The speech of Mufti Muhammad Tadzhuddinov the Chairman of the Russian Muslim Spiritual Board of the Republic of Bashkortostan (RSBM RB), at the scientific and practical conference dedicated to the 225th anniversary of the CMSB of Russia

The speech of Mufti Muhammad Tadzhuddinov the Chairman of the Russian Muslim Spiritual Board of the Republic of Bashkortostan (RSBM RB), at the scientific and practical conference dedicated to the 225th anniversary of the CMSB of Russia 10.22.2013

Dear President of the Republic of Bashkortostan Rustem Zakievich!

Dear participants and guests of the anniversary celebrations!

Dear brothers and sisters!

I cordially welcome you on behalf of Russian CRDM (Central religious department of muslims, «TSDUM»), its regional spiritual departments and hundredsofthousands of Muslims of our immenseMotherland!

I wish you all peace, mercy of the Almighty Creator and His grace!

Thank God for the blessed opportunity to gather together to celebrate a significant historic event for the Russian social and cultural space ‒ the 225th anniversary of the foundation of the «Orenburg Spiritual Assembly of the Mohammedan law»

On behalf of Muslims, originally forming an inseparable part of the Russian community, I want to express my gratitude to the Supreme leadership of our country and of the Republic of Bashkortostan for the decision to conduct our anniversary celebrations at a high national level, for their invaluable support in organizing and conducting the celebrations.

We consider such support and participation in our celebrations as a clear evidence of a profound understanding of the importance of the positive, constructive role of the Muslim community, not only in the general historical process of our homeland, but also in today's Russian community... as aappreciation of creative contribution of Islamic community to socio-economic and civilizational development of our country, to the harmonization of interethnic and interreligious relations in the blessed land of our Motherland.

The grace of the Heavenly Revelations of God's Word was perceived by our ancestors more than 14 centuries ago, deeply rooted in the minds of later generations who tenderly carried the torch of the Faith in their hearts and minds as the greatest value of their life in this world. Islam defined civilizational vector of historical path of development of many peoples of Russia for many centuries ahead. Thanks to strong Faith, devotion to values of traditional Islam, they managed to preserve their mentality, unique culture and national identity in very difficult conditions of social upheaval and political turmoil, the tragic events that fell to their share.

Faith in God has never died, and today we continue to see its first duty to Him in the careful preservation of the living historical continuity with our blessed predecessors, whose great tradition we must transmit undistorted to future generations.

In the harmonious regulation of the Faith of our blessed ancestors and the realities of modern life, we serve our great God blessed motherland Russia. We give our labour and energy of creation to its development and prosperity, we actively participate in the approval of the stable social life, based on the principles of social justice and social partnership - the principles of on which Islam is based also, and our deep awareness that there isn’t any other way, comes not only from our Faith, but also from the historical experience, that we achieved through suffering together with all the peoples of our country.

We have shared and share joys and sorrows with all the peoples of Russia for over a thousand years of our history as Muslims, and more than four years as the subjects and citizens of the Russian state. The common root of Monotheism, which forms the traditional religions of our homeland, Russian unity as the total for all of us Russian House, have created the dominant vector of historical life of our unique multi-ethnic community as the way of peace and good neighborliness, the basic foundation of our motherland have always been religious tolerance and mutual respect. This dominant vector by the will of Almighty has safeguarded Russia from falling into interfaith wars.

And there is no need to prove how we should all hold sacred the great spiritual traditions of our nationwide home, we should give a decisive rebuff to attempts to disrupt, or even more so - to destroy them.

And this danger manifests itself more visible and sharper. And it is connected primarily with things which total globalism has brought and continues to bring to nations, it weans people from distinguishing good from evil,erase from their consciousness the notion of sin. And it is not by chance that Religion is becoming more and more an object of destructive expansion of globalism, because only it can give to a person a true representation of good, evil and sin as absolute notion, rather than relative, losing its borders by an arrogant will of the people and freely flowing into each other.

