Danielle M. Ross

This article examines the development of Muslim charitable practices in the Russian Empire (Volga-Ural region, Siberia and the northern Kazakh Steppe) from the Russian conquest of Kazan in 1552 to the 1917 Russian Revolution. Building upon existing research on charity in those regions, it argues that Russian rule from the 1550s to the mid-1800s created the basis for a range of locally-organized charity-based economies for meeting the religious, cultural, and social needs of Muslim communities in a non-Muslim state. Though these economies differed somewhat in organization, all were structured around Muslim modes of charity and all generated and re-enforced hierarchies within their respective communities. The struggles over charitable practices that occurred from the 1860s to 1917 emerged from these well-established but evolving economies as their participants responded to changing circumstances within and around their confessional communities.