Convergence of Customary Law and Sharia in the Kazakh Steppe Based on Russian Reports (First Half of the 19th Century)

  • Zhanna MAZHITOVA Astana Medical University, Kazakhstan
  • Karlygash ATANAKOVA Kazakh National University of Arts, Kazakhstan
  • Kanat USKEMBAYEV The Eurasian Humanities Institute, Kazakhstan
Palabras clave: Sharia, customary law, legal pluralism, biys. / Sharia, derecho consuetudinario, pluralismo jurídico, biys




In the XVIII century, the Russian Empire entered Kazakh lands. It contributed to the spread of Islam among the Kazakhs. By the beginning of the 19th century, legal pluralism appeared on the territory of the Steppe. Customary law and Sharia mixed up in the process of parallel development, complemented each other, and eventually found the most acceptable option for coexistence. The choice between different judicial practices, i.e., Sharia or customary law, on the territory of the Steppe led to the fact that the Russian government eventually supported the adat in order to reduce the influence of Islam on the local population.



En el siglo XVIII, el Imperio ruso entró en tierras kazajas. Contribuyó a la difusión del Islam entre los kazajos. A principios del siglo XIX, el pluralismo legal apareció en el territorio de la Estepa. El derecho consuetudinario y la sharia se mezclaron en el proceso de desarrollo paralelo, se complementaron y finalmente encontraron la opción más aceptable para la convivencia. La elección entre diferentes prácticas judiciales, es decir, la sharia o el derecho consuetudinario, en el territorio de la Estepa llevó al hecho de que el gobierno ruso finalmente apoyó el adat para reducir la influencia del Islam en la población local.

Biografía del autor/a

Zhanna MAZHITOVA, Astana Medical University, Kazakhstan

Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor at the Department of Social and Humanitarian Sciences of Astana Medical University. Author of more than 100 scientific papers on the history of Central Asia, including 2 monographs, 5 study guides, articles indexed in Scopus, WoS databases, magazines recommended by the Higher Attestation Commission of the Russian Federation, KKSON MON of the Republic of Kazakhstan and other publications.


Karlygash ATANAKOVA, Kazakh National University of Arts, Kazakhstan

Senior Lecturer, Department of Social and Humanitarian Disciplines, Kazakh National University of Arts. Area of interest covers issues of social anthropology and the history of religion.


Kanat USKEMBAYEV, The Eurasian Humanities Institute, Kazakhstan

Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Social and Human Sciences, EAGI. The area of interest is related to modern ethnic processes in Central Asia. On this subject has more than 80 papers published in peer-reviewed publications, as well as conference materials of various levels.


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Cómo citar
MAZHITOVA, Z., ATANAKOVA, K., & USKEMBAYEV, K. (2020). Convergence of Customary Law and Sharia in the Kazakh Steppe Based on Russian Reports (First Half of the 19th Century). Utopía Y Praxis Latinoamericana, 25(5), 154-162. Recuperado a partir de