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date: 25 November 2017

Khojas of Kashgar

Abstract and Keywords

The Khojas of Kashgar name a Sufi lineage, which became a ruling dynasty in eastern Turkestan or present-day Xinjiang in western China. Founded by the Samarkandi spiritual master Ahmad Kāsānī (d. 1542), a member of the Naqshbandiyya Sufi order strongly implicated in politics, the lineage divided into two competing branches, one led by Ishāq Khoja (d. 1599) and the other by Āfāq Khoja (d. 1694). Both leaders were influential at the court in Yarkand and engaged in frequent proselytizing missions among Turkic, Mongol, Tibetan, and Chinese populations. Yet, only Āfāq Khoja and his group of followers, the Āfāqiyya, with the support of Zunghar Mongols, created a kind of theocracy whose religious capital was Kashgar, and which was based on Sufi organization, practice, and ideology. Venerated as Sufi saints (īshān), the Khojas embodied a politico-religious form of Islamic sanctity (walāya) while promoting a doctrine of mystical renunciation. Paradoxically, although the regime did not survive internecine conflicts and the Qing conquest in 1759, the Khojas of Kashgar, including the Ishāqiyya sublineage, continued to be very active in the long run. They conducted insurrections throughout the Tarim basin and created short-lived enclaves until their complete neutralization in 1866 with the forced exile of the last great Khoja, Buzurg Khān Töre (d. 1869). In Xinjiang, the Khojas have remained venerated figures of the past until now, although collective memory kept a contradictory picture of them, oscillating between holy heroes and feudal oppressors. Descendants of the exiled Khojas in eastern Uzbekistan and southern Kazakhstan formed communities that still preserve relics and oral as well as written traditions.

Keywords: Central Asia, China, dynasty, Islam, Kazakhstan, Qing, saint, Sufism, theocracy, Uzbekistan, Xinjiang

If the name “Khoja” (or Khwāja) designates different socioreligious groups in Central Asia and elsewhere, the commonly used appellation “Khojas of Kashgar” refers to a Sufi dynasty of the early modern period also known as “Makhdūmzāda.” The latter is, in fact, a more general family name originated from the eponymous ancestor Makdūm-i A‘zam (“the greatest master”) Ahmad Kāsānī (d. 1542), who founded the lineage both physically and spiritually, and inaugurated their politico-religious venture. Through generations, the Khojas of Kashgar experimented with various types of saintly power and authority, durably marking not only the political but also the religious and intellectual history of Islamic Central Asia.

From Samarkand to Kashgar: The Birth of a Sufi Dynasty

When Ahmad Kāsānī was born in 1461 in the Fergana Valley, his homeland was still a stable province under the rule of the Timurid ‘Umar Shaykh (d. 1495). Dominant in spite of its internal divisions, the Naqshbandiyya Sufi order exerted a great influence on several Timurid sultans through, in particular, the famous master Khoja Ahrār (d. 1490), who both practiced and theorized the relationship between Sufism and the powers that be. It is precisely a pupil of Ahrār who, in Tashkent, initiated the then not-so-young Ahmad Kāsānī to the Naqshbandi path. In the meantime, the Shaybanids took over the Timurid territories of Mawarannahr (Transoxiana), thereby upsetting the prior balance between political and religious authorities. Despite the fluctuating attitude of the first Shaybanids—in addition to their Moghul rivals—toward the Naqshbandis and the latters’ tactics within this complex political game, Ahmad Kāsānī estimated correctly the situation at the moment and predicted the victory of the Shaybanid sultan Jānī Beg (d. 1529), who then took the shaykh to Samarkand and granted him the revenue of the nearby village of Dahbīd.1

After the death of his mentor in 1516, Ahmad Kāsānī, now considered by many the “greatest master” (makhdūm-i a‘zam), became the chief of the Naqshbandiyya in Mawarannahr and gained important influence at the court of ‘Ubayd Allāh Khān (d. 1539) in Bukhara. Although contested by other spiritual leaders, the role of advisor played by Makhdūm-i A‘zam was based on his intellectual achievement. He authored about thirty treatises in Persian dealing with usual Sufi topics such as the organizational rules (ādāb) of the brotherhood—where it is argued that the spiritual advancement of the disciple depends strongly on the didactic discussions (suhbats) inside the Sufi community2—or the principles of the ritual recitation (dhikr) and audition (samā‘), which are described as essential tools for the initiatory training of Sufis according to their various abilities.3 Lastly, several writings are addressed to Central Asian rulers, especially a mirror for princes held out to ‘Ubayd Allāh Khān, in which the Sufi is called to seek the elite patronage to defend not only his own spiritual path but more generally Sunni Islam, and through which the patron-monarch is destined to see himself as a mystic devoted to the almighty, confronted with the aporia of a power in powerlessness and a sovereignty in servitude.4 This kind of discussion referred to ancient debates within the Sufi theologico-political thought and was linked to popular views about the saints’ influence on the course of events. It is less the originality that characterizes Makhdūm-i A‘zam’s works than his ambition to refound and to universalize the Naqshbandi path and order (tarīqa)—an ambition that proved to be decisive in the further development of the Makhdūmzāda branches.

Far from being restricted to the sphere of ideas, Makhdūm-i A‘zam’s encompassing Sufism found a concrete application in the family strategies of the tarīqa members. While several sources insist on their geographical expansion, with the mention of allegedly sixty or seventy-three representatives (khalīfas) spread in Transoxiana, western China, northern India, and even Anatolia and the Hejaz, the construction of a hereditary sanctity remained a main concern for late-16th- and 17th-century Central Asian hagiographers. Under the family names Dahbīdiyya, Makhdūmzāda, or simply Khwājagān, two elements stand out: the prophetic ancestry (sayyid/sharīf) and the assimilation of the spiritual lineage (nisbat-i ma‘nawī) to the physical lineage (nisbat-i sūrī).5 Regardless of the genealogical authenticity, Makhdūm-i A‘zam is presented as a descendant of the Prophet, thus incarnating Muhammad’s model and charisma. Concerning the lineage, declaring a son the most advanced disciple for the succession at the head of the Sufi order was not new, but the systematization of this practice was unusual. Not only did Makhdūm-i A‘zam appoint his thirteen sons (or ten or twelve according to sources, born from his four spouses) as representatives who created sublineages but he also married the daughters of his non-hereditary chief disciples to some of his sons, for instance Ishāq Khoja, whose biography is to be found in the next section. In other words, initiatory chains from master to master were deliberately mixed with matrimonial alliances, including several cases of endogamy.

This emergence of wealthy and powerful Makhdūmzāda families, that is to say, of Sufi dynasties, did not go smoothly. In short, and not mentioning other branches,6 a controversy broke out about the succession of Makhdūm-i A‘zam after his death between, on the one hand, partisans of his elder son Muhammad Amīn (d. 1596) and his pupil Khwāja Islām Jūybārī (d. 1563), influential in Bukhara, and on the other, those of Lutfullāh Chustī (d. 1571), a disciple of the deceased master, influential in Tashkent and Fergana, but also himself master and father-in-law of Ishāq Khoja. Beyond territorial and economic rivalries, the doctrinal issue—with long-lasting consequences—regarded the rules of succession, especially the principle of primogeniture and the interpretation of Quran verses and other scriptural references about heritage.7 However that may have been, Ishāq Khoja was sent to Kashgaria to spread the Naqshbandiyya eastward. Later on, it was the turn of Yūsuf Khoja (d. 1653), brother of Hāshim Dahbīdī (m. 1636), the elder son of Muhammad Amīn, to go preaching in Kashgar.

