Ummid Assistant

Exploring Ramadan: A complete guide in video with English translation

AMU Centre for Distance Education to add five more study centres

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » Ramadan around the world




Ramadan in Russia: Faith rules despite long fasting hours

Monday August 15, 2011 08:50:17 PM, Agencies

The Cathedral Mosque of Moscow was built in 1904 according to the design of the architect Nikolay Zhukov and has undergone some reconstructions since then.

In the 1980s, Islam was the second most widespread religion in the Soviet Union. In that period, the number of Soviet citizens identifying themselves as Muslims generally totalled between 45-50 million. The majority of the Muslims resided in the Central Asian republics of the Soviet Union, which now are independent countries. In 1996 the Muslim population of Russia was estimated at 19 percent of all citizens professing belief in a religion. Major Islamic communities are concentrated among the minority nationalities residing between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea: the Adyghs, Balkars, Bashkirs, Chechens, Cherkess, Ingush, Kabardins, Karachay, and numerous Dagestani nationalities. In the middle Volga Basin are large populations of Tatars, Udmurts, and Chuvash, most of whom are Muslims. Many Muslims also reside in Ul’yanovsk, Samara, Nizhniy Novgorod, Moscow, Perm’, and Leningrad oblasts.

There is much evidence of official conciliation toward Islam in Russia in the 1990s. The number of Muslims allowed to make pilgrimage to Makkah increased sharply after the virtual embargo of the Soviet era ended in 1990. Copies of the Holy Qur’an are readily available, and many mosques are being built in regions with large Muslim populations. In 1995 the newly established Union of Muslims of Russia, led by Imam Khatyb Mukaddas of Tatarstan, began organizing a movement aimed at improving interethnic understanding and ending Russians’ lingering misconception of Islam as an extremist religion. 

Russia’s 20 million Muslims join the month of fasting and religious rituals as a way of making family ties stronger. “Ramadan is a very good month for us because it teaches us patience. We observe fasting from dawn till sunset. All Muslims fast at this time, and that unites us, because we all do it for the Allah and nobody else,” says Guzel Yakupova.

The Yakupov family is among an estimated two million Muslims living in Moscow. Their population has significantly increased throughout the whole of Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, as has the number of mosques – from 300 in 1991 to over 8,000 today.

The main mosque in Moscow will greet thousands of worshippers over the next 30 days. Muslims across Russia flock to mosques for the night prayers and for Taraweeh. In some hostels too, students offer prayers in congregation. Leaflets and books on when fasting begins and when it ends as well as a detailed calendar of prayer times for the whole month are circulated among worshippers.


“Here, people have to make real efforts in order not to lose the sense of goodness. In the Arab world people feed on this from everywhere around them, while in Russia we have to make more effort,” says Ildar Alyautdinov, the First Imam of the Moscow Cathedral Mosque.

For the first time in 2007, the Gallup Poll provided a rare look at Russia’s estimated 15 to 20 million Muslims. Gallup asked respondents in Russia: “Do you consider yourself to be religious, or not?” Those responding affirmatively were then asked for their religious affiliation. In addition to the national sample, supplementary interviews were conducted in two regions, Dagestan and Tatarstan, with high concentrations of Muslim residents.

Long fasting hours

Russia is well known for its cold climate and an environment befitting for polar bears.  But, for the temperature to reach over 30°C, and could sometimes reach 40°C, is something that the Russian people are not used to. Ramadan this year is much like the previous year in terms of its high temperatures, which led to many forest fires in several northern and southern Russian cities.


A distinctive aspect of Ramadan in Russia, which has been occurring for the past several years, is the long fasting hours, where the Muslims fast more than 18 hours a day. On 14th August today, Fajr time fell before 03:15 AM and Iftaar at 09.10 PM. In northern regions it is even longer. This causes hardships for the fasting Muslims, especially those who work in labor.  However, the Muslims do not mind fasting despite the hardships they face.


“This year the weather is very harsh.  Despite that, with the coming of Ramadan we felt a sense of psychological ease that is aiding us in overcoming all hardships.  Ramadan only comes once a year. Therefore, we must be patient and gain as much benefit from it as we can.  Ramadan truly has a distinct taste that we feel in our hearts,” said Bashir Mohmameduf, who works as an engineer in a private company.


Ramadan Food

The most important meal at Muslims’ banquets in Ramadan, whether Suhoor or Iftaar, is soup cooked with meat, potatoes, onion and vegetables, with almost 30 other possible variations. Non-Russians always wonder why Russian Muslims do not go for simple meals such as milk and jam. The answer is rather very simple.


First, Russian Muslims wake up at 6:30 AM for work. They do not benefit from the lunch break granted by all institutions and work places at 12:00, because they are not to eat before the Maghreb prayer. They finish work at 4:00 P.M. and rush home to fix the fast-breaking meal.

Second, in a country like Russia, where temperatures are usually below zero, milk or jam would not give Muslims enough calories for a tough working day. Only a strong meal would help them survive such temperatures and hard work conditions. Russian Muslims usually break their fast with milked dates.


