Beyond the Taqlīd/Ijtihād Dichotomy: Daghestani Legal Thought under Russian Rule

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As one of the first scholarly studies of Jirāb al-Mamnūn, a collection of letters by the Daghestani Shāfiʿī scholar Ḥasan al-Alqadārī (1834–1910), this article challenges the ijtihād/taqlīd dichotomy within Islamic legal thought and argues for a more comprehensive understanding of the dialectic between reason and authority. Along the way, we examine the influence of al-Alqadārī’s taqlīd-based methodology on his attitudes toward confessional differences within and outside Islam. The article contributes to current debates on the role of reason and authority in the writings of Muslim scholars living under colonial rule.


As one of the first scholarly studies of Jirāb al-Mamnūn, a collection of letters by the Daghestani Shāfiʿī scholar Ḥasan al-Alqadārī (1834–1910), this article challenges the ijtihād/taqlīd dichotomy within Islamic legal thought and argues for a more comprehensive understanding of the dialectic between reason and authority. Along the way, we examine the influence of al-Alqadārī’s taqlīd-based methodology on his attitudes toward confessional differences within and outside Islam. The article contributes to current debates on the role of reason and authority in the writings of Muslim scholars living under colonial rule.

Whereas ijtihād is commonly associated with the critical use of reason, enlightenment, and openness to change, taqlīd is associated with blindness, unreason, and the uncritical trust of authority. Recent scholarship has underscored the opprobrium to which taqlīd has been subjected over the course of Islamic legal history.1 In both Muslim and European scholarship, taqlīd is consistently characterized as an intellectually inferior mode of legal reasoning, and as less compatible with modernity than ijtihād.2 The “dichotomy of vitality versus decadence and decline” persists across the primary sources of Sunni law and into modern secondary scholarship.3 For example, Joseph Schacht defined taqlīd as “the unquestioning acceptance of the doctrines of established schools and authorities,” thereby setting the tone for subsequent considerations of the relation between ijtihād and taqlīd.4 Even groundbreaking contributions to the study of Islamic law, such as the early work of Wael Hallaq, are premised on the assumption that taqlīd epitomizes the opposite of free inquiry.5

Until recently, modern scholarship has tended to focus more on what taqlīd is not, while taking less interest in what taqlīd is. Schacht failed to capture the distinctiveness of taqlīd as a form of legal reasoning that fulfills a specific mandate and that goes beyond simply negating ijtihād. In recent decades, however, important work, such as that of Mohammad Fadel and Sherman Jackson, has advanced our understanding of the “social logic” of taqlīd.6 More recently, Ahmed Fekry Ibrahim outlined the “codification episteme” of Islamic early modernity that privileged legal certainty (embedded in taqlīd) over flexibility (embedded in ijtihād), “with the latter continuing to be possible main-ly through the exercise of preponderance (tarjīḥ) and pragmatic eclectics.”7 ­Ibrahim concurs with Jackson in pointing out that, for most of Islamic legal history, “the gate of ijtihād was always ajar, neither closed under the taqlīd hegemony nor flung wide open under the ijtihād hegemony.”8 Fadel, Ibrahim, and Jackson have clarified how, in its reliance on the consensus of prior scholars, taqlīd functioned as an alternative to ijtihād and modulated its tendency to privilege the individual scholar’s interpretation.

Rather than positing a dichotomy between taqlīd and ijtihād, we would do better to conceptualize the relation between the two modes of reasoning as a series of overlapping frames. Taqlīd and ijtihād are often presented in Arabic and European language scholarship as mutually exclusive. In practice, neither of these modes of legal reasoning entirely excludes the other. Both taqlīd and ijtihād have helped to increase the flexibility of Islamic law and to maximize its adaptability to new situations. In the interest of clarifying this complex and fluid relation, this article explores the nuanced dialectic of ijtihād and taqlīd in the work of a Muslim scholar who lived, first, in southern Daghestan, and, later, in exile in central Russia: the scholar, poet, and historian Ḥasan al-Alqadārī (1834–1910).

Born in 1834 in southern Daghestan, not far from Azerbaijan, al-Alqadārī produced major works of history, treatises on Islamic sects, an autobiographical dīwān that combined poetry and prose, and his posthumously published correspondence with Muslims across the Russian empire. His works include Āthār-i Dāghistān (1312/1894), which remains the most important synthetic account of Daghestani history to the end of the nineteenth century, as well as an important source for seventeenth century Daghestani legal thought. Although his native language was Lezgi (a non-Indo-European language indigenous to the Caucasus), al-Alqadārī wrote prolifically in Arabic, Azeri Turkish, and Persian. His deep learning was facilitated in part by his illustrious lineage. Al-Alqadārī’s grandfather was the famous Shaykh Muḥammad al-Yarāghī (d. 1838), who encouraged the first Daghestani Imam, Ghāzī- Muḥammad, to pursue jihad against Russia.9

Apart from Russian scholarship, there has been only one extended scholarly engagement with al-Alqadārī’s writings to date: Michael Kemper’s study of his writings from exile.10 Kemper’s contribution is one of a growing number of scholarly engagements with the networks of Islamic learning across the Russian and Soviet empires.11 Collectively, these works ask us to rethink the trajectory of Islamic learning under Russian rule. In light of both its influence and inherent significance, al-Alqadārī’s work should figure centrally in this enterprise. Although several Russian studies of al-Alqadārī’s legacy have appeared in recent years, none of them engages substantively with al-Alqadārī’s legal writings.12 Through the lens of al-Alqadārī’s legal writings, this article examines how Muslim scholars adapted traditional Islamic jurisprudence to the social realities of life under Russian rule. Our primary source is al-Alqadārī’s Jirāb al-Mamnūn or Mamnūn’s Knapsack (1912), one of the most important, albeit least studied, contributions to Islamic law produced by a Muslim of the Russian empire.

In 1859, two decades before al-Alqadārī began writing Jirāb, the Daghestani jihad against Russian rule had formally concluded with the surrender of Imam Shāmil. For many Daghestanis, the very concept of Islamic law under non-Muslim rule was a contradiction in terms. According to scholars who sup­ported the jihad, a faithful Muslim may live only within a legal system that recognizes the sovereignty of Islamic law.13 When Shāmil surrendered to the tsar’s army, these Muslims migrated from Daghestan to Ottoman-ruled lands, especially to what is now Turkey, Syria, and Jordan. Many of the migrants prospered economically and settled permanently in these Arabic and Turkish-speaking societies, creating Chechen, Circassian, and Daghestani diasporas. Many never returned to Russia.14 However, an even larger number of Daghestanis remained in their homeland, newly constituted as a territory of the Russian empire. As their lands passed into non-Muslim hands, first through force, and subsequently as ratified by law, the legal consciousness of Daghestanis came to be inflected by their new status as imperial subjects. Sharīʿa was internally transformed through its contact with Russian imperial law(zakon). Jirāb al-Mamnūn, the text under consideration here, was an agent of, and a witness to, this legal transformation.

Genres: Fatwā versus Taqrīr

Jirāb al-Mamnūn was published in 1912, two years after the author’s death, by the Muḥammad Mirzā Mavraev publishing house in Temir Khan Shura, Daghestan’s provincial capital until 1921. The book came into being, according to al-Alqadārī, when a certain Ḥājjī Karīm al-Akhtī asked him a series of questions for which he produced answers based on the books of the righteous (kutub al-abrār).15 When al-Alqadārī realized that this correspondence might benefit Muslims across the Russian empire, he decided to collect all of the legal opinions he had shared with his Daghestani correspondents. He continued writing letters until his death in 1910, the date of the last letter in Jirāb.

The first section of Jirāb concludes with the statement that it was composed on the basis of the “books that were available to him” in Spassk, a town in central Russia (Tambov province) to which he had been exiled.16 The first letter in this collection is dated the first day of the month of Ramadan 1297/July 1880. This is followed by al-Alqadārī’s answers to questions that were posed to him by one of his companions in exile (al-mugharrab), Ghaḍanfar Efendī al-Dāghistānī. In keeping with Russian Muslim tradition, al-Alqadārī referred to their place of exile as “the Siberian land” (diyar Sibīr), a term he used figuratively, to evoke the geography of his exilic existence.

The letters that comprise Jirāb touch on geography, history, astronomy, the natural sciences, logic, Arabic grammar, and creed (ʿaqāʾid). Jirāb reveals the encyclopedic range of one devout scholar’s learning, as gleaned primarily but not exclusively from Islamic legal texts. The genre of this text, however, is more elusive than may appear at first sight. Although the letters in Jirāb range widely across the world of scholarship, al-Alqadārī is most concerned with legal issues. Due to their legal focus, these letters have been called fatwās, even though al-Alqadārī does not use that term himself in Jirāb.17 He seems to have regarded these letters as taqrīrāt (notes), a genre used by Muslim scholars to convey their views to diverse readerships across the Islamic world.

