February 17, in the Bolgar Islamic Academy an event “Muslims in defense of the Fatherland: from history to the present” was held, timed to coincide with Defender of the Fatherland Day. It was attended by students and teachers from major Islamic educational institutions of Russia, including the Moscow Islamic Institute, the Muslim Spiritual Directorate of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, and the Russian Islamic Institute.

The event highlighted the experience of patriotic activity of Muslims during the Great Patriotic War and demonstrated its importance in carrying out special military operations. The courage and heroism of Muslims during the Great Patriotic War were illustrated by the example of the documentary film “Jihad against Hitler” and disclosed in a dialogue with the scientific adviser of the film – Doctor of History, Senior Researcher of Academy, colonel of reserve of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, a veteran of combat operations, Professor Vyacheslav Ahmadullin of Financial University under the Government of Russian Federation.

He noted that Muslims have made an invaluable contribution to the defense of the Fatherland, so “it is important to take steps in several directions at once. Firstly, to collect the particles and crumbs of information, which has remained after the Great Patriotic War. We are talking about the letters which were written to the front and came from the front and identify Muslim topics in them. On the other hand, today it is necessary to collect as many screenshots of correspondence as possible, when regardless of national or religious identity people write about the special military operation events (SMO). We have to keep the memory, to document facts, how common people help to defeat Nazism,” Akhmadullin emphasized.

In his turn, Shamil Lirov, a student of the Academy, told the audience about his great-grandfathers who contributed to the victory in the Great Patriotic War, working on the home front and at the front.

About how today’s Muslims heroically defend the homeland, told a member of the SMO Muhammad Magomedov, who with his own example showed the role of religion in the lives of soldiers and thereby proved Bismarck’s thesis that “there are no atheists in the battlefield”. Larisa Muratshina, the mother of a serviceman who died in the war, spoke about what qualities of personality and beliefs of her son helped him to show courage on the battlefield and to fight bravely to the last drop of blood. Larisa’s son Eldar wrote wonderful poems, and to reveal his inner world, Larisa read one of them. At the same time, Larisa showed an example of woman patriotism and told how she initiated an edition of a poetry collection of her son and a literary contest in memory of Eldar Muratshin.

The topic of patriotism in terms of Islamic doctrine was covered by Imam-muhtasib of the mosque in Maikop of the Republic of Adygea, a master’s student of the Academy, and a participant of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict in 2008. Rustam Tsiku recalled an ayat of the Holy Koran in which Allah commands one to defend oneself, but not to overstep the limits of what is permissible, and not to be lawless killers of women, children, and the elderly. There are separate sections in the fiqh that explain the rules of warfare.

“The love of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) for his native lands is a well-known fact. It is a vivid example of how a Muslim should treat his homeland. And the defense of the state and its citizens is impossible without patriotic feelings. Some call upon us to leave the homeland, calling it hijra. But this loses our national identity, our religion, and our language. We are not oppressed in our own country, there are mosques and new ones are being opened, madrassas and universities work, there is every opportunity to observe the precepts of Islam, the Quran contests are organized every year, religious literature is published and translated, we have the opportunity to make the hajj,” Tsiku noted.

Ruslan Sayakhov, the vice-rector for scientific activity, expressed gratitude to the organizers of the event, aimed at reflecting on such eternal values as defense of the homeland, human duty, and upbringing.

“Our students, the Academy work in this direction through filling the issues of love and defense of their homeland with spiritual meaning, it gives strength to all who are on the front line. This is an important work, the Motherland can be defended in different ways,” said Ruslan Sayakhov.

The event ended with a discussion of proposals on productive forms and methods of patriotic education in modern Islamic educational institutions. Summing up the informative discussion, as Assistant Professor of Theology Department of the Academy Natalia Sedykh said, it is important to initiate a project “The norms of Islamic morals in the patriotic education of youth,” the implementation of which will show real-life examples of Muslims.