The Cäğfär Taríxı (Tatar Cyrillic: Җәгъфәр тарихы, pronounced [ʑæɣˈfær tʌrɯɪˈxɯ]; Russian: Джагфар Тарихы, in English generally Djagfar Tarikhy, via the Russian transliteration of the Tatar name; Tatar for History of Cäğfär) is a controversial Russian language text purporting to be a partial translation of a 17th-century Volga Bulgar compilation of early historical material on the Bulgars, Khazars and other Eurasian nomads.
According to its publisher, Fargat Nurutdinov, the Cäğfär Taríxı was written in its present form in Bashkortostan, by Baxşi İman, secretary of Cäğfär, the leader of a Volga Bulgar liberation movement that supposedly flourished there at the time. Nurutdinov states that the original, written in "Bulgar Turkic" (here equated with the language of the Volga Tatars), in the Arabic script, was translated into Russian in the late 1930s by his uncle I.M.-K.-Nigmatullin, who did this in order to save it from an NKVD campaign of confiscation and destruction of old Bulgar documents written in the Arabic script. The manuscript containing the Tatar text was destroyed by NKVD agents. Nigmatullin himself was killed in World War II, and the translation was preserved by his mother, who eventually passed it over to her grandson, Nurutdinov, in 1976. He managed to copy parts of the translation, but the original translation and some of the copies were stolen from his father's country house in the 1980s by unknown perpetrators. Finally, Nurutdinov published the remaining text.
The text refers to numerous persons and historical events unattested in other sources; for example, it makes references to mid 7th century Khazar rulers named Khalga and Kaban, who do not appear in the account of al-Tabari, in the Schechter Letter, in the Khazar Correspondence, or any other extant document. It also associates the Bulgars with what Nurutdinov interprets as references to Troy, Sumer and America.
The majority of scholars view the work as a mixture of (previously known) factual data and outright fabrications. Its critics claim that it is a forgery created in order to advance Volga Tatar nationalism and in particular to promote the notion that the Volga Tatars were an ancient, autochthonous ethnic group quite distinct from the Crimean Tatars and other groups of Tatar. Some also speculate that it was written either by or at the request of the NKVD in order to split the Turkic ethnic groups into opposing camps.
- The preface of the book
- БАХШИ ИМАН ДЖАГФАР ТАРИХЫ ТОМ ВТОРОЙ РЕДАКЦИЯ ВЕСТНИКА "БОЛГАР ИЛЕ" ОРЕНБУРГ 1994. Ответственные редакторы Ф. Г.-Х. НУРУТДИНОВ и Р. Ш. ШАРИПОВ