The boundaries between the two genres, fatwā and taqrīr, are porous. Many taqrīrs have been labeled fatwās, and many fatwās might be labelled taqrīrs. Be that as it may, a fatwā, which belongs to a formal legal genre, invokes a certain conception of authority and contains a concrete recommendation, whereas a taqrīr signals the results of scholarly investigation, without necessarily involving a recommendation for action. A taqrīr is produced when a scholar is asked a question pertaining to a particular field of inquiry, e.g. grammar, fiqh, or logic. The fourteenth century lexicographer Ibn Manẓūr defines taqrīr as a note “that states [qarara] some type of information about something.”18 The modern lexicographer Ibrahīm Muṣṭafá defines taqrīr as “stating [qarara] an example or opinion to explain something.”19 A scholar who produces a taqrīr researches the question, examines a variety of sources, including the Quran and the sunna, and the opinions of jurists, experts on language, and logicians, and, on the basis of this research, provides an answer. The scholar may or may not reach a final conclusion with respect to the question at hand. If he cannot reach a conclusion, he sets forth the opinions of different scholars on the matter, but refrains from answering it himself. A scholar who disagrees with a particular taqrīr may compose his own taqrīr in response. The scholar’s conclusion may not contain any specific recommendation for action or confer any obligation on the person to whom it is addressed. Unlike a ḥukm, the judgment of a qāḍī that is binding, a fatwā is a non-binding legal opinion given by a scholar in response to a request.20 Hence the division of labor between fatwā and taqrīr lies less in their methodology than in their subject matter: a fatwā pertains to fiqh while a taqrīr has a wider range of possible concerns.

Jirāb clearly belongs to the taqrīr genre: it gathers together research on many different topics, ranging from fiqh, to geography, to astronomy. Al-Alqadārī sometimes offers his own views; at other times, he enumerates the views of Shāfiʿī and Ḥanafī jurists, without offering his own perspective. He knows that his recommendation will be regarded as non-binding and that he does not write from a position of authority. Like fatwās, his taqrīrs have the status of recommendations for Muslims who lack training in the methods of legal reasoning. Al-Alqadārī’s decisions have no juridical authority because he never held an official post within the sharīʿa courts of tsarist Daghestan. (He did, however, serve as an official in the Russian administration, as the governor [nā’ib] of the district of Southern Tabasaran, from 1866 until his exile from Daghestan in 1879.)

The fatwā label is often bestowed posthumously by a scholar’s students, editors, or progeny. A case in point is Fatāwā al-Chūkhī by Muḥammad ʿAlī al-Chūkhī (1833–1888), printed by two major Muslim reformist publishers during the first decade of the twentieth century.21 Over the course of several decades, Muḥammad ʿAlī was asked questions to which he provided answers in writing. Fourteen years after his death, his son Muḥammad Mirzā Mavraev assembled his father’s scattered correspondence into a collection and published it under the above-mentioned title. In fact, it is a collection of letters on eclectic topics. Al-Alqadārī was surely aware of this precedent.

Fatāwā al-Chūkhī was a key text in the publishing program inaugurated by Muḥammad Mirzā Mavraev, which made available the most important works of Daghestani language and Arabo-Islamic literature to readers across Daghestan.22 The fatwā label in the title was not chosen, or envisioned, by Muḥammad ʿAlī al-Chūkhī himself. Rather, it was chosen by his son as a sign of homage and respect for his father’s learning. Although they are called fatwās, al-Chūkhī’s letters do not represent the views of the official Islamic institutions of the Russian empire, including the sharīʿa courts that operated within the framework of the Russian administration. Muḥammad ʿAlī al-Chūkhī was not a qāḍī, and his so-called fatwās are merely the private views of a Muslim scholar. They conform most closely to the taqrīr genre described above.

Many texts within the corpus of Daghestani legal thought may broadly be classed as taqrīrs. For example, Dāʾud al-Usīshī’s (d. 1759) research led him to conclude, in a series of taqrīrs, that it is un-Islamic for Daghestanis to conduct raids into Georgia.23 Al-Usīshī’s taqrīrs provoked another scholar, Ibrahim al-ʿUradī, to respond to this issue from a different perspective.24 Al-ʿUradī concluded that Islamic law does permit Daghestanis to conduct raids into Georgia. Within this debate over the legal status of raids, neither view had precedence nor authority over the other. The decision to follow either of these opinions had no effect on a Muslim’s religious affiliation or legal standing.

Jirāb’s eclecticism and its expository method are idiosyncratic. Al-Alqadārī cites Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, while noting that the revered Shāfiʿī jurist al-Ghazālī accused all philosophers of infidelity (takfīr).25 In his discussions of geography and astronomy, al-Alqadārī frequently draws on European scholarship, knowledge that he likely acquired through Ottoman translations and adaptations. For example, he writes about an Ottoman scholar who based his geographical treatise on French works of geography, thereby introducing Daghestani readers to new scientific discoveries.26 He informs them that the earth is a sphere that revolves around the sun and that 365 days are required to complete its rotation. Through such rotations, he explains, day turns into night and the seasons pass in succession. These and other discussions of recent scientific discoveries, including the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus and of Oceania by James Cook, highlight al-Alqadārī’s interest in modern European learning.

Methods: Taqlīd and Ijtihād

Another of al-Alqadārī’s letters deals with Khiḍr, a figure who attracted much attention in Daghestani scholarship during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, due to the controversy over whether he was a prophet or a saint (walī) and whether or not he was immortal. Al-Alqadārī’s discussion of Khiḍr exemplifies his approach to Islamic law in general. He adduces the opinions of scholars from different schools regarding Khiḍr’s immortality and his status as a prophet or merely a saint. Al-Alqadārī identifies himself as a muqallid who,on the matter of Khiḍr, favors the views of the mujtahids. He states that “followers of taqlīd [muqallidūn] have a wide range of options because they can follow either opinion. For those who, like me, live at the end of the 13th century [hijrī], there is no requirement to turn to tarjīḥ … my final aim on this issue is to follow taqlīd, and to follow those who already have stated their views. Rather than rejecting the various views on this issue, I confine myself to the view of Ibn Yusūf, who, in his work al-Rawḍa, and in deference to Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūṭī, stated that Khiḍr had died long ago.”27

A muqallid is permitted to believe that Khiḍr is either dead or alive; by contrast a mujtahid must choose one of the two options. Following the teachings of Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, and in contrast to the Sufis, Daghestani reformists insisted that Khiḍr is mortal and thus no longer among the living. Here, as elsewhere, we see that, for al-Alqadārī, the boundary between taqlīd and ijtihād is permeable, and indeed, in some cases non-existent. Al-Alqadārī was a muqallid, not a mujtahid; and yet his practice of taqlīd involved many elements of ijtihād. More to the point, his method enabled him to engage with controversial mujtahids, as will be seen below.

Al-Alqadārī’s method of exposition reveals as much about his position as does the repertoire of scholars upon whom he draws. When he responds to queries, he adduces examples that had been provided for these same questions by earlier Shāfiʿī jurists, especially al-Shaʿrānī, who famously defended the legitimacy of ikhtilāf (reasoned disagreement).28 Although he cites extensively from legal sources, al-Alqadārī does not cite from the ḥadīth or from any commentaries on them, as many scholars of his era did. His tendency to reference prior scholars rather than to cite directly from primary sources is a manifestation of al-Alqadārī’s methodological preference for taqlīd over ijtihād. This preference is further nuanced by al-Alqadārī’s enthusiasm for Daghestan’s most famous practitioner of ijtihād: the polymath scholar Muḥammad al-Quduqī (d. 1717), who introduced ijtihād into Daghestan following his long sojourn in Mecca, where he studied with the controversial mujtahid Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Maqbalī (d. 1696).29 The extant manuscript legacy of al-Quduqī includes his works on Arabic grammar and his marginalia on other author’s manuscripts; there is no known written record of al-Quduqī’s teachings on ijtihād.

In his discussion of al-Quduqī, al-Alqadārī situates a legacy that had been primarily associated with ijtihād within a framework circumscribed by taqlīd. When recounting al-Quduqī’s intellectual genealogy, al-Alqadārī manifests his attachment to taqlīd. He describes al-Quduqī as a follower of al-Ashʿarī who “cut the ties of subordination with him [ribqe muwefeqetnī qatʿ edüb].”30 Even in the domain of fiqh, writes al-Alqadārī, al-Quduqī recognized the necessity (mulāzama) of following (taqlīdinde) the school of Imam Shāfiʿī [in general], but on certain matters he cut the ties of subordination [ribqe taqlīdī qatʿ edüb] with him.”31 The two morphological variations of taqlīd in this passage are noteworthy. Without signifying the established legal method that is often an antonym to ijtihād, these usages suggest that, according to al-Alqadārī, al-Quduqī, who was best known for his practice of ijtihād, in fact moved between the two modes of reasoning, recognizing taqlīd as necessary for certain situations, while being prepared to abandon it in favor of ijtihād, as needed. The two terms are not mutually exclusive. In his exposition of the porous boundaries between taqlīd and ijtihād, which, in other contexts, are understood as a dichotomy, al-Quduqī laid the groundwork for al-Alqadārī’s similarly open methodology. Al-Quduqī was a mujtahid and al-Alqadārī a muqallid, but a close reading of Jirāb reveals that these distinctions did not limit the range of methods and options open to both types of scholars.

In most of his major works, including Jirāb, 32 al-Alqadārī invokes al-Quduqī as his predecessor in the sphere of Daghestani legal thought and praises his boldness in thinking outside the bounds of his specific legal school, without addressing (or questioning) the latter’s association with ijtihād. Al-Quduqī’s status as a pioneer in the history of Daghestani legal theory is thus retained, along with taqlīd, which many Soviet scholars incorrectly regarded as anathema to al-Quduqī.33 Al-Alqadārī shares with later Soviet scholars the perception of al-Quduqī as an innovator (mujtahid mubtadiʿ) in Daghestani intellectual history. But whereas al-Alqadārī understood al-Quduqī’s innovation within a madhhab framework that enabled taqlīd and ijtihād to co-exist, often without being named or identified as such, later scholars, who regarded taqlīd and ijtihād as mutually exclusive, and who presumed that mutjahids and muqallids could not learn from each other, assumed that al-Quduqī’s embrace of ijtihād necessarily entailed his rejection of taqlīd.

