Turkic Modernism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century:
An Insider's View1

Edward J. Lazzerini

The following pages comprise a translation of one of Ismail Bey Gasprinskii's (1851-1914)2 most significant essays, Mebadi-yi Temeddün-i Islâmiyan-i Rus (First Steps Toward Civilizing the Russian Muslims), published in 1901.3 The reasons for undertaking such a translation are several. First, the essay was written by the man most often acknowledged as the leader and guiding force behind the initial concerted drive to improve the lot of Russian Turkic/Islamic peoples. In this respect, it amounts to an insider's view of what had been accomplished by those communities between 1880 and 1901 in terms of broad cultural advancement. Secondly, the work provides a convenient and concise source for an understanding of what Gasprinskii and, by extension, later cedidçiler (modernists, often written "jadidists") believed to be the weaknesses in the Muslim way of life that required remedy, and it reveals the steps taken to overcome those weaknesses. Thirdly, the bibliography that Gasprinskii appended to his essay is of paramount importance in its own right. It is not simply a compilation of Muslim works published in Russia, but a partial listing of jadid books, essays, and treatises. For Gasprinskii, writing and publishing were fundamentally tools with which to propagandize ideas, and these works constituted a body of knowledge that he obviously felt should be imparted to the Muslim people as an aid to achieving progress. The availability of this list will provide scholars with one more source for defining the scope of Gasprinskii's activities and the jadidist movement.

A movement for the reform and renovation of the Islamic way of life emerged among Russia's Muslim subjects beginning in the third quarter of the nineteenth century. This phenomenon was initiated by an extremely small segment of the Muslim intelligentsia that had gained an acquaintance with "Western" life, made the almost inevitable comparison between the general progress and power of Western "Christian" nations and the decadent condition of Muslim life in Russia and elsewhere, and concluded that at least some borrowing from, and accommodation with, Western ideas and practices were necessary for the very survival of darül' islâm (the realm of Islam).4

In Russia, the Muslim voices first raised in the early and mid-nineteenth century in favor of change were isolated ones. Their demands were generally limited to proposals seeking to break the grip of obscurantism on Islamic theology and introduce secular subjects into the rigidly scholastic curriculum of the Muslim schools. Such men as Abdulnasir al-Kursavi,5 Şihabeddin al-Mercani,6 and Hüseyn Faizhanov7 were all prominent during the early struggle for enlightenment, but at no time was there any effort to form ties, on the basis of a broad reform program, among the various groups of Muslims in Russia.8

For the elaboration of a well-defined program of action that sought to treat a wide range of Muslim societal problems on an all-Russia basis, we have to turn to the Crimean Tatar Ismail Bey Gasprinskii.9 Born in a small village in the Crimea in 1851, Gasprinskii carried on an unremitting attack against the ills of Russian Islam from the late I870's until his death in 1914. At root an educator, he sought to raise the cultural and economic status of his co-religionists through a broad reform not only of the curriculum in the Muslim schools, but also of the method of instruction. His creation of a "new method" of education (usûl-i cedid) became the cornerstone upon which he constructed his own multifaceted program,10 and through his journalistic activities Gasprinskii propagandized his ideas and gave birth to what became known as cedidism.

Ismail Bey's primary instrument of propaganda was Perevodchik/Tercüman (The Interpreter), a newspaper that he owned, edited, and published between 1883 and 1914.11 A dual language publication,12 Perevodchik/Tercüman (hereafter P/T) was printed both in Russian and in a Turkic language based upon a simplified Ottoman Turkish, but sprinkled with Tatarisms.13 One of the special features of this newspaper was the appearance from time to time of supplements, generally in the form of full-page inserts or small pamphlets.

As a supplement to issue forty (October 31, 1901), Gasprinskii offered his readers Mebadi-yi Temedün-i Islâmiyan-i Rus. The pamphlet comprises an essay of seven and one-half pages outlining the course of Muslim advances in Russia during the previous quarter century, plus a bibliography of selected readings.

The essay itself is straightforward enough not to require a lengthy explanatory introduction on my part. Gasprinskii's prose style will undoubtedly appear naive to present-day readers, but it should be kept in mind that much of his literary output was purposefully written in this manner. After all, his Muslim audience was not composed of worldly sophisticates, and much about which he wrote was novel and unfamiliar to his readers. Gasprinskii always tried to be instructive, and this led him to strive constantly for simplicity of expression. In my translation I have endeavored to remain faithful to the original text, and wherever possible the style of the Turkic has been preserved. For the sake of clarity and the English language, however, some parts have been freely recast.

As for the bibliography, the original was very poorly done, at least by modern standards. ln most cases Gasprinskii provided the author's name, the title of the work, and the place and date of publication. Wherever possible, in order to increase the list's usefulness, I have liberally added information that is missing (e.g., the name of the publisher), corrected all incorrect data (the original is notoriously inaccurate in so far as dates of publication are concerned), rearranged the works by author, provided complete titles where only abbreviated ones were given, supplied data on various editions of each work, and noted the libraries outside of the former Soviet Union in which copies of many of the works have been located. The latter is provided for, at the end of each bibliographic entry, by the following set of abbreviations:14

BrM — British Museum (London)
D —  Dar ul-Kutub (Cairo)
EPHE —  Bibliothèque du Centre d'études sur l'URSS et l'Europe orientale, EPHE (Paris)
H —  Library of the University of Helsinki
IUK —  Istanbul Üniversitesi Kütüphanesi
LO — Bibliothèque de l'Ecole des Langues Orientales Vivantes (Paris)
NYPL — New York Public Library
TE — Türkiyat Enstitüsü Kütüphanesi
TTK — Türk Tarih Kurumu Kütüphanesi
WL — Widener Library, Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

To both the essay and the bibliography I have provided commentaries and additional information.

