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The Arab construction inscriptions of the 19th century from the Mountain magal of Dagestan

UDK 930.2 (470.67) "18"


© 2011 Z.Sh. Zakariyaev

Dagestan state university, Dagestan State University,

Shamil Ave., 16, Makhachkala, 367026, Shamil Ave, 16, Makhachkala, 367026,

The Arab construction inscriptions of the 19th century found by the author in the Tsakhur settlements of Dagestan are for the first time introduced for scientific use. Author's translations and the description of inscriptions are supplied with historical comments.

The arabic building inscriptions ofXIX century, found by the author in Tsakhur villages of Dagestan, are published for the first time. The author&s translations are provided with historical comments.

The rich Arabic-language epigraphic heritage - one of historical and cultural phenomena of Dagestan. Epigraphic monuments in Arabic are an important source on the history of the multinational region. Often inscriptions act as the main and only document when studying various aspects of political, social and economic, cultural and ideological life of the Dagestan people. Unique opportunities of the Arab epigrafika for reconstruction of historical last Dagestan continue to draw attention of historians to a research of inscriptions.

Despite great success of domestic scientists in scientific studying an epigrafika of Dagestan, this work is still far from over. Intensive search and a research of the Arab inscriptions of Dagestan continue. In recent years we managed to achieve considerable results in identification, transfer and scientific interpretation of epigraphic monuments. In the present article the construction inscriptions of the 19th century for the first time found by us in the remote mountain settlements of upper courses of the Samur River in Southern Dagestan are considered. This fine and original corner located on border with the Azeri -

baydzhany, at Greater Caucasus Range, the Mountain magal is known in domestic historical and ethnographic literature under the name. Here tsakhurets - the small Dagestan people which language belongs to the Lezghin group of the nakhsko-Dagestan languages compactly live in thirteen small settlements. Many Tsakhur settlements of Dagestan have ancient history. Here scientists a large number of the kufichesky inscriptions demonstrating early distribution of Islam is revealed.

The dated inscriptions of the 19th century published by us report about construction (or restoration, repair) both cult, and civil constructions. Besides, some of them contain valuable data on the political history of the region. All inscriptions are executed by the Arab handwriting "насх".

In the yard of the mosque of the Tsakhur settlement of Dzhinykh we found a fragment of a carved wooden design probably of a bolster of a column which was in the old building of the mosque earlier. On the bolster the sizes of 110 x 23 cm decorated with a geometrical carving the relief Arab inscription large letters remained: IUCh ^ ^ ^з^

"Ibrahim the son made it. the 1279th".

1279 on Hijra (Muslim chronology) corresponds 29.06.1862 - 17.06.1863 Date testifies to a column construction as, obviously, and mosques in general, soon after return of inhabitants to the native settlement. In 1852 Dzhinykh's inhabitants, as well as other Tsakhur settlements, were violently moved by royal troops on the southern slope of Greater Caucasus Range, and the settlement is destroyed and burned. It was allowed to inhabitants to return to native settlements only ten years later.

N. Vuchetich, the visited Dzhinykh in 1862, a year later after return of its inhabitants, wrote about the settlement: "From all villages of the Mountain magal he managed to be equipped less all most again represented ruins... The burned sun blind in windows and a door of a saklya in which we stopped kept fire traces during the general ruin of these auls" [1, page 11 - 12].

Construction inscriptions about restoration (or construction) the cult constructions destroyed by royal troops are found by us in a number of settlements of the Mountain magal. All of them are dated the first half of the 60th of the 19th century, i.e. after return of residents of the deported settlements to native places.

The relief inscription from five lines is found on a rectangular stone plate 54 x 24 cm which is established in the southern wall of the mosque of the settlement of Syugut. Inscriptions are put also to semicircular fields at edges of a plate. The central field filled with the dense text borders the "curling" vegetable ornament. Over the field the graceful vegetable composition is cut: ^^ ^^^ ^^ 0^1 з^*., 1_l31

c ^11 1^1 ... J (?)

T ¿Пш^^ ... j

"1) Truly, those who believed in Allah and Sudny Den build mosques. Built (ban) this mosque 2) of Hadzhiali (?), Nowruz and... [sons?] Ramadana. The master (lips) Ali (?) the son Ramadana from Syugut (as-Sukuti) 3) in the 1279th year. And date of burning of settlements of the valley of the Tsakhur from Kurdul 4) to Kusur and [evictions of inhabitants] from there to Georgia (Kurdzhistan) - the 1268th. 5) Date of our return to native places - the 1277th year".

