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Channels of Islamisation

Islamisation in the Golden Horde and Anatolia: Some remarks on travelling scholars and texts

L’islamisation dans la Horde d’Or et en Anatolie : remarques à propos des intellectuels et des textes en circulation
A.C.S. Peacock
p. vol. 143


Résumé : L’islamisation dans la Horde d’Or et en Anatolie : remarques à propos des intellectuels et des textes en circulation. Cet article propose une analyse des interactions intellectuelles entre l’Anatolie et la Horde d’Or aux xiiie et xive siècles. Il étaye l’hypothèse selon laquelle les échanges entre les érudits, d’une part, et entre les œuvres textuelles, d’autre part, eurent une influence profonde sur la formation des traditions littéraires et religieuses dans ces deux régions. La création d’une langue littéraire turque en Anatolie, medium de diffusion de l’Islam dont l’importance alla croissant à partir de la fin du xiiie siècle, fut grandement déterminée par des intellectuels et des œuvres en provenance de la Horde d’Or. Comme le montre cet article, les processus d’islamisation dans le Dasht-i Qipchaq et en Anatolie furent étroitement liés et s’influencèrent mutuellement.

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1Studies of the Islamisation of the Golden Horde have usually concentrated on two elements: the influence of religious scholars from the central Islamic lands, both Egypt and Central Asia (Hautala, 2014: 315-6), and the role of native traditions, as examined in Devin DeWeese’s magisterial work (DeWeese 1994). Some attention too has been given to the development of an Islamic textual tradition expressed in Turkish (Togan, 1928; Schamiloglu, 2002), but our knowledge of the Arabic and Persian-language intellectual culture of the Golden Horde remains quite rudimentary. In this short essay I wish to examine a neglected aspect of the Islamisation of the Golden Horde, its links with Anatolia, a land which during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries was undergoing a parallel process of Islamisation and Turkicisation. I shall argue in this essay that these processes in both Anatolia and the Dasht-i Qipchaq were intertwined and complementary.

  • 2 These issues are discussed in more detail in my forthcoming monograph on cultural and religious cha (...)

2The beginnings of the Islamisation of the core Golden Horde lands of the Dasht-i Qipchaq are conventionally dated to the conversion of Berke Khan b. Jochi (603/1207-665/1267) (Richard 1967; Vásáry 1990; Favereau 2008), whereas much of Anatolia had been subject to Muslim rule since the establishment of the Seljūq dynasty there during the late eleventh century. Nonetheless, the spread of Islamic culture and faith was extremely slow in Anatolia, probably being restricted to a handful of major cities till the early thirteenth century, its pace only really gathering speed with the advent of Mongol rule in the second half of the thirteenth century.2 Thus despite its earlier beginnings, much of the process of Islamisation in Anatolia did run broadly parallel to that in the Golden Horde, especially the emergence of a Turkish literary language in which the faith of Islam could be propagated, which in both the Dasht-i Qipchaq and Anatolia took place in the late thirteenth to fourteenth centuries.

3It is often forgotten that Anatolia had briefly comprised part of the Golden Horde’s lands. The Mongol conquest of Seljūq Anatolia after the Battle of Kösedağ in 1243 was undertaken by Baiju, a Mongol general who had been dispatched by Batu Khan, the Jochid ruler (Melville 2008: 54-8), and the region remained subject to the Horde until its takeover by the Ilkhanids in 1255. Admittedly, Golden Horde rule seems to have been rather distant and light touch, as the existing structures of the Seljūq sultanate were left in place; but so too was Ilkhanid hegemony initially. It was only in the wake of rebellions and Mamluk invasions in the 1270s that Anatolia was more tightly incorporated into the Ilkhanid realm. Even then, later traces of Golden Horde influences can be found. Writing in 733/1333, Aḥmad of Niğde, a qadi and man of letters from central Anatolia, dedicated his encyclopaedic al-Walad al-Shafīq to the Ilkhan Abū Sa‘īd; however, he was also careful to include lavish praise of the latter’s rivals the Mamluk Sultan al-Nāṣir Muḥammad and the Golden Horde khan Özbek (Peacock 2004: 105).

