Islamism vs Islamic Tradition: about the Problems of Construction of the Russian Model of Islam

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Deputy Director
Affiliation: Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 10

The concept of “Russian Islam” implies a view of the Muslim religion in its state dimension. This is primarily a research model, which takes into account the historical, cultural, spiritual and other ties of Muslim communities in the territory of one country, in this case Russia, much more fully.

The course for the revival of the national theological school of Islam in Russia presupposes a simultaneous solution of several important tasks. This is primarily the improvement of the quality of Islamic education and increasing the level of professional qualification of acting imams. It is also the revival of the historical spiritual traditions of Russian Muslims and the adaptation of the tradition to the pressing needs of modern life. Finally, this is the training of highly qualified experts in the field of Muslim theology. The implementation of these and some other measures, as the author believes, can contribute to the solution of the problem of Islam in the Muslim communities of Russia.

In connection with the implementation of the Program of Islamic education, the question of the parameters of the revival of the national theological school of Islam in Russia comes to the fore. During theological discussions, it was recurrently claimed that the Russian theological school of Islam should be built on the foundation of the synthesis of Ash‘ari-Maturidi kalam, representing both Sunni madhhabs widespread in Russia, Shafi’i and Hanafi. On the one hand, as in the days of famous theologian and philosopher Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, the resurrection of religious sciences is impossible without dogmatic compromises from different sides, the consensus of leading religious movements, primarily Sufi Islam and moderate Islamic fundamentalism. Achieving such a consonance is one of the challenges faced by the reviving theological school. On the other hand, it is not a simple copying of the previous experience, but a qualitative update, which should ensure the harmonization of different identities (primarily religious and civil) of Russian Muslims.

KeywordsIslamism, Political Islam, Traditional Islam, theological schools of Islam, Ash‘arism, Maturidism, Djadidizm, the Russian model of Islam
Publication date19.10.2018
Number of characters563
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