The Namaz Practice in the Structure of the Middle Volga Tatars' Daily Life at the End of the 19th - Beginning of the 20th Centuries

By Shafikov, Ildar F. | Journal of Sustainable Development, July 2015 | Go to article overview

The Namaz Practice in the Structure of the Middle Volga Tatars' Daily Life at the End of the 19th - Beginning of the 20th Centuries


Shafikov, Ildar F., Journal of Sustainable Development


Abstract

The urgency of the problem is determined by an increased public interest in Islam, its history in the Russian Federation, and particularly to the rituals and practices. The aim is: to show the role of fivefold prayer (namaz) in the everyday life space of Muslims of the Middle Volga region at the turn of XIX - XX centuries. The leading approach to the study of this problem is a thorough analysis of the periodic and journalistic press as a source of the most authentic conveyance of the contemporaries' attitude. Development of this type of sources shows that prayer demonstrates remained an inherent part of the Muslims' life, but at the same time under the influence of westernization and the lack of religious education some followers have partially or completely ceased to fulfill the religious requirements. The materials of the article can be useful for the ethnographers, historians and religious scholars investigating profile problems.

Keywords: namaz, Islam, Volga Region, daily life, religious practices

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1. Introduction

The Volga Region is the unique region where Islam and Orthodoxy coexist for over five hundred years. Despite there always was certain interference, the spheres of religious life remained autonomous and independent, entering only the intellectual disputes caused first of all by the missionary activity. Such inaccessibility was defined by the adherents' religiosity of both religion and also it was the way to keep its ethnicity and culture for Muslim Tatars. The namaz was one of basic elements of everyday religiosity.

The The namaz (Arab. as-salat) is the salat, one of five Islam precepts. The order of prayers by the Quran was not clearly defined. It is considered that all ritual was developed as the imitation of the devotional attitude and Mahomed's movements.

The daily devotional cycle consists of five obligatory prayers preceded by Ritual Voodoo. The namaz could be accomplished individually and collectively in any suitable place" (Kamali, 2010).

Shariah and Sunnah as the leading bases of Muslim society ordered an obligatory execution of a fivefold prayer. Shariah says: "If a person makes ablution five times a day, his body will be cleared out and the fivefold prayer will clear from sins" (Kerimov, 1978). Besides, it should be noted that is in certain cases admissible to start a prayer execution later than it is offered. For example, it is allowed in case of studying of works on fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) (Ostoroumov, 1909).

Despite that great attention is paid to a fivefold prayer from the position of Muslim divinity, the question of prevalence of this phenomenon among the Volga-Ural region Muslims remains opened.

2. Methodological Framework

2.1 Research Objectives

The following objective was defined in the research process: to reveal characteristic features of the existence of a fivefold daily prayer among the Tatar population during the end of the 19th century - the beginning of the 20th century.

2.2 Theoretical Methods

The principle of historicism and objectivity underlie the work. For studying the declared subject, the complex of various sources was analyzed: a historical and genetic method which allows to reveal the dynamics of social and cultural trends dominating in society that gives the chance, to fix conservative manifestations of Tatars inhabitants and their reaction to "novelty" in religious life. The system approach assuming the analysis of all factors which affected of a religious ritualism in everyday life; a historical and comparative method is necessary for comparison of the existence of forms of religiosity in daily occurrence space; a historical and descriptive method as in work the memoirs and documents describing different parties of Tatar society life are used.

2.3 Source Base of Research

Periodicals, journalism and ethnographic materials answer for source base for research. …

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