In side fields we read: ^ХЛХ ¿ЬЛс

"Usman-efendi Ismail's son from Muslakh wrote on a stone (al-Muslagi). the 1282nd"

Follows from an inscription that in 1268 Hijra (26.10.1851 - 13.10.1852) the settlements of the Mountain magal located in upper courses of Samura ("the valley of the Tsakhur"), beginning from Kurdul to the most remote settlement of Kusur, were burned, and inhabitants are moved in borders of Georgia where the territory of the Dzharsky region and the former Elisuysky sultanstvo was included. In 1277 Hijra (20.07.1860 - 08.07.1861) inhabitants returned to native settlements. Soon, in 1279 x. (29.06.1862 - 17.06.1863) Syugut's mosque was rebuilt. The inscription tells the names of customers (organizers) of construction, the professional master builder (inhabitant Syugut) and also a name of the carver-calligrapher who, judging by a nisba, came from the Tsakhur settlement of Muslakh. Katib Usman-efendi b. Ismail whose epitaph on a grave is found by us in Muslakh cut a plate with a construction inscription in 1282 x. that corresponds 15.05.1865 - 26.05.1866

The interrelation of some epigraphic monuments of Dagestan with Arabic-language narrative sources is curious. Almost literally some details of a syugutsky inscription are given in the composition "Tabakat An-nakshbandiya va is scarlet-hvadzhagan Sadat is scarlet-mashayikh is scarlet-halidiya is scarlet-makhmudiya" the Dagestan Sufi sheikh of a tariqa of a nakshbandy of Shuayba from Baginuba (al-Bagini) living in XIX - the beginning of the 20th century. In at one time it lived in the Mountain magal and probably he was familiar with contents of the construction and historical text from Syugut. Al-Bagini, in particular, writes:

"In 1268 nine settlements of the vilayat Samur by the damned, ill-fated enemy of religion, the major general the baron were burned (Wrangel. - Z.Z.) together with Tarkhanov. They came to the valley of the Tsakhur in a month Ramadan and burned their settlements from Kurdul to Kusur, and moved inhabitants to Georgia, i.e. Dzhar. Most of them died there, and later [remained] returned to their mountain settlements. Eviction of inhabitants happened because of fear of Russians that these nine settlements will appear in hands at the imam Shamil". (Translation from Arab ours. - Z.Z.).

Ramadan of 1268 x. 19.06 correspond. - 18.07.1852. al-Bagini we for the first time learn from the composition that royal troops burned not all settlements of the Mountain magal, and only nine of them.

The relief inscription is available in a wall of a house of Navruzov Cherif in the settlement of Muslakh. It is cut

on a stone 70 long, 20 cm high. The inscription is damaged and is read partially.

"1) Dawood b Constructed (ban) this gallery (dikhliz). Sultan b.... Mahomed (?) b. Mahdi 2) [b.]... Mu-hammad b. Bite b.... Ali al-Muslagi in 1302". Below the cut-in inscription is located small handwriting: "Abdullakh, and the owner (sakhib) - Abdou [Razak] made (faal)".

1302 of Hijra corresponds 20.10.1884 - 09.10.1885

Over an entrance to the cathedral mosque of the Tsakhur - the main settlement of tsakhurets and the ancient historical and cultural center of the region, the large, richly decorated square plate 70 x 70 cm is established. The construction inscription is executed from six lines dense calligraphical "naskhy" in a low relief and placed in the square field in the center of a plate. The central field is bordered by two tapes with graceful vegetable motives. On an external (wide) tape medallions with names of God and four Caliphs are cut: Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman and Ali. Inscriptions are put also in side semicircular fields.

In the central field we read: оц^

^ Л*-^ Ц^ ^ ц^ — Z

¿3 ¿! 1 | ¿ЗЬ

^^ &, . And & O.

L! Ял^ц & ¿ц^с й^Л

^^ JJilj ц^с^

SILT. & Ya ¿а I ^

"1) Those who believed in Allah and Egoy of the prophet build Allah's mosques. And later. Incorrect made violence and oppressions 2) over the Tsakhur's inhabitants (akhl Za-hur) and other inhabitants of [valley] of Samur (gasped Sanbur) on this date, - yes Allah will save us! - in the 1266th year, 3) so that burned their settlements, mosques and a set of books. And for this reason they dissipated 4) in different directions and remained in such situation ten years. Then they returned on Allah's favor 5) to native places and built up (ban) [anew] the settlements. Restored (ammar) and the mullah Mahomed-efendi 6) b built (ban) the cathedral mosque of the Tsakhur. Yakub-efendi b. Ramadan-efendi b. hadzhzh Yakub-efendi Tsakhursky (az-Zakhuri) by origin (Aslan) and Lakitsky (al-Lakiti) at the place of residence (maskanan), in the 1280th year".

