Learn namaz

15 March


Namaz is a five-fold prayer obligatory for a Muslim - one of the pillars of Islam, an expression of submission and gratitude to the Almighty. According to Sharia, a Muslim must begin to recite namaz at the onset of maturity, which is determined by the achievement of puberty. However, it is necessary to teach to namaz and other religious duties from early childhood - from the age of seven. Nowadays it’s increasingly possible to hear the expression “ethnic Muslim”, which describes a person born in a Muslim family, but who doesn't fulfill the precepts of the religion.

What could be the reason for this phenomenon? There are many answers: absence of knowledge about religion, laziness, simple reluctance, or perhaps depression. The latter, to a greater extent, is caused by depriving oneself of happiness and peace from moments of solitude in prayer to the Almighty. A person's laziness or reluctance expresses his personal choice, while learning the basics of Islam is not a problem today. In addition, it’s familiarization with sacred sources and traditions that can change a person’s priorities and help him overcome his own negative qualities.

The Soviet period of Russian history is known for the anti-religious policies pursued by the authorities. In the course of atheistic propaganda, Islamic religious life largely moved into the family and everyday sphere. The phenomenon included the proliferation of household mosques and informal spiritual guides within families. In many ways, the traditions carefully passed on by Muslims from generation to generation have become the pillar of religious revival in Russia. Today anyone can obtain the necessary knowledge about Islam, including learning how to read namaz.

Of course, not everyone has the opportunity to receive an education in a religious educational institution due to certain circumstances. Taking this fact into account, educational training courses are organized at muftiates and mosques. For example, at the residence of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims in Moscow, classes on the study of Islam are held as part of Sunday schools. Each lesson takes place in a warm and positive atmosphere. Whole families attend Sunday school, because education provides complete leisure time for a person of any age.

Or, for example, courses of Arabic and calligraphy, reading the Quran, and the basics of Islam are held in the Kemerovo region, at the Munira mosque. Classes are held every Saturday and Sunday. Children and adults of any skill level can sign up for them. In the Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, the “One Day School” has been operating since 2018. The project was created by the Religious Board of Muslims of the Republic of Tatarstan specifically for those who want to become a practicing Muslim, but don’t have enough free time to attend courses at the mosque for five years.

The next season of “One Day School” became the thirteenth in a row and opened on the eve of Ramadan. According to the program, students must have time to learn how to read namaz before the end of the holy month. Visitors to the popular short-term course can learn the skills for reading namaz and Islamic basics for free in eight lessons, one per week. Training is conducted in both Tatar and Russian languages. Over twelve seasons, about 1,200 people studied at the courses and became practicing Muslims. To participate in such classes, you must register by phone or fill out an online form.

Of course, anyone who wants to learn namaz can contact a nearby mosque or muftiate of the region to obtain the information he is interested in about courses in the basics of Islam. But the fast pace of modern life, or the multi-confessional structure of the Russian Federation – it’s the distance, that doesn’t always allow participation even in short-term educational programs. Then the achievements of information and technological progress, namely the Internet, come to the rescue. There are many educational websites and online madrasahs in Russia.

The online educational institution "Medina" for Russian-speaking Muslims around the world offers a full course of traditional theological training: from the initial level of madrasah to the graduate level of Islamic higher educational institutions. Medina opened its doors on September 1, 2017. The training program of another online madrasah, Yamal, was compiled in collaboration with the Russian Islamic University of the Central Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Russia, the first and largest Russian Islamic university. Graduates of the institution preach and serve throughout Russia and the CIS.

In 2021, a project for an online madrasah in Russian was presented, prepared by the Religious Board of Muslims of the Republic of Tatarstan and The Huzur Publishing House as part of the 1100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by Volga Bulgaria. A unique educational platform has raised the first level of Islamic education in Russia – courses at mosques – to a qualitatively new level. The online madrasah operates on the educational platform medrese.tatar, as well as in a free mobile application developed for smartphones based on iOS and Android. The application is called “Online Madrasah”.

The project is based on the platform of the first Tatar online madrasah. The resource is an alternative to lectures by unknown “sheikhs” and dubious video resources on the Internet. At the presentation, Mufti of Tatarstan Kamil Samigullin noted the popularity of online madrasahs in the Tatar language. At the same time, Kamil Hazrat emphasized that it’s preferable to receive religious knowledge directly in mosques and madrasahs. But the distance learning platform makes it possible to study shakirds in remote cities where there isn’t mosque, as well as gain knowledge at any convenient time.

But modern people’s fatigue with the Internet is understandable. Today, most people's activities take place in front of computer screens, and the desire to take a break from the “blue glow” seems quite justified. In this case, assistance to those wishing to learn namaz can be provided by “Giybadete Islamiya” (“Fundamentals of Worship”) - the famous schoolbook compiled by the domestic educator Ahmadhadi Maksudi. The generally accepted manual for schools in pre-revolutionary Russia is still used in Muslim educational institutions as the main guide.



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Mücahit Yıldız/Pixabay