Citation for Central Asia, Islam in

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"Central Asia, Islam in." In The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. Ed. John L. Esposito. Oxford Islamic Studies Online. Jul 14, 2020. <>.


"Central Asia, Islam in." In The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. , edited by John L. Esposito. Oxford Islamic Studies Online, (accessed Jul 14, 2020).

Central Asia, Islam in

Present-day Armenia, Azerbaijan, Chechnya, Dagestan, Georgia, and Abkhazia comprise the region historically known as the Caucasus; Central Asia proper consists of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, but the two regions share many affinities. Most Muslims in the region are Sunni and follow the Hanafi school, though Shiism can be found among the Azeris, Ironis, and Tats of Dagestan. The majority are Turkic peoples; exceptions include the Uighurs and Kazakhs in Chinese Xinjiang and the Tajiks, who are ethnically and linguistically Indo-Iranian. By the mid-seventh century, conquering Arabs had imposed Islamic rule in the eastern Caucasus. From 800 to 1200 Islam spread further through merchants and traders. By the mid-sixteenth century Crimea, the southern Russian steppes, the Kazakh steppes, and western Siberia had come under Islamic law. Russia began conquest of the region in the sixteenth century. Sufi brotherhoods were important in preserving Islam during Russian domination and in many areas led the struggle against Russian rule. The Qadiri order in particular gave birth to several militant Sufi organizations that forcibly opposed Russian rule until the disintegration of the Soviet Union, treating the struggle as a jihad.

See also Kazakhstan, Islam in; Kyrgyzstan, Islam in; Tajikistan, Islam in; Turkmenistan, Islam in; Uzbekistan, Islam in

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