Central Asian Studies

Nasirian Ethics front cover

Central Asian Studies (CAS) is an entity of the Department of Academic Research and Publication (DARP) at the IIS. The overall aim of the unit is to promote scholarship on the history, culture and intellectual traditions of the Central Asian Ismaili communities in confluence with other faiths and traditions of Muslims of Central Asia. The geographical scope of the Central Asian Studies covers Central Asian countries including Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Northern Pakistan, Western China as well Russian Federation where bulk of the Central Asian Ismailis are settling on a permanent basis.
The CAS pursues the following main objectives:
  • To study the history and evolution of the Ismaili-Shi’i tradition in Central Asia with a special focus on the history of the Ismaili communities in modern period, their cultural practices and intellectual heritage;
  • To promote publications and make available materials in Russian and Central Asian languages which highlight the legacy and contribution of the Ismailism to Muslim thought and heritage;
  • To collect oral and written materials on the history, religious practices and traditions of the Central Asian Ismailis with subsequent development of a database and resources for the scholars interested in the study of the mountainous societies of Central Asia;
  • To organise forums, seminars and conferences where scholars studying cultures of Central Asian Muslims can share their knowledge and develop better understanding of the diversity and richness of the cultures and traditions of the societies in Central Asia.
Mr Hakim Elnazarov, Coordinator

Research interests: Islamic education in Central Asia, endangered languages of Central Asia, religious traditions of the Central Asian Ismaili communities;

Dr Najam Abbas, Research Fellow

Research interests: Challenges of Civil society in Central Asia; Social capital development and youth perceptions about career opportunities in Central Asian mountainous societies.

Mr Sultonbek Aksakolov, Research Associate

Research interests: Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet scholarship on Ismailism; Religious identity of Ismaili communities in Tajikistan and Russia; intellectual heritage of the Tajik Ismailis.

Mr Amier Saidula, Research Associate

Research interest: History and traditions of the Tajiks of Xinjiang province of China

Mr Yahia Baiza, Research Associate

Research interests: History, traditions and cultural practices of the Hazara Ismailis of Afghanistan;

Mr Muzaffar Zoolshoev, Research Assistant
Research interests: History of the Ismailis of Tajikistan in the end of 19th and early 20th century.
The CAS publications are intended for the academic and general audience in Russia and Central Asian countries. In addition to its own faculty the CAS utilises the expertise of external scholars from academic institutions in Russia and Tajikistan to undertake editing, translation and writing of commentaries and introductions to the relevant publications. The publications include monographs and collection of articles based on research undertaken by the CAS members; works of eminent Muslim scholars from Central Asia, translations of the IIS publications into Russian and Central Asian languages, etc.
List of CAS/ IIS publications
  1. Short History of the Ismailis by Dr. Daftary (in Tajik), 2002, Nodir, Dushanbe.
  2. Intellectual Traditions in Islam, ed. Dr. Daftary (in Tajik), 2002, Nodir, Dushanbe.
  3. Short History of the Ismailis by Dr. Daftary (in Russian), 2003, Ladomir, Dushanbe.
  4. The Ruby of Badakhshan by Elise Hunsberger (in Tajik), 2003, Nodir, Dushanbe.
  5. The Ruby of Badakhshan by Hunsberger (in Russian) 2005, Ladomir, Moscow.
  6. Ismailis in Medieval Muslim Societies (in Russian) 2005, Ladomir, Moscow.
  7. The Assassin Legends by Dr. Daftary (in Russian) 2008, Ladomir, Moscow.
  8. The Assassin Legends by Dr. Daftary (in Tajik) 2009, Dushanbe (forthcoming)

Edited volumes and publications
  1. Nasir Khusraw, Kulliyat, Volume 3 (in Tajik), 2003, Nodir, Dushanbe
  2. The World of Ideas and Thoughts of Nasir Khusraw (in Russian), 2004, Nodir, Dushanbe.
  3. The Secret of the World (in Tajik), 2005, Nodir, Dushanbe
  4. Nasir Khusraw. Yesterday. Today and Tomorrow (Proceedings of conference held in Khorog, Tajikistan), 2005, Noshir, Khujand, Tajikistan.
  5. Folklore of Pamir, ed. by Nisor Shakarmamadov (in Tajik), 2006, Imperial group, Dushanbe.
  6. Zad-ul-Musafirin by Nasir Khusraw (in Russian), 2006, Nodir, Dushanbe.
  7. Poetry as a Means of Preaching … by Reisner and Dodikhudoeva, (in Russian), 2007, Natalis, Moscow
  8. Nasirian Ethics (Akhloqi Nosiri) by Nasiruddin Tusi (in Tajik), 2009, Dushanbe, Tajikistan
  9. Divaninfo-icon of Nasir Khusraw (in two volumes), 2009, Dushanbe, Tajikistan
  10. Zad-al-Musafirin by Nasir Khusraw (in Tajik), 2009, Dushanbe, Tajikistan (forthcoming)