“Shaimiev said that millions of Muslims in Russia need contacts with the Islamic world”

The merits of the first president of Tatarstan remembered at the meeting of the Russia — Islamic World Strategic Vision Group

“Shaimiev said that millions of Muslims in Russia need contacts with the Islamic world” Photo: Timur Rakhmatullin

The fifth meeting of the Russia — Islamic World Strategic Vision Group took place in Ufa. The plenary part will be held today, and the day before there was a kind of rehearsal. Read about how Tatarstan found itself the centre of attention in the Bashkir capital, what are the merits of Mintimer Shaimiev and what Bashkirs smell like in the report of the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya.

In memory of Karim Khakimov

The fifth meeting of the Russia — Islamic World Strategic Vision Group headed by President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov has taken place in Ufa. This year the forum is held under the title ‘To the 50th anniversary of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Interfaith harmony: the experience of Russia and the OIC member states’.

Supreme Mufti, Chairman of the Central Muslim Spiritual Board of Russia Talgat Tadzhuddin, Rector of the Russian Islamic Institute Artur Suleymanov and their entourage, shivering from the frost and cold wind near the building of the Russian Islamic University of the Central Muslim Spiritual Board of Russia, were waiting for the guests. On the outer wall of the university building, a memorial plaque was opened to the first plenipotentiary representative of Soviet Russia in the Arab countries, Karim Khakimov. Before the revolution, this building housed the madrasah ‘Galiya’, where in 1910-1911 the future ‘Red Pasha’ studied.

The opening ceremony was attended by religious figures of Russia, foreign diplomats, officials, public figures and relatives of Khakimov. The great-niece of the diplomat, Zarema Gindullina, was also seen. There was also another distant relative of Karim Khakimov — the famous Bashkir publicist Shamil Valeev, who heads the apparatus of the Public Сhamber of Bashkortostan.

On the outer wall of the university building, a memorial plaque was installed to the first plenipotentiary representative of Soviet Russia in the Arab countries, Karim Khakimov

“A whole galaxy of outstanding politicians and cultural figures of Russia studied in this madrassah. Khakimov was one of the brightest shakirds. This memorial tablet is dedicated to the bright memory of the diplomat. His name is remembered and respected in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and other countries of the Muslim world,” said the supreme mufti.

After the plaque was ceremonially unveiled, everyone went to be photographed on the porch of the Islamic University. At the board, there left only relatives — Gindullinaa and Valeev who silently put flowers under the plaque.

Karim Khakimov made a significant contribution to the establishment of relations between the Russian Soviet Republic and the Muslim East. Thanks to his support, the State of Saud (present-day Saudi Arabia) was formed. He was arrested in 1937 and shot a year later. This was a blow to the friendship of the Soviet Country with the Muslim East. The play Red Pasha was staged, books were written, a documentary was filmed in honour of Khakimov. In Bashkiria, the conference Khakim Readings is held annually.

What do Bashkirs smell like?

Besides, two other Russian political figures were remembered on this day, thanks to whom our country's relations with the Islamic world experienced a renaissance. Yevgeny Primakov and Mintimer Shaimiev were at the origins of the Russia — Islamic World Strategic Vision Group. In the congress hall Toratau, where the working session of the forum was held, documentaries about them were shown. There is also held a photo exhibition dedicated to them.

It should be noted that Ufa was chosen as a host for this conference for a reason. Head of Bashkiria Radiy Khabirov offered his services for holding the meeting. And Minnikhanov agreed. By the way, some journalists expected the arrival of Ramzan Kadyrov, but the plans of the Chechen leader did not include Ufa on those days. Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko, who was expected here, also did not come.

The most important achievement of Russia, according to Abdulatipov, is that everyone, regardless of ethnic and religious affiliation, feels herself of himself a full-fledged citizen of the country

“The experience of Bashkortostan on interfaith and interethnic cooperation would be useful for members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,” said the special representative of the Russian Federation to the OIC Ramazan Abdulatipov in an interview with the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya. “We have something to exchange, we have something to share and something to learn. With all the contradictions of our history, we have ensured the coexistence of our peoples and religions in a single state.”

The most important achievement of Russia, according to him, is that everyone, regardless of ethnic and religious affiliation, feels himself or herself a full-fledged citizen of the country. He made a compliment to the inhabitants of Bashkiria.