Edward J. Lazzerini


First Steps Toward Civilizing the Russian Muslims

Cedid Books  —  The Cedid Mekteb  —  Students  —  Women  —  The Theater  —  Charitable Societies  —  Publishing Houses  —  The Titles of Cedid Books

At the present time, despite the fact that the Muslim subjects of Russia lag far behind [other peoples], and that they share in so little of modern life, this great [Turkic/Muslim] community is not all that incognizant [of what is happening around it]; and one cannot deny that within it a revival is taking place. Granted that this revival is not imposing; and so long as you do not pay close attention, you will not even notice it. Yet it is enough for us that with some attention it can be observed, because it undoubtedly represents the beginning of progress and civilization.

Twenty or twenty-five years ago, God be praised, although a considerable number of [Turkic/Muslim] religious works were published in Russia,15 only three items dealing with science and literature were written in our language.16 Of these, one was the Bilik published by the orientalist Radlov,17 the second was Kayyum Efendi Nasiri's almanac,18 and the third comprised the comedies of Mirza Fath 'Ali Ahundov.19 Two of these works appeared in Kazan, while the third was published in Tiflis. At that same time, a Turkic-language newspaper entitled Ekinji [The Sower] was founded in Baku by Hasan Bey Melikov.20 Although it had only a brief existence, the newspaper cast a ray of light, like a lightning bolt, upon [long] dormant ideas.

Even though a few works such as the tale of Tahir ve Zühre (Tahir and Zühre) were available [at that time], these cannot be included [in our discussion] because of their lack of literary significance.

[Among Muslims] the state of general knowledge was regrettably pitiful. Unaware of the discoveries of Kepler and Newton, Muslim society viewed the world and cosmos through the eyes of Ptolemy, and was heedless of both contemporary affairs and the lifestyles of other nations. In short, whatever may have been the circumstances of the civilized world four hundred years ago, we Muslims find ourselves today in exactly the same circumstances; that is, we are four hundred years behind!

But now in this same Islamic world characterized by a dearth of knowledge, a lack of information, and torpor, one can discern a slight revival, a degree of awakening and understanding. This revival is not the result of some external influence, but is a marvelous, natural phenomenon born from within.

In 1881 we published an essay in Russian entitled Russkoe musul'manstvo (Russian Islam).21 In this essay we called upon Muslims to write and translate works concerning science, literature, and contemporary progress. Praise God, for we were fortunate that our appeal coincided with the intentions and thoughts of many individuals. As a result, today, some twenty years later, as many as three hundred scientific and literary works have been published in our own language. I realize that for a people numbering in the millions, the publication of three hundred items in twenty years is not a great deal. Nevertheless, compared with the three works that I mentioned above, one hundred times those three is not insignificant.

Generally speaking, the contents of these three hundred national works are such as to encourage people to read and learn.22 Among the books themselves are those that discuss geography, introductory philosophy, astronomy, the preservation of health, and other useful knowledge.23 New-method [usûl-i cedid] primers and reading books, plays, and one or two national novels make up the literary contributions.

The authors of the above are young mullas who have been trained in our national madrasas and who, through self-education, have acquired scientific knowledge. But those youth who have entered the [Russian] gymnasia and universities have not yet performed a service to our national literature. Although the mullas have taken many steps forward, these others have just made a beginning.24

There is a very simple explanation for this regrettable state of affairs. While our enlightened, educated Muslims know Russian and European languages, and while they enter various professions such as medicine, engineering, mining, and law, they are unable to read and write in their own national language! There is no educated Russian who does not read and write his own native tongue, no educated Austrian, Pole, Georgian, or Armenian who is not literate in his own national language. Unfortunately, this is not the case with our people.


Above all else Islam makes two demands [on its adherents]: one is education, the other is prayer. As a consequence, in every place where Muslims are to be found, a mekteb is built for the former and a mosque for the latter. Depending upon the locality, they are constructed either of stone, wood, or felt cloth. Those of sedentary Muslims are found in fixed places; those of nomads are portable and travel along with them. Everyone knows that the Islamic world's largest and most important buildings and building complexes consist of mektebs and mosques. In every village, in every quarter, somehow or other one will find a place of instruction. In Russia, at a time when education was hardly considered and there were only two Russian schools to be found in the whole country, every Muslim village had one mekteb apiece. But, if in former days these schools sufficed and were efficient, we must all acknowledge that to meet the demands of today they are in need of reform.

