From Shamanism to Sufism: Female Singers from Central Asia and Sufism

excerpts from a book by
Razia Sultanova

Three chapters are reproduced here: “Transmission of Sacred Knowledge in Its Connection to Sufi Tradition,” “Music and Female Sufis,” and “Interaction of Shamanism and Sufism in Central Asian Female Performance.”

Know that no work is done without an Ustad, and every work done without an Ustad is in vain. There is a belief that even though a person might reach a certain degree and carry out a certain amount of work, if he had had no Ustad, or if his Ustad had not been a good one, his work would achieve nothing.

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Originally published in From Shamanism to Sufism: Women, Islam and Culture in Central Asia, I.B. Tauris, 2011. Republished here with thanks to Dr Sultanova.