharan education as
worthless and stultified by fanaticism and scholasticism, even if the
fathers of Tatar jadidism were themselves trained in Bukharan madrasas,
and derived much of their authority from that association. Ultimately Tatar
jadids were to play a prominent role in the Soviet conquest and annexation
of Bukhara, and in the Cultural Revolution that followed.
Historians addressing the Islamic revival in Russia so far have naturally
focused their attention on the Islamic scholarly environment and the
ulama, and as a result they have tended to see the Tatar and Bashkir
relationship with Bukhara as primarily an intellectual one.10 However,
the relationship between Muslims in Russia and Bukhara was also an

10In an article Hisao Komatsu examines in detail the phenomenon of Tatar studies in
Bukhara, and the intellectual relationship between the Volga-Ural ulama and Bukhara. His
study is primarily based on Shihab ad-Din Marjanis Mustafad al-akhbar fi ahwali Qazan
wa Bulghar (Kazan, 1885); cf. Komatsu Hisao, Bukhara and Kazan, Journal of Turkic Civi-
lization Studies 2 (2006), 101-115; Michael Kemper has examined in a series of works the
scholarly influence of Bukhara on the Islamic Revival that took place in the Volga-Ural
region in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; cf. Michael Kemper, Entre Boukhara
et la Moyenne-Volga: Abd an-Nasir al-Qursawi en conflit avec les oulmas traditionalistes,
Cahiers du Monde Russe vol. XXXVI (1-2), 1996, 41-52; cf. also Sufis und Gelehrte; Michael
Kemper, ihabaddin Marjani ber Abu n-Nasr al-Qursawis Konflikt mit den Gelehrten
Bucharas, Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia from the 18th to the Early 20th Centuries
vol. 3, Anke von Kgelgen, Ashirbek Muminov, Michael Kemper eds., (Berlin, 2000), 353-383;
Mirkasym Usmanov addresses the intellectual relationship between Kazan and Bukhara
in a chapter of a monograph devoted to the Kazan reformist scholar Husayn Fayzkhanov;
cf. Mirkasym Usmanov, Zavetnaia mechta Khusaina Faizkhanova, (Kazan, 1980), 20-28;
reprinted as Bukhara byla uzhe ne ta, in: Raif Mrdanov, ed. Khsyen Fyezkhanov,
(Kazan, 2006), 583-592; cf. also Uli Schamiloglu, ctihad or Millt? Reflections on Bukhara,
Kazan, and the Legacy of Russian Orientalism, Reform Movements and Revolutions in
Turkistan: 1900-1924. Studies in Honour of Osman Khoja, (Haarlem, 2001), 347-368.
Muslims in Russia and the Paradox of Bukhara 7

emotional one, rooted in Sufism and expressed in terms of kinship and

Islamization. Many Tatars and Bashkirs claimed descent from sayyids and
saints from Bukhara (and from other Central Asian holy cities).
Communities not claiming direct descent from Bukharans or other revered
Central Asians could claim a religious connection through Islamization
narratives in which saints from Bukhara converted their ancestors.
Muslims in Russia venerated the tombs of saints who were believed to have
come from Central Asia, particularly in Siberia, but in the Volga-Ural re
gion, too. It bears emphasizing that it was not only jadids who challenged
the older religious bonds with Central Asia. The most influential and
popular work emerging from the Islamic revival in Russia that defined a
broad regional identity, the Tawarikh-i Bulghariya of Husam ad-Din al-
Bulghari (compiled at the beginning of the nineteenth century), clearly
sought to establish a single conversion narrative linked to the city of
Bulghar, and originating not with a Central Asian saint, but with the
Prophet Muhammad himself.11 If the jadids sought to isolate Bukharan
prestige by intellectualizing and isolating religious belief, it should be evi
dent that Sufi-inspired works such as the Tawarikh-i Bulghariya were also
effective in reorienting the emotional bonds that linked Muslims in Russia
to Bukhara-yi sharif.
Another aim of this study is to better appreciate how Muslims, particu
larly the large majority who did not subscribe to the jadid program, under
stood their communitys connection with Bukhara, and how they addressed
the paradoxes that Bukhara presented. Most Muslims in Russia would only
experience Bukhara indirectly. However, many Tatars and Bashkirs, par
ticularly merchants and scholars (and following the conquest of Central
Asia, soldiers and officials) traveled to Bukhara, resided there, and studied
in its madrasas. Already by the 1820s there were perhaps as many as 3,000
Tatars and Bashkirs residing in Bukhara as students, scholars, merchants,
and craftsmen, making Bukhara one of the largest urban of concentrations
of Tatars and Bashkirs anywhere. No other Central Asian city, with the
exception of Tashkent following the Russian conquest, attracted Tatars
and Bashkirs in numbers that even remotely approached those of Bukhara.

11On this conversion narrative cf. Allen J. Frank, Islamic Historiography and Bulghar
Identity among the Tatars and Bashkirs of Russia, (Leiden-Boston, 1998).
8 Introduction

Islamic Manuscripts

A key element in more fully analyzing the Tatar and Bashkir experience in
Bukhara are the manuscripts produced in the communities under investi
gation. The writings of reformists and modernists, who made use of mod
ern printing, have been widely accessible, and in the case of the jadids their
rationalism and Europhilia earned them a sympathetic, and often insuf
ficiently critical, reception among modern scholars. To the extent that
scholars examining the Tatar and Bashkir relationship with Bukhara have
used Muslim sources, they have primarily used printed sources, naturally
including the major Tatar biographical dictionaries, whose authors ad
hered to the reformist current, but which remain essential sources for
Russias Islamic history. As important as these printed sources are, it is
important to remember that Muslims in Imperial Russia recorded and
disseminated their religious knowledge above all by means of manuscripts.
This was particularly true of the majority who remained skeptical of, or
indifferent to, reformist and modernist currents well into the 20th century.
To be sure, print was by no means a monopoly of reformists and modern
ists. However, Islamic manuscripts themselves were believed to have an
inherent sacred significance absent in printed texts, and copying them was
seen as a pious deed. Beyond the manuscripts sacred qualities as religious
artifacts, it must be emphasized that a vast number of original works com
posed in the Volga-Ural region and Siberia have come down to us only as
manuscripts. Manuscripts are essential for any informed and well-round
ed inquiry into the Islamic history of Imperial Russia, but for a variety of
reasons their use in studying the history of Tatars and Bashkirs remains
still poorly developed.
The main source for this study is one such manuscript, a substantial
work of 223 folios. This is the Tarikh-i Barangawi (History of Baranga),
compiled in 1914 by Ahmad b. Hafiz ad-Din al-Barangawi (1877-1930), an
imam in the village of Baranga, in Viatka Province. Ahmad, his father, and
his uncle Burhan ad-Din b. Nasir ad-Din az-Zoyabashi, spent considerable
time in Bukhara as teachers and students between 1840 and 1905. The
Tarikh-i Barangawi is above all a family history that contains a wealth of
documentation, including letters, diplomas, and biographical data ad
dressing the Tatar experience in Bukhara. Ahmad and his father were both
skeptical of many aspects of Islamic reformism. As such they represent an
outlook more typical of the religious mainstream of their communities,
and provide us with a nuanced view of the Tatar relationship with Bukhara.
Muslims in Russia and the Paradox of Bukhara 9

This monograph is divided into six chapters. The first chapter provides
an overview of the sources used in this study, and includes a detailed de
scription of the Tarikh-i Barangawi. The second chapter addresses the
religious and social contexts of Bukharan prestige, focusing on the sacred
foundations of the relationship between Muslims in Russia and Bukhara.
This chapter also examines the elevated legal status and privileges of
Central Asian merchant communities in Russia in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries, who were generally classified as Bukharans, and the
link between their privileged legal status and their prestige among Muslim
communities in Russia. It also examines the rise of fashion trends among
Tatars and Bashkirs who sought to emulate Bukharas clothing, cosmetics,
and cookery. The third chapter examines Tatar and Bashkir institutions,
including legendary scholars and saints, the Tatar and Bashkir community
in the city under the Manghts, and permanently-established scholars and
Sufis. The fourth and fifth chapters address the Tatar and Bashkir experi
ence in Bukhara, focusing on the student experience there, including its
cultural and economic aspects, as well as the educational experience itself.
The sixth chapter addresses the decline of Bukharan prestige in Russia, the
jadid critique Bukharas sacred status among Tatars and Bashkirs, and the
response of non-jadids to these critiques.
10 Introduction
sources 11

Chapter one


Tatar and Bashkir literary works constitute a particularly rich body of in

digenous historical sources of Inner Asia, particularly for the nineteenth
and twentieth centuries, when Tatars and Bashkirs were directly involved
in Russian economic and political expansion throughout Central Eurasia,
including beyond the borders of the Russian empire proper. These sources
were composed against the backdrop of a remarkable Islamic intellectual
and institutional flowering directly benefiting from Russian economic
expansion and policy changes regarding Muslims that Catherine II imple
mented in the latter half of the eighteenth century. A strong religious
orientation dominated this literature down to the 1920s, but at the same
time it was written above all for an internal audience. While doctrinal,
theological, and Sufi works were typically written in Arabic and Persian,
historical works tended to be written in the vernacular. Our sources for the
Tatar and Bashkir experience in Bukhara and Central Asia fall almost en
tirely within the latter category of Tatar and Bashkir historical literature.
While the experience of Muslims from Russia in Bukhara can without a
doubt inform our understanding of economic and cultural dynamics with
in the Russian empire, Russian sources per se are largely mute on the
topic, and the few Russians who recorded their observations of the Tatar
and Bashkir cultural and religious relationship with Bukhara generally
have betrayed a sketchy and superficial understanding of these dynamics.
For the Tatar and Bashkir relationship with Bukhara we must rely on Tatar
and Bashkir sources.
Tatars and Bashkirs recorded their experiences in Bukhara in a broad
range of literary genres, chief of which were biographical works, memoirs,
and poetry. Printed media developed rather rapidly among Tatars and
Bashkirs, beginning with books at the beginning of the nineteenth cen
tury, and by the beginning of the twentieth century comprising pamphlets,
journals, and newspapers. Nevertheless a substantial body of literary activ
ity remained within the manuscript medium, particularly since manu
scripts themselves were believed to have religious authority and
significance. Scholars today have only scratched the surface of the Tatar
and Bashkir manuscript tradition, in terms of publishing catalogs of
12 chapter one

c ollections; indeed, many manuscripts remain in private collections, and

basically inaccessible.1 As a result we possess very few catalogs or even
descriptions of Tatar or Bashkir manuscripts, and relatively few historians
have made use of manuscripts among their sources. It is difficult to venture
even an educated guess as to the proportion of manuscript material that
was produced versus printed material. Nevertheless, we do know that
through the 1920s the production of manuscripts was very widespread,
and remained an important medium for disseminating literary works.
Tatars and Bashkirs discussed their experiences in Bukhara in a broad
variety of printed and manuscript literary genres. Chief among these are
biographical sources that include biographical dictionaries, memoirs,
stand-alone biographies, and autobiographical poetry. We also possess
some histories of Bukhara and the other Central Asian khanates, composed
primarily in the nineteenth century by Tatars who resided there. Let us
examine these historiographical genres individually.
The biographical dictionary is strongly represented in Tatar historical
literature, and all of them address numerous scholars who studied in
Bukhara. The most extensive biographical information on Tatars in
Bukhara is to be found in the second volume of Shihab ad-Din Marjanis
Mustafad al-akhbar fi ahwali Qazan wa Bulghar. Marjani himself studied
in Bukhara from 1838 until 1849, and has left us with detailed information
on Tatars and Bashkirs (or rather, Bulghars) who studied there, as well
as on his own experiences in Central Asia. He also included in the first
volume a history of the Manght Dynasty that ruled Bukhara from the
middle of the eighteenth century until 1920. These works were first pub
lished in Kazan in 1885. Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Dins biographical diction
ary Asar also contains biographies of dozens of scholars who studied in
Bukhara. The first two volumes, subdivided into fifteen sections, were
published in Ufa and Orenburg between 1900 and 1908. Two additional
volumes remain unpublished as manuscripts housed in the Bashkortostan
Academy of Sciences in Ufa, and were only published in Cyrillic-script
Tatar in 2010.2 Whereas Marjanis and Riza ad-Dins works encompass the

1On the manuscript tradition among the Tatars and Bashkirs see M.A.Gosmanov,
Qaury qalm ezennn, 2nd ed. (Kazan, 1994); Iu. E. Bregel, Vostochnye rukopisi Kazani,
Pismennye pamiatniki Vostoka 1969, 255-273; Iuzhnouralskii arkheograficheskii sbornik I,
(Ufa, 1973); M.A.Usmanov and R.A.Shaikhiev. Obraztsy tatarskikh narodno-krae
vedcheskikh sochinenii po istorii zapadnoi i iuzhnoi Sibiri, Sibirskaia arkheografiia i is-
tochnikovedenie, (Novosibirsk, 1979), 85-103.
2Cf. Liliia Baibulatova, Asar Rizy Fakhreddina, (Kazan, 2006); cf. also A.I.Kharisov,
Kollektsiia rukopisei Rizaitdina Fakhretdinova v nauchnom arkhive BFAN SSSR,
sources 13

Volga-Ural region as a whole, Qurban-Ali Khalidis biographical dictionary

focuses primarily on Tatar and Bashkir scholars of the eastern Qazaq
steppe and Zungharia. This text was published in the Netherlands in 2005,
and provides information on the religious bonds that connected the Tatar
and Bashkir scholars in eastern Kazakhstan and Xinjiang with Bukhara.3
In addition, we possess smaller, more laconic, biographical dictionaries,
such as those of Husayn b. Amirkhan (1883) and of Jahan-Shah al-Hajji
tarkhani (1907) containing information on Tatar religious connections
with Bukhara.4 We can also add Murad Ramzis Arabic language work
Talfiq al-akhbar wa talqi al-athar fi waqai qazan wa bulghar wa muluk at-
tatar, supplementing Marjanis original work.5
Beyond the biographical dictionaries, we also have several stand-alone
biographies of reformist scholars who studied in Bukhara, in which con
siderable attention is devoted to their time there. These include Shhr
Shrfs biography of Marjani, published in Kazan in 1915,6 and Yusuf
Aqchura biography of Galimjan Barudi, published in Kazan in 1907,7 as well
as Barudis own manuscript memoirs, published in Kazan in 2000.8
Autobiographical verse works constitute another body of sources. These
include the verse works of Abd ar-Rahim al-Utz-Imni, from the first half
of the nineteenth century, as well as the verses of Muhammad-Sadiq
Imanqoli from the 1920s.9 Tatars and Bashkirs were not the only Muslims
to record their experiences as students in Bukhara. For the purposes of this

Tvorchestvo Rizy Fakhretdinova, (Ufa, 1988), 78-85; Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche
hm drtenche tomnar, M.A. Gosmanov et al. eds. (Kazan, 2010).
3Qurban-Ali Khalidi, An Islamic Biographical Dictionary of the Eastern Kazakh Steppe
(1770-1912), edited by Allen J. Frank and M.A.Usmanov. (Boston-Leiden, 2005).
4Jahan-Shah b. Abd al-Jabbar an-Nizhgharuti, Tarikh-i Astarkhan, (Astrakhan, 1907),
43-47; Husayn b. Amirkhan, Tawarikh-i Bulghariya, (Kazan, 1883), 40-52.
5Murad Ramzi, Talfiq al-akhbar wa talqi al-athar fi waqai Qazan wa Bulghar wa muluk
at-tatar II (Orenburg, 1908); N.G.Garaeva, Traditsii tatarskoi istoriografii v Talfik al-akhbar
M. Ramzi, Problema preemstvennosti v tatarskoi obshchestvennoi mysli, (Kazan, 1985), 84-96.
6Shhr Shrf ed., Marjani, (Kazan, 1333/1915); A modern Tatar edition of Shrfs
biography of Marjani appeared in 1998. Cf. Raif Mrdanov et al. eds. Shihabetdin Mrjani,
(Kazan, 1998).
7Yosf Aqchura, Damella Galimjan l-Barudi, (Kazan, 1997).
8Galimdzhan khazrat Barudi, Pamiatnaia knizhka (Khter dftre) (Kazan, 2000); the
work is based on a previously unpublished manuscript titled Memoirs, housed in the
Manuscript Division of Kazan University Library, inventory number 1604T. Cf. Albert
Ftkhi N.I.Lobachevskii isemdgi fnni kitapkhan qulyazmalarnng taswirlamas X/2 (Ka
zan, 1962), 7-8.
9Gabderkhim Utz-Imni l-Bolgari, Shigrlr, poemalar, nwr Sharipov and M.
Gosmanov eds., (Kazan, 1986); Sadiq Imanqoly, Mnjtlr, ghazllr, qasydlr, Msgud
Gaynetdin ed. (Kazan, 2000).
14 chapter one

study, the widely cited memoirs of the Bukharan intellectual Sadr ad-Din
Ayni have proven particularly useful.10 Also, the Qazaq poet and historian
Mshhr-Zhsip Kpeyul (1858-1931) has left us his memoirs (in verse) of
his student years in Bukhara.11
We must add to our list of sources on Bukhara the broad genre of Tatar
local histories, which developed into a consistent and recognizable genre
documenting the Islamic institutions of specific districts, cities, or villages,
and containing broad biographical information on clerics in those institu
tions. The origins and development of the genre have been addressed
elsewhere,12 but for our purposes we can identify a number of specific
works that contain detailed information and more or less representative
statistical information on clerics who studied in Bukhara. These include
histories of the largest and wealthiest Tatar religious centers in the Volga-
Ural region and the Qazaq steppe. Marjani and Husayn b. Amirkhan in
clude in their histories detailed accounts of Kazans imams and Sufis, while
Marjani also includes a number of villages in the Kazanka Valley.13 Abd
al-Wali al-Qazani and Qurban-Ali Khalidi provide information on the
imams and Sufis of Semipalatinsk.14 Galimjan Barudi provides information
on the imams of Petropavlovsk.15 Abdullah al-Muazi addresses the town
of Orsk and the Saqmar Valley.16 Mutahhar b. Mulla Mir-Haydar discusses
the village of Iske Qyshq in Ufa district, and the links of its scholars with
Orenburg.17 Muhammad-Shakir Tuqayefs history of Sterlibashevo pro
vides information on a local Sufi dynastys links with Bukhara and Khiva.18
Along with large and prosperous urban centers, other histories address

10Sadriddin Aini, Bukhara I-II, (Dushanbe, 1980-1981); much additional information is

also available in Aynis Uzbek work Bukhara inqilabining tarikhi, SHIMADA Shizuo and
Sharifa Tosheva eds., (Tokyo, 2010).
11Mshhr-Zhsip Kpeyul, Shgharmalar IV, (Pavlodar, 2004), 249-258.
12Allen J. Frank, Muslim Religious Institutions in Imperial Russia: the Islamic World of
Novouzensk District and the Kazakh Inner Horde, 1780-1910, (Leiden-Boston, 2001), 21-29;
R. Shaikhiev, Tatarskaia narodno-kraevedcheskaia literature XIX-XX vv. (Kazan, 1990).
13Husayn b. Amirkhan, Tawarikh-i Bulghariya, 55-72.
14Allen J. Frank and Mirkasyim A. Usmanov, eds. Materials for the Islamic History of
Semipalatinsk: Two Manuscripts by Ahmad-Wali al-Qazani and Qurbanali Khalidi, ANOR
11 (Halle-Berlin, 2001).
15Galimjan Barudi, Qzlyar sfre, Msgud Gaynetdin ed. (Kazan, 2004); this work is
based on a previously unpublished manuscript titled Khatira (Memoirs), housed in the
Manuscript Collection of Kazan University Library, inventory number 1682T. Cf. Albert
Ftkhi N.I.Lobachevskii isemdgi fnni kitapkhan qulyazmalarnng taswirlamas X/2
(Kazan, 1962), 7.
16Abdullah b. Muhammad-Arif al-Muazi, Tarikh-i Muaziya, (Orenburg, 1908).
17Mutahhar b. Mulla Mir-Haydar, Iske Qyshq Tarikhi, (Orenburg, 1911).
18Muhammad-Shakir Tuqayef, Tarikh-i Istarlibash, (Kazan, 1899).
sources 15

rural districts, which provide us with a better understanding of links with

Bukhara in areas further removed from major trade routes. These include
the Tawarikh-i Alti Ata of Muhammad-Fatih and Muhammad al-Ilmini,
covering Novouzensk district and a portion of the Qazaq Inner Horde.19
However, the richest source on the Tatar and Bashkir relationship with
Bukhara is a manuscript history of the village of Baranga titled Tarikh-i

The Tarikh-i Barangawi

The Tarikh-i Barangawi was completed in 1914 by Ahmad b. Hafiz ad-Din

al-Barangawi, an imam in the village of Baranga. This village, known as
Paranga in Russian sources, was formerly located in Viatka Provinces
Urzhum District, and is today a raion center in the Republic of Mari El, in
the Russian Federation. The village was closely connected historically and
economically to the Tatar villages of the Qazan Art (or Zakazane in
Russian sources) and to the city of Kazan.20 Biographical information on
scholars from several villages in the vicinity of Baranga, such as Tashkich,
Mazarbash, and others are included in Marjanis biographical sources.
The Tarikh-i Barangawi has come down to us in one complete and two
defective copies, all housed in the Manuscript Institute of the Tatarstan
Academy of Sciences in Kazan.21 The work is unpublished, uncatalogued
and remains virtually unstudied.22 The complete copy comprised 223 foli
os, in effect making the largest of the pre-Revolutionary Tatar manuscript

19Allen J. Frank, A Chronicle of Islamic Communities on the Imperial Russian Frontier:

the Tavrx-i lt t of Muhammad-Ftih al-lmn, Muslim Culture in Russia and Central
Asia from the eighteenth to the Early 20th Centuries. Vol. 3: Arabic, Persian, and Turkic Man-
uscripts (15th-19th Centuries), Anke von Kgelgen, Ashirbek Muminov, Michael Kemper,
eds., (Berlin, 2000), 429-518; cf. also Frank, Muslim Religious Institutions.
20On the history of Baranga, cf. N.S.Popov, ed., Paranginskii raion: sbornik
dokumentalnykh ocherkov, (Ioshkar-Ola, 2004), 194-197.
21The Manuscripts Institute of the Tatar Academy of Sciences was formerly known as
the Archive of the Kazan Branch of the Institute of Language, Literature and History of the
USSR Academy of Sciences (Kazanskii Filial Instituta Iazyka, Literatury i Istorii Akademii
Nauk SSSR).
22Marsel Akhmetzianov briefly described the manuscript is in 1995, in a study of Tatar
genealogies; cf. M. khmtjanov, Tatar shjrlre, (Kazan, 1995), 118. Yuri Bregel also
mentioned the work in his survey of Islamic manuscripts in Kazan; cf. Iu. Bregel, Vostoch
nye rukopisi v Kazani, 365; it is mentioned in a survey discussion of the Tatar village his
tory genre, cf. Allen J. Frank, Muslim Religious Institutions, 29. The work is also mentioned
in the local history N.S.Popov ed., Paranginskii raion, however the editors evidently did
not consult it as a source for their study.
16 chapter one

histories. The author clearly conceived of his work, at least structurally,

as a village history, since it follows the same structural format that we
see in all the regional histories listed above. This genres characteristic
structural features include a restricted geographical scope, listing in nu
merical order a specific areas mosques, mahallas, madrasas, and above
all its ulama, along with general information about the areas geography,
economy, and ethnography. However, the genre also allowed consider
able flexibility and could include extensive biographical and documen
tary material. Structurally the Tarikh-i Barangawi covers the four mosques
and mahallas of the village of Baranga, and the imams assigned to them.
However, despite its limited formal geographic scope as a village history,
the author includes extensive biographical and documentary material on
imams in Baranga who studied in Bukhara, including relatives who lived
outside of Baranga. Ahmad himself studied in Bukhara at the beginning
of the twentieth century, and provides considerable autobiographical in
formation about his experiences there. Indeed, he provides us with one of
the most extensive autobiographies in Tatar Islamic literature. He also in
corporates a large amount of documentary material in his history, includ
ing dozens of letters send to and from Bukhara, as well as various licenses
(ijazatnama and khatt-i irshad), Central Asian pilgrimage narratives, and
other materials excerpted and copied from manuscripts produced in the
village. In this regard the Tarikh-i Barangawi is as much a family chronicle
as it is a village history. The work is similar to other local histories, such as
the Tarikh-i Istarlibash and the Tarikh-i Muaziya that focused on locally
prominent families. Ahmad al-Barangawis family dominated Barangas
Islamic institutions for most of the nineteenth century, and for the first
several decades of twentieth. The Bukharan experience was clearly a cen
tral factor in the familys religious authority, and the author focuses con
siderable space and attention to it.

The Works Author

Ahmad b. Hafiz ad-Din b. Nasr ad-Din al-Barangawi served as imam of

Barangas Fourth Mosque from 1907 presumably until his death in 1930. In
the manuscript Ahmad provides his genealogy as follows:
sources 17

Ahmad b. Mull Hafiz ad-Din b. Nasr ad-Din b. Abd as-Salam b. Abd ar-
Rahman b. Abd al-Aziz b. Rafiq b. Makay b. Mamatay b. Mamkay b. Walid
b. Qutli b. Ukachi b. Yanghurchi b. Yar-Salan b. Sultan-Ay b. Ahmat b. Urmat.23
Ahmad al-Barangawi was from a long line of scholars in the region active
already at the beginning of the eighteenth century. His ancestor Rafiq b.
Makay b. Mamatay was a student of Murtaza b. Qutlighsh as-Simati (d.
1722), and according to Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, he was the author of
an early treatise on the necessity of the Night (yastu) Prayer.24 Ahmad
identifies this ancestor as having served as imam and mudarris in the vil
lage of Qursa Pochmagh. His great-grandfather Abd as-Salam (d. 1821) was
from Qursa Pochmagh, and became imam in Tashkich in 1780. One of
his teachers was Bikchantay b. Ibrahim al-Baraskawi (d. 1800), who served
as imam in the village of Brsk, and was also one of the three qazis in
Orenburg appointed by the first mufti Muhammad-Jan b. al-Husayn.25
It appears that because Ahmads great-grandfather, Abd as-Salam, had
come from Tashkich, the family was to some degree seen as outsiders in
the village. Ahmad includes the genealogies of the villages major descent
groups, which he calls tribes [qabila] and his family remained outside of
this structure.26 At the same time, we can see that Abd as-Salams descen
dants dominated the villages religious institutions as imams. Ahmad is
largely silent regarding the imams in Baranga who came from local fami
lies, and there can be little doubt that his emphasis on his familys connec
tion to Bukhara was a way of establishing their Islamic legitimacy in the
village, albeit as outsiders.
His grandfather, Nasr ad-Din (1796-1868), subsequently became imam
of Barangas First Mosque in 1824,27 and also earned meshchanin status,
which freed his descendants from the poll tax. He served as mukhtasib for
Urzhum district, which signifies that he was responsible for collecting
cadasters (metricheskie knigi) for the district. He studied in Qarghal
(Seitovskii Posad) with the influential scholars Waliullah al-Baghdadi and

23TB fol. 13ab. Marsel Akhmezianov published this genealogy, which he labeled the
Urmat shajara, in 1995, evidently on the basis of the same manuscript; cf. khmtjanov,
Tatar shjrlre, 116-118.
24Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, Asar I:2, 38; Riza ad-Din identified him as Rafiq b.
Tayyib al-Qursawi; the yastu or isha prayer was a topic of considerable theological debate
in the Volga-Ural region in the eighteenth century; cf. Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte, 278-286.
25TB fol. 14b; Marjani, Mustafad II, 128-129; Riza ad-Din, Asar I:3, 154.
26Ahmad mentions three such tribes, the Tughanay, Rahimqul, and Banu Abdali;
TB, ff. 5b-7a.
27In literary and scholarly documents his named appears as Nasr ad-Din al-Bulghari.
18 chapter one

Muhammad-Sharif al-Kirmani, but also studied by correspondence with

the Bukhara-based Mujaddidiya Sufi Shaykh Jalal ad-Din al-Khiyabani.28
Two of Nasr ad-Dins sons, both of whom studied in Bukhara and be
came renowned scholars in their own right, figure prominently in Ahmads
history. These are Ahmads father, Hafiz ad-Din (1827-1917), and his uncle
Burhan ad-Din (1829-1901). 29 Hafiz ad-Din studied with his father, and then
from the age of 12 in the nearby village of Mazarbash with Ahmadi b. Ihsan
al-Mamsawi (d. 1871).30 He then studied briefly in Machkara at the ma-
drasa of Abdullah al-Chirtushi, and at age 18 he travelled to Bukhara, ar
riving there in December 1846.31 In addition to studying with Marjani, Hafiz
ad-Dins masters in that city included Abd al-Mumin Khwaja b. Uzbek
Khwaja al-Afshanji, Shaykh Jalal ad-Din al-Khiyabani, and the Sufi shaykh
Abd al-Karim b. Abd al-Ghafur ash-Shahrisabzi, also known as Ishan-i
Pir.32 Elsewhere in Central Asia Hafiz ad-Din traveled to Khotan and
Kashghar, in Eastern Turkestan, and in Khotan studied under Mufti
Habibullah al-Khotani.33 From there he returned to Bukhara, and with his
brother travelled to Samarqand, where Hafiz ad-Din studied under the
Tatar Sufi Taj ad-Din b. Ahmar al-Bulghari as-Samarqandi.34 He returned
to Russia in 1865, residing first in Petropavlovsk for several years, where he
married. Then he returned to Baranga, where he assumed the duties of
imam of the First Mosque.35 Hafiz ad-Din was initially a close associate of
Shihab ad-Din Marjani, but later broke with his former teacher. Shhr
Shrf acknowledges that to have been the case, but does not provide
details on the nature of their disagreement. Ahmad indicates that his father
had written a work titled Risala al-itizal, which was a refutation (raddiya)
directed against Marjanis works, but which was not hostile to Marjani

28TB ff. 18ab, 21a; a copy of Jalal ad-Dins Persian ijazatnama appears on ff. 21a-22a.
Ahmad believes the document dates to 1273 ah (1856/7 ce). Jalal ad-Dins silsila appears on
fol. 141a.
29Shhr Shrf provides some biographical information on Hafiz ad-Din where he
lists Marjanis students in Bukhara, however it appears his source of this information is the
Tarikh-i Barangawi; cf. Mrdanov ed., Shihabetdin Mrjani, 105. Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din
includes both Hafiz ad-Din and Burhan ad-Din in the unpublished third volume of Athar;
cf. Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 261-264, 341-346.
30Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din identifies him as Ahmad b. Ihsan al-Mamsawi; cf. Asar
II:15, 509.
31TB ff. 97b-98a.
32TB ff. 99ab, 101a.
33TB ff. 144b-145b.
34TB fol. 138ab.
35TB ff. 104b-105a.
sources 19

personally.36 Ahmad adds that there were countless refutations directed

against Marjanis works written by his contemporaries. Nevertheless his
father respected and honored Marjani, and made no secret that he used
Marjanis books. Ahmad, probably reflecting his fathers critiques, charac
terized as unconsidered (muhakamasiz) the harsh tone evident in
Marjanis writings, in which Marjani accused his opponents of being athe
ists (dahri), hypocrites (zindiq), and of introducing innovations (mujad-
did bida).37 At the same time, Hafiz ad-Din was no reactionary, and by no
means blindly aligned himself with Marjanis critics. For example, he re
veals his fathers skepticism regarding Marjanis most well known critic (at
least in jadid accounts), Ish-Muhammad b. Din-Muhammad at-Tuntari,
commonly known as Ishmi Ishan.38 Ishmi Ishan wrote numerous refuta
tions directed against Marjani, and presented copies to Hafiz ad-Din.
However, Hafiz ad-Din would reject them, and Ahmad categorizes Ismi
Ishan as a pseudo-Sufi and a pseudo-shaykh.39
Like his brother, Burhan ad-Din b. Nasir ad-Din also studied in
Mazarbash with Ahmadi al-Mamsawi, but travelled to Bukhara somewhat
later, reaching that city in January 1849. In Bukhara he also studied with
Abd al-Mumin Khwaja b. Uzbek Khwaja al-Afshanji and Shaykh Jalal ad-
Din al-Khiyabani, among others, and returned to Petropavlovsk together
with his brother in 1865. Soon after he obtained the position of imam
in the village of Zoyabash (Staroe Timoshkino in Russian sources) in
Simbirsk province, and established himself there. This village was the
residence of the Akchurin family, who were influential industrialists and
patrons of Islamic institutions. Burhan ad-Din in fact married the sister of
Timur-Pulat b. Khurrum-Shah Aqchurin. Hafiz ad-Din also maintained
close ties with that family. In 1890 Burhan ad-Din moved for a time to Ufa
to serve in the Orenburg Spiritual Assembly as qazi, before returning to
Zoyabash.40 Burhan ad-Din was also a prominent hadith scholar. Riza
ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, who worked with Burhan ad-Din at the Orenburg
Muslim Spiritual Assembly in Ufa, acknowledged Burhan ad-Dins scholarly

36TB ff. 119b-120a.

37TB ff. 151b-152a; Marjanis truculence elicited criticisms from other scholars as well;
cf. Rizaeddin Fakhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 187-190.
38On Ishmi Ishan cf. R.G.Mukhametshin, Tatarskii traditionalism: osobennosti i formy
proiavleniia, (Kazan, 2005), 59-75; he was born in the 1840s and shot by the Bolsheviks in
39TB ff. 138b-139a.
40TB ff. 34a-36a, 140ab; for a study of the Akchurin family cf. Nail Tagirov, Akchuriny,
(Kazan, 2002).
20 chapter one

accomplishments, but described him as two-faced, a quality Riza ad-Din

attributed to Burhan ad-Dins Bukharan education.41
Ahmad b. Hafiz ad-Din was born in Baranga in 1877, studied with his
father, and later went to Kazan where he studied in the madrasa of Abd
al-Allam Hazrat b. Salih al-Qazani (d. 1899).42 He travelled to Bukhara in
1901, and remained there until 1905. In Bukhara he studied chiefly under a
Tatar scholar, Mir-Siddiq al-Qazani. He also studied Sufism under Mahmud
Khalifa, the grandson of his fathers master Ishan-i Pir.43 He returned to
Baranga in 1905, and obtained the position of imam of the Fourth Mosque.
In addition to the Tawarikh-i Barangawi, Ahmad is known to have written
one other work, a treatise on Turkic spelling conventions titled Adab-i
katib, compiled in 1909.44
Several of Ahmads brothers also served as imams in Baranga, although
he was the only one to study in Bukhara. These brothers included Sultan
Muhammad-Fatih, who studied under his uncle Burhan ad-Din, and in
Kazan under Shihab ad-Din Marjani. Around 1880 he returned to Baranga
and succeeded his father as imam of the First Mosque.45 Another brother,
Ghiyas ad-Din, studied under the same teachers as Sultan Muhammad-
Fatih, and became imam of Barangas Third Mosque.46

Contents and Structure

Ahmads history, as noted above, has come down to us in three copies, all
autographs, and all of which housed in Manuscript Institute of the
Tatarstan Academy of Sciences in Kazan. Two of the manuscripts, inven
tory numbers 39/567 and 39/581 are defective. The third copy, inventory
number 39/34, is the complete copy, and evidently was the authors final
copy, because inside the cover of the manuscript a marginal note in pencil
signed by Shhr Shrf indicates that Ahmad had loaned him the

41Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 262.

42On this scholar cf. Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar,
43TB fol. 204ab.
44The manuscript is housed in the Manuscript Division of Kazan University Library,
inventory number 2203T; for a catalog description cf. A.S.Ftkhiev, Tatar diplre hm
galimnreneng qulyazmalar, (Kazan, 1986), 54-57.
45TB fol. 171ab.
46TB fol. 178b.
sources 21

anuscript as a source for his volume on Marjani.47 However, according

to Marsel Akhmetzianov, the manuscript had been intended for publi
cation.48 Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din used the manuscript extensively in
the third and fourth volumes of his biographical dictionary Asar, which
was unpublished during his lifetime, only appearing in print in 2010. He
uses the work as a source in his entries on Hafiz ad-Din, Burhan ad-Din,
Muhammadi b. Ihsan al-Burbashi, Fathullah b. Bikchantay al-Quyani, and
Shihab ad-Din Marjani.49
The manuscript is written in a highly legible hand, in essentially modern
literary Tatar with a modernized Arabic-script spelling, in which the pho
neme is usually indicated by the Arabic letter ha and in which the
phoneme ng is usually indicated by the letter kaf with one or three dots
placed above. The authors spelling conventions are presumably explained
in his earlier treatise Adab-i katib, in which he seeks to conform spelling
conventions to vernacular usage. In this regard, in the Adab-i katib he calls
the Turkic language he uses Bulghar Turki, or Tatari.50 However on the
whole the orthography adheres to the conventions of late-nineteenth
century Volga-Ural Turki, including the prominent use of Ottoman spelling
conventions. When copying Turki documents of previous generations,
Ahmad usually leaves the original spellings unchanged. Many of the letters,
marginalia, licenses, and wills inserted into the text remain in the original
Persian or Arabic.
The Tarikh-i Barangawi closely conforms to the structural conventions
of the Tatar village history, which are discussed above, and is divided into
the following chapters:
Muqaddima (Historical and geographical introduction, ff. 2a-6a). The
chapter contains a general description of the village of Baranga, and its
economy and geography, and an account of its founding.
Al-bab al-qabail wal-shuub (Chapter on the clans and genealogies, ff.
6a-10a). This section contains genealogies of the villages extended families,

47R. Mrdanov, ed., Shihabetdin Mrjani, (Kazan, 1998); while Shrf does include some
biographical information on Hafiz ad-Din al-Barangawi, who was one of Marjanis students
in Bukhara, he does not cite the work.
48Personal communication, October 15th 1996.
49Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 143, 260-262, 341-346,
50Ftkhiev, Tatar diplre, 54.
22 chapter one

which were known as tribes (qabail).51 As the descendants of relatively

recent arrivals, Ahmad and his family were outside of these descent groups.
al-qism al-awwal fil-masjid al-awwal (The first part on the First Mosque)
fol. 10ab.
al-fasl al-awwal fi zikr al-imam al-awwal (The first section addressing
the first imam, ff. 10b-11b). The first imam was Mulla Abid b. Tuqtar-Ali
(d. 1824).
al-fasl ath-thani fil-imam ath-thani (The second section on the second
imam, ff. 11b-13a). This imam was Habibullah, the son of the first imam.
al-fasl ath-thalith fil-imam ath-thalith (The third section on the third
imam, ff. 13a-92b). This section is devoted to Ahmads grandfather, Nasr
ad-Din, who became imam in 1824, but also includes a family history.
Typically Ahmad also includes biographical information on the descen
dants of various family members. In this case, folios 13a-17b include bio
graphical information on Nasr ad-Dins ancestors, and his brothers and
sisters. Folios 18a-23b contain general biographical information on Nasr
ad-Din, including an ijazatnama from the Bukharan shaykh Jalal ad-Din
Khiyabani. There follows seven letters in Turki from Nasr ad-Din to Hafiz
ad-Din dated from 1863 to 1865 (ff. 23b-28a). Folio 28 contains biographical
information of Nasr ad-Dins wife, and Ahmads grandmother Habib al-
Jamal abistay. He also includes three letters in Tatar she wrote to her son
Hafiz ad-Din while he was in Petropavlovsk (ff. 29b-31a), and her will (wa-
siyatnama) (ff. 31a-34a).
There follows an extensive section on Burhan ad-Din b. Nasr ad-Din. Fo
lios 34b-35b address his studies and his time spent in Bukhara. Folios 36a-
40a address his activity in Zoyabashi, and his scholarly activity there, in
cluding the compilation of two commentaries, one devoted to poetry and
another to specific issues of inheritance laws, both of which were pub
lished in Kazan, and the preparation of an unfinished Turkic translation
of the Sahih Bukhari, commissioned by Hasan Akchurin. Ahmad includes
in this section five letters, in Turki and Persian, that Burhan ad-Din sent
from Bukhara (ff. 40b-54a). The also includes 18 Turki and Persian letters
that Burhan ad-Din wrote after returning to Russia in 1865, mainly written
when he was imam in Zoyabashi (ff. 54a-74a).

51There is no satisfactory English equivalent of the Tatar term qabail (singular: qabila)
In Muslim sources it is used in a manner similar to the Russian term rod, which com
monly signifies a kinship-based descent group.
sources 23

Folios 74b-89a concern Nasr ad-Dins daughter, Badr-i Jahan, who mar
ried the prominent scholar Sibghatullah b. Abd al-Qadir ash-Sharifi (d.
1873)52 in the village of Baylar Ors (Nizhniaia Ura in Russian sources).
Badr-i Jahan was the mother of several prominent scholars from the village,
including Shuja, Samiullah, and Fakhr al-Banat. He includes six letters in
Turki from these relatives. The chapters last section (ff. 89a-92b) is de
voted to Sibghatullah b. Abd al-Qadir ash-Sharifi, and includes six letters
that he wrote to Hafiz ad-Din b. Nasr ad-Din.
al-fasl ar-rabi fil imam ar-rabi (The fourth section on the fourth imam,
ff. 92b-97a) This brief section is devoted to Jalal ad-Din b. Nasr ad-Din
(1837-1865), who served briefly as imam with his brother Hafiz ad-Din. The
section includes several letters from Jalal ad-Din to Hafiz ad-Din.
al-fasl al-khamis fil-imam al-khamis (The fifth section on the fifth imam,
ff. 97a-170a) This extensive section is devoted to Hafiz ad-Din, and includes
a substantial portion of information relating to Bukhara and Central Asia.
Folios 97a-98b cover his childhood until his journey to Bukhara. Folios
98b-105a describe in broad terms his studies and travels, identifying his
teachers in Bukhara and Samarqand, and including a pilgrimage narrative
written by Hafiz ad-Din in Persian, and describing the shrines he visited in
Bukhara, Samarqand, Khojand, Osh, Kashgar, Artush, Khotan, and Yarkand.
A description of his hajj pilgrimage in 1871 occupies ff. 98b-107a, including
a list of twenty-eight books he brought back from his journey. There follows
a discussion of his personal qualities, a description of his house, and other
descriptions of his daily life (ff. 107a-112a). Ahmad then lists the titles of
sixteen volumes of manuscripts his father copied (ff. 112a-114a), and lists
the titles of twenty-nine original works, including his ar-Rububiyat al-
kashfiyat wal-ubudiyat al-khalisat, whose marginalia he cites extensively
as a source of family history (ff. 114a-122b). The subsequent section provides
biographic information on four women he had married over the course of
his life, two of whom he married while in Kashgaria, as well as on several
of his sons (ff. 122b-131b). Ahmad includes an appendix on the family of his
mother, Mah-i Kamal, who was Hafiz ad-Dins third wife (he had divorced
his Kashgari wives before returning to Bukhara). This section also contains
six letters in Turki to Mah-i Kamal from her father Mulla Umar, a muezzin
in Petropavlovsk (ff. 132a-137a).
One of the most remarkable sections of the history is a rather detailed
biographical dictionary containing entries on twenty-two prominent

52On this figure, see Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, Asar II:15, 548-549.
24 chapter one

eople Ahmads father had been acquainted with during his life, including
Central Asian scholars (ff. 137b-169b). This section is titled khatima al-fasl
al-khamis (Conclusion to Section Five), and includes extensive biographi
cal and documentary material on Central Asian Sufis such as Jalal ad-Din
Khiyabani, Abd al-Karim ash-Shahrisabzi (Ishan-i Pir), Taj ad-Din b.
Ahmar al-Bulghari as-Samarqandi, and Kashgari and Khotani scholars such
as Ashur-Muhammad at-Turki and Mufti Habibullah al-Khotani. In this
section he also devotes an entry to Shihab ad-Din Marjani, and includes
five letters that Marjani sent to his father.53
al-fasl fis-sadis al-imam as-sadis (The sixth section on the sixth imam,
ff. 170a-171a) The First Mosques sixth imam was Hafiz ad-Dins eldest son
Sultan Muhammad-Fatih (b. 1863). He did not study in Bukhara, but rath
er his advanced training was in Kazan, in the madrasa of Shihab ad-Din
The section on the First Mosque concludes with an appendix (zil) de
voted to Mulla Muhammadi b. Ihsan al-Burbashi (1822-1901),54 appearing
on ff. 171a-174b. This section also includes copies of four letters sent evi
dently to Hafiz ad-Din.
al-qism ath-thani fil-masjid ath-thani (The second part on the Second
Mosque) ff. 174b-178a. This portion of the manuscript addresses the vil
lages Second Mosque, which was the only one of the villages four mosques
that was not dominated by Ahmad al-Barangawis family. Rather, its imams
came from a local family belonging to the Churash tribe.
al-fasl al-awwal fil-imam al-awwal (the first section on the first imam)
ff. 174b-175a. This figure was Mulla Ibrahim b. Bik-Qul b. Irma al-Bulghari.
Ahmad does not provide his dates, but he copied a commentary on the
Haft-i Yak in the madrasa of Abd an-Nasir b. Sayf al-Muluk al-Ashiti in
al-fasl ath-thani fil-imam ath-thani (the second section on the second
imam) ff. 175b-176b. This imam was Mulla Numan b. Ibrahim al-Irmashi
(d.1894), the son of the mosques first imam. He had studied in Qishqar
with Mulla Yaqub b. Yahya b. Jafar at-Tubyazi,56 and died in Mecca, while
performing the hajj.

53Two of these letters, evidently copied from the Tarikh-i Barangawi, were included
in Volume Four of Asar; cf. Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar,
453-454, 463-464.
54Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 260-261.
55On Abd an-Nasir al-Ashiti cf. Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, Asar I:6, 295-296.
56On Yaqub b. Yahya at-Tubyazi cf. Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, Asar II:10, 128-135.
sources 25

al-fasl ath-thalith fil-imam ath-thalith (the third section on the third

imam) ff. 177a-178a. This was Numans son, Ahmad-Giray al-Irmashi. His
teachers included Ziya ad-Din al-Mangari, Manhaj ad-Din al-Jabali al-Iske
Awili, and Shihab ad-Din al-Marjani in Kazan, and he taught in Kazan and
in Khanskaia Stavka, in the Qazaq Inner Horde, before returning to
al-qism ath-thalith fil-masjid ath-thalith (the third part on the Third
Mosque) ff. 178a-179a. This brief chapter covers Ahmads brother, Ghiyas
ad-Din al-Barangawi (b. 1861). He became imam in 1888, and was sole imam
to this mosque. Unlike his brother Ahmad and his father Hafiz ad-Din,
Ghiyas ad-Din never traveled to Bukhara to study, but rather acquired his
learning from his father and uncle in Baranga and Zoyabashi respectively,
and in Kazan from Shihab ad-Din Marjani. His son Muhammad-Najib also
became an imam in the village of Iske Awl Pochinkas.
al-qism ar-rabi fil-masjid ar-rabi (the fourth part on the Fourth
Mosque) ff. 179a-223a. The sole imam of this mosque is the works author,
Ahmad al-Barangawi, who acquired the position in 1907, the year the
mosque was built. After a brief introductory section on the mosques con
struction, Ahmad explains that he had been appointed imam while he was
in Bukhara. The work then presents Ahmads autobiography, with the first
section devoted to his childhood (ff. 180b-185a), his student years in Kazan
(ff. 185a-194b), and his time in Bukhara from 1901 until 1905 (ff. 194b-204b),
as well a narrative of his pilgrimages in the emirate of Bukhara to Kermine,
Kharaqan, Vafkand, Ghijduvan, and the tomb of Baha ad-Din Naqshband
(ff. 204b-209b, 215a-216b). He includes an additional travel narrative of a
months time he spent among a group of Qazaq nomads subordinate to
the Emirate of Bukhara (ff. 209b-215a). The final portion of the manuscript
addresses his return to Baranga and his time as imam of the Fourth Mosque
(ff. 216b-223a).

The Sources of the Tarikh-i Barangawi

Ahmad is generally conscientious in citing his sources, and he provides us

with a fairly detailed picture of the sorts of sources that were available to
him. While many authors of Tatar village histories depended primarily on
oral sources for their works, the Tarikh-i Barangawi stands out for its au
thors reliance on documentary material, although he, too, makes exten
sive use of oral material. Since the work is primarily a family history,
albeit set within the framework of a village history, Ahmad is able to rely
26 chapter one

extensively on his family papers, including his fathers manuscripts, and

particularly his fathers and grandfathers autographs, even though much
of his personal archive was destroyed in a fire in 1906.57 Among the most
important sources of information for Ahmad are the marginalia of his fa
thers manuscripts, particularly the Rububiyat al-kashfiyat, which he relies
on heavily for biographical information on his fathers acquaintances.58 As
we have seen, Ahmad also copies directly into his history dozens of letters,
in both Persian and Turki to and from his father and uncle. The authors of
this letters include female relatives, and numerous Bukharan and Tatar
scholars and Sufi shaykhs. The documentary material also includes his
fathers and uncles licenses (ijazatnama) from various Sufis and scholars
in Bukhara, Samarqand, and Kashgaria.

57TB fol. 214a; a number of his fathers works were destroyed in this fire as well; cf. TB,
fol. 98a.
58TB, ff. 101b, 118b-119a, 131a, 140b, 144b, 146a, 163b.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 27

Chapter two

The Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan


In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the elevation of Bukharas

social and religious status within Muslim society in Russia stemmed in
large measure from the sacred status that Central Asia already enjoyed and
that was evident in Tatar and Bashkir legends, genealogies, and Sufi tradi
tion. The sacred bonds between Central Asia and Muslims in Russia are of
considerable antiquity. Moreover, Sufi tradition, which Tatars and Bashkirs
understood in large measure to have originated in Central Asia, perme
ated Islamic practice throughout the Islamic world, emphasizing rituals
such as hagiolatry and pilgrimage, which were also important factors in
reinforcing the connections between Central Asia and Muslim communi
ties in Russia. Following the Mongol conquests the close political, ethnic,
and kinship ties between the Volga-Ural region and Siberia on the one
hand, and Central Asia on the other, served to amplify Bukharas Sufi leg
acy among Muslims in Russia.
If religious and especially Sufi conceptions constituted the foundation
for Bukharas sacred status among Muslims in Russia, the shifting eco
nomic and social relationship between Central Asians and Muslims in
Russia further amplified it. As late as the First World War a Russian
Orthodox missionary in Siberia complained of the extraordinary religious
influence and authority Siberian Bukharans still exerted over native
Siberian Tatars. This missionary, exhibiting the islamophobia that was
common in late Imperial Russia, blamed this influence and authority on
eighteenth century Russian state policies that granted broad privileges to
the ancestors of these Siberian Bukharans, and argued that the elevation
of their legal and communal status led to a rise in their religious authority
among the Siberian Tatars.1 In fact, as early as the 1590s it had been
Muscovite policy to stimulate trade with Central Asia, and this policy was
reemphasized beginning in the reign of Peter the Great (r. 1689-1725), and
maintained will into the reign of Nicholas I (r. 1825-1855). Until the

1Ioann Petrov, Kratkii ocherk istorii propagandy magometanstva sredi Sibirskikh

tatar-iazychnikov, Pravoslavyi sobesednik 1915 (12), 116-118.
28 chapter two

e ighteenth century this trade was mainly conducted through Siberia and
Astrakhan, following trade routes that long predated the Russian con
quests. Expanding trade with the Central Asian khanates was also one of
Peter the Greats policy ambitions, and he put into motion numerous ini
tiatives that would redirect trade between Central Asia and Russia to a
series of Russian outposts along the northern rim of the Qazaq steppe.2
One of the methods to attract Central Asian caravans was to grant them
generous privileges, eventually making Central Asian merchants among
the most privileged estate groups in the entire Russian empire. The
Muscovite authorities had in fact begun granting these privileges to
Bukharans in Siberia at the beginning of the seventeenth century, but in
the eighteenth century they were broadly expanded to virtually all Central
Asian merchants living in Orenburg, Petropavlovsk, Semipalatinsk, and
other settlements along the Russian fortified lines along the northern
Qazaq Steppe. The settlement of wealthy and influential Central Asians in
Russia, and the increasing volume of travel of Tatar and Bashkir merchants
to Central Asia intensified contacts between the groups. Furthermore, the
extension of substantial privileges to Central Asian merchants in the eigh
teenth century took place at a time when the Russian authorities were
broadly diminishing the privileges of native Muslim elites in the Volga-Ural
region, thereby increasing the contrast between the groups respective
levels of status. Marxist historians have, with some justification, character
ized the eighteenth century as the period of the collapse of the old Tatar
feudal elites, and the rise of Tatar merchant capital; however the decline
in status and privilege affected not only the gentry, but many peasants as
well. Beginning in the Petrine era formerly tribute-paying communities of
Muslim peasants were becoming state peasants, or were being resettled
and saddled with new labor obligations.3 In 1713 the Muslim gentry was

2R.G.Bukanova has examined in detail the Petrine origins of the trading forts in Bash
kiria and along the Qazaq steppe, which became the main venues for trade between Russia
and Central Asia; cf. her Goroda-kreposti iugo-vostoka Rossii v XVIII veke, (Ufa, 1997); the
cities of the Irtysh line in Siberia, including Semipalatinsk also date from the Petrine era;
cf. Kh. Z. Ziiaev, Ekonomicheskie sviazi Srednei Azii s Sibiriiu v XVI-XIX vv. (Tashkent, 1983),
83-100; cf. also P.I.Rychkov, Istoriia Orenburgskaia 2nd ed. (Orenburg, 1896), 2-5;
A. Popov, Snosheniia Rossii s Khivoiu i Bukharoiu pri Petre Velikom, (St. Petersburg, 1853).
3For a broad and detailed discussion of progress of Russian legal policy regarding
Muslim communities cf. Aidar Nogmanov, Samoderzhavie i tatary, (Kazan, 2005); cf. also
F. Kh. Gumerov, ed. Zakony Rossiiskoi imperii o bashkirakh, mishiariakh, teptiariakh, i bob-
yliakh, (Ufa, 1999).
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 29

stripped of its right to own serfs, and often lost its noble status altogether.4
Similarly, most Service Tatars (sluzhilye tatary) lost their privileged rank
and became categorized as lashmany. As such, they became a labor force
registered to the Admiralty. This groups labor obligations were onerous,
and involved felling trees and building naval craft.5 In many respects, the
eighteenth century can be considered a turning point in Tatar and Bashkir
social history.
Bukharan prestige was also manifested through the strong influence of
Central Asian material culturethe penetration of Central Asian fash
ionon Russian Muslims in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twen
tieth centuries, providing additional evidence of newly elevated Bukharan
social and economic status, along with the citys already considerable and
dominant religious status. During this period it should not be surprising
to discover that Russian Muslims were emulating Central Asians. They
cultivated a strong taste for Bukharan clothing, food, cosmetics, and many
other aspects of material culture, fueled by expanded trade with Bukhara
and other Central Asian cities. Clearly the conspicuous consumption of
Central Asian goods conferred social and religious prestige upon their

Sufi Tradition and Holy Cities in Central Asia

The foundations of the prestige that Muslims in Russia accorded Bukhara

and its inhabitants in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are rooted
in the Central Asian Sufi traditions that entered the Volga-Ural region and
Siberia during the era of the Golden Horde, and dominated Islamic culture
in Russia until the twentieth century. Narrowly speaking, Sufi traditions
include, of course, the transmission of the Sufi discipline from masters to
students, the maintenance of Sufi brotherhoods, lodges, and other institu
tions, and the composition and circulation of Sufi literature.6 But Sufi
conceptions and practices found their way into a broader set of Muslim

4On the Muslim gentry cf. Kh. Alishev, Sotsialnaia evoliutsiia sluzhilykh tatar vo
vtoroi polovine XVI-XVIII vekov, Issledovaniia po istorii krestianstva Tatarii dooktiabrskogo
perioda, (Kazan, 1984), 52-69; cf. also G. Gaziz, Istoriia tatar, (Moscow, 1994), 143-144; Ta-
tarskie murzy i dvoriane: istoriia i sovremennost vyp. 1, (Kazan, 2010).
5Nogmanov, Samoderzhavie, 82.
6For discussions of Sufi and especially Central Asian influences on Islamic literature
in the Volga-Ural region cf. Sh. Sh. Abilov, Sufichlq, Tatar dbiyt tarikh I, (Kazan, 1984),
356-366; A.I.Kharisov, Literaturnoe nasledie bashkirskogo naroda (XVIII-XIX veka), (Ufa,
1973), 153-171.
30 chapter two

practices, above all through the veneration of saints and their shrines, and
through the establishment of ancestral and genealogical connections with
saints.7 The relationship between Muslims in Russia, and the city of
Bukhara should not be restricted to the types of intellectual relationships
Islamic reformers tried to portray it in the late nineteenth and early twen
tieth centuries. The relationship was also emotional and sacred. It affected
the Muslims of Russia in a variety of ways that influenced their daily lives,
their status, and, of course, their self-conceptions as a Muslim community.
For Russian Muslims, as for Muslims in many other parts of the Islamic
world, the religious significance of Central Asia was as the abode of the
great Sufis and of the holiest Sufi shrines in Islam. Many communities
within Russia claimed descent from Central Asian, and especially Bukha
ran, saints and ancestors. However the spirits of Sufi saints also played
prominent parts in the collective lives of Muslims, regardless of ancestry.
They were frequently remembered as Islamizers who brought the com
munities their status as Muslims. Sufis figured prominently as pirs, or pa
tron saints, of livestock, crops, and crafts, protecting the livelihoods of
Muslim communities. Finally, the tombs of many Central Asian saints were
found throughout Russia, most especially in Siberia, but throughout the
Volga-Ural region as well, and Central Asian saints feature prominently in
their legends.

