How Islam entered Azerbaijan? How Azerbaijan’s population turned Muslim | History of Azerbaijan


Azerbaijan is a Muslim majority country which is located at the intersection of Europe and Asia. 96.8% of the population of Azerbaijan are Muslims. Before Islam, Zoroastrianism was the most dominant religion in that area. Zoroastrianism was considered a state religion of the Persian Empire. At that time, Azerbaijan was a part of the Persian empire. A single incident inclined the heart of the people of Azerbaijan towards Islam.

Byzantine and Sassanid Empire
Byzantine and Sassanid Empire

Historically Azerbaijan was a part of a region in western Asia called Transcaucasia. Before the Muslim invasion, this area was controlled by both the Sassanian and the Byzantine Empire. Muslims invaded this area during the reign of the Rashidun caliphate. At that time Usman bin Affan, also known as Usman the generous was the caliph or the leader of the Rashidun Caliphate.

Map  of Azerbaijan with flag
Map of Azerbaijan with flag

Caliph Osman commissioned an army to capture the area of Caucasus. Muslim army went on the campaign and successfully captured the area. Once Muslims established their government in Azerbaijan. A Christian pope of Azerbaijan sent a letter through his messenger to the Caliph of the Islamic empire Usman bin Affan who was in Medinah at that time. Medinah was the capital of the Rashidun caliphate.

Rashidun caliphate during Osman Caliph
Rashidun caliphate during Osman Caliph

In the letter, he wrote that You captured our city against your policies. It is the custom of your empire to warn the enemy at first to either convert to Islam or pay tax. If they refuse then your army invade that area. But in our case, you didn’t warn us prior to the attack which is totally opposite to your principles.

Rashidun caliphate during Osman Caliph

After reading this letter, Caliph Osman never saying a word from his mouth just wrote a letter and hand it over to the messenger of the Christian pope. He ordered the messenger to deliver this letter to a judge of the caliphate.

The messenger delivered the letter to the judge and presented the whole matter in front of him. After scrutinizing the whole matter, the judge ordered a decree that Muslim forces should immediately vacate Azerbaijan. The judge called the Muslim occupation of Azerbaijan illegal as they weren’t warned before the invasion.


This was the first time in history that an army after successfully capturing an area and establishing its government over that area will leave peacefully. This was not less than a miracle for the local population of Azerbaijan. They were literally surprised by the devotion of Muslims to its laws. They were too impressed by this act that they accepted Islam and invited the Muslims to establish their government in that area. Since then this area was inhabited by Muslims.

This was a rare event of that kind in history. Very few people knew about this event. Even Muslims didn’t know. If you found this interesting Kindly share it with your friends and family.


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