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Dimensions of Muslim unity in Russia, 1905-1917

Akhmetova, Elmira (2019) Dimensions of Muslim unity in Russia, 1905-1917. The Muslim World, 109 (3: Special Issue: Conceptualising the Ummah). pp. 224-239. ISSN 0027-4909 E-ISSN 1478-1913

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This article presents a general outline of the ideas of Muslim unity in Russia at the beginning of the twentieth century, its aims, scope, and dimensions. The Russian Revolution of 1905 had significantly stirred the ambitions of Russia’s Muslims for unity and progress, the very ideas which were buried in their hearts for centuries due to the ruthless colonial policies of the empire. Russia’s Muslim intelligentsia and middle-class enthusiastically founded a far-reaching movement for renewal and regeneration (iṣlāḥ and tajdid) with a great emphasis on ideas of unity, which consisted of calling nationwide congresses of Muslims, participation in policy-making process of the empire, educational and social reforms, and the advancement of the Muslim printing press. The Muslim masses named the entire development with the term Ittifāq while the educated circles used the term ittihād al-Islām to express the idea of Islamic unity. In imperial records, the terms ‘pan-Islamism’ and ‘pan-Turkism’ were interchangeably used to describe the entire social, political, religious, educational, cultural and economic awakening of Russia’s Muslims in that particular period. This article consequently suggests that the notions of ‘pan-Islamism’ and Ittifāq bear a broader meaning in the case of Russia, embracing a large-scale movement of the socio-political and religio-cultural awakening of its Muslim population in the first three decades of the twentieth century. This contention is based on textual analysis of the official documents from Tsarist and Soviet sources, records of the All-Russian Muslim Congresses between 1905 and 1918, as well as the thoughts and activities of Russia’s Muslim intellectuals, such as ‘Abd al-Rashīd Ibrahimov (1857-1944), Musa Jārullāh (1875-1949) and Ismail Gaspralı (1851-1914). The article indicates that Ittifāq was a peaceful movement primarily with a religious and cultural orientation towards the spiritual unity of Muslims. Lastly, the study concludes that pan-Islamism in the case of Russia did not bear aggressive facets; rather, Muslims sought to reform their societies through educational and peaceful means.

Item Type: Article (Journal)
Additional Information: 7311/72574
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pan-Islamism, Ittifāq, Unity of Muslims, Musa Jārullāh, ‘Abd al-Rashīd Ibrahimov, Ismail Gaspralı
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc > BP1 Islam > BP170.82 Unity of Islam
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc > BP1 Islam > BP173.6 Islam and the state
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc > BP1 Islam > BP173.65 Islam and religious liberty
J Political Science > JC Political theory > JC49 Islam and Politics
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences
Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences > Department of History & Civilization
Depositing User: Dr Elmira Akhmetova
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2019 08:45
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2019 14:54
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/72574

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