The Career of Ishāq Khoja and the Ishāqis

The biographies of the Khojas of Kashgar are mostly documented by hagiographies. Cross-checked with poetical pieces, a few chronicles, some documents (in Persian, Turkic, Mongolian, and Chinese), and archeological data—in other words, all kinds of available information—hagiographies allow both writing a likely, certainly not definitive, factual account and deeply understanding the Sufi thought of the Khojas. In default of a social history, one may at least follow along the Khoja venture the longue durée evolution of a religious Weltanschaung.

Ishāq would have traveled from Isfīdūk/Safīdūk near Dahbīd to Balkh and Hisār before reaching Kashgar. At each stage, the young shaykh obtained the alliance of Shaybanid dignitaries and arrived, perhaps around 1580, in the Sa‘īdiyya Khanate centered in Yarkand with a solid reputation as an ‘īsawī saint who was able, like Jesus (‘Īsā), to resurrect the dead. With his proselytizing missions among nomadic “infidels” and Buddhist Mongols—the second politico-religious aspect the saint’s career—his charisma now involved the capacity of converting masses and implementing Sunni Islam on borderlands, like the Qomul area and Dzungaria. Other competitors of Ishāq may have included the local Sufi groups of the Naqshbandis directed by ‘Abd al-Mannān (d. 1590 or 1592), the Uwaysis (directed by Muhammad Sharīf, d. 1556 or 1566), and the Katakis, although the existence of the latter two as organized Sufi groups has been called into question.8 In spite of the skepticism of the khan ‘Abd al-Karīm (d. 1591) and his vizier, who remained faithful to Muhammad Sharīf’s successor Muhammad Walī Sūfī, Ishāq Khoja gained the spiritual allegiance of several amirs and sultans in Kashgar, Khotan, Aqsu, and Turfan. An evidence of this elite patronage on the local scale is found in a document that stipulates that, in the presence of the amir, the qadi, and administrators, Ishāq Khoja appointed a relative to the head of a mosque near Kucha where Ishāq himself had land properties.9 When his disciple Muhammad Khān (d. 1609), the brother of the khan, became the ruler of the khanate after the death of his brother, the Naqshbandiyya Ishāqiyya benefited from his support and opened numerous Sufi lodges throughout the Tarim Basin. To develop his order, Ishāq multiplied initiatory rituals in the very absence of the master (himself), gave considerable authority to his representatives, and intensified the practice of supervising the ruler spiritually.10 In doing so, the shaykh—like many others in the political history of early modern Sufism, Central Asia being no exception—applied the dialectic model of relations between rulers and saints theorized by his father: the Sufi had to seek the royal attachment and to reverse the patronage, this in the name of the defense of Islam.

The preaching of Ishāq Khoja stressed the devotion to Muslim saints through the pilgrimages to holy sites (mazār). On the model of his own devotional public posture and of the pious visits by his own representatives, the pilgrimage occupied a central role in the religious life of Turkestani Muslims, especially on two major shrines: in Artush, the mazār of Satūq Bughrā Khān, the 10th-century Qarakhanid who converted to Islam, and, in Yarkand, the Āltūnlūq mazār of the Sa‘īdi khans and their spiritual mentors. Shrines and their devotional artifacts such as flags and poles (tūgh-‘alam) were associated with Sufi lodges (mazār-khānaqāh), which, as in the case of Kök Gumbadh in Chira and Tūyghūt near Kashgar, could include a hostelry (mihmān khāna), a seclusion room (khalwat khāna), and other facilities, and could host about 300 followers either to consult the shaykh and share Sufi sociability or to perform rituals and follow spiritual teachings. In terms of Sufi practices, Ishāqis privileged various forms of repetition (dhikr) and audition (samā‘),in line with the views of Makhdūm-i A‘zam.11

Back to Mawarannahr, Ishāq Khoja sent to Muhammad Khān his third son Shādī Khoja (d. 1645) along with a letter of license (khatt-i irshād) listing the authorized sixty-four representatives, the khan being in charge of their confirmation. Among them, Shutur Khalīfa (d. ?), an early disciple from a pious family of Aqsu who previously represented the Ishāqiyya in Turfan, welcomed the young Shādī and ensured the “regency” in Yarkand alongside the khanate’s principal imams and cadis. In the meantime, Ishāq passed away in October 1599. His competitors, the descendants of Muḥammad Amīn, refused to have his body buried in the Makhdūmzāda necropolis so that Ishāq’s family brought the corpse to Isfīdūk.12

In Kashgaria, Shādī Khoja was now of age to lead the Sufi order and to get involved in political life. The shaykh supported the accession to the throne of ‘Abd al-Latīf Khān (m. 1627), initiated to his spiritual path high officials in Yarkand, and dispatched some of his followers to fight opponents to the khan. He also used his alleged magical powers to frustrate plots. Shādī’s actions betrayed the tense situation in the Sa‘īdiyya Khanate. Rivalries for power and attempts at usurpation forced the Sufi to maneuver cautiously in order to preserve an influential position among the highest religious authorities. If Shādī Khoja succeeded in maintaining his politico-religious status for a while as well as the domination of the Ishāqis over a part of the elite, it seems that he progressively lost popular support and that, after his demise, his legacy reflected political strength but spiritual weakness.13 Meanwhile, as we have seen, in Mawarannahr where the Jūybāriyya enjoyed considerable economic power, Muhammad Amīn left the direction of the tarīqa to his elder son Hāshim Dahbīdī, who assigned his younger brother Yūsuf Khoja, described as strongly attached to Sunna and sharia, the mission of spreading their lineage toward Kashgaria.

Walking in the footsteps of Ishāq Khoja, hagiographies claim that Yūsuf would have traveled southward, perhaps to Ladakh before arriving to Kashgar, and less hypothetically to Suzhou in Gansu, probably after his flight to Qomul. In Ladakh over six months, the shaykh is supposed to have converted Tibetan Buddhists to Islam. Then, in Gansu, again over six months, known under the name of Wafānīb Ākhūnd he preached among Salar people, made built a Sufi lodge, taught the famous Persian mystical book Mathnawī-yi ma‘nawī, and appointed a representative named Mullā Yūsuf Ākhūnd by giving him, as symbols of investiture, a prayer carpet, a turban, and a copy of the aforementioned book. Beyond factuality, hagiographers constructed a specific type of Sufi sanctity that we will find again. Arrived in Kashgar around 1620, Yūsuf Khoja provoked the hostility of the Ishāqis. The resulting conflicts between followers of both parties prompted him to take refuge in Qomul, where he continued to initiate disciples into his spiritual path. Back to Kashgar in 1638, he obtained the support of Yūlbārs Khān (d. 1670), the governor (walī) of Kashgar and son of the khanate’s ruler ‘Abd Allāh Khān (d. 1667), himself pro-Ishāqi. Shādī Khoja died in 1645 and was succeeded by Khojasī Khalīfam. In an atmosphere of extreme tensions between the two factions, Yūsuf Khoja died in 1653, a death that his partisans attributed to the Ishāqis. Yūsuf’s elder son, and, following the primogeniture rule, successor Āfāq Khoja (d. 1694) buried the martyr in a village near Kashgar, a place that became the most important Sufi shrine of the Tarim Basin.14

Āfāq Khoja and His Kingdom

Born in 1626 in the frontier city of Qomul, Āfāq Khoja, also named Hidāyat Allāh, studied at madrasas and Sufi lodges in Kashgar and Yarkand. Partly because of the unrest in Kashgaria during the 1650–1660s, the young shaykh traveled the country to pray at holy sites, to preach in oases, and to initiate disciples. This popular and first act of foundation of his Sufi order was soon followed by a political impulse. In 1668, the khan ‘Abd Allāh was deposed and banished. His son Yūlbārs ascended the throne of Yarkand and immediately patronized Āfāq Khoja and his tarīqa. Despite the khan’s murder in 1670 and the rise of a new ruler, Ismā‘īl Khān (d. 1681?), the Āfāqiyya was still favored by the court. It seems that the order could then open a large number of lodges while facing the opposition of the Ishāqiyya, which still saturated the religious landscape of eastern Turkestan.15 Deprived of a real economic power, the political authority of the Āfāqis remained so fragile that, when Ismā‘īl Khān ceased to support them, Āfāq Khoja and his close followers were forced into exile.

