On June 23, 2021, an exhibition will open at the National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan, which will present selected rarities from the museum collection of Muslim culture, covering 14 centuries of Islamic history. Most of the exhibits rarely leave the vault, and some have never been exhibited.
The head of the Religious Administration of Muslims of the Republic of Tatarstan, Mufti Kamil Khazrat Samigullin, will take part in the opening ceremony. This exhibition is a kind of prologue to the landmark date of next year – the 1100th anniversary of the official adoption of Islam in the Volga Bulgaria. For 2022, the National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan is preparing a larger-scale exhibition on Muslim culture.
The collection of the National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan contains many items that tell about Islam in the Volga region, historical and cultural monuments of the Muslim East and West. Facsimile of the famous Samarkand Kufic Koran of 1905; an album of Shamail, presented as a gift to the museum in 1941 by Professor Ivan Mikhailovich Pokrovsky; carnelian rosary, which the Turkish sultan Mehmed V Reshad awarded the scientist and religious leader Hasan-Gat Gabyashi; exquisite cases for prayers and miniature Korans – each item has its own unique history and is associated with the development of Islam in Tatarstan.
The exhibition will feature the rarest items for national collections related to the Muslim pilgrimage – the Hajj. For example, fragments of the kiswa – the cover of the Kaaba, which, at the end of the hajj, is cut into small pieces, which are handed out to pilgrims. Muslims carefully keep these relics in their families, passing them on to their descendants. One such fragment of an unusually large size – more than three meters, entered the museum in 1937 as a gift from a resident of Kazan. Visitors’ attention will also be attracted by the foreign passport of a pilgrim to Mecca, issued in 1905.
Other rarities are also kept in the museum: handwritten and printed Korans, graceful bronze items with traditional oriental ornaments and arabographic inscriptions, prayer rugs decorated with multicolor embroidery – namazlik, monuments of written and book culture, cult objects and clergy clothes, shamails with religious texts and images of two sacred cities – Mecca and Medina.