At the beginning of the war Said Ismagilov, mufti of the Religious Administration of Muslims of Ukraine “Umma'', changed his religious attire to military uniform, becoming the chaplain of the Muslims of the Kyiv Territorial defense
Sheikh Said told a journalist of “Novoe Vremya” (New Time):
“I joined TDB in December. I trained there and passed all the training. I knew very well that most likely there would be a war. It was unclear whether it would be around Kyiv. But it was necessary to train and prepare, - Sheikh Said says. - At the beginning I came as an ordinary fighter. But I was quickly recognized, unfortunately. Because I didn't want to do what I was doing in my daily life again. And then there was an order that I was enlisted in the military chaplains. Currently, I am the imam-chaplain of the TDB battalion in Kyiv. The command spoke to me and said that there was no one left to perform religious services and [satisfy] religious needs. Because all the other muftis and imams have disappeared, fled or didn't even bother to support our armed forces spiritually. The command of the Kyiv TDB asked me to take responsibility, there is no one else. So, I had to become an imam-chaplain. ”
He was also asked about the fighting spirit of Ukraine’s defenders, many of whom are Muslims, which Sheikh Said described as “very positive”.
“I am mostly in contact with Muslims, but I have non-Muslims friends and acquaintances. They are encouraged to fight. They want as fast as possible to defeat the enemy and liberate Ukraine/ Muslims have a special desire to free Ukraine together with the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas. Everyone is focused, the soldiers are going to the mosque for Friday prayers. Today [March 25] we gathered. Since they are still under commands, some of them in the Armed Forces, some in TDB, it happens not every time they have a possibility to come to the mosque for prayers. Even though around 30 soldiers are here every Friday.”
Mufti of RAMU “Umma” as for imam-chaplain TDB also has some responsibilities, such as communication with journalists from Muslim countries, mainly Arab, Turkey and other:
“I must give them information, explanations about Ukraine, Ukrainian Muslims, about what's going on in Ukraine. I have a lot to do until late at night. Sometimes I have to appear on various TV channels at 12 o’clock at night, mostly for Arab-Muslim world. And in the meantime, I need to do chaplain, volunteer and battalion duties.”
In the interview with “NV”, Shaikh Said Ismagilov spoke about the involvement of Muslims in the struggle for freedom of Ukraine, the work of Russian muftis on the FSS and the impact of Moscow's propaganda on believers in the Middle East.
We shall recall that even before the official Russian invasion of Ukraine, Sheikh Said regularly went to ATO/JFO zone as an imam-chaplain, it was exactly the initiative of RAMU “Umma” that the Office of the military chaplaincy of the Muslims of Ukraine (MCMU). The site “Islam in Ukraine” wrote about the activities of chaplain imams before. As known, representatives of the Office of the Military Chaplaincy of the Muslims of Ukraine worked as part of a working group on a bill on chaplaincy in the army with the Committee on National Security, defense and Intelligence.