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.
REFERENCESPotto, 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.
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Istoriia Dagestana, vol. 2. Moscow, 1967.
N. A. SMIRNOV