4Commerce played a crucial part in maintaining this connection between Anatolia and the Golden Horde lands, as has been recognised in the scholarly literature (e.g. Ciocîltan 2012). The Golden Horde’s main export, slaves, destined in large part for the Mamluk market, seem to have been sent through Anatolia, via places such as Sivas and Yabanlu Pazarı where slave markets were held (Sümer 1985). For travellers coming from the Middle East, the land journey across Anatolia and thence by boat from Sinop to the Crimea afforded the most convenient route to the Golden Horde; it was precisely this route which was taken by the famous traveller Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, who has left us one of the earliest descriptions of the Golden Horde and the court of Özbek Khan (Ibn Baṭṭūṭa 1992: 321; Gibb 1962: 468). A local poet, Sa‘d al-Dīn Mas‘ūd celebrated the resulting ethnic diversity in Sinop:

In it are slaves and pages running hither and thither; it is a conjunction of angels with black-eyed houris.

[They are] Rūmī, Qipchaq, and Uighur: indeed it is a temple of idols on the road to China.

5The poet also refers to the presence of Rus, Alans, and Qipchaqs (Turan 1958: 159-60), other peoples of the Golden Horde lands, while, as we shall see, in the Crimea and at the Golden Horde court in Saray, there is evidence for the presence of communities of rūmīs – Anatolians, an ambiguous term the precise meaning of which can only be deduced from context, sometimes referring to Greek-speaking Christians and at others Muslims from the lands of Rum, as Anatolia was known.

6The Golden Horde also had close links with Byzantium, for all that Ibn Baṭṭūṭa emphasises the credentials of Özbek Khan as a mujāhid against the ruler of Constantinople (Ibn Baṭṭūṭa 1992: 331; Gibb 1962: 482). A close alliance with Byzantium was important to the Horde as a means of ensuring access to the Bosphorus Straits, the only direct maritime link they had with their Mamluk allies in Egypt (Ciocîltan 2012; Korobeinikov 2014:213-215). One of the wives of Özbek Khan was a Byzantine princess, who was accompanied by her own retinue of rūmī slave girls, servants and chamberlains (khuddām, ujjāb) (Ibn Baṭṭūṭa 1992: 336, 344; Gibb 1962: 485-6, 498). Indeed, there seems to have been something of a vogue for things rūmī at the court of the Golden Horde, for another of Özbek’s wives, Kujuk Khātūn, is also recorded to have had rūmī slaves (fityān), alongside Indian ones, and to have worn a rūmī-style bejewelled silk cloak (Ibn Baṭṭūṭa 1992: 333-4; Gibb 1962: 486).

7 Anatolia thus functioned as an intermediary between the Dasht-i Qipchaq and the Middle East. Indeed, al-‘Umarī, the Mamluk historian who has left us one of the most detailed accounts of the Golden Horde, relied for substantial sections on the orally transmitted testimony of an Anatolian merchant who had travelled the length and breadth of the Horde’s domains, Badr al-Dīn Ḥasan al-Rūmī (al-‘Umarī 2010: 3:151, 152). Yet it was not merely slaves and other commodities such as grain and horses that travelled between Anatolia and the Dasht-i Qipchaq. Religious scholars, men of letters and their texts also participated in the flow of people, playing a part in the Islamisation of both regions, as we shall now turn to examine.

Itinerant scholars between Khwārazm and Anatolia

8Several generations of scholars from the Hanafi East had sought their fortunes in the Middle East (Madelung 2002), and this process seems only to have intensified under Mongol rule. Khwārazm, one the main strongholds of Hanafi learning in Central Asia, formed part of the Horde’s territories, and its scholars had a great renown. As Ibn Baṭṭūṭa recounts, scholars from Khwārazm enjoyed a particularly honoured place at the courts of the fourteenth century Turkmen principalities of southwest Anatolia:

The sultan of Milas is Shujā‘ al-Dīn b. Orkhān Beg b. Menteshe, who is the best of kings, with fine features and behaviour. His companions are fuqahā’, who are held in great esteem by him, and there is a group of them at his court, among them the faqīh al-Khwārazmī, who knows [various] sciences and is excellent. When I met him, the sultan was angry with him because he had travelled to the town of Ayāsulūgh [modern Selçuk, the Aydınid capital] and reached its sultan from whom he accepted gifts. (Ibn Baṭṭūṭa 1992: 293; Gibb 1962: 429)

  • 3 İzgi 1996: 162 According to İzgi, one such itinerant Golden Horde scholar in the Aydınid realm was (...)

