Near the village of Gamurzievo there is a memorial to the holy preacher Ustaz Kishi Haji, the one who prayed the first namaz on the Ingush land.
The first steps of the Muslim culture in Ingushetia and its subsequent powerful and deep penetration into all levels of society were important, uneven and contradictory. The process took centuries. Depite its extraordinary importance and significant role Oslam plays in lives of the Ingush people, it cannot be said that the process itself and the reason behind it have been studied adequately. There are many factors justifying such a state of affairs, including lack of documents. Islamization of a small area of the Central Caucasus took a long while and included several stages that lasted many centuries. The long way of Islam in Ingushetia is the result of concurrence of many circumstances in the struggle of the local population against the attempts to establish the rule and impose a new religion instead of paganism rooted here, as well as Christianity.
At the end of the XIV century, North Caucasus was invaded by Timur. He set out to convert the inhabitants of this land to Islam. But the conqueror`s slogan – “always fight against the enemies of faith and keep the sword to maintain Islam” – did not work among the ingush. Timur`s islamization attempt was a failure. For a long time pagan beliefs remained widely spread through Ingushetia. From the XVII – XVIII centuries, Islam was getting into Ingushetia from all sides: Kabarda, Dagestan, Chechnya. The first mentions of Ingush Muslims date back to the end of the XVII century. Vakhushti Bagrationi reports that residents of Angusht profess Sunni Islam. In all likelihood, Islam came here from kabarda.but this fact does not prove that Islam was common on the entire territory of Ingushetia, since it is known that in the early XIX century, Ingush people of the planes revered their ancient pagan idol Galyerda while professing some rudimentary Islam. The most intense inflow of Islam to Ingushetia began in the XVIII century . Its source was Chechnya. Imam Shamil and his naibs made several attempts to spread Islam among the Ingush people. But the Ingush did not accept anything that was imposed on them by force. Successive external factors (Arabs, Mongols, Timur, Kabardinians, Sheikh Mansour, Imam Shamil,etc.) created a continuous wave of Mohamedan faith.
Mass conversion of the Ingush to Islam began in the second half of the XIX century when Sheikh Kunta-Haji Kishiev entered the scene. The Sheikh is a special phenomenon in the history of the Ingush people. In the long chain of national liberation movements and wars the events associated with his name occupy a special place. Kishiev`s sermons were based on the ideas of battle between good and evil, modesty and lack of frills, purity of thought and pious deeds. Not all religious leaders were in agreement with the Sheikh`s main ideas. Kunta-Haji was not a blind fanatic, he was not indifferent to the fate of the highlanders, their socio-economics status, spiritual values. In the entire history of the Ingush people nobody has bad such a huge influence on their spiritual life as this humble peasant.
With his staff and words, Kunta-Haji did what Shamil could not do with a sword. Kishiev`s propaganda completed Islamization of the Ingush people.
Ingush customs and norms of Islam do not contradict each other, so the religion merged into life of the people seamlessly. This was a difficult and thorny path of Islam in Ingushetia.
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