Religion during the city rise period
Gradually the heathenism, though its remains were met for a long time, was replaced by Islam. In 922 it became the official religion of the Volga Bulgary. It happened so because the Bulgars needed support of the Baghdad caliphate in their struggle against the Khazars. After Bulgars had accepted new faith, they found a strong ally and strengthened their relations with Eastern countries. Al-Gardizi wrote that already in the XI century the heathens of Bulgary had to prostrate themselves to every Moslem. That testifies to the fact that Islam was the predominant religion in that period, - the historian Niyaz Khalit wrote in his book “The Mosques of Kazan”.
By the end of the X century Islam had become such an important religion in Bulgary, that Bulgars even suggested that Russia might also accept their faith. Russian annals of this period say the following: “In the year 6494 (986) Bulgars came to the prince Vladimir. They told him: “You are wise and clever, Prince. Believe in our God and bow to Bokhmit (Magomet)”. And asked Vladimir: “Tell me about your faith and your God”. And they said: “We believe in God and Bokhmit teaches us to perform a, not to eat pork and drink no wine. And after death Bokhmit will give to each of us 70 beautiful girls to satisfy our desires. He will choose the most beautiful one and give her all the beauty of these 70 girls, and she will be your wife…” Vladimir was pleased to hear it, as he was a loving man. But he disliked the idea of circumcision and prohibition to eat pork. And as for the wine-drinking, he said: “Wine-drinking is great merriment in Russia, we can’t do without it” (PVL, p. 257-258).