Traces the history of Islam, from the flight of Prophet Muhammad(peace be on him) and the founding of the first mosques to the development of. The Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism. Buddha ISLAM. A Short History. M,. 1. A MO DE R N L I B R A R Y C H R ON I C L E S B O OK. T H E M O DE. KAREN ARMSTRONG. ISLAM. A Short History. A M O D E R N LIBRARY C H R O N I C L E S BOOK. T H E M O D E R N LIBRARY. N E W YORK.

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She is former Roman Catholic nun and published this book “Islam A Short History ” in Here you can download this book in PDF format for. ISLAM. A Brief Overview of the History of Islam. The origin of Islam is placed around CE This move became a crucial event in the history of Islam and came to be known as Hijra. The .. ( .pdf). PDF | 15 minutes read | Book review | ResearchGate, the professional network for scientists.

Beginning with the eighteenth century, the Ottoman empire entered a period of serious decline. Taking advantage of this decline, may European powers sought to use the millet system to their political and economic advantage by demanding that the privileges of this system be granted to them.

By the number of officially recognized millets had risen to nine and by to seventeen. During the nineteenth century and early twentieth century the millet system was used by revolutionaries among the non-Muslim subjects of the Empire to further their nationalist ideas and to gain their independence from Ottoman rule.

The Ottoman rule in Bulgaria was not a golden age of tolerance and equality. However, it was not a centuries-long dark age of unrelieved cruelty toward Bulgarians either. The Ottoman policies toward non-Muslim subjects and their institutions, when analyzed within a broader context of European history, compares favorably with the policies of West European countries toward their minorities during the same period.

The Bulgarians as a people and their cultural and religious institutions survived, not through the superhuman efforts of Bulgarians but because of the relatively benign Ottoman administration which allowed it to survive. When Bulgaria gained her independence from Ottoman rule in , the rights of minorities were guaranteed by treaties establishing an independent Bulgaria.

Later on these guarantees were incorporated into the legal system of Bulgaria. Bulgarian nationals who belong to racial, religious or linguistic minorities shall enjoy the same treatment and security in law and in fact as the other Bulgarian nationals.

In particular they shall have an equal right to establish, manage and control, at their own expense, charitable, religious and social institutions, schools and other educational establishments, with the right to use their own language and to exercise their religion freely therein. Regional districts were authorized, in which Shumen was given a special position.

Turkish schools were established. Two special schools of higher theology were maintained in Sofia and Shumen. However, after an anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim military junta came into power in , many Muslim schools were closed down. Even the schools that were allowed to continue functioning had a difficult time because of the determined efforts of Bulgarian authorities to limit their influence in Bulgaria. The rhetoric of equality of all citizens regardless of creed and national origin masked the real intentions of Bulgarian authorities toward Islam and Muslims.

Freedom of conscience and religion was an integral part of the Dimitrov Constitution adopted by the National Assembly in These guarantees were retained in the new constitution adopted in May They may perform religious rites and conduct anti-religious propaganda. Many mosques were also closed down and many others fell into ruin due to neglect. Others were converted into museums, libraries, warehouses, shops, and restaurants. After teaching of religion in public schools was banned.

Measures were taken to discourage the teaching and study of Islam in private. In fact, the teaching of religion became a serious crime. In the late s all private Turkish schools were nationalized and a uniform curriculum was imposed on them. The cornerstone of the curriculum was patriotic, internationalist, and atheistic education. A wide-ranging propaganda campaign was launched against Islamic beliefs and practices.

Several reasons were given for the necessity of such a campaign. Among others, these included: Eventually the Islamic world view would be replaced with a scientific-atheistic world view. But about one question we must be clear: Every Turkish national aspiration must be condemned Emphasis added. Atheistic education and anti-religious propaganda were not appreciably weakening the hold of Islam among the Muslim population. The leadership of the Communist Party felt that it needed to take a much tougher stand on Islamic beliefs and practices.