Paradoxically, these ten years of banishment, depicted as a transregional initiatory and ascetic journey, were not only a major step in the construction of Āfāq Khoja’s sanctity, both narrated by and producing a rich poetical and hagiographical tradition, but also gave him an exceptional political status. Although difficult to reconstruct, the Sufi’s itinerary is likely to have passed through Kashmir, possibly Tibet, no doubt China.

Taking the caravan routes that connected these regions, the saint and his suite apparently reached a place called Jū or Jiyū, which several scholars identified as Lhasa, a city where indeed a Muslim minority flourished in the late 17th century. Legends report that Āfāq Khoja met the fifth Dalai Lama in person, the political and religious ruler of Tibet at that time, and unsurprisingly won the competition of miracles between the two thaumaturges; this symbolic victory convinced the lama (named Brähmän Shäykhlārī or Dālāylāmālār in the hagiography) to write a letter addressed to the Zunghar Mongol khan Ghaldan (d. 1697) to help Āfāq Khoja to recover his homeland. What is not legendary is that the armies of Ghaldan—himself a well-identified figure in the 18th-century Sufi literature of Central Asia16—attacked eastern Turkestan in 1678.17 When Āfāq traveled to northwest China in the late 1670s, the region, now a Qing province, was recovering from recent Chinese Muslim (Hui in Chinese and Tūngān in Turkic) revolts, in which Turkestani leaders were involved.18 Turmoil did not prevent trade and diplomatic caravans from linking both areas. To the traditional system of local mosques to which an imam or ākhūnd (ahong in Chinese) is attached, the rise of Sufi orders in China added institutions such as lodges (daotong) and shrines (gongbei) among which Sufis moved constantly. Āfāq Khoja went to Lanzhou, Didao, Xining, and Linxia, among Hui, Turkic-speaking Salar, and Amdo Tibetans. Following his father, he built lodges, trained disciples in silent repetition (dhikr-i khufī or khafī) and the reading of the Mathnawī-yi ma‘nawī, and distributed symbols of investiture (prayer carpet, turban, holy books). Between Didao and Xining, the shaykh appointed three disciples: Ma Yiqing (d. 1719), Ma Shouzhen (d. ?), and Ma Taibaba (d. c. 1680–1690), who founded their own branch and whose impact was and still is profound on Sufism in northwest China. Other Chinese devotees accompanied the master in his peregrinations. Lastly, a legendary account narrates in great detail the meeting in Beijing between Āfāq Khoja and the Qing emperor Kangxi (named Dām Bulāy Khān by the hagiographer who used the Oirat-Mongolian “Dayibung”) (r. 1661–1722). After having miraculously cured the emperor, the shaykh received presents as signs of recognition and could return safely to Turfan.19

This last episode completes both the geographical and initiatory journey of the Sufi saint who appeared as an equivalent of great rulers like Ghaldan and Kangxi in political as well as mystical terms, not to mention his ancestry to Chingiz Khan by marriage. At the end of his journey (hijra in Arabic) following the model of the Prophet Muhammad, which led him into China as in the prophetic quotation urging to “seek knowledge even to China,” the imperial saint Āfāq Khoja was raised, according to his first hagiographer al-Yārkandī, to the rank of Pole of Heaven, implicitly similar to the Oceanic Lama and to the Son of Heaven. More concretely, the Zunghars made Ghulja a capital in 1676, then occupied Qomul and Turfan in 1679. After having concluded an agreement with Ghaldan, perhaps in association with the puppet-khan ‘Abd al-Rashīd (d. 1694), Āfāq Khoja conquered Kashgar and Yarkand in 1680 with a large army composed of Mongols and Āfāqi followers. Ismā‘īl Khān abdicated in favor of “the two Makhdūmzādas,” Āfāq Khoja and his elder son Yahya Khoja (d. 1694). Ismā‘īl and his court were exiled to Ghulja. In exchange for annual tribute to the Zunghars, Āfāq became the “king saint” (the Sufi saint made king) of Kashgaria, as opposed to the “saint king” (the king made Sufi saint) paradigm applied by the Ishāqis in their effort to initiate and sanctity the khan.20

Distinct from a khanate and a caliphate, the kingdom of the Āfāqi saints (īshān) can be called an “ishanate,” that is to say, a politico-religious regime ruled by Sufi saints according to the institutions, practices, and ideology of the Central Asian Naqshbandiyya.21 With regard to the institutions, while Āfāq Khoja governed his ishanate from a central lodge (dargāh) in Yarkand, Yahya Khoja sat in the holy complex (tawāfgāh, literally place of circumambulation) in Kashgar. The last site quickly expanded: in addition to Yūsuf Khoja’s mausoleum, they built a room for spiritual concentration, a monumental gate, and a lodge for Sufi rituals, surrounded by gardens and ponds. The lodge welcomed disciples and visitors from various backgrounds who pledged allegiance to the īshān, venerated the tomb of his grandfather, and asked for the intercession of the khojas. The kingdom’s financial resources came from waqf (pious endowments) properties detained in villages nearby southern oases but also from numerous donations (nadhr and mawqūfāt) and religious taxes (sadaqa and zakāt). Thanks to these institutions, the model of Sufi sociability and ethics based on conventions (ādāb) spread among the entire society, with at the top of its hierarchy the figure of Āfāq Khoja as the warrantor of Islamic law, the sharia, and of the Prophet’s norm, the Sunna.

It is difficult to describe with precision the Āfāqi theocracy. Nonetheless, a basic prosopography suggests certain features. Naqshbandi spiritual practices turned into collective and devotional acts oriented toward īshāns. As devotees, citizens were composed of three circles according to their degree of spiritual initiation (bay‘a): the largest circle, the “affiliated,” included various notables who were educated in Sufism but not trained as Sufis; the second, the “initiated,” consisted of all sorts of clerics who followed the teachings of the Khojas and their representatives; the last circle, the “heirs,” were composed of the companions of either Āfāq Khoja or his parents, and who were themselves Sufi leaders and preachers. Aside from the bay‘a and its multiplication, practices such as spiritual repetitions and auditions were promoted in the form of large collective and public ceremonies, which aimed at creating a mystical sense of community where, ideally, the egos disappeared to leave room for an experience of unity with God and its holy servitors, the Khojas. Inspired by the ideal of the Muslim community of Medina, the umma, created around the Prophet, Āfāq Khoja conceived his kingdom as a Sufi province (wilāya) established around his own sanctity (walāya).

A fascinating paradox stands out in Āfāqi writings: thinking in terms of power in powerlessness according to the aporia discussed by Ahmad Kāsānī, the Khoja saints conceive their quest for power as destined for impotence. Further than that, their political construction was viewed not as a state building process but, on the contrary, as a destruction of the profane existence, a negation of the worldly illusions and a journey from the exiguous world to the divine Sufi land (watan). In other words, the ishanate remained an Islamic utopia in the sense that the actual regime did not fulfil its ideals. It is no coincidence that, at the same time, at the same place, and among the same socioreligious milieus, dervishes in the person of Bābārahīm Mashrab (d. 1711), Muhammad Siddīq Zalīlī (d. 1753), and ‘Abd Allāh Nidā’ī Kāshgharī (d. 1760) promoted the reverse form of mysticism, that is, celibacy, poverty, vagrancy, and antinomianism.22 Central Asian Sufis gave two radically different answers to the doctrinal question of the world. One may recall that such a Sufi rulership was not a unique case in the early modern history of Muslim societies, as is shown by the fate of the Jazūliyya in Morocco and the beginning of the Safavid state in Iran.

