The international dimension of Islamic education in Russia

The international dimension of Islamic education in Russia
Ramil Belyaev, the imam-khatib of the Muslim community in Finland, the speaker of the international forum. Photo: Sayar Abdrakhmanov

Imam-khatib of the Muslim community in Finland Ramil Belyaev: According to Finnish law, if the whole school has three Muslim students, the school is obliged to provide them with the teaching of Islam. Ramil Hazrat gave an interesting report on the forum on the role of Tatars in Finland in the publication of the first translation of the Holy Quran in Finnish.

Moscow Islamic education tested in Finland

In a prestigious hotel Radisson Slavyanskaya in Moscow were two important Islamic activities at the same time: VIII Muslim forum (see the publication on the portal) and a two day of the V international conference ″the International dimension of Islamic education in Russia.″ Ramil Hazrat Bilyaev - native Russian, theological education received at the Moscow Islamic University, he shared his thoughts on the Forum.

Islam Today: Ramil Hazrat, how interesting discussion of Islamic education for practitioner imam-khatib of the Muslim community in Finland?

Ramil Hazrat: Conference of this level is a rare opportunity - to study the Muslim community achievements of different countries in the field of Islamic education. The Muslim Ummah in Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey and other countries has a solid history of making professional Muslim education. But there are countries in which the process has just started, or is in the bud, I mean participating in the forum of the Baltic and Northern Europe. The conference provides a good precedent for the exchange of best practices, best practice solutions.

In Finland, where I live and preach Islam, the primary religious education is given and in secondary school, and in the religious centers of Muslims. Finnish Government does not formally apply to the teaching of Islam in schools. According to Finnish law, if the whole school has three Muslim students, the school is obliged to provide them with the teaching of Islam.

As for the preparation of Muslim imam-khatibs, at the present time the Muslims Finland attempt to create such a curriculum. A working group was created with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Ministry of Education and the University of Helsinki. I am sure that the experience of our Russian colleagues and brothers in the CIS countries will be also taken into account.

70 years ago the Holy Quran translated into Finnish

 Islam Today: Ramil Hazrat, your report is listed in the printed collection, the press release of the International Conference "The Role of Tatars in Finland in the publication of the first translation of the Holy Quran into Finnish" (the 70th anniversary of the first translation of the Quran in Finnish). When I was reading I thought that "70" - it's a typo in the text.

Ramil Hazrat: In fact, the first translation of the Holy Quran in Finnish language this year is 70. Translation of the Quran was made with the assistance of a native of the Nizhny Novgorod region Zinnatully Ahsen Bor.  It was he who kept the rest of the idea of the translation of the Quran in a language Suomi. He did not speak Arabic, he invited his friend George Pimenov for this, who worked as an interpreter of the scriptures. With the assistance of Zinnatulla Pimenov, he began the work of translation in 1936. As the basis was taken translation of the Quran into English under the editorship of Maulana Muhammad Ali. That is not translated from the original, it  is translated from the translation. In 1942, in the printing of Ham was published 5,000 copies of the Holy Quran in Finnish, and it was the first experience of translating the meanings of the Quran in the national language  in the countries of Northern Europe.

Islam Today: Ramil, it is known that you graduated the Moscow Islamic University, do you feel  confident at sermons?Do you work comfortable with the Muslim Ummah in Finland?

Ramil Hazrat: I believe that the work of the Imam - is not a profession, it is a vocation, so I did not think about the comfort of the work. Working with people in any country - it is psychologically always difficult.  People come in with a completely different problems and issues, and it is very important not to harm the man and his family. As for the community as a whole, my moving to Finland, were without problems, because of the community I have found and find sensitive attention and support in all of my questions, I am very grateful.

Islam Today: Ramil Hazrat, in Finland, the imam has the ability to increase the level of theological knowledge, or do we need to go to other countries?

Ramil Hazrat: There are no specialized centers in Finland for further training of imams. There are centers where prepare hafiz - experts of the Quran by heart, and there are primary madrassas. If the imam wants to improve their knowledge, he would have to go abroad. As mentioned earlier, this question is on the agenda, is exploring ways to provide such an opportunity in Finland.

Islam Today: Having experience of work of the imam hatyb, how would you rate the theological and human knowledge obtained at the Moscow Islamic University?

Ramil Hazrat: I graduated the Moscow Islamic University in 2000. We had wonderful teachers - professionals in their field. Teachers taught us the Quran and Tajwid, sent by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Waqfs of Turkey.  Learning the Arabic language took place under the guidance of experienced specialist, translator-interpreter Lebedev Vladimir Vasilievich, as well as Gainullin Niyaz Abrahmanovich.  We were prepared to work with the Tatar-speaking Muslims, so I am very grateful to my teacher for the Tatar language, Dean Habibullina Gulfiya Yunysovna, she has strengthened our love for the mother tongue.

The Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin taught us to pronounce sermons. There were a lot of teachers which we are proud of. It should be noted and the efforts of the former rector of Marat Murtazin, who stood at the origins the MIU. In other words, we were fully prepared to work with people and were taught to feel the audience. They did it honestly, professionally and with dedication. I am pleased to express all my gratitude to teachers for their work, as well as to wish success to the new leadership of the Moscow Islamic University.

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