Kamil Samigullin: ''Any speech of khazrat is already a counteraction to extremism''

The conference of Muslim professors in Bolgar: without Iskhakov and Mukhametshin, ‘’civic’’ wishes of Arab professors and the echoes of ‘’Grozny fatwas’’

Kamil Samigullin: ''Any speech of khazrat is already a counteraction to extremism'' Photo: Timur Rakhmatullin

The 5th international forum of professors of the madrasahs has recently been held in Bolgar. Mufti Kamil Samigullin had to take the rap for absent at the plenary meeting ''VIPs''. About the monologues of speakers instead of the exchange of views, new Arab people of the Bolgarian Islamic Academy, the echoes of the ''Grozny fatwas'' and the interests of the Republic of Tatarstan — read in the material of a Realnoe Vremya correspondent, who attended the conference.

Using sermon against extremism

The 5th international forum of professors of Muslim educational institutions has recently finished in Tatarstan. The platform for large Majlis, which was first held in 2012, for the first time was the Bolgarian Islamic Academy. The participation of a Professor of the famous Egyptian University Al-Azhar Ismail Bolbol gave the event an ''international'' character. The rest of the professors represented Tatarstan madrassas and universities. Probably, that is why most of the speeches were given in the Tatar language.

Chairperson of the Muslim Spiritual Board of Tatarstan Kamil Samigullin once again expressed hope that in the walls of the Bolgarian Islamic Academy they would have the opportunity to take the religious education at high level, and the world would have new Muslim theologians of the level of Mardzhani, Barudi and Fakhretdin.

''We have professors-lecturers, we have shakirds [students], we have material support,'' noted the mufti in conversation with the press. ''It is only necessary to have patience for our theologians in order to achieve the world level, in order there was no need to go abroad. Now we have such opportunity to educate scientists.''

Kamil Samigullin once again expressed hope that in the walls of the Bolgarian Islamic Academy they would have the opportunity to take the religious education at high level, and the world would have new Muslim theologians of the level of Mardzhani, Barudi and Fakhretdin

One of the pressing issues raised in almost every Muslim official conference is combating religious extremism.

''Any speech of the khazrat is already a counteraction against extremism,'' highlighted Kamil khazrat. ''There are various methods of dealing with pernicious influences: sometimes you can show by example, talking about love, about the prophet. Each lesson is a kind of combating extremism.''

Vivant professores

Foreign faculty of the Islamic Academy were first introduced to the society at the forum.

''We have a list of professors. We already have regular scientists. For example, Professor Ismail Bolbol is a Doctor from Al-Azhar, Abderazzak As-Saidi, Hamdallah As-Safti and other professors. Many of them are living in Kazan. In order to enrich the curriculum, scientists from different countries of the world will come to give a course of lectures,'' said the mufti, answering the question to Realnoe Vremya.

What is more, four or five professors will stay in Bolgar permanently. Besides, there will be brought professors from secular Russian universities, who will give lectures to young khazrats on History of the country, the Tatar language and other sciences.

By the way, the above mentioned Doctor of Islamic Sciences and Arabic Philology Ismail Bolbol will give lectures in the Academy on fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), the science of usul-fiqh (sources of Islamic law), hadith (the study of the sayings and actions of prophet Muhammad) and the Quran studies. He has already acquainted with the students of the bachelors and doctoral students and assessed whether students are ready for learning and research.

''The degree of bachelors I assess not very high, at about 65-70%,'' suddenly said the Professor to media representatives. ''Although, perhaps, this is a good level for young men. Our duty as professors is to help to increase this level, to raise the quality of education.''

Ismail Bolbol will give lectures in the academy on fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), the science of usul-fiqh (sources of Islamic law), hadith (the study of the sayings and actions of prophet Muhammad) and the Quran studies

The correspondent of Realnoe Vremya reminded the scientist of the bureaucratic delay associated with the Palestinian citizenship of the Professor and the confirmation of the foreign diploma. It turned out that it is not so critical as it seemed at first.

''There is a little problem,'' he agreed. ''As you know, in Palestine there often occur armed clashes, and it was difficult to bring the papers from my homeland. But many of the difficulties we have already overcome. The necessary procedures for obtaining working visas in Russia and the recognition of the diploma has completed, the papers are ready. Everything else is also solvable.''

Sheikh Ismail added that he would soon go to Egypt to get the visa to work in Russia during the year and admitted that he wanted to stay here for a long time.

''I already love this land, beautiful places and wonderful people!'' he was deeply moved.

''Maybe, in this case why don't you get a Russian citizenship?'' suggested our reporter.

''Inshallah (if Allah wills), I'm always ready,'' with a mysterious smile replied the interlocutor.

Another foreigner, Abderazzak As-Saidi, for already several months has lived in Bolgar. This descendant of the prophet Muhammad helped Iskhakov and Mukhametshin to establish the educational process at the alma mater of future alims. By the way, earlier the rector of the academy confirmed to Realnoe Vremya that As-Saidi was obtaining the citizenship of the Russian Federation.

The republic is interested in the stability of the Ummah and countering those radical movements that are trying to get to the region, said Marat Khisameyev

The interests of the republic

Pro-rector on educational work of the academy Said (Damir) Shagaviev in his speech drew attention to the issues of forming common fatwas and collective statements of Islamic scholars. So, in 2004 it was issued the Amman Declaration, in which Muslim scholars responded to three questions: 1) Who is the Muslim? 2) Is it permissible to make Takfir (accuse of unbelief)? 3) Who has the right to issue fatwas (religious resolution)?

He also remembered the conference in Grozny in 2016, when it was adopted the notorious ''Grozny fatwa'', which caused an ambiguous reaction in the Muslim society and even almost quarreled the spiritual bodies. We will remind, that time the Tatarstan Muftiyat agreed with the conclusions made in the capital of Chechnya.

''There was so much fuss and scandal because of the fatwas,'' said Said khazrat. ''It is enough to read the decisions of the conference in Arabic: one that went ''to the world'', it should cause no problems. But how many of fitna (turmoil) has been done because of it. The Amman Message and the ''Grozny Fatwa'' are dedicated to different things, and you should not compare them.''

The head of the management on interaction with religious associations of the Department of Tatarstan President on domestic policy Marat Khisameev said Salam from the head of the office of the head of the republic Asgat Safarov. The official in his speech stressed that regional authorities create all conditions in order the khazrats had everything they needed.

''You have a great responsibility for the upbringing of the elite of the Muslim Ummah who needs religious knowledge,'' said Marat Ramilevich to the audience. ''The republic is interested in the stability of the Ummah and countering those radical movements that are trying to get to the region. Here, we see you as allies, so that through your knowledge the students understood the correct meaning of the Quran and the teaching that the prophet gave us.''

According to the speaker, the Bolgarian Islamic Academy is the center that should significantly develop religious education in our country.

In the framework of the meeting Kamil khazrat Samigullin presented diplomas and scholarships to the best students of madrassas and distinguished the best professors of Islamic educational institutions of Tatarstan.

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By Timur Rakhmatullin. Photo by the author