1280 of Hijra corresponds 18.06.1863 - 05.06.1864 Date of burning of the Tsakhur and other settlements of the Mountain magal in an inscription is mistakenly specified 1266 x. (1849 - 1850). In fact the Tsakhur settlements were destroyed by troops of the general baron Wrangel two years later, in 1268 x. (1852).

At once four persons are called in the text of "efenda". Mahomed-efendi who lived, according to an inscription in the settlement Lakit located on the southern slope of Greater Caucasus Range acts as the customer (organizer) of restoration of the mosque in the homeland of the ancestors, soon after return zhite-here

Tsakhur's leu. Apparently, Mahomed-efendi belonged to local spiritual elite. Points a ministry of "efenda" at a name to it of both the customer, and his ancestors. The double nisba of Mahomed-efendi indicating his birth in the Tsakhur and residence in the settlement Lakit attracts interest (nowadays in the adjacent Kakhsky district of Azerbaijan). Tsakhurets live in Lakita and now. The settlement Lakit among other settlements of Northern Shirvan was granted by the Turkish sultan to the Tsakhur governor at the beginning of the 17th century. In the 19th century many residents of the Tsakhur settlements of the Mountain magal (including ecclesiastics) located in settlements on the southern slope of the Caucasian ridge. Quite often these persons carried double nisba.

Mahomed-efendi died in the seventh day of month of Rabi the expert sleigh of 1308 x. also it is buried in the settlement Lakit [2, page 154 - 155]. M.S. Neymat determines date by Hijra as "11.11.1891". Actually 7 Rabi expert sleigh of 1308 x. corresponds 20.11.1890. From an epitaph where Mahomed-efendi is called the qadi, we learn a name of his great-great-grandfather - Husayn-efendi's hadzhzha. From an epitaph of his uncle, Sultan's mullah b. Ramadan-efendi, buried in the same place, there is known also a name of the great-great-grandfather - Yakub-efendi az-Zakhuri's hadzhzha.

Mahomed-efendi father - Yakub-efendi died in 1275 x. (1858 - 1859). The inscription on the stele established in a southeast wall of the mosque of the settlement Lakit demonstrates to it [2, page 123].

Thus, from the Arab inscriptions names of five ancestors of reducer of the cathedral mosque of the Tsakhur are known to us. His name together with kunjyam looks so: qadi Mahomed-efendi b. Yakub-efendi's hadzhzh b. Ramadan-efendi b. Yakub-efendi's hadzhzh b. Husayn-efendi's hadzhzh b. Yakub-efendi's hadzhzh. All ancestors of Mahomed made hadzhzh to Mecca and had a ministry of "efenda". In lakitsky epitaphs they are called also "scientists" (alim). Therefore, data of the Arab epigrafika allow to speak about existence in the XVIII-XIX centuries in the Tsakhur of the whole dynasty of spiritual figures.

In east wall of the mosque of the settlement of Mikik the rectangular plate 50 x 30 cm with the beaten-off bottom left corner is established. The inscription in three lines is cut in a low relief. The termination of an inscription did not remain: Ял^цЛ ¿^^ L5 Ya-c

^^ ц^с. Ya-tsz ¿а

C Ts1l | 1 ^. ^ I ^ ■ ■ J

"1) The settlement of Mikik (Mika-kiyy karyata) owing to oppression (zulm) of Russians (are-rusiyya) [v] of 1269 moved. And they lived 2) in the settlement of Ilisu (karya of Ilusiyy) within ten years. Then Adam and Rasoul built (ban) this mosque, 3) sons Ramadana also will accept Allah their blessings! Amine. And master (ustadukha) Dzhuma b. Ramadan... Get out of here(?)..."

