Speech by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, Leader of the Nation, His Excellency Emomali Rahmon at a meeting with activists of society and religious workers of the country, Vahdat Palace (Palace of Unity)

 

Dear compatriots!

Dear activists, representatives of society and religious workers!

At the outset, I would like to sincerely congratulate all the meeting attendees and the entire people of the country on the occasion of the start of the Holy Ramadan — the month of piety and benevolence, charity, forgiveness of sins and spiritual purification, I wish peace, tranquility, abundance and prosperous life to every resident’s family of the country.

It should be said that the wisdom of piety and fasting is not limited only to refraining from eating and drinking, but this blessed month is considered as an important means of faith for Muslims to do good deeds, pleasant actions, to keep hands and tongue clean, to make concessions and forgiveness, to be patient and tolerant and to have other good human trait qualities.

According to the Holy Quran and the Prophet’s Hadiths, every good deed and action performed in this holy month is better and greater than in other months and has more rewards.

Hence, Ramadan is the best month to expand charitable activities for orphans and the disabled, poor and homeless families, the needy and helpless people and relatives.

In surah «At-Tawbah», ayat 60, Allah says: “Alms-tax is only for the poor and the needy, for those employed to administer it, for those whose hearts are attracted ˹to the faith˺, for ˹freeing˺ slaves, for those in debt, for Allahs cause, and for ˹needy˺ travellers. ˹This is˺ an obligation from Allah«.

At the end of 2023, we have evaluated the main directions of domestic and foreign policy of Tajikistan during the annual Address of the Head of State, and in January 2024 at the Government’s expanded meeting there were analyzed achievements of our people and identified tasks for the near future.

Today I would like to express my opinion on the continued processes in the contemporary world, including a clash between cultures and civilizations, religious differences and conflicts, the unprecedented spread of religious terrorism and extremism, «double standards policies» towards religious extremist groups that have become a means of exploiting various interests, as well as their influence on our society and the state.

There are issues on which we need to openly express our opinion, to discuss undesirable processes and prevent them from erupting into any other tragedy like the one that happened in the 1990s.

In this respect, we decided to meet with representatives of the country’s society, scholars and scientists, activists and religious workers on the eve of the Holy Ramadan and discuss issues related to social life, including morality and enlightenment of our country’s people and identify the tasks to overcome some problems and shortcomings existing in this direction.

I would like to recall that during more than thirty years of our country’s independence thousands of entrepreneurs and businessmen, generous individuals and respected people of our society with deep understanding of our national values, culture and ethics, have supported social policy of the state and the Government and implemented many beneficial and constructive initiatives.

So far, they have contructed thousands of schools and kindergartens, hospitals and health facilities, roads and bridges, factories, industrial enterprises and other economic and social services, provided hundreds of thousands of the country’s residents with jobs, helped low-income families, orphans and disabled people four or five times a year and currently are executing many pious deeds.

Availing myself of this opportunity, I would like to express to all of them sincere appreciation of the state and the Government for their patriotic and humanitarian actions.

This is the charity and good deeds that lead to God’s blessing, their rewards and fruits reach the seven descendants of a man and are recorded in the deeds of both themselves and their ancestors who raised such well-doer children.

As You can see, today hundreds of thousands of our citizens travel abroad for labor migration, how they suffer away from their families and children and in addition, they contribute to charitable activities.

Isn’t that well-doer?

Or to construct a school or as it used to be called in the past “a madrasa”, how many of our and your children will acquire literacy and knowledge, and adolescents and youth will get professions and skills, isn’t this a commendable work?

Today we are grateful that thanks to the blessing of state independence, harmonious and favorable conditions have been created in all spheres of our country’s social life, including favorable conditions have been created in the direction of conscience freedom and today our citizens freely fulfill their religious precepts.

Could we freely go to the mosque in the 1990s?

Could we freely visit our relatives and children in other cities and districts?

Is today different from those days?

One of the causes of instability in those years was our ingratitude, which led to hardships.

However, the same behavior is still observed in some regions.

Thanks to a great milestone event in our people’s life, i.e., independence and freedom, we were able to revive our national and religious values, and our people thoroughly familiarized themselves with the ancestral religion, with wise elders and great figures of science and literature of the past.

State independence allowed us, the civilized Tajik nation, to republish our great people’s works and make them accessible to the country’s nation.

I reiterate that all this is the benefit of the most sacred blessing of our people’s life — our state’s independence, freedom and secularity, which has created equal opportunities and a free and harmonious religious environment for followers of all religions.

Our nation also had the opportunity to revive national customs and religious rituals and holidays — Nowruz and Mehrgon, Tirgon and Sada, Ramadan and Kurban holidays as part of the national culture, with the aim to proudly celebrate them with free participation of country’s young and old citizens and with a history of more than six thousand years of the Tajik nation.

During the independence years, the Government of Tajikistan has done significant work to create favorable conditions for ensuring freedom of conscience and religion.

In 2009, the celebration of the 1310th anniversary of the founder of the Hanafi tolerant madhab, Abu Hanifa Nu’man ibn Sabit (known as Imami Azam) with the participation of famous scholars and figures from 55 countries was an important event in the spiritual life of our people.

When I decided to hold such an event, some of the country’s intellectuals were against it, saying what purpose we are pursuing by organizing it.

They did not consider the important issue that our people do not know their madhab and madhab elders, even many did not know what madhab we belonged to.

I felt that.

Also glorification of influential scientific and religious figures, such as Mawlana Jalaluddin Balkhi, Abu Ali Ibn Sina  (Avicenna), Abdurrahmani Jomi, Muhammad Khujandi, Abu Rayhan Beruni, Muhammad Ghazali, Nasir Khusrawi Qubadiani, Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani and others, publication of many moral and scientific works of the great scholars of the past, translation of the Holy Quran into Tajik, its three times publication and desimination to the people are among the efforts made in this direction.

As directed by the Head of State, some of the most authoritative interpretations of the Holy Quran — «Translation of Tabari Commentary», «Al-Hidaya» by Burhanuddin Abu Hasan ibn Abu Bakr, «Sahih al Bukhari» by Imam Bukhari, «Muqaddimah» by Ibn Khaldun and other works of great Islamic thinkers have been translated and published in Tajik.

We did this so that the Tajik people could read and know who our ancestors were.

We have decided to continue such actions, including the publication of the Holy Quran into Tajik, so that this holy book can be found in every home in the country with the aim to preserve the religious identity of our people.

Since the first days of independence, Tajikistan has treated human and civil rights and freedoms as the supreme value and developed the necessary methods and tools for their realization in the state structure.

The establishment of the Committee on Religion, Regulation of Traditions and Ceremonies under the Government, the Center for Islamic Studies under the President, the Islamic Institute of Tajikistan named after Imami Azam, the adoption of the laws «On the regulation of traditions, celebrations and ceremonies«, «On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations», «On the responsibility of parents in the education and upbringing of children«, the registration of 4,000 religious associations, i.e. mosques, and the organization of pilgrimage of citizens to Hajj and Umrah are among the most important efforts of the country.

Today in Tajikistan one mosque falls within every 2,000 citizens, whereas in the Commonwealth of Independent States this figure constitutes 3,000-3,500 and in other developed countries of the world this figure is 5,000-5,500.

        Meanwhile, there are freely operating one Ismaili center, two Ismaili prayerhouse development committees and 67 non-Islamic religious organizations in the country.

       Declaring Dushanbe as the capital of Islamic culture in 2010 by the Islamic World Organization for Education, Science and Culture (ISESCO) is a clear evidance that Tajiks have made a valuable contribution to the preservation of religious heritage, its enrichment and, in general, Islamic culture and education at the level of the Islamic world.

       This fact also shows that during the independence period, many opportunities have been created for our citizens to realize their religious rights and freedoms, and freedom of conscience has been ensured at the necessary level.

      So how can we not be grateful for our independence and sovereignty?

      Today there exist nations in the modern world that have been struggling for centuries to acquire a state, and millions of sacrifices have been and are being made in this way.

      In this connection, I will say only one thing: “an individual living in Tajikistan, who is ungrateful to this paradise-like land of his ancestors, will be humiliated”.

Only our State’s independence and secular system allowed various peoples and followers of different religions and madhabs to freely carry out their religious activities within the provisions of the country’s Constitution and current legislation.

The history of the new Tajik statehood and the elapsed time have proved the correctness of choosing a secular state system in modern conditions.

I have been the Head of State for only five days when I was elected to this position at the historic 16th session of the Supreme Council in the ancient Khujand city to ensure the security of the Tajik state on the global stage and to prevent the collapse of the Tajik state. This is the way and the structure of government, which I suggested.