One issue that sheds light on al-Alqadārī’s methodology is the recitation of the nighttime prayer (al-ʿishā) in countries in which the day is long and the night is short in the summer.34 Prior to al-Alqadārī, this issue had been debated by the Tatars of Russia.35 Al-Alqadārī notes that little had been written on this issue by Shāfiʿī jurisprudents, except for Zakariyyā al-Anṣārī (d. 1520), who concluded that in those countries in which light shines throughout the night, Muslims must follow the practice of nearby countries in which the sun sets. Muslims living in regions in which summer nights are bright should follow the practice of neighboring regions where the nights are dark. Although al-Alqadārī notes that al-Anṣārī was led to this view by a ḥadīth, he does not cite it directly. Al-Alqadārī also refers to al-Nawawī, a Shāfiʿī who developed a method for calculating prayer times during bright summer nights based on the interval between successive prayers.

Al-Alqadārī adds that the scholars of Kazan posed this question to the muftī of Damascus, Muḥammad Ṭāhir Efendī,36 who answered that, in countries in which darkness immediately follows sunset, it is absolutely necessary to say the night prayer as soon as the sun sets, rather than waiting for the return of light. Al-Alqadārī emphasizes that he never omitted the night prayer when he was in exile in Tambov province, a region to the south of Moscow with long days and short nights in the summer. He warns his readers not to omit the night prayer and notes that Muslims are required to pray five times daily. For al-Alqadārī, this point matters more than do the views of scholars who do not require the recitation of night prayer during bright summer nights. At the same time, al-Alqadārī’s insistence on the five daily prayers is not derived directly from the sunna. Here, as elsewhere, al-Alqadārī is guided to his conclusions by the views of other authorities, in this case the muftī of Damascus.

Whereas mujtahids such as Abū Nāṣir al-Qūrṣāwī (1776–1812) and Shihāb al-Dīn al-Marjānī (1818–1889) from Tatarstan in central Russia attributed greater authority to their independent reasoning than to the views of prior jurists, al-Alqadārī deferred to precedent.37 Al-Alqadārī’s method also differs from that of al-Quduqī, although, in the absence of any extant manuscripts of the latter’s jurisprudential writings, his precise views on taqlīd and ijtihād must remain matters for speculation. Unlike his modernist counterparts elsewhere in Muslim Russia, who saw themselves as pioneering a new intellectual agenda, al-Alqadārī gave precedence to the views of prior scholars.

The style of al-Alqadārī’s responses underscores his methodological cultivation of taqlīd. A typical formula that occurs throughout Jirāb is “such-and-such a scholar said X, while another said Y. But in an analogous situation I have acted according to Z.”38 For example, in a passage on the recitation of the Quran on the gramophone, al-Alqadārī first notes that “our imams described the correct way of reciting the Quran,” after which he engages with the writings of Shāfiʿī scholars on the topic, in particular Ibn Ḥajar al-Haytamī (d. 1567). Then al-Alqadārī explains how to properly pronounce and recite the Quran. He observes: “I don’t think that [the gramophone] accurately produces the sounds of the Quran or that [its reproduction] is free of defects.” He concludes that it is “better to close the door of using [the gramophone] to produce the sounds of the Quran.”39

In these instances, as elsewhere, al-Alqadārī defers to the authority of earlier Shāfiʿī jurists. After reviewing the opinions of Shāfiʿī jurists, al-Alqadārī adds a technological objection: the gramophone does not reproduce sound precisely. He then uses qiyās (reasoning by analogy) to determine that it is ­better not to use the gramophone. In contrast to mujtahids who draw analogies to the Quran and the sunna, al-Alqadārī draws analogies to opinions advanced by Shāfiʿī jurists. Rather than forbidding the gramophone, his more nuanced recommendation is that it is preferable (aḥsan) to refrain from using the gramophone.

Al-Alqadārī considers it permissible to consistently follow any of the four madhhabs, as well as to forum-shop among them. In support of this view, he refers to the positions of the Shāfiʿī jurists al-Shaʿrānī, al-Suyūṭī, al-Rāfiʿī, and al-Nawawī. In contrast to many reformers of his time, nowhere in Jirāb does al-Alqadārī criticize muqallids. Nor does he cite directly from the Quran or the sunna, as was commonly done by Daghestani reformers in the early decades of the twentieth century.40 Al-Alqadārī relies exclusively on Shāfiʿī and Ḥanafī jurists, and he practices taqlīd while keeping at a respectful distance the many varieties of ijtihād thatwere used by Daghestani scholars under tsarist and early Soviet rule. These ranged from al-ijtihād al-muṭlaq, which does not acknowledge limitations on its application imposed by the legal schools, to al-ijtihād fī al-fatwā, which is carried out within the framework of the legal schools. For Daghestani scholars, Tāj al-Dīn al-Subkī’s (d. 1370) exploration of the types of ijtihād was a key reference point for understanding these distinctions.41

Al-Alqadārī was by no means a conservative in the conventional meaning of the term, i.e., someone who values tradition over innovation. He experimented with legal genres in his Jirāb, pioneered a new poetic genre in his Dīwān al-Mamnūn, and explored new forms of historiography in his Āthār.42 He looked beyond his Shāfiʿī madhhab, developing a paradigm for Daghestani legal discourse that cannot be reduced to either taqlīd or ijtihād, yet which participates in both modes of reasoning. According to Kemper, al-Alqadārī’s “works on law and poetry are traditional only in form” yet “modern” with respect to their content.43 This statement aptly captures the complexity of al-Alqadārī’s legal and literary oeuvre. His innovative use of taqlīd epitomizes the contradictory experience of modernity itself from the vantage point of Muslim Russia – indeed, throughout the Muslim world. But this Daghestani scholar was more than a simple protagonist in modernity’s masterplot. Arguably the most impressive aspect of al-Alqadārī’s contribution to Islamic legal thought is his ability to synthesize multiple methodologies and to adapt them to the exigencies of his environment.

Clearly, al-Alqadārī was stimulated by the new intellectual, social, and political horizons that came into view following Daghestan’s incorporation into the Russian empire. He saw much good in Russian rule, in particular greater access to European learning. At the same time, al-Alqadārī sought to maximize the capacity of Islamic learning to keep the past alive in the face of modern technologies that threatened to destroy it. He was drawn to figures like al-Quduqī, who trailblazed new approaches to Islamic law, even as he emphasized this figure’s unique views on ijtihād and taqlīd. His attraction to new genres is also evidenced by the prosimetric autobiography modeled in his Dīwān al-Mamnūn and by the epistolary structure of his Jirāb al-Mamnūn. Regularly drawn to the new, al-Alqadārī cultivated a sophisticated attachment to the old.

Unlike avant-garde modernists and reformers whose writings coincided with the twilight of imperial rule in the Caucasus, al-Alqadārī retained a deep faith in the value of tradition, a commitment to legal and historical precedent, and respect for the old, the tried, and the tested. His adherence to taqlīd did not constrain his legal reasoning. Nor did it blind him to the potential of ijtihād as a method of legal reasoning, even if he did not take full advantage of this method himself. Rather, al-Alqadārī regarded taqlīd as the most appropriate method for responding to contemporary circumstances and the most capable of benefitting and elucidating contemporary realities. Al-Alqadārī crossed madhhab boundaries while respecting the authority of past precedent and he drew on the wisdom of earlier mujtahids while cultivating a unique and, with respect to Daghestani Islam, unprecedented approach to the Islamic tradition.

At a time when ijtihād was increasingly associated with all that was new, self-critical, and worthy of cultivation, al-Alqadārī’s cautious method of legal reasoning is an instructive reminder that taqlīd, no less than ijtihād, may be invoked in connection with the new legal norms brought about by contact with Russian rule. Kemper underscores the productivity of al-Alqadārī’s reliance on tradition, noting that his approach “had more appeal to the Muslims in the Daghestani mountains” than the approach of “the so-called ‘modernist’ educational reformers … who in the eyes of traditional Muslims just copied Russian educational methods” and thereby “turned away from the path of Islam.”44 These modernists practiced ijtihād. Meanwhile, muqallids also reflected on the paradoxes of Russian rule. Jirāb eloquently testifies to both the diversity and coherence of their worldview.

Having examined the lineaments of al-Alqadārī’s legal method, we now consider the actual uses to which he put taqlīd as he grappled with the legal implications of religious diversity within and outside Islam. We first consider al-Alqadārī’s views on marriage between Muslims and Christians. We then turn to the legal complications generated by contact between and among the multiple schools of Islam that were active within the Russian empire: first, divorce procedures and their variations across the schools of Islam; second, the challenges faced by Muslims of different legal schools who engage in communal prayers together. In considering the legal challenges posed by Muslim/Christian relations alongside the plurality of Islamic schools active within a single region, our analysis captures key dimensions of what it meant to be a Muslim under Russian rule in a multi-confessional and multiethnic empire.

Marrying Non-Muslim Women

Much of Jirāb examines the opinions of scholars concerning which Christian and Jewish sects qualify as “people of the book.”45 According to the Quran and later Islamic thought, both Christians and Jews are people of the book. Although they had altered the sacred books that they had received (taḥrīf, the corruption of scripture), they possess a special status within the Islamic community and deserve special protections.46 In al-Alqadārī’s Russia, however, neither Christians nor Jews were regarded as true people of the book. Unlike the Arab Christians of the Levant, the Copts of Egypt, and Georgian Christians, Russian Christians could trace their religious pedigree only to the tenth century CE. According to al-Alqadārī, Islamic law regarded Russia’s relatively recent Christians as distinct from Christians of more ancient Oriental pedigree.