The initial plan of action against Islam and Muslims was broadly outlined during the April plenum of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party in From this date on an anti-Islamic propaganda apparatus of the government was organized and systematized. Special program were set up to prepare dedicated political cadres to work among Turkish, Gypsy, and Bulgarian-speaking Muslims Pomaks. Affiliated with national, regional, and local party organs, these programs trained tens of thousands of young, ideologically committed cadres who were expected to lead conferences and seminars on scientific atheism among the Muslim population and to carry out propaganda against Islamic beliefs and practices.

Throughout the s and s the party members were constantly reminded of the necessity of utmost vigilance against all religious expression among Turks, Pomaks and Gypsy Muslims in the country.

Mizov assesses the impact of government policy toward Islam and Muslims immediately following the April Plenum of the Communist Party in He notes that before World War II Turkish and Pomak villages averaged between four and eight hocas teachers of religion.

Between the end of World War II and , there was a slight decline in the number of hocas in Muslim villages. In there were 2, hocas working among the Turkish population in Bulgaria, a ratio of one hoca for Turks. During the same period there were hocas working among the Pomak population, a ratio of one hoca for Pomaks. In , after the new government policy had been in operation only for five years, the number of hocas had decreased by a factor of 5.

During the s and s several ideologically motivated sociological surveys were carried out to assess the extent of the impact of atheistic education and anti-religious propaganda on religious attitudes in the country, to identify the groups within which religious influence remained strong, to provide reasons for this, and to recommend additional ideological work among the members of these groups.

Aliev provides a detailed analysis of the results of three such surveys carried out in , , and Over the years fewer and fewer Muslims performed their daily prayers or visited mosques for Friday prayers Table 3. Nearly 90 percent of Turkish Muslims believed in the eternity of the soul. They felt that proper burial was essential for entrance of the soul into paradise and sought the help of religious persons to supervise burials.

On the basis of these survey results, Turkish Muslims were divided into three groups: Some members of this group defended Islam openly, criticized atheistic education and anti- religious propaganda of the government, and actively disseminated the doctrines of Islam among the rest of the population, especially among the members of the younger generation.

There were others in this group who were too timid to express their views openly. They confined their activities to the members of their immediate families and compelled members of their families to fulfill their religious duties and obligations, and tried to limit the penetration of socialist culture into their homes. The second group of Turkish Muslims included more moderate followers of Islam.

Although their adherence to Islam was not as strong as those of fanatic believers, nevertheless religious beliefs influenced their behavior. Even though they were aware of atheistic education, they did not openly criticize it. To them belief in Allah was a personal matter. Moreover, they felt that religious belief was not an obstacle to the building of socialism in Bulgaria. The third group included people who were described as those who wavered between religion and atheism. They believed in Allah and often fulfilled some religious duties but they did so not our of deeply held conviction but because of the strength and influence of religious tradition.

They preferred to go movies and theaters. The great hold of Islam among the first two groups was most worrisome for the authorities. Turks and other Muslims were found to be more religious than Bulgarians. The greater religiosity of Muslims was attributed to the conservative and fundamentalist nature of Islam, cultural and educational backwardness of Muslims, and their isolation in rural areas.

These factors made them susceptible to fundamentalist religious propaganda. Even though government efforts to weaken the influence of Islam in the country over the years had achieved significant results, nevertheless the authorities were not satisfied with the impact of atheistic education and anti-religious propaganda on religious attitude among Muslims.

The ultimate goal of the government was nothing short of stamping out religious beliefs and practices altogether. During the s and s the authorities intensified their anti-religious propaganda and increasingly resorted to outright prohibitions of certain religious practices and rituals.

A number of Islamic beliefs and practices came under wide-ranging attack in the mass media. The practice of circumcision was portrayed as a barbaric and pagan rite, a holdover from the stone age, and was prohibited.

Fasting during Ramadan was discouraged on two specific grounds. Eating a lot of fatty meat over a short period of time, the authorities claimed, led to serious gastrointestinal disorders, and slaughtering of a large number of animals at the same time was economically wasteful because such a practice deprived the government of badly needed foreign exchange.