The analysis and review of actions taken by the Government of Tajikistan for more than 32 years concerning religion is a sign that our democratic and secular state is taking decisive steps to ensure freedom of conscience and fulfills its mission and historical duty to believers at the necessary level.

Today we are free — you obey, celebrate divine service, pray, fast, go to the mosque, visit to Ka’ba for worship, do good deeds, you are free.

Tajikistan treats all religions well and has created favorable religious conditions for their followers, especially for the Islam religion development, in which 99 percent of the country’s residents believe, not only created favorable conditions, but also appreciates its constructive and humanitarian values.

We have carried out these actions as a continuation of the work done by our respectable ancestors on the way of protecting and improving the religious and moral values of Islam, purifying it from all kinds of superstition and fanaticism, protecting it from division and preserving the authenticity of our religion.

Since the intelligent son of the Tajik nation Abu Hanifa Nu’man ibn Sabit, or Imami Azam, is the founder of the largest tolerant madhab of Islam, the number of followers of which is almost 60 percent of the world’s Muslims, i.e., more than half of Islam believers.

Tell yourself now, how can we not be proud of this great son of the nation and other great men? How?

I would like to remind you that the reason for the great number of followers of the Hanafi School is its reasonableness and tolerance; it adapts to the conditions of every era, including the modern era, and places man in a very high position as the best creature of Allah.

In fact, in modern times, peoples and nations under the protection of their independent state try to protect their national values, cultural achievements and individual freedoms from the threat of globalization of interests and abuse of values by studying and inventing modern science, knowledge, and technologies.

God created humanity, gave him mind, eyes, water, soil and earth at his disposal to live, enjoy this world, use his mind, adapt to the times, do not follow superstition, study science, acquire a profession, study crafts and keep on living your life.

Following our ancestors’ rituals, the Hanafi madhab is one of the most effective means of protecting the ideological space of our society from threats and dangers in modern conditions.

In the severe conditions of the crisis of «Hadith studies», among hundreds of famous researchers of the Prophet’s hadiths, Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ismail Bukhari by processing scientific, logical and historical methods review them and presented to the Islamic world 7250 authentic hadiths from among hundreds of thousands of fabricated hadiths.

The world science and all Muslims of the world consider «Al-Jame-ul-Sahih» of Imami Bukhari as the most authentic book after the Holy Quran.

Mawlana Jalaluddin Balkhi raised Islamic wisdom and ethics to very high poetry standards, built an understanding and tolerance bridge on three civilizations’ border — Islamic, Greek and Christian, and initiated a dialogue between cultures and civilizations.

The spiritual poetry (Masnawi) of Mawlavi (Rumi),

is, in fact, the Quran in the Pehlavi (Persian language)!

This great masterpiece of the Tajik nation’s son, which UNESCO celebrated its 800th anniversary on the initiative of Tajikistan, has been published in many countries in recent decades and has become a widely read book among the nations of the world.

By the will of fate, I visited his tomb twice.

You will see various nationalities, peoples, and representatives of different religions and madhabs in Mawlana’s shrine.

I think Mawlana’s works are intended for these days; they are written for all.

They advocate for unity, tolerance, patience, cooperation, coexistence and friendship.

That is why all love him.

The spiritual and cultural bridge built by Mawlana has united different peoples and nations of the world over the centuries and even today followers of different religions — Muslims, Christians, Jews — visit his shrine, and still respect his name and works.

We are proud that all of Mawlana’s works are written in Tajik.

This year, based on Tajikistan’s initiative and proposal, UNESCO will celebrate Mawlana, and I think it will play a valuable role in the worthy representation and better recognition of the language, history and culture of the Tajik people in the world.

But since the 1990s, new priests, new Hazrats and mawlavis appeared, who with all their falcificated and fabricated works wanted to mislead our people.

If there would not exist any laws, new prophets, as Sheikh Temur would appear in every village.

Then every mullah, according to his intelligence and literacy, will start imposing his views on people.

        All our nation’s scholars and great figures, such as Abu Abdullah Rudaki and Hakim Abul Qasim Firdawsi, Nasir Khusrawi Qubadiani and Abu Ali ibn Sina (Avicena), Mawlana Jalaluddin Balkhi and Saadi Shirazi, Hafiz Sherozi and Kamoli Khujandi, Mirza Abdul Qadir Bedil, Ahmad Donish and Sadriddin Ayni have explained the world and future life through enlightenment and self-discovery.

       It is therefore, Tajikistan citizens, especially the youth who consider themselves Muslims and followers of the intellectual Hanafi madhab, have the moral right to be proud of being the heirs of universal spiritual and moral figures.

Every individual of this land, every adolescent and youth who is inextricably linked to the Tajik nation and people with historical, linguistic, cultural and spiritual roots, should proudly say that “I am Tajik, the grandson and heir of a cultural ancestor, who have rendered a valuable service for the development of science and culture and human civilization, as well as the protection of the authenticity of Islam, and deserve a worthy place in the Islamic world”.

Religious workers, explain to people and inspire them, first and foremost, you yourself must be educated and must have enough knowledge.

Why do we give priority to other cultures?

Why do we agitate and propagandize other people so much?

I don’t understand, what does this behavior give us?

Why do we mislead the nation?

In what language should I explain?

Which leader would deliberately push his nation and people into the disaster?

 

Dear participants!

It should be noted that, despite the State’s upright attitude towards all religions and madhabs, especially Islam, we witnessing the increase in disturbing manifestations of fanaticism and superstition, divisiveness and religious extremism in recent years, as well as non-compliance with the Constitution norms and current laws.

We witnessed and well remember that all the 90s tragedies were caused by violation of the Constitution and existing laws.

We crushed everyone. What did it lead to?

It led to Anarchy — power vacuum!

This is despite the fact that, according to prominent Islamic science scholars, superstition, fanaticism and religious extremism have no connection with the Islam humanism teachings.

The Islam religion enemies support and finance religious extremism by every possible means to sow the seeds of dissension and hatred, to create a sense of Islamophobia and religious division among the Muslim community and to achieve their selfish goals, one of which is to obtain the rich wealth of countries.

Today it is no secret for anyone that the centers of a number of terrorist and extremist parties and movements are located in the developed countries.

Moreover, most of the wars taking place between countries are religious wars in one or another way.

They involve the Islam and the Muslim Ummah enemies.

In recent years, the unprecedented expansion of superpowers’ efforts to realize their interests, re-distribution of the world, accelerated armament, the start of the Cold War’s new stage, the unprecedented intensification of terrorist and extremist activities, which, unfortunately, have acquired a religious character, difficult situation that has developed after the COVID–19 pandemic, as well as climate change and its severe consequences – drought and water shortages, food deficits and hunger make the situation in the world complicated and unpredictable.

That is, today humanity is in a period of serious military clashes, droughts, water shortages, hunger, socio-economic recession and, in general, in a very difficult situation in its history.

Human history experiences a potentially sensitive and dangerous years.

That is why in such a situation and in such years, when our and your lives are in danger, we should not exaggerate.

Because of the previously mentioned factors, we have lately witnessed destabilization of people’s lives and disruption of the security situation of states through the politicization of Islam or political Islam influence in a number of countries with Muslim populations.

«Color revolutions» and other processes similar to them, which were envisaged as the forced civil war in Tajikistan, where they originated and what they led to, are not secret for anyone today.

Religion politicization is an artificial process that has no place in Islamic teachings.

Because Islam has not been political since its birth, and the first step of its teaching is reading and studying, then believing in and recognizing the singleness of God.

When we say “God is the Oneness and Compassionate and Merciful”, it is only Him we must worship, not anyone or anything else.

In the complex contemporary world, it is our duty to protect our state and society independence, freedom and security, treat religious values rationally, protect the Islamic religion constructive values and prevent the spread of dissent and extremism, while observing the requirements of the secular state laws.

I believe that neutrality or compromise in this issue is equal to destroying our own and our children’s happiness.

Since the elder generation of the country and the majority of those sitting in this hall are well aware that to what events and tragedies neutrality leads for both the state and the nation.

If one of the reasons for the imposed Civil War was the prejudiced use of people’s religious feelings, the other major factor was neutrality and indifference to the state and the nation’s fate.

I was one of the witnesses in the parliament hall at that time.

The Civil War would not have started in Tajikistan if most people had not remained neutral.

What misfortunes had brought this war? How many people have been killed?

More than 150 000 killed, one million forced refugees, more than 50 000 orphans, millions of people who lost their loved ones, and billions of somoni economic losses of those days are still not forgotten by our people and are still felt in our today’s economy and life.

