10 April 2003, 13:57

Dudalany (Dudov), Aysandyr

Dudalany (Dudov), Aysandyr (a.k.a. sheikh Abdullah Bukharachi, Abdul-Kady, Khalal, Kart-Baba, etc., b. ca. 1620 - d. ca. 1735), prominent Karachayevan religious and public figure, poet, one of the first Islam exhorter in Karachay and Balkaria. Born in the village of Khurzuk, Larger Karachay, in a family of Karachay Princes Dudovs. Married the daughter of Elbuzduk Krymshamkhalov (known, according to the Russian documents of 1639, as a mighty prince of Karachayevan Kabarda). Studied in Bukhara, hence his nicknames of Bukharachi and al-Bukhari, where he learnt the Arabic and received solid spiritual education within the Sunni tradition frame. There are grounds to suppose that he became familiar with the mysticism and became a sheikh of one of Sufi orders.

Having returned to his homeland, Aysandyr Dudalany started active preaching activities to exterminate the paganism and establish Islam in Karachay and Balkaria. His name is associated with the construction of Karachay's first mosque in the place of a pagan temple in the village of Kart-Djurt and founding the first Muslim schools where Arabic was taught. He is considered to be Karachay's, and possibly Balkaria's, first kadi. Aysandyr Dudalany (Dudov) actively participated in social and political life of the North Caucasian nations. On several occasions in late 17th - early 19th century, he mediated the peaceful settlement of conflicts between Kabarda and Karachay. In 1715, he arbitrated the land conflict between the Crimea, Kabarda, and highlander communities of Balkaria.

Aysandyr Dudalany (Dudov) was also famous as a major poet of Karachay and Balkaria of his time. His extant compositions are: highly artistic ethic and philosophic epic Kart Babany sezyu (Word of an Old Wise Man), excellent translations into Karachayevo-Balkar language of the famous medieval oriental epics Takhir and Zukhra, Nur-Muhammad, Layla and Madjnun, and others. His named is associated with the authorship of the first Karachayevan Muslim epic Iman-Islam (The Faith Is Islam), which recites the basics of the Islamic faith in an easily comprehensible language, and a popular trilogy Prophet's Birth, Prophet's Ascension, and Prophet's Death written in a form of a religious epic. The authorship of these compositions is assigned by some researchers to other famous Karachayevan and Balkar poets: Ismail Akbaev, Kyazim Mechiev, Ismail Semenov, etc.

Aysandyr Dudalany (Dudov) was the founder of a new in genre in Karachayevo-Balkar poetry: religious epic songs zikirle (derived of Arabic zikr), and their recitation is a necessary element of maulid ritual. Traditionally, a maulid (Arabic) is a holiday of the Prophet's birthday, but in the Karachayevans' ritual practice it was organized on different remarkable occasions. At the present time, the practice of maulids is fixed as a part of a post-burial ritual, principally depicting the local specifics of Islam.

Aysandyr Dudalany died in Karachay at the age of 115; there are several presumed places of his burial in the Kuban and Teberda Gorges. The presumed grave in Teberda is a place of pilgrimage (ziyarat) of the Muslims from the entire North Caucasus. A panegyric song to honor Aysandyr Dudalany (Dudov) has been maintained in the local folklore.

Aysandyr Dudalany's importance goes beyond the national frames; he was worshipped all over the North Caucasus, and the compositions written in Turkic language were popular with Turkic peoples of the Caucasus and the Volga region.

All news

May 24, 2019 01:35

  • Law enforcers disrupt journalists' protest in Baku

    Policemen have pushed the employees of the edition "Futbol+", who protested against the stop of governmental financing, away from the presidential Administration. Three journalists, who wanted to cover the action of their colleagues, said they were detained and spent three hours at the police station.

May 24, 2019 01:19

  • CaT achieves check of complaint of resident of Chechnya

    Investigators have started, with an almost three-year delay, examining the complaints lodged by Ramazan Djalaldinov, a resident of the Sharoi District of Chechnya, about his prosecutions after his video appeal to Vladimir Putin about the problems of the village of Kenkhi, the Committee against Torture (CaT) has informed.

May 23, 2019 21:58

  • YeSU Rector resigns amid students' protests

    Today, Aram Simonyan, whose resignation was demanded by student activists, has voluntarily left the post of Rector of the Yerevan State University (YeSU). As explained by the press secretary of the university, Mr Simonyan does not want to darken the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the YeSU with the struggle around his candidacy.

May 23, 2019 21:44

May 23, 2019 19:16

News archive