Second shipment of 20,000
Russian Holy Qurans distributed in Russia, December 1999
by Sister Samina
See (faster loading) photographs of the trip
By the grace of Almighty Allah twenty thousand copies of the Russian
translation of the Holy Quran were shipped and distributed in Russia
in the month of Ramadan, December 1999.
I left Columbus, Ohio, on the 11th of December and arrived in Moscow
on the 12th. Dr. Alexander Sadetsky and Dr. Tanya Sadetsky were waiting
for me at the airport having come on an earlier flight from Quebec,
From the airport we went to register at the Foreign Guest Hostel of
the Russian State University for the Humanities where we were going
The next day, Monday, was a Public Holiday and all Government offices
were closed. Dr. Alexander Sadetsky, Dr. Tanya Sadetsky and I went to
the Hilal Foundation for a meeting with Mr. R. Bayazitov, the President
of the Foundation. He had especially flown into Moscow for the meeting.
The discussions during the meeting centered around the distribution
of the Holy Quran and the need for Islamic Literature in Russian. During
the meeting, by the grace of Almighty Allah, I was
able to persuade Mr Bayazitov to give our jamaat an office and a one
bedroom flat in the Hilal Foundation complex for a Mubaligh.
From there our Mubaligh could carry out the work of propagating Islam
in Russia. Alhamdolillah. In the meeting Mr. Bayazitov also expressed
his gratitude thanks to the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for supplying
such an excellent translation of the Holy Quran. He said that till now
they had not received such a valuable contribution which would benefit
so many people.
I also met an Egyptian brother, Mr Hafeez Muhammad, who also resided
in the same complex. When he learnt that we believed in the Finality
of Prophethood of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam
Ahmad Sahib never claimed prophethood, he was very pleased. He said
that it was a great injustice to call us non-uslims, and he offered
to arrange a meeting for us with the Saudi Embassy so we could explain
our views to them.
The next morning at 8:00 accompanied by brother Rustam we went to the
Customs Office. We went to fifteen different places to get the proper
signatures on the release papers for the Holy Quran shipment. By 5:00
p.m, by the grace of Almighty Allah, the last papers were signed and
the shipment was released. Almighty Allah blessed these efforts further,
for when the Ministry of Culture learnt that the books were for free
distribution, they waived the 20% duty on the shipment, Alhamdolillah.
On learning this, my eyes filled with tears, and I thanked Almighty
Allah for His grace and mercy shown to our Jamaat.
Winter's darkness had descended when finally with two loaded trucks
we pulled out of the custom warehouse. On the way the trucks fell behind
us, and we reached the Foundation before and waited for the trucks.
Several hours passed but there was no sign of the trucks, and we began
to get quite anxious. Finally, brother Rustam, who had been riding in
one of the trucks, arrived in a taxi and informed us that the trucks
had been stopped at the intersection by the police who became suspicious
on seeing the large consignment of the Qurans They wanted to see the
shipping and custom clearance documents, but as the documents were not
with brother Rustam, he was unable to produce them, and therefore the
police refused to let the trucks go. Brother Rustam picked up the necessary
documents, rushed back, presented the documents to the police and got
the trucks released.
After some time the trucks finally pulled into the Hilal Foundation
compound. It was a joyful sight to see the Quran boxes being unloaded
and carried into the basement of the building, where soon a mountain
of cartons filled a large part of the basement. All praise is due to
Almighty Allah Who removed all the obstacles in accomplishing this momentous
The Holy Qurans were also loaded onto trucks from the outlying regions
which had come to pick up their share of the consignment.
We had several meetings with the Imams of the Hilal Foundation and
also met people who had come from other areas of Russia. They all praised
the translation and were extremely impressed by the translation and
footnotes of Maulana Muhammad Ali, and appreciated very much the hard
work and excellent translation of Dr. Alexander Sadetsky.
On Friday I attended the Jumu'a Prayers at the Hilal Foundation. After
the Jumu'a Khutba I was asked by the Imam to speak to the congregation
of 800 people about the Ahmadiyya Movement and Islam. They listened
attentively, and I explained to them that there were two groups of the
Ahmadiyya Movement, and that we believed in the Finality of Prophethood.
I stressed the fact that Hazrat Mirza Sahib never claimed prophethood
and his claim was only of Mujaddid, Promised Messiah and Mahdi.
The Imams and other people expressed their gratitude to the Lahore
Ahmadiyya Movement for supplying them with the Holy Quran and other
Islamic Literature which was so urgently needed. Many of them had tears
in their eyes when they thanked the Lahore Ahmadiyya Anjuman for valuable
gift of the Holy Qurans.
