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Married or not Married? On the Obligatory Registration of Muslim Marriages in Nineteenth-Century Russia

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The registration and regulation of marriage was one aspect of the Russian empire's modernization policies in the nineteenth century. Efforts by Russian state authorities to establish better control over their subjects through the registration and regulation of marriages created new questions and problems for the Muslim community and its understanding of the legality of marriage. This article focuses on the complications created by modern governance policies in the marriage practices of Russia’s Muslims. Even though the state wanted the Muslim family to be stable so that it might serve as the foundation of an imperial order, new laws introduced by the state caused confusion and disagreement within the Muslim community about the validity of marriages and disrupted the stability of the Muslim family.

Affiliations: 1: Kennan Institute, Wilson Center, Washington, D.C.


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