According to Shāfiʿī jurists, the permissibility of marriage between Christians or Jews and Muslims is a function of when the ancestors of the Christian or Jew in question had converted to their religion. It was forbidden, for example, for a Muslim to marry a woman who descended from a people who had converted to Christianity or Judaism after the beginning of Islam. The Muslims of the Russian empire employed these regulations. The Baku-based correspondents ʿAbdallāh Efendī and Ṭāhir Efendī posed a question to al-Alqadārī that reflected the new challenges brought about by the multiethnic and multi-confessional structure of the Russian empire. Is it permissible, they wanted to know, to marry a Jewish or Christian woman (literally, a woman who belongs to the people of the book)? Al-Alqadārī responded that, according to both Shāfiʿī and Ḥanafī jurists, Muslims are forbidden to marry a Jewish or Christian woman. He added that it is permissible for a Muslim to marry a Jewish or Christian woman, but it is preferable not to do so if there is enmity between the two religions anywhere in the world at the time of the marriage. However, if the bride’s ancestors practiced their religion prior to the advent of Islam, then there is no obstacle to marrying her. Even under these more favorable circumstances, however, if a Jewish or Christian bride does not acknowledge the psalms (al-zabūr) and the scrolls (ṣuḥuf) of Ibrahim (mentioned in Quran 87:18–19 and 53:36–37), then marriage to her is forbidden.47

Al-Alqadārī adds to these standard Shāfiʿī positions a comment pertaining specifically to Russian Christians. Prior to their conversion to Christianity, “all Russians worshipped idols,” he writes. “Then their ruler prince Vladimir married the daughter of the ruler of Constantinople and rejected Islam. This caused his followers, who previously had worshipped idols, to change their religion. After prince Vladimir rejected Islam, they became Christian. This occurred … after Islam had already spread across the world.”48 Al-Alqadārī here presents an abbreviated version of the famous legend concerning Prince Vladimir’s conversion of his people and kingdom to Christianity, recorded in the Old Russian chronicle Tale of Bygone Years (Povest’ vremennykh let, c. 1116).49

According to the Old Russian chronicle, Prince Vladimir decided that his kingdom should adopt a monotheistic religion. He consulted with Jewish rabbis from the nearby Khazar empire, German Catholic priests, Muslim Bulgar scholars residing near the Volga River, and, finally, a Byzantine “philosopher” who represented Eastern Orthodox Christianity.50 Each of these individuals made a case to the prince for converting to his religion. Vladimir refused to convert to Islam and chose Christianity, because, in his view, Russians could not accept a religion that forbids the consumption of alcohol. As a result of Vladimir’s early encounter with Islam, many Daghestani scholars regarded marriage to Russian women as forbidden to Muslim men. Previously, Shihāb al-Dīn al-Marjānī (d. 1889) advocated this same view with regard to marriage between Muslim men and Russian Christian women. He argued that Russian Christians are not people of the book, but rather idol worshippers, because they converted to Christianity after the advent of Islam and because they prostrate in front of icons.51

Al-Alqadārī concludes tentatively: “If we abide by the rules of the Shāfiʿī school, it is forbidden for a Muslim [man] to marry a [Russian] Christian [woman], given the Muslim contact with Russia prior to Russia’s conversion to Christianity.”52 But he qualifies his position by adducing the opinions of other Shāfiʿī jurists. As with his discussion of the gramophone, al-Alqadārī notes that “al-Subkī takes a different view in his commentary [hāshiyya] on the writings of al-Sharqāwī, and that Ḥanafī jurists also consider such a marriage to be within the bounds of Islam. In these days, it is best [al-aṣlaḥ] for a Muslim who wants to marry a [Russian Christian] woman to try to persuade her to convert to Islam prior to their marriage. If she does not convert, then such a marriage is reprehensible [makrūh]. If she remains Christian, then she might lead her Muslim husband into error or raise their children according to her [Christian] beliefs. May Allah preserve us from this!”53 Even though al-Alqadārī clearly opposes marriages between Muslim men and Russian Christian women, he does not say that such marriages are forbidden; rather he states that they are reprehensible (makrūh). Here, as elsewhere, al-Alqadārī manifests moderation and a willingness to look beyond the teachings of one school in the interests of tolerance. The debates over marriage had implications for relations between and among the four Sunni legal schools, and al-Alqadārī’s views on marriage between Muslims and people of the book parallel his attitude to the crossing of school boundaries.

Some of al-Alqadārī’s correspondents, such as Ghaḍanfar Efendī, posed more abstract questions about Muslim relations with non-Muslims. “Is the ḥadīth stating that [a Muslim] who imitates [tashabbaha] a [non-Muslim] should be considered [an unbeliever] sound [ṣaḥīḥ]?” Ghaḍanfar Efendī inquired.54 “Does this imitation refer to Muslims who wear headgear worn by non-believers [al-kāfirūn]?Or does it refer to Muslims who wear clothing [worn by] non-believers? Is it permissible to cut one’s hair instead of shaving one’s head?” The last question was prompted by the fact that Christian men in Russia cut their hair rather than shaving their heads. By contrast, Muslims generally shaved their heads. This resulted in obvious differences in personal appearance between Muslims and non-Muslims. Hence, matters of hygiene were heavily implicated in relations between Muslims and non-Muslims. Al-Alqadārī responds that the ḥadīth is sound, but that the imitation in question pertains to behavior, not to external attributes. Here, as elsewhere, al-Alqadārī turns what might have been a narrow tabulation of ritual practices into a broader reflection on ethics and conduct.

Al-Alqadārī was asked for his views concerning the consumption of meat slaughtered by a Christian butcher. He weighs the views of different Muslim scholars, the vast majority of whom do not object to a Muslim eating such meat. Al-Alqadārī pays special attention to the views of two influential contemporary scholars from the Arab world: the above-mentioned muftī of Damascus, Muḥammad Ṭāhir Efendī, and the Meccan-based al-Ḥajj Aḥmad Efendī al-ʿAghjāzī al-Dāghistānī.55 In response to a question posed by Tatars from Kazan, both scholars agreed that even if a Muslim is present during the slaughter of meat by Christians, if Allah’s name is not pronounced during the slaughter, then Muslims are forbidden to eat this meat.

A large number of al-Alqadārī’s correspondents were deeply concerned with how Muslims should conduct themselves in non-Muslim environments. They wished to know how to relate to the secular legal systems that had generated laws to which Muslims were now subject. Al-Alqadārī was frequently asked to determine whether it is permissible to marry Christian women, to eat meat slaughtered by non-Muslims, and to work for Christian employers. Such questions reflect economic and social transformations in Daghestan following the surrender of Imam Shāmil in 1859, at which time Daghestan was formally incorporated into the Russian empire. After the Russian annexation, the Russian population in the Caucasus increased, and Christians were everywhere to be seen, as butchers, shopkeepers, and administrators. The questions posed to al-Alqadārī reflect these demographic changes.

Many Madhhabs, One Islam

Many of the questions addressed to al-Alqadārī pertain to ritual and acts of devotion (ʿibādāt). Correspondents wanted to know whether it is permissible for Shāfiʿīs to follow Ḥanafī rites during communal prayers and vice-versa. One correspondent wanted to know what to do about the potential omission of the qunūt – a prayer recited by Shāfiʿīs during the noon prayer (ẓuhr) and between each prostration (sajda) – when the prayer is led by Ḥanafīs, who are not required to recite the qunūt. Is it necessary to identify the school of the imam leading the prayer, the correspondent asked, in order to insure that the qunūt has been recited?56

Other questions pertain to contact between unmarried men and women. According to Shāfiʿī jurists, physical contact of any kind between men and women after ritual ablution (and before prayer), invalidates the prayer. By contrast, Ḥanafīs do not consider that such contact invalidates the prayer. If a Ḥanafī leads the group prayer, he may not uphold Shāfiʿī protocol for ritual purity. Is it therefore necessary to identify in advance the school of the imam? What should a Shāfiʿī do if a Ḥanafī imam omits the qunūt while reciting the morning prayer?

Al-Alqadārī responds that it is not necessary to determine the school of the imam or indeed of anyone leading the prayer.57 He adds that if the imam omits the qunūt during the morning prayer, the prayer remains valid. This is because, according to Shāfiʿīs, the recitation of the qunūt is sunna, i.e. desirable but not obligatory. Omission of the qunūt does not invalidate the prayer per se. If a Shāfiʿī attends a prayer gathering led by a Ḥanafī who omits the qunūt, he is not thereby compelled to repeat the morning prayer on his own. According to al-Alqadārī, it is permissible for a Shāfiʿī to attend a communal prayer led by a Ḥanafī and vice-versa. Here we see al-Alqadārī in his typical role: he is traditional in his insistence on the integrity of madhhab boundaries, but moderate and flexible in his application of these boundaries to everyday life.

Another domain that was inflected by al-Alqadārī’s views on madhhab differences is divorce. It was common in Daghestan for a husband to divorce his wife through triple ṭalāq: the pronunciation of the divorce formula three times, either three times in succession or on separate occasions. Al-Alqadārī was asked many different versions of the same question: If a husband utters the divorce formula three times, but then wishes to remarry his wife, may he do so without her undergoing taḥlīl, i.e. the procedure whereby she must marry another man, who then must divorce her before she may be reunited with her first husband?58 Al-Alqadārī answers that if the husband utters the divorce formula on three separate occasions, for example, by saying three times, “You are not my wife” or words to that effect, it is not permissible for the husband and the wife to reunite. The wife whose husband has pronounced triple ṭalāq is forbidden to him. The only way for them to reunite is for her to perform taḥlīl. Al-Alqadārī bases this view on the teachings of the Shāfiʿī and Ḥanafī schools.

