Chala
(909 words)

Chala (Tajik: half-finished, incomplete) was a derogatory designation in Bukhara for Jews converted to Islam by force (and their descendants). Since the Chala often secretly practiced Jewish rites and maintained links with the Jewish community, they are somewhat comparable to the Jadīd-i Islām of Mashhad, the Marranos of Spain, and other anusim. Forced conversions occurred throughout the period of Muslim domination of Central Asia despite the Jews' status as ahl al-dhimma (Ar. protected people), but were more numerous in periods of heightened religious fanaticism.…

Cite this page
Albert Kaganovitch, “Chala”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 28 April 2017
First published online: 2010



▲   Back to top   ▲