Today, the blessed holy month of Ramadan starts for all Muslims around the world. The Spiritual Administration of Muslims in Moscow has been arranging a Marquee of Ramadan holiday for all residents and guests of the capital for ten years. The opening ceremony of the Marquee of Ramadan was organized on Poklonnaya Gora near the Memorial Mosque in Moscow on threshold of Ramadan. Religious and community leaders spoke to Vestnik Kavkaza about the significance of the holy month, and about the program of the event, which is to last until July 17.
According to Shamil Alyautdinov, imam of the Moscow Memorial Mosque on Poklonnaya Gora, this year the Marquee of Ramadan is to be held at a new level. Shamil Alyautdinov also noted that in previous years everyone could reserve one day in order to organize the evening of his nation in the marquee. That is why all the days were reserved. "This year we have specially rented a big marque, so that more people could take part in the events. We expect that the cultural program will be even more varied, and more regions will participate in it. And I think that in general people receive a large amount of life-giving energy and positive emotions during the blessed month of Ramadan. They will also have an opportunity to break their fast together with people of different nationalities and cultures," the imam of the Memorial mosque on Poklonnaya Gora said.
Marat Hazrat Alimov, member of the Presidium of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Moscow and chairman of the ‘‘Grace’’ religious organization of Muslims in the Butovo district in Moscow spoke about the spiritual significance of Ramadan for Muslims. "The Prophet Muhammad said that this is the month of the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad. The Shaaban and months precedinf it. Rajab is the month of Allah, Sha'ban is w month of the Prophet, and Ramadan is the month of the Koran.
At the time of Rajab we sow corn, in Sha'ban we water it, and during Ramadan we gather the fruits. This month is a month of purification of our hearts from our dependence on material things. In this month the faith of every Muslim and every person should increase. I would like to call on all Muslims to treat yourself stricter during this month, trying to ask for forgiveness from those we have upset, as well as pay out our debts: material, spiritual, moral, and ethical. Certainly we should be more charitable, look at our past stage of life, trying to change all the things when we were wrong, and plan our future life. This month we should congratulate everyone, because it is not just a month of fasting, it is a month of a large and grand celebration. It is the month after which we celebrate the feast of Eid al-Adha," Marat Hazrat Alimov said.
Ildar Alyautdinov, Chief Imam of the Moscow Cathedral Mosque, made a statement: "The Marquee of Ramadan is to be opened during the month of Ramadan, i.e. for 29 days. In addition, official evenings will take place, each dedicated to one of the moral qualities. People will be given the task of cultivating the moral quality the next day. And we also hope that the event, which is visited daily by about a thousand people, will encourage people and society to change for the better. As we see, the events occurring in the world prove that we need it very much today.’’
In addition, Ildar Alyautdinov noted that that Russian Moscow Grand Mosque is to be officially opened this year on September 23. This is an event we have been awaiting many years, not only the Muslims of Russia, but Muslims around the world. This is a very important event, it is a center that brings together many people. A lot of people are waiting for the mosque to open. Because of this, we officially announce that on September 23 the Moscow Cathedral Mosque is to be officially opened. Many heads of state, including President Vladimir Vladimirovich, will attend the opening ceremony.
The event was also attended by leaders of other traditional religions. Vice-President of the Congress of Jewish Religious Communities, Rabbi Zinovy Kogan, also congratulated all Muslims on the beginning of Ramadan. He noted that he has been at the opening of the Marquee of Ramadan in Moscow ten times, and noticed that the ummah is getting younger and younger. "It's amazing. The older we – the pioneers – become, the younger the marquee, the congregation, and the ummah itself, and its spiritual leaders are. It is great. Islam is a way of life. This is our way of life, the Russian Muslims. The number of them is increasing, and they are becoming younger and younger."
The head of the Russian Congress of Peoples of the Caucasus, Aly Totorkulov, said that the month of Ramadan is one of the most significant events in the Muslim religion. ‘‘We have such a Russian expression ‘‘without a king in one’s head, without God in the soul.’’ ‘‘It is necessary that people have faith. Of course, every man believes that his faith is the main one. I think that the main thing is that people believe in God. A human is the supreme being, so he has to believe in God and act properly, improving his nature. Therefore, we are pleased that we have gathered people here to celebrate this Muslim holy day," Aly Totorkulov concluded.