Date is cut under the second line. 1269 of Hijra corresponds 15.10.1852 - 03.10.1853. From an inscription we learn that soon after Mikik's destruction its inhabitants were violently moved in Elisa (Ilis), the former capital of the Elisuysky sultanstvo and

there lived ten years there. The place of resettlement of mikikets was not known earlier. The inscription distinguishes customers and direct builders. It is remarkable that the nature of construction works is expressed by the Arab verb of "ban" (to build) that indicates that the mosque was thoroughly destroyed by royal troops, was not subject to recovery and it is rebuilt.

The relief construction inscription from four lines is found on a wedge-shaped plate 32 x 26 cm which is established in east wall of a house of Yusuf Yusufov in the settlement of Kurdul. The inscription is bordered with a tape of a vegetable ornament:

"1) Constructed (ban) these houses (bunut) the master (lips) Umar 2) b. Mansour b. Abdulalim b. hadzhzh 3) Moussa b. hadzhzh Umar b. hadzhzh Sadyk b. hadzhzh 4) Yusuf also will forgive them Allah! Amine. the 1294th year".

1294 of Hijra corresponds 16.01.1877 - 04.01.1878

Mukhakh - the most remote and remote Tsakhur settlement of Dagestan. Automobile communication with the settlement is absent. Here reach on foot, or on horses on a narrow and dangerous mountain track. In the mosque on a wooden column, slightly below than a bolster cut-in date on Hijra is put: "1283" that corresponds 16.05.1866 - 05.05.1867. On other bolster black ink removed a formula "monotheism".

Obviously, date reflects the recovery time of the destroyed mosque after return of inhabitants to the native village because of Greater Caucasus Range where they were moved together with other inhabitants of the Mountain magal.

The cut-in construction inscription is cut on a square plate 24 x 24 cm which is built in in a house wall Shakhmurada Mikailova in the settlement of Mukhakh. The most part of a plate is occupied by the image of so-called "labyrinth" - one of widespread plots of the Dagestan petrografika. The inscription says:

"Nurmukhammad in the 1235th year built (ban) this house".

1235 on Hijra corresponds 21.10.1819 - 08.10.1820. The plate remained after destruction of the settlement in 1852 by royal troops and was built in in a wall of again built house after return of inhabitants.

The wedge-shaped stone 35 x 20 cm is established in a wall of a house of the inhabitant Mukhakh Aliyev Mutallif.

Came to edition

The construction inscription from six lines is cut in a low relief.

"1) Date: in the 1283rd year. 2) Built (buniyat) this house for guests, 3) but not for the sake of boasting and not because of 4) arrogance.... 5) Owner of this house Hadzhiali b. 6) Hassan, and master (usdadukha) Ali (?). Forgiveness - at Allah".

1283 of Hijra corresponds 16.05.1866 - 05.05.1867

In Kusur - the most remote settlement of upper courses of Samura, there live Avars. A large number of plates with inscriptions among which and kufichesky is inserted into walls of the mosque of the settlement. However the majority of inscriptions is dated 19th century. In 1852 the Avarian settlement of Kusur shared bitter lot of the Tsakhur settlements of the Mountain magal and was destroyed by royal troops. The settlement is mentioned in this regard in the construction inscription considered above from Syugut. Kusur's inhabitants were also moved in Transcaucasia. After their return the mosque was restored and stones with inscriptions of different time are inserted into its walls. It is interesting that on one of inscriptions of the 19th century which is put with the equipment of a double inking on a contour are separately specified the copyist (raky) and the carver (nakir). This quite unusual occurrence for the Arab epigrafika of Dagestan where as the carver and the calligrapher the same person usually acts.

In east wall of the mosque Kusura the relief construction inscription in a frame is found. It is cut on a rectangular plate 49 x 20 cm. In the left part of the rectangular field the text more dense and small.

"This cathedral mosque by community (davl) of this settlement by means of Allah is built (ban). in one thousand two hundred twentieth".

1220 of Hijra corresponds 01.04.1805 - 21.03.1806. At the edges of a plate two late cut-in dates are cut: 1268 x. (26.10.1851 - 14.10.1852) and 1281 x. (06.06.1864 - 25.05.1865). The first date - time of destruction of the settlement and mosque, and the second, obviously, recorded mosque recovery time.


1. Tsit. on: S.O. Khan-Magomedov. Tsakhur architecture. M, 1999. 244 pages
2. M.S. Neymat. Case of epigraphic monuments of Azerbaijan. T. 2: Arab-perso - Turkic inscriptions of the Shaki-Zakatalsky zone (XIV - the beginning of the 20th century). Baku, 2001. 368 pages

On April 14, 2010

Roberto Jones
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