Holy Cities
The association of specific cities with varying degrees of holy status has a
long history in the Islamic world; it is strongly evident in Sufi tradition,
even if it is viewed with suspicion, or hostility, in reformist circles.
Throughout the Islamic world, but especially in Central Asia, the tombs of
saints became significant, and at times dominant, features in the urban
and rural topography of the region. Shrines affected settlement patterns
and trade routes, and most certainly created an awareness of sacred geog
raphy.8 Consequently, Central Asian urban histories were typically written

7For an informed and thorough discussion of the range of Sufi conceptions and their
application in belief and practice among the Qazaqs see Bruce Privratsky, Muslim Turkistan,
(Richmond, Surrey, 2004).
8The economic and political significance of shrines in Central Asia receives consider
able attention in Robert McChesneys discussion of the tomb of Mazar-i Sharif in Northern
Afghanistan; cf. his Waqf in Central Asia: Four Hundred Years in the History of a Muslim
Shrine, 1480-1889, (Princeton, 1991); cf. in particular Chapter V of B.M.Babadzhanov, Kokan-
dskoe khanstvo: vlast, politika, religiia, (Tokyo-Tashkent, 2010), 626-674; Sugawara Jun and
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 31

as shrine catalogs containing lists of saints and shrines.9 Although Bukhara

and Samarqand stand out as the most prominent of these holy cities in
Central Asia, we can also count among these Khiva, Urgench, Sayram
(Isfijab), Turkistan, Osh, and Farab (Otrar) among those that figure prom
inently in the historical legends of Inner Asian Muslims.
For some Inner Asian Muslim communities located very much at the
geographic limits of the Muslim world the holy cities of Central Asia be
came particularly important for affirming Muslim status through the as
sertion of religious, and especially ancestral, bonds. The significance of
Central Asian holy cities is evident among the Tatars and Bashkirs of the
Volga-Ural region and Siberia, but also in the origin myths of the Hui10 and
Salars11 in China who traced the founding of their communities to ances
tors who came from the city of Samarqand. Even, or perhaps especially,
the most isolated Muslim communities in Inner Asia retained memories
of their communities links to these holy cities. A case in point is the
Mongol-speaking Khotong Muslims of western Mongolia, who were prob
ably descendants of eighteenth century Turkic Muslim captives of the
Oirats. By the late nineteenth century they had largely lost their Turkic
language, having become linguistically Mongolized, but retaining their
Muslim identity. In a state of apparently total isolation from the Islamic

Kawahara Yayoi, eds. Mazar Documents from Xinjiang and Ferghana: Facsimiles I, (Tokyo,
9For a discussion of the development of sacred urban histories see, Devin DeWeese,
Sacred History for a Central Asian Town: Saints, Shrines, and Legends of Origin in Histories
of Sayrm, eighteenth-nineteenth Centuries, Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Mditer-
rane 89-90 (2000), 245-246; modern variants of these sorts of sacred urban histories are
evident in post-Soviet Central Asia; cf. Stphane Dudoignon, Local Lore, the Transmission
of Learning, and Communal Identity in late 20th Century Tajikistan. The Khujand-Nma
of rifjn Yahyzd Khujand, in: Devout Societies vs. Impious States? Transmitting Is-
lamic Knowledge in Russia, Central Asia, and China, through the Twentieth Century, (Berlin,
2004), 213-242.
10Turkic historians commenting on the origins of the Hui have recorded legends in
which the ancestors of the Hui came from Samarqand. However, this is only one of numer
ous origin legends that circulated among the Hui; cf. Qurban-Ali Khalidi, Kitab-i jarida-yi
jadida, (Kazan, 1889), 56; Usman-Ali Sidikof, Tarikh-i Qirghiz-i Shadmaniya, (Ufa, 1914),
130-134; many shrines among the Hui also are connected to later Sufi figures said to have
come to China from Central Asia; cf. Dru Gladney, Muslim Tombs and Ethnic Folklore:
Charters for Hui Identity, Journal of Asian Studies, 46/3 (1987), 495-532.
11Salars are a Turkic people probably descended from the Turkmens; on Salar traditions
regarding Samarqand cf. E.R.Tenishev, Salarskie teksty, (Moscow, 1964), 3, 67-68, 119-121;
G.N.Potanin, Tangutsko-Tibetskaia okraina Kitaia i Tsentralnaia Mongoliia II, (St. Peters
burg, 1893), 295; Marat Durdyev, Turkmeny Kitaia, (Ashgabat, 1992), 33-35.
32 chapter two

world, the only cities these Muslims could identify as belonging to the
Islamic world were Osh and Bukhara.12

Central Asian Ancestors among the Tatars and Bashkirs

In the same manner as Muslim communities in China and Mongolia,
Muslim communities in Russia also commonly identified Central Asian
cities as sources of their Islamic status. Such Islamic status could originate
either genetically, from an ancestor, or from a saint who brought about the
Islamization of a communitys ancestors. Communities claiming ancestry
from prominent saints or their disciples are commonly encountered
throughout Inner Asia.13 Similarly, it is not unusual to find Central Asian
saints as ancestral figures in Tatar and Bashkir genealogies. Among Tatars
and Bashkirs these ancestral figures include Pahlawan Ata, the patron saint
of Khiva, and Qorqut Ata, a prominent saint in Turkmen and Qazaq tradi
tion whose tomb was located along the middle course of the Syr-Darya
River.14 Central Asian saints also figure prominently as Islamizers. In a
Bashkir legend Khwaja Ahmad Yasavi, identified as a ruler of Bukhara, sent
his student Husayn-Bek to convert the Bashkirs to Islam. The mausoleum
of Husayn-Bek, located near the city of Chishmy in Bashkortostan, remains
a major pilgrimage site in the region to this day.15 Another version of this
legend links that mausoleum in Chishmy to a son of the Central Asian Sufi
Abd al-Khaliq Ghijduvani, whose tomb is a pilgrimage site in the town of
Ghijduvan, near Bukhara.16 Muslims in Perm province have preserved a

12G.N.Potanin, Ocherki Severo-Zapadnoi Mongolii, II (St. Petersburg, 1881), 16; the shrine
of Taht-i Sulayman near Osh was a holy site known among Central Asian Muslims as a
Second Mecca; cf. Zarcone, Pilgrimage to the Second Meccas and Kabas 254-256.
13This phenomenon is of course well known in the political history of Central Asia and
includes countless examples, such as among the descendants of Makhdum-i Azam in
Mavarannahr, Eastern Turkestan, and the Qazaq Senior Horde. However the closest paral
lels with the Volga-Ural region and Siberia are to be found among the nomadic peoples,
and are well documented for the Qazaqs in particular; cf. R.M.Mustafina, Predstavleniia,
kulty, obriady u kazakhov, (Almaty, 1992), 91-94, who describes Qazaq clans in the Syr-Darya
Valley claiming descent from students of Ahmad Yasavi.
14Marsel khmtjanov, Tatar shjrlre, (Kazan, 1995), 39-40, 48-49; on Pahlawan
Ata cf. G.P.Snesarev, Khorezmskie legendy kak istochnik po istorii religioznykh kultov Sred-
nei Azii, (Moscow, 1983), 169-199; on Qorqut Ata cf. I.A.Kastane, Drevnosti Kirgizskoi stepi
i Orenburgskago kraia, Trudy Orenburgskoi uchenoi arkhivnoi komissii XXII, (Orenburg,
1910), 216-218.
15Ak-ziiarat Protokoly Turkestanskago kruga liubitelei arkheologii V (1900), 93-95; Petr
Pavlovskii, Mechet Khussein-beka. Moskvitianin, 1843 (3), 234-245.
16Kazan University Library MS 1388T, Appendix to the Tarikh Namayi Bulghar,
folio 13b.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 33

conversion narrative in which three Companions of the prophet

Muhammad (sahabas) came to their region from Samarqand, and con
verted their ancestors to Islam.17 Other Perm Tatars considered their an
cestors to have come from Bukhara.18 Kazan Tatar conversion narratives
featuring Bukharans were recorded in the nineteenth century. One shrine,
near the village of Karaduvan, in Kazan province, was a tomb belonging to
missionaries who came from Bukhara and converted the local populace.19
Muslims near Elabuga, on the Kama River, traced their Islamization to a
local ruler who had come from both Bukhara and Samarqand.20 Some
Bashkir tribes traced their ancestry to the Bashqort Mountains said to be
in the vicinity of Bukhara.21 Memories of Bukharan origins and their con
nection to Islamic status are also evident among the Noghays of the North
Caucasus steppe, who share much of their ethnic and political history with
Tatars and Bashkirs.22 Legends recorded in the nineteenth century among
the nomadic Noghays in the Stavropol region relate that the ancestors of
Noghays were Uzbeks who lived in the Bukhara region. A saint named
Babatkul came there and preached to the Uzbek people to accept Islam,
and a number of Uzbek tribes, including the Manght, Qpchaq, Nayman,
Yedishqul, and Yedisan followed Babatkuls teachings and became
The sacred bond with Bukhara was probably the most explicit among
Siberian Muslims. A substantial proportion of this community was

17mir Fatykhov, Gyne ile, (Barda, 1995), 37; this is evidently a local adaptation of the
Bulghar conversion narrative.
18Marsel khmtjanov, Nughay urdas, (Kazan, 2002), 264.
19I.A.Iznoskov, Zametki o gorodakh, kurganakh i drevnikh zhilishchakh, nakhodia
shchikhsia v Kazanskoi gubernii i o vstrechaiushchikhsia v nikh nakhodkakh, Izvestiia
Obshchestva Arkheologii, Istorii i Etnografii pri Kazanskom Universitete, II (1879), 106; Tatar
khalq ijat: rivayatlr hm legendalar, (Kazan, 1987), 260-261.
20Kap. Nevostruev, O gorodishchakh drevniago volzhsko-bolgarskago i kazanskago
tsarstv v nyneshnikh guberniiakh kazanskoi, simbirskoi, samarskoi i viatskoi, (Moscow, 1871),
21R.G.Kuzeev, Proiskhozhdenie bashkirskogo naroda, (Moscow, 1974), 129-131.
22On ethnic ties between the Noghays and Volga-Ural Muslims cf. M. Akhmetzianov,
K etnolingvisticheskim protsessam v basseine r. Ik (po materialam shedzhere), K formirova-
niiu iazyka tatar Povolzhia i Priuralia, (Kazan, 1985), 58-75; F.G.Garipova Nekotorye is
tochniki dlia raskrytiia nogaiskogo (kipchakskogo) plasta v toponimii Tatarskoi ASSR,
Issledovaniia po istochnikovedeniiu istorii Tatarii, (Kazan, 1980), 136-149; khmtjanov,
Nughay urdas, passim; on Noghay political connections with the Volga-Ural region cf.
V.V.Trepavlov, Istoriia Nogaiskoi Ordy, (Moscow, 2002), 133-139.
23I. Bentkovskii, Nogaitsy, Istoriko-statisticheskoe obozrenie inorodtsev-magometan
kochuiushchikh v Stavropolskoi gubernii I, (Stavropol, 1888), 3; the reference to Babatkul is
likely a reference to the saint and Islamizer of the Golden Horde Baba Tkles.
34 chapter two

d escended from Central Asian migrants, known collectively and officially

as Bukharans. The sacred significance of Bukharan status was amplified
by the highly privileged status (to be discussed in more detail below) that
Siberian Bukharans enjoyed under Russian rule, from the seventeenth to
the nineteenth centuries. Siberian Muslim sacred geography along the
Tobol and Irtysh Rivers was based on a network of tombs believed to be
long to saints from Bukhara who had died waging holy war against local
infidels. Typically the guardians of these shrines were local sayyids. In
addition, there exists among Siberians a large body of related legends, in
cluding genealogies identifying Bukhara and its rulers as the locus from
which Islam came to these communities.24
Small Muslim groups in Russia sometimes claimed Central Asian an
cestry as a means of seeking favored status compared to other communi
ties. Some Baraba Tatars, located in southern Siberia, explained the name
Baraba as being derived from the city of Farab (Otrar) on the Syr-Darya
River. They explained that their ancestors had come from this city, and in
petitions to the Russian authorities emphasized their Bukharan status to
reinforce their claims for privileges.25 Similarly, at the western extreme of
the Qazaq steppe, another nomadic community, know as the Astrakhan
Qaraqalpaqs, claimed Bukharan ancestry as well. The origins of the group
are not completely clear, although observers generally agree that these
Astrakhan Qaraqalpaqs did not originate among the Qaraqalpaq peo-
ple around the Aral Sea. Pavel Nebolsin, who visited them in the middle
of the nineteenth century relates that they appeared in the region only in
1817, and became known to the Russian authorities in 1827 when their
leader, Muhammad Bektemirov petitioned to have his 61 Qazaqs regis
tered as Kundrov Tatars, and to become Russian subjects, rather than
subjects of the Qazaq Inner Horde. In their legends they claimed to have
been Bukharans and to have come from the Bukharan Steppe. Other
Astrakhan Qaraqalpaqs claimed to have been Qazaqs or Qaraqalpaqs,

24Cf. Allen J. Frank, The Siberian Chronicles and the Taybughid Biys of Sibir, Papers on
Inner Asia 27, (Bloomington, Indiana, 1994), 11-12; N.F.Katanov, O religioznykh voinakh
uchenikov sheikha Bagauddin protiv inorodtsev Zapadnoi Sibiri, Uchenye zapiski Kazan-
skago Universiteta (1903), 133-146; cf. also R. Kh. Rakhimov, Astana v istorii Sibirskikh tatar:
mavlzolei pervykh islamskikh missionerov kak pamiatniki istorii-kulturnogo naslediia,
(Tiumen, 2006), passim.
25On Islamization narratives among the Baraba Tatars, cf. Allen J. Frank, Varieties of
Islamization in Inner Asia: the Case of the Baraba Tatars, 1740-1917, En Islam sibrien (Ca-
hiers du monde russe, vol. XLI/2-3, 2000), 29-46.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 35

although they do not appear in the genealogies of either of these groups.26

Subsequent ethnographic research suggests this group was most likely
descended from Kazan Tatar and Mishar fugitives who lived among the
Qazaqs.27 As we shall discuss below, in Russia at that time legal status as
Bukharans conferred a number of privileges and benefits to the com
munity that obtained it. But obtaining legal and communal benefits based
on holy ancestry was well established in Islamic Inner Asia, and although
some observers see it as legal manipulation, the benefits of being classified
as Bukharans could equally be understood within these groups as provid
ing evidence of the ancestors holiness.

Sayyids and Sufis

While straightforward claims of Central Asian ancestry are certainly evi
dence of an emotional, communal, and thereby religious bond with Central
Asia, some Muslim communities in Russia understood their links with
Central Asiaand with Bukhara in particularin even more explicitly
sacred terms. Such sacred links are evident in the genealogies of groups
claiming descent from Central Asian saints and Bukharan sayyids, that is,
from ancestors descended from the family of the prophet Muhammad or
from the four Righteous Caliphs. Sayyid communities, also known as kh-
wajas, are well documented throughout Central Asia among both no
madic and sedentary communities where their influence in the political,
social and religious history of Central Asia has been profound.28 In Siberia
and the Volga-Ural region sayyids have only been studied in any detail for
their political and religious role in the successor states of the Golden
Horde.29 However sayyid communities have retained a strong presence in
the Volga-Ural region and especially Siberia down to the present day, and
their genealogies emphasize strong sacred links with Bukhara and its
saints.30 In addition to the sayyid genealogies, we can also include in this

26Pavel Nebolsin, Ocherki Volzhskago nizovia (St. Petersburg, 1852), 118-124.

27On this group cf. Allen J. Frank, Muslim Religious Institutions in Imperial Russia: the
Islamic World of Novouzensk District and the Kazakh Inner Horde, 1780-1910, (Leiden-Boston,
2001), 93-94.
28For an informed discussion of the sayyid phenomenon in Central Asia, and a survey
of the relevant literature, see the Foreword by Devin DeWeese in Islamizatsiia i sakralnye
rodoslovnye v Tsentralnoi Azii, Ashirbek Muminov, ed., (Almaty, 2009), 6-33.
29Damir Iskhakov, Seidy v pozdnezolotoordynskikh tatarskikh gosudarstvakh, (Kazan,
1997), 71-74; Marsel khmtjanov, Syed Shakulovlar, Vatanm Tatarstan, 10 June 1995.
30Particularly useful studies of the sayyid phenomenon in Siberia include, A.K.Bustanov
and S.N.Korusenko, Rodoslovnye Sibirskikh bukhartsev: imianinovy, Arkheologiia, etno-
grafiia i antropologiia Evrazii 2 (42) 2010, 97-105; Alfrid Bustanov, Sacred Texts of Siberian
36 chapter two

category genealogies documenting descent from Companions (sahabas)

of the prophet Muhammad. While not sayyids strictly speaking, the mem
bers of these descent groups nevertheless distinguished themselves by
their descent from individuals directly connected to the prophet
Muhammad. As with the sayyids, their genealogies typically pass through
Several lines of sayyids in the Volga-Ural region and Siberia trace their
ancestry to figures active in the successor states of the Golden Horde,
specifically in the Siberian Khanate and the Kasimov Khanate. In both
regions the genealogies document the Central Asian origins of these fam
ilies. In the Volga-Ural region a number of quite similar genealogies belong
ing to the Shah-Qol (Shakulov) family have come down to us. This family
was active in the Kasimov Khanate in the seventeenth century. Their ge
nealogy establishing them as descendants of Husayn b. Ali lists thirty-nine
generations, beginning with the ancestor of the Quraysh Tribe, Abd al-
Mannan. The twentieth generation, Sayyid Ahmad Khisarayi Ata, was es
tablished in Bukhara. He is linked to the Yasavian figure Hakim Ata, and
his descendants are said to have lived along the Amu Darya River.31 The
twenty-third generation, Sayyid Muhammad Bukhari, is also linked to that
city, and his descendants are said to have lived in Bukhara, India, and
Sindh. The descendants of Muhammad Bukharis brother, Sayyid Mahmud,
are said to have lived in Turkistan, Khoqand, and Qarshi. The descendants
of the twenty-eighth generation, of Shah-Khan, lived in Dagestan, the
Kuban, and the Crimea. The descendants of Shah-Bay, Shah-Khans broth
er, lived in the Bulghar country, Kasimov, Astrakhan, and along the Volga.
Shah-Bays grandson was Shah-Qoli, from whom the Shakulovs take their
An even more immediate connection with Central Asia is evident in the
genealogies of the Siberian sayyids who even today retain an important
place in the religious life of Siberian Muslims as the caretakers of shrines

Khwaja Families. The Descendants of Sayyid Ata, Journal of Islamic Manuscripts 2 (2011),
31The Amu Darya River figures prominently in a series of legends recorded in the
Hakim Ata Kitab connected to Hakim Ata and one of his sons, Hubbi Khwaja who was also
venerated in Khorezm as a patron saint of the Amu Darya River; cf. Devin DeWeese, Three
Tales from the Central Asian Book of Hakim Ata,, Tales of Gods Friends: Islamic Hagiog-
raphy in Translation, John Renard, ed., (Berkeley, California, 2009), 121-135.
32khmtjanov, Nughay Urdas, 222-226.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 37

connected to the Islamization of Siberia.33 These genealogies exist in sev

eral versions, but generally they relate how during the reign of Kchm
Khan (r. 1563-1581), Kchms brother Ahmad-Giray appealed to the khan
of Bukhara to send a shaykh al-islam to Siberia. The khan of Bukhara (in
some versions he is identified as Abdullah Khan) sent a certain Shirbeti
Shaykh who came from Urgench, accompanied by other sayyids, and to
gether they achieved out the Islamization of Siberia. In one version, the
Siberian shaykhs claim descent from the Yasavian saint Sayyid Ata.34 In
the historical legends of the Siberian Tatars the two Muslim dynasties that
pre-dated the Russian conquest are linked explicitly to Bukhara. In the case
of the Chingisid Kchm, he is said to have received strong support from
the Shbanid rulers of Mavarannahr, particularly Abdullah II (r. 1583-98).35
Similarly, several accounts in West Siberian Turkic manuscripts relate an
account of the history of the dynasty that Kchm displaced, the Taybu
ghids. These legends share certain features with the account of Sherbeti
Shaykh, and state that the founder of the Taybughid dynasty, Taybugha
Biy, came from Bukhara, and was the son of a ruler there. Taybugha Biy
brought a number of religious scholars with him, and they were respon
sible for the Islamization of Siberia.36 During the eighteenth century
Gerhard Miller remarked on the presence of sayyid families in Siberia. He
included among these the sayyid families who were present before the
Russian conquest, and those who arrived from Central Asia afterwards.
Among the former he counted the descendants of Din-Ali Khwaja, who
was from Urgench, but came from Bukhara with Kchm Khan. According
to legends that Miller recorded in the eighteenth century, Din-Ali Khwaja
was married to Kchms daughter, Nal-Khansha. Their children founded
sayyid lineages in several villages in the environs of Tobolsk.37 Central

33On shrines and Islamization narratives in Siberia cf. A.K.Bustanov, Sufiiskie legendy
ob islamizatsii Sibiri, Tiurkologicheskie Sbornik 2009-2010, (Moscow, 2011), 33-78;
A.G.Seleznev et al. Kult sviatykh v sibirskom islame: spetsifika universalnogo, (Moscow,
34Alfrid Bustanov, The Sacred Texts of Siberia Khwaja Families, 97-98; Iskhakov,
Seidy, 53-57; Hadi Atlasi, Sibir tarikhi, (Kazan, 1911), 86-91; V.V.Radlov, Obraztsy narodnoi
literatury tiurkskikh plemen IV (narechie barabintsev, tarskikh, tobolskikh i tiumenskikh tatar),
(St. Petersburg, 1878), 212-213, 217-220; N.F.Katanov,Predaniia Tobolskikh tatar o pribytii
v 1572 g. mukhammedanskikh propovednikov v g. Isker, Ezhegodnik Tobolskago gosudarst-
vennago muzeia VII (1897), 51-61; Shirbeti Shaykhs tomb in Isker, near Tobolsk, remains an
important shrine among Siberian Muslims; Rakhimov, Astana v istorii sibirskikh tatar, 32-33.
35Iskhakov, Seidy, 57.
36Frank, The Siberian Chronicles, 12.
37G.F.Miller, Opisanie Sibirskago tsarstva I, (St. Petersburg, 1750), 58; for a discussion
of present-day genealogies connecting Siberian Bukharan families with Din-Ali Khwaja cf.
38 chapter two

Asian sayyid families continued to migrate to Siberia after the Russian

conquest. One of the most prominent sayyid families in Siberia was the
Shikhov family. Probably at the beginning of the eighteenth century the
founder of this family, Abaz-Bakchi Sheikh, moved from Sayram to Tara.
The family traced its ancestry back to Zayn al-Abidin, the son of Imam
Husayn, and counted itself as descended from the rulers of Sayram.38
It should be added that khwajas from the Volga-Ural region were pres
ent in Siberia, too. In Petropavlovsk one of that citys most prominent
imams, Sayfullah b. Utagan, claimed sayyid descent.39 Similarly, members
of the Shakulov family from Kasimov were established in Tara as mer
chants in the 1780s.40 In Russia individual families, entire villages, or even
groups of villages could claim sayyid status. The inhabitants of the village
of Qumirguja in Kazan province claimed descent from the Caliph Umar
b. al-Khattab.41 The largest single group that could claim sayyid status in
Russia appears to have been the Bashkir Sart-yle clan (Hart-yle in
Bashkir orthography), which inhabited portions of the Trans-Ural steppe.
yle oral tradition generally identified its ancestors as Central Asians,
specifically from the Syr-Darya or Amu-Darya valleys. The historian Taj
ad-Din b. Yalchighul (1768-1832) was himself a member of the yle tribe,
and the Central Asian cities that feature so prominently in his history, the
Tarikh Nama-yi Bulghar, are probably linked to these traditions. However,
Sart-yle Bashkirs claimed both genealogical and sacred connections with
Bukharan sayyids. The Sart-yles believed their ancestor was a Bukharan
sayyid named Malek-khuzha whose six sons founded the six villages in
habited by the clan. Malek-khuzha is identified as a missionary who
brought Islam to the region.42 In the case of the Sart-yle clan we can
detect the same sort of bond with Bukhara evident among the Siberian

Bustanov and Korusenko, Rodoslovnye Sibirskikh bukhartsev, 97-105.

38G.N.Potanin, O karavannoi torgovle c dzhungarskoi Bukhariei v XVIII stoletii,
Chteniia istorii i drevnostei Rossiiskikh pri Moskovskom Universitete April-June 1868, Kniga
vtoraia, 71.
39Shihab ad-Din Marjani, Mustafad al-akhbar fi ahwali Qazan wa Bulghar II, 260; Riza
ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, Asar II:11, 231-232.
40I.G.Andreev records how a Tara Tatar mirza named Shakulov had 700 rubles worth
of goods stolen by Qazaq raiders in 1781; cf. I.G.Andreev, Opisanie Srednei Ordy Kirgiz-
Kaisakov, (Almaty, 1998), 113.
41Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, Asar II:11, 231-232.
42Kuzeev, Proiskhozhdenie, 199; Kuzeevs information evidently derives from a Sart-yle
genealogy recorded in Kurgan oblast in the 1920s; cf. A. Fattakhutdinov, Bashkirskie
shezhere (kratkoe arkheograficheskoe opisanie), Bashkirskie shezhere (filologichekie issle-
dovaniia i publikatsii), (Ufa, 1985), 117.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 39

Tatars, including claims of Bukharan origins, of Islamization originating

from Bukhara, as well as of descent from Bukharan sayyids. In his autobi
ography the Siberian reformist Abd ar-Rashid Ibrahim provides a different
version of these Bashkirs Bukharan origins. He indicates that in the early
seventeenth century a group of Bukharans went to some Bashkirs and
preached Islam among them. Later they were registered as Bashkirs
and obtained Bashkir status, and the Sart and Qalmaq clans are descended
from these Bukharans.43 However, the German traveler Johann Georgi,
who visited Bashkiria in the 1770s, cited yet another legend of the Sart
Bashkirs regarding their origins, as well as Russian government decrees
confirming the Bukharan status of these Sarts. Georgi includes them
in his discussion of the Bougharians, that is, Bukharans, and says the
The two Bougharian volosts of Baschkiria are called Sarti, and the chancer
ies of the government note them under that name, which signifies merchants
who travel with caravans. According to their traditions the Bougharian khan,
in the time of the Russian conquests, sent the murza Reingoul to the tzar,
who remained twelve years at the court of Russia in quality of agent for the
Bougharian nation; who, on his journey back again, was so charmed with
the country about Oufa, that he took the resolution of settling there for the
rest of his life. His family and those of his followers multiplied very fast, and
were joined by so great a number of Bougharians who deserted from the
bondage of the Kirguisians [Qazaqs] to him and his descendants, that in
the year 1771 these two volosts were composed of 50 families in the province
of Oufa, and in that of Iset, 52, besides many fugitives not taken into
the account. [] The Sarti of the province of Oufa resemble in all respects
the Tartar villagers of Oufa. Those found among the Baschkirians, of the
province of Iset, have reformed their ancient pastoral life, though, in imita
tion of the Baschkirians, they have fixed villages wherein they pass the win
ter. Although at present they resemble the Baschkirians. As to their way of
life, dress, customs, &c. they have nevertheless preserved a greater taste for
neatness, together with their own Bougharian character.44
Another group of Bashkirs claiming descent from Central Asian sayyids
were the so-called Qrghz Bashkirs, inhabiting the village of Tashl in
Bugulma district, in modern-day southeastern Tatarstan. According to
their genealogy, their ancestor was Qorqod-Ata, whom they identify as
having been from among the sayyids (sayyid-zadas) in the Qrghz (i.e.

43Gabdershit Ibrahimov, Trjemi khlem, (Kazan, 2001), 10.

44Johann Gottlieb Georgi, Russia, or, a Compleat Historical Account of All the Nations
Which Compose that Empire II, (London, 1780), 128, 152-153.
40 chapter two

Qazaq) country, on the Bukhara Road, along the banks of the Syr Darya.45
This is a reference to the famous saint Qorqut-Ata whose tomb had been
in Kazakhstan, along the middle course of the Syr-Darya River, and who
figures prominently in Qazaq and Turkmen tradition as a patron saint of
shamans.46 He is also known in Turkish and Turkmen tradition as Dede
Korkut, after whom the well-known sixteenth century Turkish epic is

Sahabas as Ancestors
In the Volga-Ural region we also find genealogies of groups claiming de
scent from the sahabas Salman Farsi, Anas b. Malik, and their Central
Asian descendants. The traditions concerning Anas b. Malik appear to be
of some antiquity, as he is also remembered among the Qazaqs as their
direct ancestor. Numerous Qazaq genealogies feature Anas b. Malik as the
ancestor not only of the Qazaqs, but of other Inner Asian peoples as well.
In an account recorded by the poet Mashhr-Zhsip Kpeyul the geneal
ogy is as follows: Alash b. Alaman b. Quray b. Sehil b. Maghaz b. Zhabal b.
Anas.47 Among the Aday Qazaqs of the Junior zhz, Anas b. Malik is known
as Anqas Sakhaba, and appears in a series of genealogies among them as
the ancestor of the three Qazaq zhzes as well.48 One Tatar genealogy
stemming from Anas b. Malik comes from the village of Qalmash, in
Chishmy district, Bashkortostan, and unlike the Qazaq variants, it links
Anas descendants with Bukhara. Nevertheless in its other details the ge
nealogy corresponds closely Mashhr-Zhsip Kpeyuls version. It states
that ns Sahaba is buried in Basra, but one of his descendants
was Jayilkhan, who was the ancestor of the Turkmens. Uzbak b. Mayqi b.
Jayilkhan married a Sart girl in Bukhara where he remained. Erqaltaq b.
Jantaka b. Uzbak had two sons, Qazaq and Suzaq, both of whom were
Qazaqs. Uzbaks son Jantaka left Bukhara and moved to Ufa. The account

45khmtjanov, Tatar shjrlre, 48-49.

46V.N.Basilov and Dzh. Kh. Karmysheva, Islam u kazakhov, (Moscow, 1997), 46-48.
47Mashhr-Zhsip Kpeev, Shgharmalar X, (Pavlodar, 2006), 220-221; a similar version
can be found in Zayir Sadibekov, Qazaq shezhiresi, (Tashkent, 1994), 22; Alash is typically
considered among Qazaqs the ancestor of the Qazaq people as a whole.
48O. Kh. Khalidullin and N. Kh. Sangispaev, Qazaqtng birtutas shezhiresiGenealo-
giia kazakhov Adai, (Almaty, 2004), 15-21; an essentially identical account is found in a verse
genealogy of the Junior Horde; cf. Khamit Maddanov, Kishi zhzding shezhiresi, (Almaty,
1994), 12.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 41

then indicated that Jantakas descendants became Mishars, and later be

came Bashkirs from among the Mishars.49
The sahaba Salman Farsi (568-644 ce) is remembered in the Volga-Ural
region as an Islamizer, ancestor, saint, and tutelary figure for sunnat ba-
bays, that is, for those who perform the circumcision ritual. He is remem
bered as the founder and Islamizer of the village of Iske Salman (Starye
Salmany), near the site of Bulghar. According to a legend from that village
the prophet Muhammad sent Salman Farsi, who is locally known as
Slyman-khuja, from Mecca to Bulghar. When he reached Bulghar Sly
man-khuja became khan, opened a madrasa, and taught students who
spread out throughout the region, bringing Islam with them, and, it is said,
he so loved the Bulghar people that he remained.50
Three additional, and probably older, versions of genealogies connect
ed to Salman Farsi that place his descendants in Central Asia, have come
down to us. These genealogies are found throughout the Volga-Ural region,
on the east and west banks of the Volga and among the Bashkirs. One
reason that these genealogies have been preserved is that the descendants
of Salman Farsi were recognized in the region as specialists in circum
cision. The most extensive of these genealogies is from the village of
Qoshman, on the western bank of the Volga. This genealogy begins with
Salman Farsi and one of his descendants was a certain Aghs, who went to
live in Sayram, where, we learn, his descendants are still located. Of these
Arslan and Ayas went to the Urals. Their descendants live among the
Bashkirs (Ishtk), and they went to Bulghar. The compiler acknowledges
the differing identities of Salman Farsis descendants in the region: Mishar,
Bashkir etc., but he emphasizes that they should not forget that their
genuine identity is as descendants of Salman Farsi. A related version
known as Shaykh Dirbeshs genealogy claims their ancestors are also de
scendents of Salman Farsi, and came from the city of Turkistan. Mkham
mat Khamitovs genealogy is essentially the same as the ones above. The
genealogy is explicitly connected to a family of sunnat-babays from the
villages of Qoshman in Apas district, Bishmuncha in Almetevsk district,

49khmtjanov, Tatar shjrlre, 54-55; Bashirs from among the Mishars here signi
fies communities identifying themselves as Mishars whom the imperial authorities in 1866
reclassified as Bashkirs.
50Tatar khalq ijat: rivaytlr hm legendalar, (Kazan, 1987), 26-27; clearly, this is a
variant on the well-known Bulghar conversion narrative in which the prophet Muhammad
sends three of his Companions to Bulghar, and who effect the conversion of the Bulghar
khan and his people. However, it appears to be a case of adapting an existing lineage to a
popular and influential conversion narrative.
42 chapter two

and Iske Salman. The names in the genealogy are connected with villages
in Apas district, such as Qaratun, Qarmsh, Kelwle, Uraq, and Asan. Also,
according to legends circulating among these communities it was the
prophet Muhammad who gave Salman Farsi the right to perform circum

Central Asian Saints in the Lives of Russian Muslims

While some communities distinguished themselves by the presence of
Central Asian saints and sayyids in their ancestries, Central Asian saints
could affect in a variety of significant ways all Muslim communities in the
Volga-Ural region and Siberia, regardless of ancestry. Muslim patron saints
(pirs) were believed to protect crops and livestock, but were also linked to
a wide range of economic activities, such as craft production, fishing and
beekeeping.52 Specific saints who protected Muslims from the dangers
such as childbirth and broken bones were also considered as pirs. However,
a number of pirs universally recognized in Central Asia, particularly among
the Qazaqs and Tatars, were the protectors of livestock, several of whom
were identified as descendants or disciples of Ahmad Yasavi. These in
cluded Zangi Baba, the protector of cattle.53 He is often identified as the
murid of Sulayman Baqrghani, who is also known as Hakim Ata, and
Zangi Babas tomb is a well-known shrine located in the vicinity of
Tashkent. After the death of Hakim Ata, Zangi Baba became his successor,
and in some accounts married Hakim-Atas widow, Anbar-Ana.54 Hakim-
Ata and Anbar-Ana also figure in Tatar tradition as the protectors of
domestic fowl.55

51Akhmtjanov, Tatar shjrlre, 57-60.

52Allen J. Frank, Muslim Patron Saints (Pirs) in Tatar Religious Belief and Practice: a
Preliminary Inquiry, Istochniki i issledovaniia po istorii tatarskogo naroda, (Kazan, 2006),
339-345. Tatar practice with respect to pirs appears to follow closely Qazaq practice; for the
veneration of pirs among the Qazaqs cf. Mustafina, Predstavleniia, 102-103; G.N.Potanin,
Ocherki severo-zapadnoi Mongolii II (St. Petersburg, 1881), 152-153.
53Zangi Ata is primarily known among Tatars as the protector of cattle, but in some
regions he is known as the protector of horses or camels, and also as the protector of trav
elers; cf. Frank, Muslim Patron Saints, 342-343.
54On legends that circulated among Tatars and Bashkirs regarding the connections of
these saints with Ahmad Yasavi, cf. K.G.Zaleman, Legenda pro Khakima-Ata, Izvestiia
imperatorskoi akademii nauk, 1898, sentiabr, vol. IX, no. 2, 1-46; for a concise account of the
traditions concerning these Yasavian figures cf. Sergei Abashin, Zangi-ata, Islam na ter-
ritorii byvshei Rossiiskoi imperii I, 150-153, and J. Castagn, Le culte des lieux saints de lislam
au Turkestan, LEthnographie n.s. 46 (1951), 53-54.
55F.S.Bayazitova, Tatar khalqnng byrm hm knkresh yolalar, (Kazan, 1995), 116.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 43

Several Bukharan saints figure prominently in the hagiolatry of Muslims

in Russia. Their significance in Siberia had already been indicated, as well
as their prominence in Islamization legends, but the tombs of several
Bukharan saints are also known in the Volga-Ural region, including in the
Bulghar shrine catalogs. The Tawarikh-i Bulghariyya, a sacred history of
the Volga-Ural region compiled early in the nineteenth century, lists sev
eral saints associated specifically with Bukhara. These include Hajji Habi
bullah Bukhari, buried in the village of Berdibiakovo, Niyaz b. Choqmaqi
Bukhari in the village of Qutl Bksh, and Fayzullah Bukhari, a legendary
Sufi, in Kazan.56 Another Bukharan saint is Shaykh Zaman Bukharl, buried
by the village Mashaikovo near Astrakhan.57

Bukharan Communities in Imperial Russia:

Official Privilege and Exalted Status

The expansion of commercial and religious contacts between Bukhara and

Muslims in Russia, and the elevation of Bukharan status among Muslims
in Russia, began to gather momentum in the middle of the eighteenth
century. As we have seen, religious bonds between Russian Muslims and
Central Asia predate the eighteenth century and even the Russian con
quest of the region in the sixteenth century. The same is true for eco
nomic ties.58 Trade routes between the Volga-Ural region and Central Asia,
and between Siberia and Central Asia, certainly existed during the time of
Golden Horde, and earlier. The presence of Bukharan merchants near
Nizhnii Novgorod was recorded already in 1348.59 The Russian conquests
of the Volga-Ural region and Siberia not only did not alter these trade
routes, but the maintenance and expansion of these caravan routes

56Tawarikh-i Bulghariya, St. Petersburg IVRAN, B749, ff. 23b-24a. Curiously, the vil
lages of Qutli Bukash and Berdibak were inhabited by Orthodox Christian Tatars, the de
scendants of sixteenth-century converts to Christianity. It is significant that the compiler
of the Tawarikh-i Bulghariya appealed to the legacy of Bukhara to emphasize the Islamic
heritage of these non-Muslim communities, evidently with the intention of attracting them
back to Islam.
57N. Matorin, Religiia u narodov Volzhsko-Kamskogo kraia, (Moscow, 1929), 88;
A.V.Syzranov, Kult musulmanskikh sviatykh v Astrakhanskom krae, Etnograficheskoe
obozrenie 2006 (2), 19.
58For a general discussion on Bukharan commerce in the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries cf. Audrey Burton, The Bukharans: a Dynastic, Diplomatic, and Commercial His-
tory, 1550-1702 (New York, 1997), which covers trade with Muscovy and Siberia.
59S.V.Zhukovskii, Snosheniia Rossii s Bukharoi i Khivoi za poslednee trekhsotletie, (Petro
grad, 1915), 2.
44 chapter two

became an important aspect of Russian economic and diplomatic policy

already by the end of the sixteenth century, and remained so until the
establishment of railroads in the Russian Empire. A key element in guar
anteeing and expanding these caravan routes was the establishment of
permanent communities of Central Asians at the Russian terminus points,
and in fact there is evidence that as early as the 1650s an established
Bukharan community may have existed in Kazan.60 In the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries the Russian authorities sought to attract Central
Asian merchants, first to Siberia and Astrakhan, and in the eighteenth
century to the newly-built cities along the Qazaq steppe, such as Orenburg,
Petropavlovsk, and Semipalatinsk, by granting far-reaching privileges and
extraterritorial rights to subjects of the Central Asian khanates. As a result,
Central Asian communities became among the most privileged estates in
the Russian empire, and remained so well into the nineteenth century. The
Central Asians in Russia generally maintained very close economic, com
munal, and family ties both with their home communities and with local
Muslims. For Tatars and Bashkirs the elevation of Central Asian social and
legal status by the Russian state coincided with the augmentation of
Bukharas religious prestige, and it further encouraged Muslims in Russia,
not least in official documents, to at times blur the distinction between the
communities. The Bukharans prominence and ubiquity in Inner Asian
commerce in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, from Persia to
China, and the generally high degree of education and sophistication of
many Bukharan merchants (repeatedly attested in Russian sources) com
plemented Bukharas prestige. The prestige, and significance accorded the
city of Bukhara proper is also evident in the Russians often indiscriminate
use of the term Bukharan (bukharetin, bukharets) to apply to sedentary
Central Asian Muslims, whether they were from Bukhara, Khorezm, the
Ferghana Valley, Tashkent, or even Kashgaria. For example, Ivan Unkovskii,
Peter the Greats envoy to the Oirat Khanate in 1722 referred to both the
Siberian Bukharans who guided him to the Oirat capital, and the Muslims
of Kashgaria who were subjects of the Oirats, as Bukharans.61 In the

60A Russian customs list from the 1650s documenting trade between Siberia and
Central Asia lists numerous Kazan Service Tatars and Kazan Tatars among merchants
bringing Central Asian goods to the city. But the list also includes one unnamed Kazan
Bukharan (kazanskii bukharetin); cf. S. Kh. Alishev, ed. Istochniki po istorii Tatarstana,
(Kazan, 1993), 110.
61N.I.Veselovskii, ed., Posolstvo k ziungarskomu khun-taichzhi Tsevan Rabtanu kapi-
tana ot artillerii Ivana Unkovskago i putevoi zhurnal ego za 1722-1724 gody, (St. Peterbsurg,
1887), 186.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 45

nineteenth century the French orientalist J. Klaproth reported meeting

Bukharans in Kiakhta, in Eastern Siberia, who were from Turfan and
Hami in Eastern Turkestan;62 it was also customary in Russian usage in the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for Bukhara proper to be referred to
as Greater Bukharia (Velikaia Bukhariia) and Kashgaria to be referred to
as Lesser Bukharia (Malaia Bukhariia) or Oirat Bukharia (Dzungarskaia

The Siberian Bukharans

The oldest, largest and most influential concentrations of Central Asians
in the Russian empire were in Siberia, Astrakhan and Orenburg. In these
places where the bulk of the trade was with Bukhara, it was Bukharans who
predominated among Central Asians. Further to the east, in Petropavlovsk,
Semipalatinsk, and Ust-Kamenogorsk, where much of the trade was with
Tashkent, Central Asian merchants were sometimes known in Russian
documents as Tashkendis (tashkentsy). The clearest evidence of the paral
lel elevation of Central Asian social and religious status in Russia is the
example of the so-called Siberian Bukharans. As we have seen, Central
Asian religious figures and merchants occupied an important position in
Siberia already under Kchm Khan, possibly arriving, according to local
genealogies, in 1572. Following the Russian conquest of Siberia, the au
thorities in Moscow soon realized that the trade relations between Central
Asia and the newly founded Russian settlements and fortresses in western
Siberia would have to be maintained and even expanded because of the
difficulties of maintaining lines of communications between Siberia and
central Russia. Although the earliest Russian legislation concerning the
Bukharan community in Siberia was mainly aimed at restricting the weap
ons trade between these merchants and Kchm Khan, already by 1596
the Bukharan community had successfully petitioned the tsar to authorize
and facilitate commercial contacts with Bukhara. In their petition they
requested that the tsar send ambassadors to Bukhara and the Noghay
Horde to request sending merchants to Siberia. They also requested that
the tsar send a group that included a mullah and a shaykh (that is, a local
sayyid) to Bukhara. The same year the tsar directed that the voevoda of
Tara, F. Eletskii, establish a market in that city so that Bukharans, Noghays,
and Tajik merchants would come to trade with local Tatars and Russians.
The tsar also directed that these Bukharan merchants be treated well, and

62J. Klaproth, Sur les Boukhares, Journal Asiatique II, 1823, 160.
46 chapter two

decreed that all trade taking place in Tara be tax exempt. These Bukharans
were also permitted to travel throughout Siberia.63 During the sixteenth
century the expansion of trade between Siberia and Central Asia became
an important feature of Russian economic policy, and the privileges ac
corded to Central Asian merchants rapidly expanded. The economic and
political dislocation in Muscovy during the Time of Troubles (1603-1611)
further isolated Siberia from Russia, especially economically. As a result
during the first two decades of the seventeenth century Siberian trade with
Central Asia gained an important strategic dimension for Muscovy, and
the tsar at that time permitted Central Asian merchants to settle in Siberia.
These communities became known in Russian documents as tobolskie
and tiumenskie torgovye bukhartsy, (Tobolsk and Tiumen Merchant
Bukharans) and as iurtovskie bukhartsy, (Bukharans of the Yurt); Central
Asian merchants coming to Siberia to trade were called priezzhie bukhart-
sy, (Visiting Bukharans).64 As early as 1621 Bukharans were working for
Russia as customs officials and tax collectors. In the 1630s Bukharans
merchants were traveling beyond Siberia to Arkhangelsk, Kazan, and
Moscow. In 1645 a Bukharan merchant successfully petitioned the tsar
complaining of mistreatment at the hands of Siberian authorities, citing
excessive taxation, and indicating that Siberian Bukharans were consider
ing going back to Bukhara. The same year the tsar forbade the voevoda of
Tobolsk from collecting taxes from Bukharans. In fact, throughout the
seventeenth century the tsar regularly upheld the privileges of the
Bukharans in disputes with Russian authorities and the Russian merchants
in Siberia.65 A series of royal decrees issued over the course of the seven
teenth century sought to encourage the settlement of Central Asians in
Siberia, and accorded substantial privileges to these communities. A de
cree from 1644 guaranteed official support to Bukharan trade caravans, and
removed them from the jurisdiction of local officials in Russia proper. They
were also immune from postal duties (iamskaia povinnost).66 A decree
from 1686 allowed them to travel to Russia as far as Arkhangelsk and
Astrakhan, and made them immune from all but criminal courts. In 1701

63O.N.Vilkov, Bukhartsy i ikh torgovlia v zapadnoi Sibiri v XVII v., Torgovlia gorodov
Sibiri kontsa XVI-nachala XX v., (Novosibirsk, 1987), 171-173; V.P.Shpaltakov, Sredneaziatskie
torgovye liudi v Sibiri v XVIII-XIX vv., Torgovlia gorodov Sibiri, 215-224; Ziiaev, Ekonomi-
cheskie sviazi Srednei Azii s Sibiiu, 24-25.
64Vilkov, Bukhartsy i ikh torgovlia, 175; Ziiaev, Ekonomicheskie sviazi, 26.
65Ziiaev, Ekonomicheskie sviazi, 29-30, 32.
66Gmelin was present in 1734 when a group of Siberian Bukharans refused to supply
horses to Russian officials, citing their exemption from these duties; cf. Johann Gottlieb
Gmelin, Voyage en Siberie I, (Paris, 1767), 52.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 47

they became immune from taxes and dues on land that they had pur
chased. The effect of these policies was to expand settlements of Siberian
Bukharans, and by the end of the seventeenth century they were found in
Tobolsk, Tiumen, Tara, Tomsk, and Kuznetsk.67 The Bukharans in Siberia
not only maintained Siberias trade with Central Asia, but also maintained
the regions internal trade networks. For example, the biggest buyer of
moose hides in Tomsk in 1682 was the Bukharan Safar Abdulin, who
shipped them to Tobolsk. At the same time, he and another Bukharan
named Azeika-Baba Seitov, evidently a sayyid, were the only suppliers of
rye to Tomsk.68 In addition to being merchants this community also pro
vided numerous other services to the Russian authorities. They worked as
customs officials at various fairs, appraised and sold government goods
both in Siberia and Central Asia, and served as leaders of caravans and
interpreters assisted Russian diplomatic missions to Central Asia, Mon
golia, and China.69
Bukharan merchants appear to have played a similar role in the Oirat
Khanate. The German traveler Johann Gmelin, who visited Tomsk in
the 1730s, commented on the close relationship in that town between the
Bukharan merchants and Oirat rulers.70 Well before the Russians, in
the seventeenth century the Oirats were making use of intelligence reports
submitted by Bukharan merchants. As a result, one Russian historian be
lieves that the Oirat ruler Galdan Tseren was certainly better informed
about events in Siberia than the Siberian authorities were aware of events
in Zungharia.71 Following the collapse of the Oirat Khanate in the 1750s,
many Bukharans shifted over to Russian service as intermediaries for
Russias commercial and diplomatic relations with China. Bukharans re
mained involved in the caravan trade in Mongolia, retaining a prominent
position in the Kiakhta fair, in Eastern Siberia, and establishing themselves
as far as Irkutsk.72 Similarly, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
Bukharans were guiding Russian trade and diplomatic missions into

67Vilkov, Bukhartsy i ikh torgovlia, 201-202.

68Potanin, O karavannoi torgovle c dzhungarskoi Bukhariei, 70.
69Vilkov, Bukhartsy i ikh torgovlia, 203-204; Potanin, O karavannoi torgovle c
dzhungarskoi Bukhariei, 75.
70Johann Gottlieb Gmelin, Voyage en Sibrie I, (Paris, 1767), 166.
71Potanin, O karavannoi torgovle c dzhungarskoi Bukhariei, 69.
72N.M.Iadrintsev, Sibirskie inorodtsy, ikh byt i sovremennoe polozhenie, (St. Petersburg,
1891), 39; Potanin, O karavannoi torgovle c dzhungarskoi Bukhariei, 69.
48 chapter two

Zungharia and to Beijing.73 The role of Siberian Bukharans as mediators

between the Russia and the Oirat Khanate is particularly evident in Ivan
Unkovskiis report of his diplomatic mission to the Oirat capital in the Ili
Valley in the 1720s. His embassy was accompanied by twelve Siberian
Bukharan merchants, who also served as guides. In the Oirat capital
Unkovskii was host to numerous visits by merchants from Bukhara proper
seeking authorization to trade in Russia.74
A series of imperial decrees over the course of the eighteenth century
cemented the status of Siberian Bukharans as the most privileged Muslim
community in Russia, and possibly one of the most privileged communities
in Russia as a whole. In 1701 Peter I decreed that henceforth Siberian
Bukharans of Tobolsk should be immune from all taxation and obligations.
Under pressure from Russian merchants in Siberia, Catherine II in 1764
reduced their privileges, and decreed that they were liable to yasak, a type
of tribute paid by subject communities.75 As a result of these changes, the
commercial activity of this community briefly declined, and in 1787, not
only did Catherine fully reinstate their original privileges, but she ex
panded them to grant the Siberian Bukharans the right of internal self-
administration (samoupravlenie). At that time the Siberian merchants not
only enjoyed full status as members of the merchant estate (meshchane),
but they also had rights properly belonging to the gentry (dvoriane).
Namely, they had the right to trade in any goods anywhere in Russia with
out paying guild taxes. They were allowed to purchase land from Tatars.
They remained exempt from labor dues (obrok), postal obligations, emer
gency levies, and other taxes and duties, and they were able to maintain
these privileges intact until well into the middle of the nineteenth centu
Following the legal and administrative reforms of the Qazaq Steppe in
1822 and 1824, the Siberian Bukharans importance to the imperial au
thorities began to wane, and the efforts of Russian merchants in Siberia to

73A.I.Timofeev, ed., Pamiatniki Sibirskoi istorii XVIII veka I, (St. Petersburg, 1882), 118-
120; Iadrintsev, Sibirskie inorodtsy, 37.
74Veselovskii, ed., Posolstvo k ziungarskomu khun-taichzhi Tsevan Rabtanu, 18-19, 28,
61, 63, and passim.
75The position of yasak-paying communities was relatively privileged, as these com
munities were immune from military recruitment and other obligations. Beginning in the
reign of Peter the Great, yasak status was gradually revoked among Turkic and Finno-Ugric
communities west of the Ural Mountains, transforming them into serfs or state peasants,
who were subject to the poll tax and military service.
76Shpaltakov, Sredneaziatskie torgovye liudi, 215-216.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 49

repeal these privileges became more effective. In 1824 Alexander I issued

a decree establishing duties for all merchants, including Siberian Bukha
rans. The following year, the Siberian administration divided the Bukharans
into two estates (sosloviia), one commercial and the other agricultural. In
1832 Nicholas I decreed that all Siberian Bukharans would have to declare
themselves Russian subjects and apply for membership in a merchants
guild. Those who refused were to return to Central Asia. In 1834 Nicholas
I established The Statutes for Bukharans and Tashkendis Inhabiting
Western Siberia, which formalized the division of the Bukharans into
commercial and agricultural estates. Tax-free trade was only authorized
for the sale of Central Asian goods in Russia, and the sale of Russian goods
in Central Asia. Similarly, Bukharan farmers obtained the status of settled
natives (osedlye inorodtsy), which was essentially similar to their former
status as a tribute-paying community. Consequently Siberian Bukharans
remained immune from military recruitment, and public works levies.77
In addition to their diplomatic and economic activities, Bukharans
exerted a strong cultural influence on Siberia, which contributed to their
prestige among both Muslims and non-Muslims. The eighteenth century
traveler Johann Georgi credited Bukharas madrasas as the cause for the
Bukharans high level of cultural and civic distinction among the Tartarian
The language of this people [the Bukharans] passes for one of the sweetest
dialects of the Tartarian language, and somewhat resembles the Persian.
The Bougharians schools are so famous throughout the Tartarian nations,
that they send thither much of their youth as are destined to the priesthood,
where they are taught history and geography, as well as the Tartarian and
Arabic languages. The Bougharian priests are in high estimation; even their
merchants are versed in Arabic, and speak it with great facility. [] In their
conduct they discover plain good sense, uprightness, and modesty; are la
borious, sober, and cleanly; all which good qualities may partly be attrib
uted to their schools, which are well conducted.78
Potanin estimates that until the arrival of Swedish prisoners to Siberia
following the Battle of Poltava in 1709 Bukharans were the most educated
and cosmopolitan element in Siberia (Potanin does not reveal the basis for
determining the Swedes to have been more educated that the Bukharans).
In addition to receiving praise for their politeness and sophistication, they

77Shpaltakov, Sredneaziatskie torgovye liudi, 219-221; Kh. Ziiaev, Uzbeki v Sibiri, (Tash
kent, 1968), 37.
78Georgi, Russia II, 131-132, 149.
50 chapter two

brought important books with them from Central Asia. For example, Abul-
Ghazi Khans history, the Shajara-yi Turk, became known in Europe after
the Swedish prisoner Tabbert von Strahlenberg brought the work back
from Tobolsk and translated it. Similarly, the German scholar Kenigsfeld
obtained a treatise on astronomy from a Tatar scholar in Tobolsk named
The social prestige of Central Asians, as well as their economic signifi
cance exerted a strong cultural influence not only on Siberian Tatars, but
on Ostyaks (Khanty) and Samoyeds (Selkups) as well. Potanin argues that
when the authorities banned the export of sable furs in the seventeenth
century, which the Siberian natives depended on to purchase essential
goods, the Bukharans began to smuggle sable pelts out of Siberia, cement
ing ties between the two groups. Potanin attributes the spread of Islam
among the Ob-Ugrians and Samoyeds to this practice.80 We know that in
1751 Sylvester, the Metropolitan of Tobolsk, credited (or rather blamed) a
Siberian sayyid, the akhun of Tara, with effecting the Islamization of the
Baraba Tatars in the middle of the eighteenth century.81 Similarly, in 1734
Gerhard Miller explained how the Eushta Tatars, living in the vicinity of
Tomsk, had been converted to Islam about twenty years earlier by a certain
Said, described as the head of the Muslim clergy in Tomsk. Those Eushta
Tatars not converted at that time were converted in 1733 by Said, who
lived in Tara and was the son of the Said who had carried out the initial

The expansion of trade between Russia and Central Asia was one of the
major legacies of the Petrine era. Before the beginning of the eighteenth
century trade between European Russia and Central Asia took place pri
marily through the city of Astrakhan.83 Just as with Siberia, following the
Russian conquest of Astrakhan in 1556 the Muscovite authorities sought

79Potanin, O karavannoi torgovle c dzhungarskoi Bukhariei, 72-73; for the background

on Strahlenbergs role in introducing the Shajara-yi turk to European scholarship cf. H.F.Hof
man, Turkish Literature: a Bio-Bibliographical Survey III/I, vol. 1-3 (Utrecht, 1969), 26-31.
80Potanin, O karavannoi torgovle c dzhungarskoi Bukhariei, 69-70; Iadrintsev, Sibirskie
inorodtsy, 34.
81G.N.Potanin, ed. Materialy dlia istorii Sibiri (Moscow, 1867), 36.
82A. Kh. lert, Istoriko-geograficheskoe opisanie Tomskogo uezda G.F.Millera (1734
g.), Istochniki po istorii Sibiri dosovetskogo perioda (Novosibirsk, 1988), 84.
83A. Semenov, Izuchenie istoricheskikh svedenii o Rossiiskoi vneshnei torgovle i pro-
myshlennosti s poloviny XVII-go stoletiia po 1858 god III, (St. Petersburg, 1859), 178-179.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 51

to preserve Astrakhans trade networks with Central Asia. Trade between

Central Asia and Astrakhan was maintained primarily by ship, between
Astrakhan and ports on the Mangshlaq Peninsula, and from there by
caravan to Khorezm and Bukhara. The English traveler Anthony Jenkinson,
who visited Astrakhan in 1558, very soon after the Russian conquest, re
marked that long-distance trade there was minimal.84 However this period
of economic decline was certainly short-lived. As early as 1557 and 1558 the
rulers of Khorezm and Samarqand had sent embassies to Ivan IV to obtain
trading rights for their merchants, and in 1567 and 1569 Ivan had con
cluded trade treaties with Bukhara itself.85 By the beginning of the seven
teenth century, during the reign of Boris Godunov (1598-1605), there were
colonies of foreign merchants in Astrakhan, and Russian ships were sailing
to the Mangshlaq Peninsula. In 1616 Russian sources mention merchants
and craftsmen from Bukhara, Urgench, and Kashan living in the Bukharskii
Dvor, including some that had been residents for ten years. Some of these
merchants were granted the privilege of trading in Kazan. These merchants
also accompanied embassies from the Central Asian khanates returning
from Kazan and Ufa.86 Such resident merchants in Astrakhan included
Central Asians, who appear in Russian sources as Teziki, Bukhartsy,
and Iurgentsy, as well as Persian merchants from Shemakha, Baku and
Derbent. At that time all of these merchants had the right to come freely
to Astrakhan, and by the time of the reign of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich (1613-
1645) there were two Tezichi dvory in the city where foreign merchants
resided. These were the Bukharskii Dvor for Central Asians, and the
Gilianskii Dvor for Persians.87 There was also a third dvor inhabited by
Hindu merchants and their Muslim descendants known as the Agrzhan
Tatars.88 These communities in Astrakhan, the so-called Giliani Tatars,
Bukharan Tatars, and Agrzhan Tatars retained the same sorts of privileges
as the Siberian Bukharans. Similarly, they lost their elevated estate status
in 1836, only two years after the Siberian Bukharans lost theirs.89 According

84Early Voyages and Travels to Russia and Persia by Anthony Jenkinson and other Eng-
lishmen, vol. 1 (London: The Hakluyt Society, 1856), 58.
85N.I.Kostomarov, Ocherk torgovli Moskovskago gosudarstva v XVI i XVII stoletiiakh,
2nd ed., (St. Petersburg, 1889), 48-49.
86N.I.Veselovskii, ed., Pamiatniki diplomaticheskikh i torgovykh snoshenii Moskov
skoi Rusi s Persiei III, Trudy Vostochnago Otdeleniia Russkago Arkheologicheskago
Obshchestva XXII (1898), 85,122, 641-644.
87Nebolsin, Ocherki Volzhskago nizovia, 110-112.
88Nikolai Ozeretskovskii, Opisanie Koly i Astrakhani, (St. Petersburg, 1804), 127-129;
Nebolsin, Ocherki Volzhskago nizovia, 112.
89Nebolsin, Ocherki Volzhskago nizovia, 110-111.
52 chapter two

to a census made by a German traveler to Astrakhan in 1771, the Bukharan

Dvor formed the largest community, numbering 374 inhabitants. The
Giliani Dvor numbered 178, and the Agrzhan Dvor 105. Among the
Bukharans, there were also 25 families, or 79 people, who lived as nomads
among the Noghays (iurtovye tatary).90 However, by the middle of the
nineteenth century, the Sunnis, that is, the Bukharan and Agrzhan Tatars
had become largely assimilated among the citys Kazan and Kasimov Tatar
As with the Siberian Bukharans, the skill and resourcefulness of the
Astrakhan Bukharans made them useful to Russian authorities, sometimes
at the highest levels of government. A case is point is the career of Makhmet
Isup Kasimov (according to the Russian spelling of the time), who was a
resident of Astrakhans Bukharskii Dvor, and who provided exemplary
service to the Russian authorities on two occasions.92 In 1666 and 1667,
while in the Persian city of Shemakha, he assisted two Orthodox patriarchs,
Paisii of Alexandria and Makarii of Antioch, whom the Patriarch Nikon
had invited to Moscow, accompanying them from Shemakha to Astrakhan.
As a reward for these services the tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich awarded
Kasimov and his brother a patent dated 13 June 1667 allowing them to trade
in Astrakhan and Moscow free from duties for five years on goods amount
ing to 500 rubles. In 1675 Aleksei made Kasimov an ambassador, and in
structed him to take a letter to the Moghul Emperor in India, Aurangzib.
Kasimov was to return to Bukhara with the Bukharan ambassador, who
was returning from Moscow, and from Bukhara travel on to India.93

Orenburg and Qarghal

Evidently using the highly successful Siberian experience as a model, the
Imperial Russian authorities sought to establish new Central Asian mer
chant colonies in the Russian settlements being founded along the Qazaq
steppe in the eighteenth century. In so doing, they offered the same sorts
of privileges as they had for the Siberian Bukharans.94 Chief among these

90Nebolsin, Ocherki Volzhskago nizovia, 114-115.

91Nebolsin, Ocherki Volzhskago nizovia, 113.
92Dmitrii Kobeko, ed. Nakaz Tsaria Alekseia Mikhailovicha Makhmetu Isupu Kasimovu
poslannomu 1675 godu k Velikomu Mogolu Aurenzebu, (St. Petersburg, 1884), iv; Kobeko
identifies Kasimov as a Tatar; but as a resident of the Bukharskii Dvor his official status was
surely that of a Bukharan.
93Kobeko, ed. Nakaz Tsaria Alekseia Mikhailovicha, iv-v; Kasimov only went as far as
Kabul, and never reached India.
94During the eighteenth century the authorities also settled in Russia Asiatic fugitives,
primarily Persians, Afghans, and Central Asians who had escaped from Qazaq or Turkmen
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 53

settlements, where substantial communities of Central Asians settled,

were Orenburg, whose commercial ties were overwhelmingly with
Bukhara, but with Khorezm as well. Several major commercial centers
along the fortified line along the northern edge of the Qazaq steppe,
or the Siberian Line, as it was known, were founded in the first quarter of
the eighteenth century. These settlements traded primarily with Tashkent,
the Ferghana Valley, and Kashgar. They included initially Iamyshevo
Ozero, and later Petropavlovsk, Semipalatinsk, and Ust-Kamenogorsk.
Both in the case of Orenburg, and of the cities along the Siberian Line, the
Russian authorities actively sought to stimulate trade with Central Asia,
the Oirat Khanate, and later with China, by attracting Central Asian mer
chants and offering the same sort of incentives they had put forward for
the Siberian Bukharans.
During the reign of Peter I a new line of forts and commercial centers
was established in southern Siberia, along the Irtysh River, which at that
time was under the control of the Oirats. Forts along this line that later
became important commercial centers were Semipalatinsk (1718) and Ust-
Kamenogorsk (1720). The policy of establishing ever new lines of forts along
the Qazaq steppe continued following Peters death, with Orenburg found
ed in 1734 (on the site of the modern city or Orsk), and again in 1741 on its
present-day site. Other forts that became important commercial centers
include Troitsk (1750) and Petropavlovsk (1753). By the end of the eigh
teenth century these towns emerged as locations for dynamic commercial
activity that attracted Russian, Tatar, Greek, and Armenian merchants
from Russia, and Central Asian merchants from Bukhara (including some
Bukharan Jews), Khiva, Tashkent, Khoqand, and Kashgar. In addition, all
of these towns were also important centers for the steppe trade with
Qazaqs, and in Orenburg and Troitsk, with the Bashkirs. Some of these new
cities, such as Semipalatinsk, maintained majority Muslim populations
into the Soviet era. Others maintained satellite towns consisting almost

captivity. They settled these people both in Siberia, and in Muslim regions within Euro
pean Russia. In Siberia these fugitives were integrated among the Siberian Bukharans; cf.
Ziiaev, Uzbeki v Sibiri, 19. However other groups of freed Central Asian fugitives were settled
in Sarapul district, along the Kama River. By 1777 they numbered approximately 308, but
appear to have become assimilated into both Muslim and local Russian communities; cf.
N. Blinov, Sarapul: istoricheskii ocherk, (Sarapul, 1887), 13-16. Ivan Lepekhin also mentions
Bukharans and other Central Asians freed from Qazaq captivity and living as Muslims and
as Christian converts in the vicinity of Cheremshansk, on the Trans-Kama region; cf. cf.
Ivan Lepekhin, Dnevnyia zapiski puteshestviia doktora i akademii nauk adiunta Ivana Lep-
ekhina po raznym provintsiiam Rossiiskago gosudarstva, 1768 i 1769 godu I, (St. Petersburg,
1795), 136.
54 chapter two

exclusively of Muslims, such as Orenburgs Qarghal (in Russian, Seitovskii

Posad) or Petropavlovsks Mawlud (in Russian Mamliutovo). Permanent
communities of Central Asians soon came into being in all these towns,
primarily Bukharans in Orenburg, and a mix of Bukharans and Tashkendis
in Petropavlovsk and Semipalatinsk. The Russian authorities showed the
same solicitude toward these Central Asians as they did for the Astrakhan
and Siberian Bukharans, treating them with particular favor and awarding
them similar privileges. At the same time Tatars and Bashkirs from Russia
were also settling in these towns, and came into sustained contact with
Central Asians, and with Central Asian cities, especially Bukhara. Central
Asian merchants, especially in Orenburg, often took Tatar wives. While
Siberian Bukharans during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were
mainly settled among Siberian Tatars, who were relatively removed from
the larger Muslim community in the Volga-Ural region, the establishment
of these cities along the Qazaq steppe attracted Tatars from throughout
Russia, and broadened the exposure of Tatars to Central Asians and Central
Asia. This was especially true for the Tatar merchant, and later religious,
Among these cities, Orenburg (and its Muslim satellite settlement
Qarghal) was to be the most influential as a vector for Bukharan cultural
influence on the Tatars, and Qarghal became one of the premier centers
for Islamic education and Muslim scholarship in Russia, in part because
throughout the eighteenth century the Russian governors of Orenburg not
only sought to attract and keep Central Asian merchants, but because they
also actively promoted Muslim religious institutions in the city, and in
Qarghal.95 Nevertheless, with regard to Central Asia, the main interest of
the Russian authorities was commerce above all else.96
Four years after its founding in 1734 on the site of the modern city of
Orsk, Orenburg had attracted both a number of merchants from Russia,
including the Kazan Tatar Said b. Ayt Khayalin, (Said Khaialin in Russian
sources), and several merchants from Khiva.97 Already in 1735, having
learned of the plans to found Orenburg, Tashkendi merchants in Ufa told
the governor Kirillov of their wish to establish trade fairs in the new city.

95On the Islamic history of Qarghal cf. Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, Said, (Kazan,
96V.E.Den, Naselenie Rossii po piatoi revizii II/5, (Moscow, 1902) 309-311.
97Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, Said, 4; Burganova, Goroda-kreposti, 204; Mami Ham
amoto, Tatarskaia Kargala in Russias eastern policies, in: Asiatic Russia: Imperial Power
in regional and international contexts, Uyama Tomohiko, ed. (London & New York, 2012),
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 55

They pledged to come annually with caravans, and invited Russian mer
chants to come to Tashkent. By 1738 trade had grown considerably in
Orenburg. Russians and foreigners were permitted to establish any plants
and factories, and as had been the case in Astrakhan, Asiatics and others
who came there were allowed to engage in retail trade.98 The governor of
Orenburg, Ivan Nepliuev, moved Orenburg with its population of mer
chants to its current site in 1741. Two years later, with the cooperation of
Said Khaialin, he founded the settlement of Qarghal.99 Immediately fol
lowing the shift of Orenburgs location, the imperial authorities began
investing substantial sums for building an infrastructure that would attract
merchants from the Qazaq steppe and Central Asia. This infrastructure
included mosques, and markets (dvory) where the merchants could trade,
and the authorities could collect customs dues. Already by 1743 the gover
nor of Orenburg, I. Nepliuev, had overseen the building of the Menovoi
Dvor and the Gostinnyi Dvor.100 The Menovoi Dvor, which was completed
in 1747, was set designated for Bukharan merchants, and within it was a
section called the Aziatskii Dvorik, with 98 shops and eight warehouses.101
Orenburgs two mosques were built in the eighteenth century. The First
Mosque was built, according to Shihab ad-Din Marjani, during the time
of Prince Volkhonskii. Its construction was partly funded with state funds,
and partly with contributions from a Bukharan karavanbashi. There was
also a mosque in the Menovoi Dvor, built during the era of Catherine II,
evidently with state funds. Catherine also funded the construction of a
madrasa in Bukhara, the Er-Nazar Madrasa.102 Central Asians began set
tling permanently in Orenburg by 1747. During the 1740s and 1750s
Bukharans were selling substantial qualities of precious metals to Orenburg
in ingots and coins, as well as precious stones, and by 1750 trade with
Bukhara was firmly established.103
As in Siberia, the Russian authorities encouraged the permanent settle
ment of Central Asians in Orenburg through commercial privileges. Several
families of Bukharans, Khivans, and Uzbeks were living in Orenburg in

98Semenov, Izuchenie istoricheskikh svedenii III, 180-181.