For several years I was in the teaching profession,25 and [during that time] I became intimately acquainted with conditions in the Russian schools and Muslim mekteb. [In the latter] the poor students would rock at their reading desks for six or seven hours everyday for five or six years.26 There were many nights when I was unable to sleep because of my bitterness and regret at seeing them deprived of the ability to write and of a knowledge of the catechism and other matters, and their inability to acquire, in the end, anything other than the talent for repeating an Arabic sentence.27

School time was being wasted. The teaching of skills, techniques, the Russian language, and other matters was [so inadequate] that a fifth-year mekteb student could neither perform his daily prayers properly nor write a simple letter. A remedy had to be found for this state of affairs. It was necessary to complete the teaching of religion well and in a short time, and then to find a way to provide [the students] with the skills, languages, and information needed for today's world.

It was because of this that we opened a discussion of the new method [usûl-i cedid] in 1884 in Tercüman,28 the newspaper that we had founded in 1883. A graded and phonetic primer was published and a mekteb in Bahçesaray was changed over to this method and system. The visible progress made by the students of this mekteb compelled other schools to adopt the method.29 In six months, after mastering reading and writing in Turkic and the four basic arithmetical processes, the novice students had begun lessons to learn Arabic, and were reading a book that taught the elements of religion. [Their successes] reverberated in far-off provinces, and today the "phonetic method" [usûl-i savtiye] has spread all the way to Chinese Turkistan. [In the intervening period] over five hundred old-[method] mektebs have been reformed. Because the opportunity presented itself, Russian language teachers have been invited to a number of mektebs, and one hears that perfect Russian has been acquired with ease. (For example, in mektebs in Bahçesarai, Şeki, Kulca, Şirvan, Nakçevan, and other places.)

Great success has been achieved in awakening public opinion concerning the mekteb because Muslims are an alert people who, once they are exposed to something, come to know and understand it.

Consequently, I am hopeful that there will be other reforms and that the idea of change will not be reserved only for primary schools. Reform of the Arab medrese as well has been engraved on the heart of the nation. After spending eight or ten years studying grammar, which is the primary introduction to the Arab and Islamic sciences, and after being "imprisoned in the medrese" for fifteen years, the student does not know Arabic. He will have come across the names of Ghazali, Bukhari, and Taftazani, but will have had no acquaintance with the likes of 'Ali Husayn ibn Sina, Farabi, or Ibn Khaldun.30 Consequently, it dawns on many men that this is not a very sound or reasonable way to terminate their education. Thanks to this [realization], and with the intention of renovating the educational method, they have been rather successful in reforming and reorganizing the following medreses: the Zincirli in Bahçesarai, the Barudi in Kazan, the Osmaniye in Ufa, and the Hüseyniye in Orenburg. In order to facilitate the teaching of Arabic, newly organized grammar books have been published. For example, there are the works of Ahmed Hadi Efendi Maksudi [published] in Kazan.31

The search for knowledge does not take this path alone. Profiting from the state-run primary schools,32 Muslim students are entering the [Russian] gymnasia and universities in order to become acquainted with contemporary progress and learning, and the number who complete [these schools] is increasing.

Twenty years ago, one of our people had received a university education; now such people number more than one hundred. Fifty Muslim young men who have received a [Russian] higher education and who have entered the professions of engineering, medicine, law, etc., can be found in Baku alone. There are also those who have been educated in, and returned home from, French and German universities.

It is noteworthy that there is a greater number of Muslims in the southern provinces who study Russian than there are in the inner provinces. We hope that our coreligionists up and down the Volga will recognize that they are being delinquent in this matter, and that they will endeavor to become acquainted with contemporary progress through a knowledge of the Russian language. There are thousands of scientific and technical works written in Russian, it is necessary to profit from them.33


In a similar way the national theater is the product of recent years. Besides the comedies of Mirza Fatıh 'Ali, which have been around for some time, several new comedies have been written and published. Theatrical plays in the national language have appeared in Baku, Karabagh, Gence, and Bahçesarai. In Baku a permanent theatrical company has been formed, and one or two plays have been translated from Russian. Armenian, Georgian, and Jewish girls serve in the roles of women. We are thankful [for all of this], but it cannot be denied that our theater rests on one leg.

One notices traces of awakening and progress among Muslim women, who have remained even further behind in comparison with Muslim men. If you want proof [of progress in this area], I can only give you a little. In the last days of winter, there appears a white flower growing in the snow; surely you know it. If this bloom is not proof that summer has arrived, it is a certain sign that the beginning of summer is near. There are some signs just like this one [with regard to the advancement of our women]. Twenty-five years ago, the respected wife of Hasan Bey (who was one of our journalists),34 was the only Muslim woman who had received an education; now there exist perhaps twenty such women. In St. Petersburg, in a women's medical [nursing?] school, three Muslim women are studying medical science, and one is practicing medicine.35 It is well known that two Muslim women are writing, and their results are being published.36 Let them be examples and models for emerging authors. This world is one of hope; why should we despair?


