Mahmud al-Kashgari

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Maḥmūd al-Kāšġarī
محمود الكاشغري
2015-09-11-080312 - Upal, Mausoleum des Uigurischen Philologen Muhamad Al Kashgari.JPG
Upal, Mausoleum of Mahmud al-Kashgari
Born1005 CE
Died1102 CE
NationalityTurkic
Home townKashgar
Scientific career
FieldsLinguistics, Lexicography, Turkology

Mahmud ibn Hussayn ibn Muhammed al-Kashgari (Arabic: محمود بن الحسين بن محمد الكاشغري‎, Maḥmūd ibnu 'l-Ḥussayn ibn Muḥammad al-Kāšġarī, Turkish: Kaşgarlı Mahmûd, Uyghur: مەھمۇد قەشقىرى‎‎, Mehmud Qeshqiri, Мәһмуд Қәшқири) was an 11th-century Kara-Khanid scholar and lexicographer of the Turkic languages from Kashgar.

His father, Hussayn, was the mayor of Barsgan, a town in the southeastern part of the lake of Issyk-Kul (nowadays village of Barskoon in Northern Kyrgyzstan's Issyk-Kul Region) and related to the ruling dynasty of Kara-Khanid Khanate.

Work[edit]

Map from Mahmud al-Kashgari's Diwan (11th century)

Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk was compiled by Kashgari in the 1070s. The authorship of the works is not known. It contains linguistic data about multiple Turkic dialects that may have been gathered from merchants and others involved in trade along routes that travelled through the Oguz steppe. Scholars believe it is likely that Kashgari would have gathered most of the content about Oguz-Turkmen from Oguz tribes in Khorasan, since he himself was a student in Seljuk Baghdad, but its possible that some of this material could have come from early Turkmen. Scholars have not yet come to a settled conclusion, however.[1]

Al-Kashgari studied the Turkic languages of his time and in Baghdad[2] he compiled the first comprehensive dictionary of Turkic languages, the Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk (English: "Compendium of the languages of the Turks") in 1072-74.[3][4][5][6] It was intended for use by the Abbasid Caliphate, the new Arab allies of the Turks. Mahmud Kashgari's comprehensive dictionary, later edited by the Turkish historian, Ali Amiri,[7] contains specimens of old Turkic poetry in the typical form of quatrains (Persio-Arabic رباعیات, rubā'iyāt; Turkish: dörtlük), representing all the principal genres: epic, pastoral, didactic, lyric and elegiac. His book also included the first known map of the areas inhabited by Turkic peoples. This map is housed at the National Library in Istanbul.[8]

He advocated monolingualism and the linguistic purism of the Turkic languages and held a belief in the superiority of nomadic people (the Turkic tribes had traditionally been nomads) over urban populations. Most of his Turkic-speaking contemporaries were bilingual in Tajik (a Persian language), which was then the urban and literary language of Central Asia.

The most elegant of the dialects belongs to those who know only one language, who do not mix with Persians and who do not customarily settle in other lands. Those who have two languages and who mix with the populace of the cities have a certain slurring in their utterances.[9]

The non-Muslim Turks worship of Tengri was mocked and insulted by the Muslim Turk Mahmud al-Kashgari, who wrote a verse referring to them - The Infidels - May God destroy them![10][11]

Kashgari claimed that the Prophet assisted in a miraculous event where 700,000 Yabāqu "infidels" were defeated by 40,000 Muslims led by Arslān Tegīn claiming that fires shot sparks from gates located on a green mountain towards the Yabāqu.[12] The Yabaqu were a Turkic people.[13]

Muslims used to call the Uyghur Buddhists as "Tats", which referred to the "Uighur infidels" according to the Tuxsi and Taghma, while other Turks called Persians "tat". Uyghur Buddhists used to call the muslims as "Chomak"[14][15] While Kashgari displayed a different attitude towards the Turks diviners beliefs and "national customs", he expressed towards Buddhism a hatred in his Diwan where he wrote the verse cycle on the war against Uighur Buddhists. Buddhist origin words like toyin (a cleric or priest) and Burxān or Furxan (meaning Buddha, acquiring the generic meaning of "idol" in the Turkic language of Kashgari) had negative connotations to Muslim Turks.[16][17]

Kashghari viewed the least Persian mixed Turkic dialects as the "purest" and "the most elegant".[18]

Muslim writers Mahmud Kashghārī had more some information about China in their writings, Kashgari viewed Kashgar as part of China as Tang China had controlled Kashgar as one of the Anxi protectorate's "Four Garrisons" seats.

Ṣīn [i.e., China] is originally three fold; Upper, in the east which is called Tawjāch; middle which is Khitāy, lower which is Barkhān in the vicinity of Kashgar. But know Tawjāch is known as Maṣīn and Khitai as Ṣīn.[19]

Tabgach, originally denoting the Northern Wei's dynastic clan Tuoba, referred metonymously to China in Kashgari's time, Khitay to the Khitans (Liao dynasty). Persian chīn and māchīn (چين ماچين) and Arabic ṣīn and māṣīn (صين ماصين) were names for China: after the Tang dynasty, Southern China was referred to as Machin-Masin and Northern China as Chin-Sin; although before that the names' referrents were reversed.[19]

Death[edit]

Some researchers think that Mahmud al-Kashgari died in 1102 at the age of 97 in Upal, a small city southwest of Kashgar, and was buried there. There is now a mausoleum erected on his gravesite. But some modern authors reject this assertion, saying that the date of his death is just unknown.