99Den, Naselenie, 309-314; Burganova, Goroda-kreposti, 205; D.M.Iskhakov, Etnogra-
ficheskie gruppy tatar Volgo-Uralskogo regiona, (Kazan, 1993), 58-59.
100V.N.Vitevskii, I.I.Nepliuev, vernyi sluga svoego otechestva, osnovatel Orenburga i
ustroitel Orenburgskago kraia, (Kazan, 1891), 162-163.
101Vitevskii, I.I.Nepliuev, 162-163; G.A.Mikhaleva, Torgovye i posolskie sviazi Rossii so
sredneaziatskimi khanstvami cherez Orenburg, (Tashkent, 1982), 26-27.
102Shihab ad-Din Marjani, Mustafad al-akhbar fi ahwali Qazan wa Bulghar II, 209-211.
103Vitevskii, I.I.Nepliuev, 166; Burganova, Goroda-kreposti, 206.
56 chapter two

the 1750s, and in April 1808 Orenburg had 28 families of Bukharans, three
from Tashkent, and two from Khiva. By August there were 58 families of
Central Asians there. Central Asians also lived in Sorochinskaia, Ilinskaia,
Krasnogorskaia, Orsk, and Troitsk. In all of Orenburg and its settlements
there were 75 Central Asian families in that year.104 Qarghal was another
settlement with a permanent community of Central Asians. As of 1804
there were twenty families of Central Asians there who enjoyed a number
of privileges, including exemption from military billeting. By 1825 there
were 130 Central Asian families there. The Bukharan and Tatar communi
ties were quite closely connected. The children of Bukharan fathers and
Tatar or Bashkir mothers were given Orenburg meshchanin status, were
liable to the poll tax, and registered to the Bashkir Cossack Host. Because
Central Asian merchants could not trade in the central Russian cities, ac
cording to the ukase of 1 December 1755 they could use Tatar and Bashkir
agents. Tatars and Bashkirs also traveled to Bukhara as agents for Russian
merchants. As Muslims they were exempt from the higher taxes levied on
non-Muslims trading in Bukhara.105 Similarly, during the early nineteenth
century the wealthiest Bukharan merchants who provided much of the
capital investment for this caravan trade, also tended to use native
Bukharan and Khivan agents.106
Bukharan merchants and Bukharan goods dominated Orenburgs trade
during the eighteenth and early nineteen centuries. Commerce with
Bukhara made up approximately ninety percent of Orenburgs Central
Asian trade, the balance being with Khiva. Bukhara retained this domi
nance in Orenburg into the second half of the nineteenth century.107
During the Napoleonic blockade the imperial authorities sought to stimu
late Central Asian trade. In the eighteenth century Russia ran a modest
trade deficit with Bukhara, but this deficit grew substantially between 1812
and 1819, as a result of which some Bukharan merchants amassed substan
tial fortunes. During this time the authorities relaxed restrictions on
Bukharan trade and Bukharan merchants. A ban on the export of steel to
Central Asia was lifted after 1807, and Bukharan merchants were now al
lowed to travel freely within Russia.108 By 1830 Bukharans also earned the

104Mikhaleva, Torgovye i posolskie sviazi, 25-26; Petr Rychkov, Topografiia Orenburg-

skaia I (St. Petersburg, 1762), 189-192.
105Mikhaleva, Torgovye i posolskie sviazi, 23-24, 35-36, 41-42.
106Zamechaniia o torgovle bukhartsev, Sibirskii Vestnik 1821, 12.
107Mikhaleva, Torgovye i posolskie sviazi, 42, 47.
108Mikhaleva, Torgovye i posolskie sviazi, 44-46; on the scale and proportion of trade
between Orenburg and the three Central Asian khanates from the mid-eighteenth century
to the mid-nineteenth century cf. Semenov, Izuchenie istoricheskikh svedenii III, 185.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 57

right to export gold and silver coins, and as of that date they began coming
to the Makarevo Fair in Nizhnii Novgorod, where they traded in various
luxury goods. Among Russians in Nizhnii Novgorod they enjoyed the same
reputation as they did in Orenburg and Siberia. One observer noted, the
because of their honesty, and decent conduct, the Bukharans are held in
high esteem by the Russians.109
The large, wealthy, permanent, and privileged Bukharan community in
and around Orenburg exercised a strong cultural influence on the Tatars
and Bashkirs there. Some of the wealthiest and most influential of these
merchants themselves traveled to Bukhara, such as Said Khayalin whom
the Governor of Orenburg, Ivan Nepliuev, sent there in 1749.110 Central
Asian merchants were also instrumental in funding the construction of
Orenburgs first mosques. Orenburgs First Mosque was built already in the
1740s. It was built by a Bukharan karvanbashi, together with funds from
the treasury. This karvanbashi clearly maintained an exalted social status.
He obtained the Russian rank of tarkhan, which granted him a lifetime
exemption from taxes. His son Nazar-Bay later married the daughter of
the Mufti Abd as-Salam who had served as the Second imam of the same
Central Asian scholars and literati also established themselves in
Qarghal, Orenburg, and Astrakhan. These included Ish-Niyaz b. Shir-Niyaz
b. Yar-Muhammad al-Urganchi, an influential theologian from Khorezm
who died in Orenburg in 1790/1,112 and somewhat later, in the middle of
the nineteenth century, the Bukharan historian Mirza Shams Bukhari (b.
1804). While living in Orenburg he wrote a history of the Manght Dynasty
titled Bayan-i hawadithat-i Bukhara u Khuwaqand u Kashghar.113 Among
Central Asian Sufis we can mention Iskandar b. Qalandar Sufi al-Marghi
nani (d. 1874), a shaykh from the Ferghana Valley active in Astrakhan.114 A
Bukharan scholar named Muhammad-Sharif b. Abd ar-Rahim al-Bukhari,
who died in Kazan Province in 1883, lived as a merchant in the vicinity of

109N.N.Ovsiannikov, O torgovle na nizhegorodskoi iarmarke, Nizhegorodskii sbornik

I, A.S.Gatsiskii ed., (Nizhnii Novgorod, 1867), 8, 16-17.
110Burganova, Goroda-kreposti, 205.
111Shihab ad-Din Marjani, Mustafad al-akhbar II, 209-210.
112Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, Asar I, 59.
113Ch. A. Stori, Persidskaia literature: Bio-bibliograficheskii obzor pererabotal i dopolnil
Iu. E. Bregel, II, 1166-1167; Anke von Kgelgen, Die Legitimierung der mittelasiatischen Man-
gitendynastie in den Werken ihrer Historiker, (Istanbul, 2002), 167 and passim.
114Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, Asar II:15, 557.
58 chapter two

fairs and madrasas in the Middle Volga region.115 A Bukharan Jewish com
munity was also represented in Orenburg. Like their Muslim compatriots,
they were involved primarily in commerce. The Russian traveler Mikhailov,
visiting Orenburg in the course of a journey to the Qazaq Steppe in the
1860s, makes several mentions of a Bukharan Jewish community in
Orenburg, and notes that the citys Muslim cemetery includes a Jewish

Central Asians on the Siberian Line

Central Asian merchants also figured prominently along the Siberian Line,
particularly in the commercial and religious centers of Petropavlovsk and
Semipalatinsk, where we see essentially the same political, economic, and
demographic dynamics as existed in Orenburg, although Siberian
Bukharans played a rather more prominent economic role here than they
did in Orenburg. The first portion of the Siberian Line was established
during the reign of Peter the Great along the middle and upper course of
the Irtysh River, and was known as the Irtysh Line. It included the settle
ments of Iamyshevo Ozero, which itself was already the site of a major
trade fair for Central Asian merchants in the late sixteenth century, Omsk
(1715), Zhelezinskaia (1717), Semipalatinsk (1718), and Ust-Kamenogorsk
(1720).117 During this period, the steppe south of the Irtysh River was dom
inated by the Oirats, and the Irtysh Line was established as a line of forti
fications to protect Siberia from that powerful confederation. However
there is no reason to doubt that expanding commerce with the Oirats
played a role in the establishment of these settlements as well. In 1732 an
agreement between the Russian and Oirat authorities allowed royal trade
(kaznennaia torgovlia) to take place at Iamyshevo Ozero. Bukharans ap
pear to have played an important role in the Russo-Oirat trade along the
Irtysh Line. The year after the treaty was signed, in 1733, a Bukharan named
Mulla Nazar brought a caravan of Oirat goods into Iamyshevo. Bukharans
also brought a large Oirat caravan to Semipalatinsk in 1745. In 1746 a
Bukharan named Iusupkhodzha (according to the Russian spelling) led
another Oirat caravan into Iamyshevo, and led it on to Tobolsk. However
the following year the Russian authorities decreed that non-resident

115Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 124.

116M. Mikhailov, Orenburgskiia pisma dlia zhelaiushchikh oznakomitsia s Orenburgom,
Orskom, Troitskom, Fortom Aleksandrovskim i dorogoiu chrez kirgizskuiu step do Forta No.
1, (St. Petersburg, 1866), 53, 70.
117Ziiaev, Ekonomicheskie sviazi, 83.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 59

Bukharans (priezzhie bukhartsy) were not to trade in Tobolsk, but

only along the Irtysh Line.118 Remarkably, the Oirat rulers appear to have
played an important role in expanding the Bukharans access to Russian
markets, and in negotiating agreements with the Russian authorities on
the Bukharans behalf. In 1733, following their diplomatic negotiations with
the Oirats the Russian authorities agreed no only to exempt Bukharan
merchants (who led caravans for the Oirats) from import duties, but even
from customs inspections. In addition, by the end of the seventeenth cen
tury Bukharan merchants controlled all of the internal trade in Siberia,
including money-lending.119
By the 1760s, following the Chinese annihilation of the Oirat Khanate,
Semipalatinsk emerged as a main center of trade along the Irtysh Line, and
in the second half of the eighteenth century permanent communities of
Central Asians were established in these towns. These Central Asians ap
pear in official documents as Tashkandis (tashkentsy) rather than
Bukharans. These Tashkendis, largely from Tashkent, but also from the
Ferghana Valley, Kashgaria, and even Bukhara, received the same privi
leges as the Siberian Bukharans in Tara, Tiumen, and Tobolsk. Similarly,
the privileges that Catherine II accorded the Siberian Bukharans in 1787
applied equally to the Tashkandis of the Siberian Line. As a result, the
number of Tashkendis in Semipalatinsk increased. Russian officials and
merchants who successfully attracted Central Asians to settle in these
towns received awards and promotions, as in the case of the Semipalatinsk
merchant N.V.Glukharev, who claimed to have convinced 94 Tashkendis
to settle permanently in his city.120 These Tashkandis also settled in Ust-
Kamenogorsk where they, along with Qazaq merchants, were exempt from
some customs duties.121 In 1847 the authorities granted additional privi
leges to Central Asian merchants on the Siberian Line, when they were
allowed to trade without trade certificates and could reside on the Siberian
Line without any documents.122
In the 1750s two other major trading settlements were established along
the Qazaq Steppe, which were to become major commercial and Islamic

118Ziiaev, Ekonomicheskie sviazi, 84-86, 90; it is likely here that the term Bukharan
reflected the Russian legal status of these merchants, rather than their place of origin.
119Karl Struve and Grigorii Potanin, Poezdka po vostochnomu Tarbagataiu letom 1864
goda, Zapiski Imperatorskago Russkago Geograficheskago Obshchestva po otdeleniiu obsh-
chei geografii I, (1867) , 474-476.
120Ziiaev, Ekonomicheskie sviazi, 92-93.
121Ziiaev, Ekonomicheskie sviazi, 100.
122Ziiaev, Ekonomicheskie sviazi, 111.
60 chapter two

centers in Russia. These were Petropavlovsk (Qzlyar in Tatar sources) and

Troitsk. Petropavlovsk rivaled, and in some measure surpassed, the cities
of Orenburg and Semipalatinsk as a commercial centers, and later, as an
Islamic center. It was founded in 1753, along the Ishim River, in the extreme
north of the Qazaq steppe. In 1764 the imperial authorities designated it
as a commercial center and place of residence for the khans of the Qazaq
Middle Horde. It grew rapidly, mainly as a center for trade with the Qazaqs.
However, the Central Asian caravan trade gained in importance, particu
larly in the first half of the nineteenth century.123 The city also included a
larger number of Bukharans than the cities further east, and it was
Bukharans who dominated the citys Central Asian religious institutions.124
In the eighteenth century the impetus for increased commercial con
tacts with Russia also came from a series of Central Asian rulers. In
1765 the ruler of Turkistan Abdulmamatkhan (according to the Russian
spelling) sent the Bukharan Raimberdiev as an envoy to the chief
(nachalnik) of the Siberian Line, I. Shpringer. The envoy at that time re
quested making Omsk a venue for trade. At the end of the eighteenth
century Yunus-khwaja, the ruler of Tashkent until its capture by Khoqand
in 1809, sought to expand trade with Russia through Siberia. He appealed
to the chief of the Siberian Line to provide specialized Russian assistance
for a mining project, which was granted, and resulted in the Burnashev
mission to Tashkent in 1800. In 1812 the khan of Khoqand, Muhammad-
Umar Khan sent an embassy to St. Petersburg to propose expanding com
mercial relations along the Siberian Line, which Emperor Alexander I
During the first half of the nineteenth century Central Asian merchants
continued to dominate the caravan trade, and much of the retail trade,
along the Siberian Line, particularly in Semipalatinsk, Petropavlovsk, and
Ust-Kamenogorsk. As we have seen, the Imperial authorities granted them
substantial economic incentives and a particularly favorable estate status
to entice them to settle permanently, and by the end of the eighteenth
century large communities of Central Asians were established in these
cities. Qurban-Ali Khalidi indicates that Central Asian merchants began

123Ziiaev, Ekonomicheskie sviazi, 115; K.M.Tumanshin, Osnovanie i razvitie goroda

Petropavlovska i ego uezda vo vtoroi XVIII-pervoi polovine XIX vv., Uchenye zapiski Kusta-
naiskogo Gosudarstvennogo Pedinstituta VI (1961), 42, 46, 55-56.
124Galimjan Barudi, Qzlyar sfre, (Kazan, 2004), 91-94.
125Ziiaev, Ekonomicheskie sviazi, 94, 97, 101.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 61

coming to Semipalatinsk in the 1790s.126 By beginning of the nineteenth

century there were already 98 households of resident Tashkendis, most of
which were involved in trade, in addition to the Siberian Bukharans who
had already settled there. Other sources indicate that at the beginning of
the nineteenth century there were 345 Central Asian merchants in
Semipalatinsk. Most of them lived as non-resident guests who did not
become Russian subjects. A report from 1824 mentions 185 Tashkandis who
were not Russian subjects in the city.127 During this period it appears that
these Central Asian merchants dominated commerce, or at least the ranks
of the merchants in that city. Commercial statistics in Semipalatinsk
for 1825-1827 show that of the 113 merchants involved in commerce there
in 1825, Central Asians and Siberian Bukharans numbered 100 out of 113. In
1827 they numbered 72 out of 80. In 1829 it was 62 out of 71, in 1831 49 out
of 75, and in 1833 62 out of 116. In 1849 96 out of 120 merchants were
Tashkendis or Bukharans 128 Central Asian merchants even received offi
cial decorations from the Russian authorities in recognition of their con
tribution to facilitating trade. Ibragim Amirov, a Tashkandi merchant in
Semipalatinsk, traded in particular with Eastern Turkestan. In 1841 he was
awarded with the Za Userdie silver medal for expanding trade in
Semipalatinsk, and exporting Russian goods.129
The internal organization of the Tashkandi community in Semi
palatinsk is reasonably well documented in Tatar sources. In addition to
migrants from Central Asia, it also included so-called Chala-Qazaqs, the
descendants of Central Asian fathers and Qazaq mothers, who were grant
ed a legal status equivalent to that of nomadic Qazaqs after the conquest
of Central Asia. In Muslim sources these Central Asians were known as
Sarts, and they maintained two mosques in Semipalatinsk, known as the
First and Second Sart Mosques. The First Sart Mosque was built around
1795, and appears to have been the first permanent mosque built in the
city. The Second Sart Mosque dates from around 1853.130 Russian legisla
tion concerning Asiatics in Semipalatinsk demonstrates that as of 1835
they were granted self-administration of their mosques and the selection
of their imams; these religious institutions were subordinate to the Russian

126Allen J. Frank and M.A.Usmanov, eds. Materials for the Islamic History of Semipala-
tinsk: Two Manuscripts by Ahmad-Wali al-Qazani and Qurbanali Khalidi, ANOR 11 (Halle-
Berlin, 2001), 69.
127Ziiaev, Uzbeki v Sibiri, 41; Ziiaev, Ekonomicheskie sviazi, 101.
128Ziiaev, Ekonomicheskie sviazi, 105-106, 111.
129Ziiaev, Ekonomicheskie sviazi, 105-106, 111.
130Frank and Usmanov, eds. Materials for the Islamic History of Semipalatinsk, 75-76.
62 chapter two

civil authorities, and not to the Orenburg Muslim Spiritual Assembly in

Ufa.131 The community was headed by an aqsaqal, a position appointed by
the khan of Khoqand. Qurban-Ali identifies six individuals who served as
aqsaqals in Semipalatinsk until the position was abolished after the
Russian conquest of Tashkent in 1867.132 Writing in 1888, the Semipalatinsk
historian Ahmad-Wali al-Qazani indicated the following about these
Central Asians:
there are two other mosques in Semipalatinsk. They are called the Sarts
mosques. One of them was built at the time the First Mosque was built in
Semipalatinsk. Sarts came from Tashkent and set up residence in Semi
palatinsk. They married women and girls from among the Qazaqs, and they
remained in Semipalatinsk (It is also called the Chala Qazaqs mahalla).
They didnt return to Tashkent and they built a small mosque without a
minaret. It had a Tashkandi-style exterior and appearance. The common
people called this mosque the Toqal Mosque [i.e. Polled Mosque]. This is
evidently because it has no minaret. [] The Second Sarts Mosque was
built at the expense of the Tashkandi Mir-Qurban Bay b. Awwab Bay, who
resided in Semipalatinsk. 133
Ahmad-Wali indicates that after the conquest of Khoqand, these commu
nities remained administratively separate from the Tatars, who main
tained nine mosques in the city.134
The Central Asian merchant community that developed in Petropavlovsk
appears to have followed roughly the same contours as that of Semipalatinsk.
Central Asian merchants began settling in Petropavlovsk in 1806. While
there were some Bukharan merchants in Petropavlovsk, just as in
Semipalatinsk, it was merchants from Tashkent who dominated trade
there. In 1821 the khan of Khoqand, Muhammad-Umar Khan, appointed
the Petropavlovsk merchant Kenzhatai Baidzhanov135 to be the aqsaqal
for all Khoqandi merchants in the city. This position was recognized by the
Governor of Western Siberia, Kintsevich. By 1840 228 out of 288 merchants
in the city were Central Asians. In 1841 it was 302 out of 359. However, the
Central Asians also were often dealing in smaller sums, and the merchants
with the highest capitalization were usually from Russia, including many

131Gorodskiia poseleniia v Rossiiskoi imperii IV, (St. Petersburg, 1864), 483.

132Qurban-Ali Khalidi, Tawarikh-i khamsa-yi sharqi (Kazan, 1910), 367-368.
133Frank and Usmanov, eds., Materials for the Islamic History of Semipalatinsk, 31-32.
134Frank and Usmanov, eds., Materials for the Islamic History of Semipalatinsk, 32-33.
135He appears in Tatar sources as the Tashkandi Kinjbay b. Bayman, and is remembered
as a patron who helped build several mosques in the city; cf. Barudi, Qzlyar Sfre, 87.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 63

Tatars.136 A Russian description of Petropavlovsk from the early nineteenth

century echoes earlier accounts of Bukharans in Russia, and speaks highly
of that citys Central Asian population:
The Tashkendis who live in Petropavlovsk are distinguished from the Tatars
by their custom and manners. They are fervent and zealous, and differ from
the Tatars in their habits. What is more, they always observe courtesy, kind
ness, and constancy with all people. Their speech is respectful and polite,
that is, [it is] elevated speech, because many of them are able to speak
Arabic and Persian. They conduct trade almost every place with Asiatics
and various Russian peoples, bringing goods themselves from Irbit, and buy
ing sometimes from Russian merchants who come to Petropavlovsk.137
This early description of Petropavlovsks Central Asians, similar to Ahmad-
Wali al-Qazanis evaluation of Central Asians in Semipalatinsk, clearly
indicates that they maintained a high social and religious status in both
cities compared to that of the Tatars, at least at that time. The Central
Asians in Petropavlovsk also maintained a separate mosque, known as the
Fourth Sart Mosque. Our sources are silent on the date of its initial con
struction, but the original wooden structure burned down in 1838, and had
been named the Aq-Chuwaq Mosque, named after an early patron.138 In
1878 the Central Asians, with the assistance of some Tatar patrons, built
the Fourth Mosque. Its imams were all Bukharans, and included Alim-
khwaja Bukhari, Abd al-Hamid Bukhari (d. 1892), Sayyid b. Khalifa Abd
ar-Rashid al-Bukhari (d. 1895), and Muhammad-Hafiz b. Sayyid.139 Finally,
another settlement along the Siberian Line with a substantial Central
Asian population was Ust-Kamenogorsk. Here there was a permanent
Central Asian community already in 1788, and by 1813 it numbered 70
persons.140 From 1865 until 1887 the imam of that mosque was Ali b. Walid,
who was originally from Semipalatinsk, but had served as mufti in the city
of Khoqand before returning to Siberia.141
The presence of large, permanent, and privileged communities of
Central Asians throughout Siberia and along the Russian settlements

136Ziiaev, Ekonomicheskie sviazi, 115, 118.

137A.D.Kolesnikov ed., Opisanie Tobolskogo namestnichestva, (Novosibirsk, 1982), 113-
138Barudi, Qzlyar Sfre, 87.
139Barudi, Qzlyar Sfre, 93-94.
140Ziiaev, Uzbeki v Sibiri, 61.
141Frank and Usmanov eds. Materials for the Islamic History of Semipalatinsk, 36;
Qurban-Ali Khalidi, An Islamic Biographical Dictionary of the Eastern Kazakh Steppe (1770-
1912), Allen J. Frank and M.A.Usmanov eds., (Boston-Leiden, 2005), 58-59.
64 chapter two

bordering the Qazaq steppe exerted a strong cultural and economic influ
ence especially on Tatars and Bashkirs in direct contact with these Central
Asians, but also on Tatar and Bashkir communities further inside Russia.
We have seen, for example, the contributions of Siberian Bukharans in
Islamizing numerous Siberian communities. Central Asians also intermar
ried extensively with Tatars, and by the middle of the nineteenth century,
with the abolition of Bukharan privileges in Astrakhan and Siberia, and as
a result of intermarriage, these communities became absorbed in the local
Tatar communities. Among Central Asians marriage to Tatar women was
also common in Orenburg and even in Nizhnii Novgorod as late as 1890.142
The sense of belonging to the same community could be felt in other ways
too between Tatars and Central Asians. Qurban-Ali Khalidi relates a story
that took place as the Makarevo Fair, near Nizhnii Novgorod, in 1855. A
Tashkandi merchant named Tursumbay died at the fair, and the local Tatar
akhund named Salih organized a funeral service. When Russians began
mocking the prayer services, Salih started a riot, for which the Russian
authorities later absolved the Muslims.143 Tatar merchants also worked
closely with their Central Asian counterparts, either working as agents to
sell Central Asian goods inside Russia proper, or else accompanying cara
vans to and from Central Asia, or even within Russia. These contacts with
Central Asians were not restricted to the wealthier and more educated
elements of Tatar and Bashkir society, in numerous cities and towns.
Contacts remained intensive for almost two centuries, and existed through
out Russia. The traveler Gmelin reported even seeing Kazan Tatars in a
Bukharan merchants caravan near Tomsk in 1734.144

Bukharan Fashion among Muslims in Russia

One aspect of the relationship between Bukhara and Muslims in Russia is

the strong influence of Bukharan material culture on Tatars and Bashkirs
in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, up to the 1920s. This influence
can be seen as the emergence of Bukharan fashion among Tatars and
Bashkirs, often in a very self-conscious manner. If the eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries were a period of elevated religious, social, and eco
nomic prestige for Bukharans in the eyes of Russias Muslims, then the

142Viktor Ragozin, Volga ot Oki do Kamy II (St. Petersburg, 1890), 177.

143Qurban-Ali Khalidi, A Biographical Dictionary, 46-49.
144Gmelin, Voyage en Sibrie I, 165.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 65

emulation of Bukharan costume, food habits, and religious customs among

Muslims in Russia should come as no surprise, particularly as commercial
and religious contacts intensified. Among Muslims in Russia the impor
tance of costume as a manifestation Muslim status cannot be overempha
sized. Muslims clearly associated Muslim status with Muslim dress, (and
the definition of Muslim dress was not restricted to Bukharan-style cloth
ing). Those who dressed like Russians were often suspected of having
abandoned their community and become Christians. Muhammad-Fatih
al-Ilmini, an imam in Samara Province, provides a clear example in his
discussion of a Tatar military officer named Yusuf Enikeev from Novouzensk
who had lived with his family in Tashkent, and had returned for a visit to
the village of Alt Ata:
Yusuf [] was taken into the Cadets Corps [iunkerskaia sluzhba], and later
it seems he became an officer. After marrying Shams-i Qahir, the daughter
of Rahmatullah of Alt Ata, he spent seven years in military service with his
family, was sent to the Tashkent region, and returned to visit Alt Ata. He
spent a few days [there] as a visitor. Between them they had a son named
Muhammad-Mubin and a daughter. They spoke Russian and one had to
speak Russian with their children; and because their Russian clothing was
odd, the villagers concluded that they had become Christians.145
Generally, the phenomenon of costume as a marker of religious status is
generally not discussed in Tatar or Bashkir ethnographic literature, in part
because the modern Tatar nation is generally ethnically defined in both
Tatar and Bashkir ethnographic literature and historiography. In the Tatar
or Bashkir context there have been no anthropological studies of costume
and dress comparable to the sorts of works evident for other regions of the
world, including the Muslim world.146 Rather, historical discussions of
Tatar and Bashkir clothing usually are restricted to evaluations of mate
rial culture, where the emphasis is on the physical description of costume,
regional differentiations, as well as the technical aspects of producing
fabric and clothing. The social significance of clothing is usually only dis
cussed in any detail in descriptions of clothing worn in rituals, especially
wedding rituals. Such an emphasis on unique types of ethnic clothing
corresponds fully with the nationalist conceptions that have dominated
Tatar and Bashkir ethnographic literature since the beginning of the twen
tieth century. Generally the role of the ethnographer has been to describe

145Tawarikh-i Alti Ata, fol. 95ab.

146Cf. Emma Tarlo, Clothing Matters: Dress and Identity in India, (Chicago, 1996); Cloth-
ing as Material Culture, Susanne Kuchler and Daniel Miller, eds. (New York, 2005).
66 chapter two

the characteristics of dress that are unique to the Tatars, that would seem
to demonstrate their national uniqueness as a people. In this regard, one
early Tatar nationalist ethnographer, Gainutdin Akhmarov, was sharply
critical of the Governor of Kazan, Karl Fuchs, who in 1844 described the
wedding traditions of Tatar merchant families in Kazan, and recorded the
strong presence of Bukharan influences in both their clothing, and their
tastes in general.147 Akhmarov believed that in describing wedding tradi
tions of the Kazan Tatar elite, Fuchs had failed to distinguish what was of
a pure ethnic quality (chistonatsionalnogo kharaktera) from what was
simply a mlange of artificial Central Asian and oriental influences.148
Although he decried what he understood to be Fuchs limited abilities as
an ethnographer, Akhmarov was nevertheless forced to concede that
Central Asian fashion was strongly attractive to Tatars, even at the begin
ning of the twentieth century, and that this attraction was based on a sense
among Russian Muslims of Central Asian prestige:
The reason for such a layering of wedding rituals in Kazan [described by
Fuchs] (magnificent gifts, an extraordinary number of dishes served, etc.)
is that for a long time Kazan served as a marketplace for wealthy Muslims
in Asia to obtain brides. Bukharans, Sarts, Central Asians and Siberian, Oren
burg, and Astrakhan Tatars would visit from the Nizhnii Novgorod Fair and
come to the Bulak [a Muslim quarter of Kazan] and do business with Kazan.
The luxurious attire and the artificial cosmetics of the Kazan Tatar women
enraptured the Asiatic merchants who at that time were getting married in
Kazan. Even today Siberian and Orenburg merchants are marrying their
sons in Kazan. Tatar merchants who trade throughout Siberia and Central
Asia are coming to Kazan to get married. This diverse element has brought
various rituals to Kazan, since for the most part wedding rituals are accord
ing to the taste of the groom, and they reproduce his ethnic fare, his ethnic
environment etc.149
In the Soviet era at least one ethnographer, Nikolai Iosifovich Vorobev
(1894-1967), acknowledged the economic, social, and religious standing
that Central Asia held for Tatars, and he described its influence not only
on Tatar clothing, but also on Tatar material culture as a whole. 150 In a

147Fuchs perceived Bukharan influence in a wide range of Tatar tastes, including dress,
folk songs, and mosque architecture; cf. Karl Fuks, Kazanskie tatary v statisticheskom i et-
nograficheskom otnosheniiakh, (Kazan, 1991) [originally published 1844], 37, 59-60, 93.
148Gainetdin Akhmarov, Svadebnye obriady kazanskikh tatar, Izvestiia obshchestva
arkheologii, istorii i etnografii pri Kazanskom Universitete 1907 v. XXIII vyp. 5, 1-18, reprinted
in Gainetdin Akhmerov, Izbrannye trudy, (Kazan, 1998), 208-209.
149Akhmarov, Svadebnye obriady, 208.
150On Vorobevs career, cf. R.G.Mukhamedova, N.I.VorobevIssledovatel kultury
i byta tatarskogo naroda, K Voprosu etnicheskoi istorii tatarskogo naroda, (Kazan:
1985), 8-11.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 67

lecture given in 1926 he challenged Akhmarovs critique and defended

Fuchs relevance as an observer of Tatar material culture. In this regard,
according to Vorobev,
[B]ecause of the new relationship between the Russian authorities and the
Kazan Tatar merchants who were able to conduct trade in Central Asia, the
Tatars adapted their cultural circumstance. In order to be able to trade in
Central Asia the Tatars had to stand at the same culture level as the popu
lation there. And we see for the era in question that medieval Muslim scho
lasticism flowering then in Central Asia flooded Tatar society in a broad
wave. Tatars sent their children to study in Bukhara and Samarqand. Having
returned from there and taken their respective positions in the ranks of
Tatar society, the graduates of the Central Asian schools introduced into
Tatar society a significant number of traits characteristic of Uzbek cultured
society, which evolved there under a whole series of events in the medieval
history of Turkestan. The Central Asian influence penetrated first into the
midst of the most progressive merchants, and then, [] into meshchane
circles and then to the peasantry via the clergy, which had been educated
in Bukhara. So, the era in which Fuchs lived in Kazan and was made his
observations corresponds with the flowering of Central Asian influence on
the Tatars.151
As a Marxist ethnographer, Vorobev emphasized the dialectic nature of
Tatar fashion. For example, he also argued that the adoption of European
or international clothing styles reflected the domination of capitalist, and
later socialist, relations among Tatars.152 In this regard Vorobev deserves
recognition as an ethnographer who was able to consistently link Tatar
material culture with Tatar societys broader economic and cultural rela
To be sure, the attraction of Tatars and Bashkirs to Bukharan consumer
goods and their transformation of Bukharan goods into articles of fashion
and prestige was certainly facilitated by their widespread availability as a
result of the caravan trade between Russia and the Central Asian khanates.
While raw cotton sold to Russian textile mills made up the bulk of this
commerce, there was also a strong demand for fabric, clothing, footwear,
cosmetics, jewelry, rugs, and dried fruit. It is difficult to tell from the sourc
es, primarily Russian customs accounts, who were the main consumers of
Bukharan fabric, food, and luxury goods, but in the Russian market

151N.I.Vorobev, K.F.FuksPervyi issledovatel byta Kazanskikh tatar, in: Karl Fuks

o Kazani, Kazanskom krae, M.A.Usmanov et al. eds. (Kazan, 2005), 323-324, reprinted from
the Vestnik Nauchnogo obshchestva tatarovedeniia, No. 6, 1927.
152N.I.Vorobev, Kazanskie tatary, (Kazan, 1953), 313.
68 chapter two

demand on the part of Muslim consumers was certainly disproportionate

to their numbers.

Clothing and Fabric

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Muslims in Russia wore a wide
variety of clothing that varied by region and social class. However many
nineteenth century observers also indicated that clothing styles among
different Tatar groups was essentially similar, suggesting a common stan
dard of dress in these communities.153 Tatar clothing from this era is
well documented in a wide range of sources. Russian and European travel
ers, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, would often
describe Tatar clothing. The plates published in the works of Pallas, Georgi,
and others are widely reproduced today. Clothing as a culturally relevant
aspect of material culture appear in most nineteenth century ethnograph
ic descriptions of Muslims in Russia,154 however there were also studies
specifically focused on Tatar and Bashkir dress.155 Since the Soviet era the
description of Tatar and Bashkir dress and adornment has occupied sig
nificant space in ethnographic literature.156 During the Imperial era the
large majority of Tatars and Bashkirs were peasants who produced most
of their own cloth from which they made most of their own clothing. Over
the course of the nineteenth century the products of Russian textile mills
increasingly became available to Muslims in both Russia and Central Asia.157
However, among Tatars and Bashkirs brightly-colored Central Asian silks
and cottons remained a highly sought-after and prestigious article well into

153Ivan Iushkov, Sibirskie tatary, (Tobolsk, 1861), 81; A.D.Kolesnikov, ed. Opisanie
Tobolskogo namestnichestva, 114; F. Starikov, Istoriko-statisticheskii ocherk Orenburgskago
kazachego voiska, (Orenburg, 1891), 213.
154Fuks, Kazanskie tatary; Iushkov, Sibirskie tatary.
155N.N.Vecheslav, Opisanie kostiumov russkikh i inorodcheskikh u krestian Kazanskoi
Gubernii, (Kazan, 1878).
156Vorobev, Kazanskie tatary; S.I.Rudenko, Bashkiry: istoriko-etnograficheskie ocherki,
(Moscow-Leningrad, 1955); N.I.Vorobev and G.M.Khismatullin eds., Tatary Srednego
Povolzhia i Priuralia, (Moscow, 1967); R.G.Mukhamedova, Tatary-mishari, (Moscow, 1972);
Farida Sharifullina, Kasimovskie tatary, (Kazan, 1991), 66-85; S.V.Suslova, Kostium Astra
khanskikh tatar XIX-nachala XX vv., Astrakhanskie tatary, (Kazan, 1992), 80-89; F.T.Valeev,
Sibirskie tatary, (Kazan, 1992); S.N.Shitova, Bashkirskaia narodnaia odezhda, (Ufa, 1995); L.
Kh. Samsitova, Realii bashkirskoi kultury, (Ufa, 1999); S.V.Suslova, Odezhda, in: Tatary,
(Moscow, 2001), 267-317; N.V.Bikbulatov et al. ed. Traditsii bashkirskogo narodnogo iskusst-
va v sovremennoi odezhde, (Ufa, 1988).
157For descriptions and illustrations of Russian fabrics marketed to Muslimsespe
cially Central Asian Muslimscf. Susan Meller, Russian Textiles: Printed Cloth for the Bazaars
of Central Asia, (New York, 2007).
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 69

the twentieth century. For Tatars and Bashkirs the significance of high-
quality Central Asian fabrics went beyond simply dress, but also could have
important symbolic value as well. For example, the genealogy of the
Bashkir Yurmat tribe includes an account of the tribes submission to
Russia in the 1550s, in which we read that Ivan the Terrible, after establish
ing the conditions of their submission, and delineating their lands, gave
their envoys gifts of Central Asian silk cloth.158
Central Asian caravans brought these fabrics in large quantities into
Russia throughout the period in question, and they were used both to
fashion local and Central Asian designs, and were used in virtually every
type of Tatar clothing.159 Burhan ad-Din b. Nasir ad-Din al-Bulghari, while
he was a student in Bukhara, wrote his father in April of 1852 telling him
he had sent home several pieces of Bukharan alacha fabric with a caravan.
His father had requested a white variety of alacha, but Burhan ad Din had
not sent it. He explained that because most people in Bukhara wore robes
(chapans) made from that fabric, he did not consider it appropriate to his
fathers elevated religious status. Instead, he promised to purchase for him
the same type of alacha that the Bukharan scholars wore.160 These Central
Asian fabrics included silks and semi-silks such as drs and biqasb,
which today would be classified as ikat-type fabrics, sarancha a cotton
material, and benaras, a brightly colored striped silk fabric. For example,
wealthy Tatars used Bukharan drs fabric for their duvet covers.161 The
sleeveless tunic known as a kamzol, and the longer variety of the kamzol,
the kzki, was popular in all Tatar and Bashkir communities. While con
sidered a native garment, until the end of the nineteenth century it was
commonly made from Central Asian drs, and biqasb, although by the
end of the nineteenth century factory-made cloth had displaced Central
Asian silks in making these garments. 162 At the same time, it appears that
Bukharan designs had a strong effect on Tatar styles throughout the nine
teenth century. For example, the jiln and the chikmn, varieties of a long
robe, appear to have been modeled on the cut of the Central Asian chapan,
although the chikmn was typically not made from brightly-colored Central
Asian cloth. These garments first appeared among Tatars in the middle of
the nineteenth century, and were also widespread among the Bashkirs,

158R.G.Kuzeev, Bashkirskie shezhere, (Ufa, 1960), 29 (Bashkir text), 33 (Russian text).

159Vorobev, Kazanskie tatary, 221.
160TB fol. 46a.
161Vorobev, Kazanskie tatary, 197.
162Vorobev, Kazanskie tatary, 230-1; Tatary Srednego Povolzhia, 121.
70 chapter two

where they were known as yeln and skmn, and included among the
southeastern Bashkirs padded varieties made from Central Asian fabric.163
The jiln was a sort of cloak that as a womans garment, doubled as a head-
covering, and was also made from Central Asian silks. According to
Vorobev, these were worn exclusively by wealthy women, particularly
among the wives of mullahs. He adds that the custom of wearing the gar
ment as a head-covering was an imitation of a Central Asian practice.
Vorobev points out that the custom of wearing the jiln as a head-covering
was also evident among Uzbek and Turkmen women, and continued to be
worn among Tatar women into the Soviet era.164
If Tatars and Bashkirs wore local designs made from imported Central
Asian cloth, they also were partial to Central Asian garments that they
imported ready-made. Indeed, these garments, primarily long brightly-
colored silk and padded-cotton robes, known as chapans (in Bashkir, sa-
pan), or in Russian sources as khalats, strongly associated those who wore
them with social and especially religious prestige. Ethnographers identify
it mainly as a mens garment that was typically worn by mullahs and
other authoritative figures, and was worn especially at public functions,
such as at assemblies (majlises) or at the mosque. Men would sometimes
wear the chapan with a sash or silk belt, in a consciously Central Asian
fashion.165 In his narrative of a visit by a prestigious Tatar imam named
Waliullah to his home in Chuguchak, in China, the historian Qurban-Ali
Khalidi, made specific mention of Waliullahs striped benaras chapan,
which clearly contributed to his image of religious authority.166 In seven
teenth and eighteenth century Russian observers already noted that
Siberian Bukharans commonly wore the chapan.167 However there is evi
dence that it was not restricted to the wealthy and authoritative. A Cossack
historian remarked in the late nineteenth century that it was common for
Muslim Cossacks of the Orenburg Cossack Host, by no means a particu
larly wealthy group, to wear Bukharan chapans.168 In any case, the rela
tively late appearance of the jiln and the chikmn, in the eighteenth
century, and the chapan in the mid-nineteenth century coincides with the

163Vorobev, Kazanskie tatary, 234; Tatary Srednego Povolzhia, 130; Rudenko, Bashkiry,
158-159, 162-163; Samsitova, Realii bashkirskoi kultury, 97-8.
164Vorobev, Kazanskie tatary, 250; Tatary Srednego Povolzhia, 130.
165Vorobev, Kazanskie tatary, 221; S.M.Chervonnaia, Iskusstvo Tatarii, (Moscow, 1987),
256; Valeev, Sibirskie tatary, 121; Samsitova, Realii bashkirskoi kultury, 100.
166Qurban-Ali Khalidi, An Islamic Biographical Dictionary, fol. 91a.
167Ziiaev, Uzbeki v Sibiri, 65.
168Starikov, Istoriko-statisticheskii ocherk, 213.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 71

era of Bukharas greatest prestige among Russias Muslims. By the begin

ning of the twentieth century more radical Tatar reformists were associat
ing chapans with Sufism, ishans, religious conservatism, and reaction.169
The chapan was also a womans garment, but worn differently by wom
en than by men. Curiously, it is not mentioned in Soviet ethnographic
sources as a womans garment, either among Tatars or Bashkirs, possibly
because it was associated with religious conservatism; nevertheless, a
nineteenth-century lexicographical source clearly identifies the chapan as
a womens garment.170 In all likelihood the jiln and the chapan as they
were worn by women were very similar garments if not one and the same,
and were both made from Central Asian cloth. In their polemics Tatar
reformists often denounced the persistence of Bukharan fashion among
women, including veiling.171 In the Tarikh-i Barangawi Ahmad Barangawi
includes a poem devoted precisely to the religious significance of the cha-
pan for Muslim women, where among the sacred qualities of the chapan,
the poet mentions that these garments are obtained in Bukhara.172 Perhaps,
then, the womens chapan was imported, while the jiln was tailored lo
cally. The poem was written by Ahmad-Fatih b. Shuja as-Sulaymani and
is titled Khatun qizgha birgn bozuq kingshni bozu (Negating the Immoral
Advice that a Woman Gave to a Girl).173 It furnishes a good illustration of
the cultural significance Bukharan fashion held for many Muslims in
Russia, even at the beginning of the twentieth century. The poem is in
tended as a refutation (raddiya) to a poem written by a female jadid de
nouncing the wearing of the hijab and the chapan as being contrary to
Islamic Law. Ahmad provides neither the title of the original poem, nor
the name of its author, but he does indicate it circulated in print, and
clearly promoted modernist ideas of womens dress. Ahmad-Fatihs rebut
tal was never printed, but rather circulated as a manuscript. In his poem
Ahmad-Fatih is sharply critical of the evidently jadid-inspired critique of
the chapan and the hijab. In addition to pointing out the Bukharan (and
hence sacred) origin of these garments, he argues that when women wear
the chapan in public it not only conforms to Islamic Law, but strengthens
it as well. He so strongly equates the chapan and jiln with Islamic b ehavior

169Farit Iakhin, Tatarskaia literatura periodicheskoi pechati Uralska (1905-1907 gg.),

(Kazan, 1992), 114.
170Lazar Budagov, Sravnitelnyi slovar turetsko-tatarskikh narechii I, (St. Petersburg,
1869), 452.
171Iakhin, Tatarskaia literatura periodicheskoi pechati Uralska, 102-103.
172TB, fol. 79a.
173The poem appears on ff. 78a-80b of the Tarikh-i Barangawi.
72 chapter two

and Islamic etiquette that he goes so far as to call the poetess an atheist.
Similar defenses of the chapan appeared in the conservative Muslim press
of Orenburg.174
The production and consumption of footwear among Tatars and
Bashkirs also revealed a strong Bukharan imprint. Curiously, Tatars were
renowned in Bukhara as the makers of a type of footwear known in Russian
sources as ichigi, which were boots make from a special type of soft leath
er, called bulghari in Muslim sources, and iuft in Russian sources. Indeed,
in Bukhara the saint Hasan al-Bulghari is remembered as the person who
brought the craft of making these boots to Bukhara.175 Indeed many
Tatars in Bukhara were in fact boot-makers. However, despite the renown
of Tatar footwear in Bukhara proper, by the end of the eighteenth century
Tatar tastes in ready-made shoes appear to have gravitated toward
Bukharan styles and models; Tatars also imported special types of leather
from Central Asia for shoe-making.176 Muslim industrial shoe manufactur
ing emerged in Kazan in the 1860s, when the Tatar merchant and indus
trialist Muhammad-Jan Galeev (the father of Galimjan Barudi) opened a
factory in Kazan in 1869.177 However it was Galeevs initial employer and
mentor, Mustafa Fayzullin, who created the foundations for the Kazan
shoe industry, and he did so satisfying the demand for Bukharan-style
footwear. In the 1790s Fayzullin purchased some samples of Bukharan
shoes at the Orenburg market, and brought them back to Kazan. He dis
covered that the Bukharan styles were quite popular, and he started man
ufacturing them in Russia. He hired shoemakers from the surrounding
villages and began mass-producing them, evidently through piecework
production. Galeev worked as Fayzullins agent and would travel to the
various villages to buy the production. After Fayzullin died Muhammad-
Jan took over the business, and eventually shifted from piecework to in
dustrial production.178 The art historian S. Chervonnaia relates a similar
account about Fayzullin, and adds that the same kind of connection,

174R. Mukhametshin, Tatarskii traditsionalizm: osobennosti i formy proiavleniia, (Kazan,

2005), 118-121.
175Albert Almeev, Sviatye mesta Bukhary: mazar khodzha Bulgar, http://www books/history_culture/minaret/19-20/almeev.htm.
176Chervonnaia, Iskusstvo Tatarii, 257.
177On Galeev and his family cf. Leonid Deviatykh, Iz istorii kazanskogo kupechestva,
(Kazan, 2002), 82-87.
178Radik Salikhov, Primer reformatora, in: Galimdzhan Barudi, Pamiatnaia knizhka,
(Kazan, 2000), 4.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 73

connecting the origins of a local industry to Bukhara, existed among

Muslim blacksmiths in the village of Chebaksa, in Kazan district. Chebaksa
was a village where by the end of the nineteenth century Tatar blacksmiths
had established a metalworking industry that primarily supplied wagon
manufacturers in Kazan, but also produced tools, wrought iron fences, and
other iron products for retail dealers.179 While Russian production domi
nated the market for manufactured goods both in Russia and Central Asia,
Muslims in Russia continued to prefer certain Bukharan craft goods that
had religious associations. For example, Tatar and Bashkir men would
typically shave their heads and beards in what was considered an Islamic
fashion, and often preferred Bukharan razors for that purpose.180

Cosmetics and Jewelry

Bukharan fashion among Tatars and Bashkirs also manifested itself through
commodities more or less exclusively associated with women, namely
jewelry and cosmetics. Jewelry has been the topic of protracted study for
ethnographers and art historians, particularly since there are also extensive
archeological sources that can be brought to bear.181 A detailed discussion
of historical jewelry styles among Volga-Ural and Siberian Muslims lays
outside of the scope of this study; but for the sake of brevity, it can simply
be said that art historians have typically characterized Muslim jewelry
designs, especially in the Volga-Ural region, as being of Oriental prove
nance, and have argued that the main design influences came from Iran,
Central Asia, and the Caucasus, certainly beginning in the pre-Mongol era.
Furthermore, Tatars, especially Kazan Tatars, produced most of their own
jewelry regionally, although some was also imported from Persia and
Central Asia. Much local production of jewelry, as with footwear, con
sisted of designs made from imported models, including Central Asian

179Chervonnaia, Iskusstvo Tatarii, 257; V.P.Semenov-Tian-Shanskii, ed., Polnoe geogra-

ficheskoe opisanie nashego otechestva VI, (St. Petersburg, 1901), 248.
180Vorobev, Kazanskie tatary, 262.
181Studies tend to be devoted to jewelry among the Kazan Tatars; cf. Petr Dulskii,
Iskusstvo kazanskikh tatar, (Moscow, 1925); S.V.Suslova, Zhenskie ukrasheniia kazanskikh
tatar serediny XIX-nachala XX v. (Moscow, 1980); F. Kh. Valeev, Narodnoe dekorativnoe
iskusstvo Tatarstana, (Kazan, 1984), 55-88; Chervonnaia, Iskusstvo Tatarii;
G.F.Valeeva-Suleimanova and R.G.Shageeva, Dekorativno-prikladnoe iskusstvo kazanskikh
tatar, (Kazan, 1990); for the Bashkirs cf. Rudenko, Bashkiry, 185-200.
182Vorobev, Kazanskie tatary, 288-289; Tatary Srednego Povolzhia, 151.
74 chapter two

With cosmetics Bukharan influence becomes more discernible, espe

cially among Tatars. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries var
ious types of cosmetics, as well as cosmetic applications, came from Central
Asia. Iushkov, describing the Siberian Tatars in the mid-nineteenth cen
tury, relates that Tatar women used cosmetics in two ways believed to have
originated in Bukhara. One of these was painting the fingernails yellow or
red. The other was the practice of blackening the teeth.183 Teeth blacken
ing is also mentioned among Kazan Tatars in the nineteenth century.
Vorobev also suggests that this practice originated in Central Asia. They
would use a substance from Turkestan called tash qal, although he adds
that this fashion was largely abandoned by the beginning of the twentieth
century. Other cosmetics imported from Central Asian and in demand
among Muslim women included kohl, lead face powder, and other sub
stances. 184
Finally, as evidence that Tatars and Bashkirs cultivated, and even flaunt
ed, Bukharan tastes, we can point to cooking. Dried fruit, nuts, and rice
were among the goods that Russia imported from Central Asia, and cer
tainly there was a demand among Russians, as well as among Muslims, for
these delicacies. However among Muslims specifically Bukharan dishes,
particularly pilaf, were associated with religious rituals, and public events.
For example, a dish called Bukhari pilaf was typically prepared for assem
blies and other public events, and Bukhari pilaf was the most widely pre
pared, and clearly the most prestigious. This style of pilaf was also widely
prepared and consumed by students in madrasas on festive occasions. As
in Central Asia, among Tatars the preparation of pilaf was a task carried
out by men.185 The Governor of Kazan, Karl Fuchs, who, as we have seen,
was a keen observer of the influence of Bukharan fashion among the Tatar
elite in Kazan, provides an example of the symbolic significance of pilaf in
his description of a reception organized by Kazans ulama and leading
merchants in October 1826 for Jahangir Khan, the Chingisid sovereign of
the Qazaq Inner Horde. Jahangir Khan was passing through Kazan after
attending the coronation of Tsar Nicholas I, and the religious and com
mercial elite of Kazan had considerable interests in the Qazaq steppe.
Fuchs indicated that this pilaf, the favorite Oriental dish, was the first
dish served to Jahangir Khan at the feast. Furthermore, the Tatar notables

183Iushkov, Sibirskie tatary, 86-87.

184Vorobev, Kazanskie tatary, 290; Tatary Srednego Povolzhia, 151.
185Tatary Srednego Povolzhia, 167-178; Ziiaev, Uzbeki v Sibiri, 66.
Religious and Social Foundations of Bukharan Prestige 75

obviously sought to flatter Jahangir by addressing him by the title amir

al-muminin, a title also claimed by the Mangt emirs of Bukhara.186

186K. Fuks, Prebyvanie v Kazani kirgizskogo khana Dzhean-giria, in: Bukeevskoi Orde
200 let 4, (Almaty, 2001), 10, 19.
76 chapter two
Bulghar Institutions in Bukhara 77

Chapter three

Bulghar Institutions in Bukhara

Beginning in the seventeenth century the settlement and circulation of

Central Asians in Russia and Siberia increased the exposure of Tatars and
Bashkirs to Central Asia. During the Petrine era Russian trade policies
brought these two communities in closer contact along the Qazaq steppe,
and also brought increasing numbers of Tatars and Bashkirs to the cities
of Central Asia, especially Bukhara and Tashkent. By the beginning of the
nineteenth century most large Central Asian cities had Tatar and Bashkir
residents, or, as Central Asians called them, Noghays or Bulghars. These
communities included both transient individuals, such as merchants,
students, and scholars, and those who had decided to settle there perma
nently. The latter group also included merchants, craftsmen, scholars, and
Sufis, many of whom were fugitives. Some of these Tatars and Bashkirs
were well connected with the local authorities, serving as clerics, Sufi
shaykhs, courtiers, and military officers in the various khanates. Tatar and
Bashkir expatriates and the institutions they maintained were often touch
stones for recently-arrived merchants and students, who could establish
connections when they arrived in a Central Asian city.

Bulghar Saints and Legendary Scholars in Central Asia

In addition to genealogies among Tatars and Bashkirs that established an

ancestral relationship with various Central Asian cities, there also existed
numerous legends describing the experiences of expatriate Tatars and
Bashkirs who traveled to Central Asia, lived there a while, and returned to
Russia. The legends that have come down to us are rather localized, but
nevertheless provide evidence that Tatar and Bashkir communities per
ceived a historical precedent in the presence of their compatriots in
Central Asia. In Bukhara, for example, there was a shrine and a mahalla
named Khwaja Bulghar. Its inhabitants claimed that Khwaja Bulghar had
been the son of the ruler of Bulghar. According to the legend, he had argued
with his father and came to live in Bukhara, and when he arrived at the
78 chapter three

mahallas mosque, he entered the chillakhana, and died there.1 Khwaja

Bulghar was also the name of a cemetery and of a water channel in the
city.2 Other Bukharan legends explicitly identify Bulghar Khwaja as
the 14th century Sufi Hasan b. Umar al-Bulghari, and credit him with
having taught local craftsmen the art of working leather, as well as
with having taught local murids.3 It is in all likelihood to this cemetery that
Shihab ad-Din Marjani was referring when he related that a scholar from
Qarghal named Husayn b. Muhammad b. Umar al-Bulghari al-Kirmani
died in Bukhara in 1857 and was buried near the tomb of Hasan b. Umar
In his genealogy compiled in 1805, the Tarikh Nama-yi Bulghar, the
Bashkir Sufi and historian Taj ad-Din b. Yalchighul al-Bashqordi recorded
a semi-legendary account of one of his ancestors, Qul-Ali b. Mir-Hajji, who
was born near the mouth of the Zay River, in the western Bashkir country.
His father had served a local khan as an imam, and Qul-Ali moved to
Khorezm to study, where he was a mudarris for 45 years. When a certain
Tusi Khan came from China to destroy Khorezm, Qul-Ali fled to the
Qazaqs and lived among them before returning to the mouth of the Zay,
where he died at age 110 at the time of Amir Timurs destruction of Bulghar.
Qul-Alis son was Mir-Ali who, like his father, went to Khorezm to study.
He was a mudarris in Urgench for thirty years, and died there. His son Mir-
Sharif was an imam and mudarris for sixty years in Urgench and Khiva,
and died there too. Mir-Sharifs son was Mir-Said, who is described as on
of the greatest scholars of the times. He is said to have lived in the village
of Sejavend, to have written a work called Fariza, and to have died at the
hands of the Persian ruler Nadir-Shah who conquered Khorezm in 1740.5
For our purposes the significance of Taj ad-Dins account is not whether it
is historically accurate, but rather its qualities as a genealogy and sacred
history of the Tatars and Bashkirs, including his own yle tribe, and in
which several generations of ancestors appear as scholars in Central Asia.
Similar legends circulated among the Arghns of the Qazaq Middle Horde,
who attributed the founding of the Kukaltash Madrasa in Bukhara to an

1O. Kh. Sukhareva, Kvartalnaia obshchina pozdnefeodalnogo goroda Bukhary, (Moscow,

1976), 73.
2N. Khanykov, Opisanie Bukharskago khanstva, (St. Petersburg, 1843), 80-81.
3Albert Almeev, Sviatye mesta Bukhary: mazar khodzha Bulgar, http://www books/history_culture/minaret/19-20/almeev.htm.
4Marjani, Mustafad al-akhbar II, 267-268.
5I.G.Galiautdinov ed. Tarikh Nama-i Bulgar Tadzhetdina Ialsygulova 2nd ed., (Ufa,
1998), 164-165.
Bulghar Institutions in Bukhara 79

Arghn ancestor, Qulbaba, a historical figure who was a close advisor to the
Uzbek ruler Muhammad Shbani Khan (d. 1510).6
Certainly one of the most influential and popular works in the maktab
curriculum in the Volga-Ural region and Siberia was another of Taj ad-Dins
works, the Risala-yi Aziza, an extensive commentary written in 1797 on
Sufi Allah-Yars popular primer on Sufism, Subat al-Ajizin. The Risala-yi
Aziza was one of the most frequently and extensively printed Muslim texts
in Imperial Russia, and was widely used as a textbook, not only in Russia
and Siberia, but among the Qazaqs as well.7 At the beginning of his com
mentary Taj ad-Din provides some apocryphal biographical background
information on Sufi Allah-Yar, establishing him a Nughay. He writes:
In the city of Samarqand there is a village called Minglan. Most of that citys
inhabitants were saints (awliya). In that village there was someone named
Timer-Yar. He was a very holy and pious person. The village was mainly
Nughays. He had a son whom he named Allah-Yar. When he was 12 years
old, he placed him in a madrasa in Bukhara.8
Later in the work Taj ad-Din relates how Sufi Allah-Yar had a son named
Muhammad-Sadiq who was born in Bukhara. Muhammad-Sadiq moved
to Samarqand, and later informed his father of his desire to embark on the
hajj and travel to Bulghar. He traveled to Bulghar, living for a while in
Kazan, where, we are told, there was a great Sufi named Idris Khalifa who
had the same silsila as Muhammad-Sadiq.9 This Idris Khalfa that Taj ad-
Din mentions figures prominently in both Bulgharist sacred histories and
in local legends collected among the regions Muslim and Christian Tatars.
Written histories and shrine catalogs identify him as having studied Sufism
in Yarkand, in Kashgaria, with the seventeenth century Sufi, Hidayatullah
Khwaja, who is often identified in Tatar accounts as a murid of Ahmad
Yasavi.10 However, legends collected from villagers near his shrine in the
village of Terberdy Chally, in Tatarstan, indicate he had gone to Bukhara
to study, and remained there for fifteen years before returning.11 One of
Idris Khalifas murids was said to be Qasim Shaykh b. Ibrahim al-Qazani,
who is featured in a welter of more or less connected traditions linking him
with an ancestral figure and saint named Qasim Shaykh buried on the right

6Mshhr-Zhsip Kpeyul, Shgharmalar VIII, (Pavlodar, 2006), 249-251.

7On this work cf. Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte, 106-110.
8Tajeddin Yalchgol, Risali Gaziz I, (Kazan, 2001), 46-47.
9Tajeddin Yalchgol, Risali Gaziz II, (Kazan, 2001), 456-457.
10Allen J. Frank, Muslim Historiography and Bulghar Identity among the Tatars and
Bashkirs of Russia, (Boston-Leiden, 1998), 72-76, 119-120.
11Tatar khalq ijat: riwytlr hm legendalar, (Kazan, 1987), 262.
80 chapter three

bank of the Volga, near the modern village of Tatarskoe Islamovo. However
in the nineteenth century he is better known in Tatar sources as being
linked to the city of Kazan, where it is said he was buried. Other Tatar oral
accounts recorded in Kazan indicate he was buried near Bukhara. Primarily
on that basis, Marjani denounced the veneration of Qasim Shaykh in
Kazan, emphasizing that the real Qasim Shaykh was the well-document
ed 16th century figure whose tomb was a pilgrimage site near the town of
Kermina, not far from Bukhara. For our purposes the historical identity of
Qasim Shaykh is less important that the conflation among Tatars of a
number of saints and shrines in Russia and Bukhara into a single Tatar

The Tatar and Bashkir Presence in Bukhara

Tatars and Bashkirs retained permanent settlements in numerous Central

Asian cities and towns well before the Russian conquest. The historical
legends discussed above, as well as the evidence of Siberia and the Volga-
Ural regions trade before the Russian conquests of the sixteenth century,
suggest that Siberians and Bulghars had long been present in Central
Asia, or were considered to have been so. Russian customs documents
from the seventeenth century show that in the 1650s Tatar merchants were
traveling to Bukhara and bringing Bukharan and Oirat goods back to
Russia.13 During the first half of the eighteenth century Tatar merchants
were engaged in smuggling contraband from Russia to Khiva and Bukhara.
The Russian ambassador Florio Beneveni who visited Bukhara in 1722 and
was present when two caravans coming from Astrakhan and Saratov were
found to be illegally carrying tin and gun barrels for sale in Bukhara.
Beneveni sought to have the Bukharan authorities confiscate the goods,
but the khan refused on the grounds that the Tatar merchants had declared
they were not Russian subjects, even though Beneveni had identified
Kazan and Astrakhan Tatars among them.14 In his report to Peter the Great
Beneveni mentions a Bashkir merchant from Ufa district who resided in
Bukhara and was named Mulla Maksat Iunusov who pledged his loyalty to

12Allen J. Frank, Qasim Shaykh al-Qazani: a Muslim Saint in Tatar and Bulghar Tradi
tion Asiatische Studien/Etudes Asiatiques, LVIII 1 (2004), 115-129.
13S. Kh. Alishev, ed. Istochniki po istorii Tatarstana, (Kazan, 1993), 110-111.
14A. Popov, Snosheniia Rossii s Khivoiu i Bukharoiu pri Petre Velikom, (St. Petersburg,
1853), 67, 139-140, 149, 156.
Bulghar Institutions in Bukhara 81

the tsar, and in fact couriered Benevenis coded dispatches back to Russia.15
Just as the intensification of the caravan trade between Russia and the
Central Asian khanates increased the Central Asian population in Russia,
so did it in all likelihood increase the number of Tatars and Bashkirs resi
dent in Central Asia. Filipp Efremov, a Russian soldier captured by Qazaqs
during the Pugachev uprising and sold as a slave in Bukhara, reported the
presence of Tatars in that city in the 1770s. He adds that many Tatars
(nagaitsy) left the Orenburg region, settled in Bukhara, and called them
selves Uzbeks.16
Several observers viewed Tatars as a community particularly favored by
the emirs of Bukhara, and commented that Tatars residing there enjoyed
a sense of confidence in their status as expatriates.17 An anonymous eigh
teenth century Russian traveler commented on the Tatars complete
freedom in Bukhara, and their ability to reside and trade throughout the
emirate without hindrance.18 Arminius Vambery, visiting Samarqand in
the 1860s, observed Tatar caretakers at the tomb of Amir Timur, and com
mented on their favored status with the emir.
At the head of the graves are two Rahle (table with two leaves, upon which,
in the East, are laid sacred volumes) there the Mollahs day and night read
in turn the Koran and contrive to extract from the Vakf (pious foundation)
of the Turbe a good salary. They, as well as the Mutevali (stewards), are
taken from the Nogai Tartars, because the Emir [Nasrullah] expressed in
his will the desire that the watch over him should be entrusted to this race,
which had always been particularly well disposed toward him.19
Bukhara and Tashkent were the cities with the most extensive commercial
ties with Russia, and it is not surprising that these cities maintained the
largest Tatar communities. Burnashev and Pospelov, who visited Bukhara
in 1795, observed numerous Tatars there. The British traveler Alexander
Burnes, who visited Bukhara in the 1820s, estimated there to be around a
thousand Tatar families in that city. The Russian officer Georges de
Meyendorff who visited in 1822 estimated there to be around 3,000 there,
whom he describes as being mainly malefactors and fugitives who had

15Popov, Snosheniia Rossii s Khivoiu i Bukharoiu, 148, 156.

