The Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia takes part in the international online-conference on the protection of children's rights in the Arab countries

February 19, 2021

Head of the International Relations Department of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia (the SAMR) Vladislav Neledva participated in the workshop in the Arabic language entitled: Professional Principles of Mass Media for Addressing Child Rights Issues, under the slogan: Media is a Friend for Childhood, which was organized by Union of OIC News Agencies (UNA-OIC) in cooperation with the Arab Council for Childhood and Development (ACCD) and its partners - the Gulf Program for Development and the League of Arab States.

The conference was moderated by Professor Adel Abdel Ghaffar, professor of the Media Department at Cairo University and Media Adviser to the Ministry of Higher Education of the Arab Republic of Egypt. The webinar was devoted to the discussion of the development of necessary skills and competence for workers in mass media, which must be taken into account when addressing issues related to children's rights.

Many participants in their speech emphasized that the violation of children's rights in the digital space in the Arab world is no longer a rare phenomenon and it has already turned into a real crisis of a large scale. In this regard, some specific recommendations and proposals were made to find new mechanisms to protect children from negative influence of media space and social networks, especially in the field of cyberbullying.

The SAMR supported all the initiatives aimed at solving this serious problem and stated that children, regardless of their ethnic, country and religious affiliation, should in no case be subjected to destructive influence of mass media and various types of media platforms.

At the end of the event, the participants thanked each other for the active discussion and expressed their hope for further fruitful cooperation in this direction.

The Arab Council for Childhood and Development (ACCD) is an Arab non-governmental development organization that has a legal entity and operating in the field of childhood under the presidency of HRH Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz. ACCD was founded in 1987 upon the initiative of the late HRH Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz, and a resolution issued by the Arab League's Conference on "Childhood and Development" that was held in Tunisia in 1986. The headquarters of ACCD is Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt, and its relationship with the host country is governed by a special agreement that defines its identity and legal status.

ACCD is seeking to be a leading organization in the field of child rights in the Arab world, and a reference for institutions, individuals and families to raising up of an Arab child able to participate in the development of his society and deal with the rapid global changes.

The Night of Wishes

February 18th, 2021

According to the lunar calendar, the month of Rajab is considered one of the four holy months in Islam. There are two blessed nights in this month – the Night of Wishes and the Night of Isra’ and Mi’raj.

Muslims all around the world revere the Night of Wishes in addition to other blessed nights in Islam. Followers of this tradition believe that if, on the first Thursday of Rajab, they recite a special set of prayers, they will be rewarded by the fulfillment of their wishes.

The tradition is based on the oft-quoted passage attributed to Prophet Mohammed:

It is most important, however, that none of you should neglect the first Thursday night in Rajab, for it is the night that the angels call the Night of Wishes. This is because, by the time the first third of the night has elapsed, there will not be a single angel still at large in the heavens, nor in any region of the earth bar one. They will all be gathered together in the Ka'ba and the area immediately surrounding it. Allah will condescend to notice that they have assembled there, and He will say: 'My angels, ask Me for whatever you wish!' Their response to this will be: 'Our Lord, the request we wish to make is that You grant forgiveness to those who faithfully keep the fast in Rajab,' whereupon Allah will tell them: 'That I have already done!'

The year 2021 sees the Night of Wishes at night between February 18th and 19th. Muslims meet this night by performing prayers hoping for the mercy and virtue of Allah and seeking the fulfillment of their desires.

Moreover, at this night, it is advisable to recite missed prayers, ask Allah for mercy, provide assistance to the poor, give alms, feed the hungry, visit relatives, and if these relatives are no longer alive, it is necessary to visit their graves.

Azerbaijan to restore a cultural heritage belonging not only to Muslims, but all religions in Karabakh

February 11th, 2021

First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva took part in the video-conference on the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science as part of the “Year of Women” declared by ICESCO.

“At the moment, Azerbaijan faces a huge task: to bring life back to liberated territories and to ensure the return of Azerbaijani internally displaced people to their native lands. And we will do it. We will restore destroyed cities and villages. We will build schools there. We will restore the cultural heritage, and not only of Islamic origin but of all religions as a whole”, stated Aliyeva.

