Exploring the Islamic Juridical Field in the Russian Empire: An Introduction


in Islamic Law and Society
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When studying Muslim-majority regions of the Russian empire, one sees substantial variations in the relations between the imperial state and Islam. These variations may be less reflective of changes in imperial policies designed to administer Islam than a function of the material we choose to study relations between the empire and its Muslim communities and, especially, of the assumptions that we bring to the study of such relations. Over the last decade, the historiography relating to Muslim communities living under Russian rule has shifted between two major interpretations. In this introduction I show that attention to Islamic juristic literature allows us to understand that such interpretations are not without problems and helps us to complicate the dominant narratives about Muslim culture in the Russian Empire.


Exploring the Islamic Juridical Field in the Russian Empire: An Introduction


in Islamic Law and Society

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References

1

 Allen J. FrankMuslim Religious Institutions in Imperial Russia: The Islamic World of Novouzensk District and the Kazakh Inner Horde 1780–1910 (Leiden: Brill2001) 102–6; Danil’ D. Azamatov “The Muftis of the Orenburg Spiritual Assembly in the 18th and 19th Centuries: The Struggle for Power in Russia’s Muslims Institution” in Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia from the 18th to the Early 20th Centuries. Vol. 2: Inter-Regional and Inter-Ethnic Relations ed. Anke von Kügelgen Michael Kemper Allen J. Frank (Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag 1998) 355–84; Pavel Shablei “Akhun Siradzh al-Din ibn Saifulla al-Kyzyl’iari u Kazakhov sibirskogo vedomstva: Islamskaia biografiia v imperskom kontekste” Ab Imperio 1 (2012) 175–208.

3

 James H. MeyerTurks across Empires: Marketing Muslim Identity in the Russian-Ottoman Borderlands 1856–1914 (Oxford: Oxford University Press2014) 26. See also Dukhovnye pravleniia musul'man Zakavkaz'ia v Rossiiskoi imperii (XIX–nachalo XX v.): Dokumenty ed. A.A. Ganich (Moscow: Mardzhani 2013).

5

 Virginia MartinLaw and Custom in the Steppe: The Kazakhs of the Middle Horde and Russian Colonialism (Richmond, UK: Curzon2001) 58–59; Robert D. Crews For Prophet and Tsar: Islam and Empire in Russia and Central Asia (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press 2006) 221–27; Paul W. Werth “The Qazaq Steppe and Islamic Administrative Exceptionalism: A Comparison with Buddhism among Buriats” in Islam Society and States across the Qazaq Steppe (18th – Early 20th Centuries) ed. Niccolò Pianciola and Paolo Sartori (Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 2013) 119–142.

9

 Vladimir Bobrovnikov“Islam in the Russian Empire,” in The Cambridge History of Russia. Volume II: Imperial Russia 1689–1917ed. Dominic Lieven (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press2006) 210–17.

10

 Vladimir O. BobrovnikovMusul’mane severnogo Kavkaza: Obychai pravo nasilie (Moscow: Vostochnaia literatura2002) 171–75; Alexander Morrison “Metropole Colony and Imperial Citizenship in the Russian Empire” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 13.2 (2012) 347.

11

 In the year 1898the head of the Turkestan Governor-Generalship S.M. Dukhovskoi submitted a project for the creation of a Muslim Spiritual Assembly in Central Asia to the Ministry of War. The project remained a dead letter. See Dmitrii Iu. Arapov Imperatorskaia Rossiia i musul’manskii mir. Sbornik statei (Moscow: Natalis 2006) 194–227; Elena I. Campbell The Muslim Question and Russian Imperial Governance (Bloomington: Indiana University Press 2015) 114–15.

12

 Ebrahim Moosa“Colonialism and Islamic Law,” in Islam and Modernity: Key Issues and Debateseds. M. Khalid Masud A. Salvatore M. van Bruinessen (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press2009) 169; Léon Buskens “Sharia and the Colonial State” in The Ashgate Research Companion to Islamic Law eds. Rudolph Peters and Peri Bearman (Farnham Ashgate 2014) 215.

14

 Stefan Kirmse“Law and Empire in Late Tsarist Russia: Muslim Tatars Go to Court,” Slavic Review 72.4 (2013): 778–801.

17

 See SartoriVisions of Justice63.

19

 See SartoriVisions of Justice260–63.

21

 Lauren BentonA Search for Sovereignty: Law and Geography in European Empires 1400–1900 (New York: Cambridge University Press2012) 33.

22

 Rohit De““A Peripatetic World Court”: Cosmopolitan Courts, Nationalist Judges and the Indian Appeal to the Privy Council,” Law and History Review 32.4 (2014) 826.

24

 FrankMuslim Religious Institutions314–15.

25

 Michael KemperSufis und Gelehrte in Tatarien und Baschkirien: Der Islamische Diskurs unter russischen Herrschaft (Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag1998)

26

 Christian Noack“State Policy and Its Impact on the Formation of a Muslim Identity in the Volga-Urals,” in Islam and Politics in Russia and Central Asia (Early Eighteenth to Late Twentieth Centuries)ed. Stéphane A. Dudoignon and Hisao Komatsu (New York: Routledge2001) 57.

