Unformatted text preview:

What were the relevant factors in the “Islamic transformation” in the Qazaq Steppe in theeighteenth and nineteenth centuries? Was one of these factors more significant than others?Why or why not?If we look at the history of the Qipchaq steppe, there were lots of events that led to the "Islamic Transformation" of the Qazaq people. The most known factor is the integration of Russian Muslims into the Qazaq society. With the eighteenth-century enlightenment of Catherine Great, the fortresses built in the steppe became big cities and centers of different cultures. However, the rule of the Russian Empire did not start this transformation. As we know from the texts of historians, Qazaq people and khans were already Muslims and adhered to Islamic traditions. Hence, the conversion started much earlier. This essay aims to define the factors that led to the "Islamic Transformation" through the examination of readings provided in the course. First of all, let us go back in time and analyze the premier phenomenon of the Steppe, the Silk Road.Merchants of the Silk Way played a huge role in the exchange of cultures and traditions. To the trading posts and cities, travelers from different parts of the world brought various ideas, including the religious one. Such trading posts were also in the territory of the Qazaq Khans, such as Sairam and Turkistan (Tevkelev, p. 2). Moreover, the Silk Route also passes through the northern parts of the Qipchaq steppe (Lecture: Islam on the Qazaq Steppe Part I). It answers the question of how the Qazaq people were Muslims before the Russian conquest.If we say that the Silk Road was the beginning of the Islamic transformation, then The Russian Conquest is the revival of Islam in the steppe. The goal of the Russian Empire's policy towards the Qazaq people was to make them one of their sedentary states, and Islam was a solution to this. Building mosques and madrasas would gather people around cities and make it possible to collect taxes. Then, this policy led to the migration of Muslim people from the Volga-Ural and Siberia regions since they shared with the Qazaqs common Islamic institutional and educational structures(Frank, p. 3). Most of the migrants were Tatars, who later became a part of Kazakh society and getting Chala Kazakh status. The social status of Chala Kazakh arrives with some privileges such as exemption from taxes. Since this status had benefits for Muslims from Russia, lots of Bashkirs and Tatars wanted to obtain Chala Kazakh status (Khalidi, p.3).Another significant factor in the "Islamic transformation" is religion itself. Islam is a religion based around sacred texts and Qoran. Therefore, when the religion's main components are texts and books,you expect representatives of this religion to be capable of reading. This is what attracts nomad people to convert to Islam. As we know writing their history was not as popular as the oral tradition among nomad people, and the reason for this is that they could not read. However, with madrasas where people learn how to read and write, this situation changes.The last factor in the "Islamic transformation" of the Qazaq Stepp is the Qazaq people."From Islamic sources for the period, there is ample evidence that the Kazakh nomads themselves were anything but passive, and powered this revitalization. Qurban-Ali frequently notes the remarkable piety of the Kazakh nomads and even admonishes them for altering their oral histories out of a mistaken sense of Islamic piety. However, Muslim observers across the Kazakh steppe haveemphasized not only the piety but also the intense orthodoxy of the Kazakhs nomads."(Khalidi, p. 9)From this fragment, it is clear that the Qazaq people played a significant role in the revival of Islam in the steppe. Barangavi also emphasizes the Qazaq people's orthodoxy:"More significantly for our purposes, they did not describe Qazaqs as passive recipients of ‘civilization’ or ‘culture’, ut depicted them as Islamic actors in their own right. Such a view is evident in Aḥmad al-Barāngavī’s account, ut is also present in the works of other historians, such as Muḥammad-Fātiḥ al-Īlmīnī’s Tavārīkh-i Alṭī Atā, devoted to the Inner Horde, and above all in Qurbān-‘Alī Khālidī’s published and manuscript works.4 Not surprisingly, Qazaq sources provideour best evidence that Qazaq scholars themselves played an important role in the Islamic revival thattook place among them from the mid-19th century." (Barangavi, p. 4)The evidence for these words is the growth of Kazakh imams and religious figures (Lecture: Islam On the Qazaq Steppe Under Russian Rule).In conclusion, the most significant factor in the "Islamic transformation" is The Russian empire and its Tatar Muslims. Because it happened in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and led to the growth of Islam by constructing religious buildings. The policy of the Russian Empire educated Qazaq people and opened up new opportunities.ReferencesKhalidi, Islamic Biographical DictionaryRetrieved from:https://moodle.nu.edu.kz/pluginfile.php/352893/mod_resource/content/1/Khalidi%2C%20Islamic%20Biographical%20Dictionary%20.pdf Frank, Allen J. "Islamic Transformation on the Kazakh Steppe, 1742-1917: Toward an Islamic History of Kazakhstan under Russian Rule."Barangavi “A month among the Qazaqs”Retrieved

View Full Document

CTC HIST 2311 - Islamic Transformation

Download Islamic Transformation
Our administrator received your request to download this document. We will send you the file to your email shortly.
Loading Unlocking...

Join to view Islamic Transformation and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

We will never post anything without your permission.
Don't have an account?
Sign Up

Join to view Islamic Transformation 2 2 and access 3M+ class-specific study document.


By creating an account you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use

Already a member?