I visited Kazakhstan in connection with 28th annual General Meeting of Islamic Development Bank which was held in Almaty, the largest city of the country.

Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country in the world and is a part of Central Asia. Kazakhstan was colonized by Russia between 1822-1848 A.D. there was huge Russian settlements in Kazakhstan. At one time Russian population went up to sixty percent. But after the collapse of Soviet Union, a lot of Russian have emigrated and their current percentage is about 30 percent. Kazakh’s constitute sixty percent and others (Uzbeks etc.) constitute ten percent. Muslims are about seventy percent. There are some Muslims among Russians also.

After the communist took over in 1921, there was defacto Atheists rule, religion was forbidden (this is the language of 2 persons I met there) and there was almost total de-Islamisation.

From the information I gathered, I came to know that there are 15 mosques in Almaty and 1500 mosques in the whole of Kazakhstan. About 20 percent people pray. Kazakhs confirmed that they have deep love of Islam. Some Kazakhs said that Islam would revive slowly. Their love of Islam is a basis of some hope for future. There is a kind of functioning democracy. There are 9 parties. There is apparently press freedom in Kazakhstan, as told to me by a Kazakh lady Ph. D serving in an international organization.

I don’t think that Kazakhstan will play a major role in Islamic renaissance in the short term. In the long term, picture may change. There is some Dawah work there. I could not understand the depth of it. There are some Muslims organizations, including some women Muslim organizations.
Muslims world wide should increase their contact in Kazakhstan. This will facilitate Islamisation of the society. IDB has done good work that it has opened regional Office there (for information see

Kazakhstan is an oil exporting country. It also exports wheat. It requires all sorts of imports as it has little industrial capacity. Muslim industrialists/businessmen should visit Kazakhstan to increase their exports and investment.