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An Overview of the Commonwealth Countries in the Former USSR

An Overview of the Commonwealth Countries in the Former USSR

Was published in Arabic in August 26, 2015

Translated by Ahmed Fathy

 

Firstly: the Steppes tribes in Asia and their contribution in forming international history:

1- The Steppes area in the middle of Asia is so vast, and it contained many tribes that worked in raising cattle and horses within the vast desert areas. These tribes used to raid neighboring areas as well. The geographical nature of such vast plains (the largest pastoral areas on earth) allowed the gathering of so many tribes that used horses in waging wars and armed raids among one another. The result: the strongest tribe controlled the rest. As in any military tribe, its people were its army; its unified power inevitably raided stable areas at riversides. This resulted in the establishment of mighty empires. Some of the Steppes tribes used to establish temporary and mobile states that were later on crushed under the hoofs of other tribes' forces. The Steppes tribes used to raid and conquer Europe and the Middle East in the west. Some tribes that could not resist the might of other stronger tribes migrated into the west as well. There was once a tribe that migrated to Turkey in Asia Minor and converted to Islam (but in fact converted to Sunnite creed, which is not part of Islam according to Quranists' trend: Islam= the Quran alone) and formed a small city-state that later on – under the motto of fighting (jihad) against the Byzantines – widened its lands and held the name of its founder, Othman, to form what was called later on the Ottoman Empire that conquered part of Europe, larger part of Asia, and the whole of the Middle East.

2- Due to the raids of the Steppes tribes on riverside areas, China has built its Great Wall to protect is people and its civilization. Fighting tribes that were vanquished used to migrate westward to Eastern Europe and Eurasia or Asia Minor. These migratory trends, peaceful and belligerent, had their impact in the forming of history of Middle-Ages Europe, the Jews, the Arabs, and the Muslims. Let us remember the history of Genghis Khan, Hulago Khan, Tamerlane, and the Ottomans: all of them descendants of the Steppes tribes.

3- Most of the westward migrating tribes were from the white Turkish race, which differs from the yellow races of the Moghuls and Mongolic tribes. From the white Turkish race came most of the soldiers and leaders of the Abbasid caliphate who controlled the Second Abbasid Era. Among these Abbasids the Seljuks who ruled countries under the Abbasid rule in the East and in Asia Minor. Some of the Seljuks formed their own empires in times of weakness of the Abbasid rule, such as Ahmad Ibn Tulun in Egypt and the Levant. Some of the Seljuks came to be known as the Mamelukes who at first served the Ayyubid dynasty in Egypt and the Levant then ruled both areas after the demise of the Ayyubids. Most Mamelukes came from Middle Asia and came to be known as "the Turks", and this means that the Asian Turks were among the most important races that ruled the Middle East beginning from the Abbasid caliph Al-Motawakel until the Mameluke Massacre committed by Muhammad Ali Pacha in Egypt in the 19th century. Thus, the Turks ruled during both the Mameluke Era and the Ottoman Era in Egypt before the advent of Muhammad Ali Pacha to rule Egypt and establish his dynasty.

4- The Turks came to the area of Transoxiana in the 6th century before the age of Arab conquests; hence, this area was named "Turkestan", which included before the Arab conquest several city-states and kingdoms that included the following: the kingdom of Kharistan on the banks of the Gihon River with its capital Balkh, the kingdom of Sganyan and its capital Shuman in the northern area of the Gihon River, the kingdom of Sughd with its capital Samarkand and its major city Bukhara between Sihon and Gihon rivers, the kingdom of Fergana, the kingdom of Osrushana near eastern Fergana over the Sihon river and its capital Khujand, the Khwarazmian kingdom near the Khwarazm Sea and its capital Gurganj, and lastly the kingdom of Shash in northern Sihon River and its capital Binkth. At that time, there were no fixed frontiers among these scattered warring kingdoms that faced the Chinese aggression as well.

Secondly: Arab conquests in Middle Asia in the first century A.H.

