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Sufism, Education, and the Paradox of Islamic Prestige
In Bukhara and the Muslims of Russia Allen Frank examines the relationship of Tatars and Bashkirs with the city of Bukhara during the Russian Imperial era. For Muslims in Russia Bukhara’s prestige was manifested in genealogies, fashion, and in the elevated legal status of Bukharan communities in Russia. The historical relationship of Russia’s Muslim communities with Bukhara was founded above all on Bukhara’s reputation as a holy city of Islam, an abode of great Sufis, and a center of Islamic scholarship. The emergence of Islamic reformism critiquing Bukhara’s sacred status, led by Tatar scholars who were trained in Bukhara, created a number of paradoxes. The symbol of Bukhara became an important feature in theological and political debates among Russia’s Muslims.