Dozens of new cemeteries have appeared in the neighboring country of Afghanistan from among Tajik refugees.

In those days, people who sold their faith, turned father against son and brother against brother, and the imposed civil war of the early 90s started from the mosques.

That is, the time has come for us to fight all kinds of undesirable and dangerous phenomena, including extremism and terrorism, and to ensure the supremacy of the law in the country.

Remind yourself that Tajikistan had only 34 mosques, including 17 public mosques, 15 churches and 2 synagogues during the Soviet period.

There was no pilgrimage, no pilgrims, no umrah, no Islamic Institute, and a large number of mosques for fivefold prayers.

The elders among you know this fact.

However, despite such strict limitations of that time, there was neither an extremist, nor a religious terrorist, nor a religious incitement or conspiracy.

There are 4,000 mosques, Islamic institutes, and scientific theological institutions in Tajikistan so far, more than 250,000 pilgrims, over 400,000 Umrah pilgrims and thousands of religious workers are graduates of foreign and domestic religious educational institutions who received their education in freedom independence atmosphere.

One of the largest mosques in the region has been built in Tajikistan’s capital city.

Construction of a new modern building of the Islamic Institute of Tajikistan with high art of national architecture is continued at a rapid pace.

However, in exchange for all the measures taken so far, as well as the support and patronage of the state and government to maintain stable religious situation in the country, fanaticism and superstition, splittism, alienation and wastefulness, extremism and terrorist acts of a religious nature are becoming an alarming factor and a serious problem.

I would like to emphasize that this process will not remain without influence on Tajikistan’s political, economic, social and spiritual situation, which today is globally recognized as an initiator and champion country in solving global problems.

We have now removed from our consciousness and memory the immoral name of «fratricidal war», which was imposed on our ancient, cultural and civilizational nation, and we now presenting Tajikistan in the international arena as an independent, democratic, law-based and secular country, and most importantly, as a proactive and creative country and the author of five international initiatives.

I should also say that our ancient holiday — Nowruz also received the international status on the initiative of Tajikistan.

Tajik national dishes — oshi palav, our national clothes, including Chakan, were introduced to the world.

But who recognized us in previous years?

So how can we be ungrateful for this state, this state structure and this paradise-like Motherland?

Heavy tragedies and events have been recorded in the history of Tajik statehood, the main factor of which was the predominance of extremist religious ideology, fanaticism and politicization of religious views.

Let us take, for instance, the Samanid state’s destiny.

        According to academician Bobodzhon Gafurov in his book «Tajiks», the Samanid State was formed on the basis of self-knowledge and awakening of national consciousness, lasted 124 years and was defeated precisely as a result of religious extremism and xenophily.

       Religious figures, who betrayed their national essence, laid the foundation for strangers with the goal of seizing the Tajik national state.

       In the late twentieth century, after gaining Tajikistan’s independence, extremist religious figures, at the same time xenophiles, tried to destroy and remove the young Tajik state under the cover of Islamic slogans to seize power, and once again, by imposing alien culture, drag the Tajik people to subordination by others.

      Under such crucial conditions, a group of leaders and intellectuals showed indifference to their children and grandchildren’s future fate, which served to dragging the newly independent country into civil war.

       According to the conclusions of scientists, experts and specialists in Islamic studies, over the past 14 centuries, one of the proven means of geopolitical players has been implementing «political Islam» programs, which were used by them to implement all kinds of self-serving goals.

     Our compatriots well remember how the terrorist and extremist organization «Islamic Renaissance Party», whose activities were banned in the country, appeared on the political arena with the help of geopolitical players and was the major cause of the civil war outbreak.

     This was done with the aim of creating an Islamic state and imposing an alien culture on our people.

     The study and analysis of the issue shows that for the future fate of the Tajik nation, the factor of society radicalization and citizens’ linking up with terrorist organizations of a religious nature in the current conditions also remain a serious threat, and will have undesirable consequences in case of being not prevented.

The relevant structures and bodies of the State are engaged in an organized struggle against these threats based on programmes and other documents and legislation adopted by the United Nations. Tajikistan is recognized as an active country in combating terrorism and extremism and is fighting against these dangerous phenomena in cooperation with the international community.

Despite this, cases of joining terrorist and extremist movements in some cities and areas by some of our citizens have been observed.

The main reason for this situation, first of all, is that work with the people in direction of the formation of creative morality is not established at the proper level.

The heads of provinces, cities and districts, local structures of the ministries of education and science, culture, labor, migration and employment, committees on youth and sports, women and family affairs, on religion, regulation of traditions, celebrations and ceremonies, other relevant state and public structures, including law enforcement agencies and courts, consider ideological work as secondary matter and do not pay necessary attention to this issue.

On the basis of Article 1 of the Constitution, the Republic of Tajikistan, which was adopted not by my will, not by Parliament’s wishes, but by the voice of the entire people of Tajikistan, was declared a sovereign, democratic, law-based, secular state, and freedom of conscience and religion, along with other rights and freedoms, is ensured by constitutional guarantees.

In continuation of this process, laws «On freedom of conscience and religious associations», «On combating extremism», «On combating terrorism», «On regulation of traditions, celebrations and ceremonies«, «On the responsibility of parents for education and upbringing of children», as well as the Concept of state policy in religion sphere and national strategies on countering extremism and terrorism 2016-2020 and 2021-2025 were adopted and implemented.

However, it should be emphasized that the subjects of confronting extremism and terrorism, including the relevant ministries and departments, comittees on religion, youth, women and family affairs, local executive bodies of state power, villages and rural executive authorities, as well as the public, have not established implementation of the aforesaid documents at the appropriate level in lieu with the real situation. It gives the impression that they have forgotten the horror and tragedy of the civil war of the 90s.

Many have forgotten how the war began, where, for what reasons and factors.

Meanwhile, in those days there functioned all the necessary structures.

Even more structures functioned than today, but there was only a report mostly on paper.

Despite the ban on the activities of 28 extremist and terrorist organizations in the country by the Supreme Court decisions, there are still cases of joining such parties and movements.

During the last 10 years, 6,680 crimes of extremist and terrorist nature were detected and registered in the country, including 86 terrorist acts and attempts, 11 cases of which were prevented.

At this time, as a result of active extremist propaganda through social networks and during a period of citizens’ labor migration, increased the number of young people joining the extremist-terrorist organization Islamic State and other terrorist groups, and their transfer to other regions has increased, which causes serious concern in society.

According to operational data, out of those individuals, who took part in armed conflicts in foreign countries, more than a thousand people were killed and thousands of others went missing.

In this regard, I want to emphasize one more point.

People, who studied in unofficial and doubtful educational institutions, introduce radical and hostile ideas into Tajikistan’s religious atmosphere.

Thus, the Salafiya movement representatives have a negative attitude towards the Khanafi Madhab and its founder Imam Abuhanifa, and are experiencing hostility towards the Ismaili Madhab, which is historically part of beliefs of the country’s indigenous population.

The followers of this movement deny the ideas of other madhabs’ representatives and proclaim them as infidels, and inflame inter-madhab disagreement on this ground.

It should be noted that the majority of people, who have joined the “Islamic State” and other extremist and terrorist organizations, are the “Salafiya” teaching followers.

Given the previously mentioned, this movement was declared extremist and terrorist group by decision of the Supreme Court of Tajikistan and its activities were banned in the country.

Despite this, in the period from 2015 to the date, more than 2300 citizens of the country joined this movement, 1945 criminal investigations were initiated on these facts.

Unfortunately, some imam-khatibs become followers of extremist and terrorist groups advocate their radical ideas among believers.

Thus, the imam of one of Kanibadam’s mosques, during his religious training abroad, joined the “Salafiya” extremist movement, during his activities in this mosque regularly organized illegal gatherings, convinced city’s youth about the “Salafiya” movement superiority compared to the Imami Azam Madhab and involved them to this movement.

The imam of the mosque in Shodi village of Dzhabbor Rasulov district regularly advocated and agitated the ideas of the “Islamic State” terrorist organization among praying people.

Moreover, the chief khatibs of the mosques of Bobojon Gafurov and Guliston (one person each) districts, Khujand (two persons) and Kanibadam (six persons) cities joined the “Muslim Brotherhood” extremist and terrorist organization while studying in foreign religious educational establishments and after returning to their homeland, regularly spread their extremist views to the public.

Similarly, the preachers of this extremist organization, several citizens of the Arab Republic of Egypt, with the aim of implementing their covert activities in our country, joined the Tajik National University and the Sotim Ulugzoda International University of Foreign Languages of Tajikistan as teachers and at the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan as staff members, imposed their extremist views on a youth group under the pretext of providing religious education, attracted 124 people to the “Muslim Brotherhood” extremist organization.

