Imam Shāmil

(c. 1798—1871)

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(d. 1871)

Muslim leader of resistance to the Russian conquest of the Caucasus in the nineteenth century. He had a formal Islamic education in Daghistan and became a leader in the Naqshbandi tariqah of the Khalidi branch, which advocated reform of Muslim life. Tariqah leadership organized military opposition to Russian expansion. Shamil became leader of the movement in 1834 and led military resistance in Daghistan and Chechnya until defeated in 1859. He created an effective administrative structure whose core was the murids (followers) in the tariqah. Following his defeat, he lived in comfortable retirement until his death.

Subjects: Islam.

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