While al-Alqadārī’s readers were largely Shāfiʿīs, most Muslims of the Russian empire were Ḥanafīs. During his exile in central Russia, al-Alqadārī had extensive contact with Ḥanafīs. This shift in legal environment is reflected in al-Alqadārī’s legal writings between 1879, when he was forced to leave Daghestan, and 1893, when he returned to Daghestan. While he draws on both Shāfiʿī and Ḥanafī views, al-Alqadārī laments his lack of access to Ḥanbalī and Malikī writings, as if deeper acquaintance with those schools would have led him to different conclusions. Al-Alqadārī’s engagement with all four schools distinguishes him from his predecessors, who limited their inquiries to a single school. At the same time, al-Alqadārī does tend to leave aside views that fall outside the framework of Shāfiʿī or Ḥanafī jurisprudence.

The regulations pertaining to divorce within Shāfiʿī law and beyond were frequently discussed by al-Alqadārī’s correspondents. A scholar by the name of Shuʿayb Efendī al-Awārī – likely the same Shuʿayb b. Idrīs al-Bākinī who wrote one of Daghestan’s most important biographical dictionaries59 – wrote to al-Alqadārī in Ottoman Turkish concerning an unusual divorce.60 Shuʿayb Efendī wanted to know how many times it is necessary to pronounce the divorce formula in order to secure a divorce. Citing prior Shāfiʿī jurists, al-Alqadārī states that a divorce is considered revocable even if it is only pronounced once.

Both the Shāfiʿī and the Ḥanafī schools teach that the utterance of the divorce formula a minimum of three times, whether in immediate succession or across intervals of time, makes the divorce final and irrevocable. If the divorced spouses wish to remarry, the ex-wife must implement taḥlīl, al-Alqadārī insists. For early Soviet Daghestani reformers such as Nadhīr al-Durgilī (1891–1935) and ʿAlī al-Ghumūqī (1878–1943), the recommendations of the Ḥanbalī jurist Ibn Taymiyya were more authoritative than al-Alqadārī’s recommendations, at least as measured by their references to his work. According to Ibn Taymiyya, a divorce formula uttered multiple times in a fit of rage is treated as a single utterance; such an outburst must take place on three separate occasions, in three distinct intervals of time, for a divorce to take place. Such a cautious calculation was intended to prevent a husband from divorcing his wife unintentionally in a fit of rage. Ibn Taymiyya’s view was upheld by most Daghestani reformers. Rather than follow Ibn Taymiyya, al-Alqadārī chose to adhere to the Shāfiʿī madhhab. Unlike subsequent Daghestani mujtahids, al-Alqadārī did not justify his views with citations from the Quran and the sunna. For him the authority of past precedent, especially Shāfiʿī past precedent, was sufficient.

Al-Alqadārī’s intellectual engagements were not limited to evaluating differences between Shāfiʿīs and Ḥanafīs. His interests extended to the Shīʿa. The Caucasus is famous as a meeting point of different confessional traditions, and al-Alqadārī had much contact with, and interest in, Shīʿa who had settled in Derbent, as well as in Azerbaijan, to the south. His correspondents were troubled by confessional differences within the house of Islam even more than they were by differences between and among the madhhabs. “How should we regard the Shīʿa?” asked Ghaḍanfar Efendī. “Should we consider them infidels for not acknowledging the preeminence of the three rightly-guided caliphs?”61

Al-Alqadārī responds that Shīʿa beliefs vary greatly. He states that Shāfiʿī and Ḥanafī jurists concur that it is permissible to recite prayers with the Shīʿa, who should not be condemned as apostates [takfīr] simply because they reject the authority of the first three caliphs. Any Shīʿī who rejects a ḥadīth or any verse in the Quran should be considered an infidel on those grounds, not simply on the basis of his affiliation to Shiʿism. Al-Alqadārī notes that Ḥanafī jurists such as al-Nasafī and al-Taftāzānī also consider it permissible to pray alongside the Shīʿa. Al-Alqadārī’s views would likely be further illuminated by his two unpublished treatises regarding the Shīʿa, Taḥqīq al-maqāl fī faḍāʾil al-Āl and Iẓhār al-ḥāl fī khuṣūṣ al-Āl, which have yet to be discussed by scholars.62

Beyond the Taqlīd/Ijtihād Dichotomy

In another letter, al-Alqadārī recounts his correspondence with Muḥammad ʿAlī al-Chūkhī, the above-mentioned author of Fatāwā al-Chūkhī and father of al-Alqadārī’s publisher, Muḥammad Mirzā Mavraev. “When the respected scholar Muḥammad ʿAlī al-Chūkhī wrote me a letter with many questions,” he explained, “I decided to write him back, and to base my answers on reliable books of fiqh.63 Once again, al-Alqadārī acts as a muqallid, basing his opinion on the views of earlier jurists, rather than citing from the Quran or the sunna.

Al-Alqadārī emphasizes his connection to prior jurists over his expertise in the original sources of Islam. Although he does not call himself a muqallid – which is not surprising given the opprobrium attached to this mode of reasoning in Shāfiʿī jurisprudence64 – al-Alqadārī’s thinking is clearly marked by this mode of reasoning. On other occasions, al-Alqadārī uses the rhetorical device of takīd (emphasis) to clarify his intellectual genealogy. He states that he has “based his case on reliable books [mutūn al-kutub al-muʿtamida] and the inner essence of notebooks [wa buṭūn al-dafātira]” rather than on his own independent reasoning, as guided by the Quran and the sunna, as would be expected from a mujtahid.65

When asked to give his opinion on a particular issue, al-Alqadārī generally presents answers given by earlier scholars. When he cannot locate answers to a question in the books available to him, al-Alqadārī uses qiyās, or analogical reasoning, commonly deployed in Ḥanafī jurisprudence, but also used by Shāfiʿīs. When a question was posed to him, al-Alqadārī would compare it to the responses of earlier Shāfiʿī and Ḥanafī jurists. Nowhere in Jirāb does al-Alqadārī make a deduction solely on the basis of the Quran and sunna. Any allusions to the Quran and ḥadīth are made to support arguments already advanced by Shāfiʿī jurists rather than to assess the issue independently.

Al-Alqadārī bases his responses on the writings of Shāfiʿī scholars who shaped the direction of Daghestani legal thought, including al-Ramlī, al-Nawawī, al-Haytamī, al-Subkī, al-Maḥallī, and al-Suyūṭī.66 Later Daghestani reformers defined themselves primarily as either muqallids, e.g., Ghazanūf al-Gubdānī and Yūsūf al-Jungūtī, or as mujtahids, e.g., Nadhīr al-Durgilī and ʿAlī al-Ghumūqī. Al-Alqadārī’s method blurs these boundaries; rather than self-consciously crafting a new legal consciousness, he confines his reflections to jurists whose writings were already part of the existing canon of Daghestani jurisprudence. By contrast to other Daghestani scholars, al-Alqadārī makes no reference to the early modern jurists whose names would permeate later Daghestani legal thought, and whose ideas would shape global Islamic modernity from South Asia to Tatarstan and from Africa to the Hijaz: ʿAbd al-Ḥājj al-Laknawī, Shihāb al-Dīn al-Marjānī, Ibn Taymiyya, and Murtaḍā al-Zabīdī.

By limiting his citations to jurists whose writings were well-known in Daghestan, al-Alqadārī manifests his immediate goals. According to his own account, he drew only on books that were “accessible.”67 If al-Alqadārī had been able to access his books in Daghestan while in exile in central Russia, he might have composed a different kind of work. Note, however, that many letters in Jirāb are dated after al-Alqadārī’s return from exile in 1893. His later responses, composed in Daghestan, draw on a wider range of Shāfiʿī sources, but still only on names familiar to Daghestani scholars. Note well: al-Alqadārī’s personal library contained 317 titles, including many Ḥanafī treatises. Thus, it seems likely that the range of al-Alqadārī’s citational repertoire was dictated by a concerted effort to respect the comfort zones of his Daghestani readers.68

Al-Alqadārī based his decisions on pronouncements by authoritative Shāfiʿī and, less frequently, Ḥanafī jurists. This privileging of past authorities would soon be sharply (albeit indirectly) criticized by scholars who came of age during the last decade of al-Alqadārī’s life, during the twilight years of imperial Russia: ʿAlī al-Ghumūqī, Masʿūd al-Muhūkhī, Nadhīr al-Durgilī, and Abū Sufyān al-Ghazānishī.69 Published in 1912, five years before the October Revolution of 1917,   Jirāb marks a turning point in Daghestani jurisprudence. Following its publication, Daghestani scholars began to expand the framework of jurists whose views might serve as the basis of a legal assessment. No longer was it necessary, or even adequate, to cite respected Shāfiʿī and Ḥanafī jurists. New thinkers had to be engaged. New questions had to be posed.

After al-Alqadārī, taqlīd faded into the background of Daghestani public life. Reformers with good access to the Daghestani press began to orient the reading public’s attention in the direction of ijtihād and away from taqlīd. At the same time, taqlīd continued to be utilized even though muqallids had less public exposure than reformers. Even though the reformers’ rhetoric was suffused by ijtihād-based methodologies, in terms of numbers, there were more adherents of taqlīd. Meanwhile, both journalists and reformers ignored the prolific writings of those who opposed ijtihād to taqlīd. The division between the two methods of legal reasoning grew, never to be repaired again.

