chapter  3
20 Pages

ABOUT A SCROLL OF DOCUMENTS JUSTIFYING YASAVI RITUALS 1

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The scroll of documents discussed below was found recently in the course of

work on a new catalogue which will include full descriptions of hitherto

unknown Sufi texts dating from the eighteenth to early twentieth centuries kept

at the Institute of Oriental Studies “al-Beruni” (Tashkent).2 The documents have

been glued together to form one scroll, a procedure known from other types of

documents as for example, endowment deeds (vaqf-na¯mah) or other secular and

religious decrees and acts (ya¯rlı¯q, vas ¯ ı¯qah, etc.) (see Figures 3.1-3.3). The

beginning of the scroll has not been preserved. The language of the documents is

Arabic and Persian with only a few insertions of Turkic, mostly stemming from

the h ˙ ikmatlar attributed to Khwajah Ahmad Yasavi. The size of the scroll is 545

6 56 cm. The handwriting is nasta\lı¯q, at least by seven different scribes can be identified. The paper is evidently from Bukhara (transparent, glossy and cream

colour) and Samarqand (with dense structure and glossy). The different parts of

the scroll (judging by the seals) were drawn up at different moments, in a time

range spanning the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Only once an

author of one of the riva¯yat included left some brief information about himself

and cited two chains of a spiritual succession (silsilah) linking him to the

Mudjadidiyyah and the Qadiriyyah lines (see below).