N. Tikhonova

National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), St. Petersburg, Russia

E‑mail: netikhonova@hse.ru 

O. Sokolov 

Laboratory for Analysis and Modelling of Social Processes St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia

E‑mail: o.a.sokolov@spbu.ru

Divine Punishment, “the Last Jihād” or the Origin of Protestantism: the Crusades in the Written Legacy of Arab and Tatar Muslim Reformers (19th — Early 20th Centuries)

Abstract. This case study is a first‑ever attempt to compare the perceptions of the Crusades that emerged in Arab and Tatar Muslim modernist narratives of the late 19th — early 20th centuries through the discourse‑analysis of their written legacy. The comparison itself is of particular interest to understand the emergence of early Muslim modernist discourse, influential enough to set the tone for the various ideological concepts among modern Muslims. It is argued in this paper that Arab and Tatar Muslim reformers expressed significant differences in their interpretations of the Crusades period, despite a number of summary explanations can be reviewed in the Muslim modernist discourse under consideration (such as divine punishment, great shock for the umma, etc.). At the same time, the Crusades' concept along with the image of the “Christian — Crusader — Other” became an integral part of Muslim intellectual discourse of the late 19th — early 20th centuries, due to the widespread occurrence of “print capitalism” and actualization of anti‑colonial narratives among Muslims.

Keywords: The Crusades, Muslim Modernism, Arab reformers, Tatar reformers, Russian Empire, Middle East, written sources, historical memory, discourse‑analysis

Acknowledgments. This article is an output of a research project implemented as part of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE University).

DOI: 10.31250/1238-5018-2021-27-2-45-52


  • ‘Abduh, M. (1994), Risalat al‑tawhid [Message of Monotheism], Al‑Qahira: Dar al‑shuruq.
  • ‘Abduh, M. & al‑Afghani, J. (2014), Al‑‘Urwa al‑wuthqa [The Firmest Bond], Al‑Qahira: Mu’assat hindawi li al‑ta‘lim wa al‑thaqafa.
  • Al‑Afghani, J. (1902), Al‑Radd ‘alā al‑dahriyyin [Refutation of the Materialists], Mansura: Matba‘ al‑mawsu‘at.
  • Al‑Kawakibi, ‘A. (1931), Umm al‑qura [The Mother of Cities], Al‑Qahira: Al‑Matba‘ al‑misri bi al‑azhar.
  • Al‑Kawakibi, ‘A. (2012), Taba’i‘ al‑istibdad wa masari‘ al‑isti‘bad [The Nature of Despotism], Al‑Qahira: Mu’assat hindawi li al‑ta‘lim wa al‑thaqafa.
  • Al‑Shahba’ (1877), No. 3, 6.01.
  • Anderson, B. (2006), Imagined Communities, London; New York: Verso
  • Baiazitov, A. (1898), Islam i progress [Islam and Progress], St. Petersburg: Tipografiya A. S. Suvorina.
  • Bessmertnaya, O. (2019), “Ponimaniye istorii i identichnost' avtora v vozrazheniyakh Ataully Baiazitova Ernestu Renanu” [“The vision of history and the author's identity in Ataulla Baiazitov's ‘objection’ to Ernest Renan], Islamology, vol. 9, Nos. 1—2, pp. 54—82.
  • Bhatia, U. (2008), Forgetting Osama bin Munqidh, Remembering Osama bin Laden: The Crusades in Modern Muslim Memory, Singapore: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
  • Bourdieu, P. (2005), Socialnoe prostranstvo: polya i praktiki [Social Space: Fields and Practice], transl. from French by N. A. Shmatko, Moscow: Institut eksperimental'noj sociologii.
  • Bigiev, M. (1912), Halyk nazaryna berniche meseleler [A Few Questions for Peoples to Consider], Kazan: Umid.
  • Gasprinskii, I. (1884a), “Musul'manskaia civilizacia (Medeniyet‑i İslamiye)” [“Civilization of Islam”], Perevodchik‑Terjiman, No. 23, 25.06.
  • Gasprinskii, I. (1884b), “Musul'manskaia civilizacia (Medeniyet‑i İslamiye)” [“Civilization of Islam”], Perevodchik‑Terjiman, No. 27, 30.07.
  • Guizot, F. (1838), Histoire générale de la civilisation en Europe. Paris: Langlet et Cie.
  • Hayrutdinov, A. (1999), Poslednii tatarskii bogoslov [The Last Tatar Theologist], Kazan: Iman.
  • Hillenbrand, C. (1999), The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Le Goff, J. (1996), History and Memory, New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Ostroumov, N. P. (1883), Chto takoe Koran? Po povodu statei gg. Gasprinskogo, Devlet‑Kildeeva i Murzy‑Alima [What is the Quran? Concerning the Articles of Messrs. Gasprinskii, Devlet‑Kil’deev and Murza‑Alim], Tashkent: Tipografia, arenduemaia F. V. Bazilevskim.
  • Patel, A. (2013), The Arab Nahdah: The Making of the Intellectual and Humanist Movement, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Phillips, J. (2018), “‘Unity! Unity between all the inhabitants of our lands!’: the memory and legacy of the Crusades and Saladin in the Near East, c. 1880 to c. 1925”, in M. Horswell & J. Phillips (eds.) Perceptions of the Crusades from the Nineteenth to the Twenty‑First Century, Volume One. London: Routledge.
  • Phillips, J. (2019), The Life and Legend of the Sultan Saladin, New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Renan, E. (1883), L'Islamisme et la science: conférence faite à la Sorbonne le 29 mars 1883, Paris: Calmann Levy Editeur.
  • Sedgwick, M. (2010), Muhammad Abduh. Makers of the Muslim World, London: Oneworld Publications.
  • Tsibenko, V. V. & Tikhonova, N. Y. (2019), “Gasprinskii's nation‑building project through its reflection in ‘The Perevodchik‑Terjiman’ Newspaper”, Bylye gody, vol. 54/4, pp. 1613—1622.
  • Weismann, I. (2015), Abd al‑Rahman al‑Kawakibi. Islamic Reform and Arab Revival, London: Oneworld Publications.

 Received by the Editorial Board: 23.12.2020


Copyright © 2010-2016 Manuscripta Orientalia. All rights reserved.

Sign In