Youth projects of Russian muftiates

06 February


Modern young people are distinguished by a high level of mobility and intellectual activity. But social and economic conditions don't stand still, forming obstacles to the development of youth as responsible and independent members of modern society. In the Russian Federation, despite its multinational composition, solutions of young people problems are discussed at the highest official level. In many ways, the successes of Russian youth policy are achieved thanks to state assistance to the work of the authorities of national republics, regions and constituent entities of Russia.

In this case, a large part of responsibility falls on religious organizations. Religion is closely intertwined with the history of the nations living on the territory of Russia. Without awareness of this fact, it’s impossible to accomplish the moral formation of a person. It happened that the moral education is strongly associated with religious values. Exactly young people will be the bearers of culture, including religious culture in the near future. Islam, like all world religions, plays an important role in establishing moral precepts, which are expressed in tireless care about the welfare of all people.

Russian Muslims have always paid great attention to the education of their co-religionists and their moral education in accordance with the precepts of the religion. The most progressive of them advocated educational reform to bring the level of knowledge of Muslim peoples in accordance with world standards. The importance of education in raising a young person is difficult to overestimate. At the same time, the work of modern muftiates in opposing destructive trends that distort the peaceful essence of Islam and lure young, fragile minds into the darkness cannot be noted.

The activities of Russian muftiates in youth policy sphere is a constant and developing area. Therefore, it will not be possible to evaluate the entire range of activities carried out by Russian Muslims for the spiritual and moral education of the next generations only based on the youth projects presented in the article. In 2023, the Religious Board of Muslims of the Republic of Tatarstan (RBM RT) alone implemented eight projects for youth, in which took part almost 4,000 boys and girls.

An important direction of the youth policy of the RBM RT is the development of the movement of Muslim volunteers. They take part in organizing and conducting large traditional projects, such as the Republic Iftar or “Izge Bolgar Zhyeny”. In addition, volunteers generate their own social activities, such as “One Day School”, “Lecture Hall” and “Clean Mosque”. In 2023, over a hundred volunteers took part in the “Clean Mosque” campaign and held cleanup days in twenty mosques.

To consolidate young Muslims, the RBM RT holds Winter and Summer forums of Muslim youth, intellectual competitions “MuslimQuiz”, the project “IMAN” (various lectures and practices, sports training for young men), excursions, hikes and much more. “MuslimQuiz”, where players solve logic tasks and think through complex intellectual questions, has been particularly popular. In 2023, seven similar competitions took place, including the sidelines of International Economic Forum “Russia – Islamic World: KazanForum”.

The projects of the RBM RT for women: “Yash kilen” ("Young Wife") and “Zatly Mazhles” (“Honorable Assembly”) are necessary to be mentioned separately. At the beginning of the 20th century, the prominent Russian Muslim theologian Musa Bigiev wrote about the impossibility of educating a nation without educating women. Most Islamic organizations hold special courses and meetings, and organize clubs for young girls. For example, in Ufa, the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan, successfully operates the women's cultural and educational center “Jannat” of the Central Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Russia.

Despite the variety of communication means in the modern world, sometimes young people can remain unheard. Young people have to solve problems on their own, but they don’t always have enough life experience and a critical perspective. The readiness to hear the voice of the generation was expressed at the forum “Preservation and Strengthening of Traditional Russian Spiritual and Moral Values” in the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, the city of Nalchik. The forum took place in 2023 on the basis of the youth club “Friendly Caucasus”, organized by the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kabardino-Balkaria with the support of the Coordination Center for Muslims of the North Caucasus (CCMNC).

More than a hundred young people - representatives of different nationalities and confessions, Cossack communities, public and religious organizations from all over the south of the country - took part in the forum. The “Friendly Caucasus” club embodies the twinning of the peoples of Russia living in this region. A youth forum within the club was also held in 2023 in Makhachkala, the capital of the Republic of Dagestan, but with the assistance of the local muftiate and the Foundation for the Support of Islamic Science, Culture and Education, as well as the CCMNC. The participants’ speeches were imbued with concern for young people and a desire to warn them against rash actions.

Benevolent interethnic dialogue acquires special importance in the matter of communication with foreign students who come to Russia to receive not only religious, but also technical education. Many of them are citizens of Muslim countries. Russian muftiates are also involved in conducting preventive conversations with young people from abroad. At the end of 2023, representatives of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Chuvash Republic spoke to students of courses at the Cheboksary Institute of the Moscow Polytechnic University. In addition, Muslim mosques often become objects of spiritual and moral tours, as happened with the Munira mosque of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kuzbass.

Such tours become a real discovery for foreign students. But not all young guests of Russia come here for education; among them there are a large number of labor migrants from Central Asia. The muftiates actively promote to works aimed to the adaptation of migrants to Russian society. At the beginning of 2024, a mini-football tournament was held in the Irkutsk region with the participation of representatives of national cultural centers, foreign students and migrants. The organizers were the Baikal Muftiate and the Center for Legal Protection and Social and Cultural Adaptation “RosMigrant”.

In October 2023, with the support of RosMigrant and the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia, was held a football tournament dedicated to the Day of Accession of New Regions to the Russian Federation. The competition was called “Sport – the path to unity.” Amateur teams representing Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, as well as teams representing countries in the Caucasus region, took part in it. Sports and physical activity are an integral part of the moral education of young people. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ encouraged sports, since a strong believer is more loved by the Almighty than a weak one.

In 2025, the Islamic Youth Games will be held in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan. The project was approved by the participants of the XIV International Economic Forum “Russia – Islamic World: KazanForum” and supported by the secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. This once again emphasizes the global importance of the issue of personality formation - young people aren't the future of only the country, but of the whole world. In its turn the ongoing participation of Russian muftiates in the education of youth expresses the universal human values embedded in Islam.



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"