Kemper characterizes Jirāb as “the first text of this kind written by a Daghestani ʿālim.”70 Pace Kemper, who treats al-Alqadārī as a harbinger of the Daghestani jadīd movement, we read Jirāb as the final product of a generation of Muslim scholars who were more traditional than modern, and whose intellectual outlook was soon to be forgotten amid the upheaval of a new Soviet era. Kemper’s assessments of al-Alqadārī’s work are complementary with our own, although by highlighting different aspects of his multifaceted legacy, he produced different genealogies for Daghestani modernity.

Even if al-Alqadārī did not introduce new methods of legal reasoning into his legal writings, through its synthetic approach,   Jirāb cleared a space for the diverse forms of legal reasoning that would follow, which ranged across the spectrum of views on ijtihād.71 Jirāb was the last major contribution to Daghestani jurisprudence that relied predominantly on taqlīd. The place of Jirāb within the history of Daghestani scholarship, along a continuum that has taqlīd at one extreme and ijtihād at the other, demonstrates the interdependence of these two modes of legal reasoning, while also suggesting how they might be combined within the mind of a single scholar. In the case of al-Alqadārī, this dual orientation is manifested in his simultaneous preference for a taqlīd-based methodology and his admiration for al-Quduqī, who introduced ijtihād to Daghestan.

The dialectic between taqlīd and ijtihād in Jirāb also reflects the author’s complex engagement with the past. Jirāb’s methodological and substantive range proleptically point to a global Islamic modernity that, in contrast to its European equivalents, does not posit rupture as its founding premise and that adapts methods from generations past to new situations.72 Al-Alqadārī’s location between tradition and reform, and between ijtihād and taqlīd, is an appropriate point of departure for a revisionist understanding of modernity along lines elaborated by social theorist Sudipta Kaviraj, who stresses the continuity of the past into the present as well as the constitutive difference between modern experience and earlier forms of social life.73 Such an approach would also reconcile Kemper’s emphasis on al-Alqadārī’s innovation with our focus on the persistence of tradition and of a taqlīd-based methodologywithin his mode of legal reasoning.

Al-Alqadārī’s orientation towards the past inspired the next generation to look more closely at the original sources of Islam. Although often viewed as his antagonists, the Daghestani scholars who followed al-Alqadārī may be seen as his intellectual offspring. This new generation of scholars did not cite him directly, perhaps in order to avoid creating the impression that they were either attacking him or relying excessively on his authority. But al-Alqadārī clearly was an unacknowledged presence in late tsarist and early Soviet Daghestani legal thought: present everywhere, yet nowhere invoked by name. Paradoxically, despite his invisibility, al-Alqadārī set the standard for all the major genres of scholarly discourse that proliferated in Daghestan during the first decades of the twentieth century: history, poetry, biographical dictionaries, and legal polemic. In many of these fields, al-Alqadārī’s contribution to the genre was more ambitious and wider-ranging than what followed, notwithstanding his orientation towards the past.

Over the course of their increasingly frequent contact with neighboring non-Muslim populations, Daghestani scholars confronted controversial issues in the lives of contemporary Muslims. They searched the writings of classical jurists for answers and drew analogies between the past and the present. The rapid pace of economic and social change during the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth meant that it was not ­always possible to find answers to contemporary problems in the writings of classical thinkers who inhabited different social, economic, and political worlds. From this disjuncture arose the need for new approaches to Islamic law. Hence the increasing appeal of ijtihād during the early decades of the twentieth century.

The leading Daghestani mujtahids, including ʿAlī al-Ghumūqī, Abū Sufyān al-Ghazānishī, and Nadhīr al-Durgilī, travelled more widely than the previous generation of scholars. During their studies in Egypt, al-Ghumūqī and Abū Sufyān were directly exposed to intellectual trends never directly encountered by al-Alqadārī. These scholars belonged to a generation whose horizons were expanded by contemporary efforts to adapt Islam to the new social conditions of the twentieth century. Their eyes were opened and their beliefs were challenged by the new intellectual movements afoot in al-Azhar. From their vantage point, taqlīd seemed like an atavism of an older generation. Al-Alqadārī was summarily suppressed and temporarily forgotten.

Rightly or wrongly, the new generation of reformers believed that the mere recitation of the views of earlier jurists could not sustain an Islamic jurisprudence that would be responsive to modern social conditions. When Abū Sufyān and al-Ghumūqī returned to Daghestan from Egypt in 1907 and 1908, respectively, they tried to identify a method for satisfying the requirements of Islamic law in a world newly governed by Russian, and, subsequently, Soviet, law.74 Like many scholars before and after, they rejected taqlīd in favor of ijtihād because they believed that a rigorous deployment of one method necessarily entailed the negation of the other. What these scholars did not articulate, and what we have tried to demonstrate in this article, is that taqlīd and ijtihād, like authority and reason generally, exist in a dialectical relationship, and that rigorous adherence to one method inevitably engages the other. Fuller engagement with al-Alqadārī’s thought helps us to rethink the taqlīd/ijtihād dichotomy in the intellectual history of Daghestani legal thought, as well as in Islamic intellectual history generally.

Muslim scholars like al-Ghumūqī, Masʿūd al-Muhūkhī, Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Rashīd al-Harakānī, and Muḥammad ʿUmarī al-Uḥlī regarded absolute ijtihād as the method of legal reasoning that would most effectively facilitate the implementation of Islamic law under conditions of Russian imperial rule. These scholars were responding to circumstances that characterized colonial rule throughout the Islamic world. Russian law in the Caucasus was one of many colonial legal systems that reduced Islamic authority to the domain of family law and to disputes internal to Islam, while vesting the secular state with the authority to resolve political and social issues that formerly had been the domain of sharīʿa.75

By contrast, al-Alqadārī, faithful to the habits of an earlier generation, tried to resolve contemporary social problems by drawing analogies from judgments that had been formulated in the past and recorded in his jurisprudential sources. The approach to colonial law promulgated in Jirāb was innovative for its time. In the long run, however, al-Alqadārī’s method of legal reasoning came to be regarded as obsolete and of limited use for engaging with new conditions. As the number of questions grew, the incapacity of classical sources to provide meaningful answers became increasingly evident. Islamic law gradually yielded its authority to secular legal institutions and to the bureaucratic imperial order.

When the next generation of Daghestani scholars began to produce their major works, they were persuaded that the only way to resolve the disjuncture between Islamic law and colonial law was by refining modes of legal reasoning based on ijtihād. Although this new generation did not cite directly from Jirāb, we have endeavored to show here how al-Alqadārī created a foundation for the debates that followed, while also distilling the accumulated weight of a tradition that would soon be assimilated and, in many respects, lost. In dialectical terms, al-Alqadārī’s taqlīd is a prolegomenon to later scholars’ ijtihād. Along with Fekhry Ibrahim, we maintain that taqlīd and ijtihād do not occupy opposite ends of a spectrum. Rather, they are complementary ways of engaging with a set of issues that call for multiple modes of reasoning and approaches to dealing with the weight of the past, with authority, and with tradition. Compared to other legal systems, Islamic law is famously pluralistic in its structure. The dialectic between taqlīd and ijtihād in Daghestani modernity exemplifies Islamic law’s accommodation of multiple modes of reasoning.

Along with their embrace of ijtihād, the scholars who came after al-Alqadārī argued for greater engagement with recent advances in modern education. Al-Alqadārī similarly advocated for the reform of the madrasa curriculum and for more direct engagement with the natural sciences, in an effort to raise Muslim scholarship and technology to the level attained in European countries. But so long as he was able to use classical legal treatises to provide answers to contemporary questions, al-Alqadārī preferred a relatively circumscribed Shāfiʿī approach to legal thought. The range of legal authorities to whom he referred was deliberately constricted, while those who came after him had broader horizons. He remained faithful to his belief that classical Shāfiʿī jurists could in fact serve as a guide to the most pressing issues of his day and that the authority of past precedent was a surer guide than the lure of independent reason.

As with every new development, something was lost with the late tsarist and early Soviet rejection of taqlīd and embrace of ijtihād. In the case of modern Daghestani intellectual history, the loss culminated in the dominance of one mode of legal reasoning and the suppression of the other. The subsequent denigration of taqlīd throughout Daghestan was reflected in parallel trends across the Muslim world. This turn against taqlīd as an inferior mode of legal reasoning has made its mark on contemporary Euro-American scholarship, which has been largely unable to appreciate the social logic of Islamic law in general and of taqlīd in particular. Fadel’s pioneering article offers an important corrective for the world of post-classical Mālikī thought. Meanwhile, the study of other regions, including the Caucasus, continues to be shaped by dichotomous understandings of the relationship between ijtihād and taqlīd. Amid the increasing solipsism of modern legal norms, both within and beyond Islamic domains, al-Alqadārī’s taqlīd­-based methodology, bold, innovative, and traditional in equal measure, offers a new way of understanding the relationship between independent legal reasoning and traditional legal authority in Muslim-majority societies under colonial rule.

1 See Ahmed El Shamsy, “Rethinking Taqlīd in the Early Shāfiʿī School,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 128.1 (2008): 1–23.

2 Mohammad Fadel, “The Social Logic of Taqlīd and the Rise of the Mukhtasar,” Islamic Law and Society 3 (1996): 193–233, at 193.

