In Zaporizhzhia, after renovation, the Cathedral Mosque was inaugurated for the Muslim community of the city and region. The ceremony was attended by representatives of religious communities and delegations from Melitopol, Dnipro and Sievierodonetsk.
According to the imam of Zaporizhzhia ICC, Muhammad Mamutov, the mosque has been operating for many years:
- However, we did not have conditions. The city's Muslim community is constantly growing. According to various estimates, it includes at least 5 thousand people. Although, I suppose that in fact there are more Muslims, because during collective prayers - on Friday, holidays, in the month of Ramadan - there wasn't enough space in the mosque for all believers, and some people prayed in the street. Fortunately, after the renovation, we were able to equip the mosque itself, and increase the area of the prayer rooms.
The building, in which the mosque was opened, has been restored by the Muslim community for the last two years. They collected the money themselves among local Muslims and also invited patrons from other cities and regions of Ukraine to participate.
“It was not one sponsor who gave money for this,” says Muhammad Mamutov. - A lot of people from Ukraine and abroad helped us. For example, a significant contribution was made by former foreign Muslim students of Zaporizhzhia universities. They studied here, and then returned to their countries, but remembering about Zaporizhzhia and Ukraine, they took part in this good deed.
Guests from different Ukrainian cities came to the opening. The mufti of the Religious Administration of Muslims of Ukraine "Ummah" Said Ismagilov also arrived. In his opinion, the opening of the Cathedral Mosque is a significant event for local Muslims:
- In general the Muslim community of Zaporizhzhia is large enough. However, for many years, Muslims were forced to gather in this small house, on the site of which an Islamic cultural center was eventually built, and now the Cathedral Mosque. And this is an undeniable accomplishment of the local community, because the Muslims of Zaporizhzhia restored, repaired and built this mosque mainly with their own hands and with their own donations.
The mufti is also convinced that this mosque is of great importance not only for the unification of Muslims in the city:
- Today, priests of different Christian denominations, representatives of government bodies, activists and simply not indifferent citizens came to the opening. Therefore, the mosque can become a good platform for public dialogue and the implementation of joint objectives for the common benefit.
After the celebrations, a collective Friday prayer took place in the newly opened mosque. For other guests, they conducted an excursion in the premises of the religious building, and at the end everyone was treated with fragrant pilaf.
The Cathedral Mosque of Zaporizhzhia can simultaneously accommodate 300 people and together with the Islamic cultural center of the city will form a single Muslim spiritual and cultural space, which will become the largest Muslim center in the region.