Only blessed healing power of the Faith can reliably protect both individuals and entire nations against such ideological destruction... Only faith as nothing else is able to harmonize the relationship between the individual, society and state. Only it can save the sanctity of such notion as patriotism. «Love for the Motherland ‒ from Faith» ‒ that is, from the true Faith ‒ said the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This love helped Muslims for centuries with the rest of the Russian peoples to keep and protect the sacred land of our beloved homeland.

The spiritual aspect of modern Russia, is unthinkable without Islam and Muslims. Islam is a powerful spiritual incentive and moral factor of being of many nations of the modern Russian community, Islam continues to maintain its historic role as one of the most important foundations, on which originally based and - praise be to God! – continues to base the Russian State.

And today, when happens very difficult, but immensely blessed return of Russia to its ancestral roots, for all of us is extremely important again curiously peer into our highly instructive historical past, comparing it with our current life and our future plans. We must learn from the examples of those of our predecessors, who were able to embody their thoughts into concrete great achievements, aimed at strengthening the sovereign power and prosperity of the Russian State.

The far-seeing policy of Catherine II towards Muslim peoples of the Russian Empire is unfading example of these achievements... specifically ‒ her decree of June 17, 1773 «On the tolerance of all faiths and the prohibition of bishops to intrude into matters relating to the heterodox confessions, and on building houses of worship according to their law, giving all this to secular rulers».

Praise be to God! ‒ This outstanding by its historical significance document approved Tolerance in Russia as one of the main pillars of its policy as a multinational and multi-confessional State. Catherine II in her «Mandate» accurately marked objective reasons, which make any other approaches unacceptable for Russia: «Prohibiting of different faiths would be very detrimental to the peace and security of citizens in such a great state, distributing its possession above so many different nations» – was said in the «Mandate».

And the decree of Catherine II of 22 September 1788 on the establishment in Ufa «Orenburg Religious Assembly of the Mohammedan law» was the logical conclusion in practice of this policy. As a result, the Russian State, which had its basis in Orthodoxy became a truly open to other faiths and cultures.

New government policy towards Islam allowed Russian Muslims to create their officially recognized structure: the organization, which has jurisdiction over all problems of confessional life of Russian Muslims. For the first time they were admitted to social charity activities, guided by the requirements of Islamic law ‒ Sharia.

Recognition and legalization of parish Muslim clergy and the establishment of a special Russian ReligiousDepartment of Muslims led to a number of changes in the regulatory framework of state-religion relations, followed by a confident adaptation of Islam in the imperial legal space. Management of the religious life of the Muslim population is now was carried out by adopting local laws, departmental regulations, circulars, as well as publications of fatwas by Orenburg mufti.

Creating the Religious Assembly permitted to streamline the religious life of the Russian Muslims on the one hand, on the other to adapt the «Muslim question» to those existing at that time realities of the state-religious relations. The new policy towards Muslims became a turning point in the history of Islam in Russia, one of the most important of its pages. All this certainly contributed to the strengthening of peace and mutual understanding between the followers of traditional religions of our country, laid the foundation for mutual respect between them.

Moreover, Muslim life finally established itself as one of the brightest signs of spiritual life in Russia, continuing to have a significant impact on the development of its unique civilization, the main components of which became Orthodox and Muslim culture.

Co-existence in a single homeland predetermined by Gods will, prescribes to strengthen peace and good neighborliness. And precisely owing to this divine promise, a unique community of Russian peoples was formed, the main principle of tolerance was crystallized during historically prolonged cohabitation, this principle is reduced to the formula «unity is in diversity». Best representatives of the Russian Muslim community always spoke in support (note - always!) of inviolability of such unity.

The exemplary cooperation between the Central Religious Department of Muslims of Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church is remarkable evidence of this unity, as well as cooperation with other denominations of our Fatherland, especially with those religions doctrinal roots of which go back to a common source of Abrahamic monotheism. «We, - said the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him ) – are Messengers of God, we are children of different mothers, but we have one faith».

