By Maksim Yeniseyev
TASHKENT -- For the first time in Uzbekistan, Muslims were able to watch a pre-Ramadan service online.
On the evening of May 26, the tarawih prayer took place in all major mosques nationwide. Thousands gathered at Khazrati Imom Mosque in Tashkent, where Mufti Usmonkhon Alimov, head of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Uzbekistan (DUMU), spoke.
In a national first, Uzbekistani Muslims unable to attend in person were able to watch the service live on Facebook.
"During the month of the great fast, Muslims need to exercise particular benevolence and graciousness, provide charitable assistance to needy families and to homes for the indigent elderly, and beautify mosques and cemeteries," he preached that evening.
"It's very appropriate, because if they broadcast the sermons of our mufti and of our imams on social networks more often, then youth will recognise true Islam," Davron Shaumarov of Tashkent told Caravanserai. "Today, very few attend mosques, but everyone spends time online, and in that way Muslims who want to will be able to learn new things, and partake in words of truth."
"It was very important for me to listen to the words of our mufti," Tashkent resident Sanjar Agzamov, who watched the broadcast online, told Caravanvserai. "By doing so, I felt solidarity with all Muslims and received parting words [to help me] properly observe the holy fast."