Kalonov, Askarsho. “English abstract of 'Sadr of Bukhara'". Translated by Morgan Stark. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi, 112. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
This book concerns the life and works of Sharifjan-makhdum Sadr Ziya (1865-1932), as well as his place and role in the literary history of the Tajik Fararud. It is intended for a broad readership, but will be of particular interest to literary specialists working on the history of Tajik literature in the early 1920s.
The author discusses materials relating to Sadr Ziya’s enlightenment work and its historical context in Bukhara. He also looks at the influences acting on his creative work and on the development of Tajik enlightenment thinking more broadly. The author considers Sadr Ziya’s role in the formation of enlightenment thinking to be particularly significant, and asserts that any claims to the contrary are without basis.
This book is set in opposition to recent Tajik scholarly publications (2001-03), notably S. Tabarova’s Mubokhisai zieii dekhoti va muzofotshuur bo zieii shakhri, and R. Masov’s The Legacy of Mangit Rule. In these texts, according to Shakuri, not only do the authors baselessly criticise Sadr Ziya and misrepresent his role in the history of Tajik literature and enlightenment, but they also express quite abusive opinions concerning this celebrated scholar of the early twentieth century. Sadr Ziya, Shakuri maintains, was an outstanding Tajik scholar who dedicated his entire life to justice and enlightenment in Bukhara. The desire to re-establish his reputation as such is thus one of the chief motivations behind the book.
The author mentions the importance of Sadr Ziya’s debating gatherings in Bukhara, which attracted many members of the Tajik intelligentsia. Here philosophers, poets and writers would interpret the poetry of modern Tajik writers such as Shahin and Ahmadi Danish. Young Tajik poets such as Aini, Munzim and Hamdi emerged from these circles. Sadrinnam Aini frequently asserted the importance of these gatherings.
In view of its significant role, this circle has been named the school of modern Tajik literature. The group also allowed Tajik intellectuals and poets to discuss the principal problems and difficulties of their times.
Shakuri discusses the difficulties Sadr Ziya encountered at that time on account of the work he did for society. It particularly notes the support Ziya rendered to the Jadid and other young reformers who opposed the system of government operating in Bukhara at that time. He also mentions Sadr Ziya’s contribution to the development of education and culture in Bukhara, and depicts him as a socio-political reformer.
A notable feature of the book is the author’s comprehensive account of Sadr Ziya’s work, along with the details on the broader circle of Tajik poets and writers who worked on similar themes.
Unfortunately, Shakuri does not provide the references for the historical documents he discusses in the book.