Islam in the Baltic: Europe's Early Muslim Community

Islam in the Baltic: Europe's Early Muslim Community

by Harry Norris


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Arriving in Europe in the 14th century, the Qipchaq Tatars are the longest surviving Muslim people in Europe. They form the historical core of the Muslim community in the Baltic States, Belarus and Poland where Muslims are few in number compared with those in other parts of the European Union and in Russia. In the first historical study of this important community, Harry Norris investigates the earliest contacts between the Baltic peoples and the world of Islam. He examines the trade routes of the Vikings and the early Slavs and Balts who had commercial relations with Arab merchants, trading in amber, furs, Middle Eastern silks and other luxury goods. Norris surveys the Qipchaq Tatars' history, their Muslim faith, their culture, their literature and their life as indigenous Europeans in New Europe today. He draws contrasts and similarities between other Muslim communities in Europe, including the diverse immigrant Muslim groups in the Nordic countries that border the Baltic Sea: Finland, Sweden and Denmark.
This book is of importance to those studying the rich cultural heritage of minority groups of European Muslims and their position in Europe today, as well as those interested in the study of migration.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781788310468
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 07/20/2017
Series: International Library of Historical Studies
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.43(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Harry Norris is Professor Emeritus of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of London. Before this he was Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at SOAS and an associate Fellow at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London.

Table of Contents

* Acknowledgements
• Introduction
• Note on Transcription
• Maps and Illustrations
• Selected Glossary and Dictionary
• The Historical Geography of the plains, the forests and the steppes of Medieval Lithuania
• The Geographical Background to the region of ‘Baltic Islam’
• Warang of the Arabs; the Baltic region of the Sea of Darkness (Bahr al-Zulumat), and its coastal peoples, according to the earliest Arabic and Islamic sources
• Islamic Trade with the Baltic
• The Baltic lands as described by Abu ‘Ubayd ‘Abdallah b.‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Bakri (d. 487 AH/ 1094 AD)
• The Settlements of the Balts and Slavs on the shores of the Southern Baltic
• The expanding Empire of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
• Dukes Mindaugas (1236-63), Gediminas (1316-41) and King Jogaila (1377-92), and Duke Vytautas (Witold) (1392-1430), the hero of the Lithuanian Tatars and the Karaims
• Mindaugas (1236-1263)
• Gediminas (1316-1341)
• Jogaila (1377-1392) *Vytautas (Witold) the Great (1392-1430)
• Vytautas and the Tatars as they appear in the works of Ghillebert De Lannoy (1386-1462)
• The Settlement of the Qipcaq (Qipchaq) Tatars and the Karaims in Belarus, Lithuania, and Poland. Their life, and their co-existence with Paganism, Catholicism and Orthodoxy during the age of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and in later centuries
• The Story of the Lithuanian and Polish Tatars ( The Tatars of Lehistan, or the Lipqa Tatars)
• The Tatar Settlement
• Rivalries between the Lehistan Tatars and Russian Kazan *Islam and the ‘Lithuanian Tatars’. How the faith took root in the North
• Tatar belief and the influence of Sufism upon their culture. The Qur’an and the Kitab, in mosque and at home, during the six hundred years of non-Muslim rule
• Sufi teachers of Ghiyath al-Din Toqtamish Khan
• Toqtamish Khan and Fadlallah al-Hurufi
• The imprint of Ottoman Sufism
• Sufi influences in the religious literature, the medical lore and the ‘Songs of Praise’ of the Tatars of Lehistan
• Islam and the contemporary religious scene in Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland
• The Islamic Revival in the Baltic and the challenge of the New European Nations
• The Foundation of the Gdansk Mosque
• Muslim life in Lithuania in the 20th century
• The Tatar Muslims amidst the mixed Muslim, the Christian and the Neo-Pagan communities, in Belarus
• Tatar and non-Tatar Muslims in Estonia in the 20th century
• A short history of the Muslim communities in Latvia
• Islam in the Baltic as viewed from Scandinavia
• The new movement for Catholic and Muslim dialogue amongst the Tatars in Contemporary Poland
• Recent trends amongst the Muslim communities in the Baltic region
• Conclusion
• Select Bibliography
• Index *

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