9There were plenty of other eastern scholars circulating in Anatolia.3 The famous Khwārazmian faqīh Zāhidī Ghazmīnī (d. 658/1260) is said to have spent time at Larende (Karaman), and even to have taught Shaykh Edebali, the shaykh of Osman Ghazi, the founder of the Ottoman dynasty, although this detail seems likely to be a later legitimatory legend (Özen 2013). Khwārazmī, the poet of the bilingual Eastern Turkish-Persian mathnawī, the Muhababatname, written in 1353, refers at the end of his poem to having travelled the length and breadth of Rum (zi sar tā pāy mulk-i Rūm gashtam) (Khorezmi 1961: 49). Aflākī, the famous hagiographer of Rūmī and his descendants, was himself from the Golden Horde; he records being prevented from travelling to Saray to deal with his father’s affairs on the latter’s death by order of Ulu Arif Çelebi, the head of the Mevlevi order (Aflākī 1976-1980: 932; Aflaki 2002: 650, 651). The most famous of these eastern scholars to move to Anatolia was Ḥāfiẓ al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Shihāb al-Kardarī al-Khwārazmī al-Bazzāzī (d. 827/1424) from Khwārazm, author of a famous work on Hanafi fiqh, al-Fatāwā al-Bazzāzīyya. Al-Bazzāzī was educated in the Golden Horde capital of Saray, and had settled in the Crimea before coming to Anatolia, where he debated with the famous Ottoman scholar Molla Fenari. His Fatāwā, completed in 812/1410 shortly before his move to Anatolia, became immediately massively popular there, with over ninety extant manuscripts in the Süleymaniye library in Istanbul alone, many dating to the fifteenth century. His vita of Abū Ḥanīfa, Manāqib al-Imām al-A‘ẓam Abī Ḥanīfa was translated into Turkish for the benefit of the Ottoman sultan Murad II in the early fifteenth century (Özel 1992).

  • 4 For further discussion on the Qalandarnāma in general, see the article of Milyausha Rashitovna Sahm (...)

10The cultural influence of Anatolia also extended in the opposite direction, across the Dasht-i Qipchaq. Mevlevism was certainly one influence. Aflākī (1976-80: 981; 2002: 687) records how Mevlānā’s great grandson Shahzāda crossed the sea at Sinop to undertake a journey in what he describes as the “Dasht-i Turkistān”, by which the Golden Horde’s lands are clearly meant. Presumably this was to proselytize. Substance is given to Aflākī’s claim by recent research which has drawn attention to a vast Persian mathnawī composed in the Crimea in the first half of the fourteenth century by an emigre, Abū Bakr Rūmī, a native of Aksaray in central Anatolia, which survives in a unique manuscript today held in Tashkent. This work, entitled the Qalandarnāma, written under the rule of Özbek and Janibek, appears to be dedicated to a powerful official at the Jochid court and effective ruler of the Crimea, Qutluq-Temür, and also praises his martyred father Tülük-Temür (DeWeese 2014-15; Favereau 2016:42-43). It thus raises the question of the influence of Anatolia on the Islamisation of the Golden Horde. Modelled on Jalāl al-Din Rūmī’s mathnawī and probably also the mathnawīs of the latter’s son Sulṭān Walad, whom the author knew personally and cites as an inspiration, Abū Bakr Rūmī’s work offers advice on the Sufi path, often illustrated by tales of the holy men of Anatolia – sometimes famous, if historically poorly attested, figures like Akhi Evren, the fatā-saint of Kırşehir, and sometimes to date otherwise unknown figures such as his own shaykh, Bahā’ al-Dīn Zaylawī (from Zile in north central Anatolia; see Karamustafa 1994a and 1994b for the Sufi background in Anatolia). Further, Abū Bakr Rūmī leaves some hints that this Anatolian background may have been familiar to his audience. He alludes to the presences of numerous “Rūmīs and Syrians” at the court of Tülük-Temür, and remarks that “The Rūmīs were raised up through his [the amīr’s] good fortune; each one was like an amīr here and there.” (DeWeese 2014-15: 64-5). The question of the identity of these rūmī migrants is complex; the context suggests they are most likely emigres from Muslim Anatolia, but Ibn Baṭṭūṭa records meeting in the city of Qrïm a certain Shaykh Muẓaffar al-Dīn “who was one of the rūm, and converted to Islam; he was an excellent Muslim” (Ibn Baṭṭūṭa 1992: 323; Gibb 1962: 472).4

