Imam Shamil rose to be one of the Muslim nation’s prominent jihad icons in the 19th century. It took him thirty years to force the Russians out of most of the Caucasian land. The news of his victories spread across the Europe and his feats became celebrated symbols for suppressed nations. This provoked the Russians who mobilized 300,000 soldiers and launched attacks on every front until they succeeded in capturing him in 1859.
Imam Shamil tried to obtain the support of the Ottoman Caliphate, representative of Muslim Nation’s leadership. Yet, he never received this support throughout the entire period of his warring with the Russians, which lasted for 25 years.
After ten years of imprisonment in Russia, Imam Shamil was allowed to travel to Hijaz to perform Hajj before he passed away. The Turkish Sultan did Imam Shamil the honor of receiving him upon his arrival in Istanbul. It is said that when the Sultan extended his hand to shake Imam Shamil’s, the latter said: “I waited for twenty five years in the Caucasus for this hand to come to my aid.”