According to her, Baku highly appreciates ICESCO willingness to cooperate with the Azerbaijani government in assessing the state of cultural heritage monuments damaged in Karabakh during the occupation.

“Also, please accept our special gratitude for considering the opening of ICESCO regional office in Azerbaijan, which among other fields could strengthen our cooperation in the field of science with a specific focus to increase the role of women and girls in science”, Mehriban Aliyeva added.

She also reminded that one month ago, at the invitation of President of Azerbaijan, a delegation of ICESCO led by the Director-General, visited Azerbaijan, where the guests had a chance to visit some of liberated lands and witness with their own eyes the scope of destruction and vandalism, including tens of desecrated mosques and hundreds of destroyed historical monuments.

Implementation of Cooperation Agreement between the SAMR and the Muslim World League

February 8th, 2021

The Muslim World League (the MWL), headquartered in Mecca, presented its new social concept aimed at building bridges of friendship and mutual understanding between different faiths and cultures. The organization posted a video introducing its the new vision and goals on the official website.

“Large distances separate us from Mecca to the whole world, but the goals unite us. Together we stretch out the olive branch to build bridges with all humanity. Let us take the initiative, help each other and strengthen our friendship with different nations, civilizations and cultures. Let us reflect the Islam of peace, moderation and humanity in order to achieve general harmony from which the light of Mecca illuminates the whole world” - these are the basic principles that the League plans to follow in its future activities.

The Muslim World League is considered to be one of the largest and most influential organizations in the Islamic world. Its headquarters are located in Mecca. The MWL unites Muslim theologians, religious, public and political figures from all around the world, including the Russian Federation. The League's forums discuss the most pressing problems that Muslim community in the whole world faces.

In 2019, the MWL Secretary General Dr. Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa visited Russia, where he had a rich program, including acquaintance with the country, the spiritual and cultural life of the nations living in Russia and the level of Islamic education. He also held a chain of meetings with governmental officials, religious leaders of Orthodoxy and Islam.

The Muslim World League has signed a cooperation agreement with the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Russian Foundation for the Support of Islamic Culture, Science and Education, which led to the implementation of several socially significant projects in the field of supporting true Islam and countering extremism in Russia.

It needs to be mentioned that the MWL took part in scientific and practical conferences that were held in Moscow and Grozny. Both events were aimed at consolidating the efforts of Muslim community to achieve religious enlightenment and eliminating the impact of destructive ideologies in the Russian Federation.

A new museum dedicated to the life of the Prophet opened in Madinah

February 9th, 2021

Madinah in Saudi Arabia witnessed the opening ceremony of the International Exhibition and Museum of the Life of the Prophet and Islamic Civilization.

Prince Faisal bin Salman, governor of Madinah — where the museum is located — and chairman of the Madinah Region Development Authority, hailed the mission and objectives of the exhibit and museum, which not only achieves one of Saudi Vision 2030’s goals by boosting the Kingdom’s cultural tourist attractions, but also uses cutting-edge technology.

The International Exhibition and Museum of the Life of the Prophet and Islamic Civilization was launched under the supervision of the Muslim World League (MWL) and is the first in a series of Islamic museums scheduled to be constructed around the world under the organization’s umbrella.

Located next to the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, the museum is open 24 hours a day, and is dedicated to the history of the Islamic world and the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

Prince Faisal pointed out that the contents of the exhibition and museum represent “a historical legacy from which to spread the correct Prophetic approach … to all parts of the world so as to demonstrate the tolerance and moderation of Islam.”

The exhibition features dozens of paintings and interactive displays. At the moment, there are seven languages available to visitors — Arabic, English, Spanish, Urdu, French, Turkish and Indonesian. It also includes a 4DX theater, which screens a series of films about the Prophet’s life.

One of the 25 pavilions in the exhibition is dedicated to the history of women in Islam and shows the important part women played in the early days of Islam by spreading a message of truth and virtue, and the vital role women played in the life of the Prophet. The pavilion also sheds light on the importance of children in the life of the Prophet, recounting stories of how he used to play with them and the advice he gave on how to best raise them.

