The Hagiography of Nasir-i Khusraw and the Ismailis of Badakhshan

DSR graduate Shaftolu Golamadov’s dissertation recognized by Foundation for Iranian Studies

Dr. Shaftolu Gulamadov’s doctoral dissertation, “The Hagiography of Nasir-i Khusraw and the Ismailis of Badakhshan,” has been recognized by the Foundation for Iranian Studies’ Committee on the Selection of the Best PhD Dissertation of the Year with an honorable mention “for superior scholarship, originality, clarity, and the significant contribution it makes to the field of Iranian Studies.” The dissertation was completed under the supervision of Prof. Shafique Virani at the University of Toronto’s Department for the Study of Religion. It was a happy twist of fate that Prof. Virani’s own dissertation had itself won this award many years ago. In his letter of nomination, Prof. Virani wrote:

Dr. Gulamadov’s research is at the cutting edge of scholarship in his field…. The precision and depth of his investigations, his use of unedited and uncatalogued manuscript works that even the topmost specialists in his field have never heard of, much less used, and his scholarly intuition set him apart. He deftly uses sources in Persian, Tajik, Russian, English, French, and several little-known Central Asian languages, such as Shughni. I have no doubt that with the publication of his work, even at this early stage of his career, he will quite possibly come to be viewed as the world’s leading scholar of Badakhshani Ismailism.

Gholam Reza Afkhami, Chair of the Ph.D. Dissertation Awards Committee, concurred, writing “This is a work done brilliantly, deserving of high acclaim…. On behalf of the committee and myself, I congratulate Dr. Gulamadov on his superb accomplishment and wish him the best in his future academic and scholarly endeavors.”

Notice of Dr. Gulamadov’s citation will appear in the journals of the Middle East Studies Association and the Association for Iranian Studies, in several Persian language publications, and on the Foundation for Iranian Studies interactive website.


Central Asia

Abstract (summary):

This dissertation examines Badakhshānī Ismāʿīlī hagiographical texts written between approximately the late 16th and the late 20th centuries in their socio-political context. It analyses the narratives by drawing attention to how their authors expressed ideals, values, beliefs, practices, and concerns through the medium of hagiography. Unlike much previous scholarly work on the Badakhshānī hagiographical tradition, which dismisses this substantial body of valuable material as entirely “fictional,” and, therefore, useless as a source of “historical” information, the present study approaches the data in a novel manner, and analyses it for clues about the ideological, polemical, apologetic, pedagogic, moral, and didactic concerns of Badakhshānī Ismāʿīlīs. This dissertation focuses on the hagiographies of Nāṣir-i Khusraw (d. after 462/1070), the celebrated Persian Ismāʿīlī thinker, poet and missionary. Badakhshānī Ismāʿīlīs, a minority Central Asian Muslim community concentrated primarily in the Afghan Badakhshān Province and Tajik Gorno-Badakhshān Autonomous Oblast, revere Nāṣir-i Khusraw as the founder of the Ismāʿīlī Shīʿī tradition, calling their religious tradition the daʿvat-i Shāh Nāṣir, or “Nāṣir-i Khusraw’s summoning.”

Read more at the source. You can also download thesis (PDF) version here

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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