3 Ahmed Fekry Ibrahim, “Rethinking the Taqlīd-Ijtihād Dichotomy: A Conceptual-Historical Approach,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 136.2 (2016): 285–303, and idem, “Rethinking the Taqlīd Hegemony: An Institutional, Longue Durée Approach,” Journal of the American Oriental Society (forthcoming). 

4 Joseph Schacht, An Introduction to Islamic Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1964), 71, emphasis added.

5 See, for example, Wael Hallaq, “Was the Gate of Ijtihād Closed?” International Journal of Middle East Studies 16 (1984): 3–41.

6 Mohammad Fadel, “The Social Logic of Taqlīd ”; Sherman Jackson, “Taqlīd, Legal Scaffolding and the Scope of Legal Injunctions in Post-Formative Theory: Muṭlaq and ʿĀmm in the Jurisprudence of Shihāb al-Dīn al-Qarāfī,” Islamic Law and Society 3.2 (1996): 165–92.

7 Ibrahim, “Rethinking the Taqlīd Hegemony,” and idem, “The Codification Episteme in Islamic Juristic Discourse between Inertia and Change,” Islamic Law and Society 22.3 (2015): 157–220.

8 Ibrahim, “Rethinking the Taqlīd Hegemony”. 

9 See Michael Kemper, Herrschaft, Recht und Islam in Daghestan – Von den Khanaten und Gemeindebünden zum gihad-Staat (Wiesbaden: Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 2005), 217–24.

10 Michael Kemper, “Daghestani Shaykhs and Scholars in Russian Exile: Networks of Sufism, Fatwas and Poetry,” in Daghestan and the World of Islam, ed. Moshe Gammer and David J. Wasserstein (Helsinki: Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae, 2006), 95–107. On Muslim scholarly networks during the Soviet period, see Michael Kemper, Raoul Motika, ­Stefan Reichmuth, eds, Islamic Education in the Soviet Union and Its Successor States (London: Routledge, 2010).

11 See most recently Mustafa Tuna, Imperial Russia’s Muslims: Islam, Empire and European Modernity, 1788–1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015) and the contributions to this theme issue.

12 Most notably, see the contributions to the volume edited by A.R. Shikhsaidov: Gasan Alkadari. Uchenyi, poet, prosvetitel’. Sbornik nauchnyk trudov (Makhachkala: DNTs Ran, 2006), and to the volume edited by G. Orazaev: Istoriko-literaturnoe nasledie Gasana Alkadari: sbornik nauchnyk trudov (Makhachkala: AN SSSR, Dagestanskii filial, 1988).

13 On debates among Muslim scholars over the possibility of living under Muslim rule, see Michael Kemper. “Daghestani Legal Discourse on the Imamate,” Central Asian Survey 21.3 (2002): 265–78.

14 On these migrations, see inter alia, Tārīkh al-Sharkas wa-Āl Anzūr: al-Adīghah wa-l-Shīshān wa-al-Dāghistān wa-l-Astīn (al-Raqqah [Syria]: M.ʻA. al-Ḥ. al-Ḥamad, 2001).

15 Ḥasan Efendī al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn (Temir Khan Shura: al-Maṭbaʿa al-Islāmiyya li Muḥammad Mirzā Mavrāyūf, 1912), 2.

16 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 54.

17 See, for example, Kemper, “Daghestani Shaykhs,” 101.

18 Ibn Manẓūr, Lisān al-ʿarab, 15 vols.(Beirut: Dār Ṣādir, 1956), 5:85.

19 Ibrahīm Muṣṭafá, al-Muʿjam al-wasīṭ (Istanbul: Dār al-Daʿwah, 1989), 725.

20 Aḥmad b. Idrīs b. ʿAbd al-Raḥim al-Qasāfī, Al-Aḥkām fī tamyīz al-fatwā ʿan al-aḥkām. (Beirut: Maktabat al-maṭbūʿāt al-Islāmiyya, 1995), 33–34; Aḥmad b. Ḥamdān al-Ḥirānī, Ṣifat al-fatwā wa’ l-mustaftī (Damascus: manshūrāt al-maktab al-Islāmī, 1380), 4–5.

21 These editions are: Bakhchisarai: Terjiman, 1902, and Temir Khan Shura: al-Maṭbaʿa al-Islāmiyya li Muḥammad Mirzā Mavrāyūf, 1908. Al-Alqadārī’s exchange with al-Chūkhī is discussed below.

22 On Mavraev’s publishing house, see M.N. Osmanova, Arabskaia pechatnaia kniga v Dagestane v kontse XIX-nachale XX veka (Makhachkala: Nauka plius, 2006).

23 Institute for History, Archeology, and History, Russian Academy of Sciences Fond Magomed Saidov, opis’ 5. № 254, listy. 1а – 14а.

24 Manuscript from the private collection of Abu Bakr Daitbekov (born 1978), resident of the village of Khasav-Yurt. A copy of this manuscript is found in Sh. Shikhaliev’s personal archive.

25 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 28.

26 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 27–9.

27 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 27.

28 On al-Shaʿrānī’s understanding of ikhtilāf, see Ahmed Fekry Ibrahim, “Al-Shaʿrānī’s Response to Legal Purism: A Theory of Legal Pluralism,” Islamic Law and Society 20.1–2 (2013): 110–40.

29 On al-Quduqī, see Rebecca Gould, “Ijtihād Against Madhhab: Legal Hybridity and the Meanings of Modernity in Early Modern Daghestan,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 57.1 (2015): 35–66, and Michael Kemper, “Ijtihad into philosophy: Islam as cultural heritage in post-Stalinist Daghestan,” Central Asian Survey 33.3 (2014): 390–404. The latter’s focus on the Soviet association of al-Quduqī and ijtihād instructively contrasts with al-Alqadārī’s presentation of al-Quduqī’s ijtihād.

30 Ḥasan al-Alqadārī, Āthār-i Dāghistān (St. Petersburg: n.p., 1894), 232–33. Unlike Jirāb, which is written in Arabic, Āthār is written in a Turkic register that displays features of both Oghuz and Qipchaq Turkic. On Orientalist engagement with al-Alqadārī’s treatment of al-Quduqī’s ijtihād, see I. Iu. Krachkovskii, “Dagestan i Yemen,” lzbrannie sochineniia, 6 vols. (Moscow-Leningrad: Akademii nauk SSSR, 1960), 6: 582–84.

31 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 233.

32 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 279–81.

33 See Kemper, “Ijtihad into philosophy.”

34 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 49–51. On the similar problem of night prayers in regions with limited sunlight, see Liyakat Takim, “Reinterpretation or Reformation? Shiʿa Law in the West,” Journal of Shiʿa Islamic Studies 3.2 (2010): 141–65.

35 For the long history of Hanafi debates on this subject, see Michael Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte in Tatarien und Baschkirien, 1789–1889: der islamische Diskurs unter russischer Herrschaft (Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag, 1998), 279.

36 The writings of this same Muḥammad Ṭāhir b. ʿUmar b. Muṣtafā al-ʿImādī al-Ḥasanī (d. 1301/1883–4) on the issue of the ʿishāʾ prayer are discussed in Kemper, Sufis und Ge­lehrte, 285 n270, on the basis of a manuscript held in the St. Petersburg Institute of Oriental Studies.

37 On al-Qūrṣāwī, see Nathan Spannaus, “The Ur-Text of Jadidism: Abū Naṣr Qūrṣāwī’s Irshād and the Historiography of Muslim Modernism in Russia,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 59 (2016): 93–125; Michael Kemper, “Entre Boukhara et la Moyenne-Volga: ʿAbd an-Naṡîr al-Qûrṡâwî (1776–1812) en conflit avec les oulémas traditionalistes,“ Cahiers du Monde russe 37.1/2 (1996): 41–51. On al-Marjānī, see Allen J. Frank, Islamic Historiography and “Bulghar” Identity among the Tatars and Bashkirs of Russia (Leiden: Brill, 1998), 147–57; Nathan Spannaus, “Šihāb al-Dīn al-Marǧānī on the Divine Attributes: A Study in Kalām in the 19th Century,” Arabica 62 (2015): 74–98. Both scholars are discussed in Michael Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte.

38 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 243–4.

39 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 243–4.

40 On the reformers and their opponents in early twentieth-century Daghestan, see Shamil Shikhaliev, “K voprosu o musul’manskom reformatorstve v Dagestane v pervoi chetverti XXv.,” Mavraev. Kul’turno-istoricheskii zhurnal 1.6 (2015): 25–31.

41 Tāj al-Dīn b. ʿAbd al-Wahhāb al-Subkī,   Jamʿ al-jawāmiʿ fī uṣūl al-fiqh (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyah, 2003), 118–30.

42 On genre in al-Alqadārī’s Diwān al-Mamnūn, see Sonia G. Ibragimova, “Zhanrovoe mnogoobrazie ‘Divana al-Mamnun’ Gasana Alkadari,” in Gasan M. Orazaev, ed., Istoriko-literaturnoe nasledie Gasana Alkadari (Makhachkala: Dagestanskiĭ filial AN SSSR, 1988), 83–99.

43 Kemper, “Daghestani Shaykhs,” 104.

44 Kemper, “Daghestani Shaykhs,” 104.

45 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 45–6.

46 On taḥrīf, see Thomas F. Michel, A Muslim Theologian’s Response to Christianity: Ibn Taymiyya’s Al-Jawab al-sahih (Delmar, NY: Caravan Books, 1984).