Even one of the imam-khatibs of Kanibadam mosque, while serving his sentence in prison in Khujand city, mercilessly, brutally beheaded the head of the correctional institution and tried to escape from the prison.

A former mosque’s imam-khatib.

This is quite horrible.

Over the recent years, the number of terrorist acts by some Tajikistan citizens in other countries of the world has increased; these inhuman acts harm the Tajik state and the Tajik nation reputation on the global stage.

According to reports, over the past three years, 24 of our citizens in 10 countries around the world have committed terrorist acts, including by explosion in a crowd of people.

Meanwhile, suicide is not jihad, but a great transgression that contradicts teachings and demands of Islamic religion.

In Surah Baqarah of the Holy Quran, the 95th ayat says: «…. and do not let your own hands throw you into destruction by withholding «.

These actions are being designed by concerned groups and special services in some countries that take advantage of the little enlightenment, inexperience and ignorance of some of our young people.

We are aware of the selfish goals of the Tajik nation enemies and are taking all necessary measures to prevent them.

These actions are being implemented with the aim to demolish the Tajik people and the Tajik state.

In this process, the state leadership constantly takes measures to forgive misconduct and instruct the perpetrators of the crime for a peaceful life.

During independence period, amnesty documents were adopted 17 times, more than 170 thousand criminals were released from criminal liability and punishment.

All these steps were designed to ensure the nation and the state’s security, absolute peace and stability, and national unity.

This was done to ensure that our people would no longer experience the perilous times of the 1990s.

In addition, thanks to the humane initiatives of the country’s leadership, amendments and additions have been made to criminal legislation, and it stipulates that in case of citizens’ voluntarily refusal from participation in extremist and terrorist groups, as well as cessation of further involvement in armed hostilities in the territory of other countries, they will be exempted from criminal liability.

Using this opportunity over the last ten years, 1,640 people have returned to their homeland and criminal cases against them have been terminated.

57 citizens used this opportunity only within two months of this year.

In 2023 alone, 328 people uzed this opportunity and 140 citizens utilized this possibility during two months of the current year.

However, authorities for committing extremist and terrorist acts currently want 4,075 citizens.

In this respect, the Prosecutor General’s Office and other law enforcement agencies are obliged to decisively intensify their efforts on returning them to their homeland, as well as to ensure the employment of such persons and citizens released from correctional institutions.

To that end, a headquarter within the Prosecutor General’s Office for considering wanted individuals for committing extremist and terrorist acts must be established.

We reiterate our appeal for these citizens do not allow themselves be deceived by various intrigues and think about their parents, children and the authority of the nation-state.

They can return to their homeland with confidence and take advantage of the opportunities provided for by law.

Young people should become concious that joining extremist groups, committing terrorist acts and discrediting the state and the nation have adverse consequences.

They must choose the correct path on life, carry out their activities for the family, state and society interests, and take advantage of our country’s peaceful atmosphere and the opportunities provided by the state for vocational training, mastering science, knowledge, professions and crafts.

While most of the Islamic countries of the world are rapidly developing by studying modern sciences, even seek to conquer space, involvement of some citizens in radicalism, extremism and illicit religious education is growing in our society.

Youth from Islamic countries are attending the most prestigious higher educational institutions in the world, but our people are still stuck in thinking about what is goodness and what is sin, what is allowed, what is forbidden, the Hajj pilgrimage, the umrah, eating in honor of the Hajji and visiting the Hajji.

680 cases of illegal religious education of 5,000 students were detected in the country from 2020 to 2023.

In 2023 alone, there were detected 300 cases of illegal religious education and prevented the involvement of more than 4,100 people, which indicates the intensification of brainwashing of children, adolescents and youth.

During this period, law enforcement agencies attracted 520 religious figures to administrative responsibility for such violations.

Meanwhile, over the past 10 years, law enforcement authorities have revealed 1,320 crimes of parents preventing their children from receiving a basic secondary education.

I especially emphasize that illegal religious education in many cases leads to religious fanaticism transformation in student’s conciousness and its subsequent commission of extremist and terrorist acts.

The analysis shows that most of individuals involved in extremist and terrorist crimes during their adolescence were covered by illegal religious education and suspended from study in middle schools.

For instanse, most of terrorist group members that undertook an armed invasion into the “Ishqobod” border post of the Border Troops on the night of November 6, 2019, killing 6 soldiers, had previously obtained illegal religious teaching in the country and abroad.

During this attack, one of the members of this criminal group — an elderly woman with a knife – carried off a sentry who believed her as a woman, like an elderly mother that she approached him without a weapon.

He approached her, as if to his mother, to take her to a warm place, to a warm house.

Imagine a 70-year-old woman allegedly murdered her own grandson.

The purpose of this group was to acquire weapons and mass murder of civilians, including in Dushanbe city.

Also the murder of several convicts in Vahdat prison, which occurred several years ago because of religious strife.

The government of the country is constantly taking measures to create conditions for religious education abroad.

The procedure for receiving such education is regulated by Government Decree of 30 December 2011.

During the period of independence, hundreds of our citizens were sent to religious educational institutions in foreign countries in accordance with the instructions of the relevant government bodies.

However, 4 thousand 150 citizens by neglecting the established order went to foreign countries and entered religious educational institutions unofficially.

This is despite the fact that their certificate or diploma is not valid in Tajikistan.

Analyzes show that these citizens are vulnerable to extremist agitation and brainwashing, and 156 of them have joined extremist and terrorist parties and movements abroad.

In connection with this, thanks to the efforts of the Government of the country, since 2010, almost 4,000 people engaged in non-formal religious education abroad have been returned to their homeland, and 205 people are remaining abroad.

It is necessary to take all measures to ensure their complete return to their homeland, providing them with work and education.

Because of the implementation of specific measures over the past three years, about 400 citizens of the country returned to their homeland from Syria and Iraq, and in 2023 — 104 people, that is, 29 families consisting of women, teenagers and young children.

Illegal religious teaching leads to fraud, fortune telling and witchcraft, other illegal actions, illegal private medical activities and, in connection with this, causing material and physical damage to citizens.

In a number of cities and regions, there have been identified cases of illegal medical treatment by some religious workers.

For example, a resident of the Shahrinav district, Sattorov Saidmahdikhon, also known as “Sheikh Temur”, who had previously served 7 years of prison for fraud, having no religious literacy, introduced himself as a religious scholar engaged in illegal religious treatment, obstruction of children from receiving basic general education and extortion. For these actions, he was charged with criminal liability.

What did this man do? I don’t know why our people are like this, a talisman written by “Sheikh Temur” — you watched it on TV and on the Internet, they gave it to him to read. What did you write here, he can’t read his own talisman.

He himself cannot read the amulet he wrote, the letters he wrote.

He says this is how my father wrote and this is how I learned.

People even came from other republics. Our people stood in line and kissed his shoes.

They stood in line and drank the water he used to wash his hands.

What is this? What kind of Islam is this? Where does it come from?

The most disgusting act here is the involvement of some so-called clerics as well as imams in immoral activities using the religious beliefs of citizens.

In the period 2016-2024, there have been identified more than 50 cases of such crimes in the country and the perpetrators were brought to justice.

In fact, there are many such cases, but I will not allow the immoral actions of such people to be shown on television.

In the future, we will make changes to the law — every young person or teenager who is taught by a cleric or someone else and engages in murder and terror, first of all, the same cleric must be held accountable before the law.

People of Tajikistan! The Prophet of Islam strictly forbade going to fortune tellers and sorcerers and said: “Whoever goes to a fortune teller, his prayers will not be accepted for 40 days, and if he believes what the fortune teller says, he will leave the faith. ..»

Another question is why parents are so interested in receiving religious education, especially abroad, while according to legislation adopted not only in our country, but also in most countries of the world, certificates of graduation from religious educational institutions of other countries are invalid.

Most parents are of the opinion that by studying Islamic science, their child will not necessarily work in government agencies, become a mullah or a religious figure; it is enough that people will feed him.

The adoption of the Law “On the regulation of traditions, holidays and rituals in the Republic of Tajikistan” is considered an important step in regulating people’s lives, eliminating misconceptions, artificial and expensive rituals.

This law was adopted on the basis of Sharia rules, consultations of famous religious scientists of the country, and religious leaders should contribute to its implementation along with government authorities.

However, it should be said that cases of non-compliance with the procedure for holding celebrations and rituals, in particular prohibited religious ceremonies, have not yet disappeared.

During the period 2014-2023 alone, the country’s law enforcement agencies brought 5,620 people to administrative liability for failure to comply with the requirements of this law.

