From Shamanism to Sufism Women, Islam and Culture in Central Asia

From Shamanism to Sufism Women, Islam and Culture in Central Asia

Author: Razia Sultanova

Published in 2011 by I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
6 Salem Road, London W2 4BU
175 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10010

International Library of Central Asian Studies: 3
ISBN: 978 1 84885 309 6


In 1989, when I was asked by a Russian publisher in Moscow, where I lived and worked at the Union of Soviet Composers, to write ‘something’ about music and religion in Uzbekistan I travelled to the Ferghana Valley, the poorest and also the most religious area at that time, where I felt rather puzzled. How could I research such a topic in our ancient lands, when the study of religion was forbidden and the amalgam of ‘music and religion’ said not to exist? According to the Soviet account at that time, all Soviet republics, including Uzbekistan, were populated exclusively by ‘atheists!. Not only the relationship between music and religion, but the very presence of such a phenomenon as Islam was under question. I remembered myself that in the early 1980s several of our relatives from Andijan, which is in the Ferghana Valley, were excluded from the Communist Party just because they had buried one of the family members in a traditional Muslim way.

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