Charity, giving alms, and helping others are fundamental to the Islamic faith. Because of this, God be praised, we can say that there is no one who does not tithe or give alms and [other assistance]. Everyone contributes within his means, and thus every year a great deal of money is dispensed in this way. Nevertheless, while there are those who help themselves to these charities, there are others too ashamed to do so, and, as a result, go hungry. Being aware of the fact that there is a lot for some and nothing for others, the public has begun to rectify the situation. In recent years, to provide order to charitable activities and increase the opportunities for such projects, the idea of the charitable society has emerged. Twenty-five years ago, in all of Russia, there was only one Muslim charitable society, in Vladikavkaz. Today such societies have been established and are carrying on their tasks in each of the following places: Khankerman, Kazan, Troitsk, Semipalatinsk, Ufa, and Haci Terhan.37


[The extent of] publishing activity and the book trade is the most concrete testimony to the degree of advancement and progress of a nation; it is the most direct proof. Twenty years ago, there were two printing presses in Muslim hands: that of the Abdullin Taş publishing house in Kazan, and of the Insizade press in Tiflis. Now there exist the Tercüman press in Bahçesaray, the press of Ilias Mirza Boragani in St. Petersburg, of the Karimov brothers in Kazan, of Mulla Ibrahim Karimov in Orenburg, and of Doctor Ahundov and Ali Mardan Bey in Baku. In all we have progressed from two such establishments to eight.


I am leaving it up to each reader to evaluate the degree of progress and advancement that has been made in each of the areas [of Muslim life] about which I have been writing.

Following are the works which we reviewed this evening, and which comprise a part of our new [cedid] literature. This list is by no means complete; if we may, we have postponed its completion until another time.38

[The bibliography of cedid publications that was appended to Gasprinskii's Mebadi-yi Temeddün-i Islâmiyan-i Rus (First Steps Toward Civilizing the Russian Muslims) consists of three parts: Books Pertaining to Instruction, Books Pertaining to Science and Literature, and Suplementary Reading (books and pamphlets published by Gasprinskii's own printing establishment). See Bibliography.]


[1]. This is a modestly revised version of the translation and commentary that first appeared in the French journal Cahiers du Monde russe et soviétique, XVI, No. 2 (April-June, 1975), 245-277. I would like to thank Mme Dilek Desaive of Paris for her unselfish assistance during the early stages of translation, when she perused my first drafts and offered corrections and suggestions. My thanks go also to Walter Andrews, who was my professor of Turkish at the University of Washington, for his advice concerning the translation's final draft. To the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council, joint sponsors of the Foreign Area Fellowship Program, I owe a debt of gratitude for providing the financial support for one and one-half years of research both abroad and in the United States. This article is one product of that research.

[2]. Our protagonist's surname, drawn from the village of "Gaspra" that survives in Crimea, takes many forms, including al-Gasfari (the earliest that I have seen), Gaspirali (the standard Tatar rendering), and Gasprinskii (the Russianized version). My decision to use "Gasprinskii" here and in my other work results from two principal realizations. First, Ismail Bey used the Russianized version virtually throughout his life, certainly in his writing/publishing activities. Second, that version is consistent with a fundamental position that Ismail Bey held about relations between his Turkic brethren and the Russians, a relationship that he characterized by the term sblizhenie (rapprochement, accommodation). Ethnic considerations aside, faithfulness to Ismail Bey's self identity seems most appropriate.

[3]. References to this work are rare both in contemporary sources and more recent studies. The nineteenth-century Hungarian orientalist, Arminius Vambéry, drew attention to the essay and provided translations of certain portions of it in two of his own works: Western culture in Eastern lands. A comparison of the methods adopted by England and Russia in the Middle East (London, 1906), 272, 361-362; and "Die Kulturbestrebungen der Tataren," Deutsche Rundschau, CXXXII (July-Sept., 1907), 74-76. Vambéry mistakenly claimed, however, that Gasprinskii's essay appeared in both Russian and Turkic.

[4]. The intellectual trauma resulting from confrontation with the West was hardly peculiar to Russian Muslims. Many of their co-religionists in the Ottoman Empire (including Egypt), and in India had already begun to experience it some years before, and Muslims in Persia, Afghanistan, and elsewhere would shortly go through it as well. The significance of this phenomenon for the modern history of Islam has not escaped recent scholarship, and the result has been a growing body of literature dealing with the issue in both general and specific terms. Of this literature, the following are of particular value: R. N. Frye, ed., Islam and the West (The Hague, 1956); G. E. von Grunebaum, Modern Islam: the search for cultural identity (Los Angeles, 1962); B. Lewis, The Middle East and the West (Bloomington, 1964); W. C. Smith, Islam in modern history (Princeton, 1957); B. Lewis, The emergence of modern Turkey (London, 1961); N. Berkes, The development of secularism in Turkey (Montreal, 1964); A. Hourani, Arabic thought in the liberal age, 1798-1939 (London, 1962); and H. Sharabi, Arab intellectuals and the West: the formative years, 1875-1914 (Baltimore, 1970).

[5]. Born among the Volga Tatars, Abdulnasir al-Kursavi (1783-1814 according to one source, but 1776-1818 according to another) was educated in the classical Islamic tradition and became a young theologian and professor at a medrese (higher theological school) in Bukhara, a leading center of Muslim theology at the time. While in Bukhara, he began to speak out against those who would transform Islamic theology from a living body of teachings into an abstract, scholastic system. For his "radical" ideas he made many enemies and was ultimately sentenced to death by the Emir for heresy. Kursavi fled the city and returned to the Volga region where he opened his own medrese in the village of Kursa (his home town). He subsequently achieved notoriety once again for his beliefs, and was accused of impiety by some other teachers. His case reached the Mufti of the Muslim Spiritual Assembly in Orenburg for adjudication, but the outcome of the matter is not known. None of his writings has been published, but his religious views are said to be well represented in a manuscript entitled "Irsad al-Ibad" (A guide for servants of God). See M. Gainullin, Tatarskaia literatura i publitsistika nachala XX veka (Kazan, 1966), 120. For a brief biographical note on Kursavi, consult Dzh. Validov, Ocherk istorii obrazovannosti i literatury Tatar do revoliutsii 1917 g. (Moscow, 1923): 32-33.

