1st Edition

Muslim Reformers and the Bolsheviks The Case of Daghestan

By Naira. E Sahakyan Copyright 2022
    196 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This book explores how the Muslim scholars of Daghestan, an important Muslim region within Russia, experienced the 1917 Russian Revolution and how they attempted to gain religious and political authority in the new post-imperial environment. Covering the period between the February Revolution and the first massive repressions of the scholars of Islam, it provides new insights into the complexities of the relations between Muslim reformers and Bolsheviks. It challenges the prevailing view in Western scholarship that the relationship was antagonistic, revealing that relations were pragmatic rather than ideological. It argues that there was cooperation on issues of modern education and language policy, and alliances against assumed common threats, such as the British, Wahhābis and local Ṣūfīs, along with disagreements related to the Bolsheviks’ atheism and their concept of class struggle. Overall, it demonstrates that the Islamic reformist discourse in Daghestan, although influenced by the wider Islamic debate at the turn of the twentieth century, was an integral part of Soviet modernity.

    Introduction 1. Histori(ographi)cal Background: The Russian Revolution and Early Soviet Rule in Daghestan (1917-1929) 2. The Concept of "Freedom" and the Issue of the Imamate in the Revolutionary Discourse of the Daghestani Reformists 3. The Visions of Daghestan’s Future in Debates on Education and on the Language of Instruction 4. The New Scopes of the Islamic Discourse: Inner-Islamic and Soviet Trajectories of the 1920s in the Journal Bayān al-Ḥaqā’iq Conclusion


    Naira E. Sahakyan is a Senior Researcher at the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, Armenia