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16 June, 2018

Islam and the Role Hajj in the History of Kazakhstan

Abstract: Historical records indicate the increasing role of Islam in Kazakhstan since the end of the XIX-XX centuries. However, the uniqueness has long been noted existence of religion in terms of nomadism and the mentality of its speakers. With regard to the Kazakhs often use the expression "bad Islam". In fact, more correct speak not of the "bad" and tolerant of Muslims. Having no inclination to radical forms of religiosity, the Kazakhs in their daily lives still comply with the basic Fard of Islam, such as the profession of faith (on executions. "Iman aytu"), the essence of which - the rejection of idolatry and the recognition of the unity of God, prayer - the main ritual, individual prayer, fasting in the month of Ramadan, pay zakat (alms) and, finally, the fifth Fard - the pilgrimage to Mecca.



Hajj - the pilgrimage to holy Mecca, which every conscious Muslim must perform at least once in their lifetime. Devout Muslim performing Hajj, provided that it allows him to finance and health. For patients, the infirm and the poor, as a rule, it is not mandatory. It is also forbidden  to  make a pilgrimage for debt. Other elementary conditions are "bulug" (maturity), "aql" (soundness of mind), "Hurriyat" (personal liberty). Women need to have a companion who is a husband, a son or a close relative.

Unlike other "pillars" of Islam, Hajj is performed strictly at the  specified   time   and   only  on  the  territory of modern  Saudi  Arabia, as its meaning - visit Mecca (Masjid  al-Haram)    and     its    surrounding   area (Mount Arafat, Mina valley). "Highlight"  is  a  seven-time ritual circumambulation of the Kaaba. In the days of the Hajj religious holiday celebrated by Muslims - Eid al Fitr (Arabic for "Eid Al Adha"). A distinction is required or a large pilgrimage and minor pilgrimage - 'Umrah. " It is worth noting that the performance of the Hajj accompanied by lots of spectacular rituals and ceremonies, creating a special reverential mood and emotional pilgrims. Arriving in Mecca, all the pilgrims after the ritual washing clothed in white robes - Ihram.

If you look at the history of the Kazakh hajj, the more or less accurate data on the pilgrimage movement of the region refer only to the XIX - early XX century. When the Hajj was the subject of surveillance and control by the information. In Arabic written sources mention the pilgrims from the territory of Dasht-i Kipchak during the Khans Berke and Uzbek (end of XIII-XIV centuries.). Muslim lawyers justified the provision that if a person is due to legitimate reasons, to make the pilgrimage himself, has the right to send in his place another person, called the "Wakil al-Hajj" by paying him all necessary expenses (but such a person can only be one who have previously performed the Hajj). In the light of the theological-legal solutions rich Muslims of Central Asia is sometimes necessary to resort to the practice of "absentee" hajj. The reasons could be different, including the inability of the ruling elite to leave the country for a long period (in the old days on the hajj took 4-5 years). At the same time, the desire to obtain "sauab" (reward from God) and an honorary title of "Haji" was great.

Of such persons mentioned in historical sources the famous Berke Khan, who was the "Haji", sending a representative in his place [1, p. 62]. According to Islam, a pilgrimage to Mecca and can be for the deceased close relative or parent, who during his life was unable to do it himself. In the Persian work "Tarikh-i Rashidi" are mentioned facts Hajj representatives of Turkish elite of the limits of modern south-eastern Kazakhstan and the border areas of East Turkestan, in particular, is concerned the ancestors of the author - historian Mohammed Haydar Duglata [2, p.99-100 ].

English traveler Jenkinson (XVI c.), Who met with the "kassakami (Kazakhs - NN), the Mohammedan faith," men writes that with him in a caravan traveling was on his way to Mecca  pilgrims from the steppes of Dasht-i Kipchak  [3, c. 52]. Some information about the Hajj contain samples of Kazakh folklore. It is curious and instructive that in the works of medieval poets Shalgez (1465-1560) and Aktamberdy (1675-1768) sound warnings (in the spirit of Sufi dialectic) does not get involved in the Hajj to Mecca, to the detriment of his family and the public debt, and cult especially in the face of external threats hanging over the country.

