The Bolgar Islamic Academy for the first time hosted an informal meeting to introduce the Academy management and teaching staff to first-year students. During the event, Academy professors spoke about the importance of quality study of the Arabic language as a tool for mastering the Islamic sciences. In turn, the students expressed their gratitude and admiration for the Academy itself and its faculty, spoke about themselves, their hopes and implementation of plans in the scientific field.

As noted by the Academy Vice-Rector for Scientific activities Ruslan Sayakhov, the Bolgar Islamic Academy is rightly considered to be the top of the domestic system of Islamic education and successfully trains the future spiritual elite of the Russian Ummah.

“You have already heard a lot about the history of the Academy, you have an idea of the intellectual work that you have to go through, which conditionally can be divided into two complementary components: educational and research. As for our doctoral students, I would like to point out that it is important for you to devote 2-3 hours every day to scientific work,” Sayakhov added.

The first-year students had an opportunity to talk to and ask questions to the leading professors of the Academy, world-renowned scientists, including Sheikh Saif Ali al-Asri, who specializes in Aqeedah and Fiqh issues, Sheikh Ahmad Mustafa, a teacher-linguist with wide experience of teaching Arabic in a foreign language classroom, Sheikh Anwar Ahmad, a major specialist in Quranic sciences. In their addresses to the students, the professors asked them to pay special attention to mastering the Arabic language and studying the Quran, writing skills – writing master’s and doctoral dissertations.

“You have a unique opportunity to practice Arabic. Everything around you is related to the Arabic language, the speakers of the language, the disciplines you study are read in Arabic, the library is full of books in Arabic. All this motivates you to study Arabic more deeply”, – Sheikh al-Asri stressed.

In turn, Rustem Zinnurov, the Plenipotentiary Representative of the Chairman of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Russian Federation in Jordan, a first-year doctoral student at the Academy, addressed to the master’s and doctoral students. According to him, studying at the Bolgar Islamic Academy is a great opportunity to get a higher theological “academic” education. Zinnurov stressed the importance of studying Arabic for anyone who wants to deepen their knowledge of theology, regardless of specialization.

Maksat Ovezov, a first-year doctoral student at the Bolgar Mufti, shared his impression of the Academy.

“The Bolgar Islamic Academy represents a unique case in the last centuries when such a high educational institution, where the world’s leading specialists teach, emerges in Russia. The Academy is rightly considered the single strongest flagship of Islamic education in Russia and even the CIS. In addition to the rich material base, we would like to note that the Academy is located in the place where Islam was adopted by the Volga Bulgaria, the place where the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) companions were, where every student can walk through the ruins of an ancient city,” Ovezov added.

Next, Ismail Khautiev, a lecturer at the Ingush Islamic Institute, a graduate of the Bolgar Islamic Academy, and a first-year doctoral student at the Academy, spoke. He shared with the audience his past experience of student life at the Academy and how he applies his knowledge in his professional life.

“I am very glad to come back to the native walls of the Academy and I hope that I will contribute to its development. As graduate students, we can no longer see our lives without the Academy. After my graduation I began to share the knowledge I had already gained at the Ingush Islamic Institute, to educate new students for the Academy. Today I am pleased to tell all my students about the Academy, its academic potential, its faculty and its rich student life,” said Ismail Hautiyev.

Welcoming speeches were also made by head of the Chair of Religious and Humanitarian Disciplines, Doctor of Islamic Sciences Ramil Gizzatullin and head of the Doctoral Studies Department Marat Timurshin, who talked about their work in the Academy and gave instructions to new students before the start of the academic year.

It was the first time when Academy administration and professors met with new students in an informal atmosphere and over a cup of tea. The format of the meeting turned out to be very popular and useful, encouraging an open and sincere conversation. It was valuable for all participants, because the overall success of preparing a modern Islamic theologian depends largely on sincerity of intentions and readiness for cooperation and joint work.