Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Russian Pilgrims Prepare for the Hajj

00 russian muslims 120815

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The Russian Hajj Committee has begun accepting applications from Russian Muslims for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. According to Rushan Abbyasov, First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Muftis of Russia, republics in the North Caucasus such as Dagestan, Chechnya and Ingushetia send the largest number of pilgrims from Russia to Saudi Arabia. Abbyasov pointed up that Tatarstan also sends a significant amount of pilgrims, adding that there are even a few groups from Siberia and the Russian Far East. The Muslim holy sites became more accessible to Russians after Perestroika. Whilst pilgrims from Russia are more aware of the hardships of undertaking the pilgrimage, they still find the trip physically and mentally challenging, according to Rashid al-Rashid, who works at the Russian Hajj mission, accompanying pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for more than 15 years, saying, “The Russians aren’t as well prepared as pilgrims from Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, and Iran. The hot weather and large crowds tend to overwhelm Russian pilgrims. They also take time to adjust to Arabian cuisine”.

This year since, due to the rouble depreciation, the pilgrimage became prohibitively expensive for many Russians. The cost of a package tour doubled; it can be as expensive as 5,000 USD (323,000 Roubles. 32,000 Renminbi. 325,000 INR. 6,520 CAD. 6,850 AUD. 4,500 Euros. 3,200 UK Pounds), which is around half a year’s salary in some regions. Syed Muhammad from the Medina Travel agency said, “A couple of years ago, we had a long list of people willing to go, but this year, we had to run publicity campaigns to attract people”. However, despite the drop in demand, the Hajj mission of Russia requested the Saudi Arabian authorities to increase the Russian quota from 16,400 to 17,000. This increase in quota is to accommodate Crimean Tatars; they used to be Ukrainian citizens, but are now Russian citizens. According to the last census (2010), there are around 14.5 million Muslims in Russia, forming about 10 percent of the population. Immigration from former Soviet republics has pushed up the numbers over the last few years, although there are no updated official statistics available now.

12 August 2015

Russia Behind the Headlines

http://asia.rbth.com/society/2015/08/12/russian_pilgrims_prepare_for_the_hajj_48417.html

Sunday, 12 April 2015

12 April 2015. A Believer’s Take on Marriage

00 Nayzak. How 2  b a Good Muslim Husband. 2011

How 2 B a Good Muslim Husband

Nayzak

2011

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Editor:

Gabe and Laura… this one’s for you. May Laura deliver safely…

BMD

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When Allah has decided to unite two hearts in marriage:

  • no distance is too far
  • no time is too long
  • no powerful force can separate them
  • no one can break them apart

Mohsin Hasan Mumtaz

Dedicated to my lovely sister FATIMA MICHEL BARNES

Editor:

Today is Easter… spread the joy… to all around you… to believers (including non-Christians)… to secularists (don’t call ‘em atheists, please)… to all of God’s Creation (including your animals).

To Mr Mumtaz… thank you for such a beautiful (and concise) post. God luv ya…

To all rightwing asshats… Muslims are believers, too… you’ve forgotten that. Neither ISIS nor the Azov Battalion represent real Christian and real Muslim believers. That’s that… it’s what I hold and what I stand for, any road.

THIS IS MY PERSONAL BELIEF… I don’t claim it to be the “Teaching of the Church”… however… I’d say that it doesn’t contradict it, though. Be careful with labelling things the “Teaching of the Church”… quite often, it’s nothing but idiosyncratic opinion decked out in ill-fitting (and utterly false) finery… reflect on that, this Easter…

BMD

Saturday, 4 April 2015

4 April 2015. A Picture IS Worth a Thousand Words… ALL Races… ALL Religions… That’s America to Me

00 james madison. american muslims praying. 04.04.15

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There’s no “religious test” in the USA… never has been, never will be. That’s that…

BMD

Monday, 30 March 2015

30 March 2015. A Point to Ponder… Why is ISIS So Horrid and the KKK Not?

00 kkk and isis. politics. 30.03.15.jpg-large

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Let’s see… is there much difference in the POV of ISIS and the KKK (I’d add in the White Citizens’ Councils and those like Lester Maddox)? I’d say much less than one would think. Actually, BOTH are perversions of major world religions. I know many Muslims… I don’t know a single terrorist amongst them. However, I wouldn’t say the same about some (a minority, but a palpable number) of the “Ukrainian Catholics” and Ukrainian Orthodox” that I’ve met. Terrorism isn’t a part of either Islam or Christianity. Full stop. Those who inject such into these faiths are heretics, no doubt about it. The hate spewed out upon Muslims by the ignorant is bullshit… I’ll stand tall and say so. ISIS is wrong for killing Christians in Mesopotamia… the KKK was wrong for lynching blacks… the Right Sector is wrong for deliberately shelling innocent civilians… I’d say that there was plenty of blame to go ’round on BOTH sides!

Guess what? Both Islam and Christianity are correct in saying that we live in a fallen world. Both are right in saying that the world is in need of redemption. Therefore, why should evil’s existence surprise us? Rather, we must wrestle with it… think on it… it’s a meaty point to ponder…

BMD

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