In the early era of Central Asia Hajj made the most  devoted religious people may say brave. According to the  saying of the Prophet, perfect Hajj is equal to jihad  (struggle for the faith). That is the Hajj, if it is committed  with clean, noble motives assessed as a high form of  worship and religious feat. But in this case doubly  deserves the epithet "jihad" practice of pilgrimage to about o Mecca from extremely remote corners of the Islamic world.  Indeed, in contrast to the surrounding areas to Arabia and  the Middle East, the people of Kazakhstan for a trip to Mecca because of the huge distances (7.6 million km), in  conditions of poor communication has increased sharply over the place (from the XV-XVI centuries.) political and religious conflict, epidemics of plague and cholera, etc. could cost lives, not to mention the harm to health or property damage. People fell victim to the harsh climatic  conditions, disease, crowding and stampede during the  commission  of  collective  rituals,  etc.  Not  everyone  could  risk  your  life,  knowing  deadly  journey.  Yet  the  flow  of   pilgrims   to   the   stories   never   stopped  (except in the Soviet era, when the 30-ies. Twentieth  century. Hajj was officially banned in connection with the  complete closure of the southern borders of the USSR).

What motivated these people, deliberately ventured far into the full risk of the journey into the unknown land?  Why they could not stop or sultry heat and the scorching sun of the Arabian desert, no predators and thieves, nor  the upcoming long and can be and eternal separation from  family and loved ones? Among the Kazakhs in the past  there were people who, before going to Hajj, even celebrated his  own  funeral service in advance (janaza) and  the  funeral  -  was so obvious danger and as  stoically accepted by the possible death of the brave nomads.

Perhaps the answers to these questions we will find a wonderful book by William James' Varieties of Religious Experience, "which examines the phenomena of religion, in particular, the border situation [4].

Main Part: Modern Kazakh unlikely to understand the mentality and the end of the impulses of the soul of his ancestor, full of zeal to the sacred Kaaba, with the sole urpose to see firsthand the shrine to which he drew his face five times a day in prayer, to drop to the ground on which the footprints of the great Prophet.

It is known that during the XV-XVIII centuries. Muslim East catastrophically went to his civilizational decline, which was reflected in the growing technological and cultural backwardness of the rapidly climbing up the path of capitalism in Europe. It is in this vein is necessary to understand the growth of the various risks hajj has come down to a complete lack of pilgrims who flocked to Mecca from all over the Muslim world, there are no guarantees of personal safety, basic sanitary conditions, etc.

Orientalist and traveler A.Vamberi in his writings mentions the unfortunate fact that, in the XIX century, about one-third of the pilgrims from Central Asia will not go back.

From the biography of great Abay known that his father Kunanbay during his Hajj (1874-1876 gg.) Experienced many hardships when he had 13 days to go with his companions on camels in the desert and in Mecca Kazakh Elder nearly died of indigestion. Accordingly, social status and reputation of the perpetrators of the pilgrimage of Central Asia have been at home immeasurably higher than in the Arab countries themselves or the Ottoman Empire. Like other Sunni Muslim Kazakhs believed dead during the Hajj martyrs, that is, holy martyrs. Persons  returning  from  the Hajj (the Kazakhs - " azhylar") became informal religious leaders  and  preachers of Islam in their respective regions.

The fact that the religious thought of the Muslim East has fallen markedly to the new time, influenced the understanding and interpretation of the hajj. The fact is that with all the sacredness of the hajj early theologians nevertheless justified by the need for a prudent approach to it. Necessarily involve conditions such as road safety, availability of transport, etc.

If, for example, there was a danger of capture or ostage, then a trip to Mecca not had the duty of a Muslim. The Prophet himself has shown in his sayings example of the dialectical approach to religion. For example, speaking of the poor Muslims, he equated to their hajj weekly trip to the mosque for collective prayer (juma namaz). From this point of view is not entirely baseless seems widespread in Central Asia, the notion that  the three  visits  to  the  tomb  of  St. Khoja Ahmed Yasavi  in Turkestan is equivalent to one hajj to Mecca. At its heart lay a concrete could fatwa (a theological decision) local Hanafi theologians.

If you take the spiritual, cultural and civilizational aspect, it should, of course, recognize that a pilgrimage to the holy Mecca at all times contributed to the strengthening of faith. But in addition to the religious needs of the Hajj is always satisfying and thirst for knowledge of the countries and peoples. After a tour of the Muslim East Turkic peoples of Eurasia had the opportunity to enrich the geographical, historical and ethnographic knowledge, going beyond the provincial, uzkoetnicheskogo, tribal thinking, they realized the reality of the diversity of cultures and languages, heard live speech of the Arabs, Persians, Turks, Caucasian peoples, Africans, observed a mixed picture of customs, morals, national clothes, dishes, etc.

From about the XV-XVI centuries. due to the attenuation of the Silk Road as an international continental trade route that linked China with the Mediterranean countries, the process peripherization and isolation of Central Asia not only from Europe, but also the western parts of the Muslim world. Because of this, the indigenous peoples have been very limited in communication, tourism, cross-cultural communication. The only way to break through that isolation became a sacred journey to Mecca, which by virtue of the collectivity and its credibility as a priest suspected some confidence in the successful  outcome.  In  fact,  in  the pre-industrial nomadic elite of Kazakhstan had a chance to get acquainted with distant countries only through the practice of hajj. It is important to note that many diplomatic  missions and assignments rulers were usually confined to the annual hajj.

