Muslims In The U.S.S.R.
Seeking A New Dawn

A. Kalaam
(Copyright © 1991  The Message International)

(This is a summary of the article developed by Dr. A. Zahoor.)

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There are about 80 million Muslims in what was Soviet Union. In spite of their number, the outside world seems to know little about them. Of the 16 states that comprised the Soviet Union, Muslims were in majority in eight of them when the Communists took over in 1917. The Muslim majority areas in what was the Soviet Union were: 1. Uzbekistan, 2. Tajikistan, 3. Azerbaijan, 4. Georgia and Armenia, 5. Kazakhstan, 6. Kirghizia, 7. Tatar and Bashkar, 8. Caucasia and 9. Cremia.

Islam was introduced in Uzbekistan in the 8th century during the time of the Umayyad Caliph Abdul Malik bin Marwan. For twelve hundred years, the entire area remained under Muslim rule. Uzbekistan has produced several renowned scholars of Hadith and Fiqh, besides leading Muslim philosophers, physicians and mathematicians. It was also in the early 8th century, the entire population of Tajikistan embraced Islam, even before the message of Islam reached Afghanistan. The message of Islam reached Azerbaijan in 14 AH (636 CE), and it became a part of the Islamic world in the year 113 AH during the period of Umayyad Caliph Hisham bin Abdul Malik.

Muslim merchants introduced Islam to the European Russia in the beginning of 10th century. There are about 10 million Muslims in the Tatar, Bashkar, Kazan, the Ural and in the Volga river valley.

The December 4, 1917 declaration jointly signed by Lenin and Stalin said: "To the Muslims in Russia, be they Tartars of Volga, the inhabitants of Cremia, the Kaukaz of Siberia or Turkistan, the Turks of Kaukaz, the Charks, the dwellers of Kaukaz mountains, to all those whose mosques and worship places and whose faith and traditions were trampled upon by the Tsars of Russia or the other tyrants; Be assured that your traditions and faith and your national and cultural institutions shall be free from this day and nobody will object to these in future. You are free to organize your national life without any interference and obstacles from outside." The Russians, however, knew that the only power which could pose a threat to their revolution were the Muslim states. Within a year they changed their tune and occupied the Muslim states.

Over 74 years of colonization and exploitation has devastated their lands, siphoned off their resources, and dilapidated their spirit of freedom. The demon of Socialism had swallowed around fifty thousand ulema and religious leaders by 1940 and, according to Russian estimates, the Communists closed down 14,000 mosques in Turkistan by 1941. In the Republic of Turkmenia, during 1954 alone, 700 anti-religion speeches were arranged. The Muslims were labeled as 'Balmeek' which implied fundamentalists and regionalists. Any Muslim could be killed after being declared a Balmeek.

Allah: Allah is the proper name in Arabic for The One and Only God, The Creator and Sustainer of the universe. It is used by the Arab Christians and Jews for the God (Eloh-im in Hebrew; 'Allaha' in Aramaic, the mother tongue of Jesus, pbuh). The word Allah does not have a plural or gender. Allah does not have any associate or partner, and He does not beget nor was He begotten. SWT is an abbreviation of Arabic words that mean 'Glory Be To Him.'


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Copyright © The Message International, 1991
Copyright © 1998 Web version prepared by Dr. A. Zahoor.

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