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Culture news, 07.02.2014 17:10

Muslims in Russia mark 100th anniversary of St Petersburg Mosque

Muslims in Russia mark 100th anniversary of St Petersburg Mosque

Muslims in Russia celebrate the 100th anniversary of St Petersburg Mosque.
On the 100th year, government officials, religious and social figures will attend the special ceremony to be performed. The ambassadors of Muslim countries will among those who will attend the ceremony.
Cafer Nasibullahoglu, the imam of the mosque for 34 years and mufti of St Petersburg, said in the period when the St. Petersburg Mosque was built, 8 thousand of Muslims lived in the city.
He also said that currently around 700 thousand of Muslims live in St. Petersburg and the historical mosque could not hold the capacity and they build a new mosque.
It was the first biggest mosque of the Europe when it was opened in 1913.
Built in the capital of Russian Empire St Petersburg with the permission given by Emperor Nicholas II, the mosque was erected to to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the reign of Abdul Ahat Khan in Bukhara.
Its minarets attain 49 meters in height and the impressive dome rises 39 meters high.
It can accommodate up to five thousand worshippers who could not use the mosque between 1940 and 1956 in Soviet era and was made into a warehouse during the Second World War.
At the request of the first Indonesian President, Soekarno (whilst visiting the city), the mosque was returned to the Muslim community of the city in 1956, ten days after his visit. A major restoration of the mosque was carried out in 1980.

During the Friday sermons, Quran and hadith ( the sayings of the Prophet Mohammad) verses are read in Arabic and then the sermon continues in the Tatar language and Russian, Mufti Nasibullahoglu said.
Muslims from 22 different nationalities live in St. Petersburg city, the majority of them being Tatars, Azeris, Kazakh, Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Tajiks, Chechens, Arabs.
Nowadays the recently restored Mosque of Saint Petersburg is still one of the largest in Europe. The Mosque is the only functioning Muslim temple, as well as a leading educational and cultural center of Saint Petersburg.
The mosque is situated in downtown St Petersburg, in a symbolic location, sited opposite the Peter and Paul's Fortress, in the city centre. Its azure dome is perfectly visible from the Trinity Bridge across the Neva.

News source: Worldbulletin News

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