MOSCOW – After years of legal debates, Russian Muslims have finally restored the 15th century Khan Mosque in Kasimov town, east Moscow, deemed as the oldest mosque in central Russia.
The news was announced on Wednesday, December 4, by the spiritual directorate for Russian Muslims (The Muslim Spiritual Directorate (MSD) system in Russia), Radio Free Europe reported.
Along with Khan Mosque, the MSD has declared regaining the shrines of Shakh Ali Khan and Muhammad Avgan Sultan in Kasimov.
Before handing it back to Muslims, Khan Mosque has been controlled over the past centuries by the Kasimov regional museum until.
Under the Museums' autonomy, Muslims were banned from praying in the worshipping house since it was open as a public museum in the 1930s.
Erected by Tatars in the 15th century, the mosque in Rayzan is deemed as the second-oldest mosque in Russia after Dzhuma Mosque.
The 13th century Dzhuma Mosque is located in the city of Derbent in Russia's North Caucasus Republic of Dagestan.
Khan Mosque's date backs to the Qasim Khanate of the 15th and 16th centuries.
In 1702, the original body of the mosque was demolished upon Peter's the Great request, fortunately the minaret was preserved.
By 1768, a new building was constructed next to the wide stone minaret.
In the 19th century, an additional floor was added to the mosque by the local Tatar nobles in 1835.
The un-decorated walls of the mosque’s minaret resemble the minaret of the well-known Huaisheng Mosque in Guangzhou, in South China, which was rebuilt during the 14th century and again in the 17th century.
Huaisheng Mosque believed to be built by Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas, the uncle of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
Islam is the country's second-largest religion, behind the Russian Orthodoxy.
There are some 23 million Muslims in the Russian Federation concentrated in the north of the Caucasus, representing roughly 15 percent of its 145 million population.
According to Russia Today, experts say that, by 2050, Muslims will make up about half of Russia's population, making it one of the world’s largest countries.
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