11Abū Bakr Rūmī also mentions that the amīr Qutluq-Temür himself claimed Seljūq descent. Such a claim was perhaps less preposterous than it might immediately appear. The Seljūq sultan ‘Izz al-Dīn Kaykā’ūs had taken refuge in the Crimea from the Ilkhanid rulers of Anatolia against whom he had rebelled, and it was from the Crimea that one of his sons set sail to assert his own claim to the sultanate (Wittek 1952). At the same time, in the wake of the collapse of the Seljūq sultanate in Anatolia numerous claimants attempted to legitimise their rule of their principalities through claiming a connection with the Seljūq dynasty (Peacock 2011). All this suggests that Qutluq-Temür’s court in the Crimea was heavily influenced by the cultural and political currents of contemporary Anatolia.

  • 5 MS Süleymaniye, Bağdatlı Vehbi 285-M, fol. 124b-125a
  • 6 For an overview of some such manuscripts, see İzgi 1996; Togan 1951: 42-3.

12While Mevlevism was the great intellectual export of early fourteenth century Anatolia, it was not the only one. For instance, ‘Alā’ al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-Sarāyī, a Golden Horde scholar who was a student of the eminent theologian Shams al-Ā’imma, tells us that for his hadīth compilation, the Sirāj al-‘Ābidīn fī Sharḥ al-‘Ābidīn, itself based on al-Ṣaghānī’s famous Mashāriq al-Anwār, his principal source was an Anatolian work, Wajīh al-Dīn al-Arzinjānī’s commentary on al-Saghānī, the Hadā’iq al-Azhār fī Sharḥ Mashāriq al-Anwār.5 Al-Arzinjānī, who was active at the beginning of the fourteenth century in Erzincan, is a relatively obscure scholar whose works are preserved only in a handful of copies, and the fact that he was known to an author from Saray suggests the depth of the cultural links between the two areas. Numerous other manuscripts in Turkish collections that originate from Horde cities such as Saray bear witness to the close links between Anatolia and the Golden Horde lands.6

Turkish language and texts between the Golden Horde and Anatolia

13In both Anatolia and the Dasht-i Qipchaq, the Mongol period saw the emergence of Turkish, as a vehicle for literature, both courtly and pious (see Vásáry 2003 for an overview). Al-‘Umarī (2010: 150) has described the process by which the Mongol rulers of the Dasht-i Qipchaq became Turkicised:

This kingdom of old was the land of the Qipchaqs and when the Tatars conquered it the Qipchaqs became their subjects, then they mixed with them and intermarried…. And all have [now] become like the Qipchaqs as if they were one race because of the Mongols’ dwelling in the land of Qipchaq and their intermarriage with them.

  • 7 The question of the nomenclature of the various different dialects of Turkish current in this perio (...)
  • 8 On this work see Bodrogligeti 1976. The unique ms of the Mu’īn al-Murīd is preserved in Bursa, but (...)
  • 9 On the use of the story in the 19th century Kazan’ region see Kefeli 2014:65-67.
  • 10 Tok Buga’s identity seems otherwise unattested. See Ata 1997:xii-xiv.