16Filipp Efremov, Stranstvovanie Filippa Efremova v Kirgizskoi stepi, Bukharii, Khive,
Persii, Tibete i Indii i vozvrashchenie ego ottuda chrez Angliiu s Rossiiu, 3rd ed., Petr Kondyrev
ed. (Kazan, 1811), 72, 96.
17Arminius Vambry, Travels in Central Asia, (London, 1865), 247; L.M.Sverdlova, Na
perekrestke torgovykh putei, (Kazan, 1991), 19.
18Zamechaniia o torgovle bukhartsev, Sibirskii Vestnik 1821, 9-10.
19Arminius Vambery, Travels in Central Asia, (London, 1865), 247.
82 chapter three

come to Bukhara to seek their fortunes.20 The German traveler Eversmann

reported observing many Siberian Bukharan merchants in Bukhara.21 The
presence of 3,000 Tatar residents in Bukhara in the 1820s would in fact
make that city one of the largest Tatar urban concentrations outside of
Russia, and as such would have even rivaled the largest urban Tatar com
munities in Russia, including Kazan, Qarghal, Petropavlovsk and

The primary residences of foreign merchants in Bukhara were the citys
caravansarays, or sarays, as they were called locally. These public buildings
served as hostels for merchants, but were also inhabited by craftsmen and
other more or less permanent residents of the city. The buildings were
sometimes used as warehouses, some exclusively so, as stables, and as
markets. These were commonly multi-storey buildings with warehouses
or stables on the ground floor, and residences on the upper floor. Khanykov
identified 38 caravansarays in Bukhara, twenty-four built of stone, and
fourteen of wood. Desmaisons and Witkiewicz, who were both in Bukhara
in 1834, mention 25 caravansarays.22 Khanykov describes these structures
as essentially similar to madrasas, with cells (hujras) arranged for living
quarters, except that carvanasarays also had storage space for goods.23
Caravansarays were often inhabited by merchants from specific regions.
In some cases each floor in a specific caravansaray might be apportioned
to merchants of a specific region. For example, the Saray-i Urganji was
inhabited by Khivans. The Saray-i Pay-Astana was where Qunduzi slave
merchants resided. The Saray-i Abdullah-Jan was inhabited by Kashmiris
and Afghans in the top part, and by Bukharans in the lower part.24
Several caravansarays were associated with Tatars and Bashkirs from
Russia, chief of which was the Saray-i Noghay, which both Khanykov and

20Burnashev and Pospelov, Puteshestvie ot Sibirskoi linii do goroda Bukhary v 1794 i

obratno v 1795 godu, Sibirskii Vestnik, vol. 2-3, 1818, 69; Alexander Burnes, Travels into
Bokhara III, (London, 1835), 227; Georges de Meyendorff, Voyage dOrenbourg Boukhara,
(Paris, 1826), 175.
21Adolph Erman, Travels in Siberia I, (London, 1848), 349n.
22P.I.Demezon and I.V.Vitkevich, Zapiski o Bukharskom khanstve, N.A.Khalfin ed.
(Moscow, 1983), 58, 99.
23Khanykov, Opisanie, 88; cf. also Yelizaveta Nekrasova, Die Basare von Buchara: Das
Antlitz einer Handelsstadt im Wandel, ANOR 2 (Berlin, 1999), 44-46.
24Demezon and Vitkevich, Zapiski o Bukharskom khanstve, 59, 101.
Bulghar Institutions in Bukhara 83

Meyendorff mention.25 Desmaisons adds that it was also a warehouse for

Russian goods, and the number of Tatar merchants and craftsmen residing
there was increasing on an annual basis. Witkiewicz estimated that
there were about a thousand Tatars living there, about six to eight to a
room. These Tatars would spend their days outside, mainly working as
cobblers.26 The Saray-i Noghay was often the first destination for Tatars
traveling to the city. It was where Galimjan Barudi first stopped when came
to Bukhara in 1875 to study.27 This was also the first destination of Ahmad
al-Barangawi, when he came to Bukhara in 1901. In his memoir Ahmad
expressed relief at finding fellow Tatars there, who helped find him lodging
elsewhere, since the caravansaray was full when he arrived. His first con
tact there was a Tatar named Sayyid-Khwaja who not only helped arrange
lodging for Ahmad, but also made arrangements for him to find a suitable
teacher to begin his studies.28
Several other caravansarays housed substantial numbers of Tatars.
Desmaisons mentions the Saraii Kuliuta (according to the Russian spell
ing), which was inhabited by Tatar craftsmen, and stored Russian goods.
Tatar craftsmen, together with Afghans and Heratis, occupied the Saray-i
Ayaz. Witkiewicz resided there for a while, and he mentions that it served
as the residence of an Armenian merchant from Astrakhan named Martyn
Egorov Berkhudarov. Witkiewicz mentions the Saray-i Fil-Khan inhabited
in its upper section by Tatar boot-makers, and in its lower section by
Tashkandis and Khoqandis.29
Under Khoqandian rule Tashkent also appears to have had a substantial
Tatar community, although smaller than Bukharas. A Russian who was a
captive in the Khanate of Khoqand mentions the existence of fourteen
caravansarays in Tashkent. These included the Noghay Caravansaray and
the Urus Caravansaray, which was evidently for Russian merchants.30
A Russian describing Tashkent in the 1870s, shortly after the Russian

25de Meyendorff, Voyage dOrenbourg Boukhara, 183; Khanykov, Opisanie, 88;

Khanykov remarked that the revenues from the Noghay Carvansaray were allocated to the
Kukaltash Madrasa.
26Demezon and Vitkevich, Zapiski o Bukharskom khanstve, 59, 100.
27Yosf Aqchura, Damella Ghalimjan l-Barudi, (Kazan, 1997), 32.
28TB, ff. 196b-197a.
29Demezon and Vitkevich, Zapiski o Bukharskom khanstve, 59-60, 100-101.
30G. Potanin, Pokazanie Sibirskago kazaka Maksimova o Kokanskom vladenii, Vest-
nik Imperatorskago Russkago Geograficheskago Obshchestva 1860/3, 65; Filipp Efremov
identified the Sokta caravansaray as a residence of Russians and Armenians; cf. Efremov,
Stranstvovanie Filippa Efremova, 97.
84 chapter three

c onquest, mentions the presence of 23 caravansarays.31 Following the

Russian conquest the Tatar community expanded into the new European
portion of the city, where there was a Tatar mosque built in 1873 in the
Voskresenkii Bazaar, although Dobrosmyslov indicates that in 1912 there
were a total of sixteen mosques in the European part of the city.32
L.F.Kostenko estimates that by the end of the 1870s Tatars constituted the
largest group in Tashkent after the Sarts. In the Old City they numbered
170 families, that is, 573 people, in addition to 37 guests. In the European
City the Russian population included 938 Muslims, most of whom were
in all likelihood Tatars or Bashkirs.33 There existed a largely Tatar settle
ment near Tashkent, along the Chirchik River known as Noghay Qurghan.
This settlement appears to have been in existence before the Russian
conquest, and is described as mainly a merchant colony.34 Awliya-Ata also
had a Tatar community during the Khoqandian dominion. Visiting in 1866,
A. Geins mentions the existence of a Tatar quarter (sloboda) there, headed
by a Tatar aqsaqal named Mai-Murat.35
Substantial Tatar communities emerged in the towns along the Syr-
Darya River following the Russian conquest. While some of these settle
ments, such as Kazalinsk and Perovsk (Aq-Masjid) closely followed the
pattern of commercial settlements along the Qazaq steppe, with their large
Tatar populations organized around separate mosques and mahallas di
vided along ethnic and Russian administrative lines. However, there were
also Tatars in some of the older cities. One of the largest Tatar communities
was in Turkistan, where Tatars began settling after 1872. By 1897 there were
513 Tatars in the city, out of a total Muslim population of 10,387.36
Elsewhere in Central Asia the Tatar and Bashkir communities tended
to be small. There was certainly a Tatar presence in Khorezm and
Samarqand, although the lack of documentation makes it difficult to eval
uate its scale.37 In the Ferghana Valley the Tatar population before the

31L.F.Kostenko, Turkestanskii krai I, (St. Petersburg, 1880), 409.

32A.I.Dobrosmyslov, Tashkent v proshlom i nastoiashchem: istoricheskii ocherk, (Tash
kent, 1912), 321-322.
33Kostenko, Turkestanskii krai I, 410, 412.
34J.M.Trotter, Statistics, Topography, and Tribes of the Russian Territory and Independent
Native States of Western Turkestan, (Calcutta, 1882), 328; it is unclear whether Kostenko
counted the inhabitants of this settlement as residents of Tashkent.
35A.K.Geins, Dnevnik 1866 goda. Puteshestvie v Turkestan, Sobranie literaturnykh
trudov II (St. Petersburg, 1898), 416.
36A.I.Dobrosmyslov, Goroda Syr-Darinskoi oblasti, (Tashkent, 1912), 126-127.
37Witkiewicz writes in 1834 that there were virtually no Tatars in Khiva; cf. Demezon
and Vitkevich, Zapiski o Bukharskom khanstve, 116; in fact there was a prominent Tatar Sufi
Bulghar Institutions in Bukhara 85

Russian conquest appears to have been very small. Khoroshkhin mentions

the presence of fifteen elderly Tatars in Khoqand who had settled there
before the Russian conquest, as well as a few in Uzgend. In 1875 there was
also a small number of Tatars, including Siberian Tatars, in Khojand and
Merchants, merchants agents, students, and scholars certainly were
common occupations among Tatars established in Central Asia, although
these were by no means their only professions. As we have seen, Desmaisons
and Witkiewicz mention the presence of many Tatar craftsmen in the citys
caravansarays, especially cobblers and boot-makers. For example, Sayyid-
Khwaja, who received Ahmad Barangawi at the Noghay Caravansaray in
1901, revealed that he and his father were tailors who sold their wares at
the caravansaray. Furthermore, he added that his father had been a
Christian Tatar (Krshen) who had come to Bukhara and converted to

Tatar Servitors
Some Tatars became servitors to the various Central Asian khans.
Numerous travelers to Bukhara in the 1860s and 70s mention meeting a
Tatar, variously named Usta Ali or Karataev, in the service of Muzaffar ad-
Din Khan. The Russian diplomat Tatarinov, who was in Bukhara in 1865
and 1866, describes Karataev as a liaison between the emir and Tatarinovs
party. Tatarinov indicated that Karataev was originally from Saratov prov
ince in Russia, and then lived in Orenburg as a clockmaker. In Bukhara he
made clocks that stood in the emirs palace. Wary of court intrigues,
Karataev declined to accept any formal position in the court. Nevertheless,
Tatarinov credits him with having advised the emir to avoid a war with
Russia, reportedly reminding the emir of the fate of the Tatar khanates of
Kazan and Astrakhan.40 The Russian envoy Colonel S. Nosovich met
Karataev in 1870, when he represented the emir before Nosovichs embas
sy.41 Stremoukhov, who visited Bukhara in 1873, describes Karataev and

dynasty in Khorezm throughout most of the nineteenth century, which was founded by
Muhammad-Sharif b. Ibrahim al-Birgawi. This dynasty is discussed in more detail below.
38A.P.Khoroshkhin, Sbornik statei kasaiushchikhsia Turkestanskago kraia, (St. Peters
burg, 1876), 42; A.A.Kushakevich, Svedeniia o Khodzhentskom uezde, Zapiski Imperator-
skago Russkago Geograficheskago Obshchestva, IV (1875), 232.
39TB, fol. 197a.
40 A. Tatarinov, Semimesiachnyi plen v Bukharii, (St. Petersburg-Moscow, 1867), 102-105.
41S.A.Nosovich, Russkoe posolstvo v Bukharu v 1870 godu, Russkaia Starina vol. 95,
1898, No. 9 645-646.
86 chapter three

the Bukharan qushbegi as constituting a Russian Party at the court. He

credits Karataev and the citys chief merchants with having convinced
Muzaffar to remain at peace with Russia. He confirms that Karataevs only
official rank in the court was as the emirs clockmaker, where he was
known as Usta Ali. Stremoukhov provides additional biographical informa
tion. His full name was Ali-Muhammad Karataev, but he was known in
Bukhara simply as Usta Ali. He was originally from the town of Khvalynsk,
in Saratov province, and in 1854 when he was unable to pay his guild dues,
he came to Bukhara. He borrowed 300 rubles from a Bukharan merchant
named Rahim-bay and built a flour mill. He used the income from the mill
to pay his dues in Russia, but after Rahim-bays death, the emir Nasrullah
considered him a useful person to have at court and refused to let him leave
Bukhara; in compensation the emir awarded him an annual salary of 280
tangas and 16 batmans of grain. Karataev served the emir Muzaffar ad-Din
as an interpreter, accompanied him on all his campaigns, and even served
as his chief of artillery for a time. As of 1873 he was serving as the emirs
chief interpreter, and Stremoukhov credits him with having the saved
numerous Russian captives from death sentences.42 Eugene Schuyler men
tions meeting Karataev in the 1870s.43 Karataev was not the only Tatar to
serve the khans and emirs of Central Asia. One of the gunners in the
Khoqandian army in the 1850s was a Tatar named Habibullah Khan, who
later became the chief of artillery under Khudayar Khan.44 Munis and
Agahi mention a Tatar named Mustaqim Divana Noghay who was the
jester of the ruler of Khiva, Muhammad-Rahim Khan (r. 1803-1806).45

Resident Bulghar Scholars and Sufis in Central Asia

It was not uncommon for Tatar and Bashkir scholars to become perma
nently established in Central Asia, and most of those who were settled in
Bukhara. We can also include in this category their descendants, who often
appear in the sources as Bulghar scholars. Although the experience of
Tatar and Bashkir students in Bukhara, the vast majority of whom returned

42N. Stremoukhov, Poezdka v Bukharu (Izvlechenie iz dnevnika), Russkii Vestnik vol.

117/6, 1875, 642-644, 668-669.
43Eugene Schuyler, Turkistan: Notes of a Journey in Russian Turkistan, Khokand, Bukha-
ra, and Kuldja II, (New York, 1877), 100.
44Timur K. Beisembiev, ed. The Life of Alimqul: a Narrative Chronicle of Nineteenth
Century Central Asia, (London, 2003), 52.
45Shir Muhammad Mirab Munis and Muhammad Riza Mirab Agahi, Firdaws al-Iqbal,
Yuri Bregel, ed. (Leiden-Boston, 1999), 360.
Bulghar Institutions in Bukhara 87

to Russia, will be discussed in more detail elsewhere, it may be useful to

discuss here the relationship of some permanently established Tatar schol
ars and Sufis with the Bukharan religious and political establishment.
Newly arrived students typically sought out these scholars who were well
placed to assist newcomers. These permanently established Tatar scholars
were well connected to the Bukharan religious establishment, and some
times to the political establishment as well, although with respect to the
political establishment Tatar sources generally restrict their comments to
the relationships of scholars with the various emirs. They also tend to
provide far more detail on their interactions with the religious establish
ment in Bukhara. The conflict of one Tatar scholar, Abun-Nasir al-Qursawi,
with the Bukharan establishment constitutes a major element in the nar
rative of Tatar Islamic reformism and Tatar nationalism, and is oft re
peated. However, Qursawi had his defenders among the Bukharan ulama
too, and other depictions of relations between Tatar scholars and their
teachers in Bukhara should encourage us to rethink the stereotype of a
sclerotic and hidebound Islamic establishment in Bukhara in conflict with
progressive Tatar scholars. Rather, it is above all by means of the per
sonal connections of Tatar and Bashkir scholars with Central Asian coun
terparts that we must evaluate the relationship.
The Bukharan religious establishment that Tatars and Bashkirs encoun
tered in the eighteenth century effectively combined the emirates legal
and educational establishment. Members of this establishment, especially
at the official level, held other important civic positions as well. In 1843 the
Russian scholar Khanykov provided an overview of the structure of
Bukharas religious establishment, in which he identifies fourteen distinct
positions.46 Positions reserved for Bukharan khwajas stood at the top of
the hierarchy. The highest position was the shaykh al-islam, who was se
lected from among the Juybari khwajas, and headed the council of scholars.
However Desmaisons indicates that in 1834 the shaykh al-islam had come
from Samarqand, and was a descendant of Khwaja Ahrar.47 Khanykov also
mentions a khwaja-yi kalan, who was similarly taken from among the
Juybari khwajas, a sayyid and Naqshbandi lineage descended from the 16th

46Efremov provides a list of Bukharan clerical ranks, based on his observations from
the 1770s. He mentions the qazi-yi kalan, naqib, as well as muftis, akhunds, and mullahs.
However, he describes them as a hierarchy and equates them with ecclesiastical ranks in
the Russian Orthodox Church; cf. Efremov, Stranstvovanie Filippa Efremova, 81-82.
47Demezon and Vitkevich, Zapiski o Bukharskom khanstve, 45.
88 chapter three

century figure Makhdum-i Azam.48 The naqib was also a khwaja, but was
selected from among the descendants of Sayyid Ata. The chief legal figures
are the qazi-yi askar and the qazi-yi kalan. The rais was also a khwaja. He
was responsible for maintaining Islamic moral norms, and was in charge
of a sort of constabulary that also exercised a degree of police powers in
the city.49 However Khanykov suggests that the positions mentioned above
were primarily political and administrative posts, and indeed in the Tatar
sources there is little if any record of Tatar scholars and students interact
ing with those figures, who in any case do not appear to have been neces
sarily linked to the scholarly environment.
Khanykov identifies the alam as the highest religious position in the
emirate, being a sort of senior supervisory mufti and auditor of fatwas. Just
below that figure was the mufti-yi askar, who would affix his seal to the
petitions of the Uzbek military estate (sipayis). Ahmad Barangawi reveals
that a mufti-yi askar could also be an instructor in the madrasas. He relates
how in the 1850s Muhammad-Arif Qul served as mufti-yi askar and
mudarris in the Mir-i Arab Madrasa.50 In addition to these senior muftis,
other muftis were approved by the emir, and typically were also instructors
in the madrasas.51 These positions were not restricted to khwajas or even
Bukharans, since several Tatars served as muftis in the nineteenth century.
Among these Ahmad al-Barangawi identifies his teacher from 1901 until
1905, Damulla Mir-Siddiq as-Sardawi al-Qazani, who served as mufti of the
Bala-Hawz Madrasa. However, he identifies the citys first Tatar mufti as
Abul-Hasan Damulla Abdullah as-Sarataghi. There were also Abul-Akram
Damulla Siraj ad-Din as-Sarataghi (d. 1893), and Lutfullah b. Inan al-Bug
hulmawi, whose teacher was Ahmads father, Hafiz ad-Din al-Barangawi.52
Khanykov defines mudarrises as legal experts who received from the
emir the right to teach a specific science in the madrasas, and who ob
tained their support from waqfs. In fact, mudarrises in Bukhara were often
from outside the emirate. Galimjan Barudi credits the maintenance of
Bukharas status in Islamic education to mudarrises from Balkh, the

48On this group cf. Bakhtiyor Babadzhanov and Maria Szuppe, Dzhuibari, Islam na
territorii byvshei Rossiiskoi imperii vol. 1 (Moscow, 2006), 138-139; Efremov indicates that the
qazi-yi kalan would attends the royal court on Fridays and advise the atalq; cf. Efremov,
Stranstvovanie Filippa Efremova, 82.
49Khanykov, Opisanie, 190-191.
50TB, fol. 144a.
51Khanykov, Opisanie, 192.
52TB, fol. 199a.
Bulghar Institutions in Bukhara 89

Ferghana Valley, Shahr-i Sabz, Kuhistan, and Kazan.53 One of the promi
nent Tatar mudarrises in Bukhara was Muhsin b. Bik-Qol b. Ibrahim ash-
Shashi (d. 1831/2), who became mudarris in the Fathullah Qushbegi
Madrasa, among others, and later he became qazi in the town of Kermina.54
Before he returned to Russia in 1814 Abd as-Sattar b. Said ash-Shirdani
served as a muhtasib in Bukhara, a position which Marjani likens to that
of a legal secretary.55 And Marjani himself held the position of mudarris
during his stay in Bukhara.
Tatars and Bashkirs could also hold high positions outside of the emir
ate of Bukhara. Hafiz ad-Din Barangawi was offered the position of mudar-
ris in Khojand in the 1850s, but declined it.56 Ali Mufti b. Walid was
originally from Semipalatinsk. He had studied in Bukhara, and later served
as mufti in Khoqand. Political events in Khoqand forced him to flee to
Russia in 1865, where he ultimately served as imam in Ust-Kamenogorsk.57
Ahmad al-Barangawi reveals that Tatar students were being offered posi
tions as imams in Samarqand and Tashkent at the time he departed
Bukhara in 1905.58
One of the earliest Tatar scholars known to have established himself in
Bukhara was Salim b. Abd ar-Rahim as-Sabawi (d. 1808), who had been
imam in the village of Baylar Sabas, in Kazan province, when he joined
the insurgents during the Pugachev Uprising, and fled to Bukhara in 1774.
In Bukhara he was known for his skill in fiqh.59 Another fugutive who es
tablished himself in Bukhara was Abdullah b. Mahdi as-Saratawi al-
Qulatqi (d. 1883), who became a mudarris.60 Fakhr ad-Din b. Ibrahim b.
Khujash, who died in Bukhara in 1844, served as khatib in the Masjid-i
Kalan Mosque and the Shaykh Shan Mosque, and he was an instructor in
the Little Juybari Madrasa. He was also closely tied to the Bukharan reli
gious establishment, counting among his pupils in Quran recitation Emir
Haydar himself, and he was remembered as one of Abun-Nasir al-Qur
sawis fiercest critics in Bukhara.61 Husayn b. Muhammad b. Umar al-
Bulghari al-Kirmani (d. 1857), originally from Qarghal, did not attain any

53Galimdzhan-khazrat Barudi, Pamiatnaia knizhka (Khter dftre) (Kazan, 2000), 62.

54Marjani, Mustafad II, 232-233.
55Marjani, Mustafad II, 94-95.
56TB fol. 103b.
57Qurban-Ali Khalidi, A Islamic Biographical Dictionary, fol. 70a.
58TB fol. 180a.
59Marjani, Mustafad II, 220-221.
60Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 491.
61Marjani, Mustafad II, 26-27; Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte, 228-229.
90 chapter three

official position, but Marjani indicates he enjoyed a very good relationship

with the emir, and only spoke Persian with his own children. He was re
membered as a great bibliographer and bibliophile, and also as a translator
of the emirs correspondence with the Ottoman Sultan.62 Qurban-Ali
Khalidi includes in his biographical dictionary a certain Muhammad-Jan
b. Damulla Muhammad-Qul. His father was originally from the village of
Qarmsh, in Kazan province, and in Urgench became one of the senior
murids of Niyaz-Quli at-Turkmani.63 He then moved to Bukhara and mar
ried. His son Muhammad-Jan was born in Bukhara, and was forced to flee
the city in 1865 when he criticized the emir following the fall of Tashkent
to the Russians.64
Several Tatar Sufis were permanently established in Central Asian cities,
where they not only trained Central Asians, but also attracted their com
patriots as murids. The relationship of Central Asian Sufism to the religious
history of the Volga-Ural region will be described in more detail below,
however here it might be useful to identify Tatar Sufis who were perma
nently established in Central Asia, and who were involved in training
murids. Two of these figures are included in Ahmad Barangawis brief bio
graphical dictionary of his fathers associates.
Perhaps the most prominent of these Tatar scholars in Central Asia was
Taj ad-Din b. Ahmar as-Samarqandi al-Bulghari (d. 1872). The main sourc
es for Taj ad-Dins biography vary to some degree on his genealogical and
Sufi affiliations. They agree that he was from the village of Aydar, located
in Kazan province, but do not indicate when he came to Central Asia.
Ahmad al-Barangawi identifies him simply as Taj ad-Din al-Bulghari.
However Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din provides the following genealogy:
Taj ad-Din b. Ahmar b. Din-Muhammad b. Qdrl b. Qulmi b. Altun b. Ay-
Baqt b. Aydar.65 Taj ad-Dins Sufi connections are not completely clear
either. Riza ad-Din indicates that when he came to Samarqand, he was
attracted to the gatherings of a certain Shaykh Baysuni, possibly a refer
ence to Khudayberdi b. Abdullah al-Baysuni (d. 1847), whom he suc
ceeded after the shaykhs death, and he provides the following silsila:

62Marjani, Mustafad II, 266-267.

63There is no evidence that Niyazquli at-Turkmani trained murids in Khorezm. Qurban-
Ali, whose transmissions of Sufi silsilas are sometimes problematic, may be referring to
Muhammad-Sharif al-Birgawi, a Tatar khalifa of Niyazqulis who was based in Urgench; see
64Qurban-Ali Khalidi, An Islamic Biographical Dictionary, fol. 78ab.
65Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, Asar II:15, 538-539.
Bulghar Institutions in Bukhara 91

Abul-Hasan Rahimullah Abd al-Aziz b. Shah-Wali ad-Dihlawi Shah-

Wali ad-Dihlawi Abu Tahir Muhammad b. Ibrahim al-K.r.di.
Murad Ramzi identifies Taj ad-Dins Sufi master as Mirza Rahim-Bek
(known as Muhammad Darwish al-Azimabadi ash-Shahrisabzi and as al-
Ishan Shafii). Both Ahmad al-Barangawi and Abdullah al-Muazi identify
him as a khalifa of Darwish Muhammad ash-Shafii ash-Shahid al-Hindu
In addition to licensing students in Sufism (his khalifas include two
Tatar Sufis, Habibullah b. Muhammad as-Sabai and Ahmad-Wali b.
Tuhfatullah al-Qzljari),67 Taj ad-Din is also remembered for licensing
students in the Hizb al-bahr litany, which in Central Asia and the Volga-
Ural region is believed to have originated with the North African Sufi
Abul-Hasan ash-Shazili, although the silsila as transmitted in Tatar sourc
es in all likelihood originated in eighteenth century India. When Hafiz
ad-Din al-Barangawi came to Samarqand he trained with Taj ad-Din and
obtained a license to train students in the litany. Hafiz ad-Dins brother
Burhan ad-Din Qazi was also obtained an ijazatnama from Taj ad-Din for
this litany.68 The sisila for this litany was a follows:
Taj ad-Din as-Samarqandi Darvish Muhammad as-Shafii al-Hindistani
Abd al-Aziz ad-Dihlawi b. Shah Waliullah Shah Waliullah ad-Dihlawi
Abu Tahir Muhammad b. Ibrahim al-K.rdi al-Madani Ahmad
Isa al-Maghrabi Abus-Silah Ali b. Abd al-Wahid al-Ansari Abul-
Abbas Ahmad al-M.q.ri Muhammad-Said b. Ahmad al-M.q.ri Abu
Abdullah Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Abd al-Jalil at-Tunsi Abul-Fazl
Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Marzuq Abut-Tayyib b. Ilwan
at-Tunsi Abul-Hasan Muhammad b. Ahmad at-T.b.ri Abul-Muzayim
Mazi b. Sultan-Khadim ash-Shazili Abul-Hasan Ali b. Abbas b. Abd al-
Jabbar ash-Shazili.69
Hafiz ad-Din al-Barangawi and his family enjoyed even closer ties with
another Tatar Sufi based in Central Asia, Ahmad-Shah Ishan b. Dawlat-

66TB, fol. 139a; Ramzi, Talfiq al-akhbar II, 475; Abdullah al-Muazi, al-Qatrat min bihar
al-haqaiq fi tarjuma ahwali mashaikh at-taraiq, (Orenburg, n.d.), 38-39; Riza ad-Din b.
Fakhr ad-Din, Asar II:15, 539.
67al-Muazi, al-Qatrat min bihar, 39; al-Muazi indicates Taj ad-Dins son Muhammad-
Alim became his successor. Riza ad-Din identifies Taj ad-Dins Tatar murids as Habibullah
b. Al-Muhammad (1830-1896), who was an imam in Sabachay, in Nizhnii Novgorod Province,
and Ahmad-Wali b. Tuhfatullah al-Qzljari; cf. Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm
drtenche tomnar, 237, 252.
68TB, ff. 22b-23a.
69TB, ff. 104a, 139ab. A version of the litany was printed in Kazan in the Imperial pe
riod, and was republished in Kazan in 2000; cf. Mine saqlawch doghalar, (Kazan, 2000).
92 chapter three

Shah b. Adil-Shah al-Buri al-Boghdani, who was known as Ahmad-Shah

Makhdum. Ahmad-Shah came from a prominent Sufi family with close ties
to Central Asia. His grandfather Adil-Shah b. Abdullah al-Boghdani (ca.
1733-1813) had been a mudarris in Sterlibashevo in the eighteenth century,
while his father Dawlat-Shah (d. 1832/3) became a major Naqshbandi figure
in the Volga-Ural region.70 In Bukhara in the 1790s Dawlat-Shah was a
khalifa of Niyaz-Quli at-Turkmani, and upon returning to Russia trained
murids in Orenburg and Cheliabinsk provinces.71 Ahmad-Shah established
himself as a Sufi shaykh in the town of Panjikent, to the east of Samarqand,
where he is said to have married the daughter of an ishans son. In a letter
to his father dated 18 April 1852, Hafiz ad-Din writes that Ahmad-Shah
Ishan would sponsor feasts for the Tatars in Bukhara whenever a caravan
would arrive there.72 Abdullah al-Muazi identifies him as the khalifa
of Hasan al-Panjikandi al-Qarshi, who was licensed by the important
Afghan Naqshbandiya-Mujaddidiya shaykh Fayz-Khan al-Kabuli.73 Ahmad
Barangawi adds that Ahmad-Shah was also the owner of a hujra in the Mir-i
Arab Madrasa, and was an instructor in Qarshi (Nasaf).74
Another prominent Tatar Sufi established in Bukhara was the mufti Siraj
ad-Din b. Shaban al-Uzani, who was also known as Mufti Siraj ad-Din as-
Sarataghi. His silsila is unclear, but Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din identified
him as a khalifa of Abd an-Nasir b. Abd as-Salam az-Zimnichawi (d.1881).
Abd an-Nasir was licensed by Yusuf b. Mansur al-Khoqandi al-Marghinani,
who had been licensed by a certain Muhammad-Jan Afandi in Mecca. Siraj
ad-Din was also related by marriage to a prominent family of scholars in
Semipalatinsk. His daughter had married Fazl-Akram b. Ahmad-Wali al-
Utari. Fazil-Akram and his father were both imams in Semipalatinsk, and
had both studied in Bukhara. Abdullah al-Muazi gives 1315 ah (1897-98
ce) as the date of Siraj ad-Din Muftis death, and connects his silsila to the
major Bukharan Mujaddidiya figure Khalifa Husayn: Damulla Siraj ad-Din
as-Saritaghi al-Bukhari al-Mufti Afaq-khwaja al-Bukhari Khalifa
Ibrahim as-Samarqandi Khalifa Husayn. Al-Muazi names two of Siraj
ad-Dins khalifas. One was Numan b. Nur-Muhammad al-Bulghari, who
practiced Sufism among the Turkmens. The other was Abd al-Mawdud b.

70Muhammad-Shakir Tuqayef, Tarikh-i Istarlibash (Kazan, 1899), 5-6; Riza ad-Din b.

Fakhr ad-Din, Asar I:6, 280.
71Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, Asar I:6, 284; Marjani, Mustafad al-akhbar II, 176.
72TB, fol. 46b.
73al-Muazi, al-Qatrat min bihar, 60.
74TB, ff. 46b, 47ab, 137a.
Bulghar Institutions in Bukhara 93

Fattah ad-Din as-Saritaghi at-Tashkandi, who became imam in New

Tashkent, and later was licensed in Troitsk by Zaynullah-ishan Rasuli.75
Outside the Emirate of Bukhara, Khorezm was home to a Sufi dynasty,
which, while not mentioned in the Tarikh-i Barangawi, is nevertheless
treated in some detail in published biographical sources. The founder of
this Sufi dynasty was Muhammad-Sharif b. Ibrahim al-Birgawi (died ca.
1841), another Tatar khalifa of Niyaz-Quli at-Turkmani. His name also ap
pears as Muhammad-Sharif al-Urganji an-Nughayi.76 Of Teptiar origin, he
traveled to Bukhara and was licensed by Niyazquli at-Turkmani. He be
came imam in the village of Birga, in Bugulma district, Samara Province,
but in 1815 left his wife and children and returned to Niyaz-Quli in Bukhara.
He then established himself as imam in the small village of Cheka, a short
distance from Urgench, where he served as a shaykh, training murids.
Following his death he was succeeded by his son Muhammad-Zakir, whose
mother was a woman from Urgench. Muhammad-Zakir had also studied
the exoteric sciences, and became his fathers chief khalifa. Riza ad-Din b.
Fakhr ad-Din estimates Muhammad-Zakir earned even more renown than
his father. Muhammad-Zakir was additionally licensed by one of his fa
thers khalifas, Qutlugh-Khwaja Ishan, who was a Qaraqalpaq from the Aral
Sea coast. Qutlugh-Khwaja Ishan is also known among the Qaraqalpaqs as
Qara-Qum Ishan, and his sislila has come down to us. This document
identifies his teacher as Muhammad-Sharif Ishan Bulghari Khwarazmi,
who was known locally as Masherip-ishan. 77 In his turn Muhammad-Zakir
licensed four of Qutlugh-Khwaja Ishans sons. Muhammad-Sharif and his
son Muhammad-Zakir appear to have had a substantial influence on Sufi
networks in the Khanate of Khiva, and Tatars were heavily represented
among their khalifas and successors. One of Muhammad-Sharifs khalifas
was Wildan b. Akhta al-Qazani al-Khwarazmi, whom Riza ad-Din believes
was originally from the Sterli Valley in Bashkiria, but who came with
his family from Russia to live among the Uzbeks of the Manght tribe. In
1884 Muhammad-Zakir licensed Habibullah b. Muhammad-Haris al-Istar
libashi.78 Muhammad-Zakirs successor in Cheka was another Tatar, Najib

75Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 114, 268; al-Muazi,

al-Qatrat min bihar, 28.
76Tuqayev, Tarikh-i Istarlibash, 17; however the most extensive biography appears in
Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, Asar I:8, 258-269.
77Abdullah al-Muazi identifies him as Qutlugh-Ahmad and also by the named Quw
wati Ishan; for additional details on this figure cf. Makset Karlybaev, Medrese v Karakal-
pakii v XIX-nachala XX vekov, (Nukus, 2002), 37-40.
78Tuqayev, Tarikh-i Istarlibash, 17.
94 chapter three

b. Shamsuddin b. Ali Tuntari, who was also a khalifa of Shaykh Zaynullah

Rasuli.79 However, Muhammad-Sharif and Muhammad-Zakir appear to
have had their greatest influence on Sufi networks in Khorezm and along
the lower Syr-Darya Valley. Abdullah al-Muazi identifies another
Qaraqalpaq khalifa of Muhammad-Sharifs named Ataullah b. Imam ad-
Din al-Khwarazmi al-Qaraqalpaqi,80 and we see numerous Qaraqalpaq,
Uzbek, and Qazaq nisbas among their khalifas khalifas. Riza ad-Din adds
that Muhammad-Sharifs prestige was enhanced by his refusal to accept
any gifts from the Khans of Khiva.81

79Abdullah al-Muazi, al-Qatrat min bihar,61.

80He is also known as Ataulla Ishan. His approximate dates are 1801-1877, and he
founded a large madrasa complex; Karlybaev, Medrese v Karakalpakii, 34-36.
81Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, Asar I:8, 266; Abdullah al-Muazi, al-Qatrat min bi-
The Student Experience I 95

Chapter four

The Student Experience I

During the Imperial Russian era Bukhara was without question the fore
most destination outside of Russia for young Tatars and Bashkirs to pursue
their religious education. There are no reliable figures that disclose the
number of Tatar students in Bukharas madrasas at any given time. Filipp
Efremov reveals that already in the 1770s many Tatar students were study
ing in the citys madrasas. In his words, the best colleges are in Bukhara.
People go there from all of Bukharia, Khiva, and various other lands, and
especially our Tatars.1 Von Meyendorff calculates that out of the 3,000
Tatars in Bukhara in 1820, about 300 were students.2 These suspiciously
round numbers are the only concrete estimates available for that period.
However, they suggest that Tatars and Bashkirs made up a substantial part
of the population, if we take into account that Khanykov estimated
Bukharas total population in the 1830s to be between 60,000 and 70,000.3
In 1899 the Russia administrator (nachalnik) for the Trans-Caspian
Territory, Lieutenant General Bogomolov, cited a census taken two years
before of Russian subjects studying in Bukhara. The census counted 271
Russian subjects studying in Bukharas madrasas. These included 196 Sarts
from Russian Turkestan, and 12 Turkmens from the Trans-Caspian
Territory. The remaining 63 included meshchane from the Russian prov
inces (presumably Tatars), Caucasus Muslims, Bashkirs , Siberian natives
(inorodtsy), and Qazaqs. Bogomolov sought the support of the Governor
General of Turkestan to restrict the number of Turkmens studying in
Bukhara, or at least require passports and other measures to better control
the flow of students there. Although the Russian Agent in Bukhara, on
Bogomolovs request, did require passports for Russian subjects coming
from Russia to study, the Tatar and Bashkir sources make almost no

1Filipp Efremov, Stranstvovanie Filippa Efremova v Kirgizskoi stepi, Bukharii, Khive,

Persii, Tibete i Indii i vozvrashchenie ego ottuda chrez Angliiu s Rossiiu, 3rd ed., Petr Kondyrev
(ed.) (Kazan, 1811), 82.
2Georges de Meyendorff, Voyage dOrenbourg a Boukhara, (Paris, 1826), 175.
3N. Khanykov, Opisanie Bukharskago khanstva, (St. Petersburg, 1843), 96-97.
96 Chapter four

ention of any official obstacles to studying in Bukhara.4 Furthermore,

the estimates in the 1897 census that Bogomolov cites are in all likelihood
on the low side, since for Tatars and Bashkirs in Bukhara, commercial activ
ity (which the Russian authorities encouraged) often coincided with edu
cational activity. As a practical matter, it was probably a simple affair for
a student coming to Bukhara to circumvent the official restrictions.5
Estimates for the overall number of students in Bukharas madrasas are
even broader. Khanykov estimates that in 1840 there were from nine to ten
thousand students attending the citys madrasas.6 In 1911 the Danish trav
eler Ole Olufsen put the number at 10,000.7 An anonymous British author
writing in 1827 estimated the number of students as 4,450, in addition to
2,000 moollahs.8 Arminius Vambery, who visited Bukhara in 1863, was
told that there were around 5,000 students in the city.9 The lower estimates
appear to be more plausible, but all of these estimates appear to be simply
approximations. In any case, Bukhara was clearly the most prestigious and
foremost destination for study in Central Asia, and attracted students from
throughout the region, not only including Russia, but also India, the Qazaq
steppe, and Afghanistan.
One puzzling aspect of the Tatar and Bashkir relationship with Bukhara
is how few accounts have surfaced that address the experiences of Tatar
and Bashkir students in the city, and in Central Asia more broadly. Our
most detailed account of Bukhara is to be found in the Tarikh-i Barangawi,
where Ahmad al-Barangawi provides a wealth of information on his fa
thers his uncles, and his own experience. Yusuf Aqchura in his autobio
graphical treatise on Galimjan Barudi provides an extended discussion of
that scholars experience there in the 1870s. Shihab ad-Din Marjani also
provides details of his fathers experiences there in 1812 and 1813, and
Shihab ad-Dins biographer Shhr Shrf devoted several chapters to
Marjanis time in Bukhara and Samarqand in the 1830s and 1840s. Besides

4The only exception I have found is a mention that Muhammad-Haris b. Nimatullah

of Sterlibashevo received an authorization in 1833 from the Governor of Orenburg to
travel to Bukhara to study; cf. Muhammad-Shakir Tuqayef, Tarikh-i Islarlibash, (Kazan,
1899), 8.
5Prosheniia zhitelei Chikishliara i Gasan-Kuli (Khasan-kala), prosboi o razreshenii
polucheniia obrazovaniia v uchebnykh zavedeniiakh Bukhary, http://zerrspiegel.orientphil
6N. Khanykov, Opisanie Bukharskago khanstva, (St. Petersburg, 1843), 88.
7Ole Olufsen, The Emir of Bukhara and His Country, (London, 1911), 386.
8Great Bucharia, or Bokhara, The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Register for British India
and its Dependencies XXIII (1827), 602.
9Arminius Vambery, Travels in Central Asia, (New York, 1865), 416.
The Student Experience I 97

these accounts, Tatar and Bashkir scholars and their biographers are gen
erally very laconic about their experiences in Bukhara.
There can be little doubt that going to Bukhara was a great privilege and
opportunity for a young scholar. The journey typically required financial
support and encouragement not only from a young mans family, but often
from the larger community as well. A mahallas prestige was certainly el
evated if its own imam was a bokhari, and therefore it was not uncommon
for the community to provide additional assistance. In most of the mem
oirs and autobiographical accounts of scholars who had studied in Bukhara
the authors make it clear that the decision to travel to Bukhara to study
was ultimately their own. Ahmad al-Barangawi indicates he came to the
decision at age 21, while he was studying in Kazan, and he made the jour
ney three years later.10 The jadid poet Muhammad-Sadiq b. Shah-i Ahmad
Imanqoli, whose father had studied there under Ata b. Yusuf al-Bukhari,
wrote in an autobiographical poem that he made the journey to Bukhara
in 1885 at age 14 with a sincere desire to study in Bukhara.11 Some scholars
ended up in Bukhara as fugitives, and continued their studies there. This
was the case with Salim b. Abd ar-Rahim as-Sabawi (d. 1808), who had
joined the insurgents during the Pugachev Uprising, and in 1774 was forced
to flee to Bukhara, where, as we have seen, he became renowned for his
knowledge of fiqh.12 Abd al-Khaliq b. Ibrahim al-Qursawi, the brother of
Abun-Nasir al-Qursawi, came to Bukhara as a merchant, but nevertheless
profited from the occasion to study Sufism under Niyaz-Quli at-Turkmani.13
Otherwise the numerous biographical and autobiographical sources al
most never reveal the personal motivations or context of the decision to
go, and typically indicate merely that so-and-so traveled to Bukhara.
There are occasional accounts of the advice students received before
going to Bukhara. Fakhr ad-Din b. Mustafa an-Nurlati (1806-1891) received
the following advice from his teacher in Kazan, the imam Abu Bakr b.
Students return from Bukhara deprived of [training in] Quran recitation.
So practice Quran recitation! And after they return from Bukhara they refuse
to clasp hands with the shaykhs who are here. So find a shaykh in Bukhara
and clasp hands with him!14

10TB, fol. 188a.

11Mulla Sadiq Imanqoli, Mnjtlr, ghazllr, qasydlr, (Kazan, 2000), 99-100.
12Marjani, Mustafad al-akhbar II, 220-221.
13Marjani, Mustafad al-akhbar II, 176-177.
14Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 209.
98 Chapter four

Ahmad-Wali b. Tuhfatullah al-Qzljari (ca. 1826-1899), an imam in Pet

ropavlovsk, after blessing his student Mahdi-qazi, offered some more
worldly advice. He warned him to avoid three things in Bukhara: opium,
indolence in his studies, and pederasty.15

The Journey There

The biographical and autobiographical sources are similarly terse about

fundraising to make the journey. When Ahmad al-Barangawi left for
Bukhara in 1901 his father gave him 200 rubles for the journey, and villagers
in Baranga raised eight or nine additional rubles as offerings.16 In a poem
devoted to his experience in Bukhara at the beginning of the nineteenth
century Abd ar-Rahman al-Bulghari al-Utz-Imni relates how he came to
Bukhara with over a hundred tilla, a considerable sum.17 Others, such as
Muhammad-Sadiq Imanqoli recall having insufficient money for the jour
ney, and suffering as a result.18 Shihab ad-Din Marjanis father, Baha ad-
Din, likewise did not have enough money to cover all of his sons expenses,
and as a result Shihab ad-Din had to be extremely parsimonious to retain
enough money to purchase a lodging in Bukhara.19
The journey to Bukhara followed the established trade routes between
Russia and Central Asia. Until the end of the nineteenth century students
made the journey by joining a caravan. It was common for young scholars
to stop in one of the cities along the steppe, such as Orenburg or
Troitsk to wait for a caravan, and there they would sometimes make the
acquaintance of prominent scholars. When Galimjan Barudi began his
journey to Bukhara in 1875 he and his brother Gazizjan stopped in Orenburg
during Ramadan. Local merchants and scholars hosted them there.
Barudis father, as we have seen, was a prominent industrialist in Kazan,
and clearly Galimjan was able to benefit from his fathers scholarly and
business contacts. From Orenburg he traveled up the Syr-Darya through
Kazalinsk, Perovsk, and to Tashkent, before he went on to Bukhara. Barudi
recalls that up to the border between Turkestan and the emirate of Bukhara
they had travelled by Russian carriage, ship or troika, but once in Bukharan

15Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 253.

16TB, fol. 194a.
17Gabderkhim Utz Imni l-Bolghari, Shighrlr, poemalar, nwr Shripov, ed.,
(Kazan, 1986), 58.
18Imanqoli, Mnjtlr, 100.
19Shhr Shrf, Shihabetdin Mrjani, (Kazan, 1998), 45-49.
The Student Experience I 99

territory they had to travel native conveyance. They rented a cart called a
khuqandi, and he writes that after entering Bukharan territory they felt as
though they had entered a completely new world. He describes the cart as
a big affair with two large wheels the size of paddleboat wheels. From
Katta Qurghan to Bukhara he recalled an idyllic journey, a soft sand land
scape bordered with mulberry trees on both sides, or else with gardens and
running water. 20 Muhammad-Fatih b. Abd an-Nasir first traveled to
Troitsk, and then to Tashkent, where he lived two and a half years. He
reached Bukhara finally in 1840, and spent thirty-two years there, before
returning to Russia in 1872.21
In the 1880s Muhammad-Sadiq Imanqoli was able to go by rail to
Orenburg. From there he went by camel, and after 33 days reached
Kazalinsk. He traveled another 22 days from Kazalinsk to Bukhara.22
Marjanis journey to Bukhara in 1838 took seven months. He spent several
months in Troitsk waiting for a caravan and becoming acquainted with
the scholars there. When he finally departed, he traveled to Bukhara by
way of Turgai, Perovsk, and along the Syr-Darya River. Marjani traveled by
camel, and is said to have impressed the Qazaqs he encountered with his
authority as a young scholar.23 Hafiz ad-Din al-Barangawi recorded in his
autograph of the Isaghuji Kitabi that he arrived in Bukhara on 1 December
1846. Ahmad adds that his father, who made the trip when he was aged 18,
would speak repeatedly about how he went via Orenburg and how the trip
to Bukhara lasted three months by horse and camel in a caravan.24 By the
beginning of the twentieth century students going to Bukhara could trav
el there directly by train and steamer. In 1901 Ahmad al-Barangawi went
by steamship, the Kavkaz Merkurii, from Kazan, via Astrakhan and Baku,
to Krasnovodsk, and from there by train to Novaia Bukhara, a rail junction
which was about twelve kilometers from the old city.25

Arrival and Lodging

Upon arriving in Bukhara Tatar students typically faced the immediate

problems of finding lodging, and then matriculating. Students may have

20Aqchura, Damella Ghalimjan l-Barudi, 30-32.

21Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 80.
22Imanqoli, Mnjtlr, 100.
23Shrf, Mrjani, 47.
24TB, fol. 98b.
25TB, fol. 195a.
100 Chapter four

lodged briefly in a caravansaray, but as soon as possible they would set

about to purchase a hujra, or cell, in a madrasa, which is where madrasa
students typically resided. According to Barudi, Bukharas madrasas func
tioned essentially as hostels. Students might reside in a madrasa, but they
generally attended classes elsewhere. For example instructors would give
lessons in their homes or in their mosques classrooms. The students were
not obliged to be in a specific madrasa in order to partake in an instructors
lessons. As Barudi understood it, all of Bukhara was a madrasa, that is,
essentially a single university.26 When a mudarris was said to be affiliated
with a specific madrasa it appears to have signified he received a stipend
from that madrasas waqf , rather than teaching at that particular madrasa.
During the Manght era hujras could be bought and sold freely. Sadr
ad-Din Ayni credited the Manght emir Shah Murad (r. 1785-1800) with
reviving Bukhara and Samarqands madrasas, after they had fallen into
disrepair and been largely abandoned during the reign of the last
Ashtarkhanid ruler, Abd al-Fayz Khan (r. 1711-1747). When Shah-Murad
became emir he introduced reforms that reestablished some of the waqfs.
However the madrasas remained unfit for habitation, so the emir issued a
decree allowing any student who renovated and rebuilt his hujra with his
own money and labor to become its owner. The new owner would be able
to transfer it to another student and receive compensation, officially for
the funds he expended in fixing it. However with time the value of a hujra,
whose residents were entitled to stipends and other privileges, far out
stripped the cost of any repairs. Ayni suggests that the religious officials
profited directly from maintaining such a legal fiction. As a result, in
Bukhara, and in Samarqand until the Russian conquest, hujras were avail
able to any buyer. Students could obtain a hujra one of several ways. They
could purchase one outright if they had enough capital, they could rent,
or they could arrange a mortgage.27 Aynis belief that the market in hujras
was peculiar to Bukhara, but was banned by the Russian administration in
Turkestan, appears to be mistaken. In a study of madrasas that was primar
ily based on observations in the Ferghana Valley and Tashkent in the 1880s
O. Kerenskii observed that there were hujras called satqin hujras in major
madrasas possessing substantial waqf endowments. As in Bukhara, owner

26Aqchura, Damella Ghalimjan l-Barudi, 33.

27Sadriddin Aini, Bukhara I, (Dushanbe, 1980), 136-7; Bukharas madrasas evidently
continued to function in the early decades of Manght rule, as both Tatar and Russian
sources indicate. Nevertheless Filipp Efremov believed that in the 1770s Samarqands ma-
drasas were no longer functioning; cf. Efremov, Stranstvovanie, 98.
The Student Experience I 101

ship of such hujras entitled the owners to students stipends. Consequently

the demand for hujras in poorer madrasas was substantially less. Similarly
the stipends were only supposed to defray the cost of repairs and upkeep.28
In Bukhara the same principle was in effect as the price of the hujra de
pended on the amount of the stipend its owner was entitled to receive.29
Unless a student was as fortunate as Shihab ad-Din Marjanis father,
Baha ad-Din, who received a hujra in the Tursunjan-bay Madrasa as a gift
from the emir Haydar b. Shah Murad (r. 1800-1826),30 he would have to
purchase a hujra with his own funds. Upon arriving in Bukhara in 1875
Galimjan Barudi and his brother bought a hujra together at the Mir-i Arab
Madrasa for 400 rubles.31 Ahmad al-Barangawis father and uncle, who
arrived in Bukhara in the 1840s, bought and sold several hujras. When
Hafiz ad-Din arrived in 1846 he first purchased a hujra at the Gharibiyya
Madrasa. He lived there for a year, but he sold it because it was too damp.
Then he bought a hujra in the Khiyabani Madrasa. Later his brother Burhan
ad-Din moved into that same hujra with Hafiz ad-Din when he arrived in
Bukhara. Then the brothers sold a half-share of their hujra, evidently the
one in the Khiyaban mosque, for eleven tillas to pay off loans they had
taken. Hafiz ad-Din then bought a hujra at the Mir-i Arab Madrasa where
his neighbor was Shihab ad-Din Marjani. Ahmad al-Barangawi observed
that in the middle of the nineteenth century an acquaintance from Russia
had bought a hujra at the Mir-i Arab for 35 tilla. By contrast, a hujra at the
Khiyabani Madrasa cost only 15 tilla. Khanykov observed in the 1840s that
the price of the hujra varied between 25 and 35 tilla, although some very
large ones sold for as much as 70.32 In 1840 the Tatar scholar Muhammad-
Fatih b. Abd an-Nasir moved into a hujra in the Er-Nazar Madrasa, and
remained there for only five or six months. However he later wrote that he
was forced to live without a hujra for one or two years, and was later able
to rent one.33
When Ahmad al-Barangawi arrived a fellow Tatar student made the
rounds on his behalf to find him a hujra. Eventually Ahmad purchased a
half a hujra from a Khoqandi student for about 130 rubles (500 tangga). It

28O. M. Kerenskii, Medrese Turkestanskago kraia, Zhurnal Ministerstva Narodnago

Prosveshcheniia, vol. 284/11, 1892, section 4, 45-46; cf. also Sadr ad-Din Ayni, Bukhara in
qilabining tarikhi, Shizuo Shimada and Sharifa Tosheva, eds. (Tokyo, 2010), 17-19.
29Khanykov, Opisanie Bukharskago khanstva, 213.
30Marjani, Mustafad al-akhbar II, 130-133.
31Aqchura, Damella Ghalimjan l-Barudi, 33.
32TB, ff. 34b, 43b, 47a, 99a, 152a; Khanykov Opisanie Bukharskago khanstva, 212.
33Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 81-82.
102 Chapter four

was on the ground floor of a courtyard on Ghaziyan Street, in a corner of

the Ghaziyan Madrasa. Ahmad relates that it had a dirt floor, and as a result
he became ill from sleeping there. Later he sold that hujra to a student
named Abd al-Ghani al-Hissari and bought a larger one at the Gusfand
Madrasa for 4,050 tanggas. He noted that hujras in the center of the city
cost as much as 10,000 Bukharan tangga. Before leaving Bukhara in 1905
he sold his hujra to Qari Abd al-Khaliq al-Bukhari for 3,950 tanggas.34 The
sums that Ahmad quotes are substantially less than those that Ayni quotes.
Ayni, who was a student in Bukhara a decade or so before Ahmad, esti
mates that some hujras were sold for twenty to thirty thousand tanggas,
and in the well-endowed Jafar-khwaja Madrasa, which was made of wood
and dilapidated, uninhabitable hujras were allegedly valued at 50,000
tangas.35 By comparison, Kerenskii estimates that in Turkestan at the end
of the nineteenth century the price of a hujra, including a satqin hujra, was
rather low, between three and five rubles. However, he writes that in
Tashkent, where stipends were more elevated, and whereas they used to
cost 320 rubles, by 1907 a satqin hujra could cost as much as 700 rubles.36
Ahmad related that in Bukhara it was uncommon for two students to
live in the same hujra unless they were brothers (although he shared own
ership of his second hujra with a Bukharan khwaja, it appears he did live
there alone). This provides a sharp contrast to Turkestan, where Kerenskii
observed that it was common for as many as four or five students to share
a hujra.37 As Ahmad explained it, Bukharans were quick to assume that
when two students sharing a hujra they were likely homosexuals.38


After a student had secured lodging, his next task was to find a teacher so
he could begin his studies. Students in Bukhara would usually study vari
ous disciplines under a number of instructors. Just as the city attracted
students from many different countries, it also attracted a diverse body of
instructors. Barudi suggests that actual Bukharans made up a small propor
tion of instructors, and in fact he credited scholars originally from Khoqand
with maintaining Bukharas scholarly reputation. He also listed scholars

34TB ff. 198b, 199b, 204a, 216b.

35Aini, Bukhara I, 137; Aynis estimate here appears improbably high.
36Kerenskii, Medrese Turkestanskago kraia, 46.
37Kerenskii, Medrese Turkestanskago kraia, 18, 46.
38TB fol. 201ab.
The Student Experience I 103

from Namangan, Khojand, Russia, Shahr-i Sabz, and Balkh as being espe
cially prominent, and suggested native Bukharans actually formed a small
minority of instructors.39 Barudi is undoubtedly correct in emphasizing
the cosmopolitan quality of Bukharas instructors, but Bukharans were
certainly well represented among the mudarrises and other instructors
who appear in other Tatar and Bashkir sources. Instructors typically held
formal positions in the hierarchy of the Emirates ulama. Mudarrises were
scholars who had proven their erudition and knowledge of the law, and to
whom the Emir had granted the right to teach a specific science in the
madrasas. They usually obtained salaries from the waqfs of the various
madrasas. According to Khanykov, at least some madrasas provided sala
ries to at least one mudarris. These salaries varied considerably. In 1840 a
mudarris in the Khiyaban Madrasa, where Hafiz ad-Din and Burhan ad-Din
studied, received 180 tilla annually. This salary was relatively low.
Mudarrises at the Dar ash-Shifa Madrasa received 700 tilla annually, as did
the mudarrises at the Gawkushan and Khwaja Davlat Madrasas.40 In this
regard mudarrises were connected to specific madrasas, but did not neces
sarily give lessons there. Mudarrises could also serve as muftis, who like
wise had patents from the emirs, and were entitled to issue legal opinions.41
Muftis occur frequently among the instructors of Tatar and Bashkir stu
dents. It was also customary for mudarrises to received money from their
students, perhaps in lieu of official salaries that failed to materialize. In a
letter home Burhan ad-Din complained that after a book was read through
to completion, it was customary for each students to give the mudarris a
tilla, which the mudarrises would use to pay for feasts (tuy) with their
Those who studied in Bukhara generally provide little biographical in
formation about their instructors there. Some historians such as Husayn
b. Amirkhan who was in Bukhara in the 1840s or Qurban-Ali Khalidi who
probably studied there in the 1860s tell us nothing about who their instruc
tors were. Others, such as Muhammad-Sadiq Imanqoli provide simply a
list of names. The biographers of Barudi and Marjani provide somewhat
more detailed information, and Ahmad al-Barangawi provides extensive
biographical information on his fathers, uncles, and his own teachers.
Overall, we can say that Tatar and Bashkir sources provide at least a base

39Barudi, Pamiatnaia knizhka, 62.

40Khanykov, Opisanie, 86-87.
41Khanykov, Opisanie, 192.
42TB fol. 45b.
104 Chapter four

line of biographical data on for the most prominent instructors in Bukhara

under the Manghts. Generally our information is much more complete
regarding the regions Sufi shaykhs, who are known both from biographical
sources and from silsilas. However, Sufis were not the only figures to record
chains of transmission and issue licenses. The Tarikh-i Barangawi contains
chains of transmissions of litanies not directly connected to Sufi initiations.
Elsewhere these non-Sufi chains are poorly documented, particularly for
the Volga-Ural region. In recalling their time in Bukhara, Tatar and Bashkir
writers are almost universally positive in their evaluations of their teachers.
This phenomenon is especially evident among reformists and jadids, such
as Barudi, Marjani, and Imanqoli. While praising their own teachers, they
could also be highly critical of the Bukharan religious establishment and
of Bukharan educational methods, thereby strengthening their own cre
dentials as bokharis, and revealing yet another paradox in their relation
ship with Bukhara.
Typically, finding a suitable teacher was simpler than finding a hujra.
Ahmad al-Barangawi provides a detailed account of how he found a teach
er. He received assistance from several Tatar acquaintances, who enrolled
him in the classes of Damulla Mir-Siddiq al-Qazani as-Sardawi, a mudarris
and mufti in the Bala-Hawz Madrasa.43 Enrolling in classes appears to have
been as simple as attending. In 1834 Desmaisons, disguised as a Muslim,
made the acquaintance of some students in Bukhara, and he attended
classes and discussions with them for a month. Barudi also points out that
finding a teacher was a simple matter.44
It was common for a student in Bukhara to study a variety of texts with
a number of scholars, even if he was in the city for only a year or two.
Ahmad al-Barangawi had five teachers. These included Damulla Mir-
Siddiq as-Sardawi al-Qazani mentioned above, and with whom Ahmad
studied the Shamsiya. Mir-Siddiq assisted Ahmad in personal matters as
well, loaning him the money to return home in 1905. Another teacher was
Awwaz b. Ibrahim al-Khujandi.45 Ahmad indicates that together with
Mir-Siddiq and Mulla Awwaz he finished a complete course of study in
the exoteric sciences (khatm-i kutub). His other teachers included the
mufti (mufti-yi Bukhara) Muhammad-Zakir al-Kulabi, Mulla Sadr ad-Din

43TB ff. 198b-199a.

44Demezon and Vitkevich, Zapiski o Bukharskom khanstve, 44; Aqchura, Damella
Ghalimjan l-Barudi, 33.
45Awwaz al-Khujandi was also one of Sadr ad-Din Aynis teachers in the early 1890s;
cf. Aini, Bukhara II, 43.
The Student Experience I 105

b. Mufti Isa al-Khoqandi, possibly the son of Isa b. Rahmatullah al-Kho

qandi, who gave lessons at the beginning of the nineteenth century to Abd
al-Ghaffar b. Said ash-Shirdani and Baha ad-Din b. Subhan al-Marjani.
Finally, among his instructors Ahmad mentions another Tatar scholar,
Mulla Zayn al-Bashir al-Penzawi.46
Imanqoli names five instructors, Mir-Isa who was perfect among the
masters, Damulla Adil Samarqandi, who was an erudite shaykh (shaykh
al-fazil), the peerless Sufi Nur-Ali Buawi, Shams ad-Din Kulabi, and Hajji
Inayat, with whom he completed his studies. Barudi began his lessons
studying Mulla Jalal from Damulla Abd ash-Shukur, then the usul al-fiqh,
Mulla Jalal, and Arabic literature from Ikhtiyar-khan, and mathematics
from Mulla Mir-Sharif.47
Tatar and Bashkir sources provide detailed information on instructors
in Bukhara for the period between 1838 and 1859, when Shihab ad-Din
Marjani, Hafiz ad-Din Barangawi, and Burhan ad-Din Nasri were all in
Bukhara. The biographers of these three men included extensive informa
tion on their subjects instructors. Ahmad names four figures who taught
Burhan ad-Din. These were mufti-yi askar Zakir-Jan al-Juybari, Damulla
Mirza-Jan b. Shams ad-Din al-Balkhi with whom he studied in 1278 ah
(1861/2 ce). The third was the alam for the city of Bukhara and mudarris
in the Gawkushan Madrasa, Abd al-Mumin khwaja b. Uzbek-khwaja al-
Afshanji d. 1283 ah (1866/7 ce). Ahmad adds that Abd al-Mumins son
Ghiyas ad-Din was giving lessons in the same madrasa in 1324 ah (1906/7
Marjanis biographer provides a list of seven scholars with whom
Marjani studied while in Bukhara, and he obtained biographical informa
tion on these scholars from Marjanis biographical dictionary Wafiyat al-
Aslaf. His teachers included some of the most prominent figures in the city
at that time. These include 1) Mirza-Salih Alam, who had been a qazi and
died in 1256 ah (1840/1 ce) at age 80. He had also instructed Marjanis father
Baha ad-Din, 2) Muhammad b. Safar al-Khujandi (d. 1267 ah 1850/1 ce),
who had a close relationship with Amir Haydar, 3) Fazil b. Ashur al-Ghi
jduvani (d. 1271 ah 1854/5 ce), who taught fiqh and usul-i fiqh, 4) Abd al-
Mumin khwaja b. Uzbek-khwaja al-Afshanji, who had also held the rank
of alam, 5) Khudayberdi b. Abdullah al-Baysuni (d. 1264 ah 1847/8 ce),
who had travelled extensively and collected an impressive library, 6) Baba-

46TB ff. 199a, 204b.