In samples of Kazakh folklore sometimes there are absolutely not fit into the geography and way of life of Central Asian nomads such images as the sea, ships, with the eastern  city of palaces, strange animals and birds (like parrots or monkeys) of the dishes - dates and halva. Sure, it says on the penetration of the Eastern influence in the culture of the steppe nomads, including through the stories of travelers Hajji. It is known that the Kazakh poet and educator Shakarim Kudaiberdiev (1858-1931) made his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1905, performing a religious duty Shakarim  Hajji  successfully  linked  to  the intellectual and cultural objectives: returning from Mecca, he continued to work in the stacks of Istanbul, as well as visited Paris.

One of  educated  Kazakhs  end of the XIX century. A descendant of the Khan Abulhair M.Piraliev in the article in the Russian journal, the motive of his  pilgrimage associated with the desire to fulfill this "formality" for the protection of personal reputation and Muslim Khan's descendant and the emphasis they placed on the cognitive side Travel: "Due to unexpected circumstances had the opportunity to visit a part of the British possessions in India and when he went back out through Egypt - to collapse in North Africa, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco... Without entering into the debate, I will say that it is between Haji, ie hodivshimi on a pilgrimage to Mecca and found most of the free-Muslims. Travel, according to Karamzin, develops the mind and heart. Free thinking and learning are compatible with Islam, as evidenced by the history of Arabic philosophy..." [5, p. 245]. At the beginning of the twentieth century. one of the channels of penetration into Central Asia and the Europeanization of reformist ideas were exactly the hajj, as intellectual awakening of Muslims then went out of Egypt and Turkey.

Since the end of the XIX century. and especially in the beginning. The twentieth century. Pilgrimage movement in Central Asia is much more active. The main reason was the historically objective investigation integration of the region into the Russian Empire: improving communication, distribution, shipping companies and rail links, the political stabilization (cessation of internal strife and protest movements). Although Hajj was still quite risky, troublesome and costly enterprise. According to official documents of the Russian government, the Kazakhs have to go to Hajj in 1897, was then a lull and only in the early twentieth century, the flow of pilgrims increases: the years 1901-02. 1905 and 1911-1913. [6. 94].

Information about the following years there and we can assume the termination of the Hajj due to the outbreak of the First World War, the deteriorating financial situation, anti-government protests in 1916 If in the old days it was the thousands of pilgrims each year, over a vast period from 1917 to 1987. of the borders of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union hajj only 30 people [7, p. 5].

In the "Collection of materials on Islam," published in 1899 in St. Petersburg, is a description of the traditional routes of Hajj for Russian Muslims. From the description that the Kazakhs in the late XIX century. had the opportunity to go to Mecca through Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan or another, shorter route – through the Caucasus and Turkey [8, c.143]. In particular, it describes the three routes. The first - on the Caucasus and northern Persia in the direction of Baghdad (mostly Shia Muslims South Caucasus and Turkmen) in this area has the highest number of pilgrims from  Russia – about 12-15 thousand per year. Kazakhs Magystau and western regions are also often used this way.

The second route - through Samarkand and Bukhara in Afghanistan, through Mazar-e-Sharif, Kabul and pray Peshawar to Bombay and from there by sea to Jeddah and Yanbo (ports of Mecca and Medina). From Peshawar to Bombay came by rail. Despite the fact that it was a long and difficult  journey,  his preferred Muslim Central Asian-Kazakhstan region as the existing traditional and allows you to bypass the passport requirements and other bureaucratic obstacles created by the colonial the  administration (get permission and passport had great difficulty to the same verification and "political reliability" of man). In the path followed annually from 4 to 7,000 pilgrims.

And finally, the third way: from the Black Sea through the Suez Canal and Constantinople in Jeddah or Yanbo,  then - in Mecca. This route was considered the most easy and short. They used the Tatars, the Caucasian Muslims also Kazakhs. Every year on this route went up to 2-3 thousand pilgrims. But the danger of traveling and kept along the way. It was especially hard to get to Medina from Yanbo - camels, donkeys. The report of Captain Davletshina (1899) describe in detail the horrific meets all pilgrims unsanitary conditions, poor water, Bedouin attacks, the outbreak of a cholera epidemic.

According to observers, the majority of Russian Muslims even found themselves scandalized by realistic picture of the Islamic countries and local mores, but on returning home was considered improper to discuss it openly [9, p. 296]. The costs of Hajj from Kazakhstan could then be up to 2,000 Russian rubles [9, p. 273].