[6]. Şihabeddin al-Mercani (1818-1889) was a noted theologian and historian from the Kazan region. Until the age of twenty he studied in his own father's medrese, but then continued his education in two major Central Asian religious centers, Bukhara and Samarkand. During this period in Central Asia Mercani became involved in the theological controversies which would profoundly influence the course of his life. See Dzh. Validov, 35-39, for a discussion of the major controversies which Mercani used as a means to achieve two goals: the separation of theology and religion, and a return to a primitive Islam shorn of the complexities that had grown up around it over the centuries. As a historian and biographer, he produced a number of significant works of lasting value. Brief analyses of Mercani as a historian can be found in G.. Gubaidullin, "Razvitie istoricheskoi literatury u tiurko-tatarskikh narodov," in Pervyi vsesoiuznyi tiurkologicheskii s"ezd (Baku, 1926), 40-42, and M.F. Togay, "Qazan Türk tarihine bakislar: muverrih Sehabettin Mercan," Türk Amaci, I (1942/43), 343-348. Of immense value for a study of Mercani is S. Gubaidullin, ed., Şihabeddin al-Mercani hazretlerinin veladetlerine yuz yil tolu (1233-1333) münasebetiyle neşri etildi (Kazan, 1333/1914-1915).

[7]. Hüseyn Feizkhanov was born in 1826 in the village of Sabachai, Simbirsk Province. At first a student of Mercani, Feizkhanov subsequently attended courses in the Oriental Faculty at Kazan University and later at St. Petersburg University, where he forged a close scholarly relationship with the Russian orientalist Vladimir Vel'iaminov-Zernov. At some point during his studies, Feizkhanov developed an interest in the problems of Muslim education in Russia. This interest came to the fore in 1860 when he raised the question of reform of the Tatar medrese in a project entitled "Islah-i Medaris" (Reform of the medrese). In his project, Feizkhanov envisioned a Tatar secondary school in Kazan where Islamic and secular sciences, and the Russian language, would be taught according to European methods. On this same subject he carried on a correspondence with his former mentor Mercani who was also interested in educational reform, but who found his erstwhile pupil's project too bold and likely to open the way to the Russification of the Tatars. On Feizkhanov's life and work one can consult Riza'eddin Fakhreddin, Asar, Vol. II (Kazan, 1900), 432-443, and G. von Mende, op. cit., 38-39. Some of the correspondence between Feizkhanov and Mercani have been published in Asar and in the review Şura, 14-19 (July 15-Oct. 1, 1916). On Feizkhanov's association with the Kazakh enlightener Chokan Valikhanov, see A. Kh. Marghulan, "Shoqannyng zhangadan ashylghan dosy—khusain Faizkhanov zhane onyng peterbordan zhazghan khattary," Izvestiia AN Kaz. SSR, Seriia obshchestvennykh nauk, III (1965), 12-24.

[8]. Certainly the vast distances between the various Muslim communities in Russia and the concomitant low level of inter-community contact contributed to the absence of any unified action on the part of the early "enlighteners". But even more striking, and less explicable, was the apparent lack of cooperation on the intra-community level. Dzh. Validov (op. cit.: 42) cited one noteworthy example of this: "Nasyri was a contemporary of Mercani and lived nearby him, but between them there was no internal moral bond nor any active contact."

[9]. There exists a substantial literature concerning Gasprinskii, but most of it must be handled with extreme caution. Fortunately, much of what Gasprinskii himself wrote is extant outside of the Soviet Union, and this corpus of material provides us with a reasonably clear understanding of his life and work. For a full-scale study of Gasprinskii, with accompanying exhaustive bibliography, see my doctoral dissertation entitled "Ismail Bey Gasprinskii and Muslim modernism in Russia, 1878-1914", Seattle, University of Washington, 1973.

[10]. Gasprinskii's program, although never articulated fully in a single manifesto, clearly comprised the following points: (a) reform of the Muslim educational system in order to bring it into conformity with "modern" pedagogy; (b) creation of a common Turkic literary language; (c) emancipation of women; (d) organization of cooperative and philanthropic societies; (e) strengthening of ties among Russia's Turco-Muslim peoples; and (f) cooperation with the Russian government and people.

[11]. Tercüman/Perevodchik survived until February, 1918 when publication was suspended by order of the fledgling Bolshevik government. On this and other journalistic enterprises pursued by Ismail Bey, see A. Bennigsen and Ch. Lemercier-Quelquejay, La presse et le mouvement national chez les musulmans de Russie avant 1920 (The Hague: Mouton, 1964): 37-42, 138-143, and E. Lazzerini, op. cit., especially ch. II and III.

[12]. After the first few years of Tercüman/Perevodchik's existence, the Turkic section was gradually expanded at the expense of the Russian section. Beginning in late 1905, except on rare occasions thereafter, articles were published in Turkic alone.

