The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a term introduced into Russian literature of the second half of the 19th century to designate the national liberation movement of the Northern Caucasus mountaineers from the 1820’s through 1860’s. The characteristic feature of Muridism, an offshoot of the Dervish order of Nakshbandiyya, was that it combined the religious teachings of Sufism with political action, which took the form of “holy wars” or ghazawats (jihads), against the “infidels” to secure the triumph of Islam.

Muridism was led by the imams Gazi-Magomed (Gazi Muhammad), Gamzat-Bek (Hamzat Bey), and Shamil and their naibs (vicegerents). It reached its zenith under Shamil. The ideologists of Muridism were the sheikh Haji-Izmail (from the village of Kiurdamir, Shirvan Province), the mullah Muhammad (from the village of Iarag), and Shamil’s father-in-law, Jamal al-Din (from the village of Kumukh, central Dagestan). The ideology of Muridism imparted a religious aspect and a certain organized character to the struggle of the divided and linguistically diverse mountaineers of the Caucasus. At the same time, it isolated the mountaineers from other peoples by arousing a fanatical hatred toward non-Muslims and diverted the mountaineers from solving their social problems. Muridism waned after the incorporation of the Caucasus into Russia in 1864. Between 1918 and 1921, bourgeois nationalists, reactionary landowners, and the clergy attempted to resurrect the ideas of Muridism in the Caucasus.


Potto, V. A. Kavkazskaia voina. ..., vol. 5, fasc. 1. Tbilisi, 1889. Pages 15–60.
Bushuev, S. K. “O Kavkazskom miuridizme.” Voprosy istorii, 1956, no. 12.
Fadeev, A. V. “Vozniknovenie miuridistskogo dvizheniia na Kavkaze i ego sotsial’nye korni.” Istoriia SSSR, 1960, no. 5.
Khashaev, Kh. M. Obshchestv. stroi Dagestana v XIX v. Moscow, 1961.
Smirnov, N. A. Miuridizm na Kavkaze. Moscow, 1963.
Istoriia Dagestana, vol. 2. Moscow, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
One of these fearful terms was "Muridism," referring to Sufi networks in the North Caucasus, Central Asia and the Volga region as well as to Muslim resistance to Russia.
(46.) Vladimir Bobrovnikov and Michael Kemper,"Muridism in Russia and the Soviet Union,"in Kate Fleet, Gudrun Kramer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas and Everett Rowson (eds.), Encyclopedia of Islam, 3 (rd) Edition, (Leiden: Brill, 2007).
For him, as the British historian John Baddeley points out, to conquer the region "was a matter of a few short years at most." (12) The illusion disappeared when Imam Shamil held sway over the Islamic movement (muridism) and led resistance to the Russians for more than quarter a century (Shamil rests a mythic figure in Chechen history equal, perhaps, to Muhammad Ali of Macedonia).
Bineta, who had been brought up in the Tijane tradition, had converted when she married to Muridism, her husband's brotherhood.
He next charts the militarization of the western Circassians under Muhammad Amin, Shamil's deputy, and describes the role of Muridism in unifying the Caucasians to resist Russian encroachment.
"The main task of the mountain administration," Bariatinskii wrote, "should be to weaken the bases from which Muridism itself arose--that is, to restore the upper classes where they still exist and create them anew where they do not." He thought that Sharia should be limited to spiritual issues.
Russian military administrators' approach toward Islam seems to have been indelibly shaped by fear of what they saw as the non-orthodox religion of Shamil's "Muridism." From the creation of the military-civil administration system, coinciding as it did with the final conquest of the rebellious mountaineers in the eastern Caucasus, military administrators started to become aware of the mystical types of Islam that they referred to as tarikat or zikr, what is more generally known as Sufism.
This movement was called Muridism by the Russians (from murid, a student or follower of the teaching).
In his appeal to the head of the Administration of the Viceroy in December 1863, the Transcaucasus Sheikh ul-Islam described the appearance of Sufism in the northern regions of Baku province and in Dagestan, equating it directly with the Muridism against which the Russians had fought so hard.