1- The above-mentioned warring kingdoms entered a new stage in history with the advent of Arab conquerors. Tribes of these kingdoms came to Persia (AKA Iran) when the Arabs caused the demise of the Persian Empire that was the only obstacle between the Turks and the Arabs. Arab conquests in the time of the caliph Othman Ibn Affan reached southern of the Caspian Sea and crossed the Gihon River into the area of Transoxiana. Arabs conquered the cities of Balkh, Hurrah, Kabul, Ghazna, Badghis, Bukhara, and Samarkand. Arab conquests had to come to an end due to civil wars among Arabs. Later on, Arab conquests were re-launched under the leadership of Al-Muhallab Ibn Abi Soufrah and his brother Al-Moufadal and his son Yazeed. Arab conquests entered a new phase under the leadership of Qutayba Ibn Muslim who re-launched more controlled, stable conquests to stabilize and control the area of Transoxiana and reached the borders of China. About 50 thousand Arab families migrated into Middle Asia from Iraq.

2- The Abbasids cared for these conquered areas in a special manner; the Abbasids came to rule the empire via the endeavors of Abou Muslim Al-Khorasany and his forces that included Persians and people of the Khorasan area. Persia included Turkestan before the Arab conquest of Persia. When the Persians felt their power and authority in the Abbasid caliphate, some of them established their own kingdoms in Turkestan during the rule of the Abbasids, such as the Samanid Dynasty and the Tahirid Dynasty. Some Turks, like the Seljuks, established their empire in Turkestan and later on controlled Baghdad and the Abbasid caliphate. Later on, the Khwarazmian Empire was established and was vanquished by the Moghuls who crushed and razed the city of Baghdad and ended the Abbasid dynasty. The Moghuls controlled Middle Asia, Persia (Iran), Iraq, and India during the reign of Hulago Khan and Tamerlane and their offspring within the 13th and 15th centuries. The empire of the Muslim Moghuls began its demise and then Britain conquered India, while the Uzbek tribes inherited the lands of the Moghuls in the Middle Asia. Middle Asia areas became scattered countries that later on conquered by Russia in the 19th century, then the Bolshevik Revolution in the 20th century. Some countries of these areas gained independence after the demise of the USSR.

Thirdly: Russia inherits the Arabs in Middle Asia

1- The Russians used to be pagans until the end of the 10th century when the Emperor Vladimir converted to Orthodox Christianity in 988 A.D. and made it the formal religion of the Russians. He made allegiance to the Church of Constantinople, and hence the Russians and the Byzantines were sometimes united by intermarriages. The Ottoman Empire – of Turkish Middle Asia origins – caused the fall of the Byzantine Empire and conquered Constantinople in 1453 A.D., and then, the Ottoman conquests reached the Balkans, the Crimean area, and the Caucasian area, which threatened the Russians. The Slav tribes submitted to the ottomans in Eastern and Southern Europe. The Slav tribes were kinsmen to the Russians. The struggle and conflict between the Russians and the Ottomans grew fierce for religious, ethnic, and political reasons.

2- The Russians began their expansionist conquests of neighboring Muslim lands in Middle Asia, taking advantage of the weakness of Iranian power and the kingdoms of to the area of Transoxiana. During the Qajar Dynasty, of Turkish origin, Russia conquered Georgia in 1801 A.D., and Iran had to acknowledge this in the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813. War broke between Iran and Russia in 1826. Russia won this war and conquered the rest of Turkestan. Russia conquered in 1864 the Caucasian and Circassian areas that stretched from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, and then the Russian conquered all the areas between Mongolia and the Caspian Sea. All these areas were inhabited by Muslims.

