Karaganda is a city located in the central part of Kazakhstan, with a population of over 500,000 people. Although it is not widely known for its Islamic history and culture, there is a rich heritage of Islam in the city that dates back several centuries.
Islam has been present in Karaganda since the 18th century when the Kazakh Khanate was established, and Islam was introduced to the region. During the Soviet era, many mosques were closed down, and the practice of Islam was suppressed. However, after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the practice of Islam re-emerged, and many mosques were re-opened.
The city’s architecture is a blend of Soviet-era buildings and more modern structures. However, there are several notable Islamic buildings that showcase the city’s Islamic heritage.
– Nur-Astana Mosque: The Nur-Astana Mosque is the largest mosque in the city and one of the largest in the country. It was completed in 2012 and can accommodate over 5,000 worshippers at a time.
– Kazybek Bi Mosque: This mosque was built in 1877 and is one of the oldest mosques in the city. It is named after the Kazakh poet and philosopher Kazybek Bi.
– Zhambyl Mosque: The Zhambyl Mosque was built in 1996 and is named after the Kazakh poet and composer Zhambyl Zhabayev. The mosque’s architecture is inspired by the traditional Central Asian style.
Islam has had a significant impact on the culture of Karaganda, with many traditional Islamic practices still observed by the city’s Muslim population.
– Food: Traditional Kazakh cuisine has been influenced by Islamic dietary laws, with many dishes prepared using halal meat.
– Festivals: The Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr is widely celebrated in Karaganda, with many families gathering together to share a meal and exchange gifts.
– Clothing: Traditional Islamic clothing, such as the hijab and the abaya, is worn by many women in the city. Men may also wear traditional Islamic dress, such as the thobe or dishdasha.
Overall, while Karaganda may not be as well-known for its Islamic history and culture as other cities in Kazakhstan, such as Almaty and Nur-Sultan, there is still a rich heritage that can be seen in the city’s architecture, food, and traditions. With the re-emergence of Islam in the region following the collapse of the Soviet Union, it is likely that the city’s Islamic heritage will continue to play an important role in shaping its culture and identity in the years to come.
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