Note on Transcription and Transliteration

In: Muslim Subjectivity in Soviet Russia
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The style of al-Qadiri’s memoirs is uneven: sometimes it achieves an elevated style, but more often the manuscript reflects the speech of its author. While this provides glimpses into the multilingual world of late imperial and early Soviet Russia, it also poses some difficulty for the transliteration and reproduction of the Arabic-script text.

Himself a proponent of the reformist worldview, al-Qadiri mainly used the reformed version of the Arabic script (yanga imlä), adapted to the specifics of written Tatar. This is also applied to Turkic and Kazakh expressions, including words of Arabic and Persian origin. Therefore, in this text, we use a simplified transliteration with indication of vowels [ä], [ï], [ö], and [ü]. ‘Ayn is always indicated with an [‘] and not as [g] in modern Tatar orthography, resulting for example in ‘Abdullah rather than Gabdullah. The orthography of transliterated terms in this text reflects inconsistencies that specialists can follow in our transcription of the original source text: there we have done our best to preserve the features of al-Qadiri’s writing, including the punctuation.

For sentences and expressions in Arabic and Persian, we follow the transliteration system adopted in the third edition of The Encyclopedia of Islam. Cyrillic-script Tatar and Russian words are transliterated according to a simplified version of the Library of Congress transliteration system.

When transcribing the original text, we decided to leave out the copy of Iman shartï present at the beginning of the book and the subsequent chapter with its chronological list of events. Several important excerpts from the latter part have, however, been cited in the Introduction.

The reader can consult the glossary for the meanings of special terminology scattered across the manuscript. Usually, brief explanations of source language terms are provided in the translation.

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Muslim Subjectivity in Soviet Russia

The Memoirs of ’Abd al-Majid al-Qadiri

Series:  Eurasian Studies Library, Volume: 17

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