conquests reached Caucasia in the seventh century A.D. Islamic
history mentions that, while Suraka Bin Amr was pursuing his conquests,
Abd ul-Rahman Bin Rabia marched and captured the city of Darbent
on the Caspian Sea. Armenia, Georgia and the "Lan" mountains
fell under the control of Muslim forces under Suraka Bin Amr,
who created a Muslim state in Tiflis, the capital of Georgia,
and invited people to enter Islam.
first to adopt Islam were the Kurj people, followed by the Dagestanies
and Kabardaians. These people abandoned Islam later because they
had not absorbed the religion properly. The Islamic Government
faded away taking with it the Islamic Faith. In the Islamic year
32, Abdul-Rahman Bin Rabia reached the Caspian country and captured
many of its cities, but the Muslims later retreated in the face
of Caspian hordes.
the regime of Calif Othman bin Affan, the ruler of Damascus, Marvan
Bin Abu Sufian, dispatched Habib Bin Maslama, who persuade his
conquests until he reached Tiblis, the Kurj capital, for the second
time. But he failed to conquer the Kurj country. During the era
of Hisham Bin Abdul Malik another attempt was made to conquer
Caspia and Armenia but the Muslims failed again and retreated.
In the Islamic year 114 most of the southern parts of Caucasia
fell to Hisham Bin Abdul-Malik, who appointed Marwan Bin Mohammad
as governor there after those areas were finally subdued. A few
very rugged naturally fortified areas that were inhabited by Circassians
and Kabardai remained unsubjugated.
the last days of the Ummayads, Muslim rule was established in
Caucasia. Following several uprisings, due to faltering faith
among the people, large numbers abandoned Islam and became Greek
Muslim rule in Caucasia lasted for over four hundred years. During
the Abbaside era, Islamic rule began to falter until the Seljukes
took over in the year 1072, and occupied the southern parts of
Caucasia after capturing Iran, Khawarizm with most parts of Central
Asia, and Kurjistan. Following the Seljukes came the Moguls, bringing
with them darkness and bloodshed.
the Mogul rule of Caucasia many Circassians were killed and displaced.
For the first time Circassians began to arrive in Egypt where
they set up the Circassian Mameluke State. The Mameluke Reign
lasted for over three hundred years in Egypt.
was by the Egyptian ruler, Sultan Saifuddine Qutuz, and his daring
army commander, Baibars, that the Moguls were defeated in the
famous battle of Ain Jalut, after the latter had burned Baghdad,
Aleppo and Damascus in their march towards Egypt, leaving behind
them death and destruction along their route. Had the Moguls occupied
Egypt, the history of the region would have been changed.
lived in areas far from the other Caucasian peoples who adopted
Islam before them, such as the Dagestanies and Kumyks tribes and
others. Islam did not become widespread among Circassians until
the end of the seventeenth century because they were separated
from their Moslem brethren. Living in the south, by the high mountains,
while the Christians lived either in the east, separated from
Muslims by the Caspian Sea, or in the west, separated from Muslims
by the Black Sea.
fact that the Circassians lived in the isolated west and Northwest
of Caucasia, had prevented Islam from reaching them during the
Ummayad and Abbaside eras, and during campaigns by Ottomans, Dagestanies
and Crimeans. This fact had persuaded the Ottomans, who dominated
southern Caucasia and Dagestan, to adopt another method to help
spread Islam. The Ottomans sent clergymen and preachers from among
Dagestan, Turks and Crimeans. Despite the arrival of those religious
emissaries(Dagestan enjoying autonomy with the help of Ottomans
with Petrovisk as their capital) in areas inhabited by Circassians,
Islam did not proliferate as was expected and most Circassians
remained Christians. Ottomans and Dagestanies began making promises
to give aid to Circassians once they converted to Islam. The promised
aid would assist Circassians in their confrontation with the Russians.
Circassians were at constant war with the Russians especially
after they took over Kabardai state. So Circassians converted
to Islam in masses, assisted by the arrival of Ottoman, Dagestan
and Crimean preachers. When Islamic law was implemented, Circassians
were persuaded to adopt Islam. They were very aware of their personal
dignity and Islam teaches that there is no middleman between God
and his creatures, there is no need for a priest-hood, that the
individual Muslim can address his Creator without mediation from
any party, and that equality and fraternity are two basic rules
of the religion, and Islam grants man religious freedom.
The Holy Book says: "No coercion in religion, as wrong is
sorted from right. He who abandoned the deities and believed in
God had followed the powerful league".
The preachers did a good job in spreading Islam although with
great difficulty because of the language barrier. Circassians
did not know Arabic, which is the language of the Holy Quran and
Islamic teachings. Circassians believed that there is no God but
Allah and that Mohamad is his messenger. Despite the difficulty
of pronouncing these sentences, Circassians adopted "Allah-u
Akbar" as the symbol of the spread of Islamic teaching among
them. This is the call reiterated by millions of Muslims and it
is cried from tops of minarets throughout the Muslim world. Islam
spread among Circassians like fire through hay. Many Circassians
adopted Islam soon after they properly understood the new faith.
Swords are not worn in the pulpits of mosques in Caucasia because
it was not conquered by force and Circassians were not subjected
to those measures adopted in countries that were.
The Circassians. Muhammed Kheir Haghandoga