Mosque on Sale for Tax Debts in Russia

The tax authorities in the region of Nizhny Novgorod in Russia are offering the biggest mosque “Al-Rashada” for sale in an auction, because of 602 million rubles (US$ 20.4 million) due in tax debts. The local businessman Fayez Gelmanov built the mosque in his home-town , in the village of Medyany south of Nizhhny Novgorod, in the late nineties. He stated that he had built the mosque for the village, but the mosque remained listed as an asset of his company.

The main activity of the Gelmanov was gambling. But since the government of Russia banned gambling last year, the businessman declared bankruptcy and became indebted to the Russian state with  millions of rubles. All of his property was offered for sale in an auction. The announcement about the sale of the mosque, which was published by Russian tax authorities in the newspapers, shocked all the worshippers as well as the people who live in Medyany.

Sheikh Ashraf Ramez Dinov, the Imam of the Al-Rashada stated that: “The sale of the mosque should not happen. This is a house of God, and it should not be bought or sold. In this mosque, the people come to pray”.
Farid Belyaev, director of the mosque’s museum, said the region used to have five mosques in early 20th centuries. They were all destroyed in Stalin times. The imams who refused to denounce Islam were executed.

Belyaev said local Muslims have been praying for their mosque to survive the current turmoil and continue being a religious centre for the muslim ethnic Tatar community.

“You cannot sell the soul of a man for roubles, dollars or euros or other money. Today, it’s not the cars or houses we’re lacking, but most of all, we’re lacking spirituality. Without spirituality, we will not succeed in building a reformed state or if we build it, who knows what it will be. To be fully happy a person needs to be happy spiritually,” Belyayev said.

The Al-Rashada mosque, which is on sale for tax debts, is the largest mosque in the Russian region of Nizhny Novgorod, and one of the major Islamic centers in Russia. The Muslims were happy since they built of the mosque, after they had been deprived of their  religious institutions during the times of the former Soviet Union.

The Muslim businessman Fayez Gelmanov, who is now bankrupt, did not spare money to build the mosque. It is decorated with Islamic ornaments and made of marble stone, and the verses of the Quran are inscribed in gold on the walls.

The mosque is constituted by a group of buildings, including a museum, a library and a hotel to accommodate visitors.

1 comment to Mosque on Sale for Tax Debts in Russia

  • This is the shameful outcome of decades of persecution and corruption of Russia with especially Muslims and Christians targeted by the Zionist-Communist Russian government to subvert them and destroy their faith. That won’t happen. However, God, Allah (SWT) has allowed the conflict of the infidels and apostates to afflict both Muslim and Christian in that area. We must remember that Communism is a Jew invention and it is atheist and hates the worship of God. God is almighty and we will be victorious. All Christians and Muslims must unite in love of God and neighbor in resisting these attacks and corruptions. May the Mosque be saved for the worshippers to use for holy reasons.

    Thank you as always Ms. Salam for your most kind attention to those in need.


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