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The Descendants of Sayyid Ata and the Rank of Naqīb in Central Asia

Devin DeWeese
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 115, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1995), pp. 612-634
DOI: 10.2307/604731
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/604731
Page Count: 23
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The Descendants of Sayyid Ata and the Rank of Naqīb in Central Asia
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Abstract

Central Asian historical sources from the Uzbek period (sixteenth-nineteenth centuries) describe the naqīb as a high administrative functionary, with important military duties and one of the most honored places in ceremonial occasions at the khans' courts. Several holders of this post were descendants of Sayyid Ata, a fourteenth-century Sufi saint traditionally ascribed a central role in the Islamization of the Jöchid ulus, and according to some sources the rank of naqīb was indeed the hereditary right of Sayyid Ata's descendants in the Uzbek khanates. The nature of the niqābat, the tradition of the Sayyid Atāʾī "monopoly" on the title, and the signs of a challenge to the family's hereditary rights are explored here, along with the implications of the Sayyid Atāʾī niqābat for the political uses of Islamization in Inner Asian states.

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