47Imanqoli, Mnjtlr, 99-103; Aqchura, Damella Ghalimjan l-Barudi, 32.
48TB ff. 34b-35a.
106 Chapter four

Rafi al-Khujandi (d. 1285 ah 1868/9 ce), a wealthy Bukharan who taught
at the Mir-i Arab Madrasa and whose sons became mudarrises, and 7) Qazi
Muhammad-Sharif b. Ataullah al-Bukhari (d. 1260 ah 1844/5 ce), whom
Marjani criticized for being soft in religious matters, but praised for hav
ing an extensive library.49
Regarding his father Hafiz ad-Din, whose stay in Bukhara overlapped
for a time with Marjanis, Ahmad provides a list of seven scholars with
whom he studied. Hafiz ad-Dins instructors included, 1) the alam Abd
al-Mumin-khwaja b. Uzbek-khwaja al-Afshanji, with whom both his
brother Burhan ad-Din and Marjani studied; 2) Abd al-Mumins eldest
son Mir-Alim-khwaja; 3) Mirza-Jan b. Shams ad-Din al-Balkhi; 4) the Mufti
of Bukhara, Damulla Baba-Jan. In addition to these four Bukharan scholars,
while in the city Hafiz ad-Din studied under two Tatars. These were Shihab
ad-Din Marjani, with whom he studied logic, and Inan b. Ihsan al-Bughul
The names of several dozen Central Asian scholars in Bukhara appear
in the Tatar biographical literature, although, again, with little biographi
cal information. In the third volume of his work Asar Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr
ad-Din identifies several prominent scholars in Bukhara who trained Tatar
and Bashkir students. Those with the largest number of students include
Abd al-Mumin-khwaja b. Uzbek al-Afshanji, Abd ash-Shukur-qazi, Hasan
b. Hal, Niyaz b. Binyamin al-Balkhi, and Salih b. Nadir al-Khujandi, all of
whom were active in the middle and latter half of the nineteenth century.51
He also mentions several Tatar mudarrises. The most prominent in Riza
ad-Dins estimation were Shihab ad-Din Marjani and Fakhr ad-Din b.
Ibrahim al-Qazani al-Bukhari. Others include Ghiyas-makhdum al-Qazani,
Najib-makhdum al-Qazani, and Shams ad-Din b. Mingli al-Jabali.52
The number of licenses students could accumulate in Bukhara could be
extensive. Imanqolis instructor Nur-Ali b. Hasan al-Buawi, later an imam
in Buinsk, in Kazan province (d. 1920) in 1880 obtained licenses from nu
merous figures in Bukhara. He was licensed, presumably in the exoteric
sciences, from the mufti Abd al-Hakim, and from Ikhtiyar-khwaja, akhund
of the Kukaltash Madrasa. He was also licensed in Sufism by the Sahibzade
ishan Miyan Malik Bukhari. In addition, he passed an examination given

49Shrf, Shihabetdin Mrjani, 50-52.

50TB ff. 99a-100a.
51Rizaeddin b. Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 64, 68, 80, 97, 106,
124, 137, 145, 214, 233, 235 353.
52Rizaeddin b. Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 97, 207, 238, 242.
The Student Experience I 107

in 1881 by Abd al-Hakim Mufti for the dah-i yak stipend. In 1883 he passed
the examination for a mudarris license given by Damulla Abd ash-Shukur
(probably Abd as-Shukur b. Abd ar-Rashid). He passed another exam in
1885 to become mudarris in the Attar Madrasa. He also claimed to possess
licenses from Siraj ad-Din Mufti as-Saritaghi al-Bukhari, from the shaykh
al-Islam Tura Bukhari, and from the Sufi shaykh Nur ad-Din al-Khwaraz
Finally, study in Bukhara could also extend beyond Islamic subjects and
teachers. Ahmad mentions in the list of his fathers teachers a Jewish
scholar named Abd ar-Rahim, who instructed Hafiz ad-Din in the Torah.54
Regrettably, Ahmad provides no details on the relationship, and makes no
further mention of Abd ar-Rahim. However this appears to be the only
known instance of a Tatar student studying Jewish scripture from a Jewish
instructor.55 Ahmads casual mention makes it unlikely to have been an
isolated incident, but in any case the fact suggests that Islamic scholar-
ship in Bukhara was more inquisitive than its critics or even defenders may
have imagined.56

Study Outside of Bukhara

While Bukhara was the main center for education in Central Asia, Tatar
and Bashkir students sometimes traveled to other Central Asian cities to
study. Samarqand was a common destination. Around 1843, after having
spent five years in Bukhara, Marjani traveled to Samarqand. He established
himself in the Shirdar Mardasa and began taking lessons from the qazi and
mudarris Abu Said b. Abd al-Hayy as-Samarqandi (d. 1849), and from Abu
Saids sons. They studied dogmatic theology and logic, working through
the Tahzib al-mantiq and the Tahzib al-kalam, as well as history (Abu Said
was an important source for Marjanis history of the Manght Dynasty),

53Rizaeddin b. Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 445.

54TB, fol. 99b.
55The Tatar scholar Ahmad-Latif b. Abd al-Latif at-Tmtqi is said to have written a
treatise about a theological debate he had had with a Jew in Mashhad. Ahmad-Latif, curi
ously, was also murid of Jalal ad-Din Khiyabani, and was probably an acquaintance of Hafiz
ad-Din; cf. Rizaeddin b. Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 317.
56Tatar and Bashkir Muslims were not only in contact with Bukharan Jews in Bukhara.
There were also Bukharan Jewish communities in the settlements along the Syr Darya
River, and in Orenburg as well; cf. M. Mikhailov, Orenburgskiia pisma dlia zhelaiushchikh
oznakomitsia s Orenburgom, Orskom, Troitskom, Fortom Aleksandrovskim i dorogoiu chrez
kirgizskuiu step do Forta No. 1, (St. Petersburg, 1866), 53, 70.
108 Chapter four

arithmetic, geometry, algebra, and other subjects. In Samarqand Marjani

obtained a license (ijazatnama) from Abu Said.57 Both Hafiz ad-Din and
his brother Burhan ad-Din traveled to Samarqand to study with the
Bulghar Sufi Taj ad-Din b. Ahmar al-Bulghari as-Samarqandi, who is
mentioned above. Taj ad-Din licensed the brothers in the recitation of the
hizb al-bahr litany.58 The Petropavlovsk imam Ahmad-Wali b. Tuhfatullah
al-Qzljari also travelled to Samarqand and studied with a certain Shaykh
Shafii, probably a reference to the same Ishan Shafii, who licensed Taj
ad-Din as-Samarqandi in the hizb al-bahr litany.59
Students could even travel father afield. Hafiz ad-Din traveled to the
Ferghana Valley and Kashgaria. He stayed for a time in Khojand, where he
turned down an offer to become mudarris there, and he traveled on to
Khoqand, Kashgar, Khotan, and Yarkand.60 In June 1859 he obtained a li
cense from a mufti in Kashgar Habibullah al-Khotani (died ca. 1871). They
studied Imam Bukharis Sahih together, and in his presence Abd al-Hafiz
read the Dalail al-khayrat and obtained a license.61 Another Kashgari
scholar with whom Hafiz ad-Din studied was the shaykh Ashur-
Muhammad at-Turki. Hafiz ad-Din recited the Persian verse work Qasida-
yi Burda in his presence, and obtained a license.62 Ahmad al-Barangawis
travels were more limited in nature. In the course of a pilgrimage to
Vafkand he studied with a Tatar scholar in that city name Zakir Mufti al-
Qazani, where he read the second volume of the fiqh text Hidaya.63
Some students made use of Bukhara as a launching point for even more
extensive travels elsewhere in the Islamic world. The Bashkir scholar Idris-
khwaja b. Qucharbay at-Tamyani (1805-1888) traveled to Bukhara in the
1830s, lived there 12 years, and then went to the Hijaz. He then went to
Istanbul, before marrying and permanently settling in the village of
Aynagl, near Bursa. Said b. Hamid al-Qawali (d. 1875) also moved to
Istanbul via Bukhara. Hasan b. Walid al-Buawi (d. 1893) traveled from
Bukhara to Afghanistan, and then to the Hijaz via India. Then from Mecca
he went to Damascus and Istanbul, before returning to Russia.64

57Shrf, Shihabetdin Mrjani, 59-61, 68.

58TB ff. 22b-23a, 104ab, 139a-140a.
59Rizaeddin b. Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 252.
60TB fol. 103ab.
61TB fol. 145ab; Ahmad gives his full name as Abu Abdullah Muhammad b. Ahmad b.
Muhammad-Timur al-Artuchi al-Khotani.
62TB fol. 157b.
63TB fol. 204b.
64Rizaeddin b. Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 110, 150, 220.
The Student Experience I 109

Students as Teachers

If a Tatar or Bashkir student was especially keen he could achieve the rank
of mudarris, which would entitle him to a salary from a madrasa. However,
teaching was a skill with which a student could support himself, and a
student could also give lessons to whomever was willing to pay him. We
have seen above that many Tatars and Bashkirs remained in Bukhara and
other Central Asian cities, and earned their livings as muftis, mudarrises,
and Sufi shaykhs. However, many students intending to eventually return
home also gave instruction on a temporary basis. Some scholars became
locally prominent. Marjani gave lessons to many Tatar and Bashkir schol
ars who would become influential imams upon returning to Russia. These
included Hafiz ad-Din al-Barangawi, Abd al-Khabir al-Muslimi al-Qzlja
ri (who would become a prominent imam and mudarris in Petropavlovsk),
Ahmad-Latif at-Tmtqi, and the Kazan imam Qazi Muhammadi b. Salih
al-Bashqordi.65 While he was in Kashgar Hafiz ad-Din gave lessons to the
sons of local notables.66
It was common practice in both Russia and Central Asia for madrasa
students to earn money as teachers among nomadic communities, par
ticularly Turkmens and Qazaqs. In some cases this was a profitable way for
students to spend the summer; in other cases a lack of financial support
forced students to seek sustenance among the nomads. In 1858 Burhan
ad-Din wrote in a letter home that he and Hafiz ad-Din have three or four
students from among the Turkmens and they are studying the Shamsiya
and the Sharh-i Mulla.67 Ahmad writes that his father had lived for a time
in a Turkmen village on the banks of the Amu Darya, where he gave les
sons, and translated into the Turkmen language a summary of a work
that he composed in Kashgar called the Shikasta-yi turkiya.68 One of Mufti
Siraj ad-Dins murids, Numan b. Nur ad-Din-Muhammad al-Bulghari, was
a shaykh among the nomadic Turkmens.69 Similarly, a scholar named
Waliullah who was visiting Chuguchak told Qurban-Ali Khalidi that pov
erty and other misfortunes had compelled him to abandon his studies in
Bukhara and live among the Turkmens.70

65Shrf, Shihabetdin Mrjani, 72; TB fol. 100b, 151a-152a.

66TB fol. 115a.
67TB fol. 52a.
68TB fol. 115a; evidently Hafiz ad-Din translated the Turki original into a form of col
loquial Turkmen.
69al-Muazi, al-Qatrat min bihar, 28.
70Qurban-Ali Khalidi, An Islamic Biographical Dictionary, fol. 92a.
110 Chapter four

In a letter dated 2 April 1852 Burhan ad-Din wrote that Mulla Abd ash-
Shukur al-Portanuri, an acquaintance from a village near Baranga, had
arrived in Bukhara the previous year and had been living there eight
months. Finally, when his father had failed to send money he was forced
to go live among the Qazaqs.71 Ahmad suggests that in Russia students who
spent summers among nomads were often ridiculed upon returning by
their fellow students, possibly because it was poorer students who were
compelled to do so, and because Qazaqs were commonly a butt of jokes
among Tatars. But he observed the opposite in Bukhara. In August when
students began returning to Bukhara from the steppe they did not encoun
ter the type of ridicule he had encountered in Kazan, but were honored
instead.72 Ahmad himself spent a month among a group of Qazaqs who
were subjects of Bukhara. One of his fellow madrasa students was a Qazaq
from the Ural River region, and he made the arrangements for Ahmad and
a classmate to live among the Qazaqs for a several weeks. Ahmad and his
companion did not so much give instruction to the nomadsthese Qazaqs
had their own teachers, scholars and Sufisbut they performed prayers,
gave legal advice, and recited blessing for the nomads.73

Sufi Shaykhs and Their Murids

The Central Asian origins of Sufism in the Volga-Ural region and Siberia
and the role of Sufi networks in the Islamic revival in Russia are now well
documented, and as in many other parts of the Islamic world, the Sufi re
vival in the Volga-Ural region and Siberia was most strongly influenced
by the Naqshbandi revival that originated in India in the seventeenth
century, and developed most intensely in Central Asia in the eighteenth
century, including through the Manght era.74 It was therefore by no means
unusual that Ahmad, his father, and his uncle were all murids of a number
of shaykhs in Bukhara, and the Tarikh-i Barangawi helps us appreciate the
social context of the murshid-murid relationship as experienced among
Tatar and Bashkir students. In addition, Ahmads treatment of his fathers

71TB fol. 46b.

72TB fol. 201a.
73TB ff. 209b-215a.
74Michael Kemper has provided the most comprehensive and informed study to date;
cf. his Sufis und Gelehrte, 90-98; for a discussion of Sufi connections linking the eastern
Qazaq steppe, and particularly Semipalatinsk, with Bukhara cf. Qurban-Ali Khalidi, An
Islamic Biographical Dictionary.
The Student Experience I 111

Sufi career, especially in Bukhara, reveals the emotional intensity the

murid-murshid relationship could have for students. Indeed, the emo
tional aspect of the murid-murshid relationship is generally given short
shrift in the rather cerebral Tatar and Bashkir biographical dictionaries.
Part of Bukharas reputation for sanctity rested upon its reputation as
the birthplace and resting place of Baha ad-Din Naqshband, and as the
abode of saints, both living and dead, who could be counted among Baha
ad-Din Naqshbands predecessors and followers. Numerous branches of
the Naqshbandi order dominated Sufism in the eastern Islamic world and
in the Ottoman Empire, and their sacred center was Bukhara. Any student
in Russias madrasas would have been well aware of Baha ad-Din Naqsh
bands sacred qualities through such widely-read texts as Taj ad-Din b.
Yalchighul al-Bashqordis Risala-yi Aziza, which featured numerous ac
counts of Baha ad-Dins conversations with prophets, his miracles, and
the intercession of his spirit for believers.75
As a result, not only did students coming to Bukhara arrive with the
intention of studying Sufism, but often there appears to have been an ex
pectation on the part of relatives and fellow villagers at home too that they
would. We have seen above how the Kazan imam Abu Bakr b. Yusuf ad
vised his student Fakhr ad-Din b. Mustafa an-Nurlati to clasp hands with
a shaykh in Bukhara. Ahmad noted that both in his time, and in his fathers
there was considerable pressure and expectation that Tatar and Bashkir
students become disciples to Bukharan shaykhs. Ahmad points out tact
fully that his own uncle Burhan ad-Din, while a murid to a respected ishan,
was not assiduous in the tariqat, and he wondered if that was the case
because his uncle had felt compelled to enter it in the first place.76 Ahmad
himself only sought out a Sufi master after his father encouraged him to
do so by providing a blessing (tabarruk sz).77 During his time in Bukhara
even Marjani studied Sufism under two prominent shaykhs. One was
Ubaydullah b. Niyaz-Quli at-Turkmani (d. 1852), and the other was the
Sahibzada Ishan Abd al-Qadir b. Niyaz-Ahmad Faruqi (d. 1855), from
whom Marjani received a khatt-i irshad.78
Despite Bukharas significance with respect to Sufism, reformist schol
ars such as Marjani and Barudi devote little attention to the citys Sufi
shaykhs. In their biographical dictionaries Marjani and Riza ad-Din b.

75Tajeddin Yalchgol, Risali gaziz (Kazan, 2001), II, 275-282, 319-328, 443-452.
76TB fol. 35a.
77TB fol. 203a.
78Shrf, Shihabetdin Mrjani, 76-77.
112 Chapter four

Fakhr ad-Din nevertheless are certainly careful to document the Sufi lin
eages binding Bukhara to the Volga-Ural region and Siberia. However, we
are fortunate that the Tarikh-i Barangawi, focusing in depth on the experi
ences with Bukharan Sufism of three generations of single family, is able
to illuminate this question more fully than the printed biographical dic
It may be useful to briefly summarize here the prominent Bukharan
Sufis who attracted Tatar and Bashkir disciples. During the Manght era
there were several Naqshbandi-Mujaddidiya lineages based in Bukhara,
although Bukhara by no means had a monopoly on Sufi training in Central
Asia. We have seen above that Tatar shaykhs were permanently established
in Khorezm, Samarqand, and Panjikent, and many murids traveled to
Kabul, India, and even as far as Kashgaria. Tatar and Bashkir murids were
coming to Bukhara to train with Mujaddidiya shaykhs already at the end
of the Ashtarkhanid era. Abd al-Karim b. Baltay (d. 1171 ah 1757/8 ce) was
an imam in Qarghal, and had studied in Bukhara under Shaykh Habibullah
al-Balkhi (d. 1747). At the beginning of the nineteenth century the most
influential Bukharan shaykh training Tatar and Bashkir murids was Khalifa
Niyaz-Quli b. Shah-Niyaz at-Turkmani (d. 1821). Abdullah al-Muazi iden
tified fifteen Tatar and Bashkir khalifas of Niyaz-Qulis who established
themselves in the Volga-Ural region and the northwestern Qazaq steppe.
Niyaz-Qulis close relationship with the Bukharan emirs, his substantial
authority, and his links to the Volga-Ural region are well documented.
Niyaz-Quli was succeeded by his son Ubaydullah. 79 Other prominent
Bukharan shaykhs included Khalifa Husayn, active at the end of the eigh
teenth century, and his son Abd as-Sattar, who trained numerous Tatar
and Bashkir khalifas.80 We can also mention the Sahibzada Ishans. These
included Marjanis shaykh, Abd al-Qadir b. Niyaz Ahmad, and his son
Miyan Malik b. Abd al-Qadir, who counted among their khalifas ten figures
from the Volga-Ural region and Siberia.81

79Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte, 90-98; Anke von Kuegelgen, Niiaz-kuly at-Turkmani,
Islam na territorii byvshei Rossiiskoi imperii: entiklopedicheskii slovar 4, (Moscow, 2003),
63-64. Niyaz-Quli is still a prominent figure in Turkmen oral tradition. He is said to have
come from the village of Ahunly Gyzylaak, in modern-day Lebap Province, Turkmenistan.
He received his blessing (fatiha) from a certain Ak Ishan in the settlement of Archman who
was a khalifa of a shaykh named Idris Baba. Idris maintained a khanaqah in Ahunly Gyzy
laak; cf. Soltana Atanyazow, Tsinlikler dnsine syahat, (Ashgabat, 1999), 39-40.
80On the murids of Khalifa Husayn in Russia, cf. al-Muazi, al-Qatrat, 27-29; Frank and
Usmanov, eds. Materials for the Islamic History of Semipalatinsk, 15.
81al-Muazi, al-Qatrat, 62-63; Frank and Usmanov, eds. Materials for the Islamic His-
tory of Semipalatinsk, 17.
The Student Experience I 113

Ahmad al-Barangawis account focuses primarily on his father, who

trained under several Sufis in Bukhara and Kashgar, and he addresses two
figures that are not generally linked with disciples from Russia. These are
Shaykh Jalal ad-Din al-Khiyabani, known as Hazrat-i Ishan (1200-1287 ah
1785/6-1870/1 ce), and Abd al-Karim b. Abd al-Ghafur as-Sarbaghi al-
Balkhi, known as Ishan-i Pir. Ahmad provides considerable biographical
and hagiographical information on both these figures, and in this regard
his account is particularly useful because it provides details on the per
sonal relationships between murids and their murshids in Bukhara.
Additionally, it demonstrates that relationships could develop over
many years between a family of scholars in Russia and a Sufi dynasty in
Central Asia.

Jalal ad-Din al-Khiyabani

Ahmads family had the most extensive relationship with Jalal ad-Din
al-Khiyabani and his successors. Ahmads grandfather Nasir ad-Din al-
Bulghari had studied by correspondence with Khiyabani already before his
sons departure for Bukhara. As a result, once in Bukhara, Hafiz ad-Din and
Burhan ad-Din were able to personally approach Khiyabani for their Sufi
training. Regarding Nasir ad-Dins training with Khiyabani, Ahmad writes
the following:
The subject of the biography, the Holy Nasir ad-Din, in the yearstudied
with the famous Bukharan ishan, the late Shaykh Jalal ad-Din al-Khiyabani
and it is written in Farsi in a letter that he swore allegiance to him [bayat]
and was accepted by the ishan. Today it is kept in my library.82
Subsequently, Ahmad notes that Khiyabani and his grandfather conduct
ed their training by correspondence, and the two never met face-to-face.83
Khiyabani was also Burhan ad-Dins shaykh, and as we have noted above,
Burhan ad-Din did not particularly prosper as a murid. In this regard
Ahmad writes the following:
Although he accepted a handshake from Shaykh as-sayyid Jalal ad-Din b.
as-sayyid Alim Khwaja b. as-sayyid Zikriya as-Samjuni (who rejected my
father out of doubt) and he was accepted into the tariqat, he was not as
siduous. He was most likely involved in formal [rasmi] lessons. In that era,
just as today, because there was a practice that travelers to Bukhara,

82TB fol. 21a.

83TB fol. 143a.
114 Chapter four

e specially students from Russia, would enter the Sufi discipline with one of
the ishans, it is possible that Burhan ad-Din also was compelled to enter
the tariqat.84
Unlike his brother, Hafiz ad-Din was particularly assiduous in the Sufi path.
As we have seen, his initial attempts to study under Khiyabani were re
jected. Ahmad does not speculate as to Khiyabanis motives for rejecting
him. But Hafiz ad-Din did become Khiyabanis disciple in 1859, after having
obtained a license from Ishan-i Pir Abd al-Karim ash-Shahrisabzi. Hafiz
ad-Din was later the author of a Sufi treatise named ar-Rububiyat al-kash-
fiyat wal-ubudiyat al-khalisat. Ahmad identifies it as one of his major
works, which he wrote over a fourteen-year period, between 1869 and
From his fathers manuscripts Ahmad provides a significant body of
biographical information on Khiyabani. He provides two genealogies. The
first is: as-sayyid Mir Jalal ad-Din b. as-sayyid Amir Alim b. as-sayyid Amir
Zikriya b. Mir-Nimatullah b. Mir-Rahmatullah. He gives Khiyabanis dates
as 1200-1287 ah (1785/86-1870/71 ce), and his place of birth as the village of
Qasir Kamal, near Ramitan.86 However Ahmad gives a slightly different
genealogy, when he documents Khiyabanis Husayni lineage:
As-sayyid Mir-Jalal ad-Din b. as-sayyid Mir-Alim b. as-sayyid Mir-Zakariya
b. as-sayyid Amir-Isa b. as-sayyid Amir-Abd al-Bari b. as-sayyid Amir-Sha
di b. as-sayyid Amir Hajji b. as-sayyid Amir-Yusuf b. as-sayyid Amir-Baraka
b. as-sayyid Amir-Ahmad b. as-sayyid Amir-Ali al-Hamadani b. as-sayyid
Amir-Isa b. as-sayyid Amir-Nura b. as-sayyid Amir-Hadi b. as-sayyid Amir-
Hadi b. as-sayyid Amir Baghim b. as-sayyid Amir-Hashim b. as-sayyid Amir-
Sadiq b. as-sayyid Amir-Musa b. as-sayyid Amir-Abdullah b. as-sayyid
Amir-Ali-Akbar b. as-sayyid Amir-Abu Abdullah b. as-sayyid Amir-Muham
mad al-Abid as-Sanji b. al-imam Musa Kazim b. al-imam Jafar as-Sadiq b.
al-imam Muhammad al-Baqir b. al-imam Zayn al-Abidin b. al-imam Husayn
b. Ali wa Fatima bint Muhammad (Rasulillah).87
Ahmad traces Khiyabanis Sufi lineage to Ahmad Sirhindi, as follows:
Jalal ad-Din Nur ad-Din al-Hissari Muhammad-Siddiq as-Samarqandi
Musa-Khan ad-Dahbidi Muhammad-Abid Simani Abd al-Ahad
Muhammad-Said Imam Rabbani Ahmad as-Sirhindi.88

84TB fol. 35a.

85TB ff. 118b-119a; Ahmad cites that manuscripts marginalia repeatedly as a source of
biographical information for his father and grandfather.
86TB, ff. 140b-141a.
87TB fol. 141ab.
88TB fol. 141a.
The Student Experience I 115

However Abdullah Muazi provides a different silsila for Khiyabani, whom

he calls Jalal ad-Din Bukhari: Jalal ad-Din Ashur Muhammad Abu
Zakariya Bukhari Muhammad-Siddiq as-Samarqandi.89
Hafiz ad-Din associated with Khiyabani for five years, until his return to
Russia, and Ahmad characterized the relationship in the following man
He was constantly with him, in his presence and on his journeys, and they
discussed many weighty matters. He would appeal to my father regarding
scholarly questions and would resolve delicate and complex issues. How
ever, because of the shaykhs good disposition toward my father, the other
murids, and perhaps his sons, could not tolerate him and displayed jeal
ously toward him.90
Eventually the other murids defamed Hafiz ad-Din and forced him to leave:
They placed my father in the position of imam and followed his guidance.
This was because my fathers recitation was as correct as his voice was
desirable. However, as a result of my fathers close relationship to the Ishan,
amongst themselves the jealous murids finally caused disruption []. Fi
nally, they opposed him, saying Because that person is a subject of Russia,
we doubt he is a Muslim in his faith. Second, this person in cleansing him
self of urine, he does not undo his trousers. Third, his recitation is incorrect
[lahnli]. Fourth, he simply does not belong! and they achieved what they
In addition to Hafiz ad-Din, five other murids from Russia received li
censes in the tariqat from Khiyabani. These were 1) Ahmad-Latif b. Abd
al-Latif at-Tmtqi (d. 1325 ah, 1907 ce), 2) Zilghi b. Hasan al-Urmati (d.
1315 ah 1897/8 ce), 3) Ibrahim b. Khurrum-Shah al-Bazvayazi, 4) Shah-
Ahmad b. Jalal ad-Din as-Sabawi, and 5) Burhan ad-Din b. Nasir ad-Din
al-Barangawi.92 Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din also mentions a Qazaq who
had been his murid: Isa b. Nur-Muhammad b. Kkbash (1816-1886), who
had to make three attempts to become a murid to Khiyabani before being
Hafiz ad-Din related three miracles that he witnessed Khiyabani
perform during their time together. Once, when they were making a

89al-Muazi, Qatrat min bihar, 24-25.

90TB fol. 142b.
91TB fol. 100a.
92TB fol. 143a; Abdullah al-Muazi adds a certain Abd al-Majid as-Sibiri to this list; cf.
al-Qatrat min bihar, 26; Rizaeddin b. Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar,
93Rizaeddin b. Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 143-144.
116 Chapter four

ilgrimage to the shrine of Abul-Qasim Kerkani in Kermine, Abd al-Hafiz

realized they had lost track of time while performing the zikr and might
miss the evening prayer. However as they were riding back he realized the
Shaykh had made the sun stand still in the sky so as to not miss the evening
prayer. The second miracle revealed itself in the following manner. One
day Khiyabani, wanting to marry off one of his sons, asked for the daughter
of someone named Muhammad-Arifqul, the mufti-yi askar and mudarris
of the Mir-i Arab Madrasa. But the mufti gave him only a curt answer, and
refused, saying, I mean, is there social equality between a great imam
[imam-i buzurg] and a dervish who sits in the desert [sahra-yi nishin bir
darwish]? This news reached the Holy Ishan, who said, This scholar will
encounter various great confiscations and wondrous circumstances and
events, and injuries to the mind. The next morning he [the mufti] left,
saying he was going to give a lesson at the Mir-i Arab Madrasa. But he
couldnt remember a single word. Being unable to say a single word, he
returned to his house, saying, Today I am ill. Interested in the cause of
this incident, he sent someone to the Holy Ishan, asking for intercession
and forgiveness, but after that the mufti had great sufferings for a year and
died. The third miracle was as follows. One day the emir of Bukhara,
Nasrullah Khan b. Amir-i Said, became seriously ill, and all of the doctors
of Bukhara became weak from praying. Later he was healed by one breath
of the Ishan. For that reason, he was brought from his home town of
Samsun to Bukhara, and he was made imam to Shaykh Habibullahs
khanaqah in the Hazrat-i Imla neighborhood, where he became involved
in the training of murids.94
Khiyabani was succeeded by several of his descendants. His sons were
Ala ad-Din, Sultan-Khan, and Qamar-Khan. Jalal ad-Din Khiyabanis place
in the madrasa on Khiyaban Street was taken by his grandson, an unnamed
son of Ala ad-Din. Ahmad indicates that Sultan-Khan and Qamar-Khan
were also famous shaykhs in Bukhara. Qamar-Khan was involved in edu
cating students in the khanaqah-yi Shah Akhsi, and he died in 1320 ah
(1902/3 ce). After that he was succeeded by his elder brother Sultan-Khan.
Ahmad adds that they are buried in a cemetery near Imam Abu Hafs-i
Kabir, next to their father Jalal ad-Din. They had a small khanaqah contain
ing two hujras that Ahmad visited on numerous occasions while he was
in Bukhara. Ahmad was even present at Sultan-Khans funeral, although
he admits it was only after two or three months had passed that he

94TB ff. 143b-144b.

The Student Experience I 117

nderstood who he was. Ahmad also mentioned meeting a Qazaq named

Juma-Bay who was a murid of Sultan-Khan.95

Ishan-i Pir Abd al-Karim ash-Shahrisabzi al-Balkhi

Hafiz ad-Dins initial departure from Jalal ad-Din Khiyabani appears to

have been traumatic, and led to some rash decisions. He resolved to leave
Bukhara and set out for the hajj with a companion, Muhammadi b. Salih
al-Bashqordi. They do not seem to have planned the journey well, and a
dream he had in Charjuy inspired him to find a different shaykh.
So they set out traveling from two or three days, and they reached the well-
known place called Charjuy suffering from hunger and thirst. That evening
in his sleep, he [Hafiz ad-Din] reached a decision to abandon his desire to
go on the hajj this time, return to Bukhara, and devote himself to a different
shaykh. It was like this, A shaykh who was of medium height, somewhat
plump, broad-faced, with a salt-and-pepper beard, long hands, wearing white
clothes and a small turban appeared on a porch that was on the eastern
side, and he proclaimed, Damulla, look here. Then pulling his hand up
from the porch and extending it, he brought [me] to his side.
Hafiz ad-Din later realized this would be Ishan-i Pir, Ahmad recounts
how Hafiz ad-Din was accepted by Ishan-i Pir:
At that time my father met with Ishan-i Pir, and finally in one week he was
associating and meeting with him, and without rejecting or asking, perhaps
with the special grace and munificence of the Almighty God, he clasped
hands and was licensed in the tariqat-i naqshbandiya mujaddidiya. This was
Monday the 22nd of Safar, 1271 (13 November 1854). He took lessons from
that person. After that he was engaged with the chanting of the Quran
[tilawat-i Quran] and the supplementary prayers, and the particular prayer
[award-i makhsusa]. In Ramazan 1276 (March-April 1860) Ishan-i Pir gave
him his license [khatt-i irshad] and granted him permission to train [murids]
in [his own] tariqa-yi piriya, and he placed his cap [kulah] on his head, and
prayed for him.96
This was Abd al-Karim ash-Shahrisabzi al-Balkhi, commonly known as
Ishan-i Pir. Hafiz ad-Din may have been his only Tatar murid, and in fact
he is not well known in the published Tatar sources. However he appears
to have had a prominent political role during the reign of the Bukharan

95TB ff. 141b-142a.

96TB fol. 101a.
118 Chapter four

emir Nasrullah Khan. Ahmad provides the following biographical data on

Ishan-i Pir:
Ishan-i Pir was born in 1210 [1795/6 ce] and died in 1281 [1864/4 ce], at age
71, and he is buried in Fayzabad in the environs of Bukhara. While he was
a student he went on the hajj, and went to Medina and Mecca via Astrakhan.
For a time he came to the Qasr-i Arifan, which is the tomb of Baha ad-Din
Naqshband. And following the call of his spirit, he went to India, and
became a disciple to Ghulam Ali-Shah Sahib ad-Dihlawi, and was licensed
by him. When he returned he was 25 years old. Then, after the death of
Ghulam Ali-Shah Ishan-i Pir left Dehli and returned to Balkh. There he went
into seclusion at the tomb of Shah-i Mardan [that is, the tomb of Ali at
Mazar-i Sharif]. After that he returned to his home Shahrisabz. There he
taught murids for exactly 30 years. All of the wealthy men in the city and
in the environs were his friends.97
In Dehli his fellow murid before Ghulam Ali Shah was Darvish Muhammad
ash-Shafii al-Hindistani, who had licensed Taj ad-Din as-Samarqandi, and
who is also known as Mirza Rahim-Bek b. Amanullah al-Hindi, and as Ishan
Shafii in the Tarikh-i Barangawi.98 Ishan-i Pir received his license in 1820,
and he settled in Shahrisabz where they carried out the duties of shaykhs.
After their arrival the emir of Bukhara, Nasrullah Khan, made it his goal to
seize Shahrisabz. In a biography of Ishan-i Pir written by one of his murids
named Abd al-Aziz Khwaja, the author recounts the events in a manner
that seems to depict Nasrullahs deference and solicitude toward Ishan-i
Pir.99 In fact, it appears that Ishan-i Pir played an important political role
in Shahrisabz, and Ahmad describes events as heard from Ishan-i Pir and
his grandson Mahmud:
Although apparently the administration [of the city] was by the order of
the citys chief (mudiri), in fact it was at the pleasure of these two shaykhs.
This is because the citys population, scholars and laymen, large and small,
rulers and wise men, all of them were in conversation with them and were
at their feet. Amir Nasrullah sent so many thousands of soldiers from Bukha
ra, and besieged Shahrisabz repeatedly, but was never able to enter it. Fi
nally, these two shaykhs came out of the city and allowed the surrender,
and Ishan-i Pir accepted the Amirs demand. As for Ishan Shafii, when he
remained in his own khanaqah in consultation with his disciples, spies came
from Nasrullah, and killed the murids who survived the rout. The Ishan hid

97TB fol. 159b.

98al-Muazi, al-Qatrat min bihar, 38.
99Baxtiyor Babadzhanov, On the History of the Naqshbandiya-Mujaddidiya in Central
Mawaraannahr in the Late 18th and Early 19th Centuries, Muslim Culture in Russia and
Central Asia from the 18th to the Early 19th Centuries vol. 1, (Berlin, 1996), 403-404.
The Student Experience I 119

underneath a blanket that had been placed there. The murderers speared
the Ishan through the blanket with a lance, and he was martyred.100
After the conquest of Shahrisabz Nasrullah ordered Ishan-i Pir to Bukhara.
He stayed at the home of the emirs younger brother, Husayn Tr, and
received as a gift a thousand tanaps of land from the emir. At first he
trained murids in the Ayim Mosque, and later in the Shah Akhsi khanaqah.101
Although Ishan-i Pir had licensed Hafiz ad-Din in the Naqshbandiya-
Mujaddidiya order, both men were also Uwaysi Sufis. As Ahmad puts it,
Our father was an uwaysi al-mashrab, just as the Holy Ishan-i Pir was an
Ishan-i Pirs son Yahya succeeded his father as shaykh in the Akh
si Khanaqah. Because of his fame and wealth he was known as Ishan-i
Padishah, and Ahmad writes that he had a very good relationship with
Hafiz ad-Din. Both Yahya and Ishan-i Pir were buried in the citys Chor-
Bakir Cemetery. Yahya was succeeded by his son Khalifa Mahmud who
became Ahmad Barangawis pir while he was in Bukhara. At that time
Khalifa Mahmud fulfilled the duties of imam and shaykh in the Turk-Jandi
khanaqah, and later in the Bala-Khawz khanaqah. Ahmad adds that Khal
ifa Mahmud was someone with the ability to perform miracles [sahib-i

Other Sufi Figures

We can identify several other Sufi shaykhs who trained murids from Russia
in Bukhara. The Tatar Sufi and imam Fakhr ad-Din b. Mustafa an-Nurlati
trained with two figures, Shams ad-Din Mawlawi and Muhammad-Arif,
both of whom traced their lineages back to the prominent Afghan
Mujaddidiya figure Fayz-Khan al-Kabuli. Shams ad-Din was linked to Fayz-
Khan through Ubaydullah Uzbek-khwaja. Muhammad-Arifs silsila was
as follows: Muhammaf-Arif Hajji Abdullah Mir-Ziya ad-Din Fayz-

100TB fol. 159ab.

101TB ff. 101a, 159b.
102For an informed discussion of the Uwaysi phenomenon in Central Asia, and its
reflection in hagiographies cf. Devin DeWeese, An Uvaysi Sufi in Timurid Mawarannahr:
Notes on Hagiography and the Taxonomy of Sanctity in the Religious History of Central Asia,
Papers on Inner Asia No. 22, Research Institute for Central Asian Studies, (Bloomington,
Indiana, 1993), 2-9; Ahmads admittedly brief discussion of his fathers Uwaysi affiliation
appears to suggest, as DeWeese has argued, that the Uwaysi phenomenon was not under
stood to be to be a sort of tariqat, but rather a Sufi type.
103TB ff. 161ab, 203a-204a.
120 Chapter four

Khan al-Kabuli. Fakhr ad-Dins license from Muhammad-Arif was dated

1254 ah (1838/39 ce).104
As we have seen, Hafiz ad-Din associated with a number of other
shaykhs in Kashgar during his stay there. These included Mulla Habibullah
al-Khotani, as well as Ashur-Muhammad at-Turki. Hafiz ad-Din recited
the Qasida-yi Burda in Ashur-Muhammads presence, and obtained a li
cense, presumably in the recitation of that litany. He then provides the
following silsila:
Ashur-Muhammad at-Turki as-sayyid Burhan ad-Din al-Kashmiri an-
Naqshbandi as-sayyid Ziya ad-Din Khwaja Khanaqahi Ahmad Yasawi
ath-Thani Nur b. Muhammad Aqtab Nizam ad-Din Ahmad Muayyan
ad-Din al-Hadi Khwand-Mahmud Mir-Sayyid-Sharif Ziya al-Haqq
wad-Din, Taj ad-Din Husayni Ala ad-Din Hasan al-Attar Khwaja
Baha ad-Din Naqshbandi al-Bukhari.105


Few aspects of Islamic education in Central Asia have been as maligned

and misrepresented in the historical literature as the madrasa curriculum.
This critique forms part of what Stphane Dudoignon has termed the
Invention of Decadence, which is evident in travelers accounts, Russia
official writings, and in the observations of Islamic reformists and modern
ists. In his study of Turkestan under Russian rule Richard Pierce reflects
well the attitudes evident in the Russian official sources when he writes:
The curriculum in the medresse [sic] consisted mainly of Arabic, philoso-
phy, theology, and the Shariat. Other subjects included Persian, Turkish,
logic, the rudiments of arithmetic and plane geometry, collections of legend
and fable that passed for history, and a mass of confused and contradictory
information concerning geography.106
Similarly, Adeeb Khalid, reflects the attitudes of his jadid sources when he
writes, regarding Bukharas madrasas:
Students did not study the Quran and its exegesis, the traditions of the
Prophet, or even jurisprudence, although they could do so if they could find
a teacher willing to give them private lessons. Rather, instruction revolved

104Rizaeddin b. Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 208.

105TB fol. 157b.
106Richard A. Pierce, Russian Central Asia 1867-1917: a Study in Colonial Rule, (Berkeley,
1960), 212.
The Student Experience I 121

around commentaries and supercommentaries, some of a post-Timurid

As we shall see below, the Tarikh-i Barangawi and other Tatar biograph-
ical sources contradict such characterizations both generally and in detail.
For example, there are more ways one can study the Quran than ex
tracting intellectualized meaning from its content, such as, for example,
learning to reenact its transmission through Quran recitation. Furthermore,
as we shall see below, the sources are very explicit that jurisprudence, or
fiqh, the traditions of the Prophet, that is, hadith, and Quran exegesis, or
tafsir, were widely studied in Bukharan madrasas. To claim otherwise is
simply incorrect. Similarly, the claim that instructors taught from com
mentaries, rather than original texts, reveals an unfamiliarity with the
nature of commentaries in the Hanafi curriculum, both today and in the
past. Typically the original texts are embedded within the commentaries,
and the commentaries are used as a way of presenting the original mate
rial. Under such circumstances, a commentary can be used by teachers
and students simply as a means of gaining access to the original text.
However, it must be allowed that the use of particular commentaries, some
of which were quite tested, was also conditioned by their effectiveness as
presenting material, a matter of no small importance to a conscientious
Despite the commonly encountered modernist and reformist charac
terization that the educational curriculum in Bukhara was useless, in
selecting their course of study Tatar and Bashkir students were motivated
above all by practical concerns. Since most of these students planned on
obtaining positions as imams upon returning to Russia, their focus was
above all on studies that would enable them to solve problems they might
face as imams. As a result, the study of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) was a
universal topic of study, for which Bukhara was renowned. Other central
pillars of the curriculum included above all Arabic language, inheritance
law (including arithmetic), and Quranic exegesis (tafsir). In addition,
many students appear to have been attracted to more contemplative dis
ciplines, especially dogmatic theology (kalam), philosophy, history, as
tronomy, and mathematical sciences. In his detailed list of the Bukharan
madrasa curriculum Khanykov divides the curriculum into three parts: 1)
the legal or theological (shariya), 2) Arabic language (arabiya), and 3) the

107Adeeb Khalid, The Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform: Jadidism in Central Asia, (Berke
ley, 1998), 33.
122 Chapter four

sciences of secular wisdom (hikmiya), and he lists 137 works that students
either read independently or with their mudarrises. A well-educated stu
dent from Russia would already be familiar with the first two categories,
and it appears the focus in Bukhara gravitated toward a degree of special
ization, depending on the interests of ones students and ones teachers.
In addition, students more interested in Islamic disciplines outside of the
exoteric sciences, such as Sufism, would naturally have focused their at
tention in those directions.
Tatar and Bashkir students arriving in Bukhara usually had had some
degree of madrasa education in Russia, and typically moved directly to a
more advanced level of study. The madrasa curriculum in Russia was
three-tiered, with the first two tiers focused on Arabic grammar and syntax,
then later logic and Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh).108 Hafiz ad-Din al-Baran
gawi, for example, had studied in a madrasa in Mazarbashi, and came to
Bukhara at age 18 with a solid background in tafsir, Arabic syntax, logic,
and fiqh.109 Marjani arrived with a solid grounding in Arabic syntax and
morphology, and fiqh, as did Barudi. The madrasa curriculum in Russia
was certainly modeled on Bukharas, and for the most part corresponded
to the common Hanafi curriculum.
Several detailed descriptions of what students specifically studied have
come down to us. Marjani began his studies in Bukhara with the Sharh-i
aqaida Nasafiya, a work by the Persian theologian Sad ad-Din Taftazani
(d. 1390) devoted to the subject of dogmatic theology (kalam). He contin
ued his study of Arabic syntax with the works Kafiya and Sharh-i Jami. In
the field of logic he studied the Shamsiya, additional commentaries on the
Aqaida Nasafiya, and logic text Tahzib. Additional works he studied in
Bukhara include:

The theological work Hikmat al-Ayn and related commentaries

Sharh-i aqaid azdiya, known as Mulla Jalal, a fiqh text attributed to Jalal
ad-Din Dawani,110

108For descriptions of the madrasa curriculum in the Volga-Ural region cf. Allen J.
Frank, Muslim Religious Institutions in Imperial Russia: the Islamic World of Novouzensk
District and the Kazakh Inner Horde, 1780-1910, (Leiden-Boston, 2001), 243-246; M. N. Farkh
shatov, Narodnoe obrazovanie v Bashkirii v poreformennyi period 60-90-e gody XIX v., (Mos
cow, 1994), 72-73; M. N. Farkhshatov, Ob uchebnykh posobiiakh mektebov i medrese
Bashkirii do nachala XX v., Sotsialnye i etnicheskie aspekty istorii Bashkirii, (Ufa, 1988),
109TB fol. 97b.
110On this work cf. M. N. Farkhshatov, Ob uchebnykh posobiiakh, 46.
The Student Experience I 123

Tawzih, a work of ilm-i usul

Mishqat al-masabih, a work on hadith
Tafsir al-Bayzawi, a Quran commentary
Sharh-i wiqaya, a work on fiqh111
Hidaya, a work on fiqh by Burhan ad-Din Ali al-Marghinani (d. 1197 ce)112
Faraiz Sirajiya, a popular work on inheritance law113
For Marjani the study of these works covered a five year period, after which
he traveled to Samarqand to study with Abu Said b. Abd al-Hayy as-Sa
marqandi and his sons. In Samarqand Marjanis studies appear to have
been more tailored to his interests, and he benefited from the extensive
manuscript libraries at his disposal in that city. Here he studied works by
al-Ghazali, such as the Kimiya as-saadat and the Risalat ar-ruh, focusing
particularly on Islamic philosophy and dogmatic theology, as well as on
Islamic history. When Marjani returned to Bukhara he focused on hadith
studies, returning to the Mishqat al-masabih and the canonical Sunni ha-
dith collection Sahih Muslim.
Barudi began his lessons studying Mulla Jalal, Arabic literature and
mathematics from a variety of instructors. He concentrated on Islamic Law
and philosophy, looking at the standard texts, including the Mulla Jalal,
Tawzih, Hikmat al-Ayn, Tafsir-i Bayzawi, Faraiz-i Sijawandi; in Arabic lit
erature he studied the Muqaddima-yi Jazari, and the Ilm-i maani wa
bayan, a work on Quran recitation; in mathematics he studied the Hisab-i
khabar wa maqabila massahi, Hulasa-yi hisab, and a commentary on Mulla
Ismatullah, and finally dogma, geometry, and astronomy.114
Hafiz ad-Din began by studying the Sharh-i Aqaid Taftazani, then with
Mirza-Jan b. Shams ad-Din al-Balkhi he read the Aqaid Azdiya, the Sharh-i
Dawani (probably a reference to the Mulla Jalal mentioned above), and
the Sharh-i Talkhis. With the Mufti of Bukhara, Damulla Baba-Jan, he

111This work, also known as Niqaya, is an abridgement of the Mukhtasar al-wiqaya, fiqh
text attributed to Ubaydullah Sadri Sharia (d. 1349 ce); on its place within the Hanafi cur
riculum in Bukhara cf. N. Khanykov, Opisanie bukharskago khanstva, (St. Petersburg, 1843),
112Cf. The Hedaya, or Guide: a Commentary on the Mussulman Laws, Charles Hamilton
tr., 2nd ed. (London, 1870); this work is today still used among Hanafis as a standard work
on fiqh; cf. also Carl Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur I (Weimar, 1898),
113Shrf, Mrjani, 59-61, 68; nearly all of these books were common madrasa texts in
Russia as well; cf. Frank, Muslim Religious Institutions, 244-245; Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte,
114Aqchura, Damella Ghalimjan l-Barudi, 33-34.
124 Chapter four

studied inheritance law, the science of surveying (ilm-i masaha), the sci
ence of equations (jabr wa muqabila), and square roots and fractions
(judhur wa kusur). In addition, with Shihab ad-Din Marjani he read a part
of the Tahzib al-Mantiq, and also in the subject of logic, Qatighuryas, and
other books, and with Inan b. Ihsan al-Bughulmawi he read the Mukhtasar
al-wiqaya.115 Additionally, as we have seen, Hafiz ad-Din studied the Torah
from a local Jewish scholar.
For his part, in a letter to his family Burhan ad-Din described his studies
as follows:
This year our beloved brother [Hafiz ad-Din] began studying the Mulla Jalal
from Mulla Mirza-jan Makhdum of the Khiyaban Madrasa. And this year,
along with my first classmates, [we] began studying the Hikmat al-ayn from
Ishan Damulla Mumin-khwaja. We are studying the Sharh-i tahzib from
Damulla Mirza-jan, and during the past holiday we want to read and mem
orized the Salam al-ayn from start to finish. Since arriving in Bukhara we
have been involved in the study of logic, dogmatic theology, and philosophy.116
Ahmad admits he has found little information on his uncles studies and
works, but does identify him as an expert on hadith, and presumably that
was one of the subjects he explored in Bukhara.117
Khanykov makes it clear that Arabic language and theology, while
dominating the offerings, by no means monopolized them. Similarly, Sadr
ad-Din Ayni remarked that beyond the central religious curriculum one
could study mathematics and literature on ones own, outside of the oblig
atory curriculum.118 As we have seen, Hafiz ad-Din studied various branch
es of mathematics, including surveying. Qurban-Ali Khalidis brother
Muhammad-Shah, who was mudarris in Chuguchaks madrasa, studied in
Bukhara for seven years, where he mastered the sciences of geometry,
astronomy and surveying.119 In Samarqand Marjani devoted himself to the
study of history, where he compiled his history of Bukharas Manght emirs.
Students could augment their studies with private lessons, taken in con
sultation with local scholars. Marjani began his private lessons in Bukhara,
and then continued them in Samarqand with Abu Said Samarqandi and
his sons. Similarly, Hafiz ad-Dins studies with the Jewish scholar Abd ar-

115TB ff. 99a-100a; Carl Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur I (Weimar,
1898), 377.
116TB fol. 45a.
117TB fol. 40a; Ahmad identifies Qazi Burhan ad-Din as the author of a large, but un
finished, commentary and translation of the Sahih Bukhari.
118Aini, Bukhara I, 138.
119Qurban-Ali Khalidi, An Islamic Biographical Dictionary, fol. 79a.
The Student Experience I 125

Rahim were in all likelihood private arrangements; he continued his stud

ies during his travels in Kashgar and Yarkand, and as we have seen, he and
his brother studied privately under Taj ad-Din al-Bulghari in Samarqand.
Bukhara also appears to had a particular reputation in Russia and be
yond for Quran recitation. The Qazan imam Abu Bakr b. Yusuf expressly
advised his student Fakhr ad-Din an-Nurlati to study that discipline in
Bukhara. Qurban-Ali Khalidi, himself a prominent qari in Chuguchak,
speaks highly of Semipalatinsks most renowned qari as Sulayman-qari
b. Ibrahim-bay ash-Shamawi (d. ca. 1880), who had trained in Semipala
tinsk and Bukhara, and was known as the Bukhara Nightingale. Another
Semipalatinsk qari trained in Bukhara was Usman-qari b. Hajji Abu Bakr,
who returned to Semipalatinsk from Bukhara in 1867, and became an
imam in 1883. In Qurban-Alis words, one was inclined to hear him recite
the Quran with a fine, beautiful voice. He satisfied [listeners] with the
Bukharan scale [maqam] and Buhkaran-style Quran recitation. 120

Manuscripts and Literary Activity

For Muslims in Russia religious knowledge was typically disseminated

orally and through the medium of manuscripts. The expansion of Islamic
printing in Russia in the nineteenth century made Islamic literature more
widely available, but by no means did printed texts displace the production
of manuscripts, let alone their sacred significance. In the latter half of the
nineteenth century Russian administrators of Tatar, Bashkir, and Qazaq
Islamic schools sought to decree the exclusive use of printed books as
textbooks (which were subject to official censorship), effectively forbid
ding the use of manuscripts, which appear to have been largely immune
from censorship, but in any case, were as a practical matter beyond the
control of official censors.121 However, such effectively meaningless bu
reaucratic decrees demonstrate the unreality of attempts by the Russian
state in regulating Islamic education in the empire, since manuscripts
remained a central feature in Islamic education, and Islamic religious life
in general throughout the imperial period. Indeed, the sacred quality of
manuscripts in Muslim communities remained evident throughout the

120Qurban-Ali Khalidi, An Islamic Biographical Dictionary, ff. 56a, 67a, 76a; admit
tedly, Qurban-Ali rates a Petropavlovsk qari named Karam-hafiz, as being even superior
to Sulayman-qari.
121Nursan Alimbai, Kazakhskoe knizhnoe delo v dokumentakh i materialakh (XIX-nachalo
XX), (Almaty, 2009), 59.
126 Chapter four

Soviet period, and is still evident in Western Siberia, where manuscripts,

often containing genealogies and Islamization narrative featuring
Bukharan ancestors, are thought to be sacred in their own right, and retain
the aroma of saints.122 Manuscripts were (and still are) often believed to
possess holy power, and were and are used in amulets and in healing ritu
als. Pamphlets explaining the use of manuscripts in making amulets are
still published and circulate today in Tatarstan.123 Before 1917 this sort of
manuscript literature included prayer books, but also genealogies, com
munal charters, shrine catalogs, and in fact quite a wide range of genres.124
One of the distinguishing features of Ahmad al-Barangawis history is the
attention he pays to manuscripts, recording what manuscripts his subjects
copied while they were students. For example, before he went to Bukhara,
while he was a student in a madrasa in Mazarbashi, his uncle Burhan ad-
Din made complete copies of the Sharh-i Gulistan-i Arabi and Imam
Ghazalis Mishqat al-Anwar. 125 In relating this information Ahmad is clear
ly intending to record his uncles pious deeds, in addition to his intellec
tual substance.
Ahmad devotes considerable space to his fathers manuscript collection,
as well as providing a list of forty-four of his fathers autographs. His fathers
manuscript marginalia also served Ahmad as an important source of bio
graphical information. Ahmad records, both in his biographies and in the
letters he copies out, substantial detail on the copying activity carried out
by his father in Central Asia. Copying manuscripts was a pious act for Tatar
and Bashkir students in Bukhara, but as Ahmads sources make clear, the
copying of manuscripts was carried out critically as well. It was a crucial
part of education for students who lacked the funds to purchase manu
scripts, and in Bukharan madrasas classes were typically suspended every
Wednesday so students could copy the texts they would need for their
classes.126 Beyond its pious reputation, devoting time to copying manu
scripts appears to have been born out of necessity. In 1852 Burhan ad-Din

122A. K. Bustanov, Rukopis v kontekste Sibirskogo islama, in: A. G. Seleznev et al.

Kult sviatykh v Sibirskom islame: spetsifika universalnogo, (Moscow, 2009), 162-164.
123One such pamphlet, reprinted from a pre-revolutionary original, is Tuqsan zkhmt-
tn saqlanu dogalar, (Kazan, 1994).
124For an overview of the manuscript tradition in the Volga-Ural region, cf. M. Gos
manov, Qaury qalm ezennn, 2nd ed. (Kazan, 1994); for a discussion of some of the sacred
manuscript genres cf. Marsel khmtjanov, Qulyazmalarda keche zhanrlar, Qazan Utlar
1994 (3), 167-184.
125TB fol. 34b.
126TB fol. 187a.
The Student Experience I 127

wrote his father expressing puzzlement at the scarcity of texts in the city.
He complained that initially he had no means of studying the Hikmat, and
he was compelled to copy out the Mulla Jalal in its entirety.127
As an ancient center of Islamic learning, manuscripts were nevertheless
widely available in the city, which had its own manuscript bazaar. To be
sure, manuscripts circulated and changed hands in Russia as well. However,
in Russia the revival of manuscript production occurred rather late, only
in the eighteenth century. For some students the lure of the manuscripts
proved insurmountable. In his biography of the scholar Husayn b.
Muhammad b. Umar al-Bulghari al-Kirmani (d. 1857) Marjani writes that
al-Kirmani never reached any sort of high position as a scholar, but in
stead would spend his time with the sellers of old books, and would find
beautiful and rare books. Whether he purchased the books or not, he wrote
a sentence of description and their titles. Al-Kirmani also compiled bib
liographies for all the disciplines, which proved to be very useful for
Marjani.128 Al-Kirmani was also evidently an extensive copyist, and dozens
of his autographs are today housed in Tashkent.129 Taj ad-Din b. Bashir
al-Bulghari, who was to become an imam in Kazan, copied the Jami ar-
Rumuz in Samarqand, and the Kashf al-Lughat, by the Tatar scholar Abd
ar-Rahim al-Utz-Imni, in 1848, while he was in the Ulughbek Madrasa.130
Other scholars amassed substantial numbers of manuscripts that they
purchased in Bukhara. Most notable among these collectors were the
Kazan imam Salah ad-Din b. Ishaq Burnaev (d. 1875), and Galimjan Barudi,
whose collections are today housed at Kazan Universitys manuscript
However, students with the funds to purchase manuscripts were cer
tainly exceptional, and typically students would spend much of their time
copying manuscripts, either for themselves, or for others. Nimatullah b.
Bek-Timur al-Istarlibashi copied many manuscripts in Bukhara and
brought them back to his madrasa in Sterlibashevo.132 Nasir ad-Din al-

127TB fol. 45b.

128Marjani, Mustafad II, 266-8.
129A. B. Vildanova, Rukopisi iz fonda IVAN Respubliki Uzbekistan, sozdannye vyk
hodtsami iz Bulgara, Iazyki, dukhovnaia kultura i istoriia tiurkov: traditsii i sovremennost
II (Moscow: 1997), 98.
130Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, (Kazan, 2010), 106-107.
131A. A. Arslanova, Opisanie rukopisei na persidskom iazyke Nauchnoi biblioteki im. N.
I. Lobachevskogo Kazanskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta vyp. 1, (Moscow-Kazan, 2005),
8-9; Barudi donated 947 manuscripts from his own collection, many of which came from
Central Asia.
132Muhammad-Shakir Tuqayef, Tarikh-i Islarlibash, 8.
128 Chapter four

Barangawi had even asked his son Burhan ad-Din to make a copy of a work
called Rawzat al-ulama in Bukhara.133 Students from Russia could also
look critically at the quality of manuscripts in Bukhara. In a letter to his
father Burhan ad-Din requested that an acquaintance send to them copies
of certain printed texts from Russia, because, he felt, they were more ac
curate than the Bukharan versions:
Could Mulla Abzi from Ori please send a Mukhtasar-i wiqaya and a printed
Qalbi? They say they are very cheap in our province. Most of the copies in
Bukhara are coarse and muddled. So most of the ulama in Bukhara use the
Mukhtasar and the Qalbi. We are studying it without contesting [musallam]
its correctness. When we memorize it, it is a boundless good deed for them
and for us.134
Similarly, in 1903 Hafiz ad-Din copied and sent the Tahzib al-mantiq wal-
kalam of Taftazani to Ahmad while he was in Bukhara.135
When he was in Samarqand studying with Taj ad-Din as-Samarqandi
Hafiz ad-Din copied a collection of 22 letters by the Sufi Mirza-jan Janan.136
In Bukhara in 1848 he copied a number of works into a single volume. The
works included in this volume are the Arabic lexicographical work Nisab
as-Subyan, the Risala of Imam Suyuti, Tazayyin al-ibarat li-tahsin of Ali
al-Qari, Faraiz Sirajiya, Mukhtasar al-manar with a commentary on the
Zubdat al-asrar, Risalat fin-nasikh wal-mansukh, Nukhrat al-fikr with its
commentary, Sharh al-Aqaid of Qursawi, Khulafa-yi Islam, Risalat al-
ithbat al-wajib jadid of Jalal ad-Din Dawani, Risalat hudud of Abu Ali
b. Sina, Hashiya-yi qutubiyat of H.ri, translation of the bayts and commen
tary of Mulla Muhammad Qasim al-Bukhari.137
In addition to copying manuscripts, some Tatar and Bashkir scholars
also composed original works in Bukhara and elsewhere in Central Asia
which they often brought back to Russia. We have already seen evidence
of Hafiz ad-Din al-Barangawis literary activity in Kashgar and Bukhara.
Another scholar from Russia who compiled numerous original works in
Bukhara, particularly of a Sufi orientation, was Abd ar-Rahim al-Utz-
Imni al-Bulghari (1754-1835). He arrived in the city in 1795, and studied

133TB fol. 47a; in a letter Burhan ad-Din indicated he had been unable to find a copy
of the manuscript.
134TB fol. 47b.
135TB fol. 112b.
136TB fol. 139a.
137TB fol. 112ab; on folios 112a-114a Ahmad lists sixteen volumes his father had copied,
although, except for the volume described, it is not clear which of the others he copied in
The Student Experience I 129

under Ata-Niyaz b. Miskin al-Khwarazmi, and Abd al-Qayyum b. Abd

al-Karim b. Allahyar, evidently the grandson of the poet Sufi Allahyar (d.
1723). Al-Bulgharis earliest works produced in Bukhara were commentar
ies on Sufi Allah-Yars works, including an Arabic commentary on the Turki
work Subat al-Ajizin, and a Turki commentary on the Persian work Murad
al-Arifin. In Bukhara he also compiled a dictionary of difficult expressions
found in the Maktubat of Ahmad Sirhindi. One of his fiqh works include
dictionary of difficult concepts found in the Jami ar-Rumuz of the Bukharan
mufti Shams ad-Din al-Kuhistani (d. 1524), which is itself a commentary of
the Hidaya. Michael Kemper also mentions a similar dictionary devoted
to al-Ghazalis Ihya ulum ad-din. Another of his works compiled in
Bukhara was a treatise devoted to Quran recitation.138

138Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte, 176-178.

130 Chapter four
The Student Experience II 131

Chapter five

The Student Experience II

Daily Life and Finances

The daily routine of students was determined above all by the madrasa
schedule. The Bukharan academic year lasted six months, beginning on
September 23rd and ending on March 22nd.1 In principle classes were held
every day except Thursdays and Fridays. Khanykov adds that during the
reign of Emir Haydar (r. 1800-1826) classes were not held on Wednesdays.
Lessons were also suspended during Ramadan and during the three
months of summer. Ayni adds that older teachers would also take Tuesdays
off. Burhan ad-Din complained of the laxity of the schedule, remarking in
a letter home that classes were only in session five months out of the year,
and four days out of the week.2 If the overall schedule was relaxed, the
times when classes were in session were busy for students. Students spent
considerable time and energy walking from one class to another. Burhan
ad-Din, who had a hujra in the Khiyaban Madrasa, complained that he had
to walk long distances to one of his classes, and explained that in winter it
was a particular hardship.3 Marjani recalled that he had to walk about four
kilometers to his classes every day.4 This may be one of the reasons that
hujras at the center of the city sold at a premium.
Galimjan Barudi reminisced about the rhythms of his student days in
the following manner:
In the chill of the evenings the students would go out in front of the gates
of the madrasa, wrapped in their chapans, and when they were free from
repeating their lessons (at 9 oclock), I would go to bed. At dawn (at three
oclock) I heated up a little samovar, prepared my tea, and started to study.
Then I went to the home of my teacher Sayyid Ikhtiyar-khan. When my
classmates arrived I heard the Quran recitation and munajat prayers of my
teacher. What delightful times!5

1Sadriddin Aini, Bukhara I, (Dushanbe, 1980), 140; TB 45a.