Today, our creative interfaith co-working serves the task of constructing a modern civil society as the only real basis for the preservation of our All-Russian joint House for happy living in it generations of its many peoples in future.

We are directed to the preservation and strengthening of the traditional foundations on which stand and must continue to stand Russian society and the Russian state by conserving and enhancing together spiritual succession of generations. Only in this way can protect us and future generations from moral and spiritual degradation of society, to protect it from corrosion of radicalism.

Our common history shows us, that neglect spiritual experience, as fundamental matrix of national life, deprives society and the state of an essential condition for their sustainable development. Praise be to Allah! Not only the Muslims of our country, but as no doubt the majority of Russians in general, understand this truth, and even more importantly Russian authorities at all levels understand it also. Their increasingly proactive desire for strengthening in every way a good and fruitful cooperation with religions rooted in our Fatherland is the evidence of this understanding. As an example is an active cooperation between CRDM of Russia («TSDUM») and number of federal districts, ministries and agencies in the field of social service, spiritual, moral and patriotic education of youth, in shared work in the army and in many other areas of public life.

Today CRDM of Russia unites 25 regional religious departments, regulating activity of nearly two thousand Muslim communities. Their geography is extremely vast and varied: it includes the Far East and Sakhalin, Astrakhan, St. Petersburg and many other regions of our vast country. Praise be to God! ‒ In recent years, we no longer feel the shortage of mosques. Democratic reforms of recent decades have brought positive results.

Thanks to the return of the real freedom of conscience and positive changes in the relationship between state and religion, the religious life of Muslims attained such a degree of freedom for its progressive development, which our fathers and grandfathers, who lived under the Soviet regime, could only dream of. Massive construction of the temple buildings is conducted in New Russia. For example, in Bashkortostan in 1980 was only 16 mosques, today their number has reached 1116, and 20-25 new mosques are opened each year. In Tatarstan in the same 1980, there were only 15 mosques - now their number exceeded 1 300. By efforts of Fund «Revival», headed by our dear Mentimir Shaymiev, is restored the historical cradle of Russian Islam ancient Bulgars.

Almost all of our Muslims citizens have a real opportunity for their cherished dream ‒ to go to Hajj which is prescribed by the Holy Quran, to go to the holy sites - Mecca and Medina. One of the seven Russian Islamic universities established in recent years is opened by the Russian CRDM.

Pleasing to us examples of impressive successes of Russian Muslims can not, however, allow us to forget about our problems which should be solved. One of the most important is undoubtedly the task of restoring the full unity of the Russian Muslim Ummah, which seriously affected by conditions of general confusion that engulfed our country in the 90s of the last century. At that time happened disengagement of Russian Ummah by regional and national signswhich is hard to remove now. This disengagement led to fragmentation, which makes difficult to solve our many complicating intra problems.

Recent events in North Africa and the Middle East clearly demonstrate the tragic consequences of intra -confessional strife and struggles. That’s why we have to continue our efforts to reunify our communities on the canonical space of CRDM of Russia, to continue the struggle against the destructive structures of radical movements and religious extremism. Today we pay primary attention and activate our pastoral educational outreach among parishioners and - especially among young people. We give a very important place in our efforts to general problem of standardization of Islamic education, without which it is impossible to train local personnel and clergy of desired level of qualification.

Only by combining our efforts, we can solve our main strategic task of saving the pristine purity of our Sacred faith, which we inherited from our pious ancestors, who converted to Islam directly by the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and swept this faith unblemished through the centuries.

This is the only way of ensuring of our intraconfessional peace and peace and harmony with the followers of other traditional confessions of our great Motherland... with all the Russians! To remember constantly the great mobilizing call the Almighty upon all Muslims is the main thing for us today:

«And say: Do deeds! Allah will see your deeds, and so will His Messenger and the believers». (Surah 9 - 105).

Peace to all of you and the mercy of Allah and His blessings!

Thank you for your attention!


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