Traditions of Islam in Russia

In dedication to the 1,100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by the peoples of Volga Bulgaria.

24 November 2022 - 31 December 2022
09:30 am to 06:00 pm daily
Special Gallery 2, IAMM
Ticket Fee

The photo exhibition Traditions of Islam in Russia was organised by the Russia Muftis Council and the Religious Board of Muslims of the Russian Federation, and has been shown in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Brunei. In Malaysia, it was held in collaboration with the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Malaysia and the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. Launched on 23 November 2022, the exhibition was held at the Open Space Gallery until 31 December 2022.

Islam in Russia has a long and colourful history. In 922, one Ahmad ibn Fadlan, heading an embassy of the ‘Abbasid caliph al-Muktadir, found himself arriving in the region of Volga Bulgaria, today part of the Republic of Tatarstan. An eminent secretary, ibn Fadlan ardently recorded the details of the journey’s encounters, including one important event: the peoples of Volga-Bulgaria’s milestone entry into the Muslim faith.

Rustem Khuzin, Adoption of Islam by the Volga Bulgars in 922, reimagines the hallmark event 1,100 years ago. The ambassador of the ‘Abbasid caliph al-Muktadir, Ahmad ibn Fadlan, pictured here regaled with caliphal standards, proclaims a letter by the caliph on a raised platform.

1,100 years later, Russia, the world’s largest country, is homeland to some 30 million-strong Muslims, with up to 8,000 mosques. Hailing from numerous ethnicities and inhabiting the country’s magnificent landscapes, the lives of Russia’s Muslims are actively interwoven into the modern Russian fabric. From the arts and lifestyle to sports, Russia’s Muslim society is supported by well-established religious and cultural institutions.

Up to 140 photographs in Traditions of Islam in Russia captured the teeming diversity of Russia’s Muslim life. Divided into Russia’s eight federal districts, the photographs brought together the old and the new — from the Grand Mosque of Moscow to the Kul Sharif Mosque in Kazan, the thousand-year-old capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, and from magnificent ancient fortifications of the city of Bolgar to the solemnity of the 40 graves of the Prophet Muhammad’s early companions in Derbent. The exhibition truly sought to embody the history of Islam in Russia, from the vast terrains of Siberia to the mighty peaks of the Caucasus.

The gold-encrusted crescent pinnacle of the Grand Mosque of Moscow, officially inaugurated in 2015, rises against the Russian capital’s skyline in might. The mosque’s soaring spires and domes are reminiscent of the architectural styles of Russia’s prominent kremlins and cathedrals.

Traditions of Islam in Russia was held to commemorate the 55th anniversary of Malaysia–Russia bilateral relations, and was dedicated to the 1,100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by the peoples of the Volga–Bulgaria.

The entire exhibition is also available on http://www.islaminrus.com/.

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