47 The references by al-Alqadārī to the “scrolls of Ibrahim” are understood by scholars to refer to the Greek Testament of Abraham, a work that has been critically edited and translated by Dale C. Allison (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2003). Irfan Shahid discusses this text in relation to the scrolls of Ibrahim in Byzantium and the Arabs in the Fifth Century (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1989), 334n9.

48 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 290–2.

49 For an English translation of the relevant passage, see The Russian Primary Chronicle: Laurentian Text, trans. and ed. by Samuel Hazzard Cross and Olgerd P. Sherbowitz-Wetzor (Cambridge, MA: Medieval Academy of America, 1953), 96–7.

50 Accounts of this story are preserved in Sharaf al-Zaman Tahir Marvazi on China, the Turks and India, ed. Vladimir Minorsky (London: The Royal Asiatic Society, 1942), 36, 118–9, and in Awfi, “Jami al Hikayat,” V. Barthold, ed. and tr. Zapiski Vostochnogo otdeleniia russ-kogo arkheologicheskogo obshhestva 9 (1896): 262–7. For a modern account, see George Vernadsky, Kievan Russia (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1973), 61.

51 See Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte in Tatarien und Baschkirien, 429–65.

52 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 291.

53 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 292.

54 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 64.

55 On Daghestani scholars who resided in Mecca in a slightly earlier period, see Stefan Reichmuth, “The Interplay of Local Developments and Transnational Relations in the Islamic World: Perceptions and Perspectives,” in Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia from the 18th to the Early 20th centuries, ed. Anke von Kügelgen, Michael Kemper, and Allen Frank, 2 vols. (Berlin: Klaus Schwartz Verlag, 1998), 2: 5–38.

56 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 47.

57 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 48.

58 For similar debates in modern Egypt, Palestine, and Oman, respectively, see Ron Shaham, Family and the Courts in Modern Egypt: A Study Based on Decisions by the Sharīʿa Courts, 1900–1955 (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 101–38; Annelies Moors, Women, Property and Islam: Palestinian Experiences, 1920–1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 137–42; and Khalid M. Al-Azri, Social and Gender Inequality in Oman: The Power of Religious and Political Tradition (London: Routledge, 2013), 66–74.

59 Shuʿayb b. Idrīs al-Bākinī, Ṭabaqāt al-Khwājagān al-Naqshbandiyah (Damascus: Dār al-Nuʿmān li’l-ʿUlūm, 2003). On this figure see Sh. Sh. Shikhaliev, “Agiografichesko-biograficheskie sochineniia dage-stanskih shaykhov Shuʿaiba al-Bagini i Hasana al-Kahi,” Sufizm i musul’manskaia dukhovnaia traditsiia: teksty, instituty, idei i interpretatsii, ed. A.D. Knysh (St. Petersburg: Peterburgskoe vostokovedenie, 2015), 70–91.

60 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 153–4.

61 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 61.

62 These manuscripts are listed in Amri Shikhsaidov, “Rukopisnoe nasledie Alkadari,” Isto­riko-literaturnoe nasledie Gasana Alkadari, 60.

63 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 107.

64 On the origins of this opprobrium, see El Shamsy, “Rethinking Taqlīd in the Early Shāfiʿī School,” and idem, The Canonization of Islamic Law: A Social and Intellectual History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

65 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 107.

66 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 157–61.

67 Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 54.

68 On al-Alqadārī’s library, see N.A. Tagirova, “Hasan al-Alqadari’s Book Collection: A Thematic Survey,” in Written Culture in Daghestan, ed. Moshe Gammer (Helsinki: Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae, 2015), 137–50.

69 See ʿAlī b. ʿAbd al-Ḥamīd al-Ghumūqī, Risāla fī al-taqlīd wa jawāz al-talfīq, Manuscript Collection at the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography, Russian Academy of Sciences in Makhachkala, f. (collection) M.-S. Saidov, op. (inventory) 1, № 37, ff. 101–106; idem, Fī ḥaqq al-ijtihād wa’l-taqlīd, in Jarīdat Dāghistān 31 (3 August 1913), 4; Masʿūd al-Muhūkhī, Ḥarq al-asdād fī abwāb al-ijtihād, private collection of Shamil Shikhaliev, 27 ff. This work was written in 1921; Nadhīr al-Durgilī, al-ijtihād wa’l-taqlīd, in Manuscript Collection at the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography, Russian Academy of Sciences in Makhachkala, f. M.-S. Saidov, op. 1, № 35, ff. 1 – 30; idem, al-Taʿlīq al-ḥamīd ʿalā al-qawl al-sadīd, written in 1928,ibid., ff. 66–104; Abū Sufyān b. Akai al-Ghazānishī, Mas’alat al-ijtihād, in Bayān al-ḥaqā’iq 3 (Buinaksk, 1926), 2–5.

70 Kemper, “Daghestani Shaykhs,” 104. A third approach is offered by Sonia Chesnin, “Тraditsii arabskoi klassicheskoi literatury v tvorchestve Gasana Alkadari” (PhD dissertation, Makhachkala, 2002), who views al-Alqadārī through the prism of his Arabic literary influences.

71 This range is surveyed in Rebecca Gould and Shamil Shikhaliev, “A Tale of Two Scholars: Muslim Modernism in Early Twentieth Century Daghestan,” History Today (forthcoming March 2017).

72 For a classic explication of modernity through the prism of rupture, see, for example Arjun Appadurai, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996), esp. the programmatic statement on p. 9.

73 See Sudipta Kaviraj, “An Outline of a Revisionist Theory of Modernity,” European Journal of Sociology 46.3 (2005): 497–526, where he critically addresses the notion of modernity as rupture.

74 After Abū Sufyān Akaev met with Rashīd Riḍā, the latter wrote an article about Abū Sufyān for the journal al-Muʾayyad (see Kh.A. Omarov, G.M-R. Orazaev, “Dokumenty i materialy o zhizni i tvorchestve A. Akaeva,” Literaturnoe i nauchnoe nasledie Abusufyana Akaeva (Sbornik statei i materialov), ed. G.M.-R. Orazaev (Makhachkala: Institut istorii, iazyka i literatury im. G.Tsadasy, 1992), 108. On al-Ghumūqī’s studies in Cairo, see the brief discussion in I.U.V. Medzhidov and M.A. Abdullaev, Ali Kaiaev (Makhachkala: Dages­tanskoe kn. izd-vo, 1993), 35–9.

75 See V.O. Bobrovnikov, “Verbrechen und Brauchtum zwishen islamischem und imperialem Recht: Zum Entzauberung des işkîl im Daghestan des 17. bis 19. Jahrhunderts,” Rechtspluralismus in der Islamischen Welt, ed. M. Kemper and M. Reinkowski (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2005), 297–315; and Michael Kemper, “Adat against Shariʿa: Russian Approaches towards Daghestani ‘Customary Law’ in the 19th Century,” Ab Imperio 3 (2005): 147–73.

  • 4

     Joseph Schacht, An Introduction to Islamic Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1964), 71, emphasis added.

  • 9

     See Michael Kemper, Herrschaft, Recht und Islam in Daghestan – Von den Khanaten und Gemeindebünden zum gihad-Staat (Wiesbaden: Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 2005), 217–24.

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  • 10

     Michael Kemper, “Daghestani Shaykhs and Scholars in Russian Exile: Networks of Sufism, Fatwas and Poetry,” in Daghestan and the World of Islam, ed. Moshe Gammer and David J. Wasserstein (Helsinki: Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae, 2006), 95–107. On Muslim scholarly networks during the Soviet period, see Michael Kemper, Raoul Motika, ­Stefan Reichmuth, eds, Islamic Education in the Soviet Union and Its Successor States (London: Routledge, 2010).

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  • 11

     See most recently Mustafa Tuna, Imperial Russia’s Muslims: Islam, Empire and European Modernity, 1788–1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015) and the contributions to this theme issue.

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  • 17

     See, for example, Kemper, “Daghestani Shaykhs,” 101.

  • 32

     Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 279–81.

  • 43

     Kemper, “Daghestani Shaykhs,” 104.

  • 44

     Kemper, “Daghestani Shaykhs,” 104.

  • 51

     See Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte in Tatarien und Baschkirien, 429–65.

  • 52

     Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 291.

  • 53

     Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 292.

  • 54

     Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 64.

  • 56

     Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 47.

  • 57

     Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 48.

  • 60

     Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 153–4.

  • 61

     Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 61.

  • 63

     Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 107.

  • 65

     Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 107.

  • 66

     Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 157–61.

  • 67

     Al-Alqadārī,   Jirāb al-Mamnūn, 54.

  • 70

     Kemper, “Daghestani Shaykhs,” 104. A third approach is offered by Sonia Chesnin, “Тraditsii arabskoi klassicheskoi literatury v tvorchestve Gasana Alkadari” (PhD dissertation, Makhachkala, 2002), who views al-Alqadārī through the prism of his Arabic literary influences.

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  • 73

     See Sudipta Kaviraj, “An Outline of a Revisionist Theory of Modernity,” European Journal of Sociology 46.3 (2005): 497–526, where he critically addresses the notion of modernity as rupture.

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  • 75

     See V.O. Bobrovnikov, “Verbrechen und Brauchtum zwishen islamischem und imperialem Recht: Zum Entzauberung des işkîl im Daghestan des 17. bis 19. Jahrhunderts,” Rechtspluralismus in der Islamischen Welt, ed. M. Kemper and M. Reinkowski (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2005), 297–315; and Michael Kemper, “Adat against Shariʿa: Russian Approaches towards Daghestani ‘Customary Law’ in the 19th Century,” Ab Imperio 3 (2005): 147–73.

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