How Tatar language taught in mosques

One hundred prayer houses of the Republic of Tatarstan have launched language courses

How Tatar language taught in mosques
Photo: dumrt.ru

One hundred mosques in Tatarstan (45 of them in Kazan) have opened Tatar language courses since October. The Muslims of the republic decided to celebrate the centenary of the TASSR with the good undertaking. The correspondent of Realnoe Vremya watched the study between prayers.

Polylingual madrassas

Similar language lessons have been held in Tatarstan for already several years. Besides, many mosques also offer courses in Arabic and the basics of the Koran, which can be attended by several hundred people.

The demand for learning the Tatar language is lower. For example, in 2019-2020, 436 people received certificates of completion of courses at 20 mosques. In total, 1,327 people have graduated from them since 2018.

The correspondent of Realnoe Vremya attended the organisational meeting in the oldest mosque in the city of Mardzhani. More than 20 people, mostly women, gathered in one of the halls for the celebrations. The imam of the mosque, Ansar hazrat Miftakhov, soon found out that three of them came to the Tatar courses, but then added that many were interested in them and promised to come to the first lesson when they made up the schedule. After a brief argument, the first lesson was scheduled for Tuesday, October 6, from six to eight in the evening.

Similar language lessons have been held in Tatarstan for already several years. Photo: dumrt.ru

One of the girls who came for the course does not raise her hands when praying — later she explains that she came here for learning the Tatar language, because it will help her in her work, she works in a bank. It is interesting that in some mosques only elderly people come to such courses, but here there were mostly young people.

A significant number of applicants are interested in the basics of Islam and the Arabic language. They are held in Russian, where people are taught to read the Koran and given the necessary knowledge about religion. The hazrat recommends that students pay attention to the books Fen Tajwid and Mogallim Seni (they give the rules for reading the Arabic language and the Koran). By the way, for those who prefer to study during the day, separate classes are held during the day, but only for women — they are conducted by local abystais.

Those who study Tatar will be given textbooks published in the Khuzur publishing house, and in softcover in A4 format. The 200-page book provides the necessary knowledge of vocabulary, spoken language, and grammar. Its authors are the head of the Department of Tatar Language and Ethnic Culture at the Russian Islamic Institute, Rafilya Gimazova, and researcher Venera Garipova-Khasanshina. The topics — “Greeting. Acquaintance. The etiquette of conversation”, “Family. Home. Parents”, “Days of the week. Seasons. Time” and others.

The courses finish in April. They are held on Kayuma Nasyri Street, 20 — there, for example, deaf-mutes are taught the basics of Islam. Photo: 2gis.com

Adults learn more than school children

After all the dates are set, Ansar hazrat talks about the process (and constantly switches from Tatar to Russian and back, even within the same sentence): “This training is voluntary, no one will scold you for not doing your homework or for being 5 minutes late.”

The courses finish in April. They are held on Kayuma Nasyri Street, 20 — there, for example, deaf-mutes are taught the basics of Islam. It is interesting that the building of the madrasah does not belong the mosque now, but it is not yet closed according to the papers. Everyone who wants to go on a tour of the mosque and find out, in particular, that now the adhan in it is voiced not with the help of amplifiers, but directly from the minaret, as before. The khazrat talks in detail about cafes and other objects that bring income to the mosque. “We pay communal services alone up to 800-900 thousand rubles a month," he explains many sources of profit.

It is interesting that this amount of training exceeds the standards of school education, where now the Tatar language is taught for one hour, usually as the last lesson on Saturday, at the choice of parents. Exceptions — the second gymnasium, in fact, the only one in Kazan, where all knowledge is still given in Tatar. The new poly-lingual school Adymnar last week twice got into the media in connection with the statement of activist Ekaterina Matveeva, who said that this school does not enroll children registered in the district but who do not speak Tatar. Adymnar teaches three languages, and its feature is that the school undertakes to give some disciplines in all three languages.

Leron says that she met with different reactions — some parents passed by, while others, on the contrary, at first did not believe in the story that preceded the picket, and then expressed words of support. Photo: evening-kazan.ru

Matveeva was answered by blogger Leyla Leron, who held a single picket at the school with a poster “Polylingual school — from the word 'poly', which means 'a lot”. For those who don't want to speak perfect Tatar, there is a bilingual school and tens of thousands of schools all over the country. Hands off Shaimiev's school!” Leron says that she met with different reactions — some parents passed by, while others, on the contrary, at first did not believe in the story that preceded the picket, and then expressed words of support.

However, information about the school's refusal to enroll children who do not speak Tatar has not been confirmed. Matveeva's statement was denied to Realnoe Vremya by two unrelated pairs of parents who had no problems sending their children to Adymnar, even though they did not speak the Tukay's language at all.

By Radif Kashapov
Tatarstan