Speech of welcome of the Supreme Mufti to the participants of the Ceremonial meeting devoted to the 225th anniversary of the Central Muslim Spiritual Board of Russia

Speech of welcome of the Supreme Mufti to the participants of the Ceremonial meeting devoted to the 225th anniversary of the Central Muslim Spiritual Board of Russia 10.22.2013

Dear members of the anniversary celebrations!

Dear brothers and sisters!

I cordially welcome you on behalf of the CDUM of Russia (Central Muslim Spiritual Board of Russia), its regional spiritual departments and millions of Muslims of our immense Motherland!

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 socio-cultural space - the 225th anniversary of the foundation of the Orenburg Spiritual Assembly of the Mohammedan law under the Decree of Empress Catherine II in 1783. And its legal successor is the Central Muslim Spiritual Board of Russia.

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, above all, to His Excellency the President of Russia and the President 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 high honour and 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 a appreciation 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.

Decree of Empress Catherine II on the establishment of Ufa «Spiritual Assembly of the Orenburg Mohammedan law» 225 - year anniversary of which we solemnly celebrate today, was preceded by an earlier decree of June 17, 1773 «On the tolerance of all faiths and the prohibition of bishops to join the case, relating to the heterodox confessions, and to build their houses of worship according to their law, providing all this to secular rulers».

Praise be to God! This outstanding by its historical significance document approved in Russia tolerance as one of the main pillars of its policy as a multinational and multi-confessional State. And the subsequent decree on the establishment in Ufa «Orenburg Mohammedan Spiritual Assembly of the Magometan’s law», was a striking evidence of the implementation of this policy in practice.

Its great historical significance lies in the fact that this document initiated adaptation of Islam in federal legislative and legal space. And that's why we so cherish the memory of this document and its creator - Empress Catherine II.

It is appropriate and very important to pay attention here to another event of exceptional importance for the Russian Muslims, which happened in not distant from us 2005 year, when Russia officially joined the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC ) as an observer. It all started back in 2003, when our President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin took the initiative of Russia's entry into the most authoritative international Islamic organization of modernity. And his unparalleled perseverance, multiplied by the invaluable support of our friends in the Islamic world, gave its remarkable results: Russia was admitted to the OIC.

And we are pleased that today we have the opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude once again to the esteemed participant of our celebrations General Secretary of the OIC Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsan oglu, whose personal support played a huge role in the realisation of the initiative of Vladimir Putin on Russia's accession to the OIC.

We are also pleased to welcome those foreign visitors from the Islamic world, whose countries strongly supported the idea of Russia joining the OIC.

I have no doubt that our relations with these countries will be further strengthened for not only Muslims benefit, but all mankind. Because the great appeal of the Supreme to mutual acquaintance, interaction and cooperation addressed to all people of the planet, not only to Muslims:

«O people! We have created you nations and tribes that you may know each other...»- proclaims the Holy Quran.

The task of the utmost expansion and deepening of our relations is particularly relevant for overcoming of the trouble, which, unfortunately, struck more than one region of the modern Islamic world. I mean the trouble that has expressive title fitnah, ie distemper, which is equated in Islam with sin even more serious than murder, clearly warns us the Holy Quran. We should also not forget about the simple prevention of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that distemper sleeps until it is awakened, and curse fall on who woke her.

Only united with each other and united with all people of goodwill Muslims can overcome this terrible trouble, which manifests itself in so disgusting things as isolationism, extremism, terrorism and other ills of the modern Islamic world.

I prayerfully ask Allah, by Whose mercy we have gathered together with our guests from more than 30 countries today at our celebrations to mark the 225th anniversary of the founding of the «Spiritual Assembly of the Orenburg Mohammedan law» to help us, to unite and to overcome fitnah and to return to Muslims great authority, which they have for centuries as one of the best human communities, which authentic banner has always been and should remain middleness, moderation and justice.

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

Thank you for your attention!

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