Islam and Muslims in Ukraine

Ukraine is one of the most tolerant countries towards Muslims. In this country, members of all religions enjoy all opportunities equally, there is no restriction or aggression against anyone on the basis of their religious beliefs. Like all Muslims live freely and freely according to their beliefs. It should be noted that historically, Muslim Tatars living in Ukraine, although they are a minority, have always lived in peace and brotherhood with Christians, as can be seen from history.

One of the main central religious organizations of Ukraine is the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Ukraine, in addition, there are religious organizations throughout Ukraine, such as the Muftiyat of the Crimean Tatars, the Islamic Association “Ar-Raid” and the Islamic cultural society “Ahli-bayt” created by local Azerbaijanis .
The first mosque in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, was fully commissioned in 2011 by the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Ukraine. Of course, when we say “mosque” we mean a place of prayer with a dome and a minaret, officially built and registered as a mosque, it does not include ordinary houses of worship. This complex of mosques called “Ar-Rahma” is the largest center of Islam in Ukraine. The Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Ukraine is also located in this mosque complex. Sheikh Ahmed Tamim is the head of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Ukraine. It is interesting that Sheikh Ahmed Tamim comes from Lebanese Arabs and has been living in Ukraine since Soviet times. Among the countries of the former USSR, only the head of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Ukraine is an Arab. Looking at the activities of “DUMU” (in Russian and Ukrainian, this institution is called by its initials – Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Ukraine), it can be called the most successful religious institution. For example, on December 4, 2011, a new mosque complex was opened in Kyiv, at the same time the building of the Kyiv Islamic University was put into operation, in 2012 the building of the Islamic University in Simferopol was handed over, and the Islamic University was already operating in Donetsk. The diploma of the Islamic University is officially awarded by Ukrainian state institutions and in close cooperation with the Islamic University of Egypt “Al-Azhar”. There are more than 1,000 Muslim religious communities in Ukraine, all of them registered. In agreement with the Ukrainian state, the “Halal” standard for Ukrainian food products has been defined, the State University of Medical Sciences has been issuing “Halal” certificates since 2012, and Ukraine has been exporting halal food products to Muslim countries for several years.

In addition to the mosque, madrasa and university, “DUMU” implements a number of other religious projects: a religious internet radio, television, several newspapers and magazines, several websites are part of the institutions of this administration and are working successfully. “DUMU” is the only Muslim religious center represented in the Council of Religious Organizations of Ukraine.

As mentioned above, Ukrainian Muslims do not have any religious problems, women do not have a problem with the hijab, Muslim girls can go to Ukrainian schools with a headscarf, Muslim women in Ukraine are allowed to carry photos of themselves with headscarves in their passports and identity cards, and minor problems find their positive solution in an official manner. The price of hajj in Ukraine is cheap compared to some Muslim countries.
In the Ukrainian Central Palace for 5,000 people in Kyiv, with the participation of the same number of believers, congresses of Muslims of Ukraine are held from time to time, religious conferences, mosques and other religious buildings equally belong to sects. Ukrainian Muslims mostly consist of Tatars, Arabs, Chechens, Dagestanis, Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Azerbaijanis. The majority of Ukrainian Muslims declare that Takfirism, Wahhabism and Khawarijism are outside Islam and are a stain on Muslims, separatism, nationalism, aggression and terrorism are strongly condemned and promoted as actions far from Islam.
Kharkiv, the former capital of Ukraine, is the only city that has two official mosques with minarets and domes, one of which is the Fatima Mosque, built in the 19th century and known as the Tatar Mosque, and the other, the Imam Ali Mosque, built in the 21st century and is known as the Azerbaijani mosque.
It is interesting that a few years ago Muslims were called “aggressive” in one of the Ukrainian textbooks, Muslims protested, and soon they raised a serious issue with the state regarding the replacement of these textbooks, and the state agreed and solved the problem.
Yes, this is Christian and European Ukraine. Here Muslims can defend their religion better than in some Muslim countries. This is Islam and Muslims in our Ukraine.

Namyk Babakhanov
Kyiv 2013