Of course, at all times, the spiritual experience of the  Hajj has been overemphasized. Sami unusual rituals of the hajj, as the prayer standing on Mount Arafat, running school between the hills of al-Safa and al-Marwa, repeated loud  cries and prayers of pilgrims, circumambulation of the  Kaaba, kissing the "black stone" and others could not hit  and did not have a strong emotional impact on the  religious sentiments of the nomads of the steppes of  Kazakhstan. Pilgrims visit the Mosque of al-Haram, drink  water from the holy well of Zamzam, throwing stones at a  pillar symbolizing Satan. After the Hajj in Mecca, pilgrims  go to Medina to visit the tomb of the Prophet and his  closest associates (in the old days of our caravans of  pilgrims arriving first at Medina and then get to Mecca).  In this regard, it should be said about the hotels (tekie) in  Medina, built sometime rich Kazakhs to their compatriots,  including Kunanbay Hajji [10, p. 58].

Of course, at all times, the spiritual experience of the  Hajj has been overemphasized. Sami unusual rituals of the  hajj, as the prayer standing on Mount Arafat, running school between the hills of al-Safa and al-Marwa, repeated loud  cries and prayers of pilgrims, circumambulation of the  Kaaba, kissing the "black stone" and others could not hit  and did not have a strong emotional impact on the  religious sentiments of the nomads of the steppes of  Kazakhstan. Pilgrims visit the Mosque of al-Haram, drink water from the holy well of Zamzam, throwing stones at a  pillar symbolizing Satan. After the Hajj in Mecca, pilgrims  go to Medina to visit the tomb of the Prophet and his  closest associates (in the old days of our caravans of  pilgrims arriving first at Medina and then get to Mecca). In this regard, it should be said about the hotels (tekie) in Medina, built sometime rich Kazakhs to their compatriots, including Kunanbay Hajji [10, p. 58].

Coming out of the ritual state of Ihram, the pilgrims take on the title of Haji. According to religious beliefs, the person who has made the hajj, within 40 days is considered to be perfectly clean and without sin, so his prayer will be accepted Lord. Returning home, the pilgrims wear a long white dress that symbolizes the Hajj. Relatives and friends returned safely to arrange pilgrim red carpet, which is followed by a festive meal. In the past, the Kazakhs Haji pilgrims met all the aul (relatives went to meet hundreds of miles to the nearest town), with loud crying and hugging, etc. Committed the sacred ritual of the custom to speak the traditional wish "?abyl bolsyn," and kiss their hands. Each Kazakh brought with him from Mecca tin vessels of holy water zem-zem, dried dates, book the Quran and other Islamic literature, pieces of blankets out of the temple of the Kaaba (CIMS) and palm Staff - Memories from Arabia. Until the end of his life he was deeply impressed by the journey into the heart of the Islamic world, the home of the Prophet himself. Each man became popularized in the desert world of religion. Under the influence of the Hajj and stories about the shrines Arabia among the Kazakhs have spread such names as Mekebay (from the word "Mecca"), Kazhibay, Kazhigeldy, Kazhimurat, female names Makkah, Madina, Maroua, Samsa (Zamzagul), Azhar (from the Arabic. Hajar Biblical Hagar), etc.



 At the beginning of the twentieth century. in the works of Turkish educators began to sound cautious criticism of the Hajj (the practice of "absentee" Hajj openly denied Kazakh theologian, educator and poet G. Caras). The era when facing the Muslim peoples of the Russian Empire got difficult tasks of reform traditional schools, improve education and science, the struggle for political rights in the spirit of the parliamentary system, etc. Without denying the spiritual values ??of religion, intellectuals still rightly was concerned that funding people, his physical and spiritual energy have been mobilized and focused mainly on addressing new historical problems associated with the rebirth of their homeland.

Rationally thinking representatives of the Turkic peoples, based on advice from a reputable theologians of the past, urged not to get involved in the Hajj (the more it is not strictly required "pillar" of Islam), taking into account the extreme conditions of its implementation every year take away hundreds of lives healthy and able-bodied men. Regarding the pilgrimage movement in the 20's and early. 30s. The twentieth century. well-known facts of bigotry and fanaticism, poor organization of ritual death from the hustle during the circling, epidemics, etc. For example, in 1924 20% of all Haji in Mecca were killed (and there were only 80,000 people.) That in 1930, during the sacrifice in Makkah plague broke out, etc. [11, p. 31]. Of course, the required steps to re-interpretation of religion in terms of civilizational crisis and the ensuing challenges era.



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