[13]. For an analysis of the language of Tercüman, and by extension, a study of Gasprinskii's common Turkic literary language, see G. Burbiel, "Die Sprache Isma'il Bey Gaspyralys," doctoral dissertation, University of Hamburg, 1950, and E. Lazzerini, op. cit., ch.. VII. There are a number of criticisms of Burbiel's work, not the least of which was the use of only seven issues of Tercüman for his analysis. Nevertheless, his basic conclusions as to the nature of the new literary language appear to be valid.

[14]. Knowledge of the library collections in Paris, Helsinki, Istanbul, and Ankara has resulted from this researcher's personal, on-the-spot perusal of their catalogues. As for holdings in other libraries, I have relied upon data gathered by Prof. A. Bcnnigsen and Ch. Lemercier-Quelquejay, and upon a recent publication of Prof. Edward Allworth entitled Nationalities of the Soviet East: publications and writing systems (New York: Columbia University Press, 1971). The information on library holdings is not meant to be exhaustive, but should serve as a guide to the availability, outside of the Soviet Union, of the works in Gasprinskii's bibliography.

[15]. As part of Empress Catherine II's (1762-1796) final attempt to create a successful state policy toward the Muslim subjects of the Russian Empire, all books used in Muslim schools after 1786 were to be printed and translated at government expense in dual-language editions: in Russian and Tatar. [A. W. Fisher, "Enlightened despotism and Islam under Catherine II", Slavic Review, XXVII, No. 4 (1968), 549.] In I800, at the request of certain Kazan Tatars, a special Asiatic press was established at Kazan University by imperial order for the printing of books in languages employing the Arabic script. Once in operation, this press eventually was turning out hundreds of thousands of copies of such works annually. On the activities of the Asiatic press and for a list of all works published by it between 1800 and 1896, see N.I. Katanov, Katalog knig, otpechatannykh v tipografii imperatorskago Kazanskago universiteta s 1800 po 1896 god (Kazan, n.d.), 1-8 and 324-416. For other information on Muslim publishing activity in the first three-quarters of the nineteenth century, one may consult the following: V.D. Smirnov, "Musul'manskiia pechatnyia izdaniia v Rossii," Zapiski vostochnago oldeleniia imperatorskago Russkago arkheologicheskago obshchesiva, III (I888), 97-114; G. Gubaidullin, "Iz proshlogo Tatar," Materialy po izucheniiu Tatarstana, Part II (Kazan, 1925), 103-105.

[16]. One of the fundamental aims of Gasprinskii's "program" was the creation of a common Turkic literary language that would serve as a means of uniting, at least culturally, all Muslims in Russia. Gasprinskii seems to have formulated such a language sometime during the 1880s, utilizing what amounted to a simplified Ottoman Turkish as a base to which were added certain Tatarisms. Tercüman was gradually printed in this language and became a vehicle for its dissemination. Whether this is the language to which Gasprinskii is referring when he writes "our language", or whether he merely means one or the other of the various Turkic languages in which most works were being written, is difficult to determine. Gasprinskii was later to admit in his newspaper Millet (The Nation), No. 0 (trial issue, 1906), 1, that before 1905-1906 it was too risky in Russia to raise openly the subject of a common Turkic literary language, and that he had had to resort to "implication, hints, and examples... [in order to] make those who read understand in some way..." Perhaps this is an example of Gasprinskii's indirect approach to the subject; much more plausible, however, may be the following explanation: given the extremely low state of Muslim publishing activity, Gasprinskii was willing to accept jadid works written in any Turkic language used by Muslims. After all, one cannot be too discriminating when there are only several hundred such works from which to choose.

[17]. Vasilii Vasil'evich Radlov (1837-1918) was a well-known Russian orientalist, one-time inspector for the Tatar, Bashkir, and Kirgiz schools in the Kazan School District, and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. For a biographical sketch of Radlov, see the article by P. Ritter in Entsiklopedicheskii slovar, Vol. 35 (7th ed.; Moscow, 1910-1948), 444-446. For biographical information and for a survey of his work, see O. Pritsak's introduction to the reprint of Radlov's Versuch eines Wörterbuches der Türk-Dialecte, Vol. 1 (The Hague, 1960), v-xxvii. A complete list of Radlov's works can be found in Materialy dlia bibliograficheskago slovaria deistvitel'nykh chlenov imperatorskoi akademii nauk (Petrograd, 1915-1917), Part II, 121-136. The Bilik mentioned above is a reference to Radlov's large study of the old Turkic literary monument Qutadgu Bilig, which he began in 1884 and later published as Das Kudatku Bilik des Jusuf Chass-Hudschib aus Bälasagun (2 parts; St. Petersburg, 1891-1910).

[18]. Many studies have been devoted to the erudite Tatar scholar 'Abdulqayyum al-Nasyri (1825- 1902). For a biographical sketch and an extensive bibliography of Nasyri's own works and works about him, although the latter are rather dated, see Ch. Lemercier-Quelquejay, "Un réformateur tatar au XIXe siècle: 'Abdul Qajjum al-Nasyri," Cahiers du monde russe et soviétique, Vol. 4, Nos. 1-2 (1963), 117-142. Of similar import is S. Çagatay, "Abd-ul-Kayyum Nasyri", Ankara Üniversitesi Dil ve Tarih-Cografya Fakültesi Dergisi, Vol. 10, Nos. 3-4 (1952), 147-160. Between 1871 and 1897 (except for the years 1886, 1887, and 1895), Nasyri edited an annual almanac entitled Qazan Kalindari, which provided the reader with information on a variety of topics. Copies of the almanac for the following years are available outside of the CIS: 1873 [BrM]; 1874 [BrM]; 1876 [LO]; 1881 [H]; 1885 [LO]; 1897 [H].

