Sidorko, Clemens P.

Dschihad im Kaukasus

Antikolonialer Widerstand der Dagestaner und Tschetschenen gegen das Zarenreich (18. Jahrhundert bis 1859)

17.0 x 24.0 cm, 520 p., 6 maps, 9 illustrations b/w, hardback
82,00 €

ISBN: 9783895005718
Table of Contents

Short Description

From an early stage the fight of the Muslim people of the Northern Caucasus against the advancing Russian empire coincided with religious reform movements. The study examines the conditions and development of this process up to the founding of a state by the legendary imam Shamil. It also contains a sumary of the historical events, an investigation into the composition of the followers and the elites of resistance as well as an examination of the organisational structures of the imam state and its impacts on social conditions and on everday life.


In historical perspective, the bloody conflict between the Muscovite central power and the Caucasian Republic Chechnya which broke out after the downfall of the Soviet Union is no more than the new culmination of a much older unresolved conflict. When the Russian Czar Empire began to conquer Caucasia in the 18th century, it was confronted with the bitter resistance of the Chechens and Daghestanis in North-eastern Caucasia. At first the success of the resistance was only limited. However, between 1829 and 1859 the peoples of Northern Caucasia which were fragmented into various language groups and forms of governance were united by the djihad (fight for Islam) against the expansion of the Czar regime. Under the carismatic leader Imam Shamil they build up a state based on the Islamic sharia.

This work investigates into the development and functionalities of the djihad and imamate, including its roots and precursors. Thereby, the history of events is combined with the analysis of superordinate structures. The critical discussion and interpretation of different sources is the starting point of this investigation. Testimonials of Caucasian Muslims are examined, many of which only became accessible in the last few years. Furthermore, reports of prisoners of war and deserters (mainly of Polish origin) who temporarily lived in Shamil’s state are taken into account; these reports have hardly been considered so far. The comparison of these materials with the Russian sources which formed the traditional image of research enables a double perspective on the events and a judgment from another point of view. In addition, this study also exposes numerous stereotypes and myths which even concern reputable research about the djihad of the imams. Finally, some aspects of this work – such as the detailed account of everyday life in the imamate – have not yet been investigated into and can, therefore, be considered as unique.

Biographical Note

Clemens P. Sidorko studied Slavic philology, Eastern European history and Islamic studies. 1989 Master of Arts at Basel university, 2006 Ph. D. at Zurich university (Switzerland). Doctoral thesis on "Die Muridenbewegung und der Imamatstaat Shamils (1829-1859)". Focus in research: history of the Muslims in Eastern Europe (especially in Caucasia), history of the relations between Eastern Europe and the Near and Middle East. Various publications in these fields.


18th century, c 1700 to c 1799 (51) || 19th century, c 1800 to c 1899 (66) || Antikolonialer Widerstand || Dagestan (2) || Djihad || Dschihad || Early 19th century c 1800 to c 1850 (6) || Eastern Europe (241) || History (835) || Islam (49) || Jihad (2) || Kaukasien (16) || Konflikt || Neuzeit (3) || Religion & beliefs (226) || Religion: general (94) || Religious intolerance & persecution (4) || Religious issues & debates (8) || Russia (11) || Schamil || Scheich Mansur || Shamil || Tschetschenien (2) || Šāmil