Another pavilion uses 3D, virtual-reality, and augmented-reality technology to reconstruct and describe many of the Prophet’s personal possessions, including details of his furniture, clothing, footwear and even his comb.

Eradicating ideas of hostility and war in the people’s mind through art

February, 2nd

The first International Silk Road Calligraphy Festival Raqs-e Qalam (Feather Dance) was held in Tehran, the capital of Iran. More than 150 artists from all over the world presented about a thousand of their works. Also there were an exhibition and a special conference organized within the framework of this festival.

Artists and calligraphers from many different countries took part in that creative event, including Azerbaijan, France, Kazakhstan, Spain, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Poland, Iran, South Korea, Japan, China, India, Singapore, Mongolia, Syria, UAE, Turkey, Russia, Oman, Lebanon, Iran and many others.

The festival was organized by the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO. However, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held online for the first six days – from January, 20 until January, 25. During the conference calligraphic masters shared their own experience and the latest achievements in this unique art. According to the organizers, the main goal of the event was to eliminate the ideas of hostility and war in people’s mind through art.

At the opening ceremony in Tehran, Hojatollah Ayubi, head of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, and other speakers stressed the importance of art in bringing nations together.

The Russian Federation was represented by Gulnaz Ismagilova (Kazan), Artur Pisarenko (Mozhga) and the employee of the Bulgarian Islamic Academy Amir Belyalov. It needs to be mentioned that Amir Belyalov has been practicing classical Arabic calligraphy since 2009. Previously he studied this art at the center of Arabic calligraphy "An-Namir" in Kazan, the Republic of Tatarstan where he gained his diploma in several calligraphy styles.

Albir Hazrat Krganov: “The situation with harmonization of interfaith relations is favorable, but the problem of lack of mosques must be solved”

February, 1st

Mufti Albir Hazrat Karganov participated in online-conference dedicated to the state of interfaith relations in Russia, which was held on February, the 1st in the international multimedia press-center of the"Rossiya Segodnia" agency within the framework of the World Interfaith Harmony Week.

The holding of the conference coincided with the beginning of the beginning of the World Interfaith Harmony Week which is celebrated in the first week of February every year at the initiative of the UN General Assembly.

In his opening remarks, Albir Hazrat Krganov recalled that the UN General Assembly decided to celebrate the World Interfaith Harmony Week back in 2010 at the suggestion of King of Jordan Abdullah II, and the 1st of February was also declared as World Hijab Day.

In his speech, the head of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia touched upon one of the most important topics for the Russian Islamic Community- the necessity to find a solution to the problem of implementation the rights to freedom of religion, which is inextricably linked with meeting the needs of believers in the required number of prayer rooms and mosques. In fact, many Muslim religious organizations in a number of regions in the Russian Federation face various difficulties connected with allocating land for the construction of mosques, obtaining construction permits and so on. The Mufti gave an example of a high-profile case in Rostov, where the local authorities transferred the building of a historic mosque, which was founded 115 years ago, to a local jazz school. Similar issues still remain unresolved in Volgograd, Ulyanovsk, Stavropol, Kaliningrad, the Republic of Ossetia and some other regions.

Albir Hazrat also expressed his hope that before holding the Big World Conference on Inter-religious and Interethnic Dialogue which is going to take place in Russia in 2022 with the support of the UN, a final and positive decision will be made on the allocation of land for the construction of an interfaith cultural and educational social center of traditional religions. in Kommunarka on the territory of New Moscow.

“This decision of Moscow authorities would be deeply symbolic and correct in terms of demonstrating their constructive attitude towards representatives of various religions and nationalities. “We all - Muslims, Christians, Jews and Buddhists - have been waiting for it from Moscow Government for quite a long time,” said the Mufti.

In this case, Albir Hazrat also spoke about his participation in the grand opening of a new mosque, chapel and synagogue recently held in Makhachkala on the territory of the scientific and health complex "Zhuravli". The representatives of three traditional confessions opened together three temples of God which is considered to be a great example of strengthening interfaith relations in the Russian Federation. “Each patient now, during his rehabilitation, has an opportunity to pray in “his”, appropriate for his confession, prayer building without leaving the territory of the health complex , ”the Mufti noted.