27

 James H. Meyer“Speaking Sharia to the State: Muslim Protesters, Tsarist Officials, and the Islamic Discourses of Late Imperial Russia,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 14.3 (2013) 490.

28

 James H. Meyer“Speaking Sharia to the State: Muslim Protesters, Tsarist Officials, and the Islamic Discourses of Late Imperial Russia,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 14.3 (2013) 487.

29

 James H. Meyer“Speaking Sharia to the State: Muslim Protesters, Tsarist Officials, and the Islamic Discourses of Late Imperial Russia,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 14.3 (2013) 493.

30

 James H. Meyer“Speaking Sharia to the State: Muslim Protesters, Tsarist Officials, and the Islamic Discourses of Late Imperial Russia,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 14.3 (2013) 493.

33

 CrewsFor Prophet and Tsar14.

34

 Mustafa TunaImperial Russia’s Muslims: Islam Empire and European Modernity 1788–1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press2015) 9.

35

 CrewsFor Prophet and Tsar261.

36

 Claudia Gazzini“When Jurisprudence Becomes Law: How Italian Colonial Judges in Libya Turned Islamic Law and Customary Practice into Binding Legal Precedent,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 55.4–5 (2012) 746–70; Eric T. Schluessel “Muslims at the Yamen Gate: Translating Justice in Late-Qing Xinjiang” in Kashgar ­Revisited: Uyghur Studies in Memory of Ambassador Gunnar Jarring ed. Ildikó Bellér-Hann Birgit Schlyter and Jun Sugawara (Leiden: Brill 2016) 116–38.

38

 CrewsFor Prophet and Tsar28 82 297 317.

39

 CrewsFor Prophet and Tsar178–79.

40

 Alexander Morrison“Creating a Colonial Shariʿa for Russian Turkestan: Count Pahlen, the Hidaya and the Anglo-Muhammadan Law,” in Imperial Cooperation and Transfer 1870–1930: Empires and Encounterseds. Volker Barth and Roland Cvetkovski (London: Bloomsbury2015) 127–40.

42

 WerthThe Tsar’s Foreign Faith: Toleration and the Fate of Religious Freedom in Imperial Russia146.

44

 Paolo Sartori and Pavel Shablei“Sud’ba imperskikh kodifikatsionnykh proektov: adat i shariat v Kazakhskoi stepi,” Ab Imperio 16.2 (2015) 63–105.

45

 Allen J. FrankBukhara and the Muslims of Russia: Sufism Education and the Paradox of Islamic Prestige (Leiden: Brill2012) 4–6.

46

 Allen J. Frank“Islamic Transformation on the Kazakh Steppe, 1742–1917: Towards an Islamic History of Kazakhstan under Russian Rule,” in The Construction and Deconstruction of National Histories in Slavic Eurasiaed. Hayashi Tadayuki (Sapporo: Slavic Research Center2003) 261–89; Uyama “The Changing Religious Orientation of Qazaq Intellectuals in the Tsarist Period: Sharīʿa Secularism and Ethics”.

47

 Paolo Sartori“On Madrasas, Legitimation, and Islamic Revival in 19th-Century Khorezm,” Eurasian Studies 14 (2016) forthcoming.

51

 SartoriVisions of Justice123.

52

 FrankBukhara and the Muslims of Russia: Sufism Education and the Paradox of Islamic Prestige98–99. I do not mean to downplay the importance of the classic trajectories of Islamic education which included Constantinople Damascus and Cairo as their main hubs nor do I want to suggest that going on hajj to the Hijaz had less significance for Muslims living in Russia than travelling to Qizilyar Turkestan or Bukhara. Indeed Mustafa Tuna is to be commended for reminding us that “madrasas of the Volga-Ural region were often small poor and short-lived” and that the “geography of studying” of Tatar ʿulamāʾ expanded beyond the political borders of the Russian empire and included the Ottoman lands Afghanistan and India. Tuna Imperial Russia’s Muslims 18–29. See also Eileen Kane Russian Hajj: Empire and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (Ithaca N.Y.: Cornell University Press 2015).

53

 FrankBukhara and the Muslims of Russia: Sufism Education and the Paradox of Islamic Prestige129 157 175; Sartori “On Madrasas Legitimation and Islamic Revival in 19th-Century Khorezm” forthcoming.

55

 Alfrid K. Bustanov“Bulghar as a “Land of Ignorance”: Anti-Colonial Discourse in Khvarazmian Connectivity,” Journal of Persianate Studies 9.2 (2016) 183–204.

56

 Ingeborg Baldauf“Akkulturation: Chance oder Gefahr für die Rußland-Muslime an der Wolga und in Mittelasien?,” in Leben in zwei Kulturen: Akkulturation und Selbstbehauptung von Nichtrussen im Zarenreiched. Trude Maurer (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz2000) 143–160.

59

 TunaImperial Russia’s Muslims109–24.

61

 Devin DeWeese“It was a Dark and Stagnant Night (‘til the Jadids Brought the Light): Clichés, Biases, and False Dichotomies in the Intellectual History of Central Asia,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 59.1 (2016) 37–92.

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