History of Islam in Baku, Azerbaijan

The history of Islam in Baku, Azerbaijan, dates back to the 7th century when the Arab armies conquered the region and introduced Islam to the local population. Over the centuries, Islam became the dominant religion in Azerbaijan, and Baku became a center of Islamic culture and learning.

During the medieval period, Baku was ruled by the Shirvanshahs, a dynasty of Persian origin. The Shirvanshahs were known for their patronage of Islamic art and architecture, and they built several mosques and palaces in Baku. The most famous of these is the Shirvanshahs Palace complex, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is an excellent example of medieval Islamic architecture.

In the 18th century, Azerbaijan came under the control of the Qajar dynasty, which was based in Iran. The Qajars were Shia Muslims and introduced Shia Islam to Azerbaijan. Shia Islam soon became the dominant form of Islam in Azerbaijan, and Baku became an important center of Shia scholarship and learning.

During the Soviet era, Azerbaijan was a secular state, and the practice of religion was discouraged. Many mosques and Islamic institutions were closed, and the Islamic community was heavily persecuted. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Azerbaijan became an independent country, and Islam once again became an important part of the country’s cultural heritage.

Today, Azerbaijan is a predominantly Muslim country, with around 96% of the population being Muslims. Baku is home to several beautiful mosques, including the Bibi-Heybat Mosque, the Juma Mosque, and the Taza Pir Mosque. The city also hosts several Islamic festivals and celebrations, such as Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.

In conclusion, the history of Islam in Baku is a long and rich one, spanning over centuries. The religion has played an integral role in the city’s cultural heritage, and the numerous mosques, palaces, and other Islamic buildings are a testament to its importance. Today, Islam remains an important part of Baku’s identity and way of life.

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