The history of Islam in Ganja, Azerbaijan, dates back to the 7th century when Arab armies conquered the region and introduced Islam to the local population. Over the centuries, Islam became the dominant religion in Azerbaijan, and Ganja became an important center of Islamic culture and learning.
During the medieval period, Ganja was ruled by various dynasties, including the Shirvanshahs, who were known for their patronage of Islamic art and architecture. The city became a center of Islamic scholarship, and several renowned scholars and theologians, such as Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Tha’labi, were born or lived in Ganja.
In the 16th century, the Safavid dynasty of Iran introduced Shia Islam to Azerbaijan, and Shia Islam became the dominant form of Islam in the country. Ganja became an important center of Shia scholarship and learning, and several famous Shia scholars, such as Sheikh Bahauddin, lived and worked in the city.
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. Ganja is home to several beautiful mosques, including the Juma Mosque, Shah Abbas Mosque, and the Imamzadeh Mausoleum. The city also hosts several Islamic festivals and celebrations, such as Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.
In conclusion, the history of Islam in Ganja 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 and palaces are a testament to its importance. Today, Islam remains an important part of Ganja’s identity and way of life.