Upal, Mausoleum of Mahmud al-Kashgari
|Nationality||Turkic, specifically Kara-Khanid|
|Fields||Linguistics, Lexicography, Turkology|
Mahmud ibn Hussayn ibn Muhammed al-Kashgari (Arabic: ? , Ma?m?d ibnu 'l-?ussayn ibn Mu?ammad al-Kar?, Turkish: Ka?garl? Mahmûd, Uyghur: ?, Mehmud Qeshqiri, ?) was an 11th-century Kara-Khanid scholar and lexicographer of the Turkic languages from Kashgar.
His father, Hussayn, was the mayor of Barsgan, a town in the southeastern part of the lake of Issyk-Kul (nowadays village of Barskoon in Northern Kyrgyzstan's Issyk-Kul Region) and related to the ruling dynasty of Kara-Khanid Khanate.
D?w?n Lugh?t al-Turk was compiled by Kashgari in the 1070s. The authorship of the works is not known. It contains linguistic data about multiple Turkic dialects that may have been gathered from merchants and others involved in trade along routes that travelled through the Oguz steppe. Scholars believe it is likely that Kashgari would have gathered most of the content about Oguz-Turkmen from Oguz tribes in Khorasan, since he himself was a student in Seljuk Baghdad, but its possible that some of this material could have come from early Turkmen. Scholars have not yet come to a settled conclusion, however.
Al-Kashgari studied the Turkic languages of his time and in Baghdad he compiled the first comprehensive dictionary of Turkic languages, the D?w?n Lugh?t al-Turk (English: "Compendium of the languages of the Turks") in 1072-74. It was intended for use by the Abbasid Caliphate, the new Arab allies of the Turks. Mahmud Kashgari's comprehensive dictionary, later edited by the Turkish historian, Ali Amiri, contains specimens of old Turkic poetry in the typical form of quatrains (Persio-Arabic ?, rub?'iy?t; Turkish: dörtlük), representing all the principal genres: epic, pastoral, didactic, lyric and elegiac. His book also included the first known map of the areas inhabited by Turkic peoples. This map is housed at the National Library in Istanbul.
He advocated monolingualism and the linguistic purism of the Turkic languages and held a belief in the superiority of nomadic people (the Turkic tribes had traditionally been nomads) over urban populations. Most of his Turkic-speaking contemporaries were bilingual in Tajik (a Persian language), which was then the urban and literary language of Central Asia.
The most elegant of the dialects belongs to those who know only one language, who do not mix with Persians and who do not customarily settle in other lands. Those who have two languages and who mix with the populace of the cities have a certain slurring in their utterances.
Kashgari claimed that the Prophet assisted in a miraculous event where 700,000 Yab?qu "infidels" were defeated by 40,000 Muslims led by Arsl?n Teg?n claiming that fires shot sparks from gates located on a green mountain towards the Yab?qu. The Yabaqu were a Turkic people.
Muslims used to call the Uyghur Buddhists as "Tats", which referred to the "Uighur infidels" according to the Tuxsi and Taghma, while other Turks called Persians "tat". Uyghur Buddhists used to call the muslims as "Chomak" While Kashgari displayed a different attitude towards the Turks diviners beliefs and "national customs", he expressed towards Buddhism a hatred in his Diwan where he wrote the verse cycle on the war against Uighur Buddhists. Buddhist origin words like toyin (a cleric or priest) and Burx?n or Furxan (meaning Buddha, acquiring the generic meaning of "idol" in the Turkic language of Kashgari) had negative connotations to Muslim Turks.
Muslim writers Mahmud Kashgh?r? had more some information about China in their writings, Kashgari viewed Kashgar as part of China as Tang China had controlled Kashgar as one of the Anxi protectorate's "Four Garrisons" seats.
n [i.e., China] is originally three fold; Upper, in the east which is called Tawj?ch; middle which is Khit?y, lower which is Barkh?n in the vicinity of Kashgar. But know Tawj?ch is known as Man and Khitai as n.
Tabgach, originally denoting the Northern Wei's dynastic clan Tuoba, referred metonymously to China in Kashgari's time, Khitay to the Khitans (Liao dynasty). Persian ch?n and m?ch?n ( ) and Arabic n and mn ( ) were names for China: after the Tang dynasty, Southern China was referred to as Machin-Masin and Northern China as Chin-Sin; although before that the names' referrents were reversed.
Some researchers think that Mahmud al-Kashgari died in 1102 at the age of 97 in Upal, a small city southwest of Kashgar, and was buried there. There is now a mausoleum erected on his gravesite. But some modern authors reject this assertion, saying that the date of his death is just unknown.
Some claim Mahmad Kashghari was Hazrat Mullam.
An oriental study university, situated in the capital city of Bishkek in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan, was named after Makhmud Kashghari, in the 1990s.
The most elegant of the dialects belongs to those who know only one language, who do not mix with Persians and who do not customarily settle in other lands. Those who have two languages and who mix with the populace of the cities have a certain slurring in their utterances.... The most elegant is that of the Khagani kings and those who associate with them.