At the end of the XVIII century Empress Catherine II issued a decree to form the Ufa Mohammedan Spiritual Assembly of the Law, headed by the Mufti. Since then, Ufa became the center of Muslim Russia. In 1998 one of the most unusual and beautiful mosques – Lala-Tulip was built in Ufa. Today we’ll see it inside and outside, talk about this cultural and religious center, and see views from one of minarets.
The appearance of the mosque is rather unusual. It is modern and at the same time its purpose is clearly understood.
Cheerful and competent people live and work here.
The mosque is not only a prayer house. This is really a whole center: an educational institution with its own dormitory, a Muslim temple, a place for assembly of Muslim religious leaders, a library and a conference room. In total, the mosque can accommodate about a thousand believers.
However, not only Muslims are always welcome here. All you have to do is to respect their traditions, take off your shoes and you may enter.
The interior is more traditional – a minimum of extravagances. Nothing should distract from prayers, that is why men and women pray separately.
Believers enter the mosque barefoot – this is an elementary hygiene. They kneel on the floor, bow heads and faces to a carpet.
In 1773 Catherine II passed a law of the religions tolerance. She compared herself with God who is tolerant for different languages, religions and races.
These times were troubled: Pugachev and his rebels organized uprisings. For this reason, several decrees requiring local authorities to combine interests of the state and the religious tolerance were issued .
All mosques were ennobled, and surrounded by the fence. Schools were opened near mosques.
So Ufa became the center of Muslim life in Russia. And now Ufa is the seat of the Muslim spiritual leader of Russia and European CIS countries.
The institution created by Catherine’s order was unique. An ordinary Muslim did not need a centralized organization, he just prayed to Allah, and if something was not clear, a mullah would explain. But it was very useful for the state that controlled the social life of Russian Muslims through the spiritual authority.
The most frequent question is why the center of Russian Islam is in Ufa, not in Kazan. The answer is obvious – Kazan was conquered and Orthodoxy was spread here by force. And Bashkortostan voluntarily joined the Russian Empire and in terms of the public safety, to give the power to Ufa was the most logical solution.
Let’s back in modern times. Now any Muslim can come in Lala-Tulip for an advice or clarification. Mosques have special courses where anyone can get an initial understanding of the Koran and the fundamentals of Islam.
The place for meetings, conferences and congresses.
“Take off your shoes!”
Every year about a hundred people study at the Islamic Institute.
Despite the common perception of the severity of Islam, it is not so. For example, Muslims can officially get a divorce, and the initiative may come from both a man and a woman.
Two minarets have the form of tulip buds, that since ancient times were symbols of the Turkic peoples.
The mosque stands on a hill, the forest and river are on one side, the city is on the other.
Well, abstract from religions and see the beauty. The Victory Park with a memorial and a museum of military glory are located to the north. Somewhere on the horizon there are oil refineries and a thermal power station.
Yellow houses are first Stalin’s five-storey buildings.
The sports and recreation complex “Biathlon”.