Alternative to 'online sheikhs': online madrasah in Tatar developed for Muslims

Only in Tatar so far. It will also be in Russian

The new project of the Muslim Spiritual Board of the Republic of Tatarstan (MSB RT) “Online Madrasah” has been launched in the Tatar language. But as Mufti of the Republic of Tatarstan Kamil Samigullin assured the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya, the plans are to develop a similar one for the Russian-speaking audience.

“We have received a lot of requests from different regions. Last year, when the coronavirus pandemic began, Kamil khazrat called me to him and said that we need to create an online platform in the Tatar language. On behalf of the mufti, within 9 months we created such platform and the application for it," said Rishat Khamidullin, the head of Khuzur publishing house of the MSB RT.

The muftiate notes that the project of the first Tatar online madrasah is “the only alternative to the lectures of unknown 'sheikhs' and dubious video resources”. Imams who have received education at higher religious educational institutions of Tatarstan, who have a certificate for the right to carry out religious activities, are involved as teachers of the online madrasah.

The MSB RT presented the know-how — its development was timed to coincide with the Year of Native Languages and National Unity, announced in Tatarstan last year. The online madrasah operates on a special educational platform. The access to it can be obtained through the free mobile application “Tatar madrasah” (based on iOS and Android), it can be downloaded from the Play Store and the App Store.

It is based on university courses

Lessons can be learned from any device that has access to the Internet, in video, text, and audio formats. One can register via social networks or by email on the educational platform.

As Deputy Chairman of the MSB RT Rafik Mukhametshin said, a total of 124 video tutorial of 15 minutes has been recorded in seven disciplines: Islamic law (fiqh), and Hadith Studies, Quran and Tafsir, Lessons of Morality, Arabic and Tajwid, History of the Life of Prophet Muhammad, and History of Islam to the Tatars. The programme of cadet courses developed and adopted by the MSB RT was taken as a basis.

After each lesson, the user passes a kind of test of several questions. Those who successfully complete the task move on to the next lesson. According to Rishat Khamidullin, each person receives a corresponding certificate after completing the course.

In turn, Mukhametshin stressed that online madrassah will not replace live communication. Therefore, classes on the basics of religion at the mosques of Tatarstan will continue as before. For a deeper study of Islam, one needs to enroll in madrassas that work offline, the Russian Islamic Institute or the Bolgar Islamic Academy.

By Timur Rakhmatullin

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