Halal hotels for muslims certified to sharia norms to open in Russia (Photo: ITAR-TASS/Aleksei Pavlishak)
Halal hotels for muslims certified to sharia norms to open in Russia. (Photo: ITAR-TASS/Aleksei Pavlishak)

Moscow, 8 Rabi’ul Awwal 1436/30 December 2014 (MINA) – A number of halal hotels for Muslim believers, which will be opened in Russia, will be certified according to Sharia norms, the Russian Muftis’ Council said on its website on Monday.

Chairman of the Russian Muftis’ Council Ravil Gainutdin has endorsed the hotel standard developed by International Center for halal standardization and certification, which is the first ever standard which regulates such hotel services in the Russian hotel and tourist sector, said the Council’s press service.

“The new standard will promote development of tourism to Russia,” said Director of the International Center for Halal Standardization and Certification Aidar Gazizov. “Given growing tourism to Russia from Southeast Asia, China and Moslem countries, the class of a hotel will be indicated by half moons, rather than conventional stars symbols,” he said,  itar-tass quoted Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting on Tuesday.

All the halal hotels should observe Muslim catering traditions, especially during the Ramadan; hotel rooms will be provided with special facilities for Muslim worship, he added.

There might be a mosque in a hotel and separate leisure and fitness rooms for men and women.

Islam is the second largest religion in Russia after Russian Orthodoxy. It is the traditional or predominant religion amongst some Caucasian ethnicities (notably the Chechens, the Ingush and the Circassians), and amongst some Turkic peoples (notably the Tatars and the Bashkirs).

Altogether, there are 9,400,000 Muslims in Russia or 6.5% of the total population as of 2012 (the share of Muslims is probably much higher because the survey doesn’t include detailed data for the traditionally Islamic states of Chechnya and Ingushetia).

Notwithstanding, various differences split the Muslim population in different groups. According to the survey, most of the Muslims (precisely 6,700,000 or 4.6% of the total population) are “unaffiliated” to any Islamic schools and branches or Islamic organisation, this is mainly because it is not essential for Muslims to be affiliated with any specific sect or organization.

Those who are unaffiliated are mostly Sunni Muslims. These unaffiliated Muslims constitute significant percentages of over 10% in Kabardino-Balkaria (49%), Bashkortostan (38%), Karachay-Cherkessia (34%), Tatarstan (31%), Yamalia (13%), Orenburg Oblast (11%), Adygea (11%) and Astrakhan Oblast (11%). Most of the regions of Siberia have an unaffiliated Muslim population of 1% to 2%. (T/P009/P3)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)