14Indeed, the association between the Mongols and Turkish was such that on occasion Eastern Turkish, the language of the Horde,7 was called Tatar dili, “the language of the Tatars” (Küçük 2014: 65). Whereas in Iran and even Anatolia Mongolian was retained for some official purposes, alongside Persian (Vásáry 2016), in the Golden Horde by the late thirteenth century an Eastern Turkish literary language seems to have been the major tongue of official communications and documents, although Mongolian continued to be used on some types of imperial documents (Usmanov 1979: 94-110). It seems reasonable to imagine that at least some of the basic primers on Islam composed in Eastern Turkish in the early fourteenth century were destined for a steppe audience. Examples include the Mu‘īn al-Murīd, a verse manual of the basics of Islam probably composed in Khwārazm in 1309,8 and the poem Yūsuf u Züleyhā by Qul Ali, which is perhaps our earliest literary text from the Golden Horde, and we know from later times was used as a tool of Islamisation.9 Another such text was very likely Rabǧuzi’s Qiṣaṣ al-Anbiyā’, composed in 710/1310, and dedicated to the Mongol amīr Nāir al-Dīn Tok Buga, apparently a convert to Islam.10 The simple poems which summarise the contents of the prose narrative may have helped new Muslims memorise the tales of Prophets (Kefeli 2014: 68). Slightly later, towards the mid fourteenth century, a courtly literature in Turkish started to emerge, patronised by members of the Jochid house, of which the outstanding remains are Quṭb’s Eastern Turkish adaptation of Niẓāmī’s Khusraw u Shīrīn, composed c. 1341-2, and Khwārazmī’s Muḥabbatnāme of 1353 (Zajączkowski, 1958, 1961; Schamiloglu 2002; Khorezmi 1961).

  • 11 One of the earliest uses of Turkish for official purposes that can be securely documented is in the (...)

15Turkish does not seem to have been used for diplomatic correspondence in Anatolia until the fifteenth century, and on a few official documents such a waqf endowment slightly earlier,11 but it developed as a literary language from the late thirteenth century. The earliest dated work, a basic primer of Islamic rituals and practice called the Behcetü’l-Hadāyiq, was composed in Karahisar between 669/1270 and 685/1286 (Koç 2011). By the early years of the fourteenth century several substantial works in Turkish, largely on religious themes, had been composed. It is interesting to note that the earliest Anatolian Turkish texts are often adaptations of the same Arabic and Persian classics that had slightly earlier been rendered into Eastern Turkish under the Golden Horde. The Aydınid principality in Southwestern Anatolia, where we previously noted the ruler’s patronage of the scholar Khwārazmī recorded by Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, was one of the major centres of early Turkish literary production (Yıldız 2016). An anonymous Qiṣaṣ al-Anbiyā’ was composed for the Aydınid ruler Meḥmed Beg in 712/1312-719/1319, just a few years after Rabǧuzi compiled his Eastern Turkish version for Tok Bugha; in 768/1367, Faḫri composed a free Anatolian Turkish translation of Khusraw u Shīrīn, a couple of decades after Qutb’s Eastern Turkish version. Meanwhile, beyond the court, a popular poet named Şeyyad Ḥamza had composed a verse story of Joseph in Anatolian Turkish no later than the middle of the fourteenth century, as is discussed below. Thus many of the key books circulating in the Golden Horde lands also circulated in Anatolia. While it is true the Anatolian and Horde Turkish texts are distinct and apparently unrelated (although this could do with more detailed examination), the fact that precisely the same themes appealed to audiences in both areas may be more than coincidental. While the preference for this corpus of texts may reflect the common concerns of societies undergoing the same processes of Islamisation, they may also represent a direct influence from the Golden Horde on Anatolia, possibly mediated by scholars such as the itinerant Khwārazmī.

  • 12 For the text of the Anatolian Turkish version see Karasoy 2013, with information about the Eastern (...)

