[Kul’t Abu Muslima i ego spodvizhnikov v Tsentral’noi Azii: varianty mifologizatsii]
Type of publication: Research Article
Central Asia, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, cult of saints, Abu Muslim, shrines, mythologization, secularization
This article focuses on the figure of Abu Muslim, an important political figure of the eighth century, and examines the different variations of mythologization of his personality as well as his companions in Central Asia. The study of the cult of Islamic saints is essential from a range of perspectives: it helps us to trace how the image of the saint transformed over time, to identify the part that political and cultural factors played in the construction of Abu Muslim’s image, and to analyze the local features and specificities of the Abu Muslim cult in different religious and political contexts. I draw on the comparative analysis of manifestations of the cult and its transformation in two countries – Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. There are different variations of legends about Abu Muslim and forms of his worship, and the expressions of this cult are often revealed through a link to Abu Muslim’s compan ions. Depending on particular local traditions, some local saints are legitimized through an imaginary connection with Abu Muslim. The transformation of public perceptions of the importance of saints in Uzbekistan was influenced by various factors, the most significant of which was the secular policy of the state. In the traditional Afghan society, although the perceptions did change as well, the reverence of Abu Muslim survived for a number of reasons, which are explored in the article.
This research was supported by the following institutions and grants:
European Regional Development Fund, https://doi.org/10.13039/501100008530 [CZ.02.1.01/0.0/
Malikov, A.M. 2020. The Cult of Abu Muslim and His Companions in Central Asia: Variants of Mythologization [Kul’t Abu Muslima i ego spodvizhnikov v Tsentral’noi Azii: varianty mifologizatsii]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 3: 141–160. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150010054-9
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