In the Middle Ages, the Tatars' empire was one of the largest in the world. Initially, these were isolated tribes, unable even to self-organize. But the introduction of a single religion made it possible to unite different leaders and create a powerful state that all of Europe feared. What religion professes Tatars, not everyone knows.
Who are the Tatars
The big and colorful people living from central Europe to the Far East of Russia are called Tatars. The origin of this ethnos still causes controversy in the circles of scientists. Some believe that the Tatars are the descendants of the Mongols, who were assimilated with the less numerous peoples of Siberia. Others argue that the main distinguishing feature of this ethnic group is the Turkic language. But there are such facts, for which there is no disagreement. What religion among the Tatars, the Russian people have known since the XIII century.
Impressed by the wonders of the Arab countries, Khan Uzbek forcibly introduced Islam. Such an act consolidated the nation, but not in the way the ruler would like. Many Tatars did not accept the new faith. Initially, discontent did not manifest at the global level, but a number of unsuccessful battles, weakening of the state and a low economic level of development led to the fact that many tribes began to migrate to Russia.
Origins of worship
One of them, Almysh, asked Baghdad to organize the construction of mosques and send preachers. His request was fulfilled. Nevertheless, the pagan roots in some places made themselves felt, Allah was called by the name of another god - Tengri.
Animism (that is, belief in the existence of spirits and souls) was still close to the people. He clearly traced in the shamanic rituals. And Tengri was the main celestial deity, the creator of plants and the conqueror of thunder.
But it was Islam that became a significant step in raising to the highest stage of civilization. In 1241 the state was captured by the Mongols and became part of the Golden Horde. Genghis Khan was the first to call the population of Buryatia and the Turkic parts of the troops just in one word - “Tatars”. Religion Islam was then a stranger to the Mongols, and the already mentioned Uzbek forcibly made Muslims from Christians.
Followers of the prophet
The founder of this religion was Mohammed. This simple man lived in the city of Mecca and worked for a long time as a merchant. The man received visions, and in 615 decided to preach in public. Together with the fans appeared and pursuers. After his death, Islam split into two lines. This was due to the fact that the disciples could not determine who would be the successor to the prophet.
A smaller part became supporters of Shiite Islam, and more than 90% - Sunni. What religion are the Tatars today? By belief they are Sunni Muslims.
According to the theory, Mohammed was the forerunner of the word of God. Unlike Christianity, the prophet was not the son of God. The name Allah is translated as “one god”, and his earthly home is a mosque. It should be noted that the Tatars, who were accustomed to a nomadic lifestyle, were not inclined to build. Only thanks to the adoption of Islam, cities appeared on their lands. They were designed by architects from Arab countries.
Mixture of styles
Tatars lived at the turn of different cultures. East, Europe, Russia, Islam, Christianity, polytheism - all this influenced the architectural style. Especially bright are the mosques. Since the religion of the Mongol-Tatars is Islam, the Khans actively built religious buildings. But initially they had nothing to do with the mosque of Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Castles became God's houses. It was a necessary necessity, because the Horde constantly fought. Subsequently, by order of Ivan the Terrible, almost all the centers of Islamic culture were broken up, to which the royal troops were able to reach. Tatars living in Russia were forced to accept Orthodoxy.
Despite the persecutions and obstacles, some of the monuments were rebuilt and began to act again. Especially in the capital of the modern Republic of Tatarstan. By the way, not only those Tatars, whose religion is Islam, had a hand in this.
The first building, which was laid as a symbol of two confessions (Orthodoxy and Islam) in one city, was the restoration of the place of worship of al-Mardzhani. In terms of pomp, another Muslim prayer structure in Kazan is not inferior - Apanaevskaya. The beginning of construction started in 1768. Remarkably, the project was approved by Catherine II herself, and the funds were provided by the Islamic community.
On the territory of modern Russia there are other, no less significant monuments of Islam. Unfortunately, very few of them remained in their original state, but the Islamic community continues to work actively to restore its heritage.
Faith in Christ
According to many researchers, to date, almost 20% of the Turkic tribes of Russia are Orthodox in several generations. And their numbers are slowly growing. Because in mixed marriages, Orthodox and Muslim children usually baptize.
It is believed that some individual groups of Tatars began to practice Christianity in the 10th century. They had to change their views under the pressure of the Golden Horde and the Khans, who brutally cracked down on anyone who spoke out in defense of Orthodoxy. It is noteworthy that the religion of the Crimean Tatars was originally Christian. The local population refused to accept Islam. The result of this behavior was the destruction of all Orthodox churches.
Tatars of Siberia
The indigenous ethnic group of Western and Southern Siberia is the Turkic race. In general, it is different from other members of the tribe. But genetically closest relatives are Bashkirs, Kazakhs and Sarti. The religion of the Siberian Tatars is a mixture of Islam and rituals. So, much attention is paid to the name at birth, marriage, funeral.
They practice memorial ceremonies, the celebration of the Eastern New Year and the spells of animals. At the same time, the Siberian Tatars adhere to Ramadan, celebrate Kurban and others.
The region of residence of this group of Turkic tribes is remote from Moscow. At the time of the power of the Golden Horde, the main goal of wars was enrichment, so Siberia did not arouse any interest among the khans. The situation did not change too much when the Russian kings finally defeated the Mongol hordes and put an end to the empire of Genghis Khan.
Thus, the local population was in a certain isolation. It had the opportunity to develop on its own. The main teachers and preachers, as before, remained the shamans. The Siberian Tatars, whose religion is a unique symbiosis of classical Sunni Islam and ancient shamanism, are of the greatest interest to ethnographers. This group of tribes practically did not assimilate and was able to preserve the true history of their ethnic group.