16In some instances we can document this westwards transmission of texts. For instance, the Güzide, a work on the basics of religion by a scholar named Abū Naṣr b. Muḥammad al-Sarakhsī, written in Eastern Turkish, was transmitted to Anatolia and then later in the fourteenth century translated into Anatolian Turkish by Muḥammad b. Bālī (Küçük 2014). Other works inculcating the basics of religion exist in both Western and Eastern Turkish versions, such as the Behcetü’l-Hadāyiq, mentioned above; in this case the oldest extant manuscript, dating to 703/1303 and held in Bursa, is written in Eastern Turkish (MS Bursa İnebey Yazma Eser Kütüphanesi, Kurşunluoğlu 99). It is possible that later manuscripts reflect a reworking of the text into Anatolian Turkish, or that the work simultaneously circulated in both varieties of Turkish. Possibly the text may have been orally expounded by migrant scholars from the Golden Horde lands like those described above, and then the dialect adapted by the scribe. Other examples of texts with both Western and Eastern Turkish versions are the Sirāj al-Qulūb, a Turkish version of a Persian manual of responses to challenges to the Prophethood of Muhammad,12 and the Cümcüme-nāme, a narrative poem offering a parable to encourage conversion, the Qipchaq original of which was composed in 770/1368 (Tansel 1970). Closely related to Cümcüme is the Kesikbaş Destānı, another poem designed to proselytise and inculcate the elements of Islam, which also exists in Anatolian and Eastern Turkish versions (Argunşah 2002).

17In both Anatolia and the Golden Horde, the story of Joseph seems to have been massively popular. Its tale of the infidel Zulaykhā embracing Islam and Joseph’s vanquishing of the idols seems to have been extremely popular in a broad range of Muslim societies undergoing Islamisation in all periods. It plays a prominent role in the Behcetü’l-Hadāyiq, and there are at least five other versions of the story known to have circulated in fourteenth century Anatolia, quite apart from references and sections that appear in numerous other works. The author of one of these versions of the Joseph story, tells us that he translated it into Anatolian Turkish from the ‘deşt dili’, the language of the steppes, in which it had been written by a certain Qırımlı Maḥmūd, Maḥmūd of the Crimea (Ertaylan 1960:13,16).

Bu kitabı döndüren, Kırım dilin gideren
Türki dile götüren, çok zahmet görme diyü
Ol Haliloğlu Ali yedi divandur eli
Ol düzdi Türki dili deşt dilinden dönderü

The translator of this book, who got rid of its Crimean language
And turned it into Turkish, exerting much effort
Is Haliloğlu Ali, author of seven divans
He fixed the Turkish, translating it from the language of the steppe

  • 13 On the prestige of the Uighur script and its use in the Golden Horde, see Usmanov 1979:111-115.

18The eastern variety of Turkish started to be used for composing works in Anatolia (Vásáry 2016). For instance, the antinomian Sufi Barāq Bābā (d. 708/1308), who was from Tokat in central Anatolia and never set foot in the Dasht-i Qipchaq, used Eastern Turkish for writing his shaṭḥīya [ecstatic utterances] (on him see Algar 1988, Amitai-Preiss 1999: 34-5). Furthermore, the orthography of Old Anatolian Turkish, for instance its tendency to write vowels plene unlike later Ottoman, suggests a strong Eastern Turkish influence (Schamiloglu 2004: 268-9). Eastern Turkish elements are also found in many works written in Anatolian Turkish, giving rise to the so-called ‘olga-bolga dili’, the Turkish exhibiting both western and eastern dialect features that was widespread in medieval Anatolia (Erdal 2016). Indeed, a few fragments of evidence suggest that on occasion the Uighur script was used in Anatolia for writing Turkish. For example, one emir, Şerefeddin Çakırca, in 1326 established a waqf in Sivas in which the endowment was not only written in Eastern Turkish but was even written in Uighur script (Temir 1960). Although this does not seem to have been common practice, it was doubtless more widespread than the few surviving instances indicate, and was probably employed because of its prestige as the script used also for Mongolian, the language of Chinggis Khan (Sertkaya 1974).13 It was thus associated with the Mongol imperial venture.