Using arguments such as these, the government prohibited the celebration of the two major religious practices and holidays. Initially the performance of the new burial ritual was voluntary and compliance was low.

Muslim leaders who protested against such draconian measures were liable to arrest and imprisonment.

All of these measures seriously threatened the long-term viability of Islam in Bulgaria. During the s an observer travelling in most areas of Bulgaria who was familiar with the physical landscape of Muslim villages, towns and cities in the Middle East and elsewhere would have been struck by the changes in the architectural landscape of Muslim villages in Bulgaria. He would have been hard-pressed to even guess that Muslims had been living in Bulgaria for more that six hundred years.

Traditionally, Muslim villages and Muslim neighborhoods in towns and cities in Bulgaria were organized around and dominated by the mosques.

For Muslims the mosque served ot only as a place of worship but also as a focus of ceremonies associated with the core events of Muslim life — birth, circumcision, marriage and death, and as an assembly house where elders of the community gathered to discuss community affairs. After World War II that landscape and its attendant activities began to change significantly. Mosques and religious schools were closed, neglected, or deliberately destroyed. By mids the overwhelming majority of Muslim villages and Muslim neighborhoods in towns in Bulgaria were conspicuous by the absence of mosques in them.

Those Muslims who wanted to participate in Friday prayers had to travel considerable distance to find a functioning mosque. The disappearance of mosques from the village scene removed an important focus of community activity and solidarity. Muslims were not allowed to bury their dead in their own cemeteries. Tombstones in Muslim cemeteries with any Turkish or Arabic inscriptions or Islamic symbols on them were defaced or destroyed.

Orders were issued to store and restaurant managers and clerks not to serve Muslim women wearing traditional clothes. The authorities began to strictly enforce the band against circumcision of young Muslim boys. Muslim parents were required to sign documents promising not to circumcise their male children at the time of their birth.

Health officials regularly visited Muslim households and schools to inspect young Muslim boys to make sure that the ban against circumcision was observed.

The House of Islam

If the health official discovered that the ban had bee violated, both the parents and the person who performed the circumcision were liable for punishment. During the entire Communist period, for propaganda purposes, a Muslim religious governing body with a Chief Mufti and regional muftis would be maintained. However, these individuals were appointed to their positions not on the basis of their religious training and expertise but for their loyalty to the government and its policies.

In light of what we know today, these declarations are surreal. They can profess Islam and perform their rites with the same freedom enjoyed by all other religions in this country.

All mosques in the country are open and the clergy regularly perform their religious rites and services. There have been no cases of mosques or other Muslim shrines being desecrated. The following is a passage from the declaration of imams of the district of Silistra in northeastern Bulgaria defending the replacement of Muslim names with Bulgarian ones: The laws in our country allow every citizen to choose his name and Change it whenever he wants to.

We have sufficiently good reason To do this not only because we feel an inseparable part of the Bulgarian People but also because Turkey has been trying to use our names as a Reason to have claim on us, to speak on our behalf and to arbitrarily Determine our national identity. We are part of the Bulgarian nation And have never belonged to the Turkish nation. A reasonable discourse on this issue became possible only after the ouster of Todor Zhivkov from poer on November 10, The new constitution adopted by Parliament in included a number of provisions to bring this about.

For example, Article 13 states: All restrictions on religious beliefs and practices imposed arbitrarily by the government prior to have been removed. The Islamic schools closed during the Communist period have reopened and new religious schools have been established. Religious classes are, once again available to Muslim children in their communities.

Muslims, once again have the right to build new mosques and to repair old ones.

Introduction to cultures and religions for the study of AP Art History

While in there were less than functioning mosques in the entire country, by the end of there were mosques open for religious services and the number was rising as repair and renovation of old mosques and the building of new mosques continued. Muslims are freely celebrating important religious holidays, carrying out traditional funerary, marriage, circumcision rituals without serious governmental interference. However, serious problems remain, which will be discussed in the concluding section of this paper.

