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
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A short vid in Russian by Mufti Aisin
The attacks of the Ukrainian side have destroyed a large number of DNR Orthodox and Catholic churches and Muslim mosques. DNR Chief Mufti Rinat Aisin commented on the actions of the Ukrainian aggressors, “The destroyed places of worship show the true face of the aggressor. If we compare the actions of the Ukrainian authorities and the leadership of our Republic, we can confidently say that [A V Zakharchenko] is a real Christian. When there were thousands of Ukrainian POWs in the ‘pockets’, Zakharchenko took care of them. At the same time, we saw the POWs held by the Ukrainian side… they all came back battered and maimed. I’d add that [Zakharchenko’s] wounds are still healing, yet he’s with the army at all the hot spots”. The Mufti also wished Chairman Zakharchenko a speedy recovery, strength of spirit, and said that we need people like that.
3 August 2015
Official website DNR Council of Ministers and Peoples Soviet
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A Chechen boy performs an Eid al-Fitr prayer to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in the Chechen capital of Grozny.
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How 2 B a Good Muslim Husband
Gabe and Laura… this one’s for you. May Laura deliver safely…
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
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…
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