Albit Hazrat Krganov takes part in the international scientific and practical conference

January 26th, 2021

The head of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia (the SAMR) Albir Hazrat Krganov participated in in the international scientific and practical conference "Inter-confessional Consent As the Key Factor for Post-Covid Rehabilitation and Spiritual Revival in Russia" which was held on January, 26, 2021 in Makhachkala, Dagestan. The event was hosted by scientific and educational complex "Zhuravli" and dedicated to the establishment of a new spiritual and educational center called "Unity".

Opening the conference, General Director of the "Zhuravli" complex Professor Magomed Magomedov stressed that this event precedes the start of the second stage of the All-Russian action "Glory to Doctors"

The conference was attended by the head of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia Mufti Albir Hazrat Krganov. On behalf of the SAMR and the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, Albir Hazrat gave a welcoming speech to the participants of the Conference and thanked the organizers for their significant contribution to the fields of medicine, healthcare and strengthening of interethnic relations in the country.

In his speech, he pointed out attentive attitude of the Russian government to the aspirations of Russian citizens, including religious organizations.

Albiz Hazrat noted that almost 200 nationalities live on the territory of the Russian Federation. They speak different languages, practice different religious traditions and, despite this, treat each other with great respect and they are always ready to help each other.

"Initially, our country was shaped as a multinational and multi-religious state, and the main goal was to strengthen this spiritual unity and to transfer these good relations, which has been developing for centuries, to the next generations. This is our sacred duty today", the Mufti said.

Lavrov and head of UN Alliance of Civilizations discuss a future conference on inter-religious dialogue

January 19th, 2021

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and High Representative of the UN Alliance of Civilizations Miguel Angel Moratinos have discussed preparations for holding a world-wide conference of the heads of state, parliamentarians and leaders of world religions on inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday following the meeting held the day before.

According to the ministry, "the talks focused on preparations for holding a world conference of the heads of state, parliamentarians and leaders of world religions on inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue for the sake of the whole world and humanity which is going to be organized and held by the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Russia in May 2022 under the aegis of the United Nations".

Lavrov and Moratinos also discussed the alliance’s efforts in the field of strengthening inter-civilizational and inter-religious dialogue and conflict-prevention measures in civilizational, ethnic and confessional dimensions. "The importance of maintaining equitable co-existence of different civilizations and the unacceptability of spreading theories of the exclusiveness of any races and religion were emphasized during the meeting," the Foreign Ministry said.

In this context, Lavrov informed about the steps that Moscow is currently taking in this direction, including the annual adoption of the Russia-initiated resolution of the UN General Assembly entitled "Combating Glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other Practices that Contribute to Fueling Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance".

State Duma discusses the issue of surrogate motherhood

January 20th , 2021

The head of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia, Mufti Albir Hazrat Krganov, participated at the parliamentary hearings on the draft federal law "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Regarding the Regulation of Surrogacy Issues."

According to the draft law prepared by a group of deputies, surrogate mothers in Russia are allowed bear children only for Russian citizens or married people with a residence permit in Russia. The bill does not propose to prohibit the procedure of surrogacy itself; it only suggests prohibit the sale of children to foreigners through the procedure of surrogacy.

In his speech, Mufti Albir Hazrat Krganov noted that discussion of amendments to the current legislation demonstrates growing attention of the government to the problem of surrogacy in our country.

"As a religious figure, I would like to emphasize that Islam has a negative attitude towards such a phenomenon as surrogate motherhood considering it to be an assisted reproductive technology, and while applying this particular technology, three parties are involved in the process of conception and birth of a child", Mufti added.

Albir Hazrat Krganov also pointed out that surrogacy with the involvement of a third party must be prohibited, and it is necessary to adopt a special federal law regarding acceptable types of reproductive technologies with the participation of only a husband and a wife. At the same time, it is very important to understand certain moral and legislative limits of modern technological interference with the process of giving a human birth.

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