“Peace and Submission”  
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                       18 Jan 2008

  It is the year 1574.  Islam has been here for over 500 years and is now the dominant religion among the tribes living in the land we call Bashkortostan.   The word “Islam”, when translated, means “peace and submission” … but this new religion did not stop the wars, the killing and the plundering among the peoples of this area.

 It was a desperate situation for the tribal elders.  Needing help, they chose to make the difficult 700-mile journey to Moscow to meet with Ivan the Terrible, Tsar of Russia.  They requested … and received … support from Ivan’s army.  A friendship alliance was put into place between Moscow and the tribal elders of Bashkortostan.  It was Orthodox Christians and Muslims working together for peace.

 This opened the door for significant migration of the Russians to the tribal area.

 By the late 1700’s, a large portion of the land was controlled by the Russian immigrants.  The Muslim Bashkirs had now become peasants working for the Orthodox Russian overseers.  In 1773, a bloody revolt led by Salavat Yulaev was crushed by the Russian army.  Nevertheless, the Bashkirs were allowed to live with a measure of autonomy unknown in the rest of the Russian Empire.  Salavat is now the most revered hero of the Republic of Bashkortostan.  His plaque is often displayed directly below the Bashkirian flag.

 Today, the descendents of the Russian immigrants makeup about one-third of the population and are Russian Orthodox.  Over one-half of the population follows Sunni Islam most of whom are descendants of the indigenous population. 

 Although most of the people are Muslim, it is rare to observe the distinct attire.  Even on these occasions, they appear as part of the crowd.  Some display a small emblem.  Surprisingly, a wedding at the main mosque appears little different from that of non-Muslim weddings.

 The assistant to the Grand Mufti of Bashkortostan explains the working relationship between Christians and Muslims as well as community involvement.

 It’s because we have an understanding of each other.  We meet often.  We fulfill our ministry and they fulfill theirs.  We don’t interfere in their activities and they don’t meddle in ours.  We find common language with Buddhists and Catholics.  There aren’t any places in the Koran, the Bible, or in any other holy book about forcing someone to believe or murdering them.   Both the Koran and the Bible speak of Jesus’ immaculate conception and that he will return and unite us in peace and agreement. We are Sunni Muslims—we are moderate, peaceful Muslims.

 Of course, we are against drug abuse and alcoholism.  In our sermons we always talk about the bad influence of drugs and alcohol.  We explain that the Koran forbids everything that hurts our health.  


There are several mosques in the country with a diversity of styles and sizes.  However, the largest is the Tulip Mosque in Ufa, so called because of the shape of its minarets.  Visitors are welcome here but respect for their customs must be shown including the removal of your shoes before entering.  Often, an Imam gives prayers for individual requests.

 The inside of the auditorium is spacious and a marked contrast to the crowded collection of icons in the Orthodox Church.  A closer look reveals the inscription, … in Arabic, of the 99 names of god … revered by the devout followers.  During prayer time, these names are often recited in song.

Scroll with names and translations along with song.

 Allah                              The Greatest Name

Ar-Rahman                             The All-Compassionate

Ar-Raltim                       The All-Merciful

Al-Malik                        The Absolute Ruler

Al-Quddus                      The Pure One

As-Salam                       The Source of Peace

Al-Mu'min                     The Inspirer of Faith

Al-Muhaymin           The Guardian

Al-'Aziz                           The Victorious

Al-Jabbar                       The Compeller

Al-Mutakabbir                    The Greatest

Al-Khaliq                       The Creator

Al-Bari'                          The Maker of Order

Al-Musawwir           The Shaper of Beauty

Al-Ghaffar                     The Forgiving

Al-Qahhar                      The Subduer

Al-Wahhab                              The Giver of All

Ar-Razzaq                       The Sustainer

Al-Fattah                        The Opener

Al-'Alim                         The Knower of All

Al-Qabid                        The Constrictor


These names reflect the attributes of Allah as defined by Mohammad, … the founder of Islam nearly 1400 years ago.  While many describe the power and majesty of their god, they do not describe a loving God.  For the Muslim, salvation is dependent upon their adherence to the five pillars of Islam.  Jesus is revered but not as personal savior.  There is no assurance of eternal salvation for the followers of Mohammad.

 Will you thank God for the peaceful co-existence of all the peoples of Bashkortostan

Prayer Page:

Jesus said: “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” … Mark 1:15

 PRAY that the Muslims in Bashkortostan

will respond to the TRUTH found in Jesus.



 Bashkirs                                             bash-KEER

Bashkortostan                                  bash-kort-tah-STAN                                               

Mufti                                                   MOO-fti


Salavat Yulaev                         sol-uh-VAHT you-LIE-ev

Sunni                                                   SOON-ee

Ufa                                                      oo-FAH


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