Nisab rate, costly food, coronavirus: what main jubilee iftar in Tatarstan will be like

Electronic tickets, free suburban train and a more expensive package of food for evening meal — Realnoe Vremya is offering the details of the upcoming 10th republican iftar, which will be at Kazan Expo international exhibition centre on 30 April.

From stadium to exhibition centre

The first republican iftar (breaking the fast, an evening meal during Ramadan) was in Kazan on 6 August 2011 — then it was held at Millennium Square and called Ramadan 2011 hosting more than 1,500 participants. The next one was only in 2014. Iftar used to be held at Kazan Arena stadium (Ak Bars Arena now) for several years. Due to sporting events in 2017-2018, it moved to the Tennis Academy to return to the stadium in 2019.

The event in 2020 became a challenge when iftar was held with delivery to one’s home — this offer lasted during Ramadan when volunteers daily prepared 1,000 lunchboxes and handed them over to Zakat charity fund of the Tatarstan Muslim Religious Directorate, imams of Kazan mosques and religious centres of Tatarstan districts to give them to the needy. In 2021, Eid al-Fitr took place after a tragedy in School No. 175 in Kazan, which was during iftar. At the same time, iftar was held at Kazan Expo for the first time, again, in mourning: just 3,500 participants, a sermon condemning the crime, a minute of silence.

The jubilee iftar will be on 30 April, under the aegis of the 1,100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam in Volga Bulgaria, again, at Kazan Expo. The event is designed for 10,000 people (Editor’s note: a record of 15,000 was set in 2019).

“A religious person remembers he or she is a part of Islam’s ummah during the meal,” noted First Vice Mufti of Tatarstan Hazrat Ilfar Khasanov. “Religious people, people who share our religion get acquainted, talk, first of all, eat spiritual food, the faith in the Creator gets stronger.”

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One can get to Kazan Expo in two suburban trains from the railway station at 16.45 and 17.40. The runs back are at 21.15 and 23.00. The most curious detail is that iftar tickets will be electronic. Moreover, they can be obtained in regional centres of the Tatarstan Muslim Religious Directorate, at Kazan mosques and residency of the directorate.

“Electronic tickets were introduced for guests’ convenience,” said head of the directorate’s administration Irek Arslanov. “Especially for those who live in remote districts so that they won’t have to come and to prevent tickets from being copied, which used to be thousands, not even tens.”

500 volunteers are involved in the organisation of iftar who will in particular will help to put the table, wash fruits and vegetables, hand over water, see off guests. The organisers indicate that everybody can join them by calling at +7 (843) 237-86-18 or on Telegram channel

The menu includes 2 tonnes of beef, 1 tonne of rice, 1,5 tonnes of vegetables, 1 tonne of fruits, 1 tonne of dried fruits, 600 kg of chak-chak, 600 kg of biscuit and so on. A product set has become 100 rubles more expensive over the year and now costs 600 rubles. The budget of the event totals 6 million rubles.

Not only the cost of the treat has changed. Due to the change in the price for gold and silver, the directorate has changed the amount of nisab (the minimum amount) several times to pay Zakat (Islamic tax) and Zakat al-Fitr (alms-giving during Ramadan). For instance, if 426,275 rubles of Zakat had to be paid as of 19 April, on 20 April, it was 423,980 rubles. Moreover, nisab for Zakat al-Fitr didn’t change so suddenly, it was about 36,000 rubles. Also, before the evening, participants will listen to religious songs and sermons, there will be organised a halal market with 15 producers and Modest Fashion Show for women.

Anti-COVID-19 measures stay in force, stressed First Vice Director General of Kazan Expo Igor Astafyev — with masks, sanitisers and bactericidal lamps.

Radif Kashapov

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