During the s and s all Muslim groups were targets of forced assimilation. The assimilation campaign against Muslims involved forcing them to replace their Turkish-Arabic names with conventional Bulgarian names, and a general assault on Islamic beliefs, rituals, and institutions. Gypsy Muslims came under assimilatory pressure every decade from the s through the s. The names of Pomaks were changes from Turkish-Arabic to Bulgarian and back several times during the twentieth century, the last episode occurring between and The same fate befell the Turks during the winter months.

In addition to the three groups mentioned above, there small groups of Albanian Muslims, descendants of Albanians who settled along the commercially and militarily important route between the Black Sea port of Varna and Dubrovnik on the Adriatic during the Ottoman period, and Tatars, descendants of Crimean Tatars who were settled Dobrudzha in northeastern Bulgaria during the mid-nineteenth century.

The few Muslim Circassians who remained in Bulgaria after are largely assimilated into the Turkish community. As mentioned previously, during the s the Bulgarian government insisted that Bulgaria was a single-nation Bulgarian state. Although acknowledging the presence of Muslims in the country and the presence of small groups of Armenians and Jews, the Bulgarian authorities vehemently denied the existence of Muslim minorities of non-Bulgarian origin.

Consequently, from until official census statistics on the number and distribution of Muslims were not available and unofficial statistics were unreliable. Statistics on the religious affiliation of Bulgarian citizens were not collected again until the census. During , , and censuses statistics were collected on mother tongue and nationality only.

Statistics on ethnic affiliation and nationality collected during the census were declared a state secret and were not published. During the census no information was collected on the ethnic and linguistic composition of the population. The authorities claimed that such information was no longer needed because, according to them, by Bulgaria was a homogeneous one-nation state. From until the census results were published, scholars interested in the ethnic and religious composition of the Bulgarian population had to rely on unofficial estimates.

These estimates ranged from , to 1,, The reasons for this was not purely demographic. Official Bulgarian statistics on the number of Muslims in Bulgaria between and are shown on Table 4. According to the results of the census 1,, Bulgarian citizens declared their religious affiliation as Muslim. More than three-fourths of them were Turks. Table 5 illustrates the composition of the Muslim population by mother tongue. Turkish speakers accounted for The remaining Muslims were mainly Tatars and Albanians.

The Turkish Muslims were concentrated in southeastern and northeastern Bulgaria. Approximately half of them lived in the districts of Kurdzhali, Razgrad, Shumen, Burgas and Silistra. Muslims Turkish , 9. The Gypsy Muslims were found throughout the country, although most of them live in or near other Muslim communities See Map.

The main Kizilbash communities in Bulgaria are found mainly in northeastern, east-central, and southeastern Bulgaria.

The Kizilbash are divided into several sects, each with its own leader and minor differences in belief and practice. However, most of the Kizilbash settled in Bulgaria in large numbers, either voluntarily or were deported there from Anatolia by the Ottomans between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Following the disbanding of the corps, many Bektashi lodges were closed dow or destroyed.

Bektashi properties were confiscated and persecution of the members of the order increased. After the establishment of independent Balkan states during the nineteenth century the activities of most Sufi brotherhoods were curtailed.

Outside of Albania and Bosnia, and among the Albanian Muslims of Kosovo and Macedonia, few dervish orders remained active. Under the Communist regime, the relationship between the leaders of various Sufi orders and their counterparts outside the county was severed.

According to De Jong, in the meetings of the last remaining Sufi orders in northeastern Bulgaria, the Nakshibendi and Kadiri tarikats, were prohibited by local authorities. After that date De Jong could not find any informants willing to acknowledge the existence of any active Sufi orders in northeastern Bulgaria. The establishment of contacts between the leaders of the few surviving orders in Bulgaria and their brethren in Turkey should rejuvenate these orders.

The Nakshibendi and its numerous offshoots, and the Kadiri orders in Turkey have expanded their activities outside of Turkey, establishing hundreds of prestigious high schools in the Turkic republics of the former Soviet Union and in the Balkans.

