Dagestan in transnational Sufi Networks: Sheikhs from Kikuni and their shrine in Turkey

 
PIIS086919080001847-8-1
DOI10.31857/S086919080001847-8
Publication type Article
Status Published
Authors
Affiliation: Institute of Oriental Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics in Saint Petersburg
Journal nameVostok. Afro-Aziatskie obshchestva: istoriia i sovremennost
EditionIssue 5
Pages21-36
Abstract

This case-study relates to the history of shared transnational Sufi networks. The Naqshbandiyya-Halidiya brotherhood of the Ottoman origin once moved from the Middle East to Russia's borderlands in the Eastern Caucasus and then came back to the Ottoman Empire from the North Caucasus. Dagestani Sufi networks and holy places represent a specific kind of interactions between the Muslim elites in the Middle East, the North Caucasus, the Volga-Ural region, and Anatolia from the late nineteenth century up today. The biographies of Muhammad and Sharaf ad-Din from Kikuni are welldocumented in various written sources, epigraphs, and oral histories. They participated in the 1877 Uprising, were exiled in the Volga region, and then immigrated to the Ottoman Empire. Their biographies show that the Naqshbandiya-Khalidiyya often crossed political boundaries and ideological barriers established in the region during the demarcation of the possessions of the Ottoman Turkey and the Russian Empire. The exchange of territories and subjects between Turkey and Russia over the past one and a half centuries led to the emergence of hybrid identities. The article traces a micro-history of an identity in a Mukhajir village in Western Anatolia. Contrary to popular belief, the tariqa never represented a single elusive player in the “Big Game” between the Great Powers. Rather, it included numerous rival factions whose leaders formed complex relations with each other and with local political elites. Sufi ritual networks were and still are closely connected to more local networks of holy places (ziyarats) in the regions. 

KeywordsSufi networks, the cult of saints, political exile, Muhajir movements, hybrid identity, Naqshbandiyya-Khalidiyya, Naqshbandiyya-Mahmudiyya, epigraphy, correspondence, oral history
Received25.10.2018
Publication date28.10.2018
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