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The Jadids (جديد "new" in Arabic) were Muslim reformers within the Russian Empire in the late 19th century (1880s). They normally referred to themselves by the Turkic terms Taraqqiparvarlar (progressives) or simply Yäşlär/Yoshlar (youth). Although their beliefs were manifold, one of their principal aims was the introduction of the usul ul-jadid or "new method" of teaching in the maktabs of the empire, hence the term Jadidism normally used to describe their programme. Some of the changes thus initiated, such as the introduction of benches, desks, blackboards and maps into classrooms, were perhaps merely cosmetic; others, such as the use of textbooks printed in Cairo, Kazan or Istanbul, were rather more substantial. Originating with the Tatars of the Volga and Crimea, among whom it was popularized by such thinkers as Volga Tatars Ghabdennasir Qursawi and Musa Bigiev, it later spread to Central Asia, in particular the cities of Bukhara and Kokand. A leading figure was the Crimean Tatar İsmail Gaspıralı (Gasprinskiy), whose newspaper Tercüman (Interpreter) was a major organ of Jadid opinion, together with the Azeri satirical journal Mollah Nasreddin. The Jadids were treated with suspicion by the Russian government, which disliked their connections with similar Muslim reform movements in the Ottoman Empire and British India, and suspected them of having Pan-Turkic and Pan-Islamic aims. The Jadids had many opponents amongst the ulama as well, normally known as Qadimists or devotees of the old. However the beliefs of so-called Qadimist thinkers have often been stereotyped and distorted, and their beliefs and aims were often not very different from those of the Jadids, who normally came from similar backgrounds and also counted many of the ulama in their ranks.[citation needed]


Jadids in Tatarstan

Some of them were supporters of religious reforms (Ğ. Barudi, M. Bigiev, Ğäbdräşid İbrahimov, Q. Tärcemäni, C. Abızgildin, Z. Qadíri, Z. Kamali, Ğ Bubí et al.), while others wanted educational reforms only (R. Fäxretdinev, F. Kärimi, Ş. Kültäsi et al.).

The 1917 Revolution

Flag of Kokand Autonomy 1917-1918

In 1917 the reformers appeared to have a chance to acquire some real power. A provisional Government of Jadid Reformers in the settled regions of Russian Turkestan (a leading member of which was Mustafa Chokay) was established in the city of Kokand, whilst a parallel organisation in the Steppe, the Alash Orda, was set up in the city of Semipalatinsk. The Kokand Autonomy was brutally crushed by the forces of the Tashkent Soviet, and around 14,000 people were killed in the ensuing massacre, including many leading Jadids. In the early years of Bolshevik rule the authorities sought the assistance of the Jadids in pushing through radical social and educational reforms. Under Faizullah Khojaev they controlled the Government of the Bukharan People's Republic (1921-4) but this proved to be a false dawn. When the new 'national' boundaries were drawn up in 1924 Khojaev became the first President of the Uzbek SSR, but he was purged in the 1930s together with virtually the entire intelligentsia of Central Asia, including leading Jadid writers and poets such as Cholpan and Abdurrauf Fitrat. The Jadids have now been rehabilitated as 'Uzbek National Heroes' in Post-Soviet Uzbekistan.

See also


  • Paul Bergne "The Kokand Autonomy 1917-18: political background, aims and reasons for failure", in Tom Everett-Heath Central Asia: Aspects of Transition (London) 2003
  • Hélène Carrére d’Encausse Réforme et Révolution chez les Musulmans de l’Empire Russe (Paris) 1981, translated as Islam and the Russian Empire (London) 1988
  • Adeeb Khalid The Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform (Berkeley) 1997
  • Adeeb Khalid “Tashkent 1917: Muslim Politics in Revolutionary Turkestan” Slavic Review Vol.55 №.2 (1996)
  • S.A. Dudoignon & F. Georgeon (Eds.) “Le Réformisme Musulman en Asie Centrale. Du ‘premier renouveau’ à la Soviétisation 1788-1937” Cahiers du Monde Russe Vol. XXXVII (1-2) Jan-Jun 1996
  • Gero Fedtke “Jadids, Young Bukharans, Communists and the Bukharan Revolution: from an ideological debate in the early Soviet Union” in Von Kügelgen et al. (Eds): Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia Vol.II - Inter-regional & inter-ethnic relations (Berlin) 1998 pp483–512
  • И.И. Минтс (Ред.) Победа Советской Власти в Средней Азии и Казахстане (Ташкент) 1967

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