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Born 1789; died Sept. 19 (Oct. 1), 1834, in Khunzakh, Avaria. Second imam of Dagestan; succeeded Gazi Magomed in 1832. Son of one of the Avar beks (members of the nobility in the Caucasus).
Gamzat-Bek was educated under the guidance of Muslim preachers and became an active follower of Muridism. In August 1834, Gamzat-Bek undertook a campaign against the Avar khans, who were supporters of the Russian government and hostile toward the Muridist movement. Gamzat-Bek seized the aul (village) of Khunzakh, the capital of Avaria, and executed the khan’s wife Pakhubike and her sons. During the next year and a half Gamzat-Bek waged a struggle against the Russians. The supporters of the Avar khans, including Khadzhi-Murat, organized a conspiracy against Gamzat-Bek. These events were depicted in L. N. Tolstoy’s work Khadzhi-Murat. After Gamzat-Bek’s death, Shamil’ became the third imam of Dagestan.