At the same time, I emphasize that the cooperation of government authorities and the country’s society in the implementation of the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On the responsibility of parents in the education and upbringing of children” is also not at the proper level.

From 2016 to the present day, 19 thousand 480 people have been brought to administrative liability for failure to comply with the requirements of this law, including 1170 teachers and 18 thousand 310 parents.

It is a cause for concern that mostly some civil servants, entrepreneurs, religious workers, their children and relatives, commit violations of the requirements of the mentioned national laws.

Therefore, I consider it appropriate to adopt the laws of the Republic of Tajikistan «On the regulation of traditions and celebrations» and «On the responsibility of parents in the education and upbringing of children» in new edition taking into account the experience gained in this area.

Taking into account these situations, all government structures and bodies, including heads of regions, cities and districts, law enforcement agencies, courts, youth and religion committees, religious associations and other public organizations, need to carry out awareness-raising work and other effective ways to prevent extremism, misconceptions and violations of the limits established by law, as well as take effective measures to improve the legal education of citizens.

We must not forget that our national laws are not ordinary laws, but a spiritual and social reform of the country, freeing the ideological atmosphere and social life of the people from misconceptions and fanaticism.

If this law were not for the benefit of the people, many countries near and far would not have studied the law of ours and would not have adopted such a law in their countries.

I am a witness that three brides were brought to one family on one day.

His son is 40 years old and cannot get married.

Girls who have reached the age of 30 cannot get married.

Because the costs of the wedding were very expensive.

We won’t go far, I know, in some countries, you also know, religious leaders.

People live to old age, but die without getting married or having children.

What kind of life is this?

God created man to enjoy this world, to live a blessed life, to leave a legacy.

What is inheritance? This is primarily a Child.

I will tell you one thing.

I say to all the people of Tajikistan.

When we have a child, one of the sacred responsibilities of parents is to raise the child.

We must make them literate, educate them in good manners and morality, and give them the opportunity to master professions, master science, learn languages.

Let us look at the modern time.

Our madhhab, the Hanafi madhhab, teaches the same thing.

When a child remains uneducated, without a profession, without a craft, begs on the street, commits a crime or uses drugs, it means that he constantly suffers in life.

Our task is to educate them, to make them masters of professions and arts, to teach them sciences, so that after us they can lead their own independent lives.

Dear brothers, dear compatriots, respected religious figures, we ourselves were children, many of us are children, we had parents, how our parents tried for us.

They did not eat bread in their own stomach, leaving it for their children so that they would not be hungry, barefoot and without clothes.

Especially for girls, mothers worked hard to raise them and send them off into independent life.

Is not it? How much they suffered.

When a child is literate, he has a profession, craft, science, he can find work anywhere in the world.

He finds his bread and life, he does not suffer, and he lives a blissful life.

This is the responsibility of the parents.

During my travels, I communicate with our compatriots.

There are people who are angry with their parents.

They say my parents did the same thing in life, what should I do, Your Excellency?

In his house there are three disabled children, in wheelchairs, you know, all the girls and boys are disabled.

He made matchmaking to his relatives.

This is cruelty.

This is old stuff from past centuries.

The husband left them, saying that what I will do with them.

The mother has two disabled daughters and two disabled sons in her family, but where are parents who made matchmaking her.

In such cases, the parents are primarily to blame.

Look at the Islamic world, what progress it has made.

They take their children to the world’s leading universities; teach them the arts, and their children become knowledgable.

They are flying into space.

Are they are not Muslims?

You know what relief the regulatory law brought, how many immoral habits were eliminated, how many families improved, how many marriages increased.

According to experts, a retreat from the essence of religion and a lack of understanding of its humanistic values by citizens becomes the basis for excesses, and sometimes misconceptions and extremes.

There is a common saying among our people: “God did not create man for the day of trouble.”

Therefore, we must understand that the essence of Islam and the tolerant Hanafi sect is to provide the best living conditions for our families and ourselves, including our children, who are the gift of God to us, and provide them with good living conditions, educational opportunities, upbringing them in a spirit of self-conscious and self-awareness, make our homes and places of residence beautiful.

God says, “The best man is the one who is generous.”

That is, not spendthrifts, hypocrites, people who completed pilgrimage and other people, but those whose benefits reach their relatives and friends, neighbors and fellow villagers, orphans, disabled people and other needy people and bring joy to the hearts of such people, are people close to God.

Thanks to such people!

In the pre-independence period, only 29 people out of Tajikistan’s population of 5 million performed the Hajj ceremony.

 

Dear participants!

 

However, during the time of independence, despite the fact that we faced serious economic problems as a result of the imposed civil war and still feel its negative consequences in our lives, the process of pilgrimage of citizens to Mecca began to increase.

The amount spent by our citizens on the Hajj during the period of independence amounted to almost 12 billion somoni, which in today’s conditions, that is, at a time when the negative process of economic decline is observed in most countries of the world, and in almost 80 countries of the world people suffer from a lack of food and hunger, for our country this is considered a very large amount.

If this amount were spent on building housing, improving the living conditions and education of children, providing quality food, clothing and school supplies, and supporting those in need or for amenities, the living conditions of many families would be improved.

I remind you that we are not against our people performing the Hajj, but I emphasize that this process should not take on the character of fanaticism, imitation and competition, as is happening in our country today.

Because we must first improve the living conditions of our children, and ourselves support our neighbors and relatives in need, and then complete the pilgimage.

We must remember one important point: in conditions where we do not have a comfortable home, our children need clothes, books, notebooks and other reading materials, we haven’t served the parents and did not make their hearts happy, and we have not taken care of them and do not know the condition of our loved ones, our pilgrimage will not meet the requirements of Islam.

According to Islamic law, boys and especially girls, after reaching 9-10 years of age, must have their own room and sleep separately.

In what family are such conditions created?

I even instructed the commission to go and see those who are going to Hajj, their homes, the living conditions of their children, their families, so that there are no problems.

Some go to Umrah at the expense of the money of their children, who are often in labor migration and have small children themselves, even taking out loans and putting the family under the burden of life.

They do not feel sorry for their wives and children!

Our dear mothers, sisters and ladies, be patient and do not allow yourself to be wasteful. Why are you cruel to your family?

Even now, there are people who spend twice as much money on organizing a ceremony after returning from a pilgrimage.

As a result, due to the Hajj or Umrah of one person, the entire family experiences financial difficulties for a long time.

The Qur’an repeatedly states that «Allah does not burden anyone more than he is capable of.»

However, it is because of our ignorance, prone to fanaticism and misconception, that we perform such expensive ceremonies, do not follow the requirements of religion and create problems for the family.

They go to the Umrah saying that I have become a Hajji, but they do not know that this is discrimination.

Some are greeted as the bride and groom and kiss their hands.

Where is this in Islamic Sharia?

The fact is that Umrah is not Hajj.

These are children in grades 3-4.

This example is one of thousands, see for yourself.

Again, do not say that the words of the Head of State are unfounded.

There are religious workers, heads of the communities and districts and there are other law enforcement agencies in those communities.

According to theologians, the reward for the Umrah is less than the reward for fasting for a month.

Teach this to people.

Where are you going to spend that much?

Many believe that Hajj or Umrah purifies their sins, which is an understanding that goes beyond the logic and essence of religion.

In particular, the recent trend of women going on Hajj, even taking with them small children, who do not have the ability to understand the divine word and do not know the essence of visiting the House of God, has become a cause for concern.

Because analyzes show that most women who perform Hajj or Umrah, after returning home, in order to distinguish themselves from others, put on alien clothings and become a means of promoting it.

 

Dear compatriots, distinguished participants!

Hajj, like prayer, is a means of piety and repentance that helps a person to be a prudent, attentive and perfect person.

This opportunity is available to each of us if we pray five times a day or fast once a year during the holy month of Ramadan.

God loves divinity, and being righteous is certainly good.

However, the meaning of faithfulness is not limited to just abstaining from food, but also means abstaining from all immoral actions, extravagance, misconception and fanaticism.

In recent years, the incidence of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases has been increasing in the country, one of the causes of which is obesity.

What disease? Obesity, diabetes, heart disease.

Obesity – that is, eating and consuming too much.

Instead of supporting a neighbor, a disabled orphan or a poor family.

We do not think this will lead to illness.

You have to be content, do not be gluttony and greedy. This keeps you healthy.

There is a cure for diabetes – eat sparingly.

We should not forget that boastfulness and putting oneself above others does not please either God or God’s servants!

After returning from the Hajj, the change in the clothes and behavior, convening various pilgrimage ceremonies, it is discord; self-display and showing off in society as if I am superior to others.