2N. Khanykov, Opisanie Bukharskago khanstva, (St. Petersburg, 1843), 213-214.
3TB fol. 47a.
4Shhr Shrf, Raif Mrdanov, ed. Shihabetdin Mrjani, (Kazan, 1998), 57.
5Yosf Aqchura, Damella Ghalimjan l-Barudi, (Kazan, 1997), 34.
132 Chapter five

Following the lesson Barudi would perform the morning prayer with his
teachers family. Then the students would return to the madrasa. He would
return to his hujra, and after a light meal (consisting of sliced bread and
tea), he would read a lesson to his brother and go to study mathematics.
Then he would take lessons again from Ikhtiyar-khwaja. After the second
lesson, at about three oclock, he would eat, and then perform the after
noon prayer. And after that, for a break, he would go out and walk around
the city. After the break, he would perform the evening prayer, and read
until nine oclock, after which he would go to bed.6
Few students who came to Bukhara from Russia could conduct their
studies without concern for their finances. In this regard their financial
situation was on the whole more difficult than that of students who came
from within the emirate. Sadr ad-Din Ayni recalls that many students from
within the emirate of Bukhara obtained financial and material support
from a network of relatives, and through connections with local officials
and scholars.7 Tatar and Bashkir scholars, too, depended on family and
local connections, but the distances made these connections more tenu
Students from the wealthiest backgrounds naturally experienced few if
any financial hardships. Thanks to their fathers fortune Galimjan Barudi
and his brother Gazizjan lived quite comfortably. Galimjan even had suf
ficient discretionary funds to even amass an impressive collection of man
uscripts. Nevertheless, most Tatar or Bashkir students in Bukhara lived
under varying degrees of financial stress and even penury. In Russia fund
ing for madrasa education was always precarious, particularly in agricul
tural communities, and for Tatar and Bashkir students the situation in
Bukhara was no exception. Typically Tatar and Bashkir students in Bukhara
obtained financial support for their studies from three main sources.
These were, 1) state and private assistance, 2) working, and 3) support from
In Bukhara, as in Russia, providing material assistance to madrasa stu
dents was considered a pious form of charitable donation. Madrasas and
mudarrises were supported by charitable endowments, and students
themselves could benefit from varying degrees of state and private as
sistance. In principle students in madrasas were entitled to a stipend from
the emir. Khanykov estimates that in 1840 annual stipends varied per
student from two and a half tillas in the Er-Nazar Madrasa to twenty in the

6Aqchura, Damella Ghalimjan l-Barudi, 34-35.

7As an example, see the case of the scholar Mulla Aman; Aini, Bukhara II, 263-264.
The Student Experience II 133

Khwaja Juybar-i Kalan Madrasa. In the Khiyaban Madrasa for example, the
stipend was four and a half tillas. However, whether students actually re
ceived these stipends in a given year, or whether those who did were in
fact madrasa students, is not so clear. Khanykov provides the following list
of madrasas and their nominal stipends in 1840:
Kukaltash 3 to 5 tillas (depending on the students
Mir-i Arab 5 tillas
Mirza Ulugh-Bek 3.5 tillas
Zariyaran 5.5 tillas
Tursunjan 5 tillas (8 in 1839)
Muhammad-Sharif Savdagar 3.5 tillas
Abdullah Khan 3.5 tillas
Khiyaban 4.5 tillas
Khanaqah-i Mir Anan 3.5 tillas
Khwaja Juybar-i Kalan 20 tillas
Gawkushan 8 to 9 tillas
Ali 12 tillas
Khwaja Davlat 16 tillas
Jafar Khwaja 8 tillas
Amir-i Jaynat Makani 5 tillas
Alimjan 8 tillas8
Some Tatar and Bashkir students obtained support directly from the
Bukharan authorities. Marjani mentions three Tatar students who received
gifts from Emir Haydar at the beginning of the nineteenth century. These
include the brothers Abd as-Sattar and Abd al-Ghaffar ash-Shirdani (the
latter figure received a gift of 200 aqcha), and Marjanis father, Baha ad-
Din, to whom Mir Haydar presented 50 aqcha, a hujra in the Tursunjan
Madrasa, and after his return to Russia in 1813, gifts of clothing.9 At the end
of the nineteenth century the Bukharan treasury also provided a stipend
called the dah-i yak (one-tenth) to students nearing the end of their stud
ies. This stipend, amounting to 120 tangga, was paid out annually at a
ceremony held on a square near the Citadel. In principle, the recipients
were selected on the basis of an exam that tested the students knowledge
of the standard fiqh text, the Hidaya. Sadr ad-Din Ayni was the recipient

8Khanykov, Opisanie, 85-87.

9Shihab ad-Din Marjani, Mustafad al-akhbar fi ahwali Qazan wa Bulghar II, (Kazan,
1900), 94-96, 130-133.
134 Chapter five

of this stipend.10 However at least two Tatars were also recipients. Nur-Ali
b. Hasan al-Buawi, who was in Bukhara in the 1880s, claimed to have
passed the examination to qualify for the stipend.11 The second was Numan
b. Nur ad-Din Muhammad al-Bulghari, a khalifa of the mufti Siraj ad-Din
Saritaghi. Abdullah al-Muazi relates that he was a Sufi who lived among
the Turkmens, and every year he would come to Bukhara to claim the dah-
i yak.12 In any case, in a letter to his father, written in May 1856 Burhan
ad-Din blames the emir Nasrullah Khan for the decline in state support for
But there are no longer as many students as there used to be. Most of them,
no longer able to endure the poverty, have gone out to the steppe, and
become vagrants. This year the scholars have become miserable. There is
no assistance from the emir of Bukhara for the scholars or students. Rather,
he abases and lowers the students. In early times the King [malik] of Bukha
ra would give the students a great deal of zakat, and he was desirous that
each of them should study. All of this emirs ancestors were keen on lessons.
Consequently in those times the madrasas were prosperous and there were
a lot of scholars, and they were esteemed and honored, and all the students
time was pleasant and edifying. But nowadays there are few students who
try to study correctly.13
Most Tatar and Bashkir students had to generate some sort of income while
they lived in Bukhara. Naturally, this was easier in summer, when classes
were not in session, and was more challenging during the academic year.
During the summer months it was common, as we have seen, for more
senior students to provide instruction to Qazaqs and Turkmens, whether
in Bukhara, in nearby settlements, or in their nomadic encampments.
However it appears that arrangements with nomads often involved simply
the exchange of food and shelter for educational instruction or religious
expertise. This was the arrangement Ahmad al-Barangawi made with the
Qazaqs nomads with whom he spent a month in 1905. In a letter to his
father, Burhan ad-Din mentioned that an acquaintance from near Baranga,
Abd ash-Shukur al-Portanuri, had arrived in Bukhara and spent eight
months there. But when father did not send money he was forced to go

10Aini, Bukhara II, 263, 349-351.

11Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, (Kazan, 2010), 445.
12Abdullah al-Muazi, al-Qatrat min bihar al-haqaiq fi tarjuma ahwali mashaikh at-
taraiq (Orenburg, n.d.), 28.
13TB fol. 43a.
The Student Experience II 135

among the Qazaqs.14 It was also common for Tatar and Bashkir students
to earn money working as mudarrises, where they received salaries from
the waqfs. As a mudarris Marjani taught numerous students, and he men
tioned several other Tatars and Bashkirs who held such positions. Burhan
ad-Din wrote to his father that the position of mudarris during the reign
of Nasrullah Khan was poorly paid. He gave the salary as 5 tillas a year, far
less than the much larger sums that Khanykov quotes, which Burhan ad-
Din considered barely adequate for survival, and mentioned men who had
been mudarrises for twenty-five years, and were still very poor.15 Under
these circumstances it is not surprising that it was customary for mudar-
rises to also receive payments from students.16 Outside of the field of edu
cation, it was common for students, especially poorer ones, to work as
servants or custodians in madrasas. Burhan ad-Din mentions a certain
Hasan al-Barangawi who came to Bukhara in 1852 to study and earned his
keep by cooking and doing other services in the hujra of Sabir-jan
Machkarawi in the Mir-i Arab Madrasa.17
Despite the enormous distances, the families of Tatar and Bashkir stu
dents maintained contacts, and often supported them in various ways,
including sending gifts of money and goods which the students could use
themselves, or sell in the citys bazaars. Demonstrating the bonds that
existed between students in Bukhara and their home communities,
Qurban-Ali Khalidi described the arrival of an unexpected visitor from
Bukhara, a Tatar scholar named Waliullah, who had come to his house in
Chuguchak. Qurban-Alis first thought at hearing of his arrival was to in
vite him in and obtain information about local students in Bukhara about
whom Waliullah may have had news.18
Correspondence, of course, was another way for students to stay in
touch with their families. Epistolary contacts between Muslim scholars in
Russia and Bukhara remain to be examined in depth as a literary genre,
but we have seen, for example, that Nasr ad-Din al-Barangawi studied and
was licensed solely through correspondence with Jalal ad-Din Khiyabani
in the first half of the nineteenth century. An undated Persian letter sent

14TB fol. 46b. Sadr ad-Din Ayni remarked that it was considered disgraceful among
the scholars in Bukhara to take money for helping people with their studies; cf. Aini, Bukha-
ra II, 191; However the Tatar and Bashkir sources reveal repeatedly that it was not unusual
to receive payment for teaching.
15TB fol. 41b.
16TB fol. 45a.
17TB fol. 44b.
18Qurban-Ali Khalidi, An Islamic Biographical Dictionary of the Eastern Kazakh Steppe
(177-1912) A. Frank and M. Usmanov, eds. (Leiden-Boston, 2005), fol. 91a.
136 Chapter five

to Muaz b. Bek-Muhammad al-Qaramali (d. 1831), by his teacher in

Bukhara, a certain Mahdi, is preserved in the Muazi family papers.19 In the
Tarikh-i Barangawi Ahmad included copies of dozens of letters sent be
tween his family members. These include numerous letters written in
Persian and Turki that Burhan ad-Din and Hafiz ad-Din received from their
parents when they were in Bukhara and Petropavlovsk, and that Ahmad
received from his father. These letters provide a wealth of detail on the
support network that existed within the Nasri family, and among students
in Bukhara from Baranga and neighboring villages in Urzhum District.
Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din included five letters from Muhammad-Fatih
b. Abd an-Nasir (d. 1875), who lived in Bukhara from 1840 to 1872. He had
sent the letters to his teacher Ziya ad-Din b. Taj ad-Din al-Ishtiraki.20
From the letters in the Tarikh-i Barangawi it is clear that family mem
bers were regularly sending money and goods to Burhan ad-Din and Hafiz
ad-Din. In April 1852 Burhan ad-Din acknowledged the receipt of ten
Russian tillas.21 Two of these gold coins had reached him via a caravan that
had come to Bukhara from Irbit, in Siberia, and the other eight had come
via another merchant named Mulla Fayz ar-Rahman. A parcel of goods
had also come with the coins, and included two jackets, two vests (izar),
two towels, two handkerchiefs, three tablecloths, two pairs of boots, and
fruit syrup (qaq). Some of these things had been brought by a certain
Ghaffar, and some by Ahmadjan who had come from Tashkent.22 In a let
ter from May 1856 Burhan ad-Din thanked his father for sending ten
Russian tillas, two shirts, one towel, and one tablecloth with Mulla Fayz
ar-Rahman. Their sister Badr-i Jahan, who was married to an imam in the
village of Ori, had contributed to that parcel as well. Burhan ad-Din also
acknowledged another consignment of goods sent by a certain Ahmad in
the nearby village of Quyan. Ahmad had sent four shirts and handkerchiefs,
nineteen-and-a-half arshins of calico, one shirt, one shawl, and one brace
let, as well as wax and honey. He added that a cousin named Mulla
Sulayman had also received seven Russian tilla.23 In February 1858 Burhan
ad-Din acknowledged receiving seven more Russia tillas. Two had come
via Tashkent, and five came from his father via the same Fayz ar-Rahman.24
These goods could be used by the recipients, or sold.

19Institut Rukopisei Tatarstana f. 53, o. 1, d. 5, fol. 4ab.

20Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 80-83.
21This is probably a reference to Russian three-ruble gold coins.
22TB fol. 44b.
23TB fol. 42b.
24TB fol. 52b.
The Student Experience II 137

Evidently many students depended on remittances from family mem

bers in Russia to support their studies. Burhan ad-Din mentions a fellow-
student named Abd ash-Shukur al-Portanuri from Urzhum District who
had come to Bukhara in 1855. His father had failed to send money, and
after eight months he was forced to leave Bukhara and live among the
Qazaqs. Burhan ad-Din reported in a letter that there was no news at all,
and his whereabouts were unknown. When Abd ash-Shukurs father
heard, he became upset, and sent a letter with seven Russian tillas. But by
then no one knew where his son is living.25 Similarly, Qurban-Ali Khalidi
relates how the traveler from Bukhara, Waliullah, told him that he had
gone to Bukhara from Qarghal to study. His brother had promised to send
money, but when he failed to do so, Waliullah was compelled to live
among the Turkmens.26 Ahmad himself admits his lack of money was the
main reason for his decision to finally leave Bukhara in 1905. In fact, just
to make the trip home he had to borrow funds from his mudarris, Mir-
Siddiq as-Sardawi.27


For all its sanctity, Bukhara under the Manghts was a notoriously un
healthy place. Students coming from Russia, especially from villages, had
to acclimatize themselves to a very different environment and to Central
Asian urban living conditions. As a result, students found themselves ex
posed to illnesses and parasites that were unknown at home, and straight
ened economic circumstances sometimes exacerbated health problems.
Bukhara, of course, could be very unhealthy for native Bukharans too. Sadr
ad-Din Ayni fell ill during a cholera epidemic in 1893.28 Khanykov identi
fied seven diseases and parasites as being the most common in Bukhara.
These included several forms of leprosy, fevers, infections of the eye, skin
ulcers, and the rishta worm, a type of parasite.29 Ahmad al-Barangawi
contracted malaria, and was incapacitated for six weeks. He wrote that he
spent a large portion of his money seeking treatment from a Russian doc
tor. Later he suffered from an acute swelling, and sought treatment from
a Bukharan healer (tabib), who prescribed a type of poultice. Ahmad

25TB fol. 46b.

26Qurban-Ali Khalidi, An Islamic Biographical Dictionary, fol. 92a.
27TB ff. 208b-209b.
28Aini, Bukhara II, 56-7.
29Khanykov, Opisanie, 48-52.
138 Chapter five

blamed his health problems on the poor quality of his hujra, and the citys
climate.30 Burhan ad-Din was afflicted with the rishta worm, a parasite
that features prominently in most nineteenth century travel accounts of
Bukhara, and wrote his father the following:
Last year I found I had caught the rishta worm. I took myself to a worm
doctor [rishtagir] and I got better. This year I was afraid of the rishta worm
again, but it is what God had fated. If it appears once, it appears every year.
The rishta worm still has not afflicted my dear brother. They say it does not
afflict some people because of the warmth of their constitution.31
In addition to parasites and infectious diseases, some students fell victim
to drug addiction. Drug addition is occasionally mentioned Tatar and
Bashkir biographical sources, and two cases appear in the Tarikh-i
Barangawi. Burhan ad-Din informed his father that a fellow-villager named
Mulla Izzatullah b. Abd al-Karim had become an opium addict. He had
lost several jobs and divorced his wife, by the time Ahmad-mahdum al-
Boghdani had wanted to bring him to Panjikent for treatment. Eventually,
we are informed, he died in Bukhara.32 Another scholar whom Ahmad
identifies as having become an opium addict in Bukhara was Salim al-
Bulghari al-Penzawi, who served as imam in a village near Zoyabashi
(Staroe Timoshkino), in Simbirsk Province. He lost that position, having
alienated both his own family and his congregation, and went to Tashkent.
There, we are told, he became involved in a discussion among the Tashkent
scholars regarding snuff, tobacco, and hashish, and corresponded with
Hafiz ad-Din in Bukhara, who sent him a legal opinion on the matter.33

Pilgrimage and Travel

In discussing scholarly activities in Bukhara Tatar and Bashkir biographical

sources are generally very laconic, if not silent, in discussing pilgrimage to
Central Asian shrines. One reason is that published Islamic sources, those
that are most commonly cited, were of a reformist orientation, generally
suspicious of Sufism and Sufi ritual. Neither, Barudi, Marjani, nor their
biographers leave any record that these prominent reformists visited
shrines in Central Asia. Tatars and Bashkirs were much more likely to

30TB ff. 199a-200a.

31TB fol. 47ab.
32TB ff. 7a, 47b.
33TB fol. 150ab.
The Student Experience II 139

r ecord their experiences during the hajj than they were to record their
Central Asian, let alone their local pilgrimages. However Ahmad Barangawi
and his father did write about their Central Asian travels and pilgrimage,
and have left us considerable evidence that they and other Tatar and
Bashkir scholars did perform extended pilgrimages in the Emirate of
Bukhara and beyond.
We have seen that for Tatars and Bashkirs in Russia the tombs of saints
in numerous Central Asian cities were regarded not only as sacred, but as
ancestral. Furthermore, because so many Tatar and Bashkir students be
came disciples of local Sufi shaykhs, they also participated in the shrine-
oriented rituals that originated with the very Sufi orders they were part of.
This was certainly the case with Ahmad and his father Hafiz ad-Din, and
many others doubtlessly shared that experience. Travel within Central Asia
was not limited to pilgrimage, but also sometimes appears to have been
motivated by simple wanderlust, either traveling to distant cities, or trav
eling among nomads.
In June of 1856 Hafiz ad-Dins shaykh, Ishan-i Pir, was afflicted with
rishta worms and received permission from the emir to spend the summer
in Shahrisabz. Hafiz ad-Din joined him, and after spending two months
there, obtained permission to set out on his own pilgrimage to numerous
shrines. He compiled an account in Persian of his journey, which Ahmad
copied into his history. The first city he went to from Shahrisabz was
Samarqand. There he visited the tombs of the sahaba Kusam b. Abbas,
buried in the Shah-i Zinda Mausoleum, of Amir Timur in the Gur-i Amir
Mausoleum, of Khwaja Ahrar, and of Mansur Maturidi. In addition to the
shrines, his travelogue also includes the citys famous madrasas and cem
eteries, and the Quran of Usman, located in the Madrasa-yi Safid. From
Samarqand he travelled to Khojand, where according to Ahmad he turned
down an offer to become a mudarris there. He then went on to Khoqand,
where he visited the mausoleum of Maslahat ad-Din Khojandi, and then
to Marghilan, Namangan, and Osh.34 From Osh he traveled to Kashgaria,
where he evidently spent several years. His travelogue includes shrines in
several of the cities he visited. These include the tombs of Khwaja Afaq,
Yusuf Qadir-khan Ghazi, Khwaja Arslan, and Husayn Khwaja in Kashgar.
In Artush, near Kashgar, he visited the tombs of Sultan Bughra Khan Ghazi,
Khwaja Ishaq, Pir Bughra Khan, and Majid Ata, as well as a holy spring
called Chishma-yi Qaranggu. From there he went to Yarkand, to the tomb

34TB ff. 102a-103b.

140 Chapter five

of Muhammad-Sharif Ishan. In Khotan he went to the tombs of Qochqar

Ata and Timur Hajji, and finally in Altun Mazar he visited the tomb of the
Seven Muhammads (Haft-i Muhammad).35
However in Kashgaria Hafiz ad-Din was involved in more than visiting
shrines. As we have seen above Hafiz ad-Din studied with several promi
nent scholars in Khotan and Kashgar, and received licenses in several lita
nies. He also married twice while he was in Kashgaria, once in Kashgar and
once in Khotan. Regarding his marriages in Kashgaria Ahmad writes the
During his trip in 1272 [1856] in Kashghar he married Hamida, the daughter
of Qurban-Muhammad and Fatima. This came about because his reputation
and demand among the authoritative men and scholars of Kashgar was high.
Even most of the orders issued by the citys alam and qazi, Hammad-kh
waja b. Muhammad-Alim-khwaja having presented my father at the as
semblies, would be issued with [Hafiz ad-Dins] fatwas. His sons Muhyi
ad-Din and Abd al-Qadir, and many students from the surrounding region,
would assemble and take lessons. For that reason he made this city
his home. At the time this Hamida-khanim married my father she was
18 years old. She was a pious person. She had a sister named Ruqya and they
lived together. Hamida and Ruqya would spin thread. Ruqya herself would
send her to the market to sell it, and with half the money she would buy
thread supplies, and she would buy food with the other half of it. Both of
them showed great honor and respect to my father and were in his service.
May she be submerged in Gods mercy. This is because at that time my
father was occupied only with studying books (editing the Qamus) and with
sacred prayers. Because of the presence of my father the blessings and ben
efits that were in the household increased.36
Hamida bore him a son in April 1858, but soon after Hafiz ad-Din returned
to Bukhara. But before that in Khotan he also married an eleven-year-old
girl named Oghul-khanim bint Sulayman. However he later divorced her
as well, and left the city.37
Hafiz ad-Din was in Kashgar in 1857 at the time Wali Khan Khwaja came
with an army from Khoqand and conquered the city. Ahmad relates that
Wali Khan killed many scholars, however Hafiz ad-Din appears to have
written an original work expressly for Wali Khan Khwaja titled Mulukiyat.
Ahmad describes it as a book in Persian that addresses fireworks, indus
trial methods and events. Ahmad adds rather cryptically that because of

35TB fol. 103ab; on these shrines cf. Mulla Musa Sayrami, Tarikhi Hamidi, (Urumchi,
1992), 639-643.
36TB fol. 126ab.
37TB fol. 126ab.
The Student Experience II 141

dissembling to Wali Khan, he authored it in his name in partnership with

Muhammad-Arif as-Saati b. Siraj ad-Din al-Gaynawi.38 When Hafiz ad-
Din left Bukhara in 1865 he used the opportunity to travel in other parts of
Central Asia. Joined by Burhan ad-Din, the two brothers went to Tashkent,
where during Ramadan they performed itikaf in the khanaqah of Shaykh
Abul-Qasim. From there they went to Turkistan, before departing for
In contrast to Hafiz ad-Dins rather laconic Persian travel account, in
the autobiographical portion of the manuscript Ahmad has left what is one
of the most detailed account of Central Asian pilgrimage written by a Tatar.
Between 1901 and 1905 Ahmad visited numerous shrines in the vicinity of
Bukhara. He tells us at the beginning of his account that he performed
pilgrimages to the tomb of Baha ad-Din Naqshband and to the tomb of
Alim Shaykh Quddus Sarra. He also performed pilgrimages in the districts
of Vafkand, Ghijduvan, Kharaqan, Khayrabad, Vardanzi, and Zindani, as
well as in the cities of Kermine and Tashkent.40 His first pilgrimage journey
took place during summer vacation. Accompanied by a fellow student
from Russia named Salah ad-Din al-Manzalawi they left Bukhara for
Vafkand, and visited the shrines there. There they were received by a stu
dent and the local imam, and the next morning they walked to Ghijduvan,
to visit the shrine of Abd al-Khaliq Ghijduvani. They spent three weeks at
the madrasa there, before Ahmad decided he wanted to return to Bukhara.
His second pilgrimage journey also took place in summer, when he and
a another student from Russia, Muhammad ash-Shakir al-Istarli, decided
they wanted to spent forty days in seclusion (chilla) at the khanaqah of
Abul-Hasan in the town of Kharaqan.41 They went part of the way by train,
from Novaia Bukhara to Kermine.
We reached Kermine and performed pilgrimages to the various khanaqahs
and mausolea (turba), and we set out on foot on the road to Kharaqan.
Because the distance was far, our feet hurt and we were in an extreme situ
ation. And because the weather was hot, we were thirsty. We reached
Kharaqan and performed the ablutions with good flowing water. We put
on our slippers. We entered the khanaqah which is the mausoleum of the

38TB fol. 116a.

39TB fol. 105a. This is a reference to Abul-Qasim Ishan b. Khan Tora Ishan at-Tashkan
di; cf. Qurban-Ali Khalidi, An Islamic Biographical Dictionary, fol. 21b.
40TB, ff. 204b-205a.
41On this shrine cf. Josephe Castagn, Le culte des lieux saints de lislam au Turkestan,
LEthnographie n.s. 46 (1951), 99-100; Castagn gives the saints name as Abdul Hassani
142 Chapter five

Holy Ishan. The day we arrived was the day for women and girls to come
for pilgrimage. The street was filled with women. Girls and women were
walking and sitting everywhere, and it was impossible to flee, even though
men had to go away. That is, it was not right to look at them, because they
would yell at you. In this way they would come every year from far away to
perform a pilgrimage. At that time the Emir would come from Kermine too.
They said he would visit for a week. They had smoothed out and swept the
road between Kermine and Kharaqan. Holding our slippers in our hands,
we entered the khanaqah in bare feet.42
Ahmad described the shrine of Abul-Hasan Kharaqani in the following
First we performed ziyarat at the tomb of the Holy shaykh. Then we entered
the khanaqah and performed four obligatory prostrations. Before us they
had performed the Afternoon Prayer collectively. Then we went out on the
porch of the khanaqah and met some students and blind Sufis. Because the
students had come in previous years, there were people they were familiar
with. On three sides of the khanaqah there were wooden hujras. Students
would come from Bukhara to sit for the chilla, and some of the hujras were
occupied by blind men in Kharaqan, who came to receive alms. Some of
them out of laziness lived in the hujras and performed the khatm-i khwaja
prayers. The imam and mutawalli were sluggish hashish-smokers. We told
them we came for the chilla, and we received two hujras for the two of us.
The Holy Shaykhs mausoleum is a grave three sazhens long [one sazhen
equals 2.13 meters]. The shrine is at the base of a mountain, and the moun
tain is full of graves. Some of the graves are buried in the ground, and some
in sarcophagae [saghana].43

Language Issues and Relations with Bukharans

Bukhara was renowned for its scholars of Arabic, but it was above all a
Persian-speaking city. As a result Tatar and Bashkir students arriving in the
city often found themselves in a linguistically alien environment. Most
students coming from Russia would already have had some exposure to
Persian in their studies. Persian was widely taught in Russias madrasas,
and was also used in Russia as one of the Muslim communitys literary
languages. Some mudarrises in Russia were renowned for the teaching of
Persian. One example was Abd al-Karim b. Timur-Bulat, who was imam
and mudarris in a village in Novouzensk District, Samara Province in the

42TB ff. 205b-206a.

43TB fol. 206b.
The Student Experience II 143

middle of the nineteenth century.44 Ahmad mentions several figures in

Russia who were skilled in Persian. These include Mulla Muhammadi al-
Burbashi (1822-1901), and imam in the village of Burbashi, in Kazan prov
ince.45 Women, also, could display skill and knowledge in Persian, and
transmit it to other women. One such woman was one of his grandfathers
wives, Habib-i Jamal, who as the wife of an imam was a teacher to girls
(abistay), and taught the girls in Baranga to read Arabic and Persian books.46
The scholars from Baranga who went to Bukhara apparently did not face
any significant language problems there, but Marjani mentions some
scholars who did. One of these was Fakhr ad-Din b. Ibrahim b. Khujash
(d. 1844) who held the positions of khatib in several Bukharan mosques,
and of mudarris, and even gave lessons to the emir in Quran recitation.
Nevertheless, Marjani remarks that although he had many good qualities,
because of his inability to master Persian, he did not gain great renown.
On the other hand, some scholars assimilated completely in Bukharan
society. Husayn b. Muhammad al-Kirmani (d. 1857) learned Bukharan
customs and Persian so well that he only spoke Persian with his children,
and therefore they did not speak Turki. He even spoke in Persian with
merchants who came from Russia.47
Once they were in Bukhara, and interacting on a daily basis with actual,
and not idealized, Bukharans students from Russia commonly expressed
a variety of generalizations and stereotypes about Central Asians, whom
they broadly called Sarts. Galimjan Barudi, while a critic of Bukharan
educational methods, had a perhaps condescending, but surely sincere,
recollection of the Bukharans:
The eight winters I lived in Bukhara were the most comfortable I lived in
my life. The simplicity of the life of the Bukharan people, and especially of
the students, the politeness among the people (ordinary people, soldiers,
the wealthy), and the respect they showed toward scholars delighted me,
and increased my zeal for learning.48
Yusuf Aqchura summarized Barudis experience with the Bukharans in the
following terms:
Although he saw many shortcomings in Bukhara with respect to religion,
morals, and education, and criticized them a great deal, the beauty of

44Tawarikh-i Alti Ata, fol. 85a.

45TB fol. 171a.
46TB fol. 28b.
47Marjani, Mustafad II, 26-27, 326-327.
48Aqchura, Damella Ghalimjan l-Barudi 34.
144 Chapter five

Central Asias climate, the peoples simplicity and generosity, the simplic
ity of life, the respect shown toward scholars has made the above-mentioned
person love Bukhara to the present day.49
However, in Tatar and Bashkir sources one also encounters negative ste
reotypes of Bukharans. These stereotypes fault the Bukharans for their
dishonesty, ignorance, and hostility toward Muslims from Russia. In addi
tion, Bukharan women are sometimes depicted as ignorant and lewd.50
Such negative stereotypes of the sacred citys inhabitants should not lead
us to conclude that Tatars and Bashkirs were necessarily questioning
Bukharas sacred status. Tatar and Bashkirs clearly understood the sanc
tity of the city and its tombs to be quite separate from the behavior of its
inhabitants, and indeed portrayals of the venality of Bukharans also could
act as a contrast to the citys sanctity. In a letter to his father, Burhan ad-Din
commented on the Tatars naivete toward Bukhara and its inhabitants. He
complained that, Regarding Bukhara, everyone is like a saint for the peo
ple from our region. However, he clearly separated the sanctity of the city
from the more worldly behavior of its inhabitants. As a parallel, Qurban-Ali
Khalidi chided the habit of returning hajjis for always finding fault with
the Arabs they encountered during their pilgrimage.51
Such negative and moralistic depictions of Bukhara were are well estab
lished in Tatar and Bashkir literature. The earliest example is a work com
piled in Bukhara in 1795 by the theologian Abd ar-Rahim al-Utz-Imni
(1754-1835), known by the title Tuhfat al-ghuraba wa-lataif al-ghuzza.52
In this poem Abd ar-Rahim offers essentially a moral critique of Bukhara,
evidently expressing his own disappointment with his experience there.
He focuses his critique on the citys false shaykhs and its scholars, and on
the avarice and dishonestly of scholars and Bukharans in general. His poem
features the experiences several Tatar students. One is a poor student who
obtains no regard or respect from the citys population or clergy. Another
youth featured in the poem sees through false shaykhs who are only in
terested in obtaining the money of their adepts. As a result these shaykhs
denounce him as a spy. The poem also stereotypes Bukharans as pedo
philes, supplying the first instance of what was to become a fairly well-

49Aqchura, Damella Ghalimjan l-Barudi 34.

50TB fol. 43a; Marjani, Mustafad II, 235-236.
51TB ff. 43a, 46a; Qurban-Ali Khalidi, An Islamic Biographical Dictionary, fol. 48b.
52On this work and its manuscripts cf. Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte, 179-183; there is also
a Cyrillic transcription and modern Tatar translation in a volume devoted to Abd ar-Rahims
works; cf. . Shripov ed., Gabderkhim Utz Imni l-Bolgari, (Kazan, 1986), 55-70, 161-172.
The Student Experience II 145

established Tatar and Bashkir stereotype of Bukharans. 53 It is tempting to

look at this eighteenth century work, as many scholars have, as anticipat
ing the later critiques of modernist and reformist scholars, and as begin
ning what Michael Kemper has termed the emancipation of Volga-Ural
Muslims from Central Asia. However, the moral critique of Bukharans is
a widely-encountered literary convention in Tatar and Bashkir accounts
of the city, and should not be confused with the more politicized and fo
cused criticisms of Bukharan holiness itself found in the works of Islamic
reformists and later jadids, and discussed in the following chapter.
In a manner very similar to that of the Tuhfat al-ghuraba wa-lataif
al-ghuzza, written over a century earlier, the Tarikh-i Barangawi also re
veals and discusses many of the same Tatar and Bashkir stereotypes of
Bukharans and Bukharan stereotypes, both in Ahmads narratives, and
in the letters of his father and uncle. Tatars and Bashkirs who studied in
Bukhara often commented on the varying sorts of receptions Tatars and
Bashkirs received from Central Asians. On the one hand, there are numer
ous accounts of how local scholars often were especially well-disposed
toward Tatar and Bashkir students. Burhan ad-Din b. Nasr ad-Din attrib
uted the Bukharan shaykhs affection toward Tatars to the reverence that
Tatars had for the city.54
Usually the first indication that Bukharas sanctity was not necessarily
shared by its inhabitants was when the student first approached Bukhara,
and encountered officials who demanded zakat. Formally students were
exempt from this levy in the emirate, but the tax collector (zakatchi) usu
ally ignored their protests and demanded payment anyway. In 1875
Galimjan Barudi and his brother Hasan were stopped numerous times and
tried unsuccessfully to dispute the issue. In 1901 Ahmad al-Barangawi was
stopped three times traveling the short distance from the railroad station
at Novaia Bukhara. He was finally advised to pretend to be a factory work
er from Novaia Bukhara (Kaghan), and thereby escaped further levies.55
Bukharan avarice was a particularly common stereotype among Tatar
students. When Ahmad first arrived in the city, he received change af
ter he had overpaid for some bread. When he remarked to his new Tatar

53Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte, 179-182; this poem is also discussed in Uli Schamiloglu,
ctihad or Millt? Reflections on Bukhara, Kazan, and the Legacy of Russian Orientalism,
Reform Movements and Revolutions in Turkistan: 1900-1924. Studies in Honour of Osman
Khoja, (Haarlem, 2001), 349-352.
54TB fol. 46a.
55TB fol. 196a; Aqchura, Damella Ghalimjan l-Barudi 32.
146 Chapter five

companions on the Bukharan waiters honesty, they laughed at his nave

conclusion.56 In a letter to his father Burhan ad-Din wrote:
Bukharas great hardship is well-known, and all of the Bukharans are friends
to everyone who has money. If one is weak, powerless, or poor, even if he
is Allama-yi Diwani, he will not get one pennys worth of honor.57

Later he wrote:
The great saints and beloved scholars from times past are countless. Bukhara
and its environs are completely filled with the tombs of saints. However, in
the world and in history there is no place on the face of the earth as hard
as Bukhara. There is no one left among its people who were originally re
ligious and pious. Whoever has money, even if he is Moses Pharaoh, that
person is exhalted. And whoever is a beggar, even if hes the Pole of the Saints
(qutb-i awliya), he doesnt get an atom of respect.58

Stereotypes, of course, are a two-way street, and we find in the Tarikh-i

Barangawi several descriptions of Bukharan stereotypes regarding Tatars
and Bashkirs, whom they called collectively noghay. Burhan ad-Din wrote
in the 1850s that Bukharans would call the students from Russia infidels
behind their backs, and because many Tatars had blond hair, they sus
pected they were Russians. Some Bukharans even doubted there could be
any Muslims in Russia.
Bukharans also believed, according to Burhan ad-Din, that Russias
governors sent students to study Arabic and Persian, because they sup
posedly needed these languages to administer Russia. In this regard,
Bukharans knew Russian officials, including Muslim soldiers in the Russian
army, as gubur, evidently derived from the Russian word for governor,
gubernator.59 Just as Abd ar-Rahim al-Bulghari had complained in 1795,
in the early 20th century some Bukharans continued to associate Tatar and
Bashkir students with being Russian spies. In this regard Ahmad al-Baran
gawi wrote the following:
However, the Bukharan people absolutely did not like the Tatar students,
and would cheat them whenever possible. My hujra-mate was a khwaja. His
supervisor (naziri) was the muezzin at the Arks Friday Mosque behind the
bazaar. One day that person found out I was a Tatar, and became frightened.

56TB ff. 197b-198a.

57TB fol. 41a.
58TB fol. 46a.
59TB fol. 35ab.
The Student Experience II 147

This was because in his opinion the Tatar students were under the supervi
sion of the Russian consul. He was afraid that the Russian would take his
half of the hujra. [] He said things like, Are there mosques in Noghayistan?
He was saying, The Russians come under cover and they study. If they dont
study, they cant be governors.60

Bokharis in Russia

The vast majority of Tatar and Bashkir scholars who studied in Bukhara
eventually returned home, some after spending less than a year, others
after spending a decade there or more. Once back in Russia, these scholars
were known as bokharis,61 and brought substantial prestige to the com
munities they served, where they enjoyed an elevated social and religious
status.62 The number and proportion of bokharis in Russia is difficult to
determine with any precision. Russian official documents recording the
official positions of imams rarely remarked on where they received their
education. The Russian authorities in 1883 counted 7,341 of officially reg
istered clerics, that is, imams and akhunds, subordinate to the Orenburg
Muslim Spiritual Assembly.63 It is impossible to know how many of these
imams had studied in Bukhara, but from Tatar and Bashkir biographical
sources we can obtain a sense of the proportion of bokharis in specific
communities. Overall, it appears that the proportion of bokharis was cer
tainly low, probably amounting to certainly less than five percent of schol
ars. The Tawarikh-i Alt Ata provides biographies of 66 scholars among
Novouzensk districts eighteen mosques, among which only two imams
were bokharis. In Urzhum District there were fourteen mosques and we
possess biographical information on approximately eighteen clerics, four
teen of whom were in Baranga. Of these eighteen, four were bokharis. The
proportion for Novouzensk District appears to have been much closer to
the average for rural communities, where the resources that could be de
voted to education were far more restricted. By contrast, wealthier urban
communities, particularly those having close economic ties with Central
Asia, reveal much larger proportions of bokharis among their imams.
Among the sixty-three imams listed for Kazan in various biographical

60TB fol. 201ab.

61Tatar teleneng anglatmal szlege I (Kazan, 1977), 183.
62A. Anastasiev, Viatskie inorodtsy i ikh shkoly, Zhurnal Ministerstva Narodnago
Prosveshcheniia vol. 353/3, 1904, section 4, 98.
63Alfavitnye spiski armiano-grigorianskikh tserkvei i magometanskikh mechetiakh v
imperii, (St. Petersburg, 1883), 327.
148 Chapter five

sources, twenty-six had studied in Bukhara. On the steppe the proportions

were even higher, with sixteen out of thirty-two in Semipalatinsk, and
twelve out of twenty in Petropavlovsk.64 Regrettably, we do not possess
sufficiently detailed biographical information for Qarghal or Astrakhan,
although bokharis were certainly present in those cities as well, in the case
of Qarghal already in the middle of the eighteenth century. M. Farkhshatov
has provided some broader statistics for the proportion of bokharis in
Russia. Among the 112 mudarrises from the Volga-Ural region included in
the first two volumes of Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Dins biographical dic
tionary Asar, and active in the 1870s, fourteen, or 12.5 percent, had studied
in Bukhara and one in Istanbul.65 However, it should pointed out that Riza
ad-Din was documenting the regions scholarly elite, among whom bokha-
ris were particularly numerous and influential.
Some villages that were also important education centers held larger
proportions of bokharis. We can identify Baranga as one of these, but
other villages include Sterlibashevo, in Ufa Province, where a family dy
nasty of Sufis and scholars retained multi-generational ties with Bukhara.66
Another such village was Ulugh Saba, in Kazan province, where we see that
four out of six of that villages imams had studied in Bukhara.67 Bukhara
was not, of course, the only foreign destination for Tatar and Bashkir schol
ars. In the eighteenth and through much of the nineteenth century
Dagestan attracted many students from Russia. Throughout this period we
find references to scholars in Russia who had studied in Turkey, Egypt,
Syria, the Hijaz, Afghanistan, and India, and toward the end of the nine
teenth century Egypt and Turkey gained prominence among Islamic re
formers as locations for study.68 However we do not see at the popular
level the same sort of prestige accorded graduates of Dagestani or Egyptian
madrasas than that accorded bokharis. In Russia, bokharis were distin
guished not only by a reputation for erudition, but also by their clothing.

64Galimjan Barudi, Qzlyar Sfre, (Kazan, 2004), 86-99; A. Frank and M. Usmanov,
eds., Materials for the Islamic History of Semipalatinsk: Two Manuscripts by Ahmad-Wali
al-Qazani and Qurban-Ali Khalidi, (Berlin, 2001), passim.
65M. N. Farkhshatov, Narodnoe obrazovanie v Bashkirii v poreformennyi period 60-90-e
gody XIX v. (Moscow, 1994), 61-62.
66Muhammad-Shakir Tuqayef, Tarikh-i Istarlibash, (Kazan, 1899), passim.
67Husayn b. Amirkhan, Tawarikh-i Bulghariya, (Kazan, 1883), 72-88.
68Farkhshatov, Narodnoe obrazovanie, 62; on Tatars students in Egypt cf. Stephane
Dudoignon, Echoes to al-Manar among Muslims of the Russian Empire: a preliminary
research note on Riza al-Din b. Fakhr al-Din and the Shura (1908-1918), Intellectuals in the
Modern Islamic World: Transmission, transformation, communication, Stephane Dudoignon,
Komatsu Hisao, Kosugi Yasushi eds. (London & New York, 2006), 85-116.
The Student Experience II 149

Muhammad-Fatih al-Ilmini remarked how in Novouzensk district bokha-

ris were recognized by their turbans.69 In describing his fathers dress,
Ahmad records that it was his fathers habit custom to wear a high white
turban fashioned after those worn by the Bukharan ulama.70
The elevated prestige of bokharis at times caused tensions with scholars
educated in Russian madrasas. Muhammad-Fatih al-Ilmini, a product of
madrasas in Novouzensk District, wrote skeptically and somewhat dispar
agingly of the bokharis in his district, and describes one bokhari, the imam
Ali Toqtarov, as a somewhat pompous figure who was treated indulgent
ly, if condescendingly, by wealthy notables in Altata and Orenburg.71 It
appears that bokharis may have even had a reputation for arrogance, since
Muhammad-Shakir emphasizes how one bokhari in Sterlibashevo, upon
returning from Central Asia, perhaps uncharacteristically treated the local
elders with respect.72 Abd al-Majib b. Alkhan (d. 1881), an imam in the
village of Qorban, in Shadrinsk district, in the Urals region, was remem
bered for his public critique of bokharis. He confessed his ignorance, hav
ing never studied in Bukhara, but added that the bokharis he saw returning
from there were no less ignorant than he was. On another occasion, at a
gathering in Petropavlovsk, he was equally critical of some Central Asian
At a large gathering [majlis] in Petropavlovsk [Abd al-Majib] recited verses
from the Quran and discussed the tafsirs that explained their meaning.
Then he looked at a guest who had come from Bukhara or Khoqand and
said, Your Grace! Without consulting a tafsir one cannot correctly explain
the Word of God. Then striking his chest with his hand he said to him, Hey
Sart, our tafsir his here!. Some of the scholars at the gathering said, Your
grace, dont speak harshly to him like that. He is a master [miyan]. He re
plied to them, Hey you fools, prophets have given birth to unbelievers.
Dont praise ancestry, praise only learning and erudition! 73
If the proportion of bokharis was small, and if they sometimes enjoyed a
reputation for conceit, if not arrogance, their influence was nevertheless
most strongly felt in Russias madrasas. The similarity of the madrasa cur
riculum in the Volga-Ural region and Siberia with that of Bukhara is in all
likelihood attributable to the universal similarity of the Hanafi curriculum
across much of the Islamic world. However bokharis transplanted many

69Tawarikh-i Alti Ata, fol. 80a.

70TB fol. 107b.
71Tawarikh-i Alti Ata, fol. 80a.
72Tuqayef, Tarikh-i Istarlibash, 17.
73Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 118.
150 Chapter five

other cultural features of Bukharan education back to Russia. We have seen

for example how Central Asian-style pilaf was consumed in madrasas on
festive occasions. Similarly, two of the most prominent madrasas in Russia
in the nineteenth century were those located in the villages of Qshqar and
Baylar Ors. In those madrasas students lived in wooden houses divided
into apartments that kept the name hujras, even though they bore no
physical resemblance to the Central Asian hujras, and were in fact simply
large rooms divided by curtains.74 Madrasas in Siberia, particularly the
large and influential one in the village of Embaevo, was organized largely
in imitation of its Bukharan counterparts.75 The village of Baylar Ors,
whose madrasas and scholars were particularly renowned in Russia, was
even known as Or Sharif, evidently imitating the name Bukhara-yi sharif,
and its scholars bore the nisba ash-Sharifi.76
In the madrasa where he studied in Kazan Ahmad al-Barangawi writes
about how the mudarris brought a custom back from Bukhara that they
called the Bukhara Week (Bokhara atnas):
In his madrasa there were no classes on Wednesdays, and that custom was
called Bokhara atnas. This would take place once every two weeks. The
meaning of the Bokhara atnas is as follows: in the past in Bukhara there
would be no classes on Wednesdays. This is because since there were no
printed books, the students would spend a day copying the books they would
need for the next lessons. Even in Bukhara every sort of book is printed
today. There is no longer any need for copying. Nonetheless this rule has
not been abolished, and Wednesdays are made holidays. As for Abd
al-Allam, he probably carried out this teaching because of his zeal for

74TB fol. 78a; G. Lotfi, Qshqar mdrsse, Mdrslrd kitap kishtse , (Kazan,
1992), 154.
75Kh. Ziiaev, Uzbeki v Sibiri, (Tashkent, 1967), 67; F. Vliev, Seber mdrsse,
Mdrslrd kitap kishtse, (Kazan, 1992), 185-198.
76TB, ff. 74b, 83a, 92b.
77TB fol. 187a.
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 151

Chapter six

The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia

The Economic and Political Eclipse of Central Asia

Beginning in the middle of the nineteenth century Bukharas standing

among Muslims in Russia began a gradual decline. This decline was at
tributable in part to expanding Russian political and economic power in
Central Asia, as well as the rise of Islamic reformism and modernism,
which were generally critical of the Sufi practices and conceptions that
formed the basis of Bukharas sacred significance to Muslims. Tatars and
Bashkirs played a key role in Russias political and economic expansion
into Inner Asia, and by the middle of the nineteenth century they had ap
propriated many of the roles the Bukharans had held and largely monopo
lized in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as merchants and
intermediaries. Many historical studies of this process, primarily of a Tatar
modernist and nationalist orientation, have recognized the role of Russian
political and economic expansion in this process, but have emphasized
the rise of Enlightenment among the Tatars (comprising Islamic reform
ism, ethnic nationalism, and modernism).1 At the same time, they contrast
Tatar enlightenment with Bukharan backwardness and scholasticism.
In these accounts, the Bukharan madrasa and Bukharan education be
come symbols for this supposed backwardness. As commonplace as this
depiction has become in Tatar historiography, and in many Western his
torical works, it was by no means universally accepted, or unchallenged,
among Tatar and Bashkir scholars of that time.
In examining the decline of Bukharas economic and political status
over the course of the nineteenth century, and the decline in the legal and
social status of Central Asian communities within Russia, it is important
to recall that during this period the political, economic, and in the case of

1The reformist and modernist current dominated printed Tatar historiography by the
beginning of the twentieth century. Before the Second World War historians emphasizing
the role of Tatar enlighteners include Shhr Shrf, Gaziz Gubaidullin, Abdullah Battal-
Taymas, Ali Rakhim, and Zeki Velidi Togan. These ideas regained currency in Soviet Ta
tarstan in the 1980s, and have remained dominant among Tatar historians since the collapse
of the Soviet Union.
152 Chapter six

the ulama institutional interests of the Tatar and Bashkir merchant and
religious elite became firmly tied to those of the Russian Empire and the
Russian monarchy. During this era Tatar and Bashkir merchants operated
throughout the Russian empire, and even beyond it, and were involved in
much of the empires overland trade, both domestically and internation
ally. Tatar merchants began investing in industrial enterprises, particu
larly in the processing of livestock, and by the end of the nineteenth
century a full-fledged Muslim industrial bourgeoisie had developed in
Russia.2 Similarly, the religious elite, the ulama, on the one hand was
largely dependent upon the Tatar bourgeoisie for the support of Islamic
institutions; on the other hand, the wealthiest, most prestigious, and most
influential element of the ulama was organized, and partially regulated
around the Orenburg Muslim Spiritual Assembly, a bureaucratic structure
funded and administered by the Russian state. Moreover, it was headed by
a mufti who was a Russian appointee and firmly associated with the po
litical and the economic interests of the monarchy. As we have seen, it was
also in the main economic centers of the Tatar and Bashkir bourgeoisie,
cities such as Kazan, Petropavlovsk, and Semipalatinsk where we find the
highest proportion of bokharis among the ulama.
When we speak of Bukharas economic decline, this should be under
stood as a highly relative decline. If Peter the Greats vision was to establish
forts along the Qazaq frontier to facilitate trade with the Central Asian
khanates, the ultimate outcome of this policy was the political, military,
and above all economic integration of the Qazaq steppe, rather than of
Central Asia, into the Russian Empire. By the middle of the nineteenth
century Russian imports and exports to and from the Qazaq steppe were
valued at four times that of its trade with the three Central Asian khanates
combined.3 Unlike the highly capitalized caravan trade with the khanates,
trade with the Qazaqs occurred in settlements all along the frontier, includ
ing in both large cities and smaller settlements, and involved Muslims and
non-Muslims, including peasants, Cossacks, itinerant peddlers, and other

2The social and economic foundations of the Tatar bourgeoisie are discussed in detail
in Kh. Kh. Khasanov, Formirovanie tatarskoi burzhuaznoi natsii, (Kazan, 1977); cf. also Radik
Salikhov, Tatarskaia burzhuaziia Kazani i natsionalnye reformy vtoroi poloviny XIXnacha-
la XX v. (Kazan, 2001), and Christian Noack, Muslimischer Natsionalismus im russischen
Reich, (Stuttgart, 2000).
3L. M. Sverdlova, Na perekrestke torgovykh putei, (Kazan, 1991), 21-23. Sverdlovas figures
are for the period of 1849-1853; Russias trade with both the steppe and the Central Asian
khanates was dwarfed by its trade with China, including Xinjiang and Mongolia.
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 153

less capitalized merchants.4 At the same time, the increasing presence of

Russian subjects trading with the Central Asian khanates ended the need
for maintaining special privileges to attract Central Asian merchants to
Russia. The Bukharan communities in Siberia and Astrakhan were ef
fectively stripped of their privileges by 1834 and 1836 respectively.5 With
time these communities assimilated into local Tatar communities, al
though in the case of the Siberian Bukharans, local sayyids retained (and
continue to retain) an elevated religious standing. The Russian conquest
of Central Asia between 1865 and 1875 opened those markets to Russian
merchants, and also ended once and for all any need for the Russian
authorities to maintain privileges for Central Asian merchants. Former
subjects of the Khanate of Khoqand, who retained extraterritorial privi
leges in the cities of Semipalatinsk and Petropavlovsk, including a degree
self-government, became Russian subjects, and lost most, but not quite all,
of their privileges.6 As a result the economic standing of these communi
ties quickly declined. Ahmad-Wali al-Qazani, an imam in Semipalatinsk,
in 1888 inserted a moral dimension in his description of the decline of the
Central Asian, or Sart community in his city, that symbolized their de
graded social and economic status:
Currently they [the Sarts] do not provide conscripts, [but] they pay the
shangaraq tax, that is, the smoke tax.7 Earlier there were very many rich
men among these Sarts [...]. Now all of them are poor. Some of the children
of the rich men who were incomparably wealthy moved to Russia and oth
ers to China. In the wealthy times, their moral qualities [were such that
even] before the morning prayers they would go to their windows [to pray].
Nowadays, in summertime they sleep in until eleven oclock, out of sloth.8

4N. G. Apollova, Ekonomicheskie i politicheskie sviazi Kazakhstana s Rossiei v XVIII-

nachale XIX v., (Moscow, 1960); Allen J. Frank, Muslim Religious Institutions in Imperial
Russia: the Islamic World of Novouzensk District and the Kazakh Inner Horde, (Leiden-Boston,
2001), 70-77; G. S. Sultangalieva, Zapadnyi Kazakhstan v sisteme etnokulturnykh kontaktov
(XVIIInachalo XX vv.) (Ufa, 2001), 78-91.
5V. P. Shpaltakov, Sredneaziatskie torgovye liudi v Sibiri v XVIII-XIX vv., Torgovlia
gorodov Sibiri kontsa XVI-nachala XX v., (Novosibirsk, 1987), 220; P. Nebolsin, Ocherki vol-
zhskago nizovia, (St. Petersburg, 1852), 114.
6As Russian subjects, former Khoqandian subjects after 1881 obtained extraterritorial
privileges in Xinjiang and Mongolia, which in large measure were modeled on the older
arrangements that had been in force between Russia and the Khanate of Khoqand; cf. N.
V. Bogoiavlenskii, Zapadnyi zastennyi Kitai, (St. Petersburg, 1906), 366-367.
7This was a hearth tax that Qazaqs and other natives paid in lieu of a poll tax. Those
liable to this tax were also immune from military conscription; hence it was a relatively
privileged status.
8Allen J. Frank and Mirkasyim A. Usmanov, eds., Materials for the Islamic History of
Semipalatinsk: Two Manuscripts by Ahmad-Wali al-Qazani and Qurbanali Khalidi, ANOR
11 (Halle-Berlin, 2001), 32-33.
154 Chapter six

Many Tatar observers viewed the end of Muslim sovereignty in Central

Asia favorably. Several Tatar authors who were educated in Bukhara, and
who were by no means modernists or Russophiles, were dismayed by the
violence and chaos that reigned in the Central Asian khanates in the 1850s
and 1860s, and condemned what they understood to be the political failure
of Central Asian rulers to rule equitably or even maintain order. Qurban-
Ali Khalidi welcomed the extension of Chinese, and especially Russian,
authority in the eastern Qazaq steppe, recalling the violence and insecu
rity that existed on the steppe before the arrival of the Russians. In addition
to the increase in personal safety, he also remarked on the benefits that
Russian and Chinese rule brought to the regions economic life.9 Similarly,
in letters to their family in Russia Burhan ad-Din and his brother Hafiz
ad-Din condemned the wars that took place between Muslim leaders in
the Central Asian khanates and in Kashgaria.10 Such views were not re
stricted to Tatars, but were evident among some Qazaqs as well. Mshhr-
Zhsip Kpeyul, for example, praised the establishment of Russian
authority in the 1830s in the central Qazaq steppe, and credited it with
establishing peace and order among the nomads.11
In many respects, by the middle of the nineteenth century Tatar mer
chants and scholars had in effect taken the place Bukharan merchants had
held in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Whereas Central Asian
merchants had maintained the commercial and diplomatic connections
between Russia, the Oirat Khanate, and the Central Asian khanates at that
time, by the nineteenth century Tatar and Bashkir merchants and scholars
were carrying out much the same role on the Qazaq steppe, and in
Zungharia, and Central Asia, but now between tsarist Russia and the Qing
Empire.12 However, even if Bukharas political and economic significance
was declining for Russian Muslims, as we have seen in Tatar sources, par
ticularly in the Tarikh-i Barangawi, the citys sacred significance, espe
cially among scholars, endured, even though this sacred status came under

9Qurban-Ali Khalidi, Tawarikh-i khamsa-yi-sharqi, 475.

10TB ff. 51b, 103b.
11Mshhr-Zhsip Kpeyul Shgharmalar XIII (Pavlodar, 2008), 16-17.
12Sverdlova, Na perekrestke torgovykh putei; Mami Hamamoto, Sviazuiushchaia rol
tatarskikh kuptsov Volga-Uralskogo regiona v Tsentralnoi Evrazii: zveno Shelkovogo puti
novogo vremeni (vtoraia polovina XVIII-XIX v.), Volgo-Uralskii region v imperskom pros-
transtve XVIII-XX vv., (Moscow, 2011), 39-58; V. V. Galiev, Kazakhstan v sisteme Rossiisko-
kitaiskikh torgovo-ekonomicheskikh otnoshenii v Sintsziane (konets XIX-nachalo XX vv.)
(Almaty, 2003).
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 155

concerted attack in the second half of the nineteenth century from Tatar
reformists, and later modernists. In seeking to reform their own society
and its religious practices, these scholars and intellectuals used Bukhara
as a trope, to critique indirectly, but effectively, the Islamic institutions in
Russia that had been most strongly influenced by Bukhara, namely educa
tion. In critiquing Bukhara, these figures could avoid direct confrontation
with the conservative and influential opponents of reformism within

Reformist Critics: Qursawi, Fayzkhanov, and Marjani

The founders of Islamic reformism in the Volga-Ural region, Abun-Nasir

Qursawi (1776-1812), and Shihab ad-Din Marjani (1818-1889) as we have
seen were educated in Bukhara, and it was in Bukhara that Qursawi fell
into conflict with elements of the ulama there. This conflict is often re
counted in Tatar historiography, and its details can be simply summarized
here for our purposes.13 Qursawi was, and is, remembered for his dra
matic conflict with some Bukharan (and Tatar) scholars over issues of
dogmatic theology, eventually forcing him to flee the city for his life and
return to Russia. He traveled to Bukhara at the beginning of the nineteenth
Century, and studied with Niyaz-Quli at-Turkmani. In or around 1802 in
fluential scholars in Bukhara accused Qursawi of heresy for his critique of
dogmatic theology (kalam). He left the city, but returned again in 1808 or
1809, where he again came into conflict with the Bukharan legal authorities
over his interpretations of dogmatic theology that called into question the
Maturidi orthodoxy that was in force in Bukhara. At a meeting attended

13The most useful accounts of Qursawis experience in Bukhara remain those by Michael
Kemper and Stphane Dudoignon. Qursawis experience in Bukhara, and its interpretation
by Marjani and others has been addressed by Michael Kemper; cf. his Entre Boukhara et
la Moyenne-Volga: Abd an-Nasir al-Qursawi en conflit avec les oulmas traditionalistes,
Cahiers du Monde Russe vol. XXXVI (1-2), 1996, 41-52; Michael Kemper, ihabaddin al-
Marjani ber Abu n-Nasr al-Qursawis Konflikt mit den Gelehrten Bucharas, Muslim Culture
in Russia and Central Asia Vol. 3 Arabic, Persian and Turkic Manuscripts (15th-19th Centuries),
Anke von Kgelgen, Ashirbek Muminov, Michael Kemper eds. (Berlin, 2000), 353-383;
Michael Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte in Tatarien und Baschkirien: der islamische Diskurs
unter russischer Herrschaft, (Berlin, 1998), 225-243; Stphane Dudoignon, La question
scolaire Boukhara et au Turkestan russe du premier renouveau la sovitisation (fin du
XVIIIe sicle-1937), Cahiers du Monde Russe vol. XXXVI (1-2), 1996, 133-210. Tatar scholars
who have addressed Qursawis experience include, Dzhamaliutdin Validov, Ocherk istorii
obrazovannosti i literatury tatar, (Moscow-Petrograd, 1923), 27-33; A. N. Iuzeev, Tatarskaia
filosofskaia mysl kontsa XVIII-XIX vv. (Kazan, 2000), 97-102.
156 Chapter six

by Emir Haydar himself, he was forced to recant his views under threat of
death. However, it was said that Niyaz-Quli at-Turkmani threatened the
emir with dire political consequences should he enforce the death pen
alty. Qursawi was not executed, but was forced to flee the city again. Once
in Russia he continued to defend his views from his Tatar critics as well.14
Qursawis experiences in Bukhara, and the interpretation of those expe
riences by Tatar scholars and historians, have been well summarized by
Michael Kemper, who writes:
Long having been the perfect symbol of Muslim education and piety for
previous generations, in the nineteenth century in the eyes of many Volga-
Ural Muslims, Bukhara was only a place of intellectual stagnation, erudite
pedantry, superstition, fanaticism, and increasingly distant from authentic
Islam. The death sentence declared against Qursawi in Bukharas Ark [Cit
adel] showed the extent of the states arbitrary rule, and the lack of all in
dividual liberty in the emirate. And in his Tatar poetry even Qursawis most
resolute opponent, Abd ar-Rahim Utz-Imni, depicted the decay of Bukha
ras scholarly environment. Bukhara was thus called upon to the play the
unenviable role of antithesis to the new culture in the state of being born.15
As an early reformer, Marjani shares a reputation for critiquing Bukhara
and its scholarly traditions. Several of his biographers have emphasized
his critique of Bukhara and its educational methods, and from that have
extrapolated a broader critique that remains to be documented in his own
writings.16 There we find little direct criticism of Bukhara, including in his
historical works devoted to the region. In fact, as we have seen, Marjani
had a very productive and successful career in Bukhara, as well as in
Samarqand, and it was precisely in Bukhara where Marjani flourished as a
mudarris and had numerous students, including Hafiz ad-Din al-Baran
gawi.17 From the Tarikh-i Barangawi we learn that after returning to Russia
Hafiz ad-Din became a critic of Marjani, accusing him, among other things,

14A concise summary of Qursawis career, and his theological arguments can be found
in Michael Kemper, al-Kursavi, Islam na territorii byvshei Rossiiskoi imperii: entsik-
lopedcheskii slovar I (Moscow, 2006), 230-232.
15Michael Kemper, Entre Boukhara et la Moyenne-Volga: Abd an-Nasir al-Qursawi
en conflit avec les oulmas traditionalistes, Cahiers du Monde Russe vol. XXXVI (1-2), 1996,
16Ahmad Hadi Maqsudi, Damulla Marjani Hazratlari, in Marjani, Sh. Sharaf ed.,
(Kazan, 1915), 432-433; Mirkasym Usmanov, Zavetnaia mechta Khusaina Faizkhanova, (Ka
zan, 1980), 20-25; Munir Iusupov, Shigabetdin Mardzhani, (Kazan, 2005), 46-47.
17In addition to Hafiz ad-Din these students included Abd al-Khabir b. Abd al-Wahhab
al-Qzljari, Muhammadi b. Salih al-Bashqordi, and Ahmad-Latif b. Abd al-Latif at-Tmtq;
Shhr Shrf, Shihabetdin Mrjani, R. Mrdanov and S. Rkhimov, eds., (Kazan, 1998),
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 157

of undue harshness in dealing with his opponents.18 One of the earliest

historical works Marjani wrote is the Tanbih abna al-asr ala tanzih anba
Abi n-Nasr, written in 1849 immediately following his return to Russia from
Bukhara. This small work is devoted to Qursawis experiences in Bukhara
over forty years before.19 It consists primarily of accounts about Qursawi
that Marjani collected in Bukhara, and which Marjani transmits for the
most part without additional comment, or without any specific critique of
Marjani wrote several works that address to various degrees the political
history of Central Asia. These include the Ghurfat al-khawwaqin li-marifat
al-khawwaqin, an Arabic work printed in Kazan 1864 and devoted to the
pre-Mongol period, from the 10th through the 12th Centuries ce.21 Marjanis
most voluminous work is the compendium Wafiyat al-aslaf wa takhiyyat
al-akhlaf, which was partially printed, but which mainly remains in manu
script form. This six-volume Arabic work consists of a vast compendium
of biographies of scholars and political figures from the Islamic world as a
whole. Nevertheless, particular attention is given Central Asian scholars
and rulers. The last two volumes focus primarily on scholars from
the Volga-Ural region, and these sections constitute the original portion of
the work. Marjani translated into Turki the sections on scholars from the
Volga-Ural region, and formed most of the second volume of the Mustafad
al-akhbar.22 Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din also included in the fourth
Volume of Asar the biographies of several nineteenth century Bukharan
and Samarqandi scholars identified in the Wafiyat al-aslaf.23
The first volume of the Mustafad al-akhbar contains several chapters
devoted to the histories of the ruling dynasties in Central Asia, based on
both written and oral sources. These begin with the Mongol successor

18TB, fol. 151b; Shhr Shrf, who had access to the Tarikh-i Barangawi, mentioned
Hafiz ad-Din among Marjanis students, but does not mention their later disagreements.
19This work has been published, with notes and introduction, by Michael Kemper; cf.
his Shihabaddin al-Marjani ber Abu n-Nasr al-Qursawis Konflikt mit den Gelehrten Bukha
20Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte, 454.
21On this work cf. Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte, 451; Munir Iusupov, Shigabutdin
Mardzhani, (Kazan, 2005), 97-101.
22On the Wafiyat al-aslaf cf. N. G. Garaeva, Istochniki Vafiiat al-aslaf va takhiiiat al-
akhlaf Sh. Marjani, Mardzhani: uchenyi, myslitel, prosvetitel, (Kazan, 1991), 91-112; Kemper,
Sufis und Gelehrte, 451-452; A. N. Iuzeev has translated into Russian a sampling of biographies
contained in the work; cf. Shikhab ad-Din Mardzhani, Vafiiat al-Aslaf va takhiiat al-akhlaf,
A. N. Iuzeev ed., (Kazan, 1999).
23Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 489-492.
158 Chapter six

states in the region, including the Shibanids and Ashtarkhanids in

Mavarannahr, the Chingisids in Khorezm, and then the Manght, Qongrat,
and Ming dynasties in Bukhara, Khiva, and Khoqand respectively. With
the exception of the studies of the latter three dynasties, these earlier
chapters are based on well-known historical works, such as Abul-Ghazi
Bahadur Khans Shajara-yi Turk.24 However in his discussion of the Uzbek
dynasties, and particularly in the case of Bukhara, Marjani makes use of
both local and Tatar oral informants, whom he carefully identifies. In the
case of his brief history of the Manght Dynasty, Marjani records political
and military events, and also comments on the relationship between the
various emirs and the ulama in the emirate, clearly reflecting the ex
periences and concerns of his sources. Marjani is particularly critical of the
emir Nasrullah Khan, stressing his cruelty, tyranny, and the harm he caused
education in the emirate. In this respect Marjanis public critique of
Nasrullah was by no means unique.25 Hafiz ad-Din (who was in Bukhara
at the same times as Marjani) strongly, albeit in private correspondence,
denounced the tyranny and violence of Central Asian khans. With the
exceptions of the Tanbih abna al-asr and the Mustafad al-akhbar,
Marjanis historical works touching upon Central Asia remain little stud
ied, but overall what we do know conforms to Michael Kempers general
conclusion that Marjanis historical works tend more toward compilation
than original analysis or criticism. For our purposes, we can add that they
lack the sort of systematic or sustained critique of Central Asia that we find
in subsequent jadid works. Similarly, Marjanis own vision of history was
by no means modernist in the manner that the jadids was to become.
Marjani looked above all to the Golden Age of the early Caliphate, rather
than either Bukhara or modern Russian and European society as the ideal
model for Muslims in Russia.26 Nevertheless, despite his reputation as a
critic of Central Asian scholasticism, it is worth remembering that
Marjani, who is widely regarded in Russia and elsewhere as the father of
Tatar historiography, and as the greatest of Tatar historians, credits his
teacher in Samarqand, Abu Said as-Samarqandi, as being the chief cause

24M. A. Usmanov, Istochniki knigi Sh. Mardzhani Mustafad al-akhbar fi akhvali Kazan
va Bulgar Ocherki istorii Povolzhia i Priuralia vyp. II-III, (Kazan, 1969), 144-154.
25For example, Qazaqs living along the Irtysh River remembered Nasrullah, known as
Bahadur Khan, for his tyranny; cf. Mashhur-Zhsip Kopey-uli, Shgharmalar VIII, (Pavlodar,
2006), 224.
26Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte, 452.
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 159

of his interest in history, and described Abu Said as the most erudite
scholar he encountered in Central Asia.27
One of Marjanis students, Husayn Fayzkhanov (1828-1866), who is best
remembered as an early Tatar Europhile and a proponent of madrasa re
form in Russia, emerged as a critic of Bukharan education, although he
himself never traveled to Central Asia. Fayzkhanov championed many of
Marjanis reformist positions on educational and theological issues, and
was closely associated with Russian and German academics in Kazan and
St. Petersburg.28 In his essays devoted to madrasa reform, and in his per
sonal correspondence, Fayzkhanov anticipated and influenced many of
the jadids critiques of Bukhara. To a large degree, Fayzkhanovs critique
of village madrasas was by extrapolation a critique of Bukhara as well,
since he clearly was criticizing influential madrasas in Russia that were
consciously imitating Bukharan educational methods, such as the Qshqar
Madrasa, which was also criticized by Marjani.29 He criticized the method
of teaching in the madrasa, and pointed to the supposed ignorance of the
students as evidence of its failure. He was also critical of Sufis, and hence
of the foundation of sacred authority within these madrasas.30 Fayzkhanov
sought what Adeeb Khalid has termed the desacralization of established
religious authority, and he also formulated many of the arguments that
later jadids would use to denounce the uselessness of Bukharan educa
tion.31 By criticizing Sufis, Fayzkhanov also undermined the sacred ele
ments that were at the root of Bukharan prestige. In a letter to Marjani,
written in 1860 from St. Petersburg, Fayzkhanov tells of a letter he received
from Najib, presumably from Muhammad-Najib b. Baymurad al-Mingari
(d. 1866), who was one of Marjanis students, and in Bukhara had studied
under Abd al-Mumin b. Uzbek al-Bukhari.32 Fayzkhanov observed that
some of Najibs letters complaining about Bukhara had been intercepted
and come to the attention of the emir, and as a result, the Bukharan au
thorities had given Najib a beating. By pointing out that one could obtain

27Shrf, Shihabetdin Mrjani, 60-61.