They requested that we also send them literature about the Holy Prophet
and books on basic Islam. I promised to send them Islam the Religion
of Humanity, The Prophet of Islam and Living Thoughts of the
Prophet Muhammad which we already had translated into Russian and
had stocks of. I assured them that we would also translate other books
On Friday night we flew to St. Petersburg. The President of the Hilal
Foundation had made arrangements for us to meet the Mufti, Zaffar Hazrat,
of St. Petersburg's largest Mosque. We were received at the airport
by the Mufti's son and brother Rinat Valier who checked us into a hotel.
In the afternoon brother Rinat picked us up from the hotel and took
us on a tour of St. Petersburg. In the evening we went for Iftari
(breaking of fast in Ramadan) to Mufti Zaffar's residence which was
situated next to the Mosque.
The Mufti gave us a tour of the Mosque. This beautiful Mosque patterned
after the Mausoleum of the Ameer of Gur in Samarkand was built from
1910-1914 by funds supplied by the Ameer of Fergana. It was capable
of holding fifteen thousand people.
During the Soviet era the condition of the Mosque deteriorated badly
as no funds were given for its up keep. In the 1970s the Soviets wanted
to close the Mosque as they felt that the poor condition of the Mosque
posed a danger to the people inside. The Mufti however refused to close
the Mosque, and said he would take personal responsibility for any injuries
caused in the Mosque. He prayed hard to Almighty Allah, and by Allah's
grace and mercy, no accidents occurred, and the Mufti was able to collect
funds for the repair of the mosque against all odds.
During the Iftari and afterwards, we had a long discussion on
Islam and the need for Islamic literature and education in Russia. I
explained to the Mufti the views of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, that
we believed in the Finality of Prophethood, and that Hazrat Mirza Sahib
never claimed prophethood. Dr. Sadetsky did a marvelous job as interpreter
and translated for several hours inspite of being very tired. The Mufti
was impressed by the views of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, and said
that we must advertise the Lahore Ahmadiyya view about prophethood in
order to dispel any misunderstanding among people about the Ahmadiyya
Movement. He also said that he would issue a certificate stating that
the Lahore Ahmadis are Muslims. He said that if we came in June he would
arrange for us to hold a conference for a day in the Mosque about the
Islam and Ahmadiyya Movement .
I donated forty copies of the Holy Quran and promised 2000 copies for
the Mosque of St. Petersburg. Both the Mufti and his wife were in tears
when they heard that we would supply them 2000 copies of the Holy Quran
for free distribution.
After Iftari, we prayed the Maghrib and Isha prayers
in the Mosque. Following the prayers, I gave a short lecture on the
Ahmadiyya Movement, again emphasizing our views on the finality of Prophethood.
On Sunday night, the Mufti picked us up from the hotel and took us to
the airport where we boarded our flight for Moscow.
The next day we met with Taala the Librarian who was in charge of mailing
the Holy Qurans to Libraries. She gave us a report of her activities
to date and showed us the registered receipts and acknowledgments from
all the Libraries to which she had sent the Qurans. The acknowledgments
were full of praise for the quality of the translation and said that
this was a very valuable addition to their collection of books. We gave
her an additional 2500 copies of the Holy Qurans to dispatch to the
Libraries in the surrounding newly independent Muslim States.
The distribution of the Holy Quran is the first step in the fulfillment
of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's prophecy of the spread of Islam and the
Ahmadiyya Movement in Russia.
Dr. Tanya Sadetsky was extremely helpful. Among other things she arranged
for our stay in the University Hostel and did all the video taping and
Once again I would like to thank Dr. Alexander Sadetsky and Dr. Tanya
Sadetsky for their great help and sacrifice in assisting with the project
of distributing the Holy Qurans. May Almighty Allah bless them and reward
them for their efforts!
I thank Almighty Allah for giving me this opportunity to work with
the Russian Muslims.
This project of supplying the Holy Quran in Russian was started with
the encouragement and prayers of our late Hazrat Ameer Dr. Saeed
Ahmad Khan sahib. May Almighty Allah reward him abundantly.
Also I would like to thank Mr. Bayazitov, the President of the Hilal
Foundation and his members for their valuable help, and the President
and directors of the U.S.A. Jamaat for their confidence in me to carry
out this task.
And last but not least, I would like to thank all those who donated
and sacrificed their wealth for this project and Hazrat Ameer
Dr. Asghar Hameed sahib, present Head of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement,
and those who prayed for its success. May Almighty Allah accept their
sacrifice and prayers and grant them a great reward!
Our next project will be to supply fifty thousand copies of Russian
Holy Quran, Inshallah. Members are asked to pray for this
project and take part in this great Jihad by donating generously.
Please send your contributions to: Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam