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Islam and the Cossacks.
Traditionally it is believed that the Cossacks are closely associated with only one religious lines – Orthodox Christianity. It’s not quite true, if we consider that among the Cossacks have always had a lot of representatives of different faiths. Significant layers were Muslims (Bashkir, Tatar, the mountaineers of the Caucasus, Kazakhs, etc.), Buddhists (Kalmykia, Buryatia), followers of local cults of the Volga, Urals, Siberia, Far East, marginally met, Gregorian, Lutherans, Catholics, even Jews. The latter seems unlikely, but as noted by VM Quiz: “Many representatives of the infidels because of their suitability as a member of the Cossack class. Astrakhansky ethnographer AA Gorshkov, based on data from the Astrakhan regional archive, presents data on the admission in the early 1900’s in the Don Cossacks without baptism, and in gratitude for the work of Jewish musicians, creators of the regimental bands “.
Currently, there are a number of concepts on the origin of the Cossacks: – “Brodnica” theory of the origin of the Cossacks (Mavrodin VV);
– Version of “Cossacks – a special Slavo-Turkic peoples” (Bykadorov I.F);
– “Caucasian” version of the origin of the Don Cossacks  (Gordeev AA);
– Polovtsian “version  (Ajiev M.);
– Version of Turkic origin of the Cossacks  (Abdirov MZ), etc.
In 1492 Mengli Giray Khan wrote Ivan III, that his army, returning from a Kiev with prey, was robbed in the wilderness “Ordyn Cossacks. These Horde or “Azov” Cossacks, Tatars repeatedly write Russian chroniclers of the times of Ivan III. “The field is not purely from the Azov Cossacks” – we read constantly in the reports of ambassadors and border governor emperor. Tatar Cossacks, as well as Russian and Ukrainian, did not recognize the authority of a single one of the neighboring rulers, although often came to him in the service. Thus, Tatar detachments of Cossacks in the service of Moscow and Poland. King Sigismund-August called for a Belgorod (Akkerman) and Perekop Cossacks and sent them a salary. But most of all attracted their own to help the Crimean Khan, who had always composed his troops Cossack detachments. Tatar Cossacks were in the military, domestic and economically independent organization, so that the Polish chroniclers, knowing four Tatar hordes (Zavolzhsky, Astrakhan, Kazan, Perekopskaya), classifies them, sometimes, the fifth Cossack .
In Belarus, Poland and Lithuania were the Cossacks-Muslims, so-called Lithuanian Tatars, descendants of mercenaries-Horde, who served from Gediminas and Vytautas. These were the Tartars, Cossacks (service Boyars). They came from ordinary soldiers, who arrived in the Rzeczpospolita in the train of the Horde and the sultans murzas. They received small plots of land and suffered for it not only military service, but also acted in favor of the Grand Duke and his courtiers. These included transport, courier, police, guard, hunting services, construction work. For example, Tatars, Cossacks from a suburb of Vilna performed courier, transport, guard and hunting service. Cossacks Forty Tatar involved as couriers and hunters, in addition, they repaired roads and bridges.
During the first half of the XVI century kings gradually freeing the Tatars from performing courier services. Such privileges, in particular, were awarded the Tartars, Cossacks and Rudamina Nemezha in 1540 by Zygmunt the Old. Very often the royal control required to perform duties of office of the boyars, rich Tartars, that the latter constitutes an abuse of power. This is evidenced by their complaints addressed to the king. In 1503, for example, Grodno Tatars complained in his letter to the King on the elder Prince Holshanskogo to attract them to take guard and police, to collect the tax misers who come in Grodno. Tatars, Cossacks were carrying military service in the tribal banners, but created within their own units. In the lists of the Lithuanian army (1528) for each of the Tatar regiments were numbered special service units of the boyars.
Historian J. Grishin causes such notable names of the Polish-litovsikh princes, who commanded the Cossack militias as Assanchukovichi, Bargynskie, Zavitskie. Kadyshevich, Karachevichi, Korytskie, Krychinskie, Lovchitskie, Lostayskie, Nurkovichi, Ostrynskie, Punskie, RAGE, Shirinskie, Talkovskie, Tarashviskie, Lancers, Yushynskie . In his list is missing some famous names, such as Glinsky, Sulkevvichi, Tugan-Baranovsky, etc. Despite the fact that the names sound the Polish fashion, although visible Turkic roots (Assanchukovichi, Bargynskie, Karachevichi, Shirinskie), names from the Polish-Lithuanian Tatars, Cossacks were entirely Muslim – Abdrahim, Asan, Azubek, Ahmed Malik, Soltan, Habil, Hussain, etc.
Lithuanian metric XVI century. Also preserved many names Muslim Cossacks: Choban ACAC Yahodcha, Kgonkgene ACAC Menash, Kulchan Dchekish, Mustufa ACAC Bokaichik, Dcharlikgady ACAC Bai Seit, Sipterkgan ACAC Tyukgei, Akgaolla ACAC, Karajan ACAC, Bakgai ACAC Alichelebei, Dchanysh Savribash, Bosan Alia Bish, Allaberdyi Moussa Magmet Skinder Kirk, etc.  Common names element “Agca” – is known Turkic word “yeah” (literally – “Uncle”), meaning “elder.” “Dear,” “respectable” etc. Easily recognizable, and other elements of names – “Seit” ( “Said” – a descendant of the Prophet), “bai” ( “rich”), etc. Come from the Polish-Lithuanian Tatars were active members of the White Movement, General Mohammed Suleimanovich Sulkevich, Colonel Mustafa Yakubovich Sobolewski, etc.
In the XVI century., During the conquest Ermak were already known Cossack units from the Tobol-Irtysh Tatars and other magometyan “.
It should be noted that the “-ethnicity (and confessional – RN) was characterized not only Yaitsky Cossack community, but the Cossack communities of other regions in the period of their origin and formation” . At the same time at the end of XVI century. were based on the Terek, such as settlements Cherkasy, Okotskaya, Tatar, Kumyk, Nogai, Novokreschenskaya based Kabardins, Chechens, Kumyks, Nogais, etc. 
The first Muslim Cossacks on the Don were ethnic Nogais of about 120 soldiers (and their families) who have moved to the Lower Don and in 1623 received a g.dobrovolno Cossacks – under the condition of maintaining their faith. Donets, called them “Don Tatarova”, “our Tatarova” … Their main service was intelligence – monitoring the local Turkic-speaking nomadic tribes. Over time, the Muslim community grew, and in 1687 near Cherkassy Tatar village was founded. In 1802 it already had 117 homes and 1 mosque.
Widely known and Institute of Tatars. Servitor Tatar prince (and those were many – Daniyar, Jani Beg, Qasim, Nurdaulet, Jakub, etc.) had to be on the Russian war with all its “Ulan, Murzas and all the Cossacks.” Of Tatars – not so much national-ethnic category, how much service, military category. Officials did not specifically distinguish between nationality and writes of Tatars not only the Tatars, but taken at the service of the Bashkir, Chuvash, Udmurt, Mordovians, Mari . For the first time the name “of Tatars” appeared only in 1520-ies. Prior to that, the sources servitors of the Tatars mainly in the Cossacks. Known noble Tatar family of Cossack commanders – Princes Deberskie, Edelevy, Irziny, Poschazarskie, Romodanovsky, etc. 
Close to the Tatars, the Cossacks were a group Mechsherskie (Mishar) Cossacks. Cossacks Mechsherskie (they Meshchora, they also Mishars) – Meschera residents of the area (south-east of modern Moscow, Ryazan, Vladimir partially, Penza, Tambov, and further north to the middle Volga region), centered in the town of Kasimov, amounting in the future people Kasimov Tatars and Russian subethnos Meshchora. Mills mescherskie were scattered throughout the forest-steppe of the upper Oka River and north of the Ryazan principality, were even in the Kolomna district (s Vasilevsky, Tatar Farms, Meshcherins, Kolychevs, Yusupova, as well as Kadomskom and Shatski counties …
Mechsherskie Cossacks – Floor brave the forest-steppe zone, poured later in the riding of Don Cossacks, Kasimov Tatars Meshchora and Russian populations south-east of Moscow, Ryazan, Tambov, Penza province. The term Meschera supposedly has parallels with the word “Mozhar”, “Magyaro”, ie in Arabic means “the fighting man.” Meschersky Cossack village and bordered by the North of the Don Cossacks. Samih Mescheryakov also readily attracted to the sovereign’s policeman and patrol service. Meschera – based tyurkizirovannye Finno-Ugric peoples, assimilated Polovtsy. Note that in hierarchical terms in Kasimov Tatars, Cossacks – link in the chain – Khan, Sultan, lancer, Seit, Beck, Cossack, but in the language of the Kazan Tatars, Cossacks are no words. Mechsherskie Cossacks during the Time of Troubles supported impostors. After the Troubles Patriarch Filaret ordered to drive Meschersky Cossacks from Muscovy. Some of them went to Lithuania, to the Karaites, some settled in the Kostroma region, among Berendeys, where they were considered for the Tatars. Part Kasimov Tatars later became known as Mishar Cossacks, the other part was attributed to the Orenburg Cossack troops and Bashkir. Mishari named in some sources as Gorodetsky (from more than one name, the Kasimov – Gorodets-Meschersky) become Cossacks in many cities of Moscow Russia. Kazakovanie was the natural destination of free pastoralists Mishars. Grand Prince of Moscow Vasily willingly hired Meschersky selil Cossacks and their suburbs in the vicinity of Kolomna. NM Karamzin described the Meschersky Cossacks: “These things name means freebooters riders, Udaltsov, but not the robbers.” Of Meschersky Cossack detachments were formed in support of diplomatic missions in the Crimea, Turkey, Siberia, etc. 