28On Fayzkhanov cf. Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, Asar II:14, 432-443; Usmanov, Za-
vetnaia mechta; Raif Mrdanov, ed., Khsyen Fyezkhanov: Tarikhi-dokumental jyntq,
(Kazan, 2006).
29Maqsudi, Damulla Marjani Hazratlari, 433.
30In a letter to Marjani Fayzkhanov critiques the veneration of Habibullah-ishan al-
Oriwi, in the village of Baylar Ors, also known as Or Sharif; cf. Mrdanov, ed. Khsyen
Fyezkhanov, 368.
31Mrdanov, ed. Khsyen Fyezkhanov, 199-201.
32Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din, Asar II:14, 443.
160 Chapter six

an equally good education in places such as Herat, Baghdad, Mosul,

Damascus, Egypt, or Istanbul, Fayzkhanov implicitly denied Bukharas
reputation for sanctity and Islamic learning among Tatars and Bashkirs.33
Fayzkhanov, however, was a polemicist as well as a scholar, and many
historians sympathetic to the reformist message have often taken the po
lemical statements made by Fayzkhanov, and by the jadids who followed
him, too uncritically. For example, in an essay simply titled Risala, where
he makes the case for madrasa reform, he states that the Persian language
was not taught at all in Russias madrasas, and that with the exception
of some large madrasas in Russia Tatar mullahs who did not study in
Bukhara did not know the language at all.34 Such a statement is clearly
contradicted by the evidence in the Tarikh-i Barangawi and other manu
script sources.35

Jadid Critiques of Bukhara

It is in fact only with the emergence of the jadids at the end of the nine
teenth century that we see a more consistent and ideologically grounded
critique of Bukhara emerge among Tatar intellectuals. In their critique the
jadids combined Marjanis reformist views, glorifying the era of the proph
et Muhammad, and the earliest Islamic scholars, with modernism, critiqu
ing the economic and political backwardness of Central Asia. The latter
approach also revealed the influence of Russian writing, which similarly
depicted Bukharan education and scholarship of that time as a degraded
and degenerate shadow of its earlier greatness.36 This approach is evident
in a small work by the Crimean Tatar and father of jadidism, Ismail
Gasprinskii, devoted to the ulama of Turkestan, and published in
Bakhchesaray in 1900.37 On the face of it, this small biographical dictionary
appears to emphasize Pan-Turkic ethnic pride by documenting the sup
posed Turkic origins of virtually all of the famous scholars who had come
from Central Asia. However, in his introduction Gasprinskii also criticizes
indirectly the Hanafi madrasa curriculum, explaining that the modern

33Mrdanov, ed. Khsyen Fyezkhanov, 351.

34Mrdanov, ed. Khsyen Fyezkhanov, 206-207.
35TB, ff. 28b, 93b, 130a, 168b, 171b; TAA, ff. 26b, 85a.
36Such a characterization is virtually ubiquitous in the nineteenth and early twentieth
century European travel literature on Bukhara.
37Ismail Gasprinskii, Turkistan ulamasi, (Bakhchesaray, 1900). A modern edition with
Russian and Azeri translations has also appeared; cf. Ismail Qasprinski, Trkstan lamasi,
(Baku, 2001).
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 161

Turkic peoples of Russia were unwilling to study the kinds of sciences that
their ancestors had been studying in Central Asia in the medieval past, at
a time when they still had not been well developed in Europe. In this re
spect, Gasprinskiis conception of the regions intellectual history owes
much to Russian authors who contrasted the historical greatness of Central
Asia with it apparent present-day backwardness. While he mentions a
few major Sufi figures, such as Baha ad-Din Naqshband, Najm ad-Din
Kubravi, and others from the medieval period, he neglects to include the
most influential figures from later periods, including the Naqshbandiyya
Mujaddidiyya shaykhs from whom the Sufis of Gasprinskiis day claimed
descent. He also betrays his modernist leanings, and his debt to Russian
orientalism, when he emphasizes that the stature of one or another figure
was notable because his works had been translated into European lan
guages, in the case of Ibn Sina, al-Farabi, and even the eighteenth century
Turkmen poet Magtmgul, whose works, we are told, the Hungarian ori
entalist Arminius Vambery had translated into German.
Among Gasprinskiis successors we find a much more focused critique
of Bukhara, aimed not only at Central Asia, but more importantly, aimed
indirectly at the sorts of educational institutions in Russia that were based
upon Bukharan models of Islamic education. We have already seen how
Husayn Fayzkhanov tried (unsuccessfully) to reform Russias madrasas
that in the middle of the nineteenth century were built entirely on the
Bukharan model (and remained so to a large extent down to the Soviet
era). However jadids were not focused strictly on education. We also find
them questioning certain aspects of Sufism, such as pilgrimage, and in
doing so, attacking the very foundation of Bukharas sanctity. Bukharas
status as a holy city, its significance for Tatar and Bashkir Sufis, and its
position as the center for the Hanafi curriculumall the typical targets for
Islamic reformers and modernistsnaturally attracted the critical atten
tion of the jadids, particularly after 1905, when jadidism took on an increas
ingly political dimension.
It needs to be pointed out, however, that there was considerable variety
in the treatment Bukhara received from jadids. The jadids, it should be
emphasized, were careful to criticize Sufis, rather that Sufism proper. In
other words they focused on specific practices, and criticized bad Sufis,
rather than Sufi principles; and by no means were all Sufis in the Volga-Ural
region opposed to jadid educational reforms.38 Galimjan Barudi, a student

38Certainly the most prominent Sufi figure in late Imperial Russia, Zaynullah Rasuli
(1833-1917), endorsed some aspects of jadid educational reform. At the same time, he was
162 Chapter six

of Marjani, and a student himself in Bukhara for several years, reveals a

strong attraction for the city, and fond memories of his time there. At the
same time, he focused most of his criticism of education in the city on
primary and advanced education. He found fault with what he saw as the
Bukharans strong conservatism regarding religious education, their ten
dency of being too deferential, and hence uncritical, of their religious
scholars. His critique was in fact largely pedagogical in its orientation.
Among the topics he touched upon were the order in which various texts
were introduced into the curriculum, the general absence of mathematics,
the insufficient study of Arabic morphology in the advanced curriculum,
and the superficiality of many of the commentaries. Barudi also compared
Islamic education in Russia very favorably to that of Bukhara, considering
it more rigorous, disciplined, and above all practical, evidently ignoring
Bukharas role in shaping Islamic education in Russia. Indeed, Barudis
emphasis on the uselessness of Bukharan-style education is commonly
encountered in other jadid writings. Barudi also denounced what he saw
as the total absence of education among Bukharan women, and estimated
literacy among Muslims in Russia to be five times higher than among
Later jadids who did not study in Bukhara, and hence had less direct
experience with Bukharan life, nevertheless travelled there and left us with
their accounts of the city. Reports from correspondents in Bukhara ap
peared frequently in the Tatar press up until the First World War.40 The
extent of this genre precludes a comprehensive study, however there are
two particularly influential jadid travel accounts of Bukhara, published in
1908 and 1910. The first of these is a travel book titled Mawarannahrda
Sayahat (Journey to Transoxania) written by Zahir Bigiyev (1878-1903),
published posthumously in Kazan in 1908. The second is by the jadid jour
nalist Burhan Shrf (1883-1941), the brother of Shhr Shrf, titled
Bokhara mktplre (Letters from Bukhara), published in the reformist
journal Waqt in 1910.

quite critical of Islamic reformism, and wrote a refutation (raddiya) of the influential 13th
century Syrian theologian Ibn Taimiya; cf. Allen J. Frank, Tatar Islamic Texts (Springfield,
Virginia, 2008), 87-123.
39Barudi estimated that fifty percent of Russian Muslims were literate, compared to
ten percent among Bukharans; Aqchura, Damella Ghalimjan l-Barudi, 36-40.
40A sampling of these include, Mustafa Sabirjan, Bukhara madrasalari, Shura 1913,
20, 628-629, 21, 662, 22, 696, 23, 726-727, 24, 758-759, 1914 3, 84, 5, 151-152;
G. Khatti, Bukhara safari, Shura, 1915, 2, 63-64; Bukharada Qazan makhdumlari, al-
Islah 1908 30 12b.
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 163

Zahir Bigiyevs Mawarannahrda Sayahat

The earliest, and certainly the most influential, Tatar jadid account of
Bukhara remains Mawarannahrda Sayahat, written by Zahir Bigiyev (1870-
1902), which describes a journey he took to Bukhara and Samarqand in the
summer of 1893. 41 The work was published posthumously in 1908. Bigiyev
was from a well-educated Mishar family, and was the brother of the Tatar
theologian Musa Bigiyev. At the time of his journey to Bukhara he was
serving as imam in Rostov-na-Donu, very much an urban, commercial, and
Russian environment. The purpose of his trip was itself commercial: to
obtain permission from the emir of Bukhara to publish a newspaper in the
emirate. In that respect Bigiyevs trip was unsuccessful. Nevertheless, his
account of the city became a major work in the jadid canon, and estab
lished the ideological and political framework for subsequent critiques of
Bukhara and its emir, as well as for Tatar modernists own self-perceptions.
Bigiyevs target audience, and the object of his reform, was not Bukhara,
but Muslim society in Russia, that by the end of the nineteenth century
was increasingly becoming self-consciously Tatar, particularly among
jadids. Jadid reform was at the same time religious, social, and political. It
promoted ethnic (Tatar) nationalism, and the participation of Muslims in
the political life of imperial Russia. Tatar jadids saw European education,
as well as European science and technology, as both transformative and
beneficial, and sought to bring their communities the economic and social
benefits of these phenomena; in religious terms they were rationalists,
sharply critical of Sufism, and they emphasized the legal authority of the
sources of Islamic legal tradition, the Quran, hadiths, and Sunna. Just like
the Russian orientalists, they contrasted Russian progress with Asiatic
backwardness. 42 As a result, the religious traditions of Muslims in Russia
that were rooted in Central Asia, particularly Sufism, Hanafi jurisprudence,
shrine pilgrimage, and other features came under sustained attack in the
jadid press. For Bigiyev, the target of his criticism is very clearly Bukharas
reputation as a sacred city, and the prestige that Muslims in Russia ac
corded Bukharan institutions and customs. Consequently, throughout his

41The work was originally published in Kazan in 1908, however I have used the 1991
edition, Zahir Bigiyev, Zur gnahlar: romannar, syakhtnam, (Kazan, 1991), which includes
both a modern Tatar translation, and a Cyrillic transcription of the original Arabic script
Tatar text. For Bigiyevs biography cf. R. Dautov, Z. Bigiyev (tormsh yul hm ijadi miras),
in Zur gnahlar, 360-378; F. Musin, Zahir Bigiyev, in: Tatar dbiyat tarikh II, (Kazan,
1985), 302-318; Musin discusses the travel account in detail on pages 314-317.
42For a useful and concise morphology of Tatar jadidism cf. D. M. Iskhakov, Fenomen
tatarskogo dzhadidizma: vvedenie k sotsiokulturnomu osmysleniiu, (Kazan, 1997).
164 Chapter six

book Bigiyev writes as a social and political critic, religious reformer, and
self-conscious tourist.
The subtitle of the work, Transoksaniyaya safar (Journey to Transoxania)
appears on the title page, and demonstrates well the connection between
Russian orientalists and the jadids, since the name Transoxania, a classi
cally-derived Western term never used in Islamic Central Asia, would have
been meaningless to all but a very few Muslims in Russia in 1908. In the
first chapter of his account, Bigiyev even provides an etymology to his
readers, and explains that it is the equivalent of the better-known Islamic
name Mavarannahr.43 The beginning of the work is essentially a political
history of Central Asia. Bigiyev informs us that one of his sources was
Arminius Vambrys Travels in Central Asia, and he regrets that that work
has been translated into every language except Tatar.44 He travels from
Rostov to Tsaritsyn, where he embarks on a riverboat to Astrakhan, and
he provides an extensive discussion of the Qalmaqs (known in Russian
sources as Kalmyks) living between Tsaritsyn and Astrakhan.45
Bigiyev opens his critique of Sufism and pilgrimage in his description
of the Astrakhan Muslims. He points out that there are no Muslim cemeter
ies in Astrakhan, but rather, the Astrakhan Muslims bury their dead in
village cemeteries where saints were buried, and that consequently these
were also important shrines and pilgrimage sites. He denounces shrine
pilgrimage among Astrakhan Muslims as a type of polytheism, and, an
ticipating later Soviet critiques, classifies it as a pre-Islamic survival.46
From Astrakhan he traveled by steamer to Baku, and from there, across
the Caspian Sea. He went by rail from Krasnovodsk, across the Turkmen
steppe, to Bukhara. Along the way he passed through Merv and Farab, and

43Bigiyev, Zur gnahlar, 132.

44Bigiyev, Zur gnahlar, 139-140.
45Bigiyevs account of the Qalmaqs is one of the earliest known Tatar ethnographic
treatments of this group, but the ethnographic study of Mongols, and of non-Muslims in
general, should not be considered an exclusively jadid preserve; cf. Allen J. Frank, The
Mongl-Qalmq Bayn: a Qing-Era Islamic Ethnography of the Mongols and Tibetans,
Asiatische Studien/Etudes Asiatiques, LXIII/2 (2009), 323-347.
46Bigiyev, Zur gnahlar, 160-161; Bigiyev describes pilgrimage among the Astrakhan
Muslims as a product of ignorance; indeed, the critique of the religious practices among
Astrakhan Muslims was a common feature in the jadid press; cf. Iakhin, Tatarskaia litera-
tura periodicheskoi pechati Uralska, 110-111. However, by the time Bigiyevs book was pub
lished, Muslims in Astrakhan were strongly defending, including in print, the Islamic basis
for local manifestations of saint veneration and shrine pilgrimage; cf. Allen J. Frank, Mus
lim Sacred History and the 1905 Revolution in a Sufi History of Astrakhan, Studies on
Central Asian History in Honor of Yuri Bregel, Devin DeWeese ed., (Bloomington, Indiana:
Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies, 2001), 297-317.
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 165

comments on the ancient scholars who came from those cities, including
Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Abu Bakr al-Kaffal in Merv, and the polymath Abu
Nasir Muhammad b. Tarkhan al-Farabi (d. 950-951 ce) and the lexicogra
pher Ismail b. Hammad al-Jawhari (died between 1003 and 1009 ce).
Anticipating Gasprinskiis account of the Turkistan ulama, Bigiyev
emphasizes that al-Farabi and al-Jawhari were Turks.47 Arriving at the
railroad station at Novaia Bukhara, after having passed the homes of for
mer Islamic scholars, Bigiyev reflects on how the present era is one of edu
cational, scientific, administrative, and political progress. He also offers
praise for the Russian Agent in Bukhara, Monsieur Lissar, whom he identi
fies as one of the foremost experts on Central Asian history.48
Bigiyevs treatments of Bukhara and Samarqand (his discussion of the
latter city is somewhat more brief than that of Bukhara) addresses five
major themes, all of which question Bukharas and Samarqands sacred
status. These are 1) the touristic description of the cities and their monu
ments, 2) Sufism, Sufis, and pilgrimage, 3) social problems, particularly
poverty and the status of women, 4) education and the ulama, and 5)
Bukharas glorious past, and particularly the legacy of Imam Bukhari.
Bigiyevs immediate arrival in Bukhara involved the same sorts of ac
tivities that Ahmad Barangawi, and doubtlessly other Tatar and Bashkir
visitors and students experienced. Bigiyev established contact with a Tatar
acquaintance already there, in this case Muhammad-Qasim Makhdum b.
Abd al-Allam. Muhammad-Qasims father was Abd al-Allam Hazrat, a
madrasa instructor in Kazan.49 Bigiyev then obtained a hujra at the Saray-i
Noghay, put aside his Tatar-style clothes, and dressed in the Bukharan
fashion.50 He regrets that there is no suitable touristic guide describing and
indicating Bukharas ancient monuments, and points out that the
Bukharans do not suitably honor their great architectural monuments,
allowing them instead to fall into disrepair. As he put it, They display more
interest in visiting the dead, and prefer their cemeteries to their historical
monuments. He visits the Great Minaret, and describes its height, but
confesses his inability to obtain any information as to when it was built. 51
The heart of Bigiyevs critique of Bukharas holiness is his analysis
of Sufism and pilgrimage, which he views as the root of Bukharan

47Bigiyev, Zur gnahlar, 176.

48Bigiyev, Zur gnahlar, 177.
49Coincidentally, both Ahmad Barangawi and Bigiyev studied in Kazan in this same
madrasa under Abd al-Allam.
50Bigiyev, Zur gnahlar, 178-180.
51Bigiyev, Zur gnahlar, 184, 186.
166 Chapter six

b ackwardness and ignorance. The critique of Sufism and Sufis, often simply
referred to as ishans, was, and continues to be, a salient feature of Islamic
reformism. In this respect the jadids did not differ from previous and sub
sequent Islamic reformers. Among the jadids these critiques could be
aimed at the phenomenon of Sufism in general, or in a more ad hominem
form, against ishans.52 Bigiyev devotes considerable attention to demon
strating what he viewed as the costs to Bukharan society of shrines and
pilgrimage, and he links the neglect of historical monuments with the
veneration of the dead.
This is because the Bukharans do not honor such historical monuments.
Instead they take travelers and themselves to visit the old graves whose
origins are unknown. Here visiting the dead is especially at the center of
attention. One specific day of the week is designated for going to the tombs
of the most famous people. Going to the cemetery on that day has been
turned into a custom [adat] similar to worship [ibadat]. However, today
among the Bukharans there is absolutely no attention [given] historical
monuments, no visiting, observing, and thinking about the monuments con
nected to the great and glorious events that occurred in ancient times.53
When one of his companions points out an important shrine said to be the
tomb of Imam Ghazali, Bigiyev reflects:
I was amazed, because in all his life he [Imam Ghazali] never came to
Bukhara. Saying that an imam who was buried in the same place he was
born is buried here felt strange to me. After that I reflected that it is that
way with most shrines in Bukhara. It is not even known whose graves most
of them are. [Just as] in Russia the Virgin Mary appears everywhere, in
Bukhara it is always the tombs of great men that are discovered.54
Bigiyev provides a rather detailed description of his visit to the tomb of
Khwaja Baha ad-Din Naqshband, which he explains is the most important
shrine in the emirate. When Bigiyev went to the shrine, there were thou
sands of pilgrims going there. He is skeptical of the position of the shrines
caretakers, who hold their positions as khwajas, on the basis of descent
from Baha ad-Din Naqshband, or, as he points on, on the basis of a claim
of kinship, since the positions as caretakers could also be bought and sold.
He also argues that the practice of giving offerings of any sort to the spirits

52Khalid, The Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform, 149; Iakhin, Tatarskaia literatura pe-
riodicheskoi pechati Uralska, 107-115; for a good example of the jadid anti-Sufi genre cf. Ishan
Muhammad-Harras Aydarof al-Qarghali, Ishanlargha khitab! (Sterlitamak, 1911).
53Bigiyev, Zur gnahlar, 184.
54Bigiyev, Zur gnahlar, 187.
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 167

of the dead was an un-Islamic practice.55 He describes the maddahs at the

shrine of Baha ad-Din Naqshband, who recount stories of the saints and
their miracles, and obtain donations from the pilgrims.56 Bigiyevs critique
of pilgrimage and saint veneration in Astrakhan and Bukhara is not par
ticularly original, and reflects many of the same arguments made in the
writings of Fayzkhanov, and in nineteenth century reformist treatises from
India that Marc Gaborieau has argued derived from the writings of medi
eval Hanbali theologians.57
Regarding Sufis, Bigiyev writes how he received an invitation to a majlis
at the home of the mufti of Bukhara, Siraj ad-Din, that is, the Tatar mufti
and Sufi Abul-Akram Damulla Siraj ad-Din as-Sarataghi. Bigiyev com
ments on the great respect afforded this prominent Sufi, and then writes
the following:
At the end of the majlis His Holiness the Mufti Ishan, in the way of guidance
said to me: Everything in this world is empty, useless, and nothing at all
has any permanence. The end of every joy and happiness is death. This
person is the leader of thousands of murids, the master of hundreds of stu
dents, and has earned the glory of erudition in Bukhara.58
Bigiyev evinces little more respect for Bukharan scholarship and the
Bukharan ulama than he does for the citys shrines and Sufis. He com
ments on the ignorance of the citys imams, the uselessness of the Bukharan
curriculum, and the generally poor quality of its ulama. He denounces the
absolute lack of education for women, contrasting that with the relatively
high level of education among Muslim women in Russia. Overall, like
many Russian observers, he sees the glory of Bukhara in its past, and cer
tainly not in its present.59 During his visit to the tomb of Baha ad-Din
Naqshband he is distressed at the poverty of the population. He remarks
that beggars filled the streets, including the crippled, the infirm, and the
elderly. He is particularly disturbed at the large numbers of lepers that

55Bigiyev, Zur gnahlar, 199.

56Bigiyev, Zur gnahlar, 199-200; Galimjan Barudi was also critical of Bukharas mad-
dahs, and wrote, although among the maddahs there are some learned and intelligent
people, most of them are uneducated, and ignorant, and spread superstition; cf. Aqchura,
Damella Ghalimjan l-Barudi, 39. On the institution of maddahs in Central Asia, cf. A. L.
Troitskaia, Iz proshlogo kalandarov i maddakhov v Uzbekistane, Domusulmanskie verova-
niia i obriady v Srednei Azii, (Moscow, 1975), 191-223.
57Marc Gaborieu, A Nineteenth-Century Indian Wahhabi Tract Against the Cult of
Muslim Saints: Al-Balagh al-Mubin, Muslim Shrines in India, Christian W. Troll, ed. (Dehli,
1989) 198- 239.
58Bigiyev, Zur gnahlar, 186-187.
59Bigiyev, Zur gnahlar, 187, 193-194, 218.
168 Chapter six

gathered at the shrine, and whom even the other beggars shunned. He
expresses shock at the lack of any hospital in Bukhara to serve the poor
and inform, and contrasts the lack of public services with the wealth of the
pious endowments controlled by the clergy and the khans. He finds the
officials in Bukhara (and Samarqand) to be ignorant, corrupt, and abusive.60
Nevertheless, if Bigiyev detected little holiness Bukharas Sufi tradition,
and even less in the Bukharans he met, he nevertheless seemed keenly
aware of Bukharas past greatness. He understood this greatness as
being at once historical and transcendent. For example, just as he rebuked
Bukharans for not appreciating their historical monuments, he also re
buked them for not appreciating their great men of history, or rather those
men whom Bigiyev considered to be great. He expresses puzzlement at the
fact that when a historical monument or tomb did not bear the name of
an ishan, the Bukharans generally would not revere that site. Nevertheless,
he carried out his own pilgrimages to the sites he held to be holy. He vis
ited the tombs of Ismail as-Samani, whom he describes as a great scholar,
educator, and political leader, and of Abdullah Khan Shaybani, whom he
describes as a great political leader and patron of learning. When he visits
Samarqand he discusses Ulughbek and his observatory, commenting ad
miringly on how Ulughbeks works were published in Oxford in the seven
teenth century. He also visits the tombs of the theologian Imam Maturidi,
and of the great Hanafi fiqh scholar and author of the Hidaya, Burhan ad-
Din Marghinani.61 However, the most significant tomb he visited is cer
tainly that of the great hadith scholar Imam Bukhari, located near the
village of Khartang. Arriving at the tomb, he laments its dilapidation, and
then asks rhetorically:
Who is to blame in this situation? It would be correct to say the entire Is
lamic world is to blame in this situation, because the priceless service of
the Holy Imam Bukhari concerns the entire Islamic world. In particular,
in this situation the blame and guilt fall upon the emir of Bukhara because
in the Islamic world Bukhara is mentioned in conjunction with his honored
name. It is not the case with Ibn Sina, al-Farabi, and Naqshband, but it is
with the unique Abu Abdullah Muhammad b. Ismail al-Bukhari.
Bigiyev further argues that none of Bukharas other scholars can approach
Imam Bukharis greatness and significance. He then describes how he sat,
alone, at Imam Bukharis tombs for several hours, meditating on what an
honor it was for him to be there, and reciting the Quran for the Imams

60Bigiyev, Zur gnahlar, 197-198.

61Bigiyev, Zur gnahlar, 194-195, 203, 209.
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 169

soul.62 Clearly, in rejecting Bukharas Sufi tradition, Bigiyev offered an

other vision, one in which religion is rationalistic, intellectual, and politi
cal. Bigiyevs elevation of Imam Bukhari is also fully consistent with the
Islamic reformist element that was one of the characteristics of jadidism,
and that was evident among earlier scholars, such as Qursawi and Marjani.

Burhan Shrfs Letters from Bukhara

A second jadid travel account of Bukhara is Burhan Shrfs Letters from
Bukhara, published in 1910.63 Burhan Shrf (1883-1941) was the brother
of Marjanis biographer, Shhr Shrf. He was a graduate of the jadid
Muhammadiya Madrasa in Kazan, and in 1908 established himself in
Orenburg as a journalist, working as a correspondent for the Tatar journal
Waqit, and as an instructor at the Husayniya Madrasa. In 1909 he travelled
to Iran, and in 1910 he went to Bukhara, to cover the anti-Shia pogroms
that occurred in Bukhara in that year, although his account has little to say
of those events.64 Burhan had received an Islamic education, but he rep
resents an earlier generation of modernist Tatar intellectuals for whom the
significance of Central Asia in education and intellectual life had become
largely remote, if not arcane. His account echoes many of the features of
Bigiyevs, and essentially crystallizes the modernist and even secularized
view of Islamic education, culture and politics in Bukhara that emerged
during the Soviet era, and continues to dominate in Tatar historiography
Burhans account of Bukhara is much more succinct than Bigiyevs. He
begins his account by turning Bukharas distinction as the first among
Muslim cities on its head, writing, When the register of unhappy cities is
written, old Muslim cities will take first place. Bukhara stands first among
these. He remarks on the dominance of madrasas in the citys architecture
and foundations, but emphasizes that Bukharas glory as a center of learn
ing has long passed. He remarks on how the citys once-great libraries were
sold off and now stand empty, how the pious foundations were corrupted,
and used by unscrupulous merchants and mudarrises whom he accuses of
usury. He accuses madrasas that had once been hospitals or taught hadith

62Bigiyev, Zur gnahlar, 208-209.

63Burhan Shrf, Bokhara mktplare, R. Valeev and Sh. Valeev eds., Ekho vekov/
Gasrlar awaz 2003 1/2,
64On these pogroms, cf. Hlne Carrre dEncausse, Islam and the Russian Empire:
Reform and Revolution in Central Asia, (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1988), 89-91.
170 Chapter six

of now only teaching theology. He describes the streets and dark and nar
row, the cemeteries, as foul-smelling, since the Bukharans bury the dead
above the ground, and not under it. He contrasts the condition of Old
Bukhara with the wide clean streets and order of the Russian settlement
of Novaia Bukhara. Echoing Bigiyev, he denounces the scale of pilgrimage
to Khwaja Baha ad-Din, and the funds collected and spent there. He offers
a similar contrast between Old and New Tashkent when he later visits that
city. Bigiyevs and Burhan Shrfs views of Bukhara became the founda
tion for more or less standard accounts Bukhara and its relationship to the
Tatars immediately preceding and throughout the Soviet era. For example,
in an essay published in 1911 in Russian for Maxim Gorkys journal
Sobesednik the Tatar jadid Nadzhib Dumavi neatly summarizes what re
formers such as himself saw to be Bukharas cultural legacy among the
The mystical teachings of the Turkestani hermits and mystics, and their
poems that praised the beauty of the afterlife and that preached the rejec
tion of life were to the taste of the Tatars who had finally lost the hope of
revival and former national greatness. It diverted the soul, delighting by the
reading of Turkestani songs and poems, in which the real world was over
shadowed, and the world of the afterlife was described in bright colors. And
with his head the Tatar plunged himself into daydreams about the heaven
that was awaiting him, the heavenly gardens, houris, fleet-winged horses
etc. The tales and legends about ancient Muslim heroes, the biographies of
the glorious Companions of the Prophet ticked their self-esteem, and mys
tical outlooks and fatalism compelled them to make peace with bitter re
Dumavi clearly reflects a secularized and rationalist view of Sufism in many
respects anticipates precisely the same arguments that Tatar authors of
fered throughout the Soviet era, and by and large maintained.66

Arab Critics of Bukhara and Tatar Reformists

Tatars and Bashkir religious reformists were not the only critics of Bukharas
reputation for sanctity in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In
addition to native Central Asian jadids, whose ideas in large measure can
be considered derivative of the broader modernist movements in the

65Nadzhib Dumavi, Probuzhdenie russkikh tatar i ikh literatura, (Kazan, 1999), 7-8,
66Cf. Validov, Ocherk istorii obrazovannosti, 11-13; Usmanov, Zavetnaia mechta, 20-28.
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 171

Russian and Ottoman Empires,67 we can also consider the activities of Arab
reformists who visited Central Asia, and who left critiques of Bukharan
Sufism, and more broadly of Hanafi jurisprudence and the Bukharan schol
arly environment as a whole. Strictly speaking these Arab critics of Bukhara
appear to have emerged from the Salafist currents that were gaining au
thority in the Arab territories of the Ottoman Empire, and they clearly
reveal the common theological bonds between Salafism and Jadidism.
In fact, the earliest evidence in Tatar sources for reformist Arab critics
of Bukhara appears in the Tarikh-i Barangawi. Ahmad mentions two Arabs
whom his father befriended in Bukhara in the 1850s. One of these
was Husayn b. Muhammad-Said at-Tai al-Baghdadi, and the other was
Yahya al-Makki. Both of these figures were sayyids. Husayn was descended
from Imam Hasan b. Ali, and was of the Shafii school of jurisprudence.
Yahya, on the other hand, was a Hanafi. The two had gone together to
Bukhara after having visited Syria, Anatolia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and
were staying at the home of Ishan-i Pir. Hafiz ad-Din had hosted them in
his hujra, and there they had discussed a number of topics, including tafsir
and hadith, both of which the two Arabs had written about. They had also
been critical of the ulama in some of the cities they had visited, and Yahya
related the following story to Hafiz ad-Din:
I was in Herat and one of the ulama related a Persian story, and I denied
it because of the lack of knowledge he had, and now you have proven with
the hadith you are people who verify the truth, not like the ulama we have
They also discussed the question of takfir against the Shia. Hafiz ad-Din
provided hadiths from al-Bukhari that he believed demonstrated the ille
gality of takfir, but Husayn and Yahya argued in its favor. One time Hafiz
ad-Din brought Yahya to his master Abd al-Mumin b. Uzbek al-Afshanji,
and Yahya said the following to Abd al-Mumin:
Weve seen you, and you are the ilk of the ulama and from among the
descendants of the Prophet, and we are descendants of the prophets, and
like goes with like. But I see all of you are stingy, and stinginess does not
befit the enterprise of the ulama or the descendants of the Prophet, because
they are of the others people, and it does not befit the one who does not

67Useful studies of the Central Asian jadids include Adeeb Khalid, The Politics of Mus-
lim Cultural Reform: Jadidism in Central Asia, (Berkeley, 1998); for an informed discussion
of theological aspects of jadid thought in Central Asia, cf. B. M. Babadzhanov ed. Zhurnal
Haqiqat kak zerkalo religioznogo aspekta v ideologii dzhadidov, TIAS Central Eurasian
Research Series No. 1, (Tokyo, 2007).
172 Chapter six

know the other, like drinking, licentiousness, drunkenness, and you allege
that you maintain that you are ulama but what you do is as beasts do. So
how does this befit [you]? Answer or reply to my questions.
Abd al-Mumin did not respond, and simply sent Yahya away. However
the incident upset Hafiz ad-Din, who later told his son Ahmad:
This was Abd al-Mumin Khwaja b. Uzbek Khwaja al-Afsanji, who died in
1283 [1866/7 ce]. This great scholar of Bukhara held the rank of alam. He
was a mudarris of the Gawkushan Madrasa. It means that being a lowly
traveler, Sayyid Yahya used such hard words against such a great damulla!
What Sayyid Yahya was true, but zealous, yet the Holy Ibn Uzbek was a
patient person who could swallow his words.68
Another Arab visitor to Bukhara was the Hijazi hadith scholar and sayyid
Muhammad-Ali az-Zahiri b. Umar b. Ibrahim al-Witri al-Madani (d. 1904).
Az-Zahiri had left Medina in 1895, and travelled to Bukhara and Samarqand
via Istanbul. After spending several months in Bukhara, he continued on
to Kazan and Ufa, which he visited in 1896, and where he met with many
prominent Muslim scholars. Az-Zahiri was generally a critic of shrine pil
grimage, emphasizing one of Bukharis hadiths that identify only three holy
mosques in Islam, the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina, the Masjid al-
Haram in Mecca, and the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem (a hadith that is
still widely cited today among Salafists critical of Sufi pilgrimage). Riza
ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din writes very highly of az-Zahiri, emphasizing that
Mecca and Medina were currently two of the greatest scholarly centers of
the Islamic world, a status he evidently felt no longer applied to Bukhara.69
During his time in Bukhara az-Zahiri gave lessons on hadith. The Tatar
theologian Musa Bigiyev (d. 1949), the brother of Zahir Bigiyev, and himself
the author of an influential Tatar tafsir, related that although az-Zahiris
scholarship was not superlative, he was nevertheless able to sense the sup
posedly low level of scholarship in Bukhara. He also fell into conflict with
the Bukharans over the question of visiting the tomb of Baha ad-Din
Naqshband. Bigiyev argued that the Bukharan scholars themselves had a
difficult time accepting that visiting the shrine was improper, and did not
pay heed to their own peoples visits to the tomb. He added that az-Zahiris
refusal to visit the shrine was beginning to hurt his reputation in the city.
According to Bigiyev, many Bukharans even believed that az-Zahiris re
fusal to visit the tomb had brought cold weather to the city. As a result, the

68TB ff. 147b-149a.

69Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 284-285, 306.
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 173

matter was brought to the emirs attention. The Qazi of Bukhara, Badr
ad-Din, reportedly pleaded with az-Zahiri to go, and the emir is said to have
given him a gift of 20,000 tanggas. In the end, az-Zahiri relented, and vis
ited the shrine. One of az-Zahiris Tatar students was Hamidullah b.
Fathullah Almushev (d. 1929), who had studied in Bukhara, but was dis
satisfied with the quality of hadith studies there, and went to Medina in
1890 to study hadith with az-Zahiri. According to Almushev, az-Zahiri
complained that the Bukharans were unable to engage in polite discus
sions, but instead constantly interrupted one another. More substantially,
he also said,
The scholars of Bukhara are unable to understand well the [comparative]
stature of Imam Bukhari and Baha ad-Din Naqshband. They dont put them
in their proper places. Imam Bukhari, who is a master to the entire Is
lamic world, is a great person. But Baha ad-Din is a colt here. They have
nothing in common. This is the reason I wont make the pilgrimage to Naqsh
band. The scholars of Bukhara said inappropriate things about me. They
were completely unjust.70
Early in the twentieth century another Arab theologian, the Syrian Said b.
Muhammad ash-Shami, better known as Shami-Damulla also traveled to
Bukhara, and later, emphasizing the authority of Imam Bukhari and his
hadith collection, came to exert a significant influence on Uzbek theolo
gians in Tashkent, including Ziyavuddin Babakhanov, who would later
serve as mufti in the Central Asian Muslim Religious Administration
(SADUM) from 1957 until 1982. He arrived in Bukhara in 1903 or 1904 and
began giving lessons there in hadith studies. Later he travelled to Xinjiang,
was exiled to Beijing, and in 1919, he returned to Tashkent, and remained
active in Uzbekistan until his death in Khorezm in 1932. Just as az-Zahiri
and Zahir Bigiyev did in the 1890s, Shami-Damulla emphasized the sig
nificance of Imam Bukhari, and in May 1910 made a pilgrimage, just as
Zahir Bigiyev had done 17 years previously, to the tomb of Imam Bukhari
near the village of Khartang. The group spent the night by the tomb, pray
ing and performing zikr. While in Bukhara Shami-Damulla also read some
of the verse works of Ali az-Zahiri.71

70Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 303-306.

71B. M. Babadzhanov, A. K. Muminov, and A. fon Kiugelgen, Disputy musulmanskikh
religioznykh avtoritetov v Tsentralnoi Azii v XX veke. (Almaty, 2007), 73-74; on Shami-Dam
ulla cf. also Ashirbek Muminov, Shami-damulla i ego rol v formirovanii sovetskogo islama,
Islam, identichnost, i politika v postsovetskom prostranstve, Rafik Mukhametshin, ed. (Kazan,
2005), 231-247.
174 Chapter six

Bukharan Decline in Question

Clearly, by the beginning of the twentieth century Bukharas economic

decline and its political dependence upon Russia, contrasted with the
growing industrialization and modernization of Russia (in which Tatars
and Bashkirs were significant participants) encouraged the types of re
evaluations of the city that we have seen in the works of the Tatar jadids
and in the accounts of the Arab reformists. However, jadids by no means
monopolized the debate regarding Bukharas significance and sacred char
acter. Bukhara certainly retained its significance as a sacred city among
communities with genealogical connections to the region. The very com
pilation of the Tarikh-i Barangawi in 1914 is evidence of the continued
relevance that association with Bukhara could confer. Similarly, many
graduates of Bukharan madrasasand not only Sufischallenged the
jadidist assumptions of the uselessness of Bukharan education.
In examining Tatar and Bashkir responses to the jadids criticisms of
Bukhara, its institutions, and its sacred status, it would perhaps be useful
to examine more critically the notion that Bukharan education was neces
sarily backward, medieval, or characterized by scholasticism. Stphane
Dudoignon has criticized this scholarly phenomenon, labeling it the
Invention of Decadence, which he associates with European travelers to
Central Asia, and in particular to Russian authors.72 Such a characteriza
tion appealed equally to Muslim reformists and modernists, as Dudoignon
subsequently demonstrates. Historians of Muslim intellectuals, Islamic
reformism, and jadidism in Imperial Russia have generally been satisfied
to allow the jadids to characterize Islamic education, and in any case have
tended to favor the printed media that the jadids employed over the man
uscript material that might contain more informed and nuanced accounts
of Islamic education. Furthermore, much of what jadids, reformists, and
modernists, both Tatars and Central Asians, have written about education
has been polemical, and they shared an interest in creating a contrast
between their political vision and that of their opponents. We must cer
tainly question the categorical reformist assertions that hadith and tafsir
studies in Bukhara under the Mangts were non-existent or faulty, or that
Persian was not taught in Russian madrasas. We have seen, for example,
that the imam Hamidullah Almushev was dissatisfied with the availability
of hadith studies in Bukhara. But at the same time another Tatar scholar
studying in Bukhara in the 1890s, Salih b. Abd al-Khaliq, remarked that

72Dudoignon, La question scolaire, 134.

The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 175

hadith studies were growing in popularity there, and that the lectures of
the hadith scholar Abd ar-Razzaq al-Marghinani were drawing not only
students, but madrasa instructors as well.73 In the 1850s we have seen that
Hafiz ad-Din and his brother Burhan ad-Din were both well-versed in ha-
dith studies, and Burhan ad-Din was the author of a voluminous, if unfin
ished, Turki translation of Bukharis Sahih. Indeed, the Russian author
Khanykov lists hadith as a central topic in the Bukharan madrasa curricu
lum in the 1840s. All of this begs the question whether the reformist critics
of hadith studies in Bukhara were criticizing the techniques of teaching
hadith, or whether they were more concerned with the way of the Bukharan
scholars were applying hadith to specific aspects of Islamic life. In other
words, whether the jadids were more concerned about the outcomes of
hadith studies, than the quality of hadith scholarship per se. The political
aspect of these critiques cannot be ignored, including jadid critiques of
shrine pilgrimage. The role of states and rulers as the patrons and protec
tors of shrines is well established in Central Asian history. It applies no less
to the Uzbek khanates before and after the Russian conquest, and has re
cently been convincingly argued in the case of Khoqand.74
Muslim intellectuals and Russian orientalists may have justified their
political goals by uniformly painting Bukhara as backward, but the
Manght era in Bukhara was certainly a time of intellectual and educa
tional ferment and agitation. The Bukharan jadid Sadr ad-Din Ayni himself
commented on the expansion of Islamic education under the early Manght
emirs. Stphane Dudoignon has argued that a similar expansion and in
tensification of Islamic education before the Russian conquest, particu
larly of madrasas, was evident in both Khoqand and Bukhara, but in the
case of Russian Turkestan proper it was partially imperial policies effecting
waqf endowments, and not any inherent backwardness that caused a the
decline of madrasas there, including in Samarqand.75 Similarly, there is
no reason to doubt that the reinvigoration of madrasa education in
Bukhara, and elsewhere in Central Asia, was a considerable factor in the
Islamic revival in Russia, including the reformist current that in large mea
sure originated among scholars who had studied in Bukhara. Marjani
himself declared that he was drawn to study history because of his admira
tion for his teacher Abu Said b. Abd al-Hayy as-Samarqandi. Nevertheless,
we are handicapped in our ability to fully appreciate the intellectual

73Rizaeddin Fkhreddin, Asar: chenche hm drtenche tomnar, 294.

74Babadzhanov, Kokandskoe khanstvo, 627-633.
75Dudoignon, La question scolaire Boukhara, 136-137.
176 Chapter six

e nvironment in Bukhara (beyond the well-trodden field of jadidism) by a

limited knowledge of Bukharan biographical information from that era,
and because much relevant information undoubtedly is in manuscript
form and remains to be examined. Several informed observers have em
phasized that our understanding of the specifics of Islamic scholarship
under the Manghts of Bukhara and Mings of Khoqand remains very lim
ited. Anke von Kgelgen, who has examined the Islamic historiography of
the Manght Dynasty has commented to that effect in her discussion of the
religious and intellectual life of Manght Bukhara.76 Her survey of the dy
nastic historiography reveals that Bukharan historians, including Sadr
ad-Din Ayni, remembered certain rulers, particularly Shah-Murad (r. 1785-
1800) and Amir Haydar (r. 1800-1826) for their patronage of scholarship and
Sufism. In his own history of the Manghts, which was gleaned largely from
interviews with Central Asian and Tatar scholars in Bukhara and
Samarqand, Shihab ad-Din Marjani echoed some of these evaluations. To
be sure, he depicted Nasrullah Khan as a ruler who hindered Islamic schol
arship. But at the same time it cannot be denied that learning thrived
during his reign, as we can see from the Tarikh-i Barangawis account of
Hafiz ad-Din Barangawi and his brother Burhan ad-Din, as well as from
Marjanis own career as a mudarris in Bukhara. In this regard it is helpful
to recall that education in Bukhara possessed its own dynamic, and for all
the accusations of backwardness and scholasticism, under the Manghts,
Bukhara could be as a vibrant and cosmopolitan an intellectual center as
anywhere, extending beyond the confines of the madrasas, waqfs, and the
appointed instructors and clerics. We have already seen how Hafiz ad-Din
studied Torah directly from a Bukharan Jew; however, for a keen student
Islamic educational opportunities outside of official channels also pre
sented themselves. In a letter to his parents Burhan ad-Din did complain
about some aspects of education in Bukhara, namely that too little time
was devoted to study during the school year, and that the course of study

76Anke von Kgelgen, Die Legitimierung der mittelasiatischen Mangitendynastie, (Is

tanbul, 2002), 97; it should be pointed out that there have been several very useful studies
of Sufi biographical sources for the Manght era; cf. Baxtiyor Babadzhanov, On the His
tory of the Naqshbandiya Mujaddidiya in Central Mawarannanhr in the 18th and early
nineteenth centuries, Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia from the 18th to the Early
20th Centuries [vol. 1], Michael Kemper, Anke von Kgelgen, Dmitriy Yermakov eds. (Berlin,
1996), 385-414; Anke von Kgelgen, Die Entfaltung der Nashbandiya Mujaddidiya im mitt
leren Transoxanien vom 18. Bis zum Beginn des 19. Jahrunderts: Ein Stck Detektivarbeit,
Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia from the 18th to the Early 20th Centuries vol. 2,
Anke von Kgelgen, Michael Kemper, Allen J. Frank eds. (Berlin, 1998), 101-151.
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 177

was insufficiently rigorous, but he added that keen students were not re
stricted to studying with formally appointed mudarrises:
But there are a lot of knowledgeable people [in Bukhara]. Some of them are
concealed [mastur] and some of them are legally banned [mamnu]. More
over, a peculiarity of the Precious City [balada-yi fakhira] is that the many
travelers skilled in learning and education are countless.77
Despite the challenges we face in evaluating intellectual life in Bukhara
outside the framework of jadidism, the sources we do possess, and in par
ticular the evidence from the Tarikh-i Barangawi, reveal that much of what
has been written previously regarding religious education in Bukhara
contains more than its share of stereotypes and generalizations, and was
written in a political and polemical context that might be examined more
critically than it has been. Over time the jadidist accounts of Abun-Nasir
al-Qursawi have emphasized conflict such as Tatar vs. Central Asian,
progress vs. backwardness, reason vs. obscurantism, and so forth.
However, we also know that Qursawi had defenders among Bukharan
scholars, was well as detractors among the Tatars in Bukhara. Similarly,
the death penalty pronounced against him was never carried out, primar
ily because of the intervention of a Sufi, Niyaz-Quli at-Turkmani, who
convinced the emir, allegedly by threatening to overthrown him, to spare
Qursawi. Apparently, at the beginning of the nineteenth century the au
thority of the emir and of so-called reactionaries could be challenged.
Similarly, during the 1850s Marjani and other Tatars and Bashkirs were
evidently able to develop their reformist ideas relatively freely. There was
also an indigenous Bukharan reformist movement, and the Tatars were
certainly not the only outsiders coming to Bukhara and challenging the
citys legal and Sufi traditions, as the case of numerous Arab visitors dem
onstrates. Stphane Dudoignon has demonstrated that in fact Islamic re
formism independent of jadidism was an active movement in Bukharas
madrasas in the latter half of the nineteenth century, including Hajji-Bay
Khojandi, Qazi Abu Said Samarqandi, Damulla Fazli Ghijduvani, Mumin-
khwaja Vabkandi, Mulla Khudayberdi Baysuni, and Ahmad Makhdum b.
Nasir al-Hanafi as-Siddiqi, better known as Ahmad Donish; he argues
that in both Bukhara and Turkestan madrasas played a central role in the
socialization of new ideas, including reformist ideas, throughout the

77TB fol. 45b.

178 Chapter six

nineteenth century.78 In this regard, Hafiz ad-Dins intellectual trajectory

is consistent with the intellectual climate in Bukhara in the mid-nine
teenth century. As a young man in Bukhara, he was sympathetic to
some aspects of reformist currents, and was a student of Marjanis. At
the same time, he was clearly devoted to the Sufi discipline, and eventually
he broke with Marjani.
A traditional education in Bukharas madrasas did not exclude a critical
approach to learning and knowledge. The Qazaq khwaja Muhammad-Salih
Babadzhanov has left us with an account of a conversation he had in
Orenburg between a Qazaq named Ayzharq who had studied in Bukhara
for 18 years, and a local Tatar scholar. Babadzhanov relates how he argued
with a Tatar mullah over the nature of lightning. Babadzhanov maintained
that that the power of lighting and thunder derived from some sort of
electricity. The Tatar mullah, on the other hand, contended that these
phenomena were caused by an angel who sat on a cloud, caused thunder
by shouting, and sent rain. Babadzhanov demanded evidence for this from
the Quran, but the Tatar could not produce any, citing only local Tatar
mullahs.79 They did not agree and called for Ayzharq, who in Bukhara was
known as Qamar ad-Din. Babadzhanov then relates:
When we asked him [Qamar ad-Din] the causes of thunder and lighting, he
said curtly, Gentlemen! In Bukhara, and in general, I studied the rules of
faith that led me to serving God correctly. I cannot explain to you physical
phenomena. That is the business of astronomers. The business of mullahs
is to worship and serve God correctly. But I have heard that the astronomers
attribute this phenomenon to friction between clouds.80
Babadzhanov was a Russophile and critic of Islamic institutions in the
Qazaq Inner Horde. The point of the anecdote, addressed to a Russian
audience in 1861, was to illustrate the obscurantism that he felt character
ized Tatar Islam, which, he believed, was being imposed on the Qazaqs of
the Inner Horde. Yet it is revealing that he presented a Qazaq scholar
trained extensively in Bukhara as an authoritative and rational foil to the
Tatar mullah. Indeed, this scholar, Ayzharq, who was not allowed to return

78Dudoignon, La question scolaire Boukhara, 141-143; some of these figures were

the teachers of prominent Tatars and Bashkirs in Bukhara; Qazi Abu Said Samarqandi was
Marjanis teacher; Hajji-Bay b. Safar al-Khujandi taught Nawshirwan b. Muhammad-Rahim;
Khudayberdi al-Baysuni taught Abd an-Nasir b. Muhammad-Amin al-Buawi.
79Babadzhanov does not reveal why he thought the Quran should be the definitive
source for explaining natural phenomena, or why Muslim scholars should think the same.
80Khodzha Mukhammed-Salikh Babadzhanov, Zametki kirgiza o kirgizakh, Sochine-
niia (Almaty, 1996), 74-75.
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 179

to the Inner Horde, later served under the name Qamar ad-Din a number
of Qazaq sultans in the central steppe, before becoming appointed akhund
in Omsk, and finally settling in Bayanaul in 1866, where he served as teach
er to Mshhr-Zhsip Kpeyul, himself later a graduate of Bukharan
Some graduates of Bukhara madrasas even challenged directly assump
tions regarding the inadequacy or backwardness of Bukharan education.
A case in point, which demonstrates the regard some Muslims had for their
education in Bukhara, can be found in the entry that Qurban-Ali Khalidi
made in his biographical dictionary for his brother Muhammad-Shah
Khalidi, who served as mudarris in Chuguchak, in China, in the second half
of the nineteenth century:
He was informed in every science and had few equals in astronomy and
geometry; since there was no use for this science in our region, it seems to
have remained unpracticed. [] Once a Russian surveyor came and surveyed
our mosque. On the basis of a mistaken assumption, the Russian said that
our qibla was taking a westerly direction. Muhammad-Shah explained to
him the coordinates of Meccas location and the location of the city in which
we were. Then he explained the true location of the qibla. When he had
investigated and demonstrated it in a balanced fashion the Russian looked
at him and asked, Where did you study this science. [Muhammad-Shah]
said that it was in Bukhara, and [the Russian] said, Theres probably no
one in Bukhara who knows this science. You must have studied in Istanbul
or Egypt. Muhammad-Shah replied that there are all sorts of people in
Bukhara who could be professors not only for Russia, but for all Europe.
However since there is no specialized madrasa for this [science], it is not
known who is there and who isnt there. This is because of the governments
indifference. He said, In spite of that, for those who want to learn it, those
who have studied this science are found everywhere and [the Russian] was
amazed and could not say anything.82
What Muhammad-Shah told the Russian surveyor concisely contradicts
much of what has been written about education in Bukhara, about Islamic
learning under the Manghts, and about how many Muslims evaluated
their own educations. Here we have an Islamic scholar, a Russian subject
living in a major commercial center in Chinacertainly not isolated by
any means. He demonstrates a strong conviction of the superiority of his

81Mshhr-Zhsip wrote an elegy to Qamar ad-Din, which provides substantial bio

graphical information on this scholar after leaving Orenburg; cf. Mshhr-Zhsip Kpeyul,
Shgharmalar I, (Pavlodar, 2003), 252-264.
82Qurban-Ali Khalidi, An Islamic Biographical Dictionary of the Eastern Kazakh Steppe,
fol. 79b.
180 Chapter six

Bukharan education, and of the equal standing of instructors in Bukhara

with European specialists. Moreover, it directly contradicts the Russians
(and jadids) assertions about the necessary incompatibility of traditional
Islamic education (and especially Bukharan education) with science and
modernity. Obviously the educational environment in Bukhara was
qualitatively diverse, with large fluctuations in the competence and zeal
of both instructors and students. Certainly such a generalization equally
applies to any large educational system. Nevertheless a comparison of the
modernist and reformist descriptions of Islamic education in Bukhara with
the manuscript materials of non-reformist scholars, such as Ahmad
Barangawi and Qurban-Ali Khalidi clearly show that the jadid summations
of education in that city require some significant qualification.

From Islamic Reformism to Cultural Revolution

Two phenomena dominate historical treatments of the Tatar and Bashkir

presence in Central Asia during the last decades of the Emirate of Bukhara.
One of these is the role of Tatars and Bashkirs in opening jadid schools in
the region, and the alleged success and influence of these schools. The
second is the role of Tatars and Bashkir communists as the Muslim van
guard of Cultural Revolution in the 1920s.
An elaboration on jadid pedagogy need not detain us here, since there
are numerous studies devoted to the development of jadid, or New Method
schools as they are called in Russian sources, in Central Asia.83 Generally,
these studies are based on Russian official sources, and they share many
of the assumptions of Russian officialdom regarding the decadence of
Bukharan educations. They typically praise the effectiveness of the Tatars
in furthering jadid education, and spreading reformism among the Central
Asians. Whether or not this is presented as a positive or a negative develop
ment depends on whether the author emphasizes the benefits of Muslim

83Cf. N. Ostroumov, Musulmanskie maktaby i russko-tuzemnyia shkoly v Turkestan

skom krae, Zhurnal Ministerstva Narodnago Prosveshcheniia Ser. 2, vol. 1/2, 1906, section
3, p. 113-166; Sadr ad-Din Ayni, Bukhara inqilabining tarikhi, Shizuo Shimada and Sharifa
Tosheva eds. (Tokyo, 2010), 67-70; Khalid, The Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform, 176-178;
Hlne Carrre DEncausse, Rforme et Revolution chez les musulmans de lempire russe, 2nd
ed. (Paris, 1981), 137-143; Sh. Turdiev, La Sret russe, les matres dcole tatars et le mouve
ment djadid au Turkestan, Cahiers du Monde Russe vol. XXXVI (1-2), 1996, 211-221; Sherali
Turdyev, Sredneaziatskie tatary: rol i znachenie v kulturnoi i politicheskoi zhizni Turke
stana pervoi chetverti XX v. Islam v tatarskom mire: istoriia i sovremennost, (Kazan, 1997),
169-190; for the history of Tatar jadid education in Xinjiang, cf. Malik Chanishif, Jonggu
tatar maarip tarikhi, (Urumqi, 2001).
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 181

educational reform, or the threat of reform to the Russian state. However,

discussions of the influence of Tatar jadids on Central Asia are commonly
based on the assumption, widely accepted in Tatar and Western histori
ography, that jadid schools had been successful in Russia. While the jadid
press certainly had an interest in advancing the cause of reformed Muslim
schools, Tatar and Bashkir manuscript sources, and particularly village
histories, present a very different picture. Manuscript histories such as the
Tawarikh-i Alti Ata, the Tarikh-i Barangawi, and Qurban-Ali Khalidis his
tory of Semipalatinsk demonstrate that jadid schools were received in
these Tatar communities with suspicion, hostility, but most commonly
with apathy, and in the specific cases addressed by these authors, were
forced to close as a result of a lack of students. Significantly, imams such
as Ahmad Barangawi, Muhammad-Fatih al-Ilmini, the author of the
Tawarikh-i Alti Ata, and Qurban-Ali Khalidi all staked out a neutral posi
tion between the primarily political disputes pitting the jadids against the
so-called qadimists, but emphasized that jadidism held no pedagogical
advantage over existing educational methods.84 In this regard it is likely
that the hundreds of Tatar and Bashkir students attending Bukharan ma-
drasas between 1908 and 1920 (as opposed to the handful of Tatar jadid
instructors) expressed as little interest in jadidism in Bukhara as their
imams did in Russia.
The first decade of Soviet rule marks a clear break for Tatar and Bashkir
Muslims in their communities relationship with Bukhara. The Bolshevik
Revolution once and for all doomed Bukharas Islamic educational institu
tions, if not its reputation for sanctity. Bukharas reputation as a holy city,
already for some time under assault from reformists and jadids, changed
permanently with the overthrow of the Manght dynasty in 1920, the es
tablishment of the Bukharan Peoples Republic, and finally the citys an
nexation to the Soviet Union in 1924. During the 1920s Tatar and Bashkir
communists, many of them graduates of jadid madrasas in Russia, played
a central role in the establishment of Soviet military and political author
ity in Bukhara, as well as Khiva and Turkestan. They helped draft and im
pose Soviet legal codes, trained native communists, founded newspapers
and theaters, and above all displaced madrasas and maktabs, and staffed
many of the newly established Soviet schools, technical colleges, and uni
versities.85 The history of Soviet Cultural Revolution in Khiva and Bukhara

84TB fol. 4ab; Frank and Usmanov eds., Materials for the Islamic History of Semipalatinsk,
82, 97; Frank, Muslim Religious Institutions, 246-250.
85Turdyev, Sredneaziatskie tatary, 183-189.
182 Chapter six

goes beyond the limits of this study. However it is evident that Tatar and
Bashkir communists dismantled Bukhara and Khivas Islamic institutions
with the same zeal that many of their fathers and grandfathers had dis
played in coming to Central Asia to study. Jadids who had created and
imbibed the reformist and modernist literature denouncing Bukharan
education after 1919 often became communists, and took reformism to an
entirely different, and more radical, level. Mir-Said Sultangaliev, a promi
nent Tatar Bolshevik and a product of the jadid madrasas in Russia, in a
guide published in 1921 for activists devoted to antireligious propaganda
among Muslims, argued that Bukharans and Khivans had not yet crossed
the evolutionary stage through which the Tatars have already gone. He
advocated using the same strategies in secularizing Central Asians as had
been used in the Volga-Ural region in the five years following the 1905
The case of the Husayniya Madrasa in Orenburg, and the activities of its
alumni in early Soviet Central Asia, particularly in the former territories of
the Khanate of Khiva and the Emirate of Bukhara, demonstrate a remark
able degree of continuity, both personal and institutional, between one
jadid educational institution and Soviet cultural and political activists in
Central Asia. The madrasa was founded by Ahmad-bay b. Ali b. Husayn
(in Russian sources Khusainov) (1837-1906), evidently in the 1880s.87
Although it was founded as a jadid madrasa, it still recognized to some
degree the scholarly authority of Central Asia, since as late as 1907 the
scholar Abd al-Qadir b. Qari Abd ash-Shukur had come from Samarqand
to Orenburg to oversee the exams being given to the students at the
Husayniya. Nevertheless, in 1917 the Husayniya Madrasa was renamed
the Khusainov Teachers Institute, and in 1919 its staff was transformed into
the newly established Tatar Institute of Popular Education (TINO) and the
Eastern Institute of Popular Education (VINO). In 1920 similar institutes,
drawn from the same staff, were established to train Bashkir and Qazaq
teachers, called BINO and KINO respectively. In 1925 these Orenburg in
stitutions, whose staffs were primarily made up of Husayniya alumni, were
used to operate numerous newly established educational institutions in

86An English translation of Sultangalievs work appears in Alexandre Bennigsen and

S. Enders Wimbush, Muslim National Communism in the Soviet Union: a Revolutionary
Strategy for the Colonial World, (Chicago, 1979), 155-156.
87On Ahmad-bay Khusainov cf. Rizaetdin ibn Fakhretdin, Akhmed Bai 2nd ed. (Oren
burg, 1991); on the Husayniya Madrasa cf. M. Rkhimkulova and L. Khmidullin, Khsy
eniya mdrsse, Mdrslrd kitap kishtse, (Kazan, 1992), 74-114; Madina
Rakhimkulova, Medrese Khusainiia v Orenburge, 2nd edition, (Orenburg, 1997).
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 183

Central Asia. For example, Sungat Bikbulatov, Zaki Ishaev, and K. S. Sagirov
were sent to the Bukhara pedinstitut. Gimad Almaev was sent to the pedin-
stitut in Samarqand, K. A. Aidarov to Samarqand State University. 24 teach
ers from the TINO were sent to Khorezm, including I. M. Akhmerov, N. M.
Valishev, and Saliakh Kamal.88
Other Husayniya alumni joined the Red Army and became involved in
training party members in Central Asia. For example, in 1919 Khabib G.
Khasanov, who had completed a three-year teachers training course at the
madrasa, together with 29 fellow students, joined the Political Section of
the Red Armys First Turkestan Revolutionary Army. In Ashkhabad he
established a school for training the Party staff of the armed forces of the
Bukharan army.89 Gubaidulla Khusainov (1892-1948), who studied at that
madrasa from 1910-1915 became an activist (aktivnyi sotrudnik) in the
Political Section (politotdel) Red Armys First Turkestan Revolutionary
Army, and served as the editor of the Red Army newspaper Qzl Yulduz.
From 1921 until 1938 he was the editor of the newspaper Sovet Trkmenistan.
From 1938 to 1948 he held several executive positions such as Director of
the Turkmen Institute of Language and Literature, and the Chief Director
of State and Party publishing of Turkmenistan.90
A number of Husayniya graduates travelled to Khorezm to establish
state educational institutions after it was annexed to the Soviet Union in
1924 and Islamic education was banned. These included Nurakhmed
Valishev who worked in training Red Pedagogues for Soviet schools there.
From 1930 until 1935 he was assigned in the Samarqand Pedagogical
Institute as a senior instructor in the mathematics department. Salakhetdin
Kamaletdinov trained Turkmens, Qaraqalpaqs, and Uzbeks at the Khorezm
District Pedtekhnikum from 1924 until 1927.91
Fatikh Bakirov (1899-1975) worked at Uzbek-language Soviet newspa
pers in Tashkent in 1917, then later headed a theater school in Tashkent.
From 1949 until 1970 he worked as a law professor at the Central Asia
State University (SAGU) in Samarqand, where he wrote extensively on
Islamic law and customary law, and assisted in drafting the law codes of
the Uzbek SSR.92

88Rakhimkulova, Medrese Khusainiia 164-166.