The Paradoxical Fate of the Late Khojas

Āfāq Khoja died in March 1694 and was buried in the family shrine of Kashgar. According to his oral testament, Yahya Khoja succeeded his father. However, another son named Mahdī Khoja, born from a second spouse of Āfāq, herself of Chingissid origin, also claimed succession. These two sources of legitimacy—that is, the uninterrupted chain of spiritual authorities and the Chingissid political prestige—betray the contradictions of the Āfāqi dynastic practices. The crisis that resulted, marked by the assassination of Yahya, was exacerbated by the return of the Sa‘īdi khans who had not completely left the political stage. Supported, at the beginning, by Kirghiz tribes and Ishāqi factions, the former rulers failed in their attempts to restore the khanate. The power fell into the hands of the Ishāqi shaykh Danyāl Khoja (d. 1735), while the young Āfāqi legatee Mahdī and his brother Hasan (d. 1726 or 1730) went into exile in India.23 Thus the ishanate seemed to end. Yet, the Sufi power did not vanish, and the Khojas remained the dominant actors of the religious, if not the political, life in eastern Turkestan throughout the 18th century.

Despite the death of Ghaldan in 1697, the Zunghars still ruled over the main oases in the north and took control of Yarkand and Kashgar, at the request of local high officials. In 1713, Danyāl Khoja was deported to Ili, the heart of Zungharia, along with a son of the Āfāqi Yahya Khoja, named Ahmad Khoja (d. 1755?), both representing the danger of the Mongol suzerainty. The political pragmatism of the Mongols and the socioreligious situation in the Tarim Basin led to the rehabilitation of Danyāl, who became, in exchange for a tribute, the holy ruler of southern oases in 1720, thus perpetuating the saintly vocation of the Khojas.

He was succeeded by his elder son, Ya‘qūb Khoja (d. ?),24 whose four brothers administered the cities of Kashgaria. One of them, Yusūf Khoja (d. 1755), was particularly active as a spiritual master but also as an intermediary between the Muslim population and the Zunghar khans, until a final rupture due to the decline of the Mongol khanate.25 While the Ishāqis tried to revive the ishanate of their former competitors, the exiled Āfāqis, especially Hasan Khoja, entered the Sufi legend of Central Asia. A rich hagiographical tradition reports that Hasan showed early signs of spiritual eminence and sanctity, and that, during his long sojourn in Kashmir during Aurangzeb’s reign (d. 1707), he performed miracles and initiated a large number of disciples. Then, Hasan Khoja went to Bukhara in a quest for political or material support and eventually returned to Kashgaria around 1725 to lead a jihad against the Zunghars, with the support of the Ishāqi Yusūf Khoja. Assassinated or poisoned by, perhaps, Ishāqi followers, the īshān appeared as a second Āfāq Khoja, endowed with the same holy influx (baraka), in the sense that he was an accomplished mystic, preacher, and king, and he experienced a long but salutary exile by gathering many faithful disciples in Fergana, before finally dying in martyrdom.26 A concrete sign of Hasan Khoja’s politico-religious legacy is an artistic production of monumental genealogical scrolls (shajara) made for his descendants in Kashgaria and Fergana.27

Thanks to their hereditary mode of succession, which ensured the uninterrupted transmission of Sufi knowledge and baraka, Naqshbandi Khoja lineages, especially Āfāqi, remained solid as well as active through several sub-branches. The loss of effective power certainly did not obliterate their religious authority among the Turkestani population. At the core of the conception of Khoja sanctity laid the idea of a genealogical permanence within historical impermanence, an idea that will be dramatized by the geopolitical situation of eastern Turkestan, once coveted by modern empires.

On the eve of the Qing conquest, Kashgaria was still controlled by the Ishāqiyya although the territory was divided in principalities, each administered by a shaykh and his heirs, until 1755. Concomitant with this territorial fragmentation, the Ishāqis lost both legitimacy and people’s support, to such an extent that the vox populi called for the return of the Āfāqis and the coming of the Qing. In northern Turkestan, the two sons of Ahmad Khoja (who lived in exile in Ili), Jahān Khoja (d. 1759), and Burhān al-Dīn Khoja (d. 1759) recovered their freedom. While the Qing armies definitively crushed the Zunghars in 1757, the court supported the brothers as intermediaries to rally the Muslim population to the imperial cause. In 1755–1756, Jahān seized power in Ili and Burhān al-Dīn in Yarkand and Kashgar. However, the Āfāqi restoration did not last long: no longer allies, the Qing offensive on eastern Turkestan put to flight the two Khojas who were eventually executed in Badakhshan in October 1759 by order of the emperor Qianlong (r. 1735–1796).28 Integrated into the Qing Empire, the Tarim Basin became a frontier dependency and was reorganized through a system of Manchu governors and Turkestani high officials (begs), including supporters of the Ishāqis. While members of some Āfāqi families stayed in their homeland and even obtained privileges from the Qing, the son of Burhān al-Dīn Khoja named Sarimsāq (d. 1798 or 1809) took refuge in Kokand. A first sign of tension in the region was the local uprising of Ziyā’ al-Dīn, an ākhund (cleric) of Tashmaliq (outside Kashgar), followed by his execution by torture in 1815. Later, Mal-administration in Kashgaria left at the mercy of “satraps” offered an opportunity to Sarimsāq’s son Jahāngīr (d. 1828) to lead holy wars against the Qing in Kashgar in 1822 then in 1826, provoking Muslim revolts in Yangi Hisar, Yarkand, and Khutan. Many Qing soldiers were made prisoners, civilians were forced to convert to Islam, and officials were put to death. In the wake of the massive Qing counterattack, Jahāngīr Khoja was captured and beheaded in Beijing.29 His short reign had a long historical impact, as shown by Chinese records and Turkic sources: the Qing court realized that the “western region” (xiyu in Chinese) was an extremely fragile frontier, the Kokand khanate became a key actor in the Muslim insurrections in Kashgaria, and a part of the Turkestani Naqshbandis held steadfastly the banner of Sunni Islam against the colonial power.

In the 1850s and 1860s, Naqshbandis leaders conducted a series of jihads. Among them, we find descendants of Sarimsāq Khoja such as the infamous Walī Khān in 1857.30 Later on, the son of Jahāngīr, Buzurg Khān Töre (d. 1869), who grew up in Kokand, entered triumphantly in Kashgar in 1864 with an army led by the general Ya‘qūb Bey (d. 1877). ‘Ālimqul (d. 1865), the de facto ruler of Kokand who orchestrated the entire operation, had distributed the roles: the effective power to Ya‘qūb Bey and the religious symbolism to Buzurg Khān. The latter was indeed dismissed in 1866 and live out the rest of his life in Fergana.31 Yet, the emirate of Kashgaria granted a significant place to Sufi-linked institutions (lodges and madrasas especially), and, reviving the model of the “saint king,” the emir himself visited the shrines and patronized Sufi masters.32 As for the last great Khoja, he figured as the very symbol of the paradoxical fate of the Sufi dynasty—the fall and the resilience, the involvement and the renunciation, the return of the dissimilarity between politics and mystics.