Some claim Mahmad Kashghari was Hazrat Mullam.[20]

Legacy[edit]

He is claimed by Uyghur, Kyrgyz, and Uzbek nationalists as part of their respective ethnic groups.[21]

An oriental study university, situated in the capital city of Bishkek in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan, was named after Makhmud Kashghari, in the 1990s.

UNESCO declared 2008 the Year of Mahmud al-Kashgari.[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Clark, Larry. Turkmen Reference Grammar. Harrassowitz.
  2. ^ C. Edmund Bosworth (26 December 2007). Historic Cities of the Islamic World. BRILL. pp. 279–. ISBN 978-90-474-2383-6.
  3. ^ Kemal H. Karpat, Studies on Turkish Politics and Society:Selected Articles and Essays, (Brill, 2004), 441.
  4. ^ Heming Yong; Jing Peng (14 August 2008). Chinese Lexicography : A History from 1046 BC to AD 1911: A History from 1046 BC to AD 1911. OUP Oxford. pp. 379–80. ISBN 978-0-19-156167-2.
  5. ^ Clauson, Gerard (1961). "The Initial Labial Sounds in the Turkish Languages". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 24 (2). Cambridge University Press. 24 (2): 299. JSTOR 610169.
  6. ^ G.E. Tetley (27 October 2008). The Ghaznavid and Seljuk Turks: Poetry as a Source for Iranian History. Routledge. pp. 17–. ISBN 978-1-134-08439-5.
  7. ^ Ali Amiri, R. Mantran, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. I, ed. H.A.R. Gibb, J.H. Kramers, E. Levi-Provencal and J. Schacht, (E.J. Brill, 1986), 391.
  8. ^ Roudik, Peter, The History of the Central Asian Republics, (Greenwood Press, 2007), 175.
  9. ^ Sengupta, Anita (2003). The Formation of the Uzbek Nation-State: A Study in Transition. Lexington Books. pp. 136–137. The most elegant of the dialects belongs to those who know only one language, who do not mix with Persians and who do not customarily settle in other lands. Those who have two languages and who mix with the populace of the cities have a certain slurring in their utterances.... The most elegant is that of the Khagani kings and those who associate with them.
  10. ^ Robert Dankoff (2008). From Mahmud Kaşgari to Evliya Çelebi. Isis Press. p. 81. ISBN 978-975-428-366-2.
  11. ^ Dankoff, Robert (Jan–Mar 1975). "Kāšġarī on the Beliefs and Superstitions of the Turks". Journal of the American Oriental Society. American Oriental Society. 95 (1): 70. doi:10.2307/599159. JSTOR 599159.
  12. ^ Robert Dankoff (2008). From Mahmud Kaşgari to Evliya Çelebi. Isis Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-975-428-366-2.
  13. ^ Köprülü, Mehmet Fuat; Leiser, Gary; Dankoff, Robert (2006). Early Mystics in Turkish Literature. Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0-415-36686-1.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link), p. 147
  14. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20151118063834/http://projects.iq.harvard.edu/huri/files/viii-iv_1979-1980_part1.pdf p. 160.
  15. ^ Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute (1980). Harvard Ukrainian studies. Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. p. 160.
  16. ^ Robert Dankoff (2008). From Mahmud Kaşgari to Evliya Çelebi. Isis Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-975-428-366-2.
  17. ^ Dankoff, Robert (Jan–Mar 1975). "Kāšġarī on the Beliefs and Superstitions of the Turks". Journal of the American Oriental Society. American Oriental Society. 95 (1): 69. doi:10.2307/599159. JSTOR 599159.
  18. ^ James A. Millward (2007). Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang. Columbia University Press. pp. 54–. ISBN 978-0-231-13924-3.
  19. ^ a b Michal Biran (15 September 2005). The Empire of the Qara Khitai in Eurasian History: Between China and the Islamic World. Cambridge University Press. pp. 98–. ISBN 978-0-521-84226-6.
  20. ^ Rian Thum (13 October 2014). The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History. Harvard University Press. pp. 301–. ISBN 978-0-674-59855-3.
  21. ^ But some Uyghur authors consider him a member of their own ethnic group. Makhmud Kashghari himself considered the Uyghurs of his own time as the eastern neighbours of his country (the Qarakhanid khanate). See, for example, Dwyer, Arienne (2005). The Xinjiang Conflict: Uyghur Identity, Language Policy, and Political Discourse (PDF). Political Studies 15. Washington: East-West Center. p. 73. ISBN 1-932728-29-5.: "the Uzbeks, Uyghurs, and Kyrgyz all claim Mahmud al-Kashgari, the well-known 11th century scholar, as their own."
  22. ^ UNESCO to name 2008 and 2009 after famous Turks Archived 2014-12-13 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]