Article

Islam in Russia

Janis Eshots

in Islamic Studies

ISBN: 9780195390155
Published online May 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195390155-0119
Islam in Russia

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Islam in Russia has a history more than a thousand years long. It can be divided into five major periods: (1) the Khazaro-Bulgarian period (from the appearance of the first Muslim communities in what is now southeastern Russia to the Mongol invasion, c. 737–1240 ce); (2) the period of the Horde (from the foundation of the Genghis [Chingiz] Khan empire and in particular the Ulus Juchi [Golden Horde or Kipchak Khanate] to its collapse and the inclusion of its remnants into the Russian Empire, c. 1240–1550s); (3) the period of Czarist Russia (from the 1550s to 1917); (4) the Soviet period (1917–1991); and (5) the post-Soviet period (since 1991). In the early 21st century there are approximately fifteen or sixteen million “ethnic” Muslims in Russia, of which about ten million are indigenous Russian Muslims and the remaining five or six million are immigrants from other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries. The indigenous Russian Muslims are concentrated in two main areas: between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea (that is, the northern Caucasus and the adjacent territories) and in the middle of the Volga basin. The immigrant Muslims in turn reside mainly in the major Russian cities, such as Moscow—in which about three million Muslims are believed to reside—Saint Petersburg, and Novosibirsk. The majority of both the indigenous and the immigrant communities are Sunni Muslims of the Hanafi school, but most Dagestani Muslims are Shafiʿites. Less than 10 percent of the fifteen or sixteen million Muslims are practicing Muslims, the rest being Muslims by birth only. Approximately half of the citations included works cited in this bibliography are in Russian. This represents the early-21st-century situation in the field: while there are a good number of overviews and outlines available in English, more specific information concerning different periods and regions is still frequently only available in Russian. And although many websites provide some initial information on the history of Islam and the Muslim communities of Russia, few materials of scholarly interest are available online.

Article.  6667 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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