The hadith says: “God does not look at your appearances and your possessions, but God looks at your hearts and your actions.”

You need to worship God and the Prophet in your heart!

Not in a hijab, not in a big turban, not in a long beard, not in a long kaftan!

With heart, with faith!

We are all equal before God.

God does not ask, wheather are you a mullah, or you are a nobleman, or a scientist – all are equal.

Have you performed Hajj or not?

Today one has returned from pilgrimage, you see him boasting and everyone else is greeting him.

Here are pupils of 3-4 grades (in the photo behind the scenes), the class teacher togeather with 20 schoolchildren visiting their classmate upon returning from pilgrimage, which is unacceptable, I haven’t seen it anywhere.

Taking this opportunity, I appeal to leaders and specialists in the field of religion, religious workers who have a sense of responsibility before the people, God and the Messenger, employees of the National Academy of Sciences and other relevant scientists to work with people, show the truthful religion and knowledge so that people can distinguish black from white and harm from benefit.

In this context, the Prophet of Islam Muhammad said: “Whoever does something for the sake of glory, and whoever does something out of hypocrisy (exposing himself) so that people respect him, God will punish him because of his hypocrisy, that is showing off before people will put him to shame on the Day of Resurrection.”

These are not my words, but the words of the Prophet, which are mentioned in reliable hadiths.

You have to explain these to people.

This is your soul’s duty.

There is an awkward situation in some families. I personaly was witnessed when a 3-4 year old child was regarded as most distinguished guest in the house saying that he is an Excellency and he is Hajji.

A 70-year-old man on contrary is sitting at the bottom of the door.

A 40-50-year-old man goes and pours water into the hands of a 3-4-year-old child.

What is his rank?

What is this?

Why don’t we explain to people?

O people, Islamic law has made Hajj obligatory once under certain conditions!

Because the Prophet of Islam also once performed the Hajj.

Not ten times, not five times, but once.

Because if they visited 3-4 times, it would be obligatory and the Muslim community would be in trouble.

Regarding Umrah, it should be said that Umrah is not obligatory and the person performing Umrah is not a pilgrim, because when performing Umrah, the Hajj, that is, the obligatory Hajj, is not considered complete. Explain this to people.

Let me emphasize once again that Umra does not give the status of a pilgrim, it is equated to prayer, because along with prayer it is a pillar of Islam, as they say, Ahmad went to Mecca and Medina, came back the same old Ahmad!

He got the Sawab (reward), he got it for himself.

He did not receive any other title, he is the same Ahmed!

You are mistaken, dear ladies, you are going on a pilgrimage as if on a journey.

You only receive one reward. After all, fast for a month, pray five times.

Serve your parents and husband.

Keep your children clean and tidy; feed them with quality food.

There are two groups of people who may not go to Hajj: firstly, people who serve their parents, in particular, people who have caring parents, that is, the disabled, the elderly and the poor.

They take care of them; receive their good prayers, which is equal to the reward of Hajj.

We say — let me visit my Qiblah.

Who is Qiblah? Father

If the Qiblah is at home, why not take care of and be kind to him?

Second, people who do ongoing charity, such as building roads and schools, lay a water supply, building a bridge, that is, actions that benefit the society, and these actions are included in ongoing charity.

Performing Umrah brings only rewards to a person, and a believer can find even more rewards in his homeland with his good deeds.

Is it right that our brother, sister, children or neighbors are hungry and we spend a lot of money to go to God’s house?

Or there are no favorable conditions for children in our house, we have minor children at home and we have not fulfilled our parenting duties yet, but we are going to pilgrimage.

Let’s repair our house, provide our children with quality clothes and food.

Such cases are not uncommon in our country.

Can we improve the living conditions of our people with such rituals and religiosity and conducting religious ceremonies with such difficulties?

Moreover, God said that a person’s happiness is his happiness.

One of the famous figures of science and mysticism, Khoja Abdullahi Ansari, said well on this matter:

Дил ба даст овар, ки ҳаҷҷи акбар аст,

Аз ҳазорон Каъба як дил беҳтар аст.

Каъба бунёди Халили озар аст,

Дил гузаргоҳи Ҷалили акбар аст.

(Meaning: The Kaaba is a building constructed by Azar’s son, Khalil Ibrahim. Almighty Allah looks at the heart. Therefore, destroying one heart is worse than destroying a thousand Kaabas).

Win people’s hearts.

Win the heart of a poor and disabled person, a bereaved family, a sick person.

Do it yourself first, dear religious workers!

Let’s collect the donation of Zakat al-Fitr and repair and restore the house of an orphan, a disabled person or a homeless person with it, how grateful they will be, first of all, your own spirit will be lifted.

What a good thing this is.

Mawlana Balkhi seems to have sensed this habit of our excesses very early on and said that one should not seek God in a house of stone; such a search for God is an imperfect search. He is in the hearts of the people of the world; know Him through the doors of the heart in the status of a person.

If we brag about our language, our behavior, our actions, if we wear long kaftans, grow long beards, wear hijabs, but have bad intentions — this is boasting.

There is nothing more!

It is about the heart, it’s about sincerity and faith, people!

One of the great men of our past, Ahmadi Jomi, addressed pilgrims on the way to pilgrimage and emphasized that you must know that God’s existence is in your existence and His status is in your own status.

Taking into account that, according to the Sunnah of the Prophet, the Islamic Sharia declared the Hajj a one-time obligation, the Committee on Religion, Regulation of Traditions and Celebrations, the Center for Islamic Research and the Council of Scholars is given order, that depending on the current conditions and financial capabilities of residents, within two months to prepare the procedure for the implementation Hajj ceremonies for citizens of the country.

The country’s Council of Ulema is recommended to make an appropriate decision on this issue within two months at the level of Sharia norms and in accordance with the Hanafi school of thought and carry out explanatory work.

Distinguished participants!

Currently, there are operating 3 boarding houses for the elderly and the disabled with 384 residents, including 196 elderly people, 4 boarding houses for the mentally ill with 893 residents, including 842 mentally disabled people, 61 boarding schools, including 14 republican boarding schools and 47 boarding schools with local status.

There are 7706 students reside in the mentioned institutions, including 2508 girls, of whom 108 are total orphans, 1431 are without a father, 316 are without a mother, 121 are orphans, 241 are children of parents with infectious diseases who cannot take care of them, 42 father or mother with a mental illness, 67 children of drug addict parents, 1114 people from poor families and 3773 children with limited opportunities are under permanent patronage and material and spiritual care of the state.

With all this wastefulness and misconception, excesses and perversions in religion, entertainment and hypocrisy, extremism, and sometimes terror, which we do as if for the sake of God, we forget one important point: behind our wall, in a neighbor’s house, in our place of residence, in our village, district or region and in our country there are people who need our love and compassion!!!

Where did the teaching that our ancestors received, dissappered, where did the teachers who raised our ancestors in such a human spirit go?

Have the servants of our religion forgotten their novel mission?

These words do not mean that the state cannot take care of the residents of such institutions, but to think and find the right way in life and livelihood, to educate people in the spirit of humanity, not extremism and misconception!!!

This is the real mission of religious workers.

The Prophet of Islam says in this case: «The person who takes an orphan under his protection will be with me on the Day of Judgment.»

You can accomplish these deeds.

We are doing it, the state does it.

Nevertheless, I always see that whether you like it or not, family is something else.

The family environment is different.

You can feel the difference even though you create the best conditions for them.

Dear compatriots!

Any people and nation whose behavior shows signs of ignorance and superstition will be deprived of a happy life.

This can be observed in the example of a number of countries in the world in today’s conditions.

Therefore, our people must be conscious and not be deceived by the propaganda of the enemies of their religion, nationality and creed.

We, the people of Tajikistan, have always belonged to the moderate and tolerant sect of Imam Abu Hanifa and do not allow radical religious and extremist ideas to spread among the people of the country using religious feelings.

In this regard, I would like to recall my opinion, which I have already expressed many times: superstition is a danger that poses a serious threat to the present and future of Tajikistan and the region.

I have said many times and will repeat today that superstition is ignorance; ignorance only brings misfortune to a nation.

Our more than thirty-two years of cooperation with the countries of the Islamic world, especially with the Arab countries, shows that the turn to science, the study and development of mathematical, natural and technical sciences, the use of advanced scientific achievements and the use of modern technologies have brought them to unprecedented development and led to the elimination of established and outdated ideas.

As an example, let us take the speed of development of countries with a Muslim majority using the example of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Malaysia and others.

They understood well that the only saving factor for humanity is science and the involvement of the country’s younger generation in scientific pursuits.