“Ufa is an ancient civilization. I always repeat (the words of Leo Tolstoy — editor’s note): “The Bashkirs smell of Herodotus.” Here is an interesting experience, very beautiful people. It is important for us to show not only Moscow and St. Petersburg, but also our regions,” Abdulatipov added.

A little of Tatarstan in the centre of Ufa

Perhaps, the largest delegation was from Tatarstan. There were Mufti Kamil Samigullin with other representatives of the Muslin Spiritual Board of Tatarstan, Rector of the Bolgar Islamic Academy Daniyar Abdrakhmanov (although he is a “Tatar” only recently, previously the head of the academy had worked in Ufa), Director of Khuzur publishing house Rishat Khamidullin, Metropolitan Feofan (Ashurkov) and Kazan journalists.

Moreover, the exhibition of Tatarstan Investment Development Agency was organized in the congress hall. Along the walls, there are stands announcing the upcoming KazanSummit 2020. As Ramazan Abdulatipov said during his speech, the forum in the capital of Tatarstan would be held “most likely in March”. It will probably be the earliest Russia-Islamic World economic summit of the year. In past years, KazanSummit was held between April and June, with the exception of 2013, when it was held in October.

Metropolitan Feofan spoke also about Tatarstan and Shaimiev, once again reminding that “the republic is a laboratory of interreligious peace and cooperation’

Khuzur publishing house also presented its products. The stand offered books in Russian, Tatar and Arabic. For example, the latest novelty — the tafsir (the translation of the meanings of the Koran) Qalam Sharif. Another pride of the Muslim Spiritual Board of Tatarstan (MSB RT) is the treatise Kitab Al-Tawhid (The Book of the Unity of God) by theologian Abu Mansur al-Maturidi.

Many foreign guests and Russian representatives proudly noted that they were friends with Mintimer Shaimiev, not forgetting to pay compliments to the first president of Tatarstan. For example, former Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu noted that it was the Tatarstan leader who helped him to ascertain that Russia would become a reliable partner of the OIC.

“Mr Shaimiev told me that millions of Muslims in Russia need such contacts with Islamic countries,” Ihsanoglu said. “In the end, Russia became our observer. And when we held a forum in Sanaa, Shaimiev called me and invited to the opening of a mosque in Tatarstan. I said I was going to be in Yemen that days. And he sent a plane for me. For one day, I flew to Kazan, where the famous Kul-Sharif Mosque was built, and after the opening, I was taken back to Sanaa.”

Metropolitan Feofan also spoke about Tatarstan and Shaimiev, once again reminding that “the republic is a laboratory of interreligious peace and cooperation”.

From MSB RT — to ‘Bashkir brothers’

Another religious figure of Tatarstan, Mufti Kamil Samigullin, was also given the floor. His speech was devoted to the presentation of the tafsir Kalyam Shareef. The Translation of the Meanings in Russian. Let us remind that a month earlier, Kamil khazrat presented in Moscow a similar work, only in the Tatar language (Kalam Sharif. Megnevi Terzheme).

The mufti noted that the spiritual administration attracted more than 40 specialists to work on the book. According to him, they took into account the mistakes of other translators, most of whom were not Muslims.

The mufti noted that the spiritual administration has attracted more than 40 specialists to work on the book

According to the Chairman of the MSB RT, this publication will be of interest to the general public of Russia. The same presentation is taking place in a week in Makhachkala.

Samigullin presented the first copy of the book to the Bolgar Islamic Academy, handing the publication to Daniyar Abdrakhmanov. He also gave attention to the co-religionists of Bashkortostan. He handed the sources of the tafsir (the files) over to the chairman-mufti of the MSB RT Aynur Birgalin.

“The related to us people lives in Bashkiria. We have almost the same language with the Bashkirs — we can easily understand each other,” said Kamil khazrat, handing the gift to the Ummah of Bashkortostan.

He added that the initiatives of the Tatarstan muftiat can be adopted by the “Bashkir brothers”, including in the preparation of translations of the Holy Scripture into their native language. Aynur Bergelin thanked the colleagues from Kazan for such a gift.

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By Timur Rakhmatullin. Author’s photos
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