On 11 May, at the Kazan EXPO International Exhibition Centre, the IX traditional Republican Iftar was held, which this year attracted about 3 500 honored guests and fasting people. As expected, the number of participants in the collective meal was reduced due to the tragic events in school №175 on the same day, and the program of the event underwent substantial changes. The organizers of the event – the Spiritual Board of Muslims of the Republic of Tatarstan and the directorate of the Ak Bars Arena stadium and the Tugan Avylym complex – decided to place a mourning ribbon on the main banner of the event, and the sermons were of a tragic nature and were dedicated to the memory of the victims and the injured.
The Republican Iftar began with the recitation of the Holy Quran. A collective prayer for the victims was read by Gabdelkhamit Zinnatullin, Mukhtasib of the Zelenodolsk district of the Republic of Tatarstan. He was followed by Kamil Samigullin, Mufti of the Republic of Tatarstan, who spoke about the values of the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims. Ilfar Khasanov, First Deputy Mufti, also addressed the audience with words of compassion. In his speech, he urged Muslims to help each other in difficult situations, pay attention to what is happening to their loved ones, to be there in time to support them.
The Iftar was attended by such high-ranking representatives of the Muslim clergy as Albir Krganov, Mufti of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia, Nafigulla Ashirov, Nafigulla Ashirov, Chairman of the Spiritual Board of Muslims of Asian Russia, Magomed Magomedov, Assistant Mufti of Dagestan, Hizbullah Asuev, Head of the Russian Hajj Commission, Ahmed Abdulharman Mahmuj Ismail Alssaati, Ambassador of Bahrain to the Russian Federation, Abdullah al-Saan, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Qatar to the Russian Federation, as well as the heads of the two confessions in Tatarstan – Metropolitan of Kazan and Tatarstan Kirill and Chief Rabbi of the Republic Itzhak Gorelik.
Everyone present expressed their condolences to the victims of the terrible tragedy and wished patience and fortitude to their parents and children. Thus, Assistant Mufti of Dagestan Magomed Magomedov wished alleviation of sufferings for the victims and asked Allah to prevent people from repeating such horrors. ‘Our republics are historically linked by such scholars as Zainullah Rasulev, Muhammad Zakir Chistavi, genius Shigabutdin Marjani. Over the years, this close bond, which helps consolidate Islam, has only grown stronger. The evidence of this is a large number of students, followers of sheikhs among our fellow countrymen. To this day there are close links of scholars and theologians between our republics. This is the merit of our ancestors’, Magomedov noted.
Unfortunately, due to tragic circumstances, the number of guests at the Republican Iftar dropped from 5 000 to 3 500 people. According to the organizers, many people thought that the event would be canceled and in this regard they did not come. Explaining this situation, the Mufti of Tatarstan noted that Iftar was not a holiday; it was a reason to meet. ‘Majlis are different. Today, due to certain reasons, we have decided to gather together and make dua for the dead and the injured. We saw Rustam Hazrat Khairullin sincerely making dua. Each of us was projecting what had happened onto themselves. This is another reason to reflect on our behavior and our relationship with our children’, the Mufti highlighted.
Rustam Minnikhanov, President of Tatarstan, Chairman of the Group of Strategic Vision ‘Russia – Islamic World’, was the guest of honor at the event and declared a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of School №175.
After the collective prayer and dua for the victims of the shooting, the guests proceeded to a joint meal. Those who could not make it to the Republican Iftar, Ak Bars Arena stadium also hosted the event along with the Kazan EXPO International Exhibition Centre. There was a distribution point of additional Iftar boxes for the people in need. Iftar boxes were distributed on 11 May from the Ak Bars Arena stadium’s media façade along Chistopolskaya Street from 15:00 to 19:00.
Everyone could also receive a Kazan edition of the Quran, prepared by the Khuzur Publishing House.