Chronicle of events
Mintimer Shaimiev: "The Bolgar Islamic Academy is aimed to preserve the unity of the Muslim Ummah, peace and harmony in the country"
On September 4, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov, Plenipotentiary Envoy of the Russian Federation to Volga Federal District Mikhail Babich, State Counsellor of the republic Mintimer Shaimiev, Head of Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs Igor Barinov, Prime Minister of the republic Alexey Pesoshin, Chairman of the regional Council Farid Mukhametshin, representatives of religious denominations and other officials took part in the solemn opening of the Bolgar Islamic Academy.
"The opening of the academy will have a positive effect on the formation of uniform standards of secondary and higher Islamic education, will allow to develop coordinated educational programmes. The Council for Islamic Education has already taken serious steps in this direction," Babich said speaking at the ceremony. "One of the tasks of the Academy is to create an all-Russian Muslim theological platform for interaction of Russian Muslim organizations and develop common approaches to interpreting sacred texts and organizing the life of Muslims," he continued.
Welcoming participants of the ceremony, Minnikhanov expressed his gratitude to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin for his overall support in the establishment of the Academy. He noted that the opening of the educational facility is taking place during the days of the feast of Eid al-Adha and congratulated everyone on this holiday.
"The opening of the Academy is a historic event for Tatarstan, Russia and the entire Muslim world. Almost eleven centuries ago, our ancestors adopted Islam in the Bolgar land. During this time our people have passed a glorious and hard way, keeping faith in Allah and staying faithful to the great traditions. For many centuries, Bolgar has been home to prominent religious scholars. Opening the Islamic academy in the heart of the city, we are reviving its former greatness," Tatarstan President underlined.
Minnikhanov said that the Academy was built in the shortest possible time. He continued that in May last year, the ceremony of laying the foundation stone was held, and today first students have already been enrolled. "In this regard, I want to express my special gratitude to the first President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev, philanthropists and all those who contributed to this important work. I also want to thank Alisher Usmanov, who took an active part in financing the project," Tatarstan President added.
"I hope the Bolgar Academy will become one of the leading scientific, educational and spiritual educational centres, as well as a steady and consistent guide to traditional Islamic values," Minnikhanov said.
Speaking at the event, Shaimiev said that for the Muslims of Russia, Ancient Bolgar is a sacred place, the place of voluntary adoption of Islam in the present Russian Federation. He drew attention to the fact that Bolgar has always been a place of attraction for great scientists and a recognized centre of the classical Hanafi theological school, as well as one of the recognized intellectual centers of its time along with Cairo, Istanbul, Baghdad, Samarkand.
"The Bolgar Islamic Academy is aimed to preserve the unity of the Muslim Ummah, peace and harmony in the country, to revive the rich theological heritage and spiritual traditions of the ancestors. An intellectual elite of the Muslim Ummah of the country, masters and doctors of Islamic theology, will be trained here,” Shaimiev stressed.
During the ceremony, Chairman of the Coordinating Centre of North-Caucasian Muslims Ismail Haji Berdiev handed in the Orders of Merit for the North Caucasian Ummah to Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov and State Counsellor of the republic Mintimer Shaimiev.
After the solemn handing over of a symbolic key from builders to senior managers of the educational facility, participants of the event went to the Academy's assembly hall, where Rector of the Bolgar Islamic Academy Rafik Mukhametshin told them about the educational system of the new school and plans for its future work.
Tatarstan President's Press Office