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An Interesting Example in Biographical Writing: Akçura’s Damolla Âlimcan El-Barudî (Kazan, 1907)
20 December 2019
Prof. Dr. Ahmet Kanlıdere: An Interesting Example in Biographical Writing: Akçura’s Damolla Âlimcan el-Barudî (Kazan, 1907)
When Yusuf Akçura completed his education in Paris and returned to Kazan (Tatarstan, Russian Empire), he found himself in a very active environment. He participated in the congresses held by Muslims of Russia during the 1905 Revolution, and also engaged in journalism. During this time, he was interested in movements of religious reform, and sought a response to such currents amongst Northern Turks. Such expectations and quests brought Akçura to Âlimcan Barudî, who was famous for the modern madrasa he had founded in Kazan. Akçura started his teaching career in Barudî’s madrasa, and he greatly admired him as he came to see him as the religious reformer of the Muslims in Russia. Akçura saw Barudî’s novelties in the madrasa not only as an educational reform, but also as a reflection of a religious reform movement, and he was curious on how he had become such a person, or through which stages he got to the point he had reached. To this end, Akçura spoke to Barudî many times, made use of the notes Barudî had taken, and finally gave an important example of biographical writing. Akçura’s booklet, Damolla Âlimcan el-Barudî (Kazan, 1907) provides significant information both on Barudî’s life, and on the methods of teaching and the educational life of students in the Bukhara madrasas, which played a central role in the field of education for Muslims in Russia. This lecture is about Akçura’s interest on reformist Islamism, Barudî’s intellectual trajectory and the approaches on education in Bukhara.