In the Masajid dates, water and food are provided for all visitors. Among the foreign students too, who live in hostels, collective Iftaar are organized.

For Iftaar, students from in and out of the hostel are also invited, even non-Muslims also share. Most people prefer Iftaar with their family members at their houses. Special light dishes along with dates, fruits and tea, etc. are common.


In the middle of the holy month, a charitable “Ramadan tent” will be established near the main memorial mosque in downtown Moscow. After sunset, Muslims and guests will be able to try hot dishes prepared by cooks from Turkey and Iran.

Ramadan in Moscow
Marat Arshabayev, Imam of Moscow Cathedral Mosque said in a statement on the eve of 1st Ramadan, “The holy month of Ramadan is a long-awaited month for every Muslim including those from Russia, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Malaysia and other parts of the world. Remembering the words of the Prophet at least on these days is considered to be a great advantage for our businesses, deeds and actions.”


A student from Ghana, who visited Moscow during Ramadan and spent one week there, narrates: Moscow is home to about two million Muslims. The atmosphere of Ramadan here is well experienced in and around the Masajid.

Last year more than 15 thousand Muslims along with the Minister Louis Farrakhan, offered Eidul Fitr prayer at Cathedral Mosque of Moscow. Many of them have to use their coats as Prayer Rugs. After Eid Prayer and Sermon, the Minister offered Eid Greetings in his brief address.

The new regime of President Dmitry Medvedev is sympathetic towards Muslims and wants their cooperation in nation building. Barely 20 days after Obama’s famous address to the Muslims in Cairo, President Dimity Medvedev, addressed the Arab League Conference on June 24 same year in the same city and insisted, “Islam is an inalienable part of Russian history and culture, given that more than 20 million Russian citizens are among the faithful.” Consequently, “Russia does not need to seek friendship with the Muslim world as our country is an organic part of this world.”







  Bookmark and Share

Home | Top of the Page



Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS




Ramadan around the world

Prayers, feasts and piety - it's Ramadan in India

From dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is a time for nurturing piety. Mosques fill with worshippers, hotels are closed during the day. The muezzin's call of 'adhan' and sounds of sirens are the signals for starting and breaking fast.   »

Ramadan, The Holy Month once again...

The unusual hosts at Manmad Junction for Rozedars

Reflections: Memories of Ramadan in Palestine

The holy month of Ramadan and its fasting are once again upon us. Muslims will fast from sun up 'til sundown, abstaining from food, water and intimate relationships. Each year around this time, my memories are rekindled of Ramadan in our small village of Beit Hanina   »

Ramadan arrives in Bangladesh with sanctity, festivity and philanthropy

Ramadan arrives in Bangladesh with serenity, sanctity, festivity and philanthropy. Overflowing mosques with devotees, quitters streets, illuminated and ornamented shopping malls and markets  »

Hamilton Muslims give final touches to new mosque for Ramadan

The Muslim Association of Hamilton (MAH) is encouraging its members to donate about $200,000 in the remaining week before Ramadan - the holy month of fasting begins August 1. That’s what it will take to finish the bare minimum of work required and secure a temporary occupation  »

Ramazan in Sri Lanka: A Sri Lankan teenage-boy's recollection

The Sri Lankan Muslims form a small minority community of around 1.5 to 2 million people or around 9% of Sri Lanka’s population. As such Ramazan fasting, the fourth pillar of Islam, is a time eagerly awaited by all Muslims, young and old    »


Ramadan Impact

Ramadan, an uplifting time for stock markets in Muslim countries

A new research from the University of New Hampshire has found that during the holy month of Ramadan, stock returns are almost nine times higher in predominately Muslim countries than during other times of the year. The finding indicates that Ramadan positively affects   »

Emirates offers special fares for Ramadan

UAE to release 676 prisoners to mark Ramadan

With Ramadan comes peace in Kashmir

After days of unrest and curfew, the situation in the Kashmir Valley was on Thursday calm with curfew being lifted from all the regions and a break in strikes called by separatists. "The situation is peaceful throughout the Valley and curfew   »

This Christian priest reads Quran entire Ramadan

Non-Muslim expats keen to enjoy spirit of Ramadan

Israel to restrict Palestinians' entry to Jerusalem in Ramadan

Israeli police announced Monday that it will restrict the entry of Palestinian worshipers from the West Bank into Jerusalem for Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, which begins later this week, reports Arab News Correspondent Mohammad  »

Reflections: Memories of Ramadan in Palestine

Obama uses Ramadan to woo the Muslim world


Picture of the Day

Muslims go to Makkah al Mukarrema in Saudi Arabia for Umrah entire year other than Haj times. However, during Ramadan, number of Umrah visitors increases manifold. According to a rough estimate, over 2.5 million Muslims come from across the world to Makkah al Mukarrema for Umrah during Ramadan.




RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant






About us




Government Schemes










Contact us





      Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

© 2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.