3- Enmity between the Ottomans and the Russians was due to ethnic, religious, and political reasons. The Ottomans were representing an 'Islamic' force, while the Russians bewailed the fact that their favored city, Constantinople, the center of Orthodoxy at the time, was overtook by the Ottomans. Let us remember that the Russians were orthodox Christians at the time. The Russians were filled with hatred toward the Ottomans as they captured the Balkans and the Slav people areas that have common culture, blood, and history with the Russians. Accordingly, the Russian Tsars aimed at destroying the Ottoman Empire to free the Slavs and Constantinople and to conquer lands in the warm seas.

4- Great Britain stood against the Russian ambitions and stopped the Russians from gulping up the Ottoman Empire that came to be known at the time as "Europe's ill man". Great Britain put this "ill man" into the ICU to prevent the Russian Bear from killing him, in order to conquer the Ottoman lands in the right time and to stop Russian influence from getting to the South to threat British interests in India, the brightest Jewel of the British Crown. Hence, the Crimean war (1853-1856) was launched by Great Britain against Russia to defend the Ottoman Empire. France joined Great Britain to prevent Russia from controlling the Crimean area that controls the Black Sea. The Crimean war ended in the defeat of the Russians and the signing of the Paris Treaty. We understand now the Russian insistence to maintain the Crimean area; this is its gate unto the Black Sea.

5- The European stance against the Russian ambitions made the Russians hate the Ottomans more than ever. The Russians took revenge from their Muslim subjects (from the Turkish origin) within the Russian Empire. That was ironic: the Ottomans of Turkish origin controlled the Eastern European Slavs who descended from Russian origin, whereas the Russians controlled the Muslims of Turkish origin in the Russian Empire in Middle Asia.

6- When the Russians inherited the areas inhabited by Muslims, tsarist Russia persecuted Muslims within its empire. When the Bolshevists came in 1917, they declared the principles of liberty and equality among their people. They gave Muslims the right to create an Islamic legislative organization. Later on, when the Bolshevists attained power and full, stable control over their authority, the red Army waged a fierce war against Muslim revolting men in the era of Stalin who killed millions of Muslims in Middle Asia to gain full control over the Steppes area.

7- After about 70 years of communism which is based on persecution and tyranny, communist Russia collapsed from inside out, and the USSR states became independent; hence the "commonwealth states term" that signifies a temporary phrase until any settlement emerges to make Russia regains its former power over the Steppes area.

8- The challenged faced by Russia is not represented only by the USA and the West alone, but also by the Wahabi/Salafi terrorism that has emerged in the Arabian Peninsula that threatens to invade and conquer lands in the name of "Islam", recreating the early Arab conquests done by the companions of Prophet Muhammad. The difference between the present and the past is that Persia and Byzantium were very weak at the time of Arab conquests, while the warring Arab tribes suffered overpopulation. Qoraysh, the major Arab tribe at the time that ruled supreme over the Arab Peninsula from Mecca after the death of Prophet Muhammad – redirected the force of the armed starving tribes to wage war against the old weak empires of Persia and Byzantium who were at war at the time. Within few decades, the Umayyads, who descended from Qoraysh, formed an empire that stretched from the borders of China to the Pyrenees Mountains at the borders of France. At the present time, things have changed. The Wahabis managed with a great effort to establish the third Saudi Kingdom (two formerly were destroyed) that might be destroyed very soon for the last time. Terrorist groups founded by the KSA and its Wahabi leaders endeavors to destroy anything that prevents the return of Umayyad "glory" and has nothing to do but random killings. To sum up, this is at the end a mere game of power among the mighty forces from Moscow to Washington.

Lastly:

  Conquests, raids, and invasions occur and reoccur. Countries rise and fall. Millions of the poor and the weak pay the price and get killed. Some of the conquests, raids, and invasions came from Middle Asia to the west, from the Arab Peninsula to the East and the west, and from the cold North to the warm South. Some conquests, raids, and invasions carry the banners of religion, and some carry banners of justice and rights of the marginalized. All conquests, raids, and invasions have but one sole goal: MONEY.

  All of the above-mentioned empires and rulers became history. It is sad that history repeats itself. The evidence of this can be found in the news. Nobody learns from history.                           


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