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Interfaith Programs

Muslim Leaders Affirm Relevance of Spiritual Values for Sustainable Development

Russia-2020-12-08-Muslim Leaders Endorse Spiritual Values

Moscow, Russia—UPF-Russia organized an online webinar titled "Spiritual Values Are the Basis for the Sustainable Development of Russia."

The speakers of the webinar on December 8, 2020, were two Muslim leaders from Ikhlas Mosque in Ufa, the capital of the Russian Republic of Bashkortostan: Mukhamet Hazrat Gallyamov, the head of the Majelis (council); and Imam Alfred Hazrat Davletshin.

More than 100 people registered for the program. Among the participants were imams, Muslim scholars, believers, and businessmen. In addition, on the next day, more than 5,000 people watched the recording of the conference.

The discussion included many questions about the need for faith in general and about the development of Islam in Russia, especially after the collapse of the communist regime.

Maria Nazarova, the president of UPF-Russia, explained about UPF and the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD), one of the UPF associations. She explained that such webinars were inspired by the understanding that the key values for Russia’s development are precisely spiritual, universal values. These values allow people of different religions, nationalities and cultures to build strong, partnership relations based on the realization that we are all one family under God.

Mukhamet Hazrat Gallyamov said that spiritual values such as duty, dignity, honor, justice, and loyalty to the motherland are very important. Without these values, he said, today’s society cannot be a normal society. Therefore, people cherish spiritual values. There are values that are important at all times and for all peoples. They can be called universal. These are the basic requirements for the peoples of our planet, peoples of different cultures and confessions.

Mukhamet Hazrat spoke about the role of religion in the formation of spiritual values. Religious figures historically occupied a leading place in the formation of spiritual values. Even politicians are not able to do what religious leaders have done and are doing, he said.

For 25 years Mukhamet Hazrat has been the head of the Ikhlas Mosque. Children come to the mosque and listen to sermons about piety, wisdom, which are written in the Koran.

Unfortunately we are faced with the fact that such qualities as consumption, profit, entertainment are included in our life more and more. And this, of course, oppresses human souls. Mukhamet Hazrat stressed that in order for the peoples of Russia to achieve sustainable development of the country, we need to preserve and increase the treasure of spiritual values that were passed on to us by our ancestors.

Alfred Hazrat Davletshin said that the traditional spiritual values of Islam form the foundation of Russian civil society now, since Muslim traditions and norms have been the basis of Russian identity for centuries. In 2022, there will be a significant date: 1,100 years since the adoption of Islam in the former Russian state of Volga Bulgaria. In 922, Volga Bulgaria existed on the territory of modern Russia, where Islam was adopted as the state religion. This happened even earlier than the official adoption of Christianity in Russia. This suggests that on the territory of modern Russia, Islam was already formed as a state religion more than 1,000 years ago.

The traditional values that are embedded in Islam are the same traditional values that underlie all the traditional religions of Russia: neighborliness, decency, human rights and freedoms, humanism, Alfred Hazrat Davletshin said. An important task facing all citizens of Russia is the preservation of peace and cohesion and economic and political stability. The values underlying the traditional religions of Russia are at the heart of this stability: the priority of the spiritual, family, human rights and freedoms, morality, humanism, the continuity of history, love for the motherland.

One of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad is: "Love for the motherland is a piece of faith, the basis of faith." The best Muslim is one who is a model of morality. And this is what both the state and society should strive for, Alfred Hazrat Davletshin said. Only on the basis of common moral foundations can we talk about the unity and security of our country. Muslims have defended Russia for centuries. In 1942, the mufti of Russia, of the USSR, Gabdrakhman Rasulev, appealed to all citizens of the country from all television and radio channels to defend the motherland. Protecting the unity of our motherland, Russia, is an important task for Muslims, Alfred Hazrat Davletshin said.

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