The Khoja Legacy in Modern Xinjiang, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and the Volga-Ural Region

Created in 1884, in 1955 Xinjiang province became the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. Throughout modern times down to the present day, the Khojas of Kashgar were never forgotten but aroused contrasted feelings among Muslim populations. For instance, in their discussion about the Khoja legacy, the Muslim reformist intellectuals of the 1920s and 1930s criticized the political evolution of the Sufis but showed respect for the founding figures of the saintly lineage. Less ambivalent was the neo-reformist Uyghur historiography whose tenants, like the scholar Nizamidin Hüsäyn, adopted from 1980 onward a discourse hostile to the Khojas, who were described as the pillars of a religious feudal system, which plunged Uyghurs to ignorance and decadence. Notwithstanding this vision of history shared mainly by the urban, sinicized (educated in Chinese schools) segments of the society, pious Muslims in general continued to venerate the Sufi saints, visiting their shrines and preserving written and oral hagiographical traditions. Turned into a museum, the Āfāqi shrine in Kashgar is still venerated and receives inconspicuous ex-votos (votive offerings). Other sacred sites include stepping places (qadamjāy) of Āfāq Khoja in Toyuq and Qomul, in addition to the Ishāqi necropolis of Āltūnlūq in Yarkand.33 Although difficult to trace, hereditary lines of descendants of Khojas developed, such as the family of Imin Shäykh living in Kashgar area, whose alleged ancestor was a brother of Āfāq surnamed Mullāh Rahīmqul. More clearly established, there is today at least one branch of the Naqshbandiyya-Āfāqiyya that survived within the larger Naqshbandiyya-Thāqibiyya order in Yarkand.34

In western Turkestan, now Uzbekistan, more precisely in the Fergana Valley, 19th-century observers then ethnographers in the 2000s noted the existence of Khoja lineages in the cities of Kokand and Margilan. In the former lived Āfāqi descendants of Sarimsāq Khoja. Under the “protection” of the Kokand khanate since the 1810s, as mentioned above they continuously invaded Kashgaria for short periods. Another, more ancient, sublineage issued from Hasan Khoja would have settled in Khatlan region, now in Tajikistan, although nothing is known about them. In Margilan, a still-existing Āfāqi group has been identified: their ancestor would be a certain ‘Abd Allāh who descended from a brother of Āfāq Khoja; he went to India, where he had been initiated by a Naqshbandi master who sent him to Margilan to spread the tarīqa; then the family enjoyed a close relationship with the rulers of the Kokand khanate and migrated in eastern Fergana, where their mausoleums are still present today. A notable figure of the linage was Walī Khān Töre (d. ?), who led an uprising against the Russian army around 1875—an engagement that both late Kokandi chroniclers and Russian colonial officials harshly criticized in their writings, whereas private family archives praised the deeds of their hero and his holiness.35 From a religious perspective, the cult of the Khojas regained its vigor in the Uzbek Fergana by the end of the Soviet period. The shrine of Buzurg Khān Töre in Katta Kenagas village (6 miles to the east of Kokand city) is cared for by the saint’s descendants who also possess relics of Khojas: the shoes of Āfāq, a seal of Jahāngīr, and clothes and other items of Buzurg Khān. The holy site and belongings as well as the influential position of the descendants confirm the contemporary sainthood of the Āfāqi Khojas. There is also a revered stepping place of Hasan Khoja located in the Yoyilma township (attached to Margilan city).36 Lastly, it seems that a part of the Uyghurs who fled Xinjiang to Fergana in the 1950s considered Āfāq Khoja the patron saint of their “nationality” (millat).37

Unexpectedly, perhaps, ethnographic fieldwork conducted in southern Kazakhstan in 1989 reveals the presence of guardians (shirakshi in Kazakh) attached to the Karabura sanctuary, situated in Suzak village (150 miles to the north of Shymkent), who claim to descend from Āfāq Khoja by matrilinearity. Two descendants of the saint, Shakarim and Shakasim, would have fled Kashgar; the former took refuge in the city of Turkestan and the second in Karabura. The current family keeps relics (a beggar bowl and pilgrim sticks) of, allegedly, Bahā’ al-Dīn Naqshband (d. 1389), the eponymous founder of the Naqshbandiyya.38

We have at least two written evidences of a Khoja legacy in the Volga-Ural region. While the Āfāqi hagiographical tradition claimed that Āfāq attracted disciples from Russia (Rūs) and Volga (Bulghār), a late 18th-century chronicle attributed to a certain Husām al-Dīn al-Bulghārī gives the name of Idrīs Dhū al-Muhammad Oghlī, who went to Yarkand to study with Āfāq Khoja then return to Bulghār. There, he would have spread Sufism in the provinces of Tobolsk, Kazan, Ufa, and Simbirsk. After Qāsim Ibrāhīm Oghlī succeeded him, we lose the track of the Khojas in the region.39

Discussion of the Literature

The Khojas of Kashgar quite early on attracted the attention of the historians. The first modern historian of Xinjiang, Mullā Musā Sayrāmī (d. 1916), introduced a polemical discussion on their political responsibility in the loss of sovereignty of eastern Turkestan that occurred during the 18th century with the Qing conquest. He argued that the Khojas favored, to the detriment of political organization, the practice of Sufism, or “dervishism.” In his book review, the orientalist Vassili Barthold (d. 1930) criticized sharply the scholarly method of Sayrāmī, pointing out several mistakes, contradictions, and approximations, mainly in the account of political events. Later in the 1960s, another Russian orientalist, Veniamin Iudin, reopened Sayrāmī’s book. He acknowledged that the historian, privileging the description of Sufi orders and major holy shrines as centers of cult and power, based on his familiarity with not only the sources but also the places and society, offered a both internal and original vision.40 Here emerged the scholarly discussions on Sufism, Islamic sanctity, and political power.

The political situation of Central Asia engaged in the great game led Western and Russian orientalists to go to Xinjiang as early as the 1870s and, incidentally, to start the study of the Khojas. Without entering into details, one may distinguish three main stages. The pioneering work done by Robert B. Shaw on the hagiography Tadhkira-yi ‘azīzān has been entirely revised and annotated with Russian references by the German philologist Martin Hartmann. Published in 1905, his study not only reconstructed the frame of events but also strove to understand the sociopolitical context. A second step was the publication of articles by the Soviet orientalists Munira Salahetdinova and Veniamin Iudin, who drew again from hagiographies (Hidāyat nāma and Ziyā’ al-qulūb) valuable information on the role of Kirghiz and Kazakhs in the Tarim and the proselytizing or allegiance campaigns undertaken by the Khojas among nomads.41 Lastly, the St. Petersburg–based historian Oleg Akimushkin and the Harvard professor Joseph Fletcher marked the field of Khoja studies with, respectively, the successive editions of two important chronicles in 1976 and in 2001 (Churās’ tārīkh and Tārīkh-i Kāshghar) and the first historical synthesis on the Naqshbandiyya Sufi order in northwest China. While the first allowed the critical confrontation of “Islamic” sources, reintroducing the discussion on the relations between rulers and Sufis, the second, from a wide range of sources including Chinese and Mongol, revealed the width and depth of the Khoja phenomenon in Central Asian and Chinese Islam. More broadly, replacing the Naqshbandis in the revival (tajdīd) movement across the Muslim world, Fletcher formulated the hypothesis of a third Islamization process in the 18th century passing through the Hejaz, eastern Turkestan, and China.42

Access to collections in Russian and Central Asian libraries (except in Xinjiang) and societies in the 1980s and 1990s opened new ways of investigation. Fletcher’s student Isenbike Togan explained the tensions between the Khoja factions in terms of opposite values (Turko-Mongolian vs. Islamic) and ritual conflicts (loud vs. oral repetition). Among Japanese scholars using multiple sources (hagiographies, chronicles, Chinese documents, and field reports), Toru Saguchi and Minoru Sawada published rigorous articles and books on the social organization of the Khojas within the Central Asian and Qing institutions from the late 16th century to the 19th century. Despite the inevitable ideological bias due to either neo-reformist conceptions or government censorship, Uyghur and Han historians, archaeologists, and ethnographers considerably enriched our knowledge of the religious culture of eastern Turkestan, especially the complex evolution in the long run of shrines, madrasas, and Sufi lodges linked to the Khojas. Essential references have been authored in the 1990s–2000s by Rahilä Davut, Hörmetjan Fikrät, Wei Liangtao, Haji Nurhaji, Muhämmätimin Qurbani, and Adil Muhämmät Turan. A short but recent review of Chinese works on the Khojas under the Qing dynasty has been published by Chen Yue. In 2005, adding new manuscripts to the classic corpus, Alexandre Papas’s monograph discussed the results of these previous studies and reconsidered Fletcher’s arguments in order to emphasize the religious dimensions of the Khojas’ politics on the longue durée, particularly with regard to the intellectual tradition of the Naqshbandiyya and speculative Sufism.

