Arabia and the Qur’an. (The Origin and Nature of Islam). A Historical Study


This book is a study of Arabia, the Qur’an, and Islam by Russian scholar Nikolaĭ Petrovich Ostroumov (1846‒1930). The main text is preceded by Ostroumov’s recollections of his experiences in the 1860s and 1870s as a student at the counter-Muslim department of the Kazan Seminary, where he studied Tartar and Arabic languages and Muslim culture. At the time, the government of the Kazan region, which was populated by Tartars and other Muslim ethnic groups, allowed the teaching of the Tartar language in schools to baptized Tartars and its use in Orthodox churches. One mission of the seminary was to produce government officials who would serve as administrators in regions of Russian Central Asia where a high percentage of the population was Muslim. Many baptized Muslims remained attracted to Islam and in reality knew and understood little of Christian teachings. The formal Tartar language was not much known by the local Tartar people. Classes at the seminary translated Christian religious texts into vernacular Tartar and students at the seminary learned the colloquial language. The main body of the text is in nine chapters, including an introduction and chapters on the geography of Arabia; the history of ancient Arabia; the ancient inhabitants of Arabia; the domestic and social life of the ancient Arabs; the character and morals of the ancient Arabs; the religious beliefs of ancient Arabs; Judaic and Christian sects that influenced the teachings in the Qur’an; Arabic as the language of the Qur’an; and the personality of the Prophet Muhammad. Ostroumov sees hostility to non-Muslims as a characteristic of Islam, reflected in early teachings and manifested in such recent developments as the massacre by the Ottoman Turks in the 1890s of many thousands of Armenians.

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Subject Date

Publication Information

Kazan Imperial University Publishing House, Kazan


Title in Original Language

Аравiя и Коранъ. (Происхожденiе и характеръ ислама). Опытъ историческаго изслѣдованiя

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Physical Description

256 pages ; 21 centimeters

Last updated: March 17, 2016