Society • 20 September, 2017

Unified rules of conduct in mosques is to be implemented in Kazakhstan

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The Minister of Religious Affairs and Civil Society Nurlan Yermekbayev announced this during the government hour in the Mazhilis, Parliament of Kazakhstan.

The Ministry received a number of complaints about the different conduct of the same rituals in mosques in different regions.

To correct the situation, the department instructed the Spiritual Board of Muslims of Kazakhstan (SBMK) to prepare a single set of rules of conduct in Muslim religious institutions.

To date, a set of rules (in the form of a book of fatwas) was prepared and implemented in mosques, minister Yermekbayev said.

According to him, the format of imams’ work also changed.

"The work of the Imam Corps is being redirected from mass to point-wise work with the target audience. Wide explanatory work is taking place mainly among believers and in religious buildings. “A pool of qualified imams was formed in conjunction with the leadership of the SBMK so that imams could work with representatives of destructive trends", said Mr. Yermekbayev.

On the sidelines of the Mazhilis, the naib-mufti of the SBMK Serikbay Oraz emphasized that the rules are oriented to the clergies. It has a recommendatory character for the population.

"Muslim religious rituals differ from region to region. They should be the same. Therefore, we are going to publish the book of fatwas “As Zhanaza”, notes Serikbay Oraz.

 “Worship should be conducted by a person who represents a registered religious association with a religious education. The book clearly states, for example, when a person dies, then the ritual of "zhanaza"(praying before the burial) can be held in the courtyard of the house or in the mosque. “As” (funeral dinner) can be held in the dining room or restaurant. Before that, there were no clear rules for conducting a particular rite. We have prepared the book to prevent from disagreements and controversies. These rules are mandatory for clergies and recommended for population,” continues Mr. Oraz.

 As previously reported, to date, about 10% of citizens in Kazakhstan consider themselves atheists or agnostics, 75% of citizens consider themselves as believers, but do not fulfill all religious pillars and only 16% of believers fulfill all rituals of worshiping. 

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