The field has benefited from studies issued in the 2010s that either introduced new sources or offered novel perspectives. A few landmarks can be pointed out. Bahargül Hamut edited an unknown Āfāqi hagiography with a paraphrase; intriguingly the text describes the ritual use of the hagiography itself. Mostly interested in the legacy of the Āfāqi Khojas, articles by Yayoi Kawahara, Yasushi Shinmen, Jun Sugawara, Rian Thum, Edmund Waite, Thierry Zarcone, and Alexandre Papas studied the genealogy of the Khojas and their descendants, the image of Āfāq Khoja in collective memories, the significance of his shrine, and so forth. Through the specific case of a Central Asian Sufi dynasty, these different works fed the scholarly debates on larger topics, such as the historical and anthropological analysis of Sufism, the social construction of sanctity, the approach of hagiographies and other religious literature, and the interactions between politics and Islamic mysticism.

Primary Sources

Most primary sources related to the Khojas of Kashgar are written in Persian and Chaghatay Turkic, and remain still in manuscript form. Preserved in various libraries around the world, quite few have been edited or even digitized. The most important library collections of manuscripts of eastern Turkestan are: the Institute of Oriental Studies in Tashkent, the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts in St. Petersburg, the Gunnar Jarring Collection at the Lund University Library (with online facsimiles), and the Office of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Minority Nationalities Leading Unit for the Collection, Organization, and Planning for Publication of Ancient Texts (unfortunately quasi-inaccessible).

Thanks to a project led by Arienne Dwyer and Michael Sperberg-McQueen, in collaboration with Akbar Amat, Gülnar Eziz, and Alexandre Papas, many additional digital facsimiles (with transcriptions, translations, and annotations for some of them) including Khoja-related material from the Gunnar Jarring Collection are available online.

The project comprising a manual for work on Turkic manuscripts will make it possible to diversify critical readings and approaches of primary sources. The detailed study of a large genealogical scroll of the Khojas is in preparation.

Sufi hagiographies represent an important part of the corpus but should be read together with chronicles (tārīkh), Sufi doctrinal and poetical writings, and documents of different types, that is, genealogies (nasab-nāma, shajara), pious endowment deeds (waqf-nāma), decrees (yārlïgh), seals (tamgha), epigraphy, and numismatics, if any. Archaeological and ethnographic fieldwork data (either direct or through Uyghur publications) help also to validate or invalidate historical hypotheses drawn from primary sources. To understand the functioning of Central Asian Sufi orders of the past, where rules were oral and a part of the archives kept secret, field experience acquired from within the current surviving communities is crucial.

To approach the historical background, it is necessary to consult the range of chronicles of eastern Turkestan. There are five principal tārīkhs; most of them are edited (either in critical editions or as facsimile) and accessible in major libraries: Mīrzā Haydar Dūghlāt’s Tārīkh-i Rashīdī (ed. and English trans. Wheeler Thackston, Cambridge, 1996) dealing with the Sa‘īdiyya khanate; its anonymous addendum (zayl) bearing the same title (eds. Amanbek Jalilov et al., Tokyo, 2008), which relates historical events from the second half of the 18th century to the mid-19th century; Mahmūd Churās’ tārīkh (ed. and Russian trans. Oleg Akimushkin, Moscow, 1976) and the anonymous (possibly Churās) Tārīkh-i Kāshghar (ed. Oleg Akimushkin, St. Petersburg, 2001), both describing in detail the 16th and the 17th centuries; and Zayn al-Dīn Kāshgarī’s Āthār al-futūh (MS 753/I, Tashkent, Institute of Oriental Studies), who covers the second half of the 18th century.

Khoja hagiographies can be divided into Ishāqi and Āfāqi categories, although Muhammad Sādīq Kāshgharī’s Tadhkira-yi ‘azīzān overlaps both (among about twenty copies, MS D191, St. Petersburg, Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, facsimile ed. Aytjan Nurmanova, Almaty, 2006). The Ishāqi category includes Mahmūd Churās’ Anīs al-tālibīn (MS Ind. Inst. Pers. 45, Oxford, Bodleian Library; Turkic transl. Rafīq al-tālibīn, MS B771, St. Petersburg, Institute of Oriental Manuscripts; MS Or 5334, London, British Library); Muhammad ‘Iwaz Samarqandī’s Ziyā’ al-qulūb (MS 3404/I, Tashkent, Institute of Oriental Studies; MS 629, St. Petersburg, Institute of Oriental Manuscripts), Mawlānā Payrawi Bukhārā’ī (Mawlawi Shāh Muhammad)’s Jālis al-mushtāqīn (MS 931, Dushanbe, Institute of Oriental Studies; MS A232, St. Petersburg, Institute of Oriental Manuscripts); and the anonymous Tadhkira-yi natā’ij al-‘ārifīn (MS 1802, Dushanbe, National Library).

The Āfāqi corpus is larger and includes:Mīr Khāl al-Dīn al-Yārkandī’s Hidāyat nāma (MS 1682/I and 12315/I, Tashkent, Institute of Oriental Studies; MS C560, St. Petersburg, Institute of Oriental Manuscripts; MS Or 8162, London, British Library), the anonymous ‘Iqd al-guhar (MS Ind. Inst. Pers. 117, Oxford, Bodleian Library), the anonymous Tadhkirat al-hidāyat (among about ten copies, MS 10051/II, Tashkent, Institute of Oriental Studies; entitled Manāqib-i tarjima-yi Hidāyat Allāh, MS 12501/II, Tashkent, Institute of Oriental Studies), Ibn ‘Alī Khwāja Ākhund’s Siyar al-mukhlisīn (MS BANC FILM 3373, Berkeley, Bancroft Library), the anonymous Manāqib-i sayyid Āfāq Khwājam (among about eight copies, MS 3426, Tashkent, Institute of Oriental Studies, ed. Amanbek Jalilov, Andijan, 2001; under the title Tadhkira-yi hazrat sayyid Āfāq Khwājam, MS Prov. 22 and 369, Lund, Jarring collection, both digitized, also check), the anonymous Sirr al-ahbāb (among about five copies, MS or. quart. 1685, Berlin, Staatsbibliothek), and the anonymous Silsilat al-Dhahab (ed. Bahargül Hamut, Berlin, 2011). Āfāqi hagiographies in Turkic are still circulating in Xinjiang in the form of manuscript booklets (thanks to Edmund Waite for providing me with a copy of these).

Naqshbandi doctrinal writings directly related to the Khojas include the collection of treatises (risālas) written by Ahmad Kāsānī (among many copies, Mecmûa-i resâil, MS FY 629, Istanbul, Istanbul University; MS 1443, Tashkent, Institute of Oriental Studies) and Mullā Muhammad Siddīq Yārkandī’s Majmū‘ al-muhaqqiqīn (MS 9029, Tashkent, Institute of Oriental Studies; MS or. oct. 1680, Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, digitized) translated from a Persian original in 1794.

Among the Khoja genealogies displayed in oversized manuscript scrolls, one tagged as MS MAO 2098 can be found on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris (digitized) and a second as MS Prov. 219, Lund, Jarring Collection (digitized, eds. Yasushi Shinmen and Jun Sugawara, Toyoshi Kenkyu 61.3 [2002], 33–63.)

External to the Muslim society and culture of Turkestani oases, Chinese imperial documents (lufu and zhupi zouzhe) are useful for the post–Qing conquest period as complements to the Central Asian sources. Many of them are held in the First Historical Archives in Beijing. The collection has been published as Qingdai Xinjiang Manwen dang’an huibian 清代新疆满文档案汇编‎ (Guilin: Guangxi shifan daxue chubanshe, 2012).