[19]. Mirza Fatih 'Ali Akhundov (1812-1878) was a major figure in the general cultural development of nineteenth-century Azerbaidjan. Educated both in a traditional Muslim and a Russian-sponsored school, Akhundov passed up a career as a theologian in favor of a position as oriental language translator in the Chancery of the Governor-General of the Caucasus, Baron Gregor von Rosen. He remained in Russian state service until his retirement in 1876. Akhundov's great contribution to the Azeri people, however, lay in his activities and interests outside of his official duties. Spurred on by a desire to bring about change in the traditional life style of the Azeri Muslims, he turned to literature as a means of attacking old and propagandizing new ideas. After an early fascination with classical Islamic literature, Akhundov abandoned the elitist literary language and turned to writing in the Azeri vernacular, which could be understood by even the semiliterate. He was a pioneer of the theater among the Turkic peoples, famous for the comedies to which Gasprinskii alludes above; and he was the first Azeri to write a novel in the vernacular. For the last twenty years of his life, Akhundov worked diligently to reform the Azeri language either by simplifying the Arabic script or by proposing the adoption of the Latin alphabet. Much like Gaspinskii himself, Akhundov viewed education as the keys to the well-being of the Muslim community. An exhaustive bibliography of over 1,700 Russian sources dealing with Akhundov is provided by A. N. Lerman in Mirza Fatali Akbundov v russkoi pechati 1837-1962 gg. Bibliografiia (Baku, 1962). Biographical information can be found in D. Dzhafarov, M.F. Akbundov (Moscow, 1962). For appreciations of Akbundov's role in the modernist trend in Azerbaidjan, see H.W. Brands, Azerbaidschanische Volksleben und modernistische Tendenz in des Schauspielen Mirza Feth-Ali Ahundzades (Gravenhage, 1958), and T.A. Swietochowski, "Modernizing trends and the Growth of National Awareness in 19th century Russian Azerbaidjan", Ph.D. diss., New York University, 1968, 76-158.

[20]. Hasan Bey Melikov Zerdabi (1842-1907), an Azeri educator, journalist, and grass-roots "enlightener", worked for the modernization of Muslim life in much the same way as did Gasprinskii, except that the scope of his activity was parochial rather than pan-Islamic in its territorial range. He devoted his adult life to improving the Muslim schools, developing education for girls, establishing charitable societies, and promoting an Islamic theater. From July 1875 to September 1877, he was editor and publisher of Ekinji, the first private newspaper in a Turkic language to be published in Russia. He and Gasprinskii were essentially contemporaries, and while there is evidence that they knew of and admired each other's work, there is nothing that points to any serious cooperation between them. Concerning Hasan Bey there is an extensive literature, of which the following should be noted: Z.B. Geiushev, Mirovozzrenie G.B. Zardabi (Baku, 1962), and M.M. Kasumov, "G. Zardabi—vydaiushchiisia Azerbaidzhanskoi prosvetitel'," Trudy Instituta istorii i filosofii AN Az.SSR, Vol. 8 (1955), 136-178. In English there is T.A. Swietochowski, op. cit., 171-197.

[21]. An extremely important early essay, Russkoe musul'manstvo> (Russian Islam) first brought Gasprinskii's name and ideas to public attention. Originally serialized in Russian in issues 43-47 (1881) of the newspaper Tavrida, it was subsequently expanded and reprinted as a separate publication. Herein Ismail Bey discussed the situation of the Islamic community in Russia and raised the issue of its modernization. The key to a better life for his co-religionists was, he felt, active cooperation between an enlightened Russian government and an awakened Muslim people. For a Russian reaction to this essay, see M. Miropiev, "Kakiia nachala dolzhny byt' polozheny v osnovu obrazovaniia russkikh inorodtsev musul'man? Po povodu broshiury Ismail-beia Gasprinskago," Rus', Vol. 4, No. 17 (Sept. 1, 1884), 24-41.

[22]. I use the word "national" to translate the adjective millî found throughout Gasprinskii's essay. The reader is cautioned, however, to understand "national" in cultural and not political terms.

[23]. Mullas were Islamic teachers trained in the medreses for service in the mekteb (primary schools). The "young mullas" to whom Gasprinskii refers were representatives of the modernist wing of that professional group, men who had become aware of the need to broaden the range of their intellectual inquiry to include secular as well as religious (Islamic) subjects. Since only theological studies were pursued in the medreses, scientific knowledge was acquired "through self- education."

[24]. Here Gasprinskii directs mild criticism toward those of the intelligentsia who have become so westernized that they had lost all touch with their Islamic roots. From many of his other writings, it is clear that he felt strongly that those who had succeeded in life, whether it be materially or intellectually, had an obligation to share with their brethren the fruits of their own success. This attitude, so pronounced in Gasprinskii, probably results from the triple influence of traditional Islamic teaching, French utopian socialism, and Russian populism.