It appeared that the attempts of the Communist regime to eradicate Islamic beliefs and practices, Islamic institutions, and the visible symbols of Muslim presence from the Bulgarian landscape were succeeding. Few people believed that Islam could ever recover from this onslaught.

The end of totalitarianism however, reversed that process. Since a modest but genuine revival of Islam has occurred. However, serious problems remain. After the mosques were full of worshippers week after week. Muslims began to repair old mosques and to build new one. However this seeming religious boom did not last long. By the number of Muslims attending Friday prayers at mosques had declined considerably. As in the past the worshippers were mostly older men. The reasons for this are not difficult to find.

Religious life demands discipline for which most Muslims in Bulgaria, especially the young, were ill-prepared. To overcome the legacy of almost half a century of atheistic education and anti-Islamic propaganda will take time. Under Communism the religious leaders of the Muslim community were political appointees who carried out government dictates without regard to the welfare of Muslims in the country.

The Chief Mufti Nedim Gendzhev, and most regional muftis and local prayer leaders imams were supporters of the anti-Islamic policies of the regime. Nevertheless, because Nedim Gendzhev had powerful supporters within the Bulgarian Socialist Party formerly Communist , he and his supporters remained in their positions until Gendzhev was later on relieved of his duties.

In September the Muslim community elected a new Chief Mufti and new regional muftis. Between September and January the legitimacy of the new leadership of the Muslim community was recognized by three successive governments. But Gendzhev was not going to relinquish his position voluntarily or peacefully. He had a hard core Muslim following and powerful supporters within the Bulgarian Socialist Party BSP who urged him to reclaim his position.

In the BSP and other Bulgarian nationalist groups encouraged Gendzhev to form a political party and run candidates for Parliament in the December elections. After the BSP victory in the elections, the Directorate of Religious Affairs reversed its decision, rewarding Gendzhev by reinstating him to his former position as Chief Mufti.

After January , the activities of the legitimately elected Supreme Theological Council were declared illegal. The current BSP government has encouraged factionalism within the Muslim community by recognizing and supporting one faction against the other.

Today there are two Supreme Muslim Theological Council, two Chief Muftis, parallel sets of regional muftis and parallel sets of imams at the local level. Government actions are clearly meant to fan antagonisms among Muslims, encourage factionalist within the Muslim community and to weaken it politically.

A Short History of Islam

Orthodox priests have been the most active in this effort and their success to convert Muslims to Christianity is widely reported in the mass media. Another serious problem facing the Muslim community is the low-level of knowledge about Islam among both the common people and the Muslim cleric, a result of the anti-religious policies of the Communist regime.

A sociological survey on religious attitudes among adult Muslim population carried out in March illustrates the current state of Islam in Bulgaria. I briefly summarize affirmative responses of Muslims to several survey question Table 6. Another concern is the increasingly divisive factionalism within the Muslim community, exacerbated by the government support of one faction against another.

In this power struggle, most religious leaders have put their personal ambitions ahead of the spiritual needs of Muslims. Instead of presenting themselves as role models to be emulated by rank and file Muslims, they have become symbols of pettiness and greed.

Such behavior inevitably leads to lack of confidence in, and trust of, religious authorities. Lack of trus in religious leaders alienates people from religion, jeopardizing the potential for a genuine revival of Islam in Bulgaria. The Classical Age, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, , p. Cook ed. The Democracy barometers: attitudes in the Arab world.

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Google Scholar.The Sultanate's territory, although vastly diminished, remains intact to this day as the modern state of Brunei Darussalam. Al-Mu'tamid followed, holding on for 23 years, though he was largely a ruler in name only.

He was politically irrelevant, despite civil strife at home and the First Crusade in Syria. The Umayyad conquest of North Africa continued the century of rapid Muslim military expansion following the death of Muhammad in Beside the jihad and Sufi missionary activity, another factor in the spread of Islam was the far-ranging influence of Muslim traders, who not only introduced Islam quite early to the Indian east coast and South India but also proved to be the main catalytic agents beside the Sufis in converting people to Islam in Indonesia , Malaya, and China.

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