89Rakhimkulova, Medrese Khusainiia 163.
90Rakhimkulova, Medrese Khusainiia 158.
91Rakhimkulova, Medrese Khusainiia 48, 60-61.
92Rakhimkulova, Medrese Khusainiia 117-118.
184 Chapter six

However, the remarkable biography of one Husayniya alumnus, Abdulla

Mustakaev, illustrates quite vividly the transformation of an Islamic schol
ar to a communist revolutionary. Mustakaev was born in 1890 in Saratov
province. He studied in his home village, then later in the Husayniya, and
then in another reformist madrasa, the Izh-Bubi Madrasa in Viatka
Province.93 After the tsarist authorities closed down that madrasa in 1911
he spent the summer teaching in Qazaq nomadic encampments in Siberia.
In that year he became a full-time teacher, first teaching in Penza Province,
and then moving to the village of Qiyat, near Urgench, in the Khanate of
Khiva. Then in 1913 he moved to Tashkent where he taught at the Russian-
Tatar school. In 1917 he worked at the Khoqand Uzbek Teachers Seminary
(dar al-muallim). He then worked in organizing higher education in the
Ferghana Valley. He joined the Communist Party in 1918. From 1919-1923
he worked as the director and political commissar (politruk) of the Turko-
Tatar Education Institute in Tashkent. While he was working there the
Central Committee (CC) of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
(CPSU) in Turkestan ordered him to work with the Cheka in the battle
against the Basmachis. He worked as the chief of the political propaganda
section of the Ferghana District Committee (Obkom) of the CPSU. After
the defeat of the Basmachis, he returned to Tashkent and continued to
head the institute, while also teaching social disciplines in the Uzbek
Department of the Central Asian Communist University (SAKU). In August
of 1923 the CC of the CPSU of Turkestan sent him to Moscow to study at
the Sverdlov Communist University. He graduated in 1926 and returned to
Tashkent where he then headed the Propaganda Group of the CC of the
CPSU of Uzbekistan until 1929. At that time he gave lectures in the CC
CPSU of Uzbekistan Central Party School on the history of the Party and
on the foundations of Marxism-Leninism.
In the fall of 1929 Mustakaev was appointed director of the Uzbek State
Pedagogical Institute in Samarqand. In 1930 he earned the degree of docent
of social sciences. The CC CPSU of Uzbekistan appointed him the head of
the sector for the dissemination of the foundations of Marxism-Leninism
of the cultural and propaganda division of the CC CPSU of Uzbekistan. In
1932 he became the Deputy Director of the Uzbek Scientific Research
Institute of History (UzNII). He also translated many classics of Marxism-
Leninism into Uzbek. In 1936 he became a teacher in Andijon, and later in
Sary-Agach District in South Kazakhstan. He was arrested in 1938, and

93Raif Mrdanov and Slyman Rkhimov eds., Bubi mdrsse taikh: jyntq (Kazan,
1991), 149-151.
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 185

released in 1948. In 1956 he was reinstated into the Party. In 1959 he re

turned to Tashkent and worked as a senior scientific associate in the
Academy of Sciences, and retired in 1964.94 This sampling of biographies
is by no means complete. However it should demonstrate that many Tatar
and Bashkir madrasa graduates were able to reconcile with the new Soviet
reality the Islamic reformist and jadidist-inspired Tatar self-conception as
missionaries of modernity enlightenment to Central Asians. Such a self-
conception was not a strictly Soviet phenomenon. Tatar intellectuals in
Republican-era Xinjiang and the Peoples Republic of China expressed a
similar self-conception.95
The case of the graduates of the Husayniya Madrasa demonstrates that
the jadid critique of Hanafi Islamic education could go beyond polemics,
and cannot be isolated from the Soviet repression of Islamic education in
the 1920s. This repression which was consistent with the general jadid
political and reformist agenda resulted in the extinction of a centuries-old
pedagogical and educational system which in large measure constituted
the foundation of the Islamic revival in Russia, from which jadidism itself
in large measure originated.

Full Circle: Bukhara as a Rationalist Symbol in Soviet and

Post-Soviet Islam

Like Zahir Bigiyev thirty or more years before them, during the early Soviet
era the Islamic reformists who maintained their intellectualized and ratio
nalistic conception of Islam denied Bukharas sacred status per se, but
nevertheless invoked the citys secular greatness, as evinced by its great
thinkers, philosophers and poets. Effectively they sought a secularization
of Bukharas image, restricting sacred status to the three sites that the
sources of Islamic tradition, the Quran hadiths, and Sunna, explicitly
identified as sacred, Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem. Such an intellectual
ized vision of Islamic history corresponded in many respects with the
Soviet authorities own conception of Central Asian history.
As we have seen, in 1910 Shami Damulla at-Tarablusi travelled from
Kashgar to Khartang to perform a pilgrimage to the tomb of Imam Bukhari.96
Like Bigiyev before him, Shami Damullas pilgrimage was a political act.
However in Shami Damullas case he was emphasizing through the

94Rakhimkulova, Medrese Khusainiia 130-134.

95Cf. Chanishif, Jonggu tatar maarip tarikhi, passim.
96B. M. Babadzhanov, A. K. Muminov, A. von Kgelgen eds., Disputy musulmanskikh
religioznykh avtoritetov v Tsentralnoi Azii x XX veke, (Almaty, 2007), 38, 73-74.
186 Chapter six

memory of Imam Bukhari the prominence of hadith as a source of Islamic

tradition, and its relevance to Central Asians. In 1919 he moved to Tashkent,
where his students became known as the ahl-i hadith (people of the ha
dith). Among his students we find Ziyavutdin Babakhanov, who was to
become mufti of the SADUM, the Soviet era muftiate for Central Asian
based in Tashkent.97 Another reformist group in Soviet Uzbekistan was the
ahl-i Quran, of which one of the most prominent figures was a Tatar
scholar, Hasan-hazrat Ponomarev (d. 1937). He was from Petropavlovsk
and had been exiled to Tashkent in 1933. He was, according oral accounts
collected by Ashirbek Muminov, a follower of Shihab ad-Din Marjani, and
a bitter critic of the Hanafi ulama.98 Ziyautdin Babakhanov, who served
as mufti in Tashkent from 1957 to 1982 was closely connected to both the
ahl-i hadith and the ahl-i Quran groups in Tashkent. During his tenure as
Mufti (1957-1982) the Mir-i Arab Madrasa in Bukhara, which re-opened
1945, along with the Barak-khan Madrasa in Tashkent, which opened in
1955, were the sole legally functioning madrasas in the Soviet Union. In
addition there was an institution in Tashkent for the advanced training of
Muslim clerics that was tellingly named the Bukhari Institute, that opened
in 1971.99 It is well established that during the Soviet era the reformist cur
rent dominated the Soviet religious institutions.100 Nevertheless, the Soviet
authorities sought to harness Bukharas Islamic prestige for broader
political ends. The tomb of Imam Bukhari was used by the Soviet authori
ties, who brought visiting dignitaries there, such as Sukarno, the President
of Indonesia, in the 1950s, and in 1962 the President of Mali Modibo Keita.
Similarly, The President of Uzbekistan, Islom Karimov, has made the res
toration of the shrine an important priority, and on-line promotional
materials for the shrine indicate it receives a thousand visitors a day.

97Ashirbek Muminov, Fundamentalist Challenges to Local Islamic Traditions in So

viet and Post-Soviet Central Asia, Empire, Islam, and Politics in Central Eurasia, UYAMA
Tomohiko, ed., (Sapporo, 2007), 253-256.
98Muminov, Fundamentalist Challenges to Local Islamic Traditions, 257-258.
99For published Soviet archival documents on the functioning of the Mir-i Arab Ma
drasa in the Soviet era, and of its staff cf. Elyor Karimov and David Abramson eds., Religion
Made Official: A Comprehensive Collection of Documents on Religion from the State Archives
of Soviet Uzbekistan, 1920s to 1960s, (Almaty, 2009), 598-615.
100Cf. Ziyauddin Khan Ibn Ishan Babakhan, Islam and the Muslims in the Land of the
Soviets, (Moscow, 1980). Ziyautdin begins his treatise with a biography of Imam Bukhari;
cf. also B. M. Babajanov, A. K. Muminov, and A. von Kgelgen, Introduction: Religious
Texts of the Soviet Era, in: Disputy musulmanskikh religioznykh 43-54; Bakhtiyar Babad
zhanov, Babakhanovy, Islam na territorii byvshei Rossiiskoi imperii 4, (St. Petersburg,
2003), 12-14.
The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 187

In the Volga-Ural region and Siberia, too, Islamic reformers came to

dominate the Soviet religious establishment. The Religious Board for the
Muslims of European Russia and Siberia (DUMES), established in 1943,
essentially was a continuation of the former Orenburg Muslim Spiritual
Assembly in Ufa. The dominance of the reformist current in that institution
can be said to begin with the election of Galimjan Barudi as mufti in 1917.
During and after the Second World War the muftis appointed to DUMES
had been trained within the reformist current, such as Gabdrakhman
Rasulev (1881-1950), who studied at al-Azhar in Cairo. However, beginning
in the late 1960s an entirely new generation of Tatar clerics was educated
in the SADUM-administered Mir-i Arab Madrasa in Bukhara. Soviet Tatar
clerics continued to invoke the former prestige of study in Bukhara, al
though from this period Bukharas significance was as a source of Islamic
reformist theology, and no longer of Sufism or Hanafi jurisprudence, both
of which continued to exist in Central Asia underground, but all but disap
peared in the Volga-Ural region and Siberia. These Soviet bokharis came
to head many of Russias Islamic institutions, and the profusion of mufti
ates that emerged in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. These
include Talgat Tajetdin, who entered Mir-i Arab in 1966. Becoming mufti
in Ufa in 1980. He managed to send at least fifteen Tatar students to
Bukhara. These include Nail Yarullin, who heads the Muhammadiya
Madrasa in Kazan, Gosman Iskhakov, mufti of the Religious Board of
Tatarstan who matriculated into the Mir-i Arab in 1978, Ravil Gainutdin,
the mufti of the Moscow-based Religious Board of Central European Russia
who studied in Bukhara from 1979 until 1984, and the Siberian scholar
Nafigulla Ashirov, who entered Mir-i Arab in 1987, and today heads the
Muslim Religious Board of Asiatic Russia. We can also mention Gabdelkhaq
Samatov, who is Chief Qazi for the Religious Board of Tatarstan.101 A num
ber of oppositionist clerics also belong to this generation of scholars who
studied in Mir-i Arab during the late decades of Soviet power. These in
clude Fyzrakhman Sattarov, who studied in Bukhara for a period of time
before being expelled in 1964 because of his sectarian tendencies.102 His
followers in Tatarstan appear to link themselves to the Central Asian ahl-
i hadis and ahl-i Quran circles.103 Another oppositionist graduate of the

101Allen J. Frank, Tatar Islamic Texts, (Springfield, Virginia, 2008), vii-ix.

102Karimov and Abramson, eds., Religion Made Official, 610.
103On this group cf. Wliulla Yaghqub, Tatarstanda rsmi bulmaghan Islam, (Kazan,
2003), 23-27.
188 Chapter six

Mir-i Arab includes Nurulla Mflikhunov, who served as imam in Chistopol

from 1966-1988.104
This newer generation of Tatar scholars has certainly tried to legitimize
their positions by invoking the memory of the historical prestige formerly
associated with Bukhara among Tatars. Paradoxically, the dominant theo
logical current among these clerics is rooted among the critics of Bukharas
older educational system, and of the very idea of Bukharas sacred status.
And the resurrection of the Mir-i Arab Madrasa as a Soviet educational
institution can only be understood as a continuation in the most attenu
ated way of the cosmopolitan and open education system that functioned
under the Manghts.
If in the Volga-Ural region and Siberia the older Sufi-oriented sacred
significance of Bukhara has been lost among clerics, outside of Uzbekistan
Bukharas older, Sufi-oriented, sacred status appears to have survived in
Dagestan. Historically Dagestanis mainly adhered to the Shafii school of
jurisprudence, and their connections with Bukhara were more generally
more tenuous than those of Volga-Ural and Siberian Muslims. Nevertheless
Sufism was and remains a highly dynamic and widespread feature in
Dagestani religious and political life, and Dagestani Sufis were predomi
nantly Khalidiyya Naqshbandis. As a result Bukhara and its shrines re
tained significance for Dagestani Muslims as well, including after the
collapse of the Soviet Union. A case in point is a pamphlet published by
the Spiritual Board of Dagestani Muslims in 2007. This pamphlet is con
structed as a pilgrimage narrative describing a number of Sufi shrines in
Uzbekistan, including major sites in Khorezm, Bukhara, the Zeravshan
Valley, and Samarqand, and connects these sites to the Naqshbandi tradi
tion in the Caucasus. The work also includes a Khalidiyya silsila, identifying
numerous prominent Dagestani Sufis tracing their lineages through
Zaynullah Rasulev, a major Sufi figure from the Urals region, and the
Turkish Shaykh Ziya ad-Din Gumushhanevi. To be sure, just as Zahir
Bigiyevs travel account of Bukhara had a political purpose, so does the
Dagestani pamphlet, since the Dagestani Spiritual Board is challenged by
a particularly lethal strain of Islamic reformism. The pamphlet traces the
journey of a delegation from the Spiritual Board, consisting of 74 people.
The delegation visited many of the same shrines Ahmad and Hafiz ad-Din
Barangawi had visited: Khwaja Ahrar, Kusam b. Abbas, Abd al-Khaliq
Ghijduvani, and Baha ad-Din Naqshband, although, perhaps as evidence

104Waliulla Yaghqub, Tatarstanda rsmi bulmagan Islam, 27-29.

The Decline of Bukharan Prestige in Russia 189

of the continuing influence of Soviet Islam, under the urging of their Uzbek
hosts, the group also visited the tomb of Imam Bukhari.105

105A. M. Magomedov et al. eds. Sviatyni Uzbekistana, (Makhachkala, 2007).

190 Chapter six
conclusion 191


Bukhara emerges as a religious symbol that was at once ambiguous and

paradoxical in the religious and intellectual history of Tatar and Bashkir
society. The Islamic revival in Russia resurrected and reinforced religious
bonds between Russia and Central Asia that had been originally estab
lished during the era of the Golden Horde. The relationship with Bukhara
was based in large measure on Central Asias, and especially Bukharas,
association with Sufism, which was internalized in Muslim societies
through genealogical bonds and through Sufi rituals linked to Central
Asian saints, including the veneration of shrines and of patron saints of
crafts and especially livestock. A number of historical factors reenergized
Bukharas image and its significance among Muslims in Russia. These fac
tors comprise developments within Russia and Central Asia, and broader
changes in the Islamic world. In the Islamic world as a whole, one of the
chief developments that affected the relationship between Muslims in
Russia and Bukhara in particular was the emergence of the Naqshbandiya
Mujaddidiya in seventeenth century India, which reenergized Sufism in
Central Asia, and brought a renewed religious significance to the tomb of
Baha ad-Din Naqshband near Bukhara. At the same, the emergence of the
Manght Dynasty in Bukhara strongly associated its own legitimacy to
Islamic institutions in Bukhara, including the tomb of Baha ad-Din
Naqshband. A number of Manght dynasts presided over the revival of
madrasas and the waqfs that supported them. The revival of religious in
stitutions during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries also took place
during an era of economic expansion not only in Bukhara, but in Tashkent
and Khoqand as well, which was characterized by a strong Central Asian
presence in the caravan trade first between Russia and the Oirats, and
later between Bukhara and Khoqand on the one hand and Russia on the
other. The expansion of Central Asian trade was a significant policy prior
ity for Russia beginning almost immediately after the conquests of Kazan,
Astrakhan, and Siberia, resulting in the establishment of socially and eco
nomically privileged communities of Central Asians, especially Bukharans,
in Siberia and Astrakhan. The military outposts established along the
Qazaq steppe in the first half of the eighteenth century quickly developed
into terminals for the caravan trade, became active contact zones for
Tatars, Bashkirs, and Central Asians, and these cities, particularly Orenburg
192 conclusion

and the nearby settlement of Qarghal, which were most closely con
nected to Bukhara, formed a substantial part of the institutional founda
tion for Islamic scholarship in Russia, that was at the center of the Islamic
revival there.
During the Manght era Bukharas madrasas and waqfs were reviving,
expanding, and benefiting from intensive patronage by the emirs, and from
economic revitalization and trade surpluses with Russia, elevating
Bukharas existing reputation as a center of scholarship in the Islamic
world. By the early nineteenth century Bukhara had become the largest
urban concentrations of Tatars and Bashkirs outside of Russia, and one of
the largest anywhere. Tatars and Bashkirs, as Bulghars or Noghays, had
their own institutions in Bukhara. Hundreds of Tatar and Bashkir students
would be attending Bukharan madrasas at any one time, and many Tatars
and Bashkirs taught in the madrasas as mudarrises. Outside of Russia no
other city in the Islamic world could boast as large, and as long-lasting a
Tatar and Bashkir presence as Bukhara, and no scholars who studied out
side of Russia enjoyed the same prestige as did the returning Tatar and
Bashkirs bokharis who graduated from Bukharas madrasas.
Yet, the significance of Bukhara in Russias Islamic revival brings about
several paradoxes. During Russias Islamic revival Tatars and Bashkirs both
modeled their own religious institutions on Bukhara, and distinguished
themselves from it. This sort of tension manifested itself by the creation of
Sufi-inspired Islamization narratives connected to the city of Bulghar and
to the Prophet Muhammad himself, thereby excluding many existing local
Islamization narratives linked to Central Asian cities. At the same time, we
see the emergence in Bukharan fashion among Muslims in Russia. A simi
lar tension, or even paradox, is evident in the narratives of Islamic reform
ism and jadidism, which depict the origins of Tatar reformism to have been
in the conflicts of Tatar scholars in Bukhara, namely Abun-Nasir al-Qur
sawi, and Shihab ad-Din Marjani. However, Tatar reformers did not bring
Islamic reformism to Bukhara; it was already there, and the relationships
of these scholars with their Bukharan and Central Asian colleagues was
more complex. Marjani himself credits Central Asian scholars with con
tributing in a very positive manner to his own development as a scholar.
His own career as an instructor in Bukhara in the 1840s shows that he was
free to explore a wide range of reformist ideas, and disseminate them.
Similarly, from our sources, particularly the Tarikh-i Barangawi, there can
be no question that for the keen student in Bukhara under the Manghts,
the opportunities for scholarly development were impressive, despite
conclusion 193

whatever institutional obstacles may have existed. And after all, that is all
one can reasonably ask of higher education.
If the critique of Bukhara emerges as a leitmotif of the Tatar historical
narrative in particular, we must not confuse this polemical narrative with
a frank description of the Tatar and Bashkir environment in Bukhara. In
these writings Bukhara emerges as more of a straw man, a source of fake
contrasts between a supposedly advanced Russia and a backward
Central Asia. For example, in jadid critiques Bukharan education and
Bukharan Sufis appear as stand-ins for critiques of traditional madrasas in
Russia, and for Sufis in Russia, who were usually indifferent to jadidism,
and sometimes opposed it. The critique of Bukhara was also a critique of
bokharis, who continued to enjoy prestige in the Muslim community.
Similarly, the jadid critique of the Emir of Bukharas despotism was no less
a critique of the Tsar, who, after all, was as attached to absolutist principles
as the Emir of Bukhara, if not more.
Bukharan prestige did not wither away or die a natural death in Russia.
Islamic education was outlawed in 1924, and the thread of a dynamic and
centuries-old educational system was cut. As for Bukhara, after its an
nexation to the Soviet Union its waqfs were abolished and its madrasas
were closed. Jadid and Soviet narratives would maintain that nothing was
lost as a result of the abolition of the madrasas, but the Tarikh-i Barangawi
and other sources hint at what had existed there, and we will probably
never know fully what disappeared.
In the end, Bukharan prestige was something that neither the Islamic
reformists, nor the Soviet authorities were willing to do without. Islamic
reformists and jadids sought to make their own shrine out of the tomb of
Imam Bukhari, initially proposing it as a reformist alternative to the tomb
of Baha ad-Din Naqshband. They argued, disingenuously, that hadith stud
ies were non-existent in the Bukharan madrasas, clearly seeking to mo
nopolize their conception of the proper way in which to study hadith.
Reformists later came to dominate the Soviet Islamic establishment, and
the Soviets even brought visiting heads of states from Muslim countries to
Imam Bukharis tomb. Finally, the Soviet authorities in 1945 even reopened
the Mir-i Arab Madrasa, and paradoxically sought to associate their re
formist Islamic establishment with Bukharan prestige, which reformist
clerics in Tatarstan continue to invoke.
194 conclusion
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index 205


Abaz-Bakchi Shaykh38 Abd as-Shukur al-Portanuri110, 134, 137

Abd al-Allam b. Salih al-Qazani20 Abd as-Shukur b. Abd ar-Rashid107
Abd al-Aziz Khwaja118 Abdulin, Safar47
Abd al-Fayz Khan100 Abdullah al-Chirtushi18
Abd al-Ghaffar b. Said ash-Shirdani105, Abdullah al-Muazi14, 91-92, 94, 134
133 Abdullah as-Sarataghi, Mufti88
Abd al-Hakim, Mufti106 Abdullah b. Mahdi as-Saratawi al-Qulatqi
Abd al-Hamid Bukhari63 89
Abd al-Karim b. Abd al-Ghafur ash- Abdullah Khan Madrasa133
Shahrisabzi (Ishan-i Pir)18, 20, 24, Abdullah II (Shbanid)37, 168
113-114, 117-119, 139, 171 Abid b. Tuqtar-Ali (imam)22
Abd al-Karim b. Baltay112 Abu Bakr b. Yusuf97, 111, 125
Abd al-Karim b. Timur-Bulat (imam)142 Abu Said b. Abd al-Hayy as-Samarqandi
Abd al-Khabir al-Muslimi al-Qzljari109 107-108, 123-124, 158-159, 175, 177
Abd al-Khaliq b. Ibrahim al-Qursawi97, Abul-Ghazi Bahadur Khan50
128 Abul-Hasan al-Kharaqani141-142
Abd al-Khaliq Ghijduvani32, 141, 188 Abul-Qasim Ishan b. Khan Tora
Abd al-Majib b. Alkhan149 Ishan141
Abd al-Mawdud b. Fattah ad-Din as- Abul-Qasim Kerkani116
Saritaghi92-93 Abun-Nasir al-Qursawi87, 89, 155-156
Abd al-Mumin Khwaja b. Uzbek Khwaja Adab-i katib20-21
al-Afshanji18-19, 105-106, 124, 159, Aday Qazaqs40
171-172 Adil Samarqandi, Damulla105
Abd al-Qadir b. Niyaz-Ahmad Faruqi, Adil-Shah b. Abdullah al-Boghdani92
Ishan111-112 Afghanistan2, 5, 96
Abd al-Qadir b. Qari Abd ash- Afghans82
Shukur182 Ahmad b. Hafiz ad-Din Barangawi8,
Abd al-Qayyum b. Abd al-Karim b. 16-17, 20, 25-26, 83, 88-89, 97, 101-
Allahyar129 102, 104, 108, 134, 137-138, 141-142,
Abd al-Wali al-Qazani14 145-146
Abd an-Nasir b. Abd as-Salam az- Ahmad b. Nasir al-Hanafi (Ahmad Donish)
Zimnichawi92 177
Abd an-Nasir b. Sayf al-Muluk al- Ahmad-Fatih bb. Shuja b. ash-Sharifi71
Ashiti24 Ahmad-Giray (Shbanid)37
Abd ar-Rahim (Torah scholar)107, 124- Ahmad-Giray b. Numan al-Irmashi25
125 Ahmad-Latif at-Tmtqi109, 115
Abd ar-Rahim al-Utz-Imni13, 98, 128, Ahmad-Shah Ishan b. Dawlat-Shah
144, 146, 156 al-Boghdani91-92
Abd ar-Rashid Ibrahim, see Ibrahim, Abd Ahmad Sirhindi129
ar-Rashid Ahmad-Wali al-Qazani62, 153
Abd ar-Razzaq al-Marghinani175 Ahmad-Wali b. Tuhfatullah al-Qzljari91,
Abd as-Salam b. Abd ar-Rahman (imam 98, 108
in Tashkich)17 Ahmadi b. Ihsan al-Mamsawi18-19
Abd as-Sattar b. Said ash-Shirdani89, Akchurin, Hasan22
133 Akchurin, Timur-Pulat b. Khurrum-Shah
Abd ash-Shukur, Damulla, 105-107 19
206 index

Akchurin Family19 Ayni, Sadr ad-Din14, 100, 124, 131-133,

Akhmarov, Gainutdin66-67 175-176
Akhmetzianov, Marsel21 Ayzharq, see Qamar ad-Din
alam88, 105-106
Aleksei Mikhailovich (tsar)52 Baba-Rafi al-Khujandi105-106
Alexander I (tsar)49, 60 Baba-Jan, Damulla105, 123
Ali al-Qari128 Babadzhanov, Muhammad-Salih178
Ali Madrasa133 Babakhanov, Ziyavuddin173, 186
Ali Mufti b. Walid63, 89 Babatkul (saint)33
Alim-khwaja Bukhari63 Badr ad-Din (qazi)173
Alimjan Madrasa133 Badr-i Jahan bint Nasr ad-Din
Alim Shaykh Quddus Sarra141 Barangawi23, 136
Almetevsk District41 Baha ad-Din b. Subhan al-Marjani98,
Almushev, Hamidullah b. Fathullah173- 101, 105
174 Baha ad-Din Naqshband 2, 161, 166-167,
Alt Ata65 173;
Altun Mazar140 tomb of 2, 25, 111, 118, 141, 167, 170,
Amir-i Jaynat Makani Madrasa133 172-173, 188
Amirov, Ibrahim61 Baidzhanov, Kenzhetai62
Amu Darya River36, 38 Bakirov, Fatikh183
Anas b. Malik40 Baku51, 99, 164
Anbar Ana42 Bala-Hawz Khanaqah119
Andijon184 Bala-Hawz Madrasa88, 104
Aq Masjid, see Perovsk Balkh88, 103, 118
Aqaida Nasafiya122 Baranga8, 15-16, 20-25
Aqchura, Yusuf13, 96, 143 Baraba Tatars34, 50
Arabic language121, 124 Barak-khan Madrasa186
Arabic literature105, 124 Brsk17
Aral Sea34, 93 Barudi, Galimjan5, 13-14, 72, 83, 88, 96,
Arghn Qazaqs78-79 98, 102-104, 111, 122, 127, 131-132,
Arkhangelsk46 143, 161
Artush23, 139 Barudi, Gazizjan98, 132
Asar12-13, 21, 106, 148, 157 Bashkirs32-33, 38-41, 53, 78, 95
Ashirov, Nafigulla187 Bashkir Cossack Host56
Ashkhabad183 Bashqort Mountains33
Ashtarkhanid Dynasty3, 100 Basra40
Ashur-Muhammad at-Turki24, 108, 120 Bayanaul179
Astrakhan28, 43, 45-46, 50-52, 64, 83, Bayan-i hawadithat-i Bukhara u
99, 152, 164, 166 Khuwaqand u Kashghar57
Astrakhan Khanate85 Baylar Ors23, 150
Astrakhan Muslims80, 164 Baylar Sabas,
astronomy50, 121, 123-124, 179 Beneveni, Florio80-81
Ata b. Yusuf al-Bukhari97 Berdibiakovo43
Ata-Niyaz b. Miskin al-Khwarazmi129 Bigiyev, Musa163, 172
Ataullah b. Imam ad-Din al-Qaraqalpaqi Bigiyev, Zahir162-169, 185, 188
94 Bikbulatov, Sungat183
Attar Madrasa107 Bikchantay b. Ibrahim al-Baraskawi17
Awliya-Ata84 biographical dictionaries8, 12-13
Awwaz b. Ibrahim al-Khujandi104 Bishmuncha41
Aydar (village), 90 bokharis97, 104, 147-150, 187-188
yle Bashkirs78 Buinsk106
index 207

Bukhara, see also Emirate of Bukhara Chishmy32

and Islamization legends 32-33, Chuguchak70, 124-125, 179
126 Companions (sahabas)36
and stagnation 5-6 Crimea36
and trade with the Oirat Khanate 47- Cultural Revolution6, 180-181
and trade with Russia 45-46, 51-53, Dagestan36, 188-189
59-60 dah-i yak107, 133
prestige of 4-7, 9, 43, 49-50, 57, 64-65, Dalail al-khayrat108
185; Damascus108
sacred associations of 2, 27, 31-33, 35- Daniyal Bek3
36, 154-155, 165-166 Dar ash-Shifa Madrasa103
Tatar and Bashkir presence in 7, 80-82, Darvish Muhammad ash-Shafii al-
95 Hindistani (Imam Shafii)91, 108, 118
Bukharan fashion7, 9, 29, 64-75, 165 Dawlat-Shah b. Adil-Shah al-Boghdani92
Bukharan Jews53, 58, 107 Dehli118
Bukharan legal status34-35, 43-50 Desmaisons, P.82-83, 87, 104
Bukharan Peoples Republic181 Derbent51
Bukharans; see also Siberian Bukharans Din-Ali Khwaja37
in Astrakhan 50-52 Donish, Ahmad, see Ahmad b. Nasir
in the Oirat Khanate 59 al-Hanafi
in Orenburg 54-56 Dudoignon, Stphane120, 175, 177
in Petropavlovsk 62-63 Dumavi, Nadzhib170
in Semipalatinsk 60-61 DUMES187
Bukhari, Imam Ismail al-1, 165, 168, 173, Dungans, see Hui
186, 189
Bulghar41, 79 Efremov, Filipp81, 95
Bulghar identity6 Egorov Berkhudarov, Martyn83
Burhan ad-Din Ali al-Marghinani123, Egypt, 5, 179
168 Elabuga33
Burhan ad-Din b. Nasr ad-Din al- Embaevo150
Barangawi8, 18-22, 69, 91, 101, 103, Emirate of Bukhara1, 4, 6, 25, 98, 103
105-107, 110-111, 113-115, 124, 126, Enikeev, Yusuf65
128, 131, 134, 136-137, 141, 145, Er Nazar Madrasa55, 101, 133
176-177 ethnography65-67
Burnes, Alexander81 Eushta Tatars50
Bursa108 exegesis, 5, 121, 123, 172, 174

Carrre-dEncausse, Hlne3 fabrics68-69

Catherine II (empress)10, 48, 55, 59 Fakhr ad-Din b. Ibrahim b. Khujash89,
Caucasus73 106, 141
Central Asia2, 7, 47 Fakhr ad-Din b. Mustafa an-Nurlati97,
and Sufi tradition 29-30 111, 119-120, 125
and trade with Russia 27-28, 43, 45, 53 Fakhr al-Banat bint Sibghatullah ash-
Chala Qazaqs61-62 Sharifi23
Charjuy117 Fakhrutdinov, see Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr
Chebaksa73 ad-Din
Cheka (village)93 Farab2, 31, 34
Cheliabinsk Province92 Faraiz-i Sijawandi123
Chervonnaia, S.72 Faraiz Sirajiya123
China44, 47, 53, 78 Fariza78
Chishma-yi Qaranggu139 Farkhshatov, M.148
208 index

Fathullah b. Bikchantay al-Quyani21 Habibullah b. Muhammad-Haris al-

Fathullah Qushbegi Madrasa89 Istarlibashi93
Fayz-Khan al-Kabuli92, 119-120 Habibullah Bukhari, Hajji43
Fayzabad118 Habibullah Khan (servitor)86
Fayzkhanov, Husayn159-160, 166 hadith studies,5, 121, 123-124, 171-175
Fayzullah Bukhari43 Hafiz ad-Din b. Nasr ad-Din al-
Fayzullin, Mustafa72 Barangawi8, 18-19, 21-24, 89, 91,
Fazil b. Ashur al-Ghijduvani105, 177 99, 101, 103, 105, 107, 109, 113-119,
Fazl-Akram b. Ahmad-Wali al-Utari92 122-124, 126, 128, 136, 138-141, 154,
Ferghana Valley2, 44, 53, 59, 84-85, 89, 158, 176, 178
108, 184 Hafti-i Muhammad (shrine)140
fiqh89, 108, 121-123, 133, 168 Haft-i Yak24
First Mosque of Baranga17, 20, 22 Hajji Bay Khojandi177
First Mosque of Orenburg57 Hakim Ata36, 42
Fourth Mosque of Baranga20, 25 Hami45
Fuchs, Karl66, 67, 74 Hammad-khwaja b. Muhammad-Alim-
Gainetdin, Ravil187 Hanafi jurisprudence2
Galdan Tseren47 Hasan al-Panjikandi al-Qarshi92
Galeev, Muhammad-Jan72 Hasan b. Hal106
Galimjan Barudi, see Barudi, Galimjan Hasan b. Umar al-Bulghari77-78
Gasprinskii, Ismail160-161, 165 Hasan b. Walid al-Buawi108
Gawkushan Madrasa103, 105, 133, 172 Hashiya-yi qutubiyat128
gentry, Muslim28, 48 Haydar b. Shah Murad, Emir3, 89, 101,
geometry108, 120, 123-124, 179 105, 131, 133, 176
Georgi, Johann39, 49, 68 Hazrat-i Imla116
Gharibiyya Madrasa101 Hidaya108, 123, 133, 168
Ghazali, Muhammad b. Muhammad al- Hidayatullah Khwaja79
123, 129, 166 Hijaz5, 108
Ghaziyan Madrasa102 Hikmat al-ayn122, 124
Ghijduvan25, 32, 141 hizb al-bahr91, 108
Ghiyas ad-Din b. Abd al-Mumin Khwaja Holy cities29-30
105 Hui31
Ghiyas ad-Din b. Hafiz ad-Din al- hujras100-102, 131, 133, 150, 165
Barangawi20, 25 Husam ad-Din al-Bulghari7
Ghiyas-makhdum al-Qazani106 Husayn, Imam36, 38
Ghulam Ali-Shah Sahib ad-Dihlawi118 Husayn b. Amirkhan13, 103
Ghurfat al-khawwaqin li-marifat al- Husayn b. Muhammad al-Bulghari
khawwaqin157 al-Kirmani78, 89-90, 127, 143
Gmelin, Johann47, 64 Husayn b. Muhammad-Said at-Tai
Godunov, Boris51 al-Baghdadi171-172
Golden Horde29, 35, 43 Husayn-Bek Turkistani32
Gur-i Amir Mausoleum139 Husayn Khwaja (saint)139
Gusfand Madrasa102 Husayniya Madrasa169, 182-184

Habib al-Jamal (abistay)22, 143 Iamyshevo Ozero53, 58

Habibullah al-Balkhi, Shaykh112, 116 Ibrahim, Abd ar-Rashid39
Habibullah al-Khotani, Mufti18, 24, 108, Ibrahim b. Bik-Qul b. Irma al-Bulghari24
120 Ibrahim b. Khurrum-Shah al-
Habibullah b. Abid b. Tuqtar-Ali (imam) Bazvayazi115
22 Idris Khalifa79
Habibullah b. Muhammad as-Sabai91 Idris-khwaja b. Qucharbay at-
index 209

Tamyani108 Jahangir Khan74

Ihya ulum ad-din129 Jalal ad-Din al-Khiyabani18-19, 22, 24,
Ikhtiyar-khwaja106, 131-132 113-117, 135
Ili Valley48 Jalal ad-Din b. Nasr ad-Din al-
Imanqoli, Muhammad-Sadiq13, 97-99, Barangawi23
103 Jalal ad-Din Dawani122, 128
Inan b. Ihsan al-Bughulmawi106 Jami ar-Rumuz127, 129
Inayat, Hajji105 Jenkinson, Anthony51
India2, 5, 36, 52, 96, 108 Jerusalem172
Inner Horde15, 25, 34, 74, 178 Juma-Bay116
Iran73 Juybari khwajas87
Irkutsk47 Kafiya122
Irtysh Line58 Kalmyks164
Irtysh River34, 53, 58 Kama River33
Isa b. Nur-Muhammad b. Kkbash115 Kamal, Saliakh183
Isaghuji kitabi99 Karaduvan33
Isfijab, see Sayram Karataev, Ali-Muhammad85-86
Ish-Muhammad b. Din-Muhammad at- Kashan51
Tuntari19 Kashf al-lughat127
Ish-Niyaz b. Shir-Niyaz al-Urganchi57 Kashgar18, 23, 53, 108-109, 113, 120,
Ishaev, Zaki183 125, 128, 140-141, 185
Ishan Shafii, see Darvish Muhammad ash- Kashgaria2, 23, 26, 44-45, 59, 79, 108,
Shafii al-Hindistani 112, 139-141, 154
Ishan-i Padishah, see Yahya b. Abd al- Kasimov36, 38
Karim ash-Shahrisabzi Kasimov, Makhmet Isup52
Ishan-i Pir, see Abd al-Karim b. Abd al- Kasimov Khanate36
Ghafur ash-Shahrisabzi Kasimov Tatars52
Ishim River60 Katta Qurghan99
Ishmi Ishan, see Ish-Muhammad b. Din- Kazakhstan13
Muhammad at-Tuntari Kazalinsk84, 98-99
Iskandar b. Qalandar Sufi al-Marghinani Kazan13, 15, 25, 43-44, 46, 51, 66-67, 72,
57 89, 97, 109, 125, 147-148, 150, 152
Iske Awl Pochinkas25 Kazan Khanate85
Iske Qyshq14 Kazan Province33, 38, 89-90
Iske Salman41 Kazan Tatars35, 52, 64, 73, 80
Iskhakov, Gosman187 Kazanka Valley14
Kemper, Michael145, 156
Islamization narratives30-33, 37-39, 41,
Kerenskii, O.100, 102
Kermine25, 80, 89, 116, 141-142
Ismail as-Samani168
Khaialin, Said see Said b. Ayt Khayalin
Ismail Bukhari, see Bukhari, Ismail
Khalid, Adeeb3, 120, 159
Istanbul108, 148, 172, 179 Khalidiya2, 188
Iunusov, Mulla Maksat80 Khalifa Husayn92, 112
Ivan IV (tsar)51 Khanaqah-i Mir Anan Madrasa133
Izh-Bubi Madrasa184 Khanskaia Stavka25
Izzatullah b. Abd al-Karim, Mulla138 Khanty50
Khanykov, N.82, 87-88, 95-96, 101, 103,
jadids and jadidism3, 6-9, 71, 145, 158, 121, 131-132, 135, 137, 175
160-162, 166, 170-171, 174-176, 180- Kharaqan25, 141-142
182, 185 Khartang173, 185
Jafar-khwaja Madrasa102, 133 Khayrabad141
210 index

Khiva14, 31-32, 53, 56, 78, 80, 95, 181- Mah-i Kamal bint Mulla Umar23
182 Mahmud Khalifa (Sufi shaykh)20
Khatun qizgha birgn bozuq kingshni Mahmud b. Yahya b. Abd al-Karim,
bozu71 Khalifa119
Khivans55, 82 Majid Ata139
Khiyaban Madrasa101, 103, 124, 131, Makarevo Fair57, 64
133 Makhdum-i Azam88
Khojand23, 85, 89, 103, 139 Malek-khuzha38
Khoqand36, 53, 60, 63, 85, 89, 102, 108, Mamliutovo, see Mawlud
139, 158, 175 Manght Dynasty3, 12, 75, 104, 107, 110,
Khorezm44, 51, 57, 78, 84, 93-94, 112, 124, 158, 174-176, 179, 181
183 Manght tribe33, 93
Khotan18, 23, 108, 140 Mangshlaq Peninsula51
Khotongs31-32 Manhaj ad-Din al-Jabali al-Iske Awli25
Khudayar Khan86 manuscripts7, 10-12, 125-129
Khudayberdi b. Abdullah al-Baysuni 90, Maktubat129
105, 177 Mari El15
Khwaja Afaq139 Marghilan139
Khwaja Ahrar87, 139, 188 Marjani, Shihab ad-Din5, 12-14, 18-21,
Khwaja Arslan (saint)139 24-25, 55, 89-90, 96, 98-99, 103, 105-
Khwaja Bulghar, see Hasan b. Umar al- 107, 111, 122-124, 127, 131, 155-159,
Bulghari 175-176
Khwaja Davlat Madrasa103, 133 Mashaikovo43
Khwaja Ishaq (saint)139 Mshhr-Zhsip Kpeyul, 14, 40, 154,
Khwaja Juybar-i Kalan Madrasa133 179
khwajas, see sayyids Masjid-i Kalan Mosque89
Kiakhta45, 47 Maslahat ad-Din Khojandi139
Kimiya as-saadat123 mathematics105, 121, 123-124
Klaproth, J.45 Maturidi, Imam139, 168
Kopeev, see Mshhr-Zhsip Kpeyul Mavarannahr37
Kostenko, L. F.84 Mawarannahrda sayahat162-169
Krshens85 Mawlud54
Krasnovodsk99, 164 Mazar-i Sharif118
Kuban36 Mazarbash15, 18-19, 122, 126
Kubravi, Najm ad-Din161 Mecca41, 108, 172
Kchm Khan37, 45 Medina172
Kuhistan89 merchants
Kukaltash Madrasa78, 106, 133 Armenian 53
Kusam b. Abbas139, 188 Bukharan 28, 43, 47, 51, 55-56, 59,
Kuznetsk47 154
Central Asian 28, 54, 45, 60-62, 64, 66,
lashmany29 154
logic106-107, 120, 122, 124 Greek 53
Lutfullah b. Inan al-Bughulmawi, Persian 51
Mufti88 Qazaq 59
Russian 53
Machkara18 Tatar and Bashkir 28, 53, 56, 64, 66, 80,
Madrasa-yi Safid139 154
madrasas Merv164
in Bukhara 4-6, 100-102, 132-133, 174 Meyendorff, Georges de81, 83, 95
in Russia 132, 149, 159, 174 Mikhail Fedorovich (tsar)51
in Turkestan 100-102, 174 Miller, Gerhard37, 50
index 211

Mir-Ali b. Qul-Ali78 Muhammad-Rahim Khan86

Mir-Alim b. Abd al-Mumin Khwaja106 Muhammad-Sadiq Imanqoli, see Imanqoli
Mir-Qurban Bay b. Awwab-bay62 Muhammad-Shah Khalidi124, 179-180
Mir-Said b. Mir-Sharif78 Muhammad ash-Shakir al-Istarli141
Mir-Siddiq as-Sardawi al-Qazani20, 88, Muhammad-Sharif al-Kirmani18
104 Muhammad-Sharif b. Abd ar-Rahim
Mir-i Arab Madrasa88, 92, 101, 105, 116, al-Bukhari57
131, 135, 186-188 Muhammad-Sharif b. Ataullah al-Bukhari
Mirza-Jan b. Shams ad-Din al-Balkhi105- 105
106 Muhammad-Sharif b. Ibrahim al-Birgawi
Mirza Rahim-Bek b. Amanullah al-Hindi, 92
see Darvish Muhammad ash-Shafii Muhammad-Sharif Ishan (saint)140
al-Hindistani Muhammad-Sharif Savdagar Madrasa133
Mirza-Salih Alam105 Muhammad-Umar Khan60, 62
Mirza Shams Bukhari57 Muhammad-Zakir al-Kulabi104
Mishars35, 41 Muhammad-Zakir b. Muhammad-Sharif
Mishqat al-anwar126 al-Urganji93
Mishqat al-masabih123 Muhammadi b. Ihsan al-Burbashi24, 143
Miyan Malik b. Abd al-Qadir Muhammadi b. Salih al-Bashqordi109,
Bukhari106, 112 117
Mflikhunov, Nurulla188 Muhammadiya Madrasa169
Mongolia31-32, 47 Muhsin b. Bik-Qol b. Ibrahim ash-Shashi
Moscow46 89
Muaz b. Bek-Muhammad al- Mukhtasar al-wiqaya124, 128
Qaramali136 Mulla Jalal, see Sharh-i aqaid azdiya
mudarrises88-89, 100, 103-109, 116, Mulukiyat140
122, 135 Mumin-khwaja Vabkandi177
mufti-yi askar88, 105, 116 Muqaddima-yi Jazari123
muhtasibs89 Murad Ramzi, see Ramzi
muftis88, 103-104, 106 Murad al-arifin129
Muhammad, prophet7, 35, 42 Murtaza b. Qutlghsh as-Simati17
Muhammad b. Safar al-Khujandi105 Muslims of Russia
Muhammad-Ali az-Zahiri al-Witri al- and contact with Central Asians 64
Madani172-173 and Sufi tradition 29-30
Muhammad-Arif (Sufi)119-120 as craftsmen 7
Muhammad-Arif as-Saati b. Siraj ad-Din as merchants 4, 7, 9
al-Gaynawi141 as scholars 7, 9
Muhammad-Arif Qul88, 116 Mustafad al-akhbar fi ahwali Qazan wa
Muhammad-Hafiz b. Sayyid63 Bulghar12, 157
Muhammad-Jan b. al-Husayn (mufti), 17 Mustakaev, Abdulla183-184
Muhammad-Jan b. Muhammad-Qul90 Mustaqim Divana Noghay86
Muhammad-Fatih al-Ilmini15, 65, 149, Mutahhar b. Mulla Mir-Haydar14
181 Muzaffar ad-Din Khan (emir)85-86
Muhammad-Fatih b. Abd an-Nasir99,
101, 135 Nadir al-Khujandi105
Muhammad-Najib b. Baymurad al-Mingari Nadir-Shah78
159 Najib b. Shams ad-Din b. Ali Tuntari93-
Muhammad-Najib b. Ghiyas ad-Din 94
(imam)25 Najib-makhdum al-Qazani106
Muhammad Qasim al-Bukhari128 Nal-Khansha37
Muhammad-Qasim Makhdum b. Abd Namangan103
al-Allam165 Naqshband, see Baha ad-Din Naqshband
212 index

Naqshbandiya2, 92, 110, 112 Perovsk84, 98-99

Nasr ad-Din b. Abd as-Salam al- Persia44, 73
Barangawi17, 22-23, 112, 135 Peter I (tsar), 27-28, 48, 53, 58, 80, 152
Nasrullah b. Said (emir)81, 86, 116, 118, Petropavlovsk14, 18-19, 22-23, 28, 38, 44-
134-135, 158, 176 45, 53-54, 58, 60, 62-63, 108-109, 136,
nationalism6 141, 148-149, 152-153, 186
Nayman tribe33 Pierce, Richard120
Nebolsin, Pavel34 pilgrimage1, 2, 138-141, 168-170
Nepliuev, Ivan55, 57 Pir Bughra Khan139
Nicholas I (tsar)27, 49, 74 Ponomarev, Hasan186
Nimatullah b.Bek-Timur al- Pugachev Uprising89
Nisab as-Subyan128 Qalmash40
Niyaz b. Binyamin al-Balkhi105 Qamar ad-Din (Qazaq scholar)178-179
Niyaz b. Choqmaqi Bukhari43 Qamar-Khan b. Jalal ad-Din
Niyaz-Quli b. Shah-Niyaz at-Turkmani90, Khiyabani116
92-93, 97, 112, 155, 176 Qamus140
Nizhniaia Ura, see Baylar Ors Qara Qum Ishan, see Qutlugh-Khwaja
Nizhnii Novgorod43, 57, 64. 66 Ishan
Noghay Horde45 Qaraqalpaqs34, 93, 183
Noghay Qurghan84 Qarghal17, 54-56, 89, 137
Noghays33, 45, 52 Qarmsh90
North Caucasus Steppe33 Qarshi36, 92
Nosovich, A.85 Qasida-yi burda108, 120
Novaia Bukhara99, 141, 145, 149, 165 Qasim Shaykh80
Novouzensk65 Qasim Shaykh b. Ibrahim al-Qazani79-80
Novouzensk District15, 142, 147, 149 Qatighuryas124
Numan b. Ibrahim al-Irmashi24 Qazan Art15
Numan b. Nur-Muhammad al-Bulghari Qazaq Steppe14, 28, 34, 44, 48, 52-53, 58,
92, 109, 134 96, 112, 152, 154
Nur ad-Din al-Khwarazmi107 Qazaqs25, 32, 35, 40, 78-79, 95, 109-110,
Nur-Ali b. Hasan al-Buawi105-107, 134 134, 137, 154, 183
qazi-yi askar88
Oirat Khanate, 2, 44, 47-48, 53, 58-59, 154 qazi-yi kalan88
Oirats31, 44, 53 Qing Empire154
Olufsen, Ole96 Qpchaq tribe33
Omsk58 Qrghz Bashkirs39-40
Orenburg14, 17, 28, 44, 52-58, 60, 66, 72, Qshqar24, 150
85, 98-99, 149, 169, 178, 182 Qochqar Ata140
Orenburg Muslim Spiritual Assembly19, Qorban (village)149
62, 147, 152 Qorqut Ata32, 39-40
Orenburg Province92 Qoshman41
Orsk53 Qul-Ali b. Mir-Hajji78
Osh23, 31-32, 139 Qulbaba79
Ostyaks, see Khanty Qumirguja38
Ottoman Empire2, 5 Quran recitation97, 121, 123, 125, 129
Otrar, see Farab Qurban-Ali Khalidi14, 60, 62, 64, 70, 89,
103, 109, 125, 137, 144, 154, 181
Pahlawan Ata32 Qursa Pochmagh17
Panjikent92, 112, 138 Qutl Bksh43
Perm Province32 Qutlugh-Khwaja Ishan93
Perm Tatars33
index 213

Rafiq b. Makay b. Mamatay17 Samoyeds, see Selkups

rais88 Samsun116
Ramitan114 Saray-i Abdullah-Jan82
Ramzi, Murad13, 91 Saray-i Fil-Khan83
Rasulev, Gabrakhman187 Saray-i Noghay82-83, 85
Red Army183 Saray-i Pay-Astana82
Risala al-itizal18 Saray-i Urganji82
Risalat ar-ruh123 Sart-yle Bashkirs38
Risala-yi Aziza79, 111 Sattarov, Fyzrakhman187
Risalat al-ithbat al-wajib jadid128 Sayfullah b. Utagan38
Risalat fin-nasikh wal-mansukh, nukhrat Sayram2, 31, 38, 41
al-fikr128 Sayyid Ata37, 88
Risalat hudud128 Sayyid b. Alim-khwaja Bukhari63
Riza ad-Din b. Fakhr ad-Din12-13, 17, sayyids6, 34-40, 42, 47, 50, 87-88, 153,
19-21, 90, 92-93, 106, 111-112, 136 166, 171
Rububiyat al-kashfiyat wal-ubudiyat al- Schuyler, Eugene86
khalisat23, 26 Second Mosque of Baranga24
Russia2, 3 Seitov, Azeika-Baba47
Russia Seitovskii Posad, see Qarghal
Central Asian settlement in 44, 54-55 Selkups50
industrialization of 4 Semipalatinsk14, 28, 44-45, 53, 58, 60-62,
Islamic revival in 4-6, 10 89, 92, 125, 148, 152-153
state policies of 4, 45-46, 49, 51-52, Service Tatars29
55-57, 61 Shadrinsk District149
Shah-Ahmad b. Jalal ad-Din as-
Sadr ad-Din b. Mufti Isa al-Khoqandi105 Sabawi115
SADUM173, 186-187 Shah Akhsi Khanaqah116, 118
sahabas, see Companions Shah-i Zinda Mausoleum139
Sahibzada ishans106, 111 Shah-Murad b. Daniyal-biy (emir)3, 100,
Sahih Bukhari22, 108, 175 176
Sahih Muslim123 Shah-Qol (sayyid)36
Said b. Ayt Khayalin54, 57 Shahrisabz89, 103, 118-119, 139
Saint Petersburg60, 159 Shajara-yi turk50, 158
saints9, 30, 32-33, 37, 42-43, 79, 139 Shakulov family36, 38
Salam al-ayn124 Shams ad-Din Kuhistani129
Salars31 Shams ad-Din Kulabi105
Salih b. Abd al-Khaliq174 Shams ad-Din Mawlawi119
Salim b. Abd ar-Rahim as-Sabawi89, 97 Shams ad-Din b. Mingli al-Jabali106
Said b. Hamid al-Qawali108 Shamsiya104, 109
Said b. Muhammad ash-Shami173, Shrf, Burhan162, 169-170
185-186 Shrf, Shhr13, 18, 20, 96
Salafism171-172 Sharh al-Aqaid128
Salah ad-Din b. Ishaq Burnaev127 Sharh-i Aqaida Nasafiya122
Salim al-Bulghari al-Penzawi138 Sharh-i aqaid azdiya122-123, 126
Salman Farsi40-42 Sharh-i Gulistan-i Arabi126
Samara Province65, 93, 142 Sharh-i Jami122
Samarqand2, 18, 23, 26, 31, 33, 51, 67, Sharh-i mulla109
81, 84, 87, 89-91, 96, 107-108, 124-125, Sharh-i tahzib124
139, 158, 165, 172, 174, 183-184 Sharh-i talkhis123
Samatov, Gabdelkhaq187 Sharh-i wiqaya123
Samiullah b. Sibghatullah ash-Sharifi23 shaykh al-Islam37, 87, 107
214 index

Shaykh Shan Mosque89 Samarqandi18, 24, 90-91, 108

Shemakha51-52 Taj ad-Din b. Bashir al-Bulghari127
Shihab ad-Din Marjani, see Marjani Taj ad-Din b. Yalchighul al-Bashqordi38,
Shikasta-yi turkiya109 78-79, 111
Shikhov family38 Tajetdin, Talgat187
Shirbeti Shaykh37 Tajiks45
Shirdar Mardasa107 Talfiq al-akhbar wa talqi al-athar fi
Shuja b. Sibghatullah ash-Sharifi23 waqai qazan wa bulghar wa muluk
Siberia1, 4, 27-29, 31, 35, 42, 44-50, 60, at-tatar13
63, 66, 112, 136, 150 Tanbih abna al-asr ala tanzih anba Abi
Siberian Bukharans27-28, 33-34, 45-50, n-Nasr157-158
52, 58-59, 61, 64, 152 Tara38, 45-47, 50, 59
Siberian Khanate36 Tarikh Nama-yi Bulghar38, 78
Siberian Line53, 58-64 Tarikh-i Barangawi8-9, 15, 20-26, 70, 96,
Siberian Tatars27 104, 110, 112, 136, 145, 174, 176
Sibghatullah b. Abd al-Qadir ash- Tarikh-i Istarlibash16
Sharifi23 Tarikh-i Muaziya16
Silk Road1 Tashkendis45, 49, 54, 59, 61-62
Simbirsk Province138 Tashkent44-45, 53, 59-60, 62, 65, 81,
Sindh36 83-84, 89-90, 93, 98-99, 102, 136, 138,
Siraj ad-Din as-Sarataghi, Mufti88, 92, 141, 170, 173, 183-184, 186
107, 109, 134, 167 Tashkich15, 17
Soviet Union181 Tatarinov, A.85
Staroe Timoshkino, see Zoyabash Tatars and Bashkirs, see Muslims of Russia
Stavropol33 Tatarskoe Islamovo80
Sterlibashevo14, 92, 127, 148 Tawarikh-i Alti Ata15, 147
Stremoukhov, N.86 Tawarikh-i Bulghariyya7, 43
Subat al-Ajizin79, 129 Tawzih123
Sufi Allahyar79, 129 Taybugha Biy37
Sufi literature29 Taybughid Dynasty37
Sufis57, 90-91, 104, 110-120, 161 Tazayyin al-ibarat li-tahsin128
Sufism27-29, 161, 164-170 Terberdy Chally79
Sulayman Baqrghani, see Hakim Ata Third Mosque of Baranga20, 25
Sulayman-qari b. Ibrahim-bay ash- theology5, 107, 120-124, 151, 170, 187
Shamawi125 Timur, Amir78, 81, 139
Sultan Bughra Khan Ghazi139 Timur Hajji (saint)140
Sultan Muhammd-Fatih b. Hafiz ad-Din Tiumen46-47, 59
al-Barangawi20, 24 Tobol River34
Sultan-Khan b. Jalal ad-Din Tobolsk37, 46-47, 50, 59
Khiyabani116-117 Tomsk47, 50, 64
Sultangaliev, Mir-Said182 Torah107, 124, 176
surveying124, 179-180 Troitsk53, 60, 98-99
Suyuti, Imam128 Tsaritsyn164
Syr Darya River32, 34, 38, 40, 84, 98 Tuhfat al-ghuraba wa-lataif al-ghuzza
tafsir, see exegesis Tuqayef, Muhammad-Shakir14
Tafsir al-Bayzawi123 Turfan45
Taftazani, Sad ad-Din122, 128 Turgai99
Tahzib al-kalam107, 128 Turk Jandi Khanaqah119
Tahzib al-mantiq107, 122, 124, 128 Turkestan (province)160, 170, 175, 177,
Taj ad-Din b. Ahmar al-Bulghari as- 181, 184
index 215

Turkistan (city)2, 36, 41, 60, 84, 141 Wildan b. Akhta al-Qazani al-Khwarazmi
Turkmens32, 40, 92, 95, 109, 134, 137, 93
183 Witkiewicz, Jan82-83
Tursunjan Madrasa101, 133
Tusi Khan78 Xinjiang13, 173

Ubaydullah b. Niyaz-Quli at- Yahya al-Makki171-172

Turkmani111-112 Yahya b. Abd al-Karim ash-Shahrisabzi
Ubaydullah Uzbek-khwaja (Sufi)119 (Ishan-i Padishah)119
Ufa19, 40, 51, 62, 187 Yaqub b. Yahya b. Jafar at-Tubyazi24
Ulugh Saba148 Yarkand23, 79, 108, 124, 139-140
Ulughbek b. Shah-Rukh168 Yarullin, Nail187
Ulughbek Madrasa127, 133 Yasavi, Khwaja Ahmad32, 42, 79
Umar b. al-Khattab (caliph)38 Yedisan Noghays33
Unkovskii, Ivan44, 48 Yedishkul Noghays33
Ura-Tepe85 Yunus Khwaja60
Ural River110 Yusuf b. Mansur al-Khoqandi al-
Urgench2, 31, 37, 51, 78, 90, 93 Marghinani92
Urzhum District15, 17, 147 Yusuf Qadir-Khan Ghazi139
Usman-qari b. Hajji Abu Bakr125
Ust-Kamenogorsk45, 53, 58-60, 63, 89 Zahiri, az-, see Muhammad-Ali az-Zahiri
Usta Ali, see Karataev, Ali-Muhammad al-Witri al-Madani
usul al-fiqh105 zakat134, 145
Uwaysiya119 Zakazane see Qazan Art
Uzbeks33, 55, 81, 93, 183 Zakir-Jan al-Juybari105
Uzgend85 Zakir-mufti al-Qazani108
Zaman Bukharl, Shaykh43
Vafkand25, 108, 141 Zangi Baba42
Valishev, Nurakhmed183 Zariyaran Madrasa133
Vambery, Arminius81, 96, 161, 164 Zay River
Vardanzi District141 Zayn al-Abidin b. Husayn38
Viatka Province8, 18, 184 Zayn al-Bashir al-Penzawi105
Volga-Ural region1, 29, 31, 35, 32, 43, Zaynullah-ishan Rasuli93
112 Zhelezinskaia58
von Kgelgen, Anke176 Zilghi b. Hasan al-Urmati115
Vorobev, Nikolai Iosifovich66-67, 70 Zindani District141
Ziya ad-Din al-Mangari25
Wali-Khan Khwaja140-141 Ziya ad-Din b. Taj ad-Din al-Ishtiraki136
Waliullah al-Baghdadi17 Zoyabash19, 22, 25
Wafiyat al-aslaf was takhiyyat al-akhlaf Zubdat al-asrar128
105, 157