Reviews

In his short historical survey on the Muslim population of Nizhny Novgorod region, the author reminds the city’s situation between Volga Bulghars and ancient Rus’, and the gradual emergence of the Mishars as a distinct community, before recalling the role of Naqshbandi Mujaddidi shaykhs in the revival of Islamic practice under and after the late eighteenth-century reforms. Special mention is made of the role of Ishan Habib-Allah b. Hasan al-Uri (1762-1816) as the Imam of the Fair Mosque ― a strategic post, situated in the vicinity of the Tatar suburb of Kanavino, attended each year by more than two hundred thousand people during the fair. The next historical phase of this narrative is the mention of participation of Muslims from the Nizhny Novgorod region in the reform of Islamic teaching in the Volga Region, with particular attention of the role played by the village of Shafajay and by its madrasa led by Ishan Habib-Allah al-Muhammad (Al’mukhametov), whose pupil Husayn Fayzkhani (1828-68) would formulate the theoretical basis of the Jadid movement. The article also sheds light on the role played by Nizhny Novgorod-born pupils of the Muhammadiyya Madrasa of Kazan (created by ‘Alimjan Barudi, a disciple of Naqshbandi Mujaddidi shaykh Zayn-Allah Rasuli of Troitsk) in the Imamate of the Great Mosque of Moscow after the latter’s opening in 1904 (with special mention of Ahmad-Jan Mustafin, 1903-86, for his role after the late 1950s). The next paragraphs are devoted to the religious autonomy of the Muslims of Nizhny Novgorod in 1917-20 (with special interest in the Tatar movement for autonomy by Imam of the Fair Mosque ‘Abd-Allah Sulaymani [1886-1937], a murid of Barudi’s), to religious practice during the Soviet period (with evocation of the repressions of imams in the 1930s, and of the partial revival of the 1960s-80s), to the restoration of Islamic institutions in the region since 1988 (with focus on the role of Imam Gömer Idrisov), to the development of Muslim and Tatar national education during the same period of time (with special mention for the Mahinur Madrasa and its satellite in the village of Mediana, and for the Husayn Fayzkhani Islamic Institute), and to the general evolution of the Muslim community of the Nizhny Novgorod region since the turn of the twenty-first century (where the author insists on the new demographic weight of Muslim-background migrants from the Southern Caucasus, and on the first measures taken for their integration).

The Redaction
CER: II-4.3.B-365