Further Reading

Babadjanov, Bakhtiyar. “Dahbīdiyya.” Encyclopaedia of Islam. 3d ed. Edited by Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, and Everett Rowson. BrillOnline.Find this resource:

Babajanov, Bakhtiyar. “La naqshbandiyya sous les premiers Sheybanides.” Cahiers d’Asie centrale 3–4 (1997): 69–90.Find this resource:

DeWeese, Devin. “The ‘Competitors’ of Isḥāq Khwāja in Eastern Turkistan: Hagiographies, Shrines, and Sufi Affiliations in the Late Sixteenth Century.” In Horizons of the World: Festschrift for İsenbike Togan. Edited by İlker E. Binbaş and Nurten Kılıç-Schubel, 133–216. Istanbul: İthaki, 2011Find this resource:

Eden, Jeff. “A Sufi Saint in Sixteenth-Century East Turkistan: New Evidence Concerning the Life of Khwāja Isḥāq.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 25.2 (2014): 229–245.Find this resource:

Fletcher, Joseph F. “The Naqshbandiyya in Northwest China.” In Studies on Chinese and Islamic Inner Asia. Edited by Beatrice Manz. London: Variorum, 1995.Find this resource:

Lipman, Jonathan N. Familiar Strangers. A History of Muslims on Northwest China. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997.Find this resource:

Newby, Laura J. The Empire and the Khanate. A Political History of Qing Relations with Khoqand c. 1760–1860. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2005.Find this resource:

Nurhaji, Haji, and Chen Guoguang. Shinjang islam tarikhi. Urumqi: Millätlär Näshriyati, 1995.Find this resource:

Papas, Alexandre. Soufisme et politique entre Chine, Tibet et Turkestan: Etude sur les Khwâjas naqshbandîs du Turkestan oriental. Paris: Jean Maisonneuve, 2005.Find this resource:

Papas, Alexandre. “No Sufism without Sufi Order. Rethinking Tarîqa and Adab with Ahmad Kâsânî Dahbidî (1461–1542).” Kyoto Bulletin of Islamic Area Studies 2–1 (2008): 4–22.Find this resource:

Papas, Alexandre. “Refonder plutôt que reformer: la Naqshbandiyya non-mujaddidî dans le monde turc (xvie-xviiie siècle). Lecture de trois textes naqshbandî kâsânî.” In Le soufisme à l’époque ottomane, xvie-xviiie siècle/Sufism in the Ottoman Era, 16th-18th Century. Edited by Rachida Chih and Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, 236–248. Cairo: Institut français d’archéologie orientale, 2010.Find this resource:

Papas, Alexandre. “Islamic Brotherhoods in Sixteenth-Century Central Asia: The Dervish, the Sultan, and the Sufi Mirror for Princes.” In Faith’s Boundaries. Laity and Clergy in Early Modern Confraternities. Edited by Nicholas Terpstra, Adriano Prosperi, and Stefania Pastore, 209–231. Turnhout: Brepols, 2012.Find this resource:

Papas, Alexandre. “Joining the Dots between the Ḫwāğas of East Turkestan: A Šağara Scroll Preserved at the Louvre Museum.” Der Islam 88.2 (2012): 352–365.Find this resource:

Papas, Alexandre. “Creating a Sufi Soundscape: Recitation (dhikr) and Audition (samā‘) according to Ahmad Kāsānī Dahbīdī (d. 1542).” Performing Islam 3.1–2 (2014): 25–43.Find this resource:

Thum, Rian. “Beyond Resistance and Nationalism: Local History and the Case of Afaq Khoja.” Central Asian Survey 31.3 (2012): 293–310.Find this resource:

Wei, Liangtao, and Liu Zhengyin. Xiyu Hezhuo jiazu yanjiu 西域和卓家族硏究‎. Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe, 1998. Uyghur translation by Qurban Turan as Khojilär jämäti häqqidä. Beijing: Millätlär Näshriyati, 2006.Find this resource:


(1.) Bakhtiyar Babajanov, “La naqshbandiyya sous les premiers Sheybanides,” Cahiers d’Asie centrale 3–4 (1997): 69–90.

(2.) Alexandre Papas, “No Sufism without Sufi Order: Rethinking Tarîqa and Adab with Ahmad Kâsânî Dahbidî (1461-1542),” Kyoto Bulletin of Islamic Area Studies 2–1 (2008): 4–22.

(3.) Alexandre Papas, “Creating a Sufi Soundscape: Recitation (dhikr) and Audition (samā‘) according to Ahmad Kāsānī Dahbīdī (d. 1542),” Performing Islam 3.1–2 (2014): 25–43.

(4.) Alexandre Papas, “Islamic Brotherhoods in Sixteenth-Century Central Asia: The Dervish, the Sultan, and the Sufi Mirror for Princes,” in Faith’s Boundaries. Laity and Clergy in Early Modern Confraternities, eds. N. Terpstra, A. Prosperi, and S. Pastore (Turnhout: Brepols, 2012), 209–231.

(5.) Alexandre Papas, “Refonder plutôt que reformer: la Naqshbandiyya non-mujaddidî dans le monde turc (xvie–xviiie siècle). Lecture de trois textes naqshbandî kâsânî,” in Le soufisme à l’époque ottomane, xvie-xviiie siècle/Sufism in the Ottoman Era, 16th-18th Century, eds. R. Chih and C. Mayeur-Jaouen (Cairo: Institut français d’archéologie orientale, 2010), 236–248.

(6.) Bakhtiyar Babadjanov, “Dahbīdiyya,” Encyclopaedia of Islam, 3d ed., eds. by K. Fleet, G. Krämer, D. Matringe, J. Nawas, and E. Rowson, BrillOnline.

(7.) Alexandre Papas, Soufisme et politique entre Chine, Tibet et Turkestan: Etude sur les Khwâjas naqshbandîs du Turkestan oriental (Paris: Jean Maisonneuve, 2005), 38–41.

(8.) Masami Hamada, “Le Mausolée et le culte de Satûq Bughrâ Khân à Artush,” Journal of the History of Sufism 3 (2001): 63–87; Devin DeWeese, “The ‘Competitors’ of Isḥāq Khwāja in Eastern Turkistan: Hagiographies, Shrines, and Sufi Affiliations in the Late Sixteenth Century,” in Horizons of the World: Festschfrift for İsenbike Togan, eds. I. E. Binbaş and N. Kılıç-Schubel (Istanbul: İthaki, 2011), 133–215; Jeff Eden, The Life of Muḥammad Sharīf. A Central Asian Sufi Hagiography in Chaghatay (Vienna: Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2015, with Riam Thum and David Brophy).

(9.) Jeff Eden, “A Sufi Saint in Sixteenth-Century East Turkistan: New Evidence Concerning the Life of Khwāja Isḥāq,” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 25.2 (2014): 229–245. Note that J. Eden has a different interpretation of the document concerning the elite patronage.

(10.) Papas, Soufisme et politique, 41–51. Hagiographies and chronicles assert that the khan “joined Sufism to kingship.” On Sufis converting Buddhist believers and sites in eastern Turkestan, additional contemporary sources in Turkic and Mongolian languages provide further details; see for instance Masami Hamada, Hagiographies du Turkestan oriental, textes čaġatay édités, traduits en japonais et annotés (Kyoto: Kyoto University, 2006), 295–296; Masami Hamada, “Jihâd, hijra et ‘devoir du sel’ dans l’histoire du Turkestan oriental,” Turcica 33 (2001): 37–39.

(11.) Papas, Soufisme et politique, 51–59.

(12.) Papas, Soufisme et politique, 59–62.

(13.) Papas, Soufisme et politique, 62–64.

