- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
127

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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MURIDISM AND THE FIGHT FOR FREEDOM
127
But a leader was still lacking who should gather
and lead the people in war. Then did Mullah-
Mohammed lay his hands in blessing on the
young Kasi-Mullah from Ghimri in Avaria, and
consecrate him to "band the people together and
in Allah’s nåme begin the holy war. Paradise awaits
him that falls or that slays a Russian; but woe to
him that turns his back upon the Giaours I" 1
This was in 1826, and the fiery Kasi-Mullah,
supported by the young Mullah-Shamyl, who was
also from Ghimri, at once set about his task. He
went from place to place to plant Muridism flrmly
among the Lesghis and the Chechens, and to bring
the people together for the fight. While the Russians
were tåken up with the war against the Persians
and the Turks, he had a fairly clear field; and he
was chosen as imam, that is, the leader of the people
in all spiritual and temporal matters. The greater
part of Daghestan was gradually won over; but
the Khan of Avaria, in the town of Khunsakh, had
not joined him. The quarrelsome inhabitants of
this town had no wish to put themselves under the
strict laws of Muridism. With an anny of some
6,000 men Kasi-Mullah marched from Ghimri
against Khunsakh in February 1830. The khan
was a minor, and the government was in the hands
of his mother, Pakhu-Bikhé. The town of over
700 houses was in an inaccessible position beside a
high precipice, and was strongly fortified by
breastworks and towers. She thus thought she could
Tiold it. The Murids, in two divisions, one led by
1 "Giaour" (written "Giaur" by Byron) is the foreign unbeliever.

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