ISLAM and MUSLIMS IN MONGOLIA

General Information

National name: Mongol Uls

Total area: 604,247 sq mi (1,565,000 sq km)

Population (2007 est.): 2,874,127

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Ulaan Baatar, 804,200

Monetary unit: Tugrik

Languages: Mongolian, 90%; also Turkic and Russian (1999)

Ethnicity/race: Mongol (predominantly Khalkha) 94.9%, Turkic (of which Kazak is the largest group) 5%, other (including Chinese and Russian) 0.1% (2000)

Religions: Buddhist Lamaist 50%, Islam 4%, Shamanism and Christian 4%, none 40% (2004)

Literacy rate: 99% (2003 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $8.42 billion; per capita $3,200. Real growth rate: 9.9%. Inflation: 9%.

Mongolia lies in central Asia between Siberia on the north and China on the south. It is slightly larger than Alaska.

The productive regions of Mongolia—a tableland ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 ft (914 to 1,524 m) in elevation—are in the north, which is well drained by numerous rivers, including the Hovd, Onon, Selenga, and Tula. Much of the Gobi Desert falls within Mongolia.

Nomadic tribes that periodically plundered agriculturally based China from the west are recorded in Chinese history dating back more than 2,000 years. It was to protect China from these marauding peoples that the Great Wall was constructed around 200 B.C. The name Mongol comes from a small tribe whose leader, Ghengis Khan, began a conquest that would eventually encompass an enormous empire stretching from Asia to Europe, as far west as the Black Sea and as far south as India and the Himalayas. But by the 14th century, the kingdom was in serious decline, with invasions from a resurgent China and internecine warfare.

The State of Mongolia was formerly known as Outer Mongolia. It contains the original homeland of the historic Mongols, whose power reached its zenith during the 13th century under Kublai Khan. The area accepted Manchu rule in 1689, but after the Chinese Revolution of 1911 and the fall of the Manchus in 1912, the northern Mongol princes expelled the Chinese officials and declared independence under the Khutukhtu, or “Living Buddha.”

In 1921, Soviet troops entered the country and facilitated the establishment of a republic by Mongolian revolutionaries in 1924. China also made a claim to the region but was too weak to assert it. Under the 1945 Chinese-Russian Treaty, China agreed to give up Outer Mongolia, which, after a plebiscite, became a nominally independent country.

Islamic History and Muslims

Islam in Mongolia is mainly practised by the Kazakhs of Bayan-Ölgii (88.7% of total aimag population) and Khovd (11.5% of total aimag population) aimag in western Mongolia. Some small Kazakh communities are in various cities and towns. The notable community is in the national capital Ulan Bator (Nalaikh düüreg), Töv and Selenge aimags and Darkhan city.
 

Muslim ethnic groups of Mongolia
national censuses data

1956

%

1963

%

1969

%

1979

%

1989

%

2000

%

36,729

4.34

47,735

4.69

62,812

5.29

84,305

5.48

120,506

6.06

102,983

4.35


High natural increase level caused constant Muslim total population and share growth in 1956-1989. Muslim population declined in 1990-1993 due the ethnic Kazakhs massive repatriation to the Kazakhstan.
 

When the Mongol Empire broke up into four khanates, three of the four khanates became Muslim. These were the Golden Horde, Hulagu's Ulus and Chagatai's Ulus. The Yuan Empire also embraced Muslim peoples such as the Uyghurs.

Although the court of the Yuan Empire adopted Tibetan Buddhism as the official religion, the majority of the ordinary Mongols, especially those who continued living in Mongolia proper, remained Shamanists. After the decline of the Yuan Dynasty, Shamanism once again became the dominant religion. To varying degrees, political and economic relations with Muslim nations such as Mughalistan and the Uyghurs continued.

The Muslim Kazakhs began to settle in Jungaria and Altai regions since the late nineteenth century. The majority of these Kazakhs were the Kerei and Naiman clans, many of them escaping the persecution of the Czarist Russia. When independent Bogdo Khan Mongolia was established on 29 December 1911, the Kazakhs in Xinjian and Altai regions sought patronage of the restored Khanate. The Government of Bogdo Khan admitted them and settled them in the western region of the Mongolia's Kobdo territory.

Bayan-Ölgii aimag was established as part of the administrative reforms of the Mongolian People's Republic in 1940. Islam is freely practised in the country since Mongolia became a democracy in 1990.
 

  Muslim mosque in Tolbo village in Bayan-Ölgii aimag.

Muslim mosque in Bulgan village in Bayan-Ölgii aimag.

 

A Mosque in Mongolia

                     A Mosque in Olgiy Mongolia

  Islamic Centers and Organizations

SM Car Show Room Co. Ltd., Ulan Bator, Bayanzurkh
Phone: 976-9911838777

Mongolian Muslim Society, Ulan bator, Mongolia
Phone: 976-99119560

Sozubir otomotiv, Ulaan Baatar Hoto, istanbul
URL: www.sozubirotomotiv.com.tr.tc   Phone: +90 212 5291229

Saade Trade Co.,LTD, Ulan Bator
Phone: 976-99117241

Hazara North Indian Frontier Restaurant, Ulan Bator, Ulaanbaatar
Phone: 976-99195007,480214

Hasan mosque, Ul'gey
  Indonesian muslims of Oyu Tolgoi, Khanbogd
  Meirim Enerel San NGO, Ulan Bator
 

   Muslim Owned Business

  Hazara North Indian Frontier Restaurant, Ulan Bator
  Saade Trade Co.,LTD, Ulan Bator
  SM Car Show Room Co. Ltd., Ulan Bator
 
Sozubir otomotiv, Ulaan Baatar Hoto

References
Islam in Mongolia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_Mongolia  , September, 2008).
Info please ( http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107796.html ,  September, 2008).
Islam Finder ( http://www.islamicfinder.org/cityPrayerNew.php?country=mongolia  , September, 2008).
Anonymous, Documents from Representatives of Islamic Organizations in Mongolia, September 2008.