As the press service of the Head and Government of the Republic of Dagestan reports, first of all Ramzan Abdulatipov congratulated all Muslims on the 15th anniversary of the Russian Hajj mission, wishing them health and prosperity and success in this charitable deed for organizers.
“People in Dagestan at all times understood the significance of this aspect of Islam. It was promoted by our outstanding theologians - the late Mufti of Dagestan Sayidmuhammad-haji Abubakarov, Sheikh Said-afandi Chirkeisky, and the current Mufti of Dagestan Ahmad-Hadji Abdulaev. Being in the post of the federal minister, I stood at the very beginning of the pilgrimage of Russian Muslims and was one of the initiators of the organized hajj campaign of Russian Muslims to the sacred places in Mecca and Medina. I am glad to see how this initiative increased at very high level” – said the Head of the republic.
“At first we had certain problems with the realization of hajj due to the lack of the experience. But today all preparations and the realization of pilgrimage are held at a high level thanks to well-coordinated work of all hajj organizers, representatives of the federal executive bodies, executive authorities of the Russian entities, Islamic High Councils and tourist agencies.” – stressed Ramazan Abdulatipov.
“The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj has recognized the Russian Hajj-mission as one of the best over recent years. In this regard I express my gratitude to the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Russia Abdurrahman bin Ibrahim ar-Rassi for a well-organized work of providing residency for pilgrims in the Kingdom. Also I want to acknowledge the work of the mufti of Dagestan, Ahmad-Hadji Abdulayev and Ilyas Umakhanov, the main supervisor of the Hajj-mission, who are engaged in this issue for many years.”
“Thousands of Dagestanis annually make a pilgrimage to the holy places of Saudi Arabia. Only last year pilgrimage was carried out by more than 7000 Dagestanis. I want to note that it is the qualitative work of all involved structures that allowed pilgrims to make hajj and return home successfully. The quality of organization of hajj depends on our well-coordinated work. Thus, everyone must do everything possible for full and comfortable pilgrimage.” – concluded Ramazan Abdulatipov.
Ilyas Umakhanov, deputy Chairman of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation reported a significant increase in the number of people who went on pilgrimage during the period of the Hajj-mission existence.
“If during the Soviet Union less than 20 people from 10 regions went to pilgrimage annually, then from the 90-ies several thousands of believers from 73 regions go to perform the ritual. In our country there is a unique experience of cooperation between the authorities and the Hajj Council. Soon we will launch an electronic roster and database of pilgrims who went to hajj before. We do all this to create good conditions for our people during their visit to sacred places” – said Deputy Chairman of Federation.
Mufti of Dagestan Ahmad-Haji Abdulayev told about the positive experience of cooperation with tour operators involved in the process of transporting pilgrims to the hajj: “For 15 years of the Russian Hajj-mission existence more than 200 thousand Dagestanis went to pilgrimage. The Hajj Center has been created for all those who wish to visit the holy places, scholars and alims come with groups of pilgrims. They take some organization functions and tell about the meaning of pilgrimage’s rite” –said Mufty.
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Russia Abdurrahman bin Ibrahim ar-Rassi noted the good level of cooperation between the Kingdom and the Russian Federation. He thinks that all that shows a high attention of the leaderships of the countries to the Muslims and to the rite of pilgrimage.
Magomed Gamzayev, the Head of the Russian Hajj-mission, said that the mission started to function from the beginning of the creation of the Russian Hajj Council in 2002.
“Russian Hajj-mission coordinates hajj’s tourist agencies, monitors their implementation of the decisions of the Russian Hajj Council and all conditions specified in the Russian-Saudi Protocol for the Admission of Russian Pilgrims. During the hajj season the quantity of members of the Russian Hajj-mission amounts to 200 people. They are organizers of the hajj, leaders of the groups, physicians, guides and interpreters. In Saudi Arabia during the hajj season the operational headquarters office works around the clock. The Russian Hajj-mission representatives are on duty during the arrival of Russian pilgrims at the airports of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They also work at the offices of Saudi organizations that are engaged in the acceptance of Russian pilgrims and watch all Russian pilgrims to be vaccinated, have uniform and badges – the individual hajj-certificates, in which specified phone numbers of Hajj-mission in addition to the personal information” – stressed Gamzayev.
The meeting ended with presentation of state awards, letters of appreciation and certificates to all involved in the hajj campaign process.
Ilyas Umakhanov, deputy Chairman of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, told journalists that the main task of all parties and participants in the process of hajj campaigns is provision of equal rights and conditions to pilgrims.
“First of all, this concerns those who have been preparing for it for a long time and commit such religious ritual for the first time. We have already discussed today that the range of regions expanded together with the quantity of pilgrims. Actually we are faced with the task of ensuring them the optimal value for money. In such case we have to carry out a large work with tour operators” – said Umakhanov.
The head of Dagestan Ramazan Abdulatipov also reported that in Jeddah due to the well-coordinated work of the Islamic High Council of the republic, the Ministry of Hajj of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Consulate General of Russia the quota for hajj is increasing for Dagestanis.
“However, it is important for our people to understand that the Kingdome provides all countries with quota and it is necessary to give opportunity to make a pilgrimage to those who travel for the first time. At the initial stages we faced many obstacles. But today we managed to overcome them and our Hajj-mission is considered to be one of the best in the world” – concluded the Head of the region.
At the end of the meeting, guests of this jubilee meeting dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the Russian Hajj-mission, together with the Head of Dagestan and the Mufti of Dagestan, performed Friday prayer in the central mosque of Makhachkala.