For this reason, they use every opportunity to guide young people into science and education and provide a happy life for their residents.

On the other hand, take the events of the last few years.

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in the world, who was able to save the lives of their people and humanity in general?

Of course, the countries in which science, technology and the scientific worldview developed, regardless of their attitude to religion, as well as the level of education and literacy of the population of these countries came to the fore.

What are we doing?

When the coronavirus spread throughout the world, countries began to think about inventing a vaccine, but in our country, due to superstition and ignorance, in one of the regions five people prayed for one infected person.

Four siblings died in one week.

Their families were left homeless, their children were left orphans.

Can COVID-19 be cured by prayer?

This is why we must raise our children, raise our scientists, and raise inventors so that they do not need others.

Or the case that you all heard, the mullah, who was a doctor, seemed to exorcise a demon from a poor old woman, beat her with a stick until she was crushed, he took a household knife, cut her lower tongue and lip, and the old woman died immediately.

Is this Islam? Is this a Muslim? What is this?

All in the name of Islam. This is ignorance.

This paper is white, isn’t it?

You write on it with a pen or pencil.

Firstly, what is paper?

Paper is not an environmental material, it is chemistry.

They prepare it with chemicals and make paper for writing and reading, right?

What do we do next?

Those mullahs who call themselves doctors write amulets on paper and give them as gifts, right?

Drink this amulet for two mornings.

Both pencils and paper contain toxic chemicals.

That is, we poison people with our own hands.

In this regard, I emphasize that the future of Tajikistan depends on the level of education of the people and the progress of science and technology, and attracting young people to science, knowledge, professions and crafts should be the focus of attention of all members of society.

Religious officials are also required to guide young people towards the study of worldly sciences and knowledge, especially mathematics, science and engineering subjects.

Imam Ghazali in his book “Revival of the Science of Religion” says that the requirement of sciences necessary for society, such as medicine, accounting, etc., is a sufficient duty.

Let’s ask ourselves one question: what is our highest scientific achievement?

What have we invented and what have we discovered?

What do we produce?

Who are our scientists and inventors?

Who raises them?

We and you

At home, in the family, at school, it depends more on us – parents.

How long will we rely on others?

How long will we continue to help the economies of other countries?

Everyone sitting in this room, starting with me, has all their clothes from abroad.

Even our turbans and kaftans are imported.

You see, today technologies and machines, even drones, have been invented to serve people.

Taxis in most developed cities of the world are unmanned, with new technologies, without a driver.

Wherever you order it, it will go.

It has no fuel, it runs on electricity.

What are we doing?

Where are our engineers and scientists?

Why can’t we teach?

Even in religious education we have no progress; representatives of Tajikistan take first places in competitions for reading the Quran, but in interpretation and content they take last places, because they read well, but do not understand its meaning, cannot interpret it.

When we read a verse or a hadith, we should first understand its meaning and explain it to the people.

Moreover, we need to know where each verse, each hadith is read, and on what occasion it is read.

Dear compatriots!

The religion of Islam has recognized multilingualism, diversity of thought and the existence of different cultures of peoples and nations.

For example, in the Holy Quran this topic is clearly stated in the 13th  verse of Surah Hujurat:

“O humanity! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you may ˹get to˺ know one another….”

In other words, it is the will of the Lord that people should be in the form of nations and tribes and differ from each other by nationality, customs, language and culture, their own clothing and other elements.

Otherwise, it will remain unknown to which people, tribe and nationality people belong.

Alienism in clothing, that is, wearing foreign clothes with false names and hijab, is another important problem in our society.

Alienation of manners and customs in clothing is a cultural alienation that undermines the intellectual independence and national and cultural identity of a nation.

Those who wear strange clothes show off.

They think they are different, intelligent, and superior to others.

Most of them are illiterate.

There are other things to do.

Today there are groups that want to change everything under one slogan, not for the sake of Islamic goals, but to realize their preconceived plans.

According to reliable sources, during the time of Abu Hanifa, many scholars witnessed the misuse of religion for political purposes, but no one had the courage to openly express their disagreement with the arbitrariness and deviations.

As we see today, extremist and xenophobic groups are trying to achieve their unclean goals, using religious slogans to alienate us from our state and nation, from the origin of the Tajiks and the strong foundations of the history and civilization of our ancestors.

Until Islam brought clothing and all peoples and tribes adapted their national clothing to Islamic conditions.

The reality is that every nation, by virtue of its cultural history, has distinct dressing behaviors and traditions that reflect the material and spiritual values of its past and every nation is recognized by its language, culture and dress style.

For example, Arabs wear their national dress both within their own countries and abroad and take pride in their national dress.

It is their own national dress, not Islamic dress.

But why don’t others wear our national clothes?

Earlier I said that Tajik national clothes, including Chakan and Adras, have become global.

Recognized by the prestigious international organization UNESCO.

Our mothers and ladies — Tajiks had their own style of national clothing and left it to us as a legacy, each of them, along with beauty and color, reflected the moral and religious norms of our ancient people.

In this regard, in order to protect identity and national values, we must prevent the import of so-called religious clothing that is alien to our customs and culture.

Isn’t it better to be educated and chaste and respect your parents and husband instead of imitating other people’s clothes?

Dear compatriots, I have said this a thousand times and I will repeat it again.

The Tajik people have more than 6,000 years of history, civilization and culture.

The celebration of Nowruz has more than 6,000 years of history.

The ancient city of Sarazm was studied by world-class scientists from all over the world, UNESCO decided that this ancient city has a history of more than five and a half thousand years.

This is proof of the antiquity of the Tajik nation — our nation and you, the people!

O Tajik people, we are Aryans, we are representatives of Indo-European civilization and culture, we have the right to dress in a modern way, look at your faces, look at the faces of Tajiks, we had a beautiful and advanced way of dressing.

Anyone who has read the history of the Tajik people knows that the Aryan people were giants.

They were tall and had long faces.

Historical findings that are in our museums and in the world, from the Great Cyrus Fortress, the Stone Throne, from Sarazm, ancient clothing, what kind of men’s and women’s clothing they had.

After all, why should we be alienated?

Why should we be ungrateful towards our culture, language, history and customs?

Why?

This is exactly what the enemies of the Tajik nation are doing.

First they will take away your customs and rituals, then they will take away your language and culture, then the state will disappear and therefore the nation, don’t forget people!

I said in one of my speeches and I say it today: I am proud that I am first a Tajik and then a Muslim.

The Committee of Women and Family Affairs is tasked to develop and present beautiful and diverse designs of national clothes in cooperation with domestic designers in accordance with the religious and moral needs of our women, sisters and mothers.

It is recommended to the Council of Scholars of the Islamic Center to define its opinion on this issue within the framework of the interests of the Tajik state and national culture, paying tribute to the values of the Hanafi school of thought.

Respected religious figures!

You are fully aware that to be a servant is to be a servant of religion, and therefore to be responsible to both God and people.

Given the immense responsibility you bear, every one of you is required to set an example for society through your speech, behavior, and morals.

During specific historical periods, religious figures’ misuse of religion and religious principles gave rise to false perceptions about their status and personalities among the populace.

As such, some people see the role of mullah or religious worker as a profession and depend on that to make their living.

It should be noted that being a mullah is not a profession but a genuine service to the people for God’s sake with the hope of receiving rewards.

For instance, in certain countries with a Muslim majority, religious workers queue up in mosques for months to lead the prayer (to be the Imam) several times with the sole intention of getting rewards.

Again, not to get paid, but merely to get rewards.

No offense, but what do our mullahs do sometimes?

They split up the people of the same area into several groups either to increase the number of worshipers of the prayers led by them and those who pay for fasting or the “Imam fee” or to demonstrate their superiority, while taking the “Imam fee” from people and dividing them into groups is wrong!

It is emphasized in an authentic hadith that “Nobody has ever eaten a better meal than that which one has earned by working with one’s own hands.” (Sahih Bukhari, volume 3, book 34, number 286: Sales and Trade)

All prophets, from Grandfather Adam (who was a farmer) to our Honorable Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them), had livelihoods and employments (a shepherd, a tailor, a merchant).

The jobs of our Honorable Prophets (peace be upon them) were carpenters (Noah), tailors (Idris), merchants (Saleh), blacksmiths (David), and basket makers (Suleiman).

If you have the strength to at least plow the land near your yard, cultivate greenery, and tend to the fruit trees, your blood will function properly and your appetite will improve.

The core of Islamic and global religious teachings is eating a loaf of bread made with halal labor and giving charity from the harvest of halal labor.

As you are aware, the year 2024 was declared the «Year of Legal Education» in the Message of the Head of State in order to increase the legal education of the population.

