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Vorozheykina Z. The Diyā al-qulūb on Pre-Islamic Beliefs of the Qirghiz // Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol. 6, No 1, March 2000. P. 19-24.


The opinion that works of Eastern hagiography are free from many conventions of court writing traditions is shared by many scholars who believe that hagiography can serve as a valuable source of important historical and cultural information. Actually, the biographies of Sufi shaykhs, though compiled on the basis of folk traditions and often conveying their style, bring us valuable details of living history, and can provide invaluable ethnographic material otherwise lacking. The veracity of such information, of course, requires special critical verification.

Of great interest to specialists on the history of Central Asia are in particular texts devoted to the lives of Sūfī shaykhs of the influential Naqshbandīya order. The leaders of this widespread tarīqat exerted a significant influence on the political life of Central Asia in the fifteenth—sixteenth centuries. Many generations of Sūfī shaykhs set themselves the goal of the greatest possible dissemination and affirmation of Islam among Central Asian nomads. Working to increase the number of adherents, and thus to strengthen their influence and economic power, the shaykhs moved from place to place and settled in direct proximity to “infidels”, collecting tribute from them and recruiting murids. Numerous darwīsh-preachers from among the shaykh's closest assistants were sent into the steppe with the same aim…

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Keywords


The Diyā al-qulūb
Manuscripta Orientalia, selected papers
Persian manuscripts
Pre-Islamic Beliefs
the Qirghiz
Sūfī shaykhs

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