11:28 - March 07, 2018
News ID: 3465339
TEHRAN (IQNA) – The Muslim community in Russia is now 25 million people strong and continues to grow, Grand Mufti of Russia Sheikh Rawil Gaynetdin said.

Muslim community in Russia '25 million' strong


The number of Muslims in Russia is increasing mainly because of two factors: high birth rate among Muslim families and through the arrival of people from Central Asia, Gaynetdin said.

He said the number of Muslims was also mentioned in the population census.

Sheikh Gaynetdin said most Muslims in the country live in the Moscow region and other major metropolitan areas such as St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.

There is also a high concentration of followers of Islam in the regions where Islamic states were located before the formation of a single Russian state; today these regions are Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, the republics of the North Caucasus, the mufti said.

Muslims are indigenous people of Russia; more than 58 peoples, nationalities and ethnic groups have historically practiced Islam, he said.

He also noted that Islam was declared as the state religion in one of the states located in the territory of present-day Russia -- in the Volga Bulgaria, in 922, which was 66 years earlier than the acceptance of Orthodox Christianity as the state religion of Kievan Rus.

"Islam came to Russia in the seventh century. Followers of our Prophet Muhammad came to Russia 22 years after he left earthly life.

"They came to a city that is currently known as Derbent, it is in Southern Dagestan. And the first Adhan, call to worship, in Russia, was made on the lands of Dagestan," the mufti said.

The majority of Russian Muslims are Sunnis of Hanafi school of thought but there are also some Sunnis of Shafi'i school and Shias, Gaynetdin said.

“Russian Shias are mainly Azeris and Tajiks from Pamir and they are small in number. Most Shias live in Derbent, southern Dagestan.

“In Moscow, only one community is registered as Shia," he said



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