Tales of a significant number of Muslims in the Yaik (Ural) Cossack troops were reported AI Levshin and AS Pushkin. It was reported that a detachment of Basil Gugni of 30 people initially was 1 Tatar, but later the number of his fellow steadily increased. As noted AS Pushkin, “Granny Gugniha” told me that “with the Cossacks, its prisoners, when it connects many Tatars” . According to the Census 1718-1724, in the Ural Cossacks Cossacks were 6% of non-Slavic origin, primarily – Tatar and Bashkir 
According to the decree of Empress Elizabeth on July 27, 1744 on enrolling in the Orenburg Cossack army all the strangers who have settled in a fortress of Orenburg Province, “Cossack status were Nogai, who joined the Muslim army group.
According to the PS Yaitsky Pallas visited the town in 1769, the Cossacks were many “non-baptized Tatars and kizelbashey (Turkmens and Karakalpaks)” .
In 1765 in the Ural Cossacks were Muslims – an army sergeant Mavlekey Itsmagulov, commander of the 31-th Tatar hundreds Sapar Almetev captain, lieutenant and Abdullah Amin Karaganov Memekov, podhorunzhie and police officials Kambar Asanov, Kunmurza Asanov, Khalil Asanov, Satbay Asanov, Abdullah Asanov Cossacks Aptakarim Tangai, Murtaza Tataryn, Asan Muhanaev, Kurgan Ilbibaev, etc. 
Ethnographer AI Nazarov conducted a thorough historical and linguistic analysis and identified a very large reservoir of the Ural Cossack names (from the end of XVIII and the beginning of XX century.), A large portion (more than 300 names) obviously Turkic-Muslim origin: Abdrakhmanov Abdrashitov, Abdulgafarov, Abdulkadyrov, Baytullin, Bekaraslanov, Bektimirov, Vagapov, Vakhitov, Gabaidullin, Gainullin, Dzhaynbaev, Jangaly, Dzhanaliev, Dzhangulov, Dzhanzakov, Dzhanturlin, Zhenaliev, Zhuldaev, Zainetdinov, Zubair, Iskenderov, Ismailov, Kenzhebek, Kunakbaev, Mansurov, Menlibaev, Murzarahimov, Muhammad, Nasyrov, Nigmatullin, Rahimberdin, Rakhmankulov, Satybaev, Seitov, Suleimanov, Tahmatullin, Tuhtamishev, Uzbeks, Urazayev, Faizullin, Fatkullin, Hazimuratov, Khamitov, Shamil, Sharipov, Yusupov, etc. 
At the end of XVIII century. on the left bank of the Don was settled 30 thousand Nogai, included with part of the Cossack class, as well as representatives of other Turkic ethnic groups (Turks, Crimean Tatars, Volga Tatars, etc.) 
In the late XVIII – early XIX centuries. the Caucasus formed the village of Alexandria, Grivenskaya, Lukovskaya, Novo-Ossetian, Chernoyarskaya, Shelkovskaya and others, the main population of whom were mountaineers, the Cossacks, who were also many in Kizlyar, Ter town, etc.  (Russia Caucasus. M., 2007. S.). The main Muslim groups were among the Cossacks and Tatars, Nogai – on-Don, representatives of the peoples of the Adyghe (Circassians, Shapsugs, etc.) – in the Kuban region, representatives of mountain peoples (Vainakhs, Ossetians, Kumyk, etc.) – on the Terek [21 ].
In paragraph 43 of the Charter on the management of foreigners “from 22.07.1822, the said:” The Cossack regiments from the nomadic, for the preservation of boundaries drawn up, completed as usual, “. Thus, it was noted that there were whole regiments, composed of “aliens”. However, not all of them were Muslims, it was quite a lot of Buddhists (Kalmykia, Buryatia), Gentile (Evenki, Finno-Ugric tribes, etc.). But the Muslims made up a significant percentage.
Thus, in the North Caucasian Cossacks, as well as in the Don, Volga, Ural, Orenburg, Siberia, formally adopted person of the Muslim, Buddhist and other faiths “.
Along with Russian-language schools in the Cossack regions set up schools for children from the Cossack Tatars, Bashkir, Nogai, etc. The opening of such institutions was dictated by the fact that Cossacks were Muslims who joined the army kept their customs and did not know Russian language, making it difficult for them communicate the Cossacks.