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In Quest for God and Freedom
In Quest for God and Freedom
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Details:  In Quest for God and Freedom - Sufi Responses to the Russian Advance in the North Caucasus,
Hardback - 288 pages,
by Anna Zelkina.

Product Description :

After the first war in Chechnya in 1994 and related flareups in Daghestan, the world suddenly discovered within Russia the existence of "exotic," freedom-loving but also "warlike" Muslim peoples intent on liberating themselves from the domination of a distant Russian government.

In, In Quest for God and Freedom, Anna Zelkina delves into a past that remains alive in the minds of the peoples of these regions, a past that is crucial to understanding current events. She examines the formative period of the first half of the nineteenth century, during which the Chechens and Daghestanis joined forces under the banner of Islam and shari'a to resist Russian attempts to conquer them, an all-too familiar scenario in light of recent events. Zelkina focuses on the Sufi brotherhoods, mainly the Naqshbandiyya, under whose charge the resistance was conducted.

The author reveals the immense impact of this Muslim mystical order upon the social, religious, and political life of the peoples of Chechnya and Daghestan during this crucial period. In the process, she sheds light on the Islamization of the North Caucasus and on the leading role the Sufi brotherhoods still play in Chechen and Daghestani public life today. In Quest for God and Freedom is must reading for anyone wishing to understand the current crisis in the Caucasus.

This review is from: In Quest for God and Freedom: Sufi Responses to the Russian Advance in the North Caucasus (Hardcover)
'' This is a book that for very bizarre reasons is not well known about and yet informs almost every book written in the last decade about the political and religious history of the Caucasian during the Russo-Caucasian Wars.

Her scholarship is exceptional, the writing is fluid, never caught up in absurd academic terminologies, and yet rigorous referencing with great diligence a host of key, and largely forgotten historical figures that made the Sufi Brotherhoods of the Caucasus the formidable force of resistance they were.

She dissects the Qadiri and Naqshbandi Orders, both founded by Persian Mystics and charts their spread first across Central Asia and then into India and the Caucasus via Baghdad (Naqshbandism in particular) charting their metamorphosis from spiritual quietism to political activism. Her work reveals through its own process of investigation the twist and turns of these orders through the scanty referenced profiles of their leaders. Mystics turned warrior like Hamza Bek, Shamil are contextualised in the spiritual and worldly (all too worldly) branch of the Naqshbandi tree. It becomes clear that establishment of the Sharia and a return to 'pure' Islam was as much a preoccupation then, as it is today in the better known guise of Wahabbism.

The significant role of Dagestan as a centre of serious Islamic learning, and a production line of clerics able to reach out to the people and touch their deeper moral needs as well as their sense of political grievance, emerges very clearly from this book.

All in all it is a masterpiece of work, being serious, superbly written and outstandingly referenced from a wide range of Arabic, Turkish, Russian and Persian sources.

No serious scholar or reader on the Caucasus can afford to be without this book.'' ---
by Spilsbury 
(UK, Liverpool).

Current Reviews: 0

This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 11 December, 2012.