Ufa to host first Republican Iftar
But will they have time to prepare for it?
Two and a half months remain until the beginning of Ramadan — the holy month of Muslims when the believers observe fasting. On these days, in the evenings after sunset, the followers of Islam hold iftars after many hours of fasting. The Republican Iftar has been held in Kazan for several years, where thousands of Muslims gather — usually at a football stadium. Some other regions of Russia have also adopted a good example. Now Mufti of Bashkiria Aynur Birgalin wants to hold the same mass meal wants in Ufa.
Three sites are under consideration
In Ufa, during Ramadan, the Republican Iftar will be held for the first time where thousands of believers will break the fast. This was told to the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya by Chairman of the Muslim Spiritual Board of the Republic of Bashkortostan Aynur Birgalin.
“We are planning to hold the Republican Iftar in Ufa. We are considering three sites — the football stadiums Dinamo and Neftyanik or the Ufa arena ice palace. As for Ufa Arena, we will need to choose the day when the ice will be covered with a coating," said Aynur khazrat.
The mufti of Bashkiria found it difficult to answer how many fasting people will participate in the collective meal, but he expects that there will be more than a thousand of them. They haven't decided on a date yet.
The main organizer of the event is the Muslim Spiritual Board of the Republic of Bashkortostan (MSB RB). But the muftiate also counts on the support of the republic's leadership and business.
“We have always had good relations with the government. Inshallah (if Allah wills — editor's note), we will be able to organize with the authorities and attract entrepreneurs to this good cause," he added.
Will they make it?
In 2020, the holy Muslim month will come with the sunset on April 23, and from the early morning of April 24, the believers will begin to fast, refusing to eat, drink, or intimacy during the daylight hours. Thus, there are two and a half months left before Ramadan.
A source of Realnoe Vremya in the MSB RB stated that the preparation is still going poorly. The administration of the leader of the republic, which oversees religious issues, has not yet shown much interest in holding a large-scale iftar. Although there was no opposition from the head of the administration, Alexander Sidyakin, and the head of the region, Radiy Khabirov.
The task is not only to find money (although this is important). It is necessary to take into account many organizational nuances — from the timely delivery of meals and cultural programmes to security issues, transport, etc.
Last year, Aynur Birgalin, having received the seat of mufti, already told our correspondent about holding the Republican Iftar in Ufa. Then, among the proposed sites, he named the Ufa arena sports complex and the Vatan ethnic park behind the Toratau congress hall. In 2019, the muftiate did not have time to prepare for the mass dinner, so it was cancelled.
As for Tatarstan, the preparations for the eighth annual Republican Iftar are in full swing. Last year, the organizers of the mass meal (MSB RT, Association of Muslim Entrepreneurs of the Russian Federation and Directorate of Kazan arena sports complex) gathered 15,000 Muslims under the arches of the football stadium. In 2016-2018, 10,000 people participated in the mass meal, in 2015 — up to 7,000, and in 2014 — 2,500. The Republican Iftar is traditionally attended by top officials of Tatarstan (Rustam Minnikhanov, Mintimer Shaimiev, Farid Mukhametshin, Ilsur Metshin), religious leaders of the republic and Russia (Muftis Kamil Samigullin, Talgat Tadzhuddin, Albir Krganov, Metropolitan Feofan, Rabbi Yitzhak Gorelik, etc.), foreign guests, children of orphanages, wards of rehabilitation centres and other social institutions.