[25]. According to C. Seydahmet, Gaspirali Ismail Bey (Istanbul, 1934), 8, after his departure from the Moscow Military Academy in 1867, Gasprinskii accepted a position as a Russian- language instructor in Bahçesaray at the Zincirli medrese. Beginning in 1869 he taught for two years at the Dereköy mekteb in Yalta, before once again returning to teach at Zincirli. He failed to retain his post for very long when, as a result of his criticism of the traditional educational method then in use, he incurred the enmity of both students and faculty alike. Under pressure to recant or resign, and even threatened with physical harm, Gasprinskii quit the medrese in 1871. Around 1875, Ismail Bey again tried his hand at formal teaching, but his outspoken views once more led to conflict with the educational establishment. See Osman Akchokrakli, "Qart mu'allim ve yazicilarimizdan Isma'il Gasprinski," Oku Işleri, No. 2 (June, 1925), 9.

[26]. In the traditional mekteb, the students were required to recite their lessons aloud, both to help them to memorize the material and to permit the instructor to correct their pronunciation. The rhythm of their recitations was aided by rocking their upper bodies as they sat cross-legged on the floor.

[27]. Here we are introduced to the basic criticism of the old method of Muslim education: it was based upon learning by rote with no concern for student comprehension. Knowledge of the Qur'an and other religious writings (this being the only knowledge deemed worthy of mastering), was to be limited to their memorization. For Turkic as for all non-Arab children, this was particularly difficult because the material to be rnastered was in Arabic, a language in which they were all too often given no training. For a list of the reading materials used in an old-method mekteb, materials that point up the entirely religious content of the curriculum, see S. Rybakov, "Novometodisty i starometodisty v russkom musul'manstve," Mir Islama, Vol. II, No. 12 (1913), 856, citing an article in the Tatar review Şura,14 (July 15, 1913).

[28]. The primer was entitled Hoca-yi Sibyan. Az Vakitta Okumak Yazmak ve Kisab Bildirir. Gasprinskii contended that the material covered by this book could be mastered in only six months, instead of the usual four or five years using the old method.

[29]. The first new method mekteb was opened in the Kaytaz Aga quarter of Bahçesaray with an enrolment of twelve students and an instructor named Bekir Emekdar Efendi.. The success of the enterprise was such that, despite strong opposition, forty new students were enrolled after only two months. As news of the school spread, mullas from Caucasia and the Volga region came to Bahçesaray in order to learn the new method, then returned home to establish their own reformed mektebs. By the end of the 1880s, every Russian province possessed two or three such institutions. See I. Gasprinskii, "Türk Yurtcularina," Türk Yurdu, I (1328/1910), 194, 236-237

[30]. All of those mentioned were outstanding and much revered Islamic intellectuals.

[31]. Specifically Al-Kavanin al-nahviya (The rules of grammar), Kazan, 1893. See entry 21 in the attached bibliography.

[32]. Gasprinskii is referring to both the regular Russian primary schools and the special Russo- Tatar (or Russo-Native) schools, the second of which appeared in small numbers beginning in the 1870s. The latter type of school was specifically set up to provide state-controlled education for Muslim and other inorodtsy (non-Russian) children and was based upon the pedagogical ideas of N.I. Il'minskii. For a useful analysis of the Il'minskii's role in the education of non-Russian minorities, see I.T. Kreindler, "Education policies toward the Eastern nationalities in Tsarist Russia: A study of Il'minskii's system," Ph.D. dissertation (Columbia University, 1970), which also contains a thorough bibliography. K.E. Bendrikov, in his Ocherki po istorii narodnogo obrazovaniia v Turkestane, 1865-1924 (Moscow, 1960), provides important information on Russo-Native schools in Turkestan.

[33].That Gasprinskii took pains to point out that many Muslims had been lax with regard to learning Russian is noteworthy on two counts: first, it reflects the intense indifference, even abhorrence, of traditionalist Muslims toward acquiring a non-Islamic language; secondly, it reveals Ismail Bey's conviction that Russian, as well as other European languages, must be learned if Muslims are to enter the mainstream of modern life. For many Russian Muslims to study the state language was tantamount to inviting ultimate Russification. Traditionalists certainly have a valid point in this regard; nevertheless, committed as he was to achieving a syncretic solution to the problem of Islam in the modern world, Gasprinskii felt that the benefits to the Islamic community of learning Russian far out-weighed the threat that knowledge of the language might pose.

[34]. The reference is to Khanifa, wife of Hasan Bey Melikov Zerdabi. See note 20.

[35]. In Perevodchik No. 10 (March 12, 1895), 20, Gasprinskii reported that Razia Kutluiarova, a Muslim woman, had completed her medical studies in St. Petersburg and had been granted permission to practice. The exact nature of Kutluiarova's medical training, however, is unclear.

[36]. See the bibliographic entries for Khanifa Khanim (also entered under the pen name 'Alimat al-Benat), and Ibnet-ul-Suleymani.

[37]. Copies of the regulations and by-laws of a number of charitable societies are available in the turcica collection of the Helsinki University Library. In 1908, a standardized form for composing the by-laws of such organizations was published in Zaman Kalindar. Taqvim 1909 (Kazan, 1908), 20-25.

[38]. Gaspinskii appears never to have completed the list.


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