(14.) Papas, Soufisme et politique, 64–73. Intriguing is the fact that several genealogies of Balti kings of Ladakh refer their ancestry to western Turkestan and Yarkand. One of them is hung in the house of the current Yabgo Raja in Khaplu (thanks to Quentin Devers, member of the “Mission Archéologique Franco-Indienne au Ladakh,” for this data).

(15.) Papas, Soufisme et politique, 77–86.

(16.) See for example the poetry of Mashrab (d. 1711), Dīwān, MS 571/I, Bibliothèque de l’Institut français d’études sur l’Asie centrale, Tashkent, fols. 44a–53b (many other MS copies exist).

(17.) Papas, Soufisme et politique, 90–102.

(18.) Jonathan N. Lipman, Familiar Strangers: A History of Muslims on Northwest China (London: University of Washington Press, 1997), 46–57.

(19.) Joseph F. Fletcher, “The Naqshbandiyya in Northwest China,” in Studies on Chinese and Islamic Inner Asia, ed. B. Manz (London: Variorum, 1995), 14–18, 45; Lipman, 58–70; Alexandre Papas and Ma Wei, “Sufi Lineages among the Salar: An Overview,” in Muslims in Amdo Tibetan Society: Multidisciplinary Approaches, eds. M.-P. Hille, B. Horlemann and P. K. Nietupski (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books), 109–134; Papas, Soufisme et politique, 109–124.

(20.) Papas, Soufisme et politique, 133.

(21.) Papas, Soufisme et politique, 139–181.

(22.) For a detailed study on their life, see Alexandre Papas, Mystiques et vagabonds en islam: Portraits de trois soufis qalandar (Paris: Cerf, 2010).

(23.) Papas, Soufisme et politique, 187–194.

(24.) Interestingly, an original royal decree issued by Ya‘qūb Khoja on May 10, 1742, is preserved at the Lund University Library, Gunnar Jarring Collection, MS Prov. 222.

(25.) Papas, Soufisme et politique, 195–201.

(26.) Papas, Soufisme et politique, 203–209.

(27.) Alexandre Papas, “Joining the Dots between the Ḫwāğas of East Turkestan: A Šağara Scroll Preserved at the Louvre Museum,” Der Islam 88.2 (2012): 352–365.

(28.) The orders had been translated into French by Arnold Vissière in A. Lepage, “Soumission des tribus musulmanes du Turkestan par la Chine, 1757–1760 (appendice: trois lettres de l’empereur K’ien-long au Khan du Badakhchan, par A. Vissière),” Revue du monde musulman 11 (1910): 387–395.

(29.) Laura J. Newby, The Empire and the Khanate: A Political History of Qing Relations with Khoqand c. 1760–1860 (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2005), 51–58, 73–123; Papas, Soufisme et politique, 213–224.

(30.) Newby, The Empire and the Khanate, 235–240; and the case studied in detail by Masami Hamada, “De l’autorité religieuse au pouvoir politique: la révolte de Kūcā et Khwāja Rāshidīn,” in Naqshbandis. Cheminements et situation actuelle d’un ordre mystique musulman, eds. M. Gaborieau, A. Popovic, and Th. Zarcone (Paris: Isis, 1990), 449–484.

(31.) Papas, Soufisme et politique, 225–229.

(32.) Thierry Zarcone, “Political Sufism and the Emirate of Kashgaria (End of the 19th Century): The Role of the Ambassador Ya‘qûb Khân Tora,” in Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia from the 18th to the Early 20th Centuries, vol. 2, eds. A. von Kügelgen, M. Kemper, and A. J. Frank (Berlin: Klaus Schwarz, 1998), 153–165.

(33.) Alexandre Papas, “Muslim Reformism in Xinjiang: Reading the Newspaper Yengī Ḥayāt (1934–1937),” in Kashgar Revisited: Uyghur Studies in Memory of Ambassador Gunnar Jarring, eds. I. Bellér-Hann, B. N. Schlyter, and J. Sugawara (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2016), 161–183; Alexandre Papas, “Les tombeaux de saints musulmans au Xinjiang: Culte, réforme, histoire,” Archives des sciences sociales des religions 142 (2008): 47–62.

(34.) Jun Sugawara, “Mazar Legends in the Kashghar Region,” Bulletin of the Research Center for Silk Roaadology 28 (2007): 67–78 (in Japanese); Thierry Zarcone, “Sufi Private Family Archives: Regarding Some Unknown Sources on the Intellectual History of Sufi Lineages in 20th Century Xinjiang,” in Studies on Xinjiang Historical Sources in 17–20th Centuries, eds. J. A. Millward, Y. Shinmen, and J. Sugawara (Tokyo: The Toyo Bunko, 2010), 140–161; Papas, Soufisme et politique, 13–14, 241.

(35.) Chokhan Valikhanov, Izbrannye proizvedeniia (Moscow: Nauka, 1986), 188–190; Yayoi Kawahara, Private Archives on a Makhdūmzāda Family in Marghilan (Tokyo: The University of Tokyo, 2012).

(36.) Yasushi Shinmen and Yayoi Kawahara, “Buzurg Khān Tora and His Mausoleum at the Katta Kenagas Village,” in Muslim Saints and Mausoleums in Central Asia and Xinjiang, by Y. Shinmen, S. Minoru, and E. Waite (Paris: J. Maisonneuve, 2013), 107–125; Nodirbek Abdulahatov and O’ktamjon Eshonboboev, Ko’hna Marg’ilon ziyoratgohlari (Fergana: Farg’ona, 2007), 119–125.

(37.) Yasushi Shinmen and Yayoi Kawahara, Ferugana bonchi no uigurujin to ekkyō no kioku (Tokyo: University of Tokyo, 2010), 60–62, 145–147.

(38.) Raushan M. Mustafina, Predstavleniia, kul’ty, obriady u kazakhov (Almaty: Qazaq Universiteti, 1992), 74–75.

(39.) Allen J. Frank, “Islamic Shrines Catalogues and Communal Geography in the Volga-Ural Region: 1788–1917,” Journal of Islamic Studies 7.2 (1996), 273–274.

(40.) Mullā Musā Sayrāmi, Tārīkh-i amniyya, ed. N. Pantusov (Kazan: Madrasa-yi ‘ulūm, 1323/1905); Vassili V. Barthold, “Taarikh-i Emenie. Istoriia vladetelei Kashgarii, sochinenie Mully Musy, ben Mulla Aisa, sairamtsa, izdannaia N.N. Pantusovym,” reedited in Sochineniia, vol. 8 (Moscow: Nauka, 1973), 213–219; Veniamin Iudin, “Tarikh-i amniia,” reedited in M.Kh. Abuseitova and Iu.G. Baranova, Pis’mennye istochniki po istorii i kul’ture Kazakhstana i Tsentral’noi Azii v XIII–XVIII vv. (Almaty: Daik Press, 2001), 358–366.

(41.) M. A. Salahetdinova, “Sochinenie Muhammed Sadyka Kashgari ‘Tazkara-i Khodjagan’ kak istochnik po istorii Kirgizov,” Izvestiia Akademii Nauk Kirgizskoj SSR 1 (1959): 93–125; V. P. Iudin, “Izvestija ‘Ziia al-Kulub’ Mukhammad Avaza o Kazakakh XVI veka,” reedited in V. P. Iudin, Tsentral’naja Aziia v XIV–XVIII vekakh glavami vostokoveda (Almaty: Dajk Press, 2001), 167–178.

(42.) Martin Hartmann, “Ein Heiligenstaat in Islam: Das Ende des Čaghataiden und die Herrschaft des Choğas in Kašgarien,” in Der Islamische Orient. Berichte und Forschungen, vol. 1 (Berlin: Wolf Peiser, 1905), 195–374; Joseph F. Fletcher, “The Naqshbandiyya in Northwest China.”