19Despite the differences of dialect in many respects Anatolia and the Golden Horde lands formed a common cultural area, exchanging scholars and texts. Although scholarship has general concentrated on the Golden Horde as the subject of a process of Islamisation, evidently this is not the whole story. At the same time as being Islamised through the conversion of its elite and the development of literary Turkish that would serve as a means of communicating the basics of the faith, the Golden Horde also played a role as a force for Islamisation, exporting its literary texts, language and its scholars across the Black Sea to Anatolia. This is not to say that this was a deliberate policy of the Golden Horde rulers, but rather a result of the enduring prestige of the Eastern Turkish dialect, the fame of the Hanafi scholars of Khwārazm, and the close linguistic, commercial and political links with Anatolia. Conversely, Anatolians played a part in the Islamisation of the Horde through migrants like Abū Bakr Rūmī bringing Sufi legends and models from Anatolia. Most likely this Anatolian influence was especially pronounced in the Crimea, but the scattered references to Anatolians like Badr al-Dīn Ḥasan al-Rūmī in the Golden Horde lands suggests that it may well have been much more widespread. Islamisation, then, was a complex process and rather less passive than is sometimes suggested. Societies like the Golden Horde and Muslim-ruled Anatolia could be both undergoing Islamisation and at the same time promoting and exporting Islam to their neighbours.

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1 The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013) / ERC Grant Agreement n. 208476, “The Islamisation of Anatolia, c. 1100–1500”. All translations are my own.

2 These issues are discussed in more detail in my forthcoming monograph on cultural and religious change in Mongol Anatolia. See also Peacock 2017.

3 İzgi 1996: 162 According to İzgi, one such itinerant Golden Horde scholar in the Aydınid realm was a certain Aḥmad b. Maḥmūd al-Dashtī, who made a copy of Ibn Jazla’s work on medicine, the Minhāj al-Bayān fīmā yasta‘miluhu al-insān, for the library of the Aydınid ruler Fakhr al-Dīn ‘Īsa in 791 AH. İzgi lists MS Akhisar, Zeynel-zade 233, currently held in the Yazma Eser Kütüphanesi in Manisa as his source for this; but unfortunately the manuscript of this number bears no relation to the one described by İzgi.

4 For further discussion on the Qalandarnāma in general, see the article of Milyausha Rashitovna Sahmsimukhametova in this volume (editor’s note).

5 MS Süleymaniye, Bağdatlı Vehbi 285-M, fol. 124b-125a

6 For an overview of some such manuscripts, see İzgi 1996; Togan 1951: 42-3.

7 The question of the nomenclature of the various different dialects of Turkish current in this period is vexed. Modern scholarship tends to distinguish between two dialects that were used in the Horde, Qipchaq and Khwārazmian, which were, however, mutually comprehensible. These terms are rarely used in the medieval sources. It seems better to group them together under the general rubric of “Eastern Turkish” for our purposes as many texts are influenced by elements from both dialects. Similarly, the term Anatolian Turkish is unknown in the medieval period, and it is usually simply referred to as Turkī or Türkçe. Nonetheless, given that there was an awareness of dialectal differences between this and Eastern Turkish, it does seem useful to retain the term Anatolian Turkish.

8 On this work see Bodrogligeti 1976. The unique ms of the Mu’īn al-Murīd is preserved in Bursa, but there is no evidence that the text ever circulated in Anatolia in our period. Other works in the codex all seem to have been copied in Central Asia, and it was probably brought to Anatolia in the late fifteenth century or later. The Western Turkish annotations to the text of the Mu’īn al-Murīd were probably added at this point.

9 On the use of the story in the 19th century Kazan’ region see Kefeli 2014:65-67.

10 Tok Buga’s identity seems otherwise unattested. See Ata 1997:xii-xiv.

11 One of the earliest uses of Turkish for official purposes that can be securely documented is in the Germiyanid beylik of northwestern Anatolia, from which we have Turkish waqf inscriptions dated 1369 and 1414. See Tütüncü 2015.

12 For the text of the Anatolian Turkish version see Karasoy 2013, with information about the Eastern Turkish versions on pp. 17-18.

13 On the prestige of the Uighur script and its use in the Golden Horde, see Usmanov 1979:111-115.

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A.C.S. Peacock, « Islamisation in the Golden Horde and Anatolia: Some remarks on travelling scholars and texts », Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée, 143 | 2018, vol. 143.

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A.C.S. Peacock, « Islamisation in the Golden Horde and Anatolia: Some remarks on travelling scholars and texts », Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée [En ligne], 143 | octobre 2018, mis en ligne le 12 octobre 2018, consulté le 28 février 2020. URL : ; DOI :

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A.C.S. Peacock

University of St Andrews, United Kingdom

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