A Muslim Bibliophile in Soviet Moscow: The Library of Imam Ahmetzyan Mustafin

Islam Zaripov, Marat Safarov

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24848/islmlg.07.2.06

Full Text:



The article summarizes some material on the study of the imam-khatyb of Moscow Cathedral Mosque Ahmetzyan Mustafin’s library (1902– 1986). The analysis of Mustafin’s book collection is determined not only by purely bookish interest, but also by the intention to study more thoroughly the daily life of a prominent Muslim religious figure of the Soviet times, his reading interests, his attitude to the book culture, his approach for collecting religious and reference literature. The chronological scope of the collection includes books and manuscripts up to the late eighteenth century — and until the 1970s and early 1980s. Mustafin’s library contains books in Arabic, Turkish, Tatar and Farsi. It also covers various spheres of Muslim theology — Qur’anic exegetics (tafsir), prophetic traditions (hadith), the biographies of the Prophet and his companions (sira), history (tarih), religious law and its methodology (fiqh wa usul al-fiqh), morality (akhlaq), mysticism (tasawwuf) and philosophy (falsafa). Dictionaries occupy a significant place, as well as various editions from the 1960–80s (for example, Qur’an commentaries) brought from foreign trips or received as a gift from foreign guests. Of interest are Tashkent editions of the Qur’an — the fact that expands the idea of Islamic institutions existence in the USSR. We also tried to keep track of the marginal notes on the books. 


Islam in the USSR; Moscow Cathedral Mosque; library; tafsirs; dictionaries; facsimile


Alimova, Yu., Senyutkina, O., Mukhetdinov, D. (2005). Islam in Nizhny Novgorod: encyclopedic dictionary. N. Novgorod: Medina (in Russian).

Belyaev, R.F., Zaripov, I.A. (2016). From Kabul to Tampere: details on Tatar imam Habiburrahman Shakir academic bio. Minaret Islama, № 1-2 (5-6), 24-33 (in Russian and English).

Belyaev, R.F., Zaripov, I.A., Safarov, M.A. (2016). Contact of Tatar religious figures of Finland and the USSR in 1920-1980s. Tatarika, № 7, 99-108 (in Russian).

Sabirov, S. (2005). Vafa Mulla Sabirov: to the 120th anniversary of his birth. N. Novgorod: Izd-vo MIM Makhinur (in Russian).

Zaripov, I.A., Safarov, M.A. (2017). Ahmetzyan Mustafin: from the history of Islam in the USSR. Moscow: Medina (in Russian).

Zaytsev, I.V. (2010) The history of the library of the Moscow imams Ageev. PAX ISLAMICA. № 1 (4). 43-59 (in Russian).

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24848/islmlg.07.2.06