The purpose of this decision is to increase the level of legal education among citizens, promote democratic values, and strengthen the protection of human rights.

One of the main objectives of the «Year of Legal Education» is to instill in citizens a sense of respect for the law, ensure its supremacy, and establish a method of effective cooperation between the state and civil society institutions in the direction of legal education.

In this regard, it is essential that the relevant state bodies, civil society structures, and public representatives, especially religious leaders, take direct responsibility for raising the level of education of the population, including a thorough and unconditional understanding of the provisions of Article 1 of the Constitution, according to which “The Republic of Tajikistan shall be a sovereign, democratic, law-based, secular, and unitary state,» especially with regard to the secular nature of the state.

A responsible religious figure, a lover of the motherland, the people, and the state will never be heedless when it comes to good deeds in educating society morally, fixing the existing shortcomings, and contributing to the well-being of the motherland and the overall development of the country.

You probably know and understand better than others that «hubbul-watan,» or love of motherland, comes from faith.»

Your faith and conscience oblige you to teach people, especially teenagers and youth, respect for parents and elders, good manners, and morals, especially a communication and social interaction culture in public spaces, family etiquette, and other numerous social issues.

In other words, a mosque, as a means of faith, should play a valuable educational and moral role in society, not a place of gossip and slander, a place of political discussion, or a place of misleading people.

The etiquette of going to the mosque is clearly explained in Surah «Friday» verse 10 of the Holy Qur’an: «And when the prayer has been concluded, disperse within the land and seek from the bounty of Allah, and remember Allah often that you may succeed.».

A group of people were sitting in the mosque one day when Umar (RA) arrived and ordered them to leave the mosque.

Then he added, «Do you expect gold and silver to fall from heaven?»

Stand up and pursue your livelihood!

In other words, put in an effort and work hard.

Nothing happens by itself if you sit back.

Some say that God Himself gives; no, He doesn’t.

Nothing will get done if the seed is not sown, the effort and hard work are not put in, and the land is not used.

If not for the efforts of farmers last year, what would happen to markets now? Cannibalism.

In today’s extremely difficult and critical conditions, religious figures can and must fulfill their religious duty and civil mission to correct the spirituality of society, prevent immorality and crime, prevent youth extremism and illegal religious teachings, young marriage disintegration, and contribute to the enforcement of the Law about Streamlining of Traditions, Celebrations, and Ceremonies in the Republic of Tajikistan.

In this regard, work should be done in a way that makes everyone feel accountable for the extremism of one individual. From the head of a city and district to the head of a community and area, a religious figure, as well as parents and teachers, must feel responsible before the law and society.

We should be grateful that we live in a prosperous and free country, that we were raised on the bread, salt, and water of this old land, and that we have raised our children and grandchildren in its peaceful surroundings.

Let us be thankful that we own the state, and our state is a member of all international organizations in the world, and even among the world’s superpowers, we have a vote. Let us be thankful that we are recognized and respected in the international arena as an active country and the author of five global initiatives.

Therefore, let us appreciate this homeland, this land of ancestral paradise, peace and tranquility, political stability, and its bread and salt. Let us work hard together with integrity and dedication for the sake of the even greater prosperity of our country and the progress of our independent state.

We must not allow our children, who are our future and further blessing and happiness, to become a tool in the hands of others and to bring shame to the civilized Tajik nation on the world stage.

We should always remember that only modern professionals who meet the requirements of the modern world can own the country, ensure the development of the state, and advance society.

In the third millennium, only states and nations that possess advanced knowledge and modern technology can preserve their existence and move forward.

Therefore, each of us has an obligation and responsibility to present and future generations, to the destiny of the motherland, the state, and the nation, to put forth education, to create conditions for our children not to remain illiterate, to learn science and knowledge, and to master modern professions and crafts.

Therefore, each of us is obliged and responsible for the fate of our present and future generations, our motherland, our state, and our nation. We must focus on education, create favorable conditions for our children not to remain illiterate, and learn modern science and crafts.

It is the life duty of dear parents, educators, leaders of all state structures and bodies, intellectuals, activists, civil society, and the public, including religious leaders.

I emphasize that nobody is eliminating our Muslim beliefs or our way of praying.

However, it is challenging to ensure the advancement of the state, the enhancement of the country, and the rise in the quality and standard of people’s lives alone through worship.

The modern era has distinct requirements.

To improve our lives and make our future better than it is today, we must study, develop exact and mathematical sciences, master the latest techniques and technologies, educate human resources, and work hard.

We must further improve the quality of life and standard of living of our people.

To educate our children so that they will grow up to be our future caregivers, become well-educated and literate, capable professionals in the modern era, and represent all human integrity and manners.

To help us in our later years, we bear children and raise them.

It is important to keep in mind that the leaders of the terrorist and extremist organizations that enlist your and our children have not experienced the pain of giving birth or raising our children, nor the suffering of wakefulness and feeding them.

Given this, they see nothing worthwhile in our children, at one point turning them into suicidal terrorists in pursuit of their nefarious goals.

The parents endure alone after their loss.

We should not allow our children to be remembered as terrorists or radicals in the history of the country.

This is a blemish on the dignity of Tajik parents and the ancient and civilized Tajik nation.

Therefore, let us educate our children, teach them the sciences, and help them become professionals so that they do not suffer and get lost and so that they can help and care for their parents in their later stages of life.

Especially for this reason, we have accepted the question at the level of the Constitution, which states that the child is obliged, responsible, and accountable to take care of their parents when they reach old age.

As the apple of our eye, we must protect our union and solidarity, the peace and stability of society, and our national unity from the threats of the modern world.

We must defend our union and solidarity, the peace and stability of society, and our national unity, which represent our country’s strength in the face of today’s threats, as our unity, patriotism, and loyal labor work for the prosperity of the Motherland and the development of our state are what make us strong.

Dear young people, today and tomorrow, owners of independent Tajikistan!

I address you and emphasize that you must defend independence and freedom, which are the most precious gifts for the freedom-loving Tajik people!

Love this heavenly homeland; keep it faithfully as a pledge of our ancestors!

Be proud to be Tajik since our ancestors, the adopted children of the Tajik nation, made a great contribution to the development of human culture and civilization and illuminated the path to coexistence and solidarity for the whole world.

You should be proud to be Tajik since our ancestors—the distinguished generation of Tajik people—made significant contributions to the advancement of human culture and civilization and paved the way for global harmony and coexistence.

Be always ready to defend this holy land so that our honorable mothers and sisters can live a peaceful life in this holy land.

Prove that you are a descendant of Kurush Kabir and Mukanna, Spitamen and Devashtich, Temurmalik and Vose, and thousands of brave children of this homeland!

I have complete faith in each of you—in your honor, intelligence, physical and mental potential, strong sense of independence and freedom, patriotism, courage, and bravery.

Dear countrymen!

I have repeatedly emphasized, and I reiterate it today, that one must be clever and self-aware in life so as not to be deceived by the self-serving goals of profit-seeking groups.

Never forget that nobody considers enhancing our homeland.

We ourselves must build and improve the homeland of our ancestors and leave as a legacy to future generations a civilized and developed state!

We must build the country of our ancestors, improve it, and leave as a legacy a developed and civilized state for future generations!

I am aware that there are countless more problems and deficiencies currently.

We just started building a country.

Just as a young couple recently got married, our state has many problems right now.

However, I can state with confidence that we can overcome any existing shortcomings and problems.

Together, we survived the hardest periods of the Civil War and arrived at these prosperous times, while some have predicted that we will vanish off from the political map of the globe, but we have not; in other words, they have failed.

Despite the wishes and plans of the nation’s enemies, we emerged again, rescuing our country from destruction and our nation from being on the verge of disintegration.

The days are not far off when we will create an even better life for ourselves, and our names will appear in gilded letters on the pages of the history of this country.

Since our people, the proud people of Tajikistan, have the strength and ability to create an even more prosperous and peaceful life!

I extend my congratulations to all the honorable people of Tajikistan and my fellow countrymen overseas on the commencement of the holy month of Ramadan.

I wish all the people of Tajikistan health, peace and stability, grace, and blessings, and all of you, distinguished present, good luck and success in preserving the motherland’s independence and freedom as well as the high national and religious values.

I send my best wishes for health, peace, stability, a cozy home, grace, and blessings to every Tajik citizen. I also wish you all, distinguished present, luck and success in preserving the motherland’s independence and freedom, as well as high national and religious ideals.

Thank you!

 

 

 

 

National Development Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan for the period up to 